QUESTIONS: Who will/should win the Emmys?

I’m asking YOU because I haven’t a clue. This is possibly the season I’ve watched the least TV, possibly ever. Once you get out of the realm of news programs and JEOPARDY!, there ain’t much.

Outstanding Comedy Series
30 Rock • NBC
Curb Your Enthusiasm • HBO
Entourage • HBO
The Office • NBC
Two And A Half Men • CBS
The only one I watch is The Office, so that’s my rooting interest, but I suspect it’ll be 30 Rock.

Outstanding Directing For A Comedy Series
30 Rock • Rosemary’s Baby • NBC • Michael Engler, Director
Entourage • No Cannes Do • HBO • Dan Attias, Director
Flight Of The Conchords • Sally Returns • HBO • James Bobin, Director
Pushing Daisies • Pie-Lette • ABC • Barry Sonnenfeld, Director
The Office • Money (Parts 1 & 2) • NBC • Paul Lieberstein, Director
The Office • Goodbye, Toby • NBC • Paul Feig, Director
If it weren’t competing with another Office episode, I’d pick Toby, but as it is, I’m betting 30 Rock.

Outstanding Directing For A Drama Series
Boston Legal • The Mighty Rogues • ABC • Arlene Sanford, Director
Breaking Bad • Pilot • AMC • Vince Gilligan, Director
Damages • Pilot • FX Networks • Allen Coulter, Director
House • House’s Head • FOX • Greg Yaitanes, Director
Mad Men • Smoke Gets In Your Eyes (Pilot) • AMC • Alan Taylor, Director
Sometimes, I see Boston Legal, more out of habit, but it’s undeserving. The Golden Globes was giving a lot of Mad Men love, so I’ll say that.

Outstanding Directing For A Miniseries, Movie Or A Dramatic Special
Bernard And Doris • HBO • Bob Balaban, Director
Extras: The Extra Special Series Finale • HBO • Ricky Gervais, Director; Stephen Merchant, Director
John Adams • HBO • Tom Hooper, Director
Recount • HBO • Jay Roach, Director
The Company • TNT • Mikael Salomon, Director
Saw none of these. I expect most of the competition for the evening will be between Adams and Recount. I’ll pick Adams because the history’s more remote.

Outstanding Directing For A Variety, Music Or Comedy Program
80th Annual Academy Awards • ABC • Louis J. Horvitz, Director
Company (Great Performances) • PBS • Lonny Price, Director
Saturday Night Live • Host: Tina Fey • NBC • Don Roy King, Director
The Colbert Report • #4051 • Comedy Central • Jim Hoskinson, Director
The Daily Show With Jon Stewart • #13050 • Chuck O’Neil, Director
The continued relevance of Stewart, who I see mostly in clips, should win out. The Oscars? Really? I saw the the Academy Awards, and Oscar, you’re no Jon Stewart.

Outstanding Drama Series
Boston Legal • ABC
Damages • FX Networks
Dexter • Showtime
House • FOX
Lost • ABC
Mad Men • AMC
Again, the one I’ve seen the most is the one I must eliminate, BL. Still thinking Mad Men.

Outstanding Host For A Reality Or Reality – Competition Program
American Idol • FOX • Ryan Seacrest, Host
Dancing With The Stars • ABC • Tom Bergeron, Host
Deal Or No Deal • NBC • Howie Mandel, Host
Project Runway • Bravo • Heidi Klum, Host
Survivor • CBS • Jeff Probst, Host
A category where I’ve seen all five nominees, although not necessarily in the current year. I think Idol and Survivor have peaked, and Mandel just doesn’t have enough of a program. Maybe Klum, but I’m guessing Bergeron.

Outstanding Lead Actor In A Comedy Series
30 Rock • NBC • Alec Baldwin as Jack Donaghy
Monk • USA • Tony Shalhoub as Adrian Monk
Pushing Daisies • ABC • Lee Pace as Ned
The Office • NBC • Steve Carell as Michael Scott
Two And A Half Men • CBS • Charlie Sheen as Charlie Harper
Will it be Baldwin again? Probably. Not Shalhoub, not Sheen. Lee Pace from Pushing Daisies, A SHOW I ACTUALLY WATCHED, is the “honored to be nominated” choice. I’m rooting for Carrell, as I did last year.

Outstanding Lead Actor In A Drama Series
Boston Legal • ABC • James Spader as Alan Shore
Breaking Bad • AMC • Bryan Cranston as Walt White
Dexter • Showtime • Michael C. Hall as Dexter Morgan
House • FOX • Hugh Laurie as Dr. Gregory House
In Treatment • HBO • Gabriel Byrne as Paul
Mad Men • AMC • Jon Hamm as Don Draper
Not Spader! Don’t think it’ll be Laurie, but I’d bet on Hamm.

Outstanding Lead Actor In A Miniseries Or A Movie
Bernard And Doris • HBO • Ralph Fiennes as Bernard Lafferty
Extras: The Extra Special Series Finale • HBO • Ricky Gervais as Andy Millman
John Adams • HBO • Paul Giamatti as John Adams
Recount • HBO • Kevin Spacey as Ron Klain
Recount • HBO • Tom Wilkinson as James Baker
Emmy loves honoring “film” actors, so it won’t be Gervais. Could be Fiennes, but I’m guessing the Recount vote splits and Giamatti gets it.

Outstanding Lead Actress In A Comedy Series
30 Rock • NBC • Tina Fey as Liz Lemon
Samantha Who? • ABC • Christina Applegate as Samantha Newly
The New Adventures Of Old Christine • CBS • Julia Louis-Dreyfus as Christine Campbell
Ugly Betty • ABC • America Ferrera as Betty Suarez
Weeds • Showtime • Mary-Louise Parker as Nancy Botwin
I’ve never seen Weeds. I tried Samantha Who?, but it wore thin. For no logical reason, I’m rooting for Sarah Palin, I mean Tina Fey, but she’s more likely to win elsewhere, giving it to Louis-Dreyfus or Ferrera.

Outstanding Lead Actress In A Drama Series
Brothers & Sisters • ABC • Sally Field as Nora Holden-Walker
Damages • FX Networks • Glenn Close as Patty Hewes
Law & Order: Special Victims Unit • NBC • Mariska Hargitay as Olivia Benson
Saving Grace • TNT • Holly Hunter as Grace Hanadarko
The Closer • TNT • Kyra Sedgwick as Deputy Chief Brenda Johnson
Please not Hargitay. Sedgwick has a schtick that I like to watch, but still schtick. I’m actually rooting for Field, but I’m guessing Close.

Outstanding Lead Actress In A Miniseries Or A Movie
A Raisin In The Sun • ABC • Phylicia Rashad as Lena Younger
An American Crime • Showtime • Catherine Keener as Gertrude Baniszewski
Bernard And Doris • HBO • Susan Sarandon as Doris Duke
Cranford (MASTERPIECE) • PBS • Dame Judi Dench as Miss Matty Jenkyns
John Adams • HBO • Laura Linney as Abigail Adams
Heavy duty category full of movie actresses, two of whom would be OOMA if I did such a thing. The only performance I saw was Rashad who was quite good. I’m thinking Linney.

Outstanding Made For Television Movie
A Raisin In The Sun • ABC
Bernard And Doris • HBO
Extras: The Extra Special Series Finale • HBO
Recount • HBO
The Memory Keeper’s Daughter • Lifetime
I think this is where Recount will win.

Outstanding Miniseries
Cranford (MASTERPIECE) • PBS
John Adams • HBO
The Andromeda Strain • A&E
Tin Man • Sci Fi Channel
The state of the miniseries is such that Tin Man, which received mixed reviews, is here. If there is a God in heaven, Andromeda, which I had the misfortune of seeing, will lose. Fortunately, John Adams will come through.

Outstanding Individual Performance In A Variety Or Music Program
80th Annual Academy Awards • ABC • Jon Stewart, Host
Late Show With David Letterman • CBS • David Letterman, Host
Mr. Warmth: The Don Rickles Project • HBO • Don Rickles, Performer
Saturday Night Live • NBC • Tina Fey, Host/Performer
The Colbert Report • Comedy Central • Stephen Colbert, Host
Will Fey win twice? Or Stewart? Maybe and not here, respectively. I’m guessing this is where Fey wins.

Outstanding Reality-competition Program
American Idol • FOX
Dancing With The Stars • ABC
Project Runway • Bravo
The Amazing Race • CBS
Top Chef • Bravo
Idol probably will win, but I’m pulling for Dancing because it would please my wife.

Outstanding Supporting Actor In A Comedy Series
Entourage • HBO • Jeremy Piven as Ari Gold
Entourage • HBO • Kevin Dillon as Johnny Drama
How I Met Your Mother • CBS • Neil Patrick Harris as Barney Stinson
The Office • NBC • Rainn Wilson as Dwight Schrute
Two And A Half Men • CBS • Jon Cryer as Alan Harper
Cryer’s role is not supporting, Entourage pair cancel each other out. So it’s between the guy formerly known as Doogie and Wilson; it’ll be one or the other and I’m fine with that.

Outstanding Supporting Actor In A Drama Series
Boston Legal • ABC • William Shatner as Denny Crane
Damages • FX Networks • Ted Danson as Arthur Frobisher
Damages • FX Networks • Zeljko Ivanek as Ray Fiske
Lost • ABC • Michael Emerson as Ben
Mad Men • AMC • John Slattery as Roger Sterling
Not Shatner! Damages guys cancel out, though I’m fond of both actors. I guess Mad Men.

Outstanding Supporting Actor In A Miniseries Or A Movie
John Adams • HBO • David Morse as George Washington
John Adams • HBO • Stephen Dillane as Thomas Jefferson
John Adams • HBO • Tom Wilkinson as Benjamin Franklin
Recount • HBO • Denis Leary as Michael Whouley
Recount • HBO • Bob Balaban as Ben Ginsberg
Oy. Don’t know Dillane, but like all of the others. Maybe Wilkinson, but I’m not confident on that.

Outstanding Supporting Actress In A Comedy Series
Pushing Daisies • ABC • Kristin Chenoweth as Olive Snook
Samantha Who? • ABC • Jean Smart as Regina Newly
Saturday Night Live • NBC • Amy Poehler, Performer
Two And A Half Men • CBS • Holland Taylor as Evelyn Harper
Ugly Betty • ABC • Vanessa Williams as Wilhelmina Slater
I like Chenoweth in her role. Smart was OK, and the other two sitcom actresses I don’t watch often enough. Poehler is doing such a different thing than the others; I’m hoping it works for her, rather than against.

Outstanding Supporting Actress In A Drama Series
Boston Legal • ABC • Candice Bergen as Shirley Schmidt
Brothers & Sisters • ABC • Rachel Griffiths as Sarah Walker-Whedon
Grey’s Anatomy • ABC • Chandra Wilson as Dr. Miranda Bailey
Grey’s Anatomy • ABC • Sandra Oh as Cristina Yang
In Treatment • HBO • Dianne Wiest as Dr. Gina Toll
Grey’s cancel out, no way for BL. I’m rather fond of Griffiths’ role, but I’m thinking the HBO show, which I’ve not seen, will win.

Outstanding Supporting Actress In A Miniseries Or A Movie
A Raisin In The Sun • ABC • Audra McDonald as Ruth Younger
Cranford (MASTERPIECE) • PBS • Dame Eileen Atkins as Miss Deborah Jenkyns
Extras: The Extra Special Series Finale • HBO • Ashley Jensen as Maggie Jacobs
Pictures Of Hollis Woods (Hallmark Hall Of Fame Presentation) • CBS • Alfre Woodard as Edna Reilly
Recount • HBO • Laura Dern as Katherine Harris
The only one I saw was McDonald, and she was very good. Still, when I saw the clips, Dern WAS Harris.

Outstanding Variety, Music Or Comedy Series
Late Show With David Letterman • CBS
Real Time With Bill Maher • HBO
Saturday Night Live • NBC
The Colbert Report • Comedy Central
The Daily Show With Jon Stewart • Comedy Central
Stewart, deservedly.

Outstanding Variety, Music Or Comedy Special
Bill Maher: The Decider • HBO
George Carlin: It’s Bad For Ya! • HBO •
James Taylor: One Man Band (Great Performances) • PBS
Kathy Griffin: Straight To Hell • Bravo
Mr. Warmth: The Don Rickles Project • HBO
The Kennedy Center Honors • CBS
I always watch the Kennedy Center Honors and enjoy them, but I’m guessing a sentimental vote for the late Carlin.

Outstanding Writing For A Comedy Series
30 Rock • Rosemary’s Baby • NBC • Jack Burditt
30 Rock • Cooter • NBC • Tina Fey
Flight Of The Conchords • Yoko • HBO • James Bobin, Jemaine Clement, Bret McKenzie
Pushing Daisies • Pie-Lette • ABC • Bryan Fuller
The Office • Dinner Party • NBC • Lee Eisenberg, Gene Stupnitsky
Fey’s up for ANOTHER Emmy and might have won if she wasn’t up against her own show. Moreover, Dinner Party was one of the most painful (in a funny way) things I ever saw, so I pick that. BTW, the Pushing Daisies pilot was effective in establishing the plot.

Outstanding Writing For A Drama Series
Battlestar Galactica • Six Of One • Sci Fi Channel • Michael Angeli
Damages • Pilot • FX Networks • Todd A. Kessler, Glenn Kessler, Daniel Zelman
Mad Men • Smoke Gets In Your Eyes (Pilot) • AMC • Matthew Weiner
Mad Men • The Wheel • AMC • Matthew Weiner, Robin Veith
The Wire • 30 • HBO • David Simon, Ed Burns
I just have a feeling that they’ll take one last chance to honor The Wire, especially with the Mad Men vote split.

Outstanding Writing For A Miniseries, Movie Or A Dramatic Special
Bernard And Doris • HBO • Hugh Costello
Cranford (MASTERPIECE) • PBS • Heidi Thomas, Written By
Extras: The Extra Special Series Finale • HBO • Ricky Gervais, Stephen Merchant
John Adams • Independence • HBO • Kirk Ellis
Recount • HBO • Danny Strong
Adams!

Outstanding Writing For A Variety, Music Or Comedy Program
Late Night With Conan O’Brien • NBC • Mike Sweeney, Head Writer
Late Show With David Letterman • CBS • Eric Stangel, Justin Stangel, Head Writers
Saturday Night Live • NBC • Seth Meyers, Andrew Steele, Paula Pell, Head Writers
The Colbert Report • Comedy Central • Tom Purcell, Head Writer
The Daily Show With Jon Stewart • Comedy Central • Steve Bodow, Head Writer
Stewart!

ROG

Media Notes

ATAS Reverses Restrictions on Emmy Speeches
James Hibberd, TV Week

The Academy of Television Arts & Sciences board of governors voted Monday night to not restrict the speeches of writers and directors winning awards during the Sept. 18 Primetime Emmy Awards telecast.
The decision reverses an April announcement that nominees in the six prime-time writing and directing categories would have to prepare pre-taped remarks, which would be played as the winner walked to the stage. Sources said writers and directors upset about the decision had made threats, including not preparing tapes, preparing tapes that mocked the Emmys and boycotting the telecast.
“Some of the initial assumptions were not accurate in light of the way the show was being constructed,” the academy said in a statement. “In effect, the amount of time being saved was not as much as originally thought, and the costs incurred would be in excess of original projections.”
The reversed plan was the result of viewer focus-group research seeking ways to make the awards more exciting.
The 2004 broadcast was seen by 14 million total viewers, the second-lowest-rated Emmy awards in history. Last month, Grammy Awards producer Ken Ehrlich was tapped to executive produce the ceremony, taking the reins from veteran Emmys producer Don Mischer.
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Peter Jennings: Reporter, 8-10 p.m. (EDT), Wednesday, August 10 on ABC-TV.
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David Brickman will be doing his fifth art criticism spot on WAMC (90.3 fm) Thursday, August 11 at 11:07 a.m. The topic will be the local art scene as represented by several summer art shows in Albany. By the way, for the out-of-towners it is possible to listen online at wamc.org (live only – not archived)