Question: I love your column and the rational insight you provide. I have been blown away by Gregory Itzin's performance on 24 — we've seen him swing from an indecisive wuss to an I, Claudius-type schemer. His portrayal and mannerisms also remind me of an obsessed Jimmy Stewart, like in Vertigo. Do you think he has a shot at being nominated for an Emmy for best supporting actor? Though I'd love to see Terry O'Quinn win this year, I wouldn't mind seeing credit given where it is due.
Answer: You and me both. (And loved the I, Claudius reference. They don't make TV like that anymore, though I was jazzed that HBO just made it official that Season 2 of Rome is under way.) The deterrent to Gregory Itzin landing his well-deserved nomination is the strength of the drama field in general, as well as 24's inability up to now to land any acting nominations in the supporting categories, though many have deserved them. Given the media attention Itzin is now enjoying (again, deservedly), he has ...
Screen Actors Guild Awards The night actors pat each other on the back. Much like the Golden Globes, there wasn't a host. There were plenty of awkward moments of presenter chatter, and TelePrompTer problems out the Ziyi Zhang. Everyone was having issues reading the thing, except for the wonder known as Dakota Fanning. I mean, the 11-year-old was unflappable as she introduced Shirley Temple Black's life achievement portion of the evening. I seriously think she's genetically enhanced, like one of those Dark Angel characters. Some other highlights:
- I much appreciated the Peter Graves-Barbara Bain Mission: Impossible reunion, PrompTer issues and all.- I admit it: While I thought the beginning "I'm an actor" monologues were supremely cheesy, I fell for them. - Apparently, if your name's S. Epatha Merkers
Question: What a great episode of Lost (Jan. 11)! Kate and Sawyer are my favorite characters, but Mr. Eko's story blew me away! And coming off the heels of Kate's backstory episode, that's two wonderful hours of entertainment in a row. Funny how all those knee-jerk haters who said Lost was jumping the shark at the beginning of the year are strangely silent now, eh? But seriously, Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje's Mr. Eko seems to be the breakthrough character this year in much the same way Terry O'Quinn's Locke was last year. There's not one bad performance on Lost, but I'm hoping Emmy voters remember Adewale later this year.
Answer: With a large ensemble like Lost's — not to mention the fact that many still consider it a genre show — I fear quite a few deserving souls from the cast will be snubbed at the Emmys (especially in a year when The Sopranos is back in the running). But Adewale was magnificent, and the episode was a brilliant way to return from the long holiday hiatus.
Question: Since this is the first time that I've ever really felt passionate about the Emmy Awards, I have to ask you — how can you stand it? Not only did I see my favorites lose, but my second choices as well. Terry O'Quinn and Alan Alda lost to Captain Kirk. Tony Shalhoub beat Jason Bateman and Zach Braff (and Ray Romano, for that matter). James Spader beat Hugh Laurie, Ian McShane and Kiefer Sutherland... Holy crap, Lost just won best drama. Forget I said anything. Emmy rules!
Answer: Loving those mood swings, Phil. Join the club. And let the rants begin. For the record, the post-Emmy e-mailbag was pretty close to 100 percent rants. I have to agree. (Check out my Dispatch from Monday for my complete morning-after analysis.) If there was unanimous scorn for anything, it was the double repeat wins of James Spader and William Shatner for Boston Legal. Again, I have to agree. In an era of remarkable drama on network and cable, these are the best dramatic performances? Not by a long
Question: Did you go to the TV Guide party after the Emmys? Pick up any good scoop from intoxicated partygoers?Answer: Yes! My gig cohosting TVGuide.com's first-ever webcast (yes, that was the "huge event" I hinted at last week) turned me into a news-gathering fool. Check TVGuide.com later this week for my interviews with such special guests as Desperate Housewives' Mark Moses and Cody Kasch, That '70s Show's Wilmer Valderrama, Lost's Terry O'Quinn, Scrubs producer Randall Winston and Last Call's Carson Daly. Who's a little Mike Wallace-in-the-making? C'mon? Guess. Go ahead. No, not Carson Daly. Guess again. No, not Dan Manu. I'll give you one more guess. (Crickets) Oh, just forget it. The answer is me! I'm the little Mike Wallace-in-the making.
Question: When you see Terry O'Quinn on the red carpet, could you please grab him, hog-tie him and force him to reveal what is in the hatch? Thanks!
Answer: Sadly, TV Guide's strict interrogation policy (no torture unless a major scoop is at stake) prohibits me from engaging in such blatant acts of coercion. So I simply asked him the question. "Tell that fan that we're all going down the hatch Wednesday night," he said. "I would not in a million years even risk taking a tiny step toward ruining it." One thing Terry did
ruin spill: This season's third episode will be a Locke-centric flashback. Also, the fifth episode is all about Sun.
Nominations for the 57th Emmy Awards were announced this morning and, as expected, ABC's Desperate Housewives cleaned up with 15 nods, including best comedy series and bids for leading ladies Marcia Cross, Teri Hatcher and Felicity Huffman. Housewives tied NBC's terminally ill Will & Grace for most nominated series. (No, that wasn't a typo.) ABC's other freshman smash, Lost, scored 12 nods, including best drama series and supporting actors for both Naveen Andrews and Terry O'Quinn. Among the pleasant surprises: long-overdue nominations for NBC's Scrubs and star Zach Braff; supporting nods for The Shield's CCH Pounder and Grey's Anatomy's Sandra Oh; and best-actor nods for Deadwood's [bleepin'] brilliant Ian McShane and House's crabby doc Hugh Laurie. Of course, there were also plenty of glaring omissions, most notably WB's perpetually ignored Gilmo
For every drop of refreshing new blood in this year's Emmy field, there's a stubborn residue of tired old blood. The Emmy nominations are an annual rite of frustration in which every positive breakthrough is balanced by an aggravating snub.
This year is no different. As expected, last year's instant hits on ABC, Desperate Housewives and Lost, got their due, leading the comedy and drama pack respectively (although Housewives was tied with the academy's longtime, and inexplicable, darling Will & Grace with 15 nominations).
But because of the TV academy's regrettable devotion to faded perennials like Will & Grace, The West Wing and Si