Today's News: Our Take

The 2001 Emmys: Who Will Win!

After an unprecedented three-week delay due to the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, the 53rd annual Primetime Emmy Awards will be telecast live Sunday at 8 pm/ET on CBS. Producers promise a toned-down ceremony, one with "both laughter and tears that will help lift the country's spirits." And although some criticized the Academy of Television Arts &#038 Sciences for not canceling the ceremony altogether in light of the tragedy, there's growing sentiment that a Hollywood awards show may be just the escapist entertainment America needs right now. If you're among those ready to indulge in the frivolous, here's a quick recap of the major categories, followed by TV Guide critic Matt Roush's predictions as to what/who will — and should — win.

Drama Series
Law &#038 Order
The West Wing (WILL and SHOULD win)
The Practice
The Sopranos

Like last year, this is a two-horse race between HBO's land read more

Larry Sanders Sidekick Returns

Onscreen, the murky set of The Practice doesn't seem the most welcoming atmosphere. Behind the scenes, however, it's a different story. "Can I just say that I fell in love with Michael Badalucco?" says Jeffrey Tambor, who guest starred on last night's episode, "Liar's Poker," airing at 10 pm/ET on ABC. "What a great actor and what a great guy. I can't say enough about him."

Best known for his portrayal of needy, self-absorbed sidekick Hank on HBO's The Larry Sanders Show, Tambor plays Jimmy's (Badalucco) menacing sports bookie, who collects on a gambling debt by enlisting his legal services. "This is not Hank Kingsley," insists the actor. "This is Hank Kingsley's exact opposite. The character is very different from how I usually play. We all have a dark side... so you draw on it."

The dark side looks bright when you consider The Practice's track record of Emmy noms for guest-starring roles alone read more

Atlantis Star "Numb" After Attacks

Like millions of other Americans, actress Hope Davis watched in horror as terrorists brought down the World Trade Center's Twin Towers on Sept. 11. But as a native New Yorker — and someone who saw the catastrophe unfold in-person from outside her lower Manhattan apartment — the nightmare literally hit home.

"You can't walk down the street to get the milk or walk the dog and not [think about] it," the 37-year-old Hearts in Atlantis star tells TV Guide Online. "They put up a huge wall of remembrance, like a shrine, and there are hundreds and hundreds of pictures [of those presumed dead]. It's like 100 feet long. You can't forget for a minute what's happened. I still feel kind of numb; it's hard to accept."

The experience had such a profound impact on Davis that she briefly considered switching careers. "Right after things happened, there was this, ' read more

Denzel Recalls Oscar Glory

For most Oscar-winning actors, their night of glory is a complete blur. Not so for Denzel Washington, who picked up a gold statue in 1990 for his role as a runaway slave-turned-soldier in Glory. "I just remember the look on my mother's face," recalls the 47-year-old, whose mom, Lynne Washington, was seated in the audience. "She couldn't believe it."

Later that night, the elder Washington once again found herself in a state of shock when she realized that her moderately famous son suddenly was being treated like royalty. "She's like, 'I see this Hollywood stuff, now everybody's your friend,'" relates the actor, mimicking his mother's voice. "I was like, 'You got it, Ma.' That's it — you've got the game in the nutshell.'"

Well, Washington soon may find himself back on the playing field — not that he ever really left: Although th read more

Josh Peck's Big Move

You may recall Josh Peck as one of Chevy Chase's precocious co-stars from last year's kid flick, Snow Day. He's got an inspirational message for junior high schoolers everywhere: "I think it's sort of a rite of passage for kids to get bullied, and it builds character."

Though the 14-year-old admits other kids call him "Snow Boy" ever since the movie, he blows it off, cheerily noting that "everybody has something fun to offer and everyone's nice. If you get to know people, they can make you really happy."

When his next film — Disney's Max Keeble's Big Move — premieres Oct. 5, he may have to endure a new nickname: "Robe Boy." Explains Peck: "I play Max's (Alex D. Li read more

A New Scully... Isn't That Special!

Since David Duchovny has blasted out of The X-Files's orbit, and Gillian Anderson is counting down to her own take-off, it would make sense for UPN to position the stars of its high-spirited supernatural police show, Special Unit 2, as the next Mulder and Scully. But the very notion gives the giggles to leading lady Alexondra Lee, who plays by-the-book detective Kate Benson opposite Michael Landes's rogue cop Nick O'Malley.

"They're fighting real aliens on The X-Files," she points out to TV Guide Online. "They've got a serious job to do. We've got, like, fantasy creatures. We had models that turned into spider-women... and a monster that was made out read more

Hawke Trains for Hollywood

Despite being one of Hollywood's most experienced young thesps, Ethan Hawke says he wasn't offended when producers asked him to audition for his role as a rookie cop in Training Day (opening Friday). Admittedly, headlining an action flick opposite Oscar-winner Denzel Washington was a big shift for the actor best known for films like Reality Bites and Gattaca.

"Was it insulting that I had to test for this? Nah," laughs Hawke, who has appeared in nearly 30 films since age 15. "This is about commercialism, not about whether you're good or not. It's about the studio trying to sell as many units as they can. I've done a lot of movies in the past few years th read more

Yoko Ono Plans Lennon Tribute

As America recovers from the events of Sept. 11, founding Beatle John Lennon's words and music are both a soothing balm and a call to action for us all. His musical urging to "come together" takes on a particular significance just now. "John would have been just as angry as we are," offers his widow, Yoko Ono. "But he was also a wise person, and he would have known that we can't just act on our anger."

The legend's work will be celebrated in an ambitious tribute concert tonight at Madison Square Garden. The concert — whose artists include Dave Matthews, Marc Anthony, Lou Reed, Alanis Morissette, Moby and Stone Temple Pilots — will be telecast live on TNT and the WB at 8 pm. Originally planned as a fundraiser for agencies that promote peace, organizers widened the scope of beneficiaries to include several New York City relief organizations. As a producer of the tribute, Ono sat down with TV Guide Online (prio read more

Burning Questions for Buffy's Creator

All eyes are on Buffy the Vampire Slayer tonight, as the acclaimed dramedy kicks off its sixth season on a new network and with a renewed energy. Of course, with big hype comes even bigger expectations: Will the show be able to maintain its high creative standards — especially coming off of what many believe was its strongest year yet? How will Buffy fare sans her bloodsucking beau Angel, who was stranded on the WB? When the ratings come in, will UPN — or the WB — have the last laugh? All of these questions will be answered soon enough (TV Guide critic Matt Roush tackles the creative issue in Today's TV). In the meantime, Buffy's proud papa, Joss Whedon, addresses more pressing concerns — like will UPN allow Tara and Willow to finally get it on!
read more

ET Critic's Next Hot Ticket

With weary Americans returning to their local multiplex in droves (last weekend's box-office receipts were up 50 percent compared to the prior weekend), longtime Entertainment Tonight film critic Leonard Maltin has reason to be hopeful that his new syndicated series Hot Ticket (check local listings) will find an audience.

The show is basically him, E!'s Todd Newton and a revolving door of celeb guests debating the merits of new film releases. "Everybody likes to talk about the movies," Maltin tells TV Guide Online. "It's a chance to escape, and I think that will appeal to a lot of people [right now]."

Certainly, Ticket's Odd Couple-esque pairing of Maltin and co-host Newton is worth the price of admission. Laughs Maltin: "Todd likes to say, 'Leonard's interested in things like plot development, and I'm interested in fast cars and pretty girls.' We couldn't be more different." Still, it appe read more

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