Bryan Cranston by Mathew Imaging/WireImage.com
The 60th annual Emmy Awards set out to honor TV history and ended up making a little of its own. As expected, AMC's stylishly adult 60s-era drama Mad Men took home the best drama prize, the first ever for a basic cable series. The upstart channel delivered a much more shocking triumph in Bryan Cranston's surprise (but well-earned) win for Breaking Bad. "She's bald, too," marveled the actor, who shaved his head to play Walter White, a cancer-ravaged teacher-turned-meth dealer. Best known for outrageous comedy roles like the dad in Malcolm in the Middle, Cranston is a well-liked star who was considered an underdog in a strong field that included fellow AMC leading man Jon Hamm of Mad Men, House's Hugh Laurie (amazingly, still empty-handed), Dexter's brilliant Michael C. Hall, In Treatment's brooding Gabriel Byrne and Boston Legal's showboating James Spader.
Tina Fey in 30 Rock by Mitchell Haaseth/NBC Photo; Paul Giamatti in John Adams by Kent Eanes/HBO
HBO's John Adams won 13 awards at the 60th Primetime Emmy Awards, the most ever won by a program in a single year. The story of America's second president dominated the election-year ceremony, winning Outstanding Miniseries, while stars Paul Giamatti, Laura Linney and Tom Wilkinson all brought home acting awards.AMC's Mad Men won Outstanding Drama Series, becoming the first basic cable show in history to win for best series. NBC's 30 Rock took home the Emmy for Outstanding Comedy Series for the second year in a row, with Alec Baldwin winning his first Emmy after seven nominations and Tina Fey taking home a statuette for writing, as well as her first for acting in a comedy series. The biggest upsets of the nights were in the acting categories. Zeljko Ivanek (Damages), Jean Smart (Samantha Who?) and Bryan Cranston (Breaking Bad) were all surprises in their respective categories. The show was hosted by the five nominees for Outstanding Reality Host: Ryan Seacrest, Heidi Klum, Tom Ber...
Sarah Silverman by Rhet Bear/Comedy Central; Kathy Griffin by Mike Ruiz/Bravo
A pair of funny ladies stole the show Saturday at the Creative Arts Emmys Saturday night.Kathy Griffin took home her second Emmy, earning the best reality program trophy for Bravo's My Life on the D-List. According to People, Griffin didnt tell Jesus or anyone else to "suck it" in her acceptance speech (as she infamously did in 2007), but it was still bleepable: "Here we go again, f----rs."The other bleep-worthy moment of the night was Sarah Silverman's two wins for her viral video smash, "I'm F---ing Matt Damon," a clip that aired on Jimmy Kimmel Live and suggested Silverman was cheating on then-boyfriend Kimmel with the Bourne Identity star. The video took home the award for best original music and lyrics and a picture-editing award.Though Silverman and Kimmel split after five years together in July, Silverman thanked him in her speech. "Let's be honest, Matt Damon had very little to do with this being popular," she said. "Thanks to the person for whom this whole video was m...
Mad Men courtesy AMC
In case you hadnt heard, AMCs Mad Men is not only a hit with the Emmy voters (the most nominated drama this year, with 16) but its a bona fide critics darling, walking away with three Television Critics Association Awards over the weekend at the 24th annual ceremony in Beverly Hills. Mad Men won for new program, outstanding achievement in drama and program of the year, prompting Emmy-nominated co-star John Slattery to quip (during one of the shows several acceptance speeches), How glad I am that the message of smoking, drinking and whoring Mad Men puts across has registered with the TCAs.Jon Hamm, also an Emmy nominee, thanked reality shows like Keeping Up With the Kardashians, Flavor of Love, Rock of Love (all three seasons) and Are You Smarter Than a Fifth Grader for pushing the envelope so far that way that there was a place kind of on this side for us to sneak in.HBOs epic John Adams miniseries won two awards, for Paul ...
Jon Hamm courtesy AMC
If you heard someone momentarily flatlining in the audience at the reading of the Emmy nominations Thursday morning, that was me. They were announcing the best drama series candidates and I was mostly on board as I checked my list in the back of the TV Academy theater. Damages. Yay! House. OK. Boston Legal. I dont approve, but Im no longer surprised. Lost. OMG! Dexter. OM-Freaking-G! Wait. Thats five. Surely they didnt leave out . . . And they didnt. AMCs dazzling Mad Men, the last to be announced, not only made the cut, it made history. With 16, its the most nominated drama of the year, and with FXs Damages (seven nominations total), represents basic cables first-ever breakthrough into the top tier of Emmy accolades for best series. Mad Men also has to be seen as the odds-on favorite for best drama at this point.While were on this categoryand lets face it, this is the golden age of TV drama, so this really is t...
Jon Hamm courtesy A&E, Glenn Close by Larry Riley/FX
And the nominees are
in!Many of the usual suspects made the cut for the 60th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards that were announced Thursday morning, but freshmen dramas Mad Men and Damages earned nods in the Outstanding Drama Series category, making them the first basic cable series to be recognized by Emmy. The stars of each series, Jon Hamm and Glenn Close, each also received nominations in the Outstanding Lead Actor/Actress in a Drama Series categories respectively. HBO's John Adams won the day with the most nominations (23), including nods for Best Miniseries and Outstanding Lead Actor in a Miniseries for Paul Giamatti's portrayal of the miniseries' title character. 30 Rock (17) and Mad Men (16) rounded out the top three nod-grabbers.In an unprecedented move earlier this summer, the Academy revealed the 10 semifinalists in each of the major categories. A blue-ribbon panel then whittled the list to the final nominees (all of which you can see here).So, what do you think of th...
John Adams courtesy HBO
So, if you have a dad like mine, this weekend is a cause for alarm. Im a little too old to be giving him a can of cashews again, he has every book on the Civil War known to man, and Ive probably stolen every tool hes been given over the last 10 years. See? The man is impossible to buy for!To take a little pressure off myself (and hopefully inspire some of you equally desperate ACOIFs...Adult Children of Impossible Fathers), I offer a cheat sheet of DVD sets perfect for every daddy-o
For the Jock The Major League bigwigs have released these spectacular Esssential Games collections celebrating baseball at its best, played in the best parks. So far, Fenway Park and Shea Stadium have gotten the love, but when Philadelphias beloved (now leveled) Veterans Stadium makes the cut, yours truly is going to be a very happy man.Buy Esssential Games on Amazon.comFor the Historian Hello? HBOs fantastic John Adams miniseries just hit the shelve...
Question: I just finished watching the last episode of HBO's John Adams. I don't remember the last time I have seen acting this good, especially on TV. Paul Giamatti and Laura Linney were absolutely extraordinary. Have you seen any previews for anything coming out soon that comes close to this wonderful miniseries?
Answer: That final chapter was heartbreakingly good, wasn't it? The best thing of its ilk (i.e., classic drama) I've seen since John Adams wrapped is the upcoming three-part Masterpiece Classic miniseries that starts May 4: Cranford, starring Judi Dench and Eileen Atkins among a gallery of delightful British character actors. (My review of that will be posted later this week.) Based on stories that were completely new to me (by Elizabeth Gaskill), this is a Dickensian heartwarmer about an isolated village in the mid-1800s that's about to be jolted into the "modern" world with the arrival of a railroad. In the meanwhile, this town of gossipy busybodies deals with the everyday
Daniel Radcliffe in My Boy Jack by Patrick Redmond/ Masterpiece Theater
I love it when TV can be both very, very good as well as good for you. Such is the case with a logjam of terrific historical dramas competing for attention this Sunday. Two of them had me fighting back tears (and occasionally losing the fight), and then theres Showtimes The Tudors, that stimulating royal tonic of sex, religion and other courtly intrigues. Not a lot of boo-hooing while watching this Henry VIII romp, but rarely a dull moment, either.The quality honors this weekend go to HBO and PBS. HBO for concluding its remarkable John Adams miniseries with an episode of quiet, pained humanity as the nations second president (Paul Giamatti) goes into retirement with about as much gracewhich is to say, very littleas he conducted himself in the political arena. Grumpy, discontent, impatient to the end and convinced hell be forgotten by time, John never lets up. Theres a terrific scene in which hes invited, in his 90s, to view the portrai...
Why not start off a glorious spring week a week that continues the welcome rollout of shows returning from long strike hiatus with some positive thoughts? Starting with the return of Bones to Foxs schedule. For those keeping track in this confusing midseason, Mondays are now the new Tuesdays for Fox. And once House kicks back in with new episodes starting April 28 (a House repeat airs next Monday), Mondays will almost feel like the new Thursdays with so many choices on the suddenly overstuffed night, as Foxs first-rate drama combo faces ABCs blazing-hot Dancing with the Stars, CBS terrific comedy lineup and the ever-popular CSI: Miami, as well as a cult fave in the CWs returning Gossip Girl and NBCs ubiquitous Deal or No Deal. Whew.But back to Bones, one of TVs most purely enjoyable procedural crime dramas. Yes, there are icky remains to deal with (a body boiled in a sulfurous mud pit), but the fun of Bones is in the playful in...