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Thursday, July 12, 2007


A Letter To The (TV) Academy...

The Emmy Award nominations will be announced next week, and now that GoldDerby has put their hands on the seminfinalists for the Drama and Comedy Series, I feel it's time for me to send an open letter to Emmy voters...to quit nominating crap like 24 (how many global crises can one man solve?), Two and a Half Men (three short of passable), and Curb Your Enthusiasm (yes, we get it, Larry's bitter).

There was some exceptional TV this season, and Emmy Voters, we're putting you on notice. Here's what we hope to see on your ballot:

Battlestar Galactica
Brothers and Sisters
Friday Night Lights
The Riches
Next Five: Heroes, Lost, Rome, The Sopranos, The Tudors
If last year's season is guilty of anything, it is a changing of the guard in the dramatic series categories. After years of being dominated by titans like The Sopranos, The West Wing, 24 and House, a refreshing slate of newcomers blew in and schooled the old-timers on excellence. Bravo to NBC for renewing Friday Night Lights...it's okay to pay off if (or when) it wins a much-deserved trophy or two.

Everybody Hates Chris
It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia
The Office
Ugly Betty
Next Five: 30 Rock, The Simpsons, Family Guy, Scrubs, Flight of the Conchords (okay, yes, technically not eligible this year, but I love it)
Comedy has suffered in recent years at the big networks (a note to execs: Charlie Sheen and James Belushi are NOT FUNNY), and with sub-par seasons from Desperate Housewives and My Name Is Earl, their only nominatable successes are oddballs like Betty, Chris and The Office. We suggest that voters reward the constantly improving (and surprising) Entourage, who have officially hit their stride.

30 Days
Design Star
Kathy Griffin: My Life on the D-List
Project Runway
Russell Simmons Presents Def Poetry
Next Five: Top Chef, The Amazing Race, Big Brother, So You Think You Can Dance, Survivor
The decade-long dominance of CBS in reality programming has come to an end...and Bravo has swept in to take the crown with superb work on Runway, Kathy Griffin, and Top Chef. (Paula Abdul and Shear Genius...okay, not so much.) We'd love to see some love for the most inspiring show on television, Def Poetry...but we're not going to hold our breath.

Kyle Chandler, Friday Night Lights
James Gandolfini, The Sopranos
Eddie Izzard, The Riches
Kevin McKidd, Rome
Bradley Whitford, Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip
Honorable Mention: Michael Chiklis, The Shield; Jonathan Rhys Meyers, The Tudors
Yes, we expect Kiefer and Chris Meloni to take their usual spots in this category, but we're hoping for some new blood as well. Chandler and Izzard would be brilliant additions; as beleaguered fathers facing unexpected situations, they excelled this season. A father of a different sort -- McKidd's brutal Roman centurion, whose rebellious daughter tried to have him killed -- would be an even greater choice by Emmy voters.

Connie Britton, Friday Night Lights
Minnie Driver, The Riches
Sally Field, Brothers and Sisters
Mary Louise Parker, Weeds
Katee Sackhoff, Battlestar Galactica
Honorable Mention: Edie Falco, The Sopranos; Mary McDonnell, Battlestar Galactica
There's no question about it: Connie Britton should not only be nominated, but should win. Period. And Sally Field has to be nominated too. Period (again). After that, I can only hope that Katee Sackhoff and Minnie Driver's stunning descents into oblivion will be duly noticed. They were better than many of this year's Oscar nominees.

Alex Baldwin, 30 Rock
Steve Carrell, The Office
Terry Crews, Everybody Hates Chris
Charlie Day, It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia
Ricky Gervais, Extras
Last year, the Emmys embarrassed themselves royally by voting for Larry David, Kevin James and Charlie Sheen in this category. Let's hope they don't make the same mistakes again. Especially with Crews and Gervais sitting right there, waiting.

Tichina Arnold, Everybody Hates Chris
America Ferrera, Ugly Betty
Jenna Fischer, The Office
Felicity Huffman, Desperate Housewives
Julia Louis-Dreyfus, The New Adventures of Old Christine
I realize that the Emmys generally avoid nominating any black people who didn't appear on the Cosby Show, but can we get a little love, at long last, for Tichina Arnold...aka the Funniest Woman on Television?

Lennie James, Jericho
Dominic Monaghan, Lost
Masi Oka, Heroes
Tahmoh Penikett, Battlestar Galactica
Campbell Scott, Six Degrees
Honorable Mention: Zach Gilford, Friday Night Lights
Okay, yes, I'm a little sci-fi heavy here...but damnit, they were all brilliant. James was a pitch-perfect double agent, Monaghan drowned majestically, Oka brought much-needed wit to his comic-book tale, and Penikett defended...we'll the very nature of humanity in the face of terrorism. And Campbell Scott, moonlighting from his film career, was the best alcoholic that network TV has seen in ages.

Rachel Griffiths, Brothers and Sisters
Margo Martindale, The Riches
Elizabeth Mitchell, Lost
Adrianne Palicki, Friday Night Lights
Polly Walker, Rome
Honorable Mention: Hope Davis, Six Degrees; Tricia Helfer, Battlestar Galactica; Pamela Reed, Jericho; Shannon Marie Woodward, The Riches
It's truly deplorable that there's been sooooo much coverage for Hayden Panetierre this year...and none for exceptionally talented newcomers Palicki and Mitchell. But for my money, I'd immediately hand this category over to stage veteran Martindale, who had the most surprising character arc on television.

Jesse Tyler Ferguson, The Class
Neil Patrick Harris, How I Met Your Mother
Jon Krasinski, The Office
Jeremy Piven, Entourage
Michael Urie, Ugly Betty
Honorable Mention: Douglas Spearman, Noah's Arc
Not a lot to get excited about here...but when you have Jeremy Piven, really, what else do you need?

Mindy Kaling, The Office
Angela Kinsey, The Office
Wendie Malick, Big Day
Nicolette Sheridan, Desperate Housewives
Ana Ortiz, Ugly Betty
I can hear your disbelief already...Nicolette Sheridan?!?!?! Yes, I think her work this season (subbing for the preggers Marcia Cross) was exemplary. My wish, though, is that someone besides me would remember the short-lived Big Day, and hand over a trophy to the always-brilliant Wendie Malick.

Battlestar Galactica
Everybody Hates Chris
Friday Night Lights
The Office
Yes, I realize that the Emmys don't give out this category. But if I were King Of Television, I'd institute it immediately...and had the trophy to the nearest cast member I could find from Friday Night Lights.

America's Next Top Model
Mo'Nique's Charm School
Just what the doctor ordered. When the doctor is smoking crack rock.

The Black Donnellys
The Closer
The Knights of Prosperity
The Megan Mullally Show
Six Degrees
Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip
I had hopes for all of these. Too bad they didn't have hopes for me.



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