10 items from 2008
Genre vets Marc Guggenheim (Eli Stone), Drew Goddard, Brian K. Vaughan (Lost), Marti Noxon, Zack Whedon, and Danny Strong (Buffy the Vampire Slayer) have been nominated by their peers. The Writers Guild of America, West and the Writers Guild of America, East announced their nominees for outstanding achievement in television, radio, news, promotional writing, and graphic animation during the 2008 season to be honored at the upcoming 2009 Writers Guild Awards on February 7, 2009, in Los Angeles and New York.
Friday Night Lights, Written by Bridget Carpenter, Kerry Ehrin, Brent Fletcher, Jason Gavin, Carter Harris, Elizabeth Heldens, David Hudgins, Jason Katims, Patrick Massett, Aaron Rahsaan Thomas, John Zinman; NBC
- Robert Greenberger
The Office, NBC, Airs Thursdays 9/8c Episode: "Frame Toby" (Season 5, Episode 9) Synopsis: Toby (Paul Lieberstein) is back and not everybody is thrilled by it, especially Michael (Steve Carell). Review: My opinion of the "Frame Toby" episode could probably best be explained through my emotions that have developed throughout the entire Office »
- Adam Sweeney
The American version of The Office has arguably the best and deepest supporting cast of any sitcom in history. Beyond stars Steve Carell, Rainn Wilson, Jenna Fischer, and John Krasinski there's an entire galaxy of rich secondary players, from Eeyore-like human resources guy Paul Lieberstein to moon man Creed Bratton to gay accountant Oscar Nuñez. An alumnus of the seminal Los Angeles improv troupe the Groundlings, Nuñez scored guest spots on Curb Your Enthusiasm and Reno 911! before landing the role of the uptight accountant Oscar in 2005. Nuñez picked up a Daytime Emmy when the online spin-off The Office: The Accountants scored the first-ever Emmy for Outstanding Broadband Program. In 2007, Nuñez executive-produced and starred in Halfway Home, an improvised Comedy Central comedy about the wacky denizens of a halfway home. The A.V Club recently spoke with Nuñez about his ribald past as a game-show contestant, his infamous kiss »
- Nathan Rabin
It was a record-breaking night at the 60th Primetime Emmy Awards, with HBO's "John Adams" establishing a new standard for most wins for a program in a single year and CBS' "The Amazing Race" and Comedy Central's "The Daily Show With Jon Stewart" posting unprecedented sixth consecutive best series wins.
With its best drama series trophy, "Mad Men" became the first basic cable program to win a major series category. In addition to the "30 Rock" repeat as best comedy series, its creator/star Tina Fey also won Emmys for lead comedy actress and comedy series writing, while "Mad" walked away with a drama writing Emmy for creator Matthew Weiner.
- By Kimberly Nordyke
This fall, NBC’s The Office welcomes one of the series’ original creators, Stephen Merchant. In fact, last week, Merchant took a spot behind the camera to shoot the show’s Halloween episode. The Office was originally created by the Emmy and Golden Globe Award-winning Merchant, alongside Ricky Gervais, the English comedian, writer, director and actor behind The Ricky Gervais Show.
"He was in the writers room with us rewriting over the last several days," The Office writer-producer-actor Paul Lieberstein said of Merchant in a conference call with reporters Monday. "It was really exciting having him there."
During The Office’s third season, Gervais and Merchant co-wrote an episode of the NBC show, but this marks the first time that the Merchant will be directing the American series. Lieberstein pointed out that Merchant has been strict about keeping the “integrity of the documentary” to ensure that the series wanders off »
1. The Office Greg Daniels' American adaptation of Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant's cult Brit phenomenon The Office creaked out of the gate with a shaky pilot episode that leaned far too heavily on gags from its British cousin. Dark rumblings claimed that the show would be a quickly cancelled disaster, but The Office quickly found its feet with a more likeable, attractive, and considerably less pale cast, plus a rich assortment of new characters, like Paul Lieberstein's bashful human-resources guy, Mindy Kaling's hyper, flighty flibbertigibbet, and Creed Bratton's unpredictable space cadet. The Office boasts perhaps the deepest bench of ace supporting players in sitcom history. Sixty-six episodes in, it's still going strong, and expectations are high for its recently announced, shrouded-in-secrecy spin-off. The Office has managed to lighten the tone and expand the show's comic universe while retaining the undertone of despair and existential frustration that made the. »
- Noel Murray, Nathan Rabin, Kyle Ryan, Keith Phipps, Amelie Gillette
Jim ("I am a gay American") McGreevey watching his daughter draw and confirming to other diners at Craftsteak that her artwork was a portrait of Mr. Potato Head . . . Isiah Thomas unafraid to show his face at Mad River Bar & Grille for a Marquis Jet private event with Doug E. Fresh and Barry Alvarez, the legendary Wisconsin football coach . . . Michael Douglas, at Club 55 in St. Tropez with wife Catherine Zeta-Jones, ordering his lunch in perfect French . . . B.J. Novak, John Krasinski and Ed Helms »
The 41-year-old plays Dunder Mifflin employee Toby in the U.S. version of the hit British comedy, as well as writing and acting as an executive producer.
Poreba, 35, is an English language teacher at Santa Monica College in California.
The couple married at the Battery Gardens restaurant in Manhattan, in a ceremony officiated by a Presbyterian minister and a Jewish rabbi. »
Cable networks shattered Emmy's glass ceiling Thursday.
After no other cable network besides HBO had ever been able to break into the best series categories, three cablers -- AMC, FX and Showtime -- made their debut among the nominees in the top fields at the 60th Primetime Emmy Awards.
In doing so, they also broke their previous Emmy nom records, as did Bravo and Sci Fi Channel.
Cable's breakthrough performance also comes just as the broadcast networks are reeling from a tough season, scarred by the effects of the writers strike.
"The TV academy and its members finally recognized cable television in an unprecedented way," "Damages" co-creator/exec producer Todd Kessler said. "What I hope it ultimately means is that more shows and more people will embrace opportunities away from network TV -- and hopefully network TV will reflect, in terms of content and storytelling, what's going on in other areas of television."
Also nominated for best drama series are ABC's "Lost," which returns to the category after a two-year absence coming off one of its strongest seasons, along with ABC's "Boston Legal" and Fox's "House."
The show's tally is the largest ever for a comedy series in a single year, surpassing the 16 for HBO's "The Larry Sanders Show" in 1997.
In the comedy series category, defending champ "30 Rock" will face 2006 winner "The Office" and HBO's "Entourage" and "Curb Your Enthusiasm." CBS' "Two and a Half Men" is the lone representative of the multicamera sitcom genre in the category dominated by single-camera half-hours.
Toon "Family Guy's" quest to make history with a best comedy series nomination came up short after making the list of 10 finalists. (It still landed a nom in an animated program category.) Also absent from the comedy series category: ABC's much-lauded freshman "Pushing Daisies."
Not surprisingly, HBO bagged the most nominations among all the networks, 85, followed by ABC with 76 and CBS with 51.
As strong a presence as cable had in the best series categories, its dominance in the lead drama acting categories was even more impressive.
Four actors on cable series -- Hamm, Michael C. Hall of "Dexter," Bryan Cranston of AMC's "Breaking Bad" and Gabriel Byrne of HBO's "In Treatment" -- made the list, joined by returning contenders James Spader of "Boston Legal" and Hugh Laurie of "House."
On the distaff side, Glenn Close of "Damages," Holly Hunter of TNT's "Saving Grace" and Kyra Sedgwick of TNT's "The Closer" are facing the past two winners in the category: Sally Field of ABC's "Brothers & Sisters" and Mariska Hargitay of NBC's "Law & Order: Svu."
In the lead comedy actress category, Fey -- who won the Golden Globe in January for her starring role on "30 Rock" -- will compete against past winners Julia Louis-Dreyfus of CBS' "The New Adventures of Old Christine" and America Ferrera of ABC's "Ugly Betty," along with Mary-Louise Parker for Showtime's "Weeds" and Christina Applegate for ABC's freshman comedy "Samantha Who?"
Notably missing are the ladies of Wisteria Lane as ABC's "Desperate Housewives" was shut out of the top categories.
In the lead actor in a comedy series field, Steve Carell will have his third shot at an Emmy for his role on "The Office." He is going up against three-time winner Tony Shalhoub of USA's "Monk," Baldwin, Charlie Sheen of "Two and a Half Men" and Lee Pace of "Pushing Daisies."
While new cable series were red-hot, freshmen broadcast series barely registered this go-round, with just a handful of acting nominations. Last year, three rookies -- "30 Rock," "Ugly Betty" and NBC's "Heroes" -- earned best series noms; "30 Rock" won.
But this past season, freshmen series were heavily impacted by the writers strike, and many of them, including "Pushing Daisies," didn't produce more episodes beyond their short fall runs.
The work stoppage affected all broadcast series, which produced fewer episodes, and the long winter drought of originals might have steered viewers, including TV academy members, to cable.
Louis-Dreyfus said it was a "huge relief" to get nominated because the show shot only 10 episodes because of the strike.
"I thought any chance of getting any nomination was slim for that reason," she said.
Coincidence or not, all of the broadcast series that landed in the top categories aired original episodes in the spring.
"House" almost didn't, as Fox originally opted not to order more originals after the strike. It eventually did, and one of these extra episodes yielded a nom for director Greg Yaitanes.
While there might have been some impact from the strike, the recognition for cable mostly is a reflection of its creative strides in the past few years, said "House" creator/exec producer David Shore.
"With the gains they've made, it's long overdue," he said. "The way for us to keep up is by trying to do as good television as we can."
Additionally, the tally of some cable networks, including Showtime, may have been boosted by their decisions to stream episodes or full seasons on the Web for TV academy members.
The Emmy ceremony will be held Sept. 21 from the Nokia Theatre in Los Angeles and broadcast on ABC.
Ray Richmond contributed to this report.
A list of nominees is on the next page.
A list of nominees follows:
Outstanding drama series
Boston Legal (ABC)
Mad Men (AMC)
Outstanding comedy series
Curb Your Enthusiasm (HBO)
The Office (NBC)
30 Rock (NBC)
Two and a Half Men (CBS)
The Andromeda Strain (A&E)
John Adams (HBO)
Tin Man (Sci Fi Channel)
Outstanding made-for-television movie
Bernard and Doris (HBO)
Extras: The Extra Special Series Finale (HBO)
The Memory Keeper's Daughter (Lifetime)
A Raisin in the Sun (ABC)
Outstanding variety, music or comedy series
The Colbert Report (Comedy Central)
The Daily Show With Jon Stewart (Comedy Central)
Saturday Night Live (NBC)
Lead actor in a comedy series
Alec Baldwin, 30 Rock (NBC)
Lead actor in a drama series
Hugh Laurie, House (Fox)
Lead actor in a miniseries or movie
Ralph Fiennes, Bernard and Doris (HBO)
Lead actress in a comedy series
Julia Louis-Dreyfus, The New Adventures of Old Christine (CBS)
Tina Fey, 30 Rock (NBC)
Lead actress in a drama series
Sally Field, Brothers & Sisters (ABC)
Mariska Hargitay, Law & Order: Svu (NBC)
Lead actress in a miniseries or movie
Susan Sarandon, Bernard and Doris (HBO)
Phylicia Rashad, A Raisin in the Sun (ABC)
Supporting actor in a comedy series
Supporting actor in a drama series
Supporting actor in a miniseries or movie
Supporting actress in a comedy series
Amy Poehler, Saturday Night Live (NBC)
Supporting actress in a drama series
Rachel Griffiths, Brothers & Sisters (ABC)
Supporting actress in a miniseries or movie
Alfre Woodard, Pictures of Hollis Woods (CBS)
Audra McDonald, A Raisin in the Sun (ABC)
Guest actor in a comedy series
Rip Torn, 30 Rock (NBC)
Will Arnett, 30 Rock (NBC)
Steve Buscemi, 30 Rock (NBC)
Tim Conway, 30 Rock (NBC)
Guest actor in a drama series
Robin Williams, Law & Order: Svu (NBC)
Oliver Platt, Nip/Tuck (FX)
Guest actress in a comedy series
Kathryn Joosten, Desperate Housewives (ABC)
Carrie Fisher, 30 Rock (NBC)
Edie Falco, 30 Rock (NBC)
Elaine Stritch, 30 Rock (NBC)
Guest actress in a drama series
Cynthia Nixon, Law & Order: Svu (NBC)
Sharon Gless, Nip/Tuck (FX)
Individual performance in a variety or music program
Jon Stewart, 80th Annual Academy Awards (ABC)
Tina Fey, Saturday Night Live (NBC)
Host for a reality or reality-competition program
Tom Bergeron, Dancing With the Stars (ABC)
Howie Mandel, Deal or No Deal (NBC)
Directing for a comedy series
Flight of the Conchords -- Sally Returns; James Bobin, director
30 Rock -- Rosemary's Baby; Michael Engler, director
Directing for a drama series
House -- House's Head; Greg Yaitanes, director
Outstanding animated program (less than one hour)
Creature Comforts America (CBS)
King of the Hill (Fox)
Robot Chicken (Cartoon Network)
SpongeBob SquarePants (Nickelodeon)
The Simpsons (Fox)
Outstanding animated program (one hour or more)
Blue Harvest (Fox)
Imaginationland (Comedy Central)
Justice League: The New Frontier (Warner Bros. on Demand)
Click here for a complete list of nominees. »
- By Nellie Andreeva
Diablo Cody's "Juno" took the prize for original screenplay, and Ethan and Joel Coen's adaptation of Cormac McCarthy's novel "No Country for Old Men" was the winner in the adapted screenplay category as the WGA, West and the WGA, East announced their annual awards Saturday night.
Because of the strike, the WGA, West did not hold its customary awards dinner, while the WGA, East held a scaled-back reception at the Hudson Theatre in New York.
Having also picked up awards from the DGA and the PGA, the Coens' "No Country" is now the front-runner heading toward the Academy Awards on Feb. 24.
The writers also recognized Alex Gibney?'s "Taxi to the Dark Side", an investigation into interrogation techniques, as best documentary screenplay.
On the TV side, the dramatic series honors went to HBO's "The Wire", written by Ed Burns, Chris Collins, Dennis Lehane, David Mills, George Pelecanos, Richard Price, David Simon and William F. Zorzi, while the comedy series kudos went to NBC's "30 Rock", written by Brett Baer, Jack Burditt, Kay Cannon, Robert Carlock, Tina Fey, Dave Finkel, Daisy Gardner, Donald Glover, Matt Hubbard, Jon Pollack, John Riggi, Tami Sagher and Ron Weiner.
Episodic drama, "The Second Coming" episode of "The Sopranos", by Terence Winter;
Episodic comedy, "The Job" from "The Office", by Paul Lieberstein & Michael Schur;
Long form orginal: "Pandemic", by Bryce Zabel & Jackie Zabel;
Long form adaptation, "The Company: A Story of the CIA, teleplay by Ken Nolan, based on the novel by Robert Littell;
"Kill Gil Volumes 1&2," from "The Simpsons", ? by Jeff Westbrook;
Comedy/variety: "The Colbert Report", written by Bryan Adams, Michael Brumm, Stephen Colbert, Rich Dahm, Eric Drysdale, Rob Dubbin, Glenn Eichler, Peter Grosz, Peter Gwinn, Barry Julien, Jay Katsir, Laura Krafft, Frank Lesser, Tom Purcell and Allison Silverman
Daytime serial: "The Young & The Restless," written by Lynn Marie Latham, Scott Hamner, Jeff Gottesfeld & Cherie Bennet, Bernard Lechowick, James Stanley, Natalie Minardi Slater, Lynsey Dufour, Marina Alburger, Sara Bibel, Janice Ferri Esser, Eric Freiwald & Linda Schreiber, Joshua McCaffrey and Sandra Weintraub;
Children's episodic & specials: "Look Whose Not Talking" from "Flight 29 Down", by D. »
10 items from 2008
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