‘The Dark Knight Returns, Part 1′ Trailer Flashes Iconic Frank Miller Pose

We’re excited to show you the first official clip from BATMAN: THE DARK KNIGHT RETURNS, PART 1 on Blu-Ray and DVD, based off of Frank Miller’s landmark 1986 graphic novel, Batman: The Dark Knight Returns.

The hits just keep rolling from DC Universe Animated Original Movies, as this awesome futuristic story of a 55-year old Bruce Wayne coming out of retirement to take on a Mutant Leader, Gotham City Police, and the United States Government and their secret weapon–a guy wearing a red cape. This story was one of the stories, along with Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons’ Watchmen that many point to as the turning point for comics, ushering a darker and grittier edge to the art form. Fans of the comic have to love what will be a faithful translation of the graphic novel, and based off the teaser trailer, some of the story’s most memorable scenes as drawn by Miller, Klaus Janson, and colored by Lynn Varley will be put into motion.

Peter Weller (Robocop, Dexter, and Sons of Anarchy guest-director) will voice Batman/Bruce Wayne, Ariel Winter (Modern Family) as Carrie Kelley, Wade Williams (Prison Break) as Two-Face, Michael McKean (This is Spinal Tap) as Dr. Wolper, David Selby (Dark Shadows-TV Series) as Commissioner Gordon, Gary Anthony Williams (Malcolm in the Middle) as the Mutant Leader.

Batman: The Dark Knight Returns, Part 1, is rated PG-13 and is produced by Warner Premiere, DC Entertainment and Warner Bros. Animation. Look for Batman:TDKR Part 1 as a Blu-ray Combo Pack with UltraViolet, DVD, On Demand and Download from Warner Home Video on September 25, 2012.

dark knight rises box art

Emmy Nominations – Who Got Served and Who Got Screwed Again

Emmys Banner

The 2012 Emmy nominations have been announced and we’ve got all of the major categories listed as well as our initial, emotional reactions.

Outstanding Drama Series
Breaking Bad
Downton Abbey
Boardwalk Empire
Homeland
Mad Men
Game of Thrones

Reaction: What’s to debate here? All deserve it to some degree. Even in a down season, Downton Abbey is still phenomenal television, even if it’s not your cup of tea. My only gripe is that last year Abbey was considered a Miniseries and now they take the place of an equally deserving show. Nothing is budging Breaking Bad or Mad Men, and there’s no one else more thrilled to see Homeland and Game of Thrones included. Boardwalk Empire belongs too, but again, Sons of Anarchy will sadly never be in the Emmy conversation for whatever reason even though this past season wasn’t its most consistent. There were series that were going to be left on the outside looking in and SOA, The Good Wife, The Walking Dead and Justified were left out this year.

Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series
Julianna Margulies – The Good Wife
Elizabeth Moss – Mad Men
Michelle Dockery – Downton Abbey
Kathy Bates – Harry’s Law
Claire Danes – Homeland
Glenn Close – Damages

Reaction: There is nothing but rage, absolute rage. Someone please take Bates out and place Sons of Anarchy‘s Katey Sagal! It’s absolute B.S. And where’s Sarah Michelle Gellar for playing dual roles in Ringer. I’m kidding about that last comment, people, I’m kidding.

Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series
Anna Gunn – Breaking Bad
Archie Panjabi – The Good Wife
Maggie Smith – Downton Abbey
Joanne Froggatt – Downton Abbey
Christina Hendricks – Mad Men
Christine Baranski – The Good Wife

Reaction: It’s a glorious day to see Anna Gunn break into the category and get some recognition for Skylar White. It’s well-deserved and been a long time coming. Downton Abbey was a bit too soapy for me this past season but I can see why Smith and Froggatt are nominated. The Good Wife is filled with great actresses up and down that cast so there was no doubt that Baranski and Panjabi were going to be nominated. No Joelle Carter this year, but if all goes right, next year could be her year knowing her potential storylines in Justified.

Outstanding Guest Actress in a Drama Series
Joan Cusack – Shameless
Uma Thurman – Smash
Julia Ormond – Mad Men
Loretta Devine – Grey’s Anatomy
Jean Smart – Harry’s Law
Martha Plimpton – The Good Wife

Reaction: Good choices, especialy with Plimpton and Cusack. Thurman was one of the few memorable things about Smash, but does anyone believe that show qualifies as a Drama series? It’s more like a comedy…

Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series
Hugh Bonneville – Downton Abbey
Steve Buscemi – Boardwalk Empire
Bryan Cranston – Breaking Bad
Michael C. Hall – Dexter
Jon Hamm – Mad Men
Damien Lewis – Homeland

Reaction: This is one of the toughest categories year in and year out. Anything Homeland is hot, but Cranston is putting on a clinic each week on Breaking Bad. Hall is getting a bit long in the tooth in this category and is a bit outclassed, so I would have cheered more had Fringe’s John Noble took his place who is long overdue for some recognition for playing a dozen versions of his character Walter Bishop. We still love you, John. And Timothy Olyphant was also left out for what was his finest season as Raylan Givens.

Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series
Aaron Paul – Breaking Bad
Giancarlo Esposito – Breaking Bad
Brendan Coyle – Downton Abbey
Jim Carter – Downton Abbey
Jared Harris – Mad Men
Peter Dinklage – Game of Thrones

Reaction: Again, a knockout category and I’m glad I don’t have a vote for this one. Harris had a season to remember, and I’ve never rooted for an antagonist before like I did with Esposito’s Gus Fring. What’s not to love about Dinklage’s Tyrion Lannister? And both Carter and Coyle are strong on Abbey but I’m surprised not to see Alan Cumming from The Good Wife, also no Walton Goggins for Justified? Bah!

Outstanding Guest Actor in a Drama Series
Mark Margolis – Breaking Bad
Jeremy Davies – Justified
Jason Ritter – Parenthood
Ben Feldman – Mad Men
Dylan Baker – The Good Wife

Reaction: How the hell do you leave Neal McDonough off this list? What an absolute crime! He deserves the spot more than fellow Justified guest, Jeremy Davies who is great on the show, but McDonough was riveting. We’ll be rooting for Breaking Bad‘s Mark Margolis (DING! DING! DING!) who got to finally step out of the wheelchair and show people a great performance in the Breaking Bad episode, “Hermanos.” Ritter who got no respect in The Event, did remind people of his talent in Parenthood.

Outstanding Miniseries or Movie
American Horror Story
Game Change
Hatfields and McCoys
Luther
Sherlock

Reaction: Even with Downton Abbey leaving this category, it still stacked. BBC is well represented with Luther and Sherlock. American Horror Story qualified and that helped it not to get lost in the Drama series. I’m glad it’s recognized. Hatfields and McCoys made a late charge and it’s fresh on voters’ minds.

Outstanding Lead Actress in a Miniseries or a Movie
Connie Britton – American Horror Story
Ashley Judd – Missing
Nicole Kidman – Hemingway & Gellhorn
Julianne Moore – Game Change
Emma Thompson – The Song of Lunch (Masterpiece)

Reaction: Lots of reliable Academy and fan favorites make this category extremely competitive this season, but something tells me that Moore will get it for portraying Sarah Palin. Judd’s action role in the canceled Missing, AKA TV’s Taken, is a bit of a odd pick.

Outstanding Lead Actor in a Miniseries or a Movie
Kevin Costner – Hatfield & McCoys
Idris Elba – Luther
Benedict Cumberbatch – Sherlock: A Scandal in Belgravia
Woody Harrelson – Game Change
Bill Paxton – Hatfield & McCoys
Clive Owen – Hemmingway & Gellhorn

Reaction: – Connect yourself to Ernest Hemmingway in any way, shape or form and you will get attention. I’ll be rooting for either of the BBC representatives in Elba and Cumberbatch because both are so clearly distinct in the massive sea of good television.

Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Miniseries or a Movie
Ed Harris –  Game Change
Denis O’Hare –  American Horror Story
David Strathairn –  Hemingway & Gellhorn
Martin Freeman – Sherlock: A Scandal in Belgravia
Tom Berenger – Hatfields & McCoys

Reaction: I’ll admit to seeing only Freeman and O’Hare, who I both enjoyed for different reasons. Knowing this Academy, Harris is the front runner in portraying McCain.

Outstanding Host in Reality TV
Tom Bergeron – Dancing With the Stars
Cat Deeley – So YOu Think You Can Dance
Phil Keoghan – The Amazing Race
Betty White – Off Their Rockers
Ryan Seacrest – American Idol

Reaction: I’m rooting for White. I am not afraid to admit that I watch this show and yes, I do think it’s funny. Also, does anyone really care about the rest of these puppets?

Outstanding Reality – Competition
Dancing With the Stars
The Amazing Race
Top Chef
So You Think You Can Dance
The Voice
Project Runway

Reaction: If we’re talking reality here, why is Dancing with the Stars here? The Voice could be roped into that strange celeb/reality blend too because in all honesty, our eyes are on what Christina Aguilera will wear and say next. The Amazing Race will be the odds on favorite, as usual, especially with Survivor being absent. I’ll still be rooting Top Chef and Project Runway but again, Survivor’s absence is a big surprise. Let’s just be thankful that American Idol wasn’t nominated.

Outstanding Variety Series
The Daily Show
Colbert Report
Jimmy Kimmel Live!
Saturday Night Live
Real Time with Bill Maher
Late Night with Jimmy Fallon

Reaction: It’s the usual suspects except Conan O’Brien is missing. That move to TBS has not done much for Conan outside of security. It seems like everyone’s forgotten what network he’s moved to. I also don’t think this was one of SNL’s better years either.

Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series
Zooey Deschanel – New Girl
Edie Falco – Nurse Jackie
Tina Fey – 30 Rock
Julia Louise-Dreyfus – VEEP
Lena Dunham -Girls
Amy Poehler – Parks and Recreation
Melissa McCarthy – Mike and Molly

Reaction: The Academy is in love with Fey, Poehler, and McCarthy. Fey can do no wrong despite 30 Rock not currently being as great as the earlier seasons. Poehler and Parks and Rec probably had its best season, and it’s probably no coincidence that both that and Veep’s  leads were nominated in an election year. Well played HBO and NBC. I like Deschanel, but I’m surprised she got nominated, then again, I’m not. Dunham and Falco are no surprises here after their seasons but I feel like this category is missing some stronger candidates.  Also no Alison Brie and no Krysten Ritter… double sigh. Waitaminute, does anyone else notice how they got seven nominations when most others had only six? Lots of gripes are going to come at this one…

Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series
Mayim Bialik – The Big Bang Theory
Merritt Wever – Nurse Jackie
Kristen Wiig – Saturday Night Live
Sofia Vergara – Modern Family
Julie Bowen – Modern Family
Kathryn Joosten – Desperate Housewives

Reaction: When is the Academy going to grow some balls and nominate Kaitlin Olson for It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia? I’m eye-rolling at the Modern Family nods but mildly applauding Bialik’s nomination. Wiig is the only thing that saves SNL half the time and I have to admit that I never been desperate enough to tune into Housewives since the first season. Where are the girls of Happy Endings? Cheryl Hines or Allie Grant of Suburgatory? Bah! The comedy nominations get me pissed every single year.

Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series
Don Cheadle – House of Lies
Louis C.K. – Louie
Jon Cryer – Two and a Half Men
Larry David – Curb Your Enthusiasm
Jim Parsons – The Big Bang Theory
Alec Baldwin – 30 Rock

Reaction: People need to stop recognizing Two and a Half Men, seriously. Every time Cryer and this show are recognized, it shows why Hollywood keeps making brain dead comedies for the networks. Parsons, Baldwin, and David were almost written in months ago. Snooze. Here’s where Louis C.K. gets his nomination along with his writing and directing. Him winning would be an incredible upset knowing these voters, but there’s no one else who actually deserves it more than him.

Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series
Ed O’Neill – Modern Family
Jesse Tyler Ferguson – Modern Family
Ty Burrell – Modern Family
Eric Stonestreet – Modern Family
Bill Hader – SNL
Max Greenfield – New Girl

Reaction: Again, no disrespect to MF, but the Academy should be ashamed at nominating four goddmamn actors from one show in one category. There are other shows out there you know. Damon Wayans Jr. should be on this list. Also Nick Kroll from The League should be here and I also think that Garrett Dillahunt deserves a nomination for Raising Hope. Want another diss? How about James Van Der Beek on Don’t Trust the B—- in Apt. 23. Hell, anyone but a Modern Family cast member–this season anyway.

Outstanding Comedy Series
Big Bang Theory
Curb Your ENthusiasm
30 Rock
VEEP
Modern Family
Girls

Reaction: Wow, Curb Your Enthusiasm made a resurgence in the comedy awards. Was hoping Louie would crack this category once and for all but somehow 30 Rock got yet another nomination even though it’s been sitting in park for the last few seasons. The same could be said about Modern Family. I’m not sure if Archer entered as a comedy or animated series, but it should be here nonetheless. Wilfred is a cutting edge show that requires more thought than just laughing straight jokes but it seems to go over many heads. Episodes was another snubbed victim. VEEP and Girls took away spots normally held by network comedies and that’s nice, but Louie still deserves to be in this category and so does Community. Booooooo!

Outstanding Animated Program
American Dad – Hot Water
The Penguins of Madagascar – The Return of the Revenge of Dr. Blowhole
Futurama – The Tip of the Zoidberg
Bob’s Burgers – BurgerBoss
The Simpsons – Holidays of Future Passed

Reaction: Where’s Archer? One episode of Archer is more entertaining than all of the nominees back-to-back-to-back-to-back-to-back.

Outstanding Short-Format Animated Program
Regular Show – Eggscellent
Adventure Time – Too Young
Disney Phineas and Ferb – The Doonkleberry Imperative
Robot Chicken – Fight Club Paradise
Mad – Kitchen Nightmare Before Christmas / How I Met Your Mummy

Reaction: Knowing that Adventure Time, Regular Show, Mad and Robot Chicken all have nominations this year but Sons of Anarchy doesn’t sums up the type of twisted turmoil happiness and anger bestowed on people like us who follow television.

 

Other notable nominations and notes:

  • In the comedy writing category, both Community (Remedial Chaos Theory) and Louie (Pregnant) got nominations. So essentially the Butterfly Effect and TV’s longest fart joke got nominated. See how random the Emmys can be?
  • Louis C.K. also got a directing nomination for “Duckling” which may have been the greatest half hour of television last year.
  • Breaking Bad creator Vince Gilligan got a directing nomination for the series climax, “Face Off”
  • Mad Men dominated the drama writing category with three nominations; Homeland picked up one too for its Pilot.
  • Nominated for Main Title Design: FX’s American Horror Story’s creepy opening, Cinemax’s Strike Back, Starz Magic City, PBS’ Great Expectation, and Fox’s New Girl that lasts less than 10 seconds. How is Game of Thrones not nominated?
  • Burt Reynolds did not get an Emmy nomination for Voice-Over performance in Archer. Dammit!

Well, those are our initial reactions, want to share yours? For a complete list of the Emmy Nominations including the technical categories, click here.

‘Homeland’, ‘Breaking Bad’, ‘Sherlock’, ‘Community’ and Louis C.K. Among Winners at Critics’ Choice Television Awards

It may not have the prestige of the Emmys, but The 2nd Annual Critics’ Choice Television Awards took place Monday night at the Beverly Hilton Hotel and at least one TV awards ceremony got most of the winners right. Winners are voted by The Broadcast Television Journalists Association, AKA people who watch television for a living.

breaking bad walt and hank

Drama
In the often-debated drama categories, Showtime’s Homeland took Best Drama Series and Claire Danes took Best Actress. Representing AMC’s Breaking Bad were Bryan Cranston and Giancarlo Esposito, who both took home hardware for Best Actor and Best Supporting Actor in a Drama respectively for their Season 4 battle royale. Mad Men‘s Christina Hendricks picked up Best Supporting Actress, while Lucy Liu picked up the Best Guest Performer for her fine turn in TNT’s Southland.

Comedy
Network television picked up a great deal of the comedy awards but were more evenly distributed. Yes there are other comedies besides ABC’s Modern Family and media darling, Community picked up Best Comedy Series and FX’s do-it-all, Louis C.K. picked up Best Actor for Louie. There was a tie in the Best Actress in a Comedy Series shared between New Girl‘s Zooey Deschanel and Parks and Recreation‘s Amy Poehler. Julie Bowen and Ty Burrell won the Best Supporting Actress and Actor awards for their portrayal of suburban wannabe-hip parents of three teenagers in Modern Family. Paul Rudd’s Guest Performance on Parks and Recreation got him the prize as well.

sherlock

Animated/Movie/Mini-Series/Reality/Misc.
Another BuzzFocus favorite, Archer took home Best Animated Series for its best season yet, and BBC/PBS’s Sherlock, (Hear our podcast of Sherlock vs. the CBS pilot, Elementary), earned Best Movie/Miniseries and star Benedict Cumberbatch took home Best Actor in a Movie/Miniseries. Julianne Moore brought hardware home for HBO for her portrayal of Sarah Palin in “Game Change”.

In the Most Exciting New Series, Fox’s The Following starring Kevin Bacon is catching the eye of many critics, beating out other nominees including Fox’s The Mindy Project, ABC’s Nashville, USA’s Political Animals, and HBO’s The Newsroom. Others receiving Critics’ Choice Awards were Anthony Boudain: No Reservations for Best Reality Series, The Voice for Best Reality Competition, Jimmy Fallon for Best Talk Show and Tom Bergeron and Cat Deeley shared the Best Reality Hosts.

We’ll soon see if this will be a barometer for the upcoming 2012 Emmy Nominations. Who are you rooting for?

Best (and Worst) Season Finales of 2011-2012 – Sater Picks

The summer season is almost here, and the final shows of the 2011-2012 TV season are going off the air. Our staff is tallying up their personal picks for best and worst series. Here’s the latest rundown from Kelly Sater.

(Spoilers ahead for anyone who hasn’t seen these season finales!)

Kelly Sater’s Picks

Best: Modern Family

We can always count on Modern Family to blend humor and heart. The season three finale was one of the most successful yet. When Mitch (Jesse Tyler Ferguson) and Cam (Eric Stonestreet) enlisted Gloria (Sofia Vergara) to help them pick up their new baby it all went to hell. The trio ended up caught in the middle of a Spanish telenovela that ended with drama. Mitch finally had a breakdown that was heartbreaking, Jay (Ed O’Neill) danced with little lily at her recital and the final reveal of Gloria’s pregnancy was a shocker that will rock next season.

Mixed Reaction: Glee
The season finale of Glee was a mix. The writers took the time to properly say goodbye to seniors Puck (Mark Salling), Quinn (Dianna Agron), Rachael (Lea Michele), Santana (Naya Rivera), Kurt (Chris Colfer) and Finn (Cory Monteith) but Mercedes (Amber Riley) was glanced over. The Puck/Quinn kiss was nice but it came totally out of left field. It was like the writers were just trying to please fans rather than tell a story. Kurt’s rejection from NYADA was devastating and Finn’s surprise break up at the end was cold but it opened up Rachael’s future. Her walking the streets of NYC ready to take on the world was a strong way to finish a season. The writers did a good job with the task of graduation but it wasn’t their best work.

Worst: New Girl

New Girl had a very strong first season but fell short in the finale. Schmidt (Max Greenfield) and Cece (Hannah Simone) hooked up mid season relieving us of the boring “will they, wont they” story line. Unfortunately they broke up in the finale because he didn’t think he was good enough for her, which was a lame excuse. Plus, Nick (Jake M. Johnson) moved out only to move right back in. Where was the mystery there? Sure them lost in the desert was fun and Jess’s (Zoey Deschanel) attempt to thwart a coyote was classic Jess but the writers didn’t leave us with too much to look forward to in next season. Except maybe a new Jess/Nick will they wont they story line.

Best (and Worst) Season Finales of 2011-2012 – Estrella Picks

It’s that time of year… network shows are going off the air (some for good) and the cable summer season is about to premiere. We decided to take a look at all of the season finales that have aired thus far and here are more of our staff picks for the best and the worst for the 2011-2012 season. Here are picks made by BuzzFocus Associate Editor-Community Manager Ernie Estrella:

(Spoilers ahead for anyone who hasn’t seen these season finales!)

dont trust the b finale

Best: Don’t Trust The B—- in Apartment 23
Wanna know why this show worked and 2 Broke Girls didn’t? We had rudeness from Chloe (Krystin Ritter) and the corruption and naïveté of June (Dreama Walker) is plenty fun, but the supporting characters prove to be something more than what they are on the surface. James Van Der Beek destroys playing a caricature of himself and as Chloe’s catty BFF, but her stalker (Liza Lapira) and peeping neighbor (Michael Blaiklock) were pleasant surprises.

The finale was a pop culture mish mash where the Beek and Dean Cain battle over Dancing With the Stars dressing room, meanwhile June reached Chloe on a personal level after appealing to her geeky side when she found out that Chloe’s the subject of an underground comic book. The Beek stole every episode and this last one was no different. His character on Don’t Trust the B—-, is everything we could ever hope for in a friendship with a celebrity. Not only am I encouraged by this show’s future, ABC comedy lineup got a lot tougher to beat as far as the networks go.

revenge finale

Best: Revenge
Guilty or not, Revenge was pure pleasure and it had it all–even a rough patch. But Emily Thorne (Emily VanCamp) finally returned to early season form and was proactive, aggressive, and resourceful. I tuned in to see her dish out revenge, not plan a wedding and get lectured by her Japanese sensei. She rescued Nolan (Gabriel Mann), kicked White Haired Man’s (James Morrison) ass and got him to work for her, and Conrad (Henry Czerny) killed both of his mistress (Amber Valletta) and his ex-wife (Madeleine Stowe) in a plane bombing. Killing off Stowe’s character is an immense risk given how good she was being evil on TV. But that was the point, she saw the light and was about to clear David Clarke’s name and become one of the good guys.

But wait, there was more sugar in the gas tank! Just as Emily was going to come clean to Jack (Nick Wechsler), Amanda (Margarita Levieva) intercepted him with an unsurprising reveal of a baby bump. Oh and Emily’s mother is still alive too? Can’t wait to see what they do to try and top Season 1.  Now they could undermine this greatness and fall into outrageous soap box affair by revealing that both Victoria and Lydia survived the bombing; let’s hope not. Also, ABC, is it too late to drop the whole Declan Porter (Connor Paolo) character, pretty please?

EDITOR’S PICK: See What The SUMMER’S 20 MUST-SEE TV SHOWS Are In 2012

fringe season 4 finale

Best: Fringe
Unclear whether they would be given the hook or a lifeline made of Red Vines licorice sticks, the last six or seven episodes of Fringe were crafted like each was their last. There were some serious “oh s—” moments in the two-part “Brave New World,” but it’s hard to think of greater moments this season than Rebecca Mader getting resurrected with a giant syringe needle stuck into her temple, or Walter shooting Olivia in the middle of her forehead to prevent the universe from imploding, fulfilling the The Observer’s (Michael Cerveris) prophecy, then using medieval methods to get the bullet out. That was intense TV! And there was lots of Leonard Nimoy acting eeeevil too. Obviously, Olivia would have remained dead had Fringe not been renewed for a final season, but the glimpse into the future episode, “Letters of Transit” gave us a point to build to in Season 5. Fight the future, indeed!

community digital estate planning

Best: Community
It was tough to determine what exactly was the season finale of Community since NBC packaged three new episodes on the final night of Season 3. Since NBC and Sony are in the business of booting off creators, then I’m taking the 3-pack as a whole, purely out of spite. Now the actual last episode, “Introduction to Finality” pitted Jeff (Joel McHale) went against an old co-worker at the law firm representing Pierce (Chevy Chase) to make sure that Shirley (Yvette Brown) gets her equal share of the sandwich shop in a deal with the school. Had that been the actual last episode of the series, it would have been anticlimactic.

But before that, aired the amusing “The First Chang Dynasty” caper, which also ended the war Troy (Donald Glover) had with the Air Conditioning Vocational School and the well-conceived/executed 8-bit battle for Pierce’s inheritance with guest-star Giancarlo Esposito (Breaking Bad), another one of the season’s high notes. Unlike other shows that front or back-load their seasons, Community’s best efforts are sprinkled all through the season. “Digital Estate Planning” is right there with the Ken Burns War spoof, “Pillows and Blankets,” Shirley and Jeff’s redemptive “Foosball and Nocturnal Vigilantism,” and the Butterfly Effect spoof, “Remedial Chaos Theory.” Enjoy all of season three folks, next season will likely be very different.

modern family s3 finale

Best: Modern Family
So who expected that ending? In one of the most gut-wrenching episodes, Mitch (Jesse Tyler Ferguson) and Cam (Eric Stonestreet) did not get the baby they had been trying to get all season long. While sad, the adoption process is full of highs and lows and MF reminded us this painfully well. Whoever didn’t get caught up in their whirlwind season has no beating heart inside of them. To have it play out like a Mexican soap opera though, well, that’s just the absurdity of life imitating art. Gloria’s (Sofia Vergara) pregnancy adds another crazy dynamic to the show–a great reveal! Jay (Ed O’Neil) hasn’t had a newborn of his own in over 30 years so he can’t possibly take the news well. As for Gloria, just think of her six months pregnant, still trying to fit into mini-dresses and having mood swings. The one thing I didn’t care for Haley (Sarah Hyland) and brain dead Dylan (Reid Ewing) part deux; I’m hoping we’ve seen the last of him. Claire (Julie Bowen) would probably agree.

happy endings s2 finale

Best and Worst: Happy Endings
The actual finale entitled, “Kickball 2: The Kickening” did air in the UK. I’m so glad to see it air here in the states, OH WAIT, IT DIDN’T! When I say, worst, it means, WHERE THE HELL IS IT ABC? I adored Don’t Trust the B—- in Apartment 23 (see above) as much as the next person, but did it have to come at the expense of the Season 2 finale of Happy Endings? Who lops off finales of good TV shows? This just belongs in the bone head department of network decisions this year. As a lone straggler, how do they think they can air this after May sweeps and get ratings for it? Why hold it out in the first place? Was it just so that Apt. 23 ended before Memorial Day Weekend? That’s boooolsheet if it’s true. Why didn’t they plan out the airdates so that they could squeeze in another episode in December?

The Season 2 finale we settled for is “Four Weddings and a Funeral (Minus Three Weddings and One Funeral),” a fantastic episode that included Max (Adam Pally) reluctantly reuniting with his old band, a Madonna cover band to perform at Derrick and Eric’s big day, and Jane (Eliza Coupe) desperately trying to get into the wedding party, if just to have a better gift bag. If ABC wanted to end on a wedding, well then I guess they got their wish, and the Skype table is one of the funniest bits I’ve seen in a wedding show. I think it will start a real trend for people who cannot make the trip to a wedding. Even funnier was Penny (Casey Wilson) being stuck at it and meeting a potential keeper in Chris, played by Brian Austin Green. Despite the finale gaffe, Happy Endings was renewed for 22 episodes (23 if they want to save Kickball 2 for Season 3), so hopefully we’ll be able to see if Penny did find true love at the Skype Table.

new girl season 1 finale

Worst: New Girl
I don’t have any problem admitting that I liked New Girl from the start and as time went on, more would jump on the wagon. Making the show bigger than Zooey Deschanel (that’s Jess!) was a big part of that. Schmidt (Max Greenfield) and Cece’s (Hannah Simone) slow growing relationship solidified that. That’s what made this finale even more disappointing. Everyone wants to look back at those last episodes and see their lasting effect on seasons that follow. So careful watchers had to roll their eyes at the first mention of Nick (Jake M. Johnson) moving out of the apartment. As if the show’s second biggest character was really going to leave. It belonged in the history of bad TV bluffs. Schmidt’s you-deserve-better-than-me act to Cece induced shouts of “LAME!” And Winston (Lamorne Morris) has a fear of the dark? C’mon! It was cute though seeing Jess say, “Beep-Beep” at the coyote but this was a subpar effort. Now, if I were giving grades out for seasons, New Girl would get a solid B– but that finale was an epic fail.

EDITOR’S PICK: Read Alan Danzis’ Best and Worst Season Finales of 2011-2012

two broke girls season 1 finale

Worst: 2 Broke Girls
After having a blast with the first half, 2 Broke Girls got old, real fast. Maybe it was the undeveloped clichés used on as supporting characters, or Jennifer Coolidge’s “horrible-horrible” Russian accent as a mid-season casting power up. The finale’s big moment was a recycled situation where the girls are pimping their homemade cupcakes out of a bathroom. This time it was to Martha Stewart.  Both times it was pretty disgusting if you think about it. Then again, so did having a horse eating and crapping less than 10 feet away from where Max cooked her cupcakes was repulsive too. And does anyone else find it ironic that hipsters were made fun of all the time, but is there anything more hipster than the deluxe cupcake rage?

The luster wore off on this CBS comedy at the midpoint and the girls have yet to save up $1000 for their business. A meeting with Stewart would have been more significant if they were in position to actually do something as a result of her approval but this show looks like it was spinning its wheels. Seeing Max (Kat Dennings) and Caroline (Beth Behrs) try to raise money in a variety of ways was the only interesting part of the show, well that and Caroline trying to reconnect with her incarcerated father. Unless you like shallow stereotypes in the diner or are engulfed by the floundering cupcake business–I’ve grown tired of both–there’s simply not much else to entice me back for another season.

the office season 8 finale

The Worst: The Office
The Office is like the alley dog that can’t walk, can’t see and everyone is too kind to just put it out of its misery; actually, if you ask me it should’ve been taken out to the shed and shot three years ago. I didn’t cry at Steve Carrell’s departure last season; I would’ve liked to congratulate him for getting off this sinking ship, but wow, did I really missed him after a full season with James Spader’s Robert California. The finale saw Cali mercifully ousted as CEO, oh and Angela’s baby is probably Dwight’s and they’re sneaking around the office again to make out and have sex? It was a bad case of déjà vu.

NBC continues to drag this rotting corpse on TV year after year (The Office UK left on top at two seasons) but it’s proof that they are desperate for anything that gets ratings. A ninth season is in the works despite Paul Lieberstein (who also plays Toby) is leaving as showrunner, B.J. Novak and Mindy Kaling are leaving for Fox, and Rainn Wilson (with Lieberstein) is likely to be gone to launch a Dwight Schrute “down on the farm” spinoff! 164 episodes and counting, folks. Lawd, when will it ever end?

Agree or disagree with these picks? Share your thoughts below as well as some of your best and worst season finales.

Renewals, Pickups and Cancellations Roundup for ABC, NBC, CW and AMC

Dozens of shows learned their fate this week so we’re going to run down the latest as they came in on Friday evening. The headline news included series such as Nikita, Happy Endings, Parks & Rec, Body of Proof, and yes, even Whitney being renewed while NBC’s Awake and Harry’s Law were not.

Make note of how many 13-episode seasons were ordered. The thinking may be that the networks are learning that the cable model does work better, because it 1) allows more shows to be added to the lineup and 2) keeps the interest going through the fall instead of trying to carry the momentum through the holiday breaks. That doesn’t give fans many episodes to be excited about, but in the case of Community, any word of renewal, regardless of number was good news.

Networks could also be thinking the strategy behind 13-episode seasons could be to air during the fall and if ratings quickly justify an additional order of 9 or more episodes, then they have that option, or they could use the winter months to release mid-season replacements.

happy endings cast

ABC
In one of its best moves of the day (and also long-awaited), ABC renewed Happy Endings for a third, 22-episode season. The fast paced comedy got the “ending” fans wanted and will join others already given the thumbs up including Modern Family, Suburgatory, Once Upon a Time, Revenge, Grey’s Anatomy, Castle, and The Middle. Don’t Trust The B–— in Apt. 23 and Scandal were renewed earlier today, as did bubble shows, Private Practice and Body of Proof, which each got 13 episode renewals. For Private Practice it is expected to be its last season, while Body of Proof proved to have international appeal–a key factor in many other renewals (Fox’s Touch being another one) around the other networks. Last Man Standing was the last to get its expected renewal at the end of Friday. Cougar Town is moving to TBS.

ABC Pilots ordered to series were 666 Park Ave. with Terry O’Quinn; Zero Hour with Anthony Edwards and Michael Nyqvist; crime series Red Widow (formerly Penoza) with Lee Tergesen and Radha Mitchell; How to Live With Your Parents For the Rest of Your Life with Sarah Chalke, Elizabeth Perkins and Brad Garrett; Family Tools (formerly Red Man Van, White Van Man) with Leah Remini, Kyle Bornheimer, and J.K. Simmons; Last Resort with Andre Braugher, Dichen Lachmen, Autumn Reeser, and Scott Speedman; Neighbors with Jami Gertz; and Malibu Country with Reba McEntire and Lily Tomlin.

Those canceled were Ashley Judd’s Taken-like thriller The Missing, CGB, Pan Am, and The River.

NBC
The morning after its season finale, Parks & Rec was given a fifth season and a full order of 22 episodes. Hell froze over because Whitney was officially picked up. Up All Night like Community will be given 13 episodes. NBC has been giving its newer comedies and bubble shows 13 episodes to make room for ten (!) new shows that were picked up for series. Reality series Fashion Star also got a second season because of its immediate advertiser friendly format, especially for Macy’s, H&M, and Saks Fifth Avenue.  The Office was also given another season.

Those new series ordered to series include, 1600 Penn with Bill Pullman and Jenna Elfman; Animal Practice with Justin Kirk; Go On with Matthew Perry Laura Benanti and Khary Payton; Guys With Kids with Jesse Bradford and produced by Jimmy Fallon; Dane Cook alpha male comedy Next Caller; Save Me with Anne Heche, the fire-fighting action drama Chicago Fire; a Meagan Good high society soap Infamous; Do No Harm with Steven Pasquale and Phylicia Rashad, and J.J. Abrams’ Revolution starring Billy Burke and Giancarlo Esposito.

One of those unlucky at the Peacock was David E. Kelley’s Harry’s Law, which did not reach a third season. This was a surprise considering it was drawing in an average of 8.8 million viewers. Those are numbers that NBC could use and while it wasn’t a hit with the coveted younger 18-40 demographic, the lead actor, Kathy Bates is in her early 60s and the audience skewed to her fans.

awake banner

Other cancellations included BFF, Are You There, Chelsea, Bent, and procedural mind-bender Awake, which many had hoped would be given another chance. Awake will be missed by its strongest advocates online, as it gave NBC a quality drama with subtle sci-fi elements allowing it to toe the line of genre and police procedural, but it could never generate the ratings needed to make the grade. It was one of the most anticipated series in NBC’s 2011-2012 rollout but lost steam when it was held over as a mid-season replacement. NBC keeps trying to make good dramas, but they just cut one.

CW
It was all love and drama at the CW as it gave Gossip Girl one last season. It might be an abbreviated season though as there’s been no word on how long the season will be. 13 more episodes may be all it gets. Rachel Bilson and Hart of Dixie were picked up for a second season and so was Maggie Q and Nikita. Both shows will get a full order of 22 episodes. Nikita is one of those shows that struggles on Friday nights, but the genre show has plenty of international appeal. These announcements come off the heels of the renewals of its strongest shows, The Vampire Diaries, Supernatural and 90210, which were given more life on Thursday. CW shows are getting additional viewings online and DVRs have been friendly to the network too.

nikita

New series pickups include a record five scripted series for the CW: Sex & The City prequel, The Carrie Diaries, mystery drama Cult, medical drama First Cut, the Beauty and the Beast reboot with Kristin Kreuk, and DC Comics’ property Green Arrow-based action series Arrow. With the Hunger Games’ Katniss Everdeen and The Avengers’ Hawkeye, archers are officially thriving in Hollywood.

But the CW wasn’t so charitable Friday. Given the swift swing of the axe were two first-season shows with poor ratings, modern noir soap Ringer and The Secret Circle despite Kevin Williamson’s involvement.

AMC
The cable network “where story matters,” finally discovered the beauty of low-cost reality shows and gave second seasons to Kevin Smith’s
Comic Book Men, which was basically Pawn Stars in a comic shop, and The Walking Dead companion talk show, The Talking Dead with Chris Hardwick.

Video: Pitt, Clooney, Sheen, & Others Perform L.A. Reading of ‘8’ To Spread Truth About Prop 8 Federal Trial

8 play

Often times celebrities are given rolling eyes when they become invested in a political movement, but their collective star power can make a major impact. On March 3 at the Ebell of Los Angeles, The American Foundation for Equal Rights staged a one-night-only reading, verbatim theatre style, of a play that was written by Academy-award winning screenwriter Dustin Lance Black (Milk) and directed by Rob Reiner (The Bucket List). The play was based on the transcripts from the Perry vs. Schwarzeneggger trial, which AFER filed with the district court to overturn Proposition 8, the bill preventing gay and lesbian couples from marrying in California.

brad pitt 8

Brad Pitt (Moneyball) read as Judge Vaughn Walker, prosecuting attorneys Theodore B. Olson and David Boies were played by Martin Sheen (West Wing) and George Clooney (The Descendants) respectively and defense attorney Charles J. Cooper was played Kevin Bacon (X-Men: First Class). The case featured two couples, a lesbian couple Sandy Stier and Kris Perry played by Jamie Lee Curtis and Christine Lahti who raised two boys from birth to their teenage years, and a gay couple Paul Katami and Jeff Zarrillo played by Matthew Morrison (Glee) and Matt Bomer (White Collar) who have been in a long-term relationship wishing to marry in California.

kevin bacon 8

The stunning words spoken in trial were read in powerful and effective fashion by the actors and were made even more enlightening with the support of conversations Stier and Perry had with their sons and interviews with with Katami and Zarrillo. Their words showed that marriage is not just a label to gay couples but being denied that right is another example of the discrimination and prejudice they face every day in their lives.

martin sheen 8

The live stream of the reading attracted 200,000 viewers according to Reiner and is available for viewing on Youtube and on the AFER website. It can be viewed below. The first 30 minutes of the presentation is a collection of the propaganda ads that were aired on television in support of Proposition 8 as well as notable clips of politicians supporting the ban of gay marriage. Viewers have the option to skip ahead to the beginning of the 90 minute reading.

This play was created because no cameras were allowed in the hearing, drawing attention away from the defense’s weak case. No public access was given to trial until after the decision was made by Walker’s ruling. Their hope is that the LA reading will go viral and with the star power attached, would reach an audience that would not go out of their way to see the Broadway production of the play. Reiner is also directing a documentary about Prop 8 that will be released in 2013. When the real prosecuting attorneys joined Reiner and the cast at the end of the reading, Olson declared that “Fear and prejudice were put on trial and fear and prejudice lost,” as they hope to raise awareness of the case and take the matter to the Supreme Court.

theodore olson 8

Others playing smaller but important parts are Yeardley Smith (The Simpsons), George Takei (Heroes, The Howard Stern Show), Bridger Zadina, Jansen Panettiere, James Pickens Jr. (Grey’s Anatomy), John C. Reilly (Chicago), Jesse Tyler Ferguson (Modern Family), Jane Lynch (Glee), Chris Colfer (Glee), Vanessa Garcia, Cleve Jones, Campbell Brown (The Today Show), Rory O’Malley (Dreamgirls).

The play is currently being performed on Broadway featuring Lahti, Bomer, and many who were featured in the LA reading of 8 and also feature Ellen Barkin, Morgan Freeman, John Lithgow, Bob Balaban, Anthony Edwards amongst others.

Ellen Slams ‘Modern Family’ Star Sofía Vergara in the Face with Cover Girl

If you’re a fan of Modern Family, Ellen or just comedy in general, then you will definitely enjoy this clip from the Ellen show featuring Sofia Vergara.

In it, Ellen and Vergara demonstrate how to apply Cover Girl makeup. But what makes this segment hysterical is that Ellen applies the makeup while standing behind Vergara and acting as the MF star’s hands.

It’s a wild video, but it just shows you how truly down to earth Vergara is. She is completely unaware of what Ellen is doing and never stops the joke segment no matter how messy and disgusting it gets.

Check out the video below:

Vergara is so fabulous for doing this and really is a great sport.

Sofía Vergara

[Photo by Kevork Djansezian]

Movie Review: ‘The Muppets’ – A Funny, Sweet and Triumphant Return Of Everyone’s Favorite Entertainers

Just as this world was getting a bit colder, a bit crueler, The Muppets come along and bring a much needed smile to the faces of fans everywhere. And if you’re not a fan — whether because, like Selena Gomez and Rico Rodriguez, you have never heard of Jim Henson’s beloved characters or you’re just a big, giant meanie — their new film will most certainly turn you into one.

The Muppets does act as a re-introduction of Kermit, Miss Piggy, and company to a universe pretty much moved on without them. But one fan — their biggest actually — hasn’t forgotten. His name is Walter, a Muppet from Smalltown, USA (which resembles River City, Iowa from The Music Man), who was raised by humans but nonetheless feels a bit out of place except when he watches recordings of their old television show. He does have one human companion, his loving brother Gary (Jason Segel, I Love You Man). They do everything together, like brush their teeth and perform in elaborate musical numbers so it doesn’t come as much as a surprise to Walter when Gary invites him to tag along on his and his girlfriend Mary’s (Amy Adams, Enchanted) “romantic” (i.e. chaste) getaway to sunny Los Angeles, California. There, they visit the dilapidated Muppet Studios where Walter accidentally overhears a plot by the evil billionaire Tex Richman (played by Academy Award-winner Chris Cooper, who looks like he’s having a load of fun embodying the Top 1%) to buy the lot and tear it down in order to drill for oil.

In on this maniacal plot are the original grumpy old men Statler and Waldorf, who casual blurt out in a moment of self-aware exposition that the only way to stop Tex Richaman is for The Muppets to raise the $10 million needed to buy back the studio. So, it’s up to Walter, Gary, and Mary to gather up the gang and to put on a show that will also double as a telethon. But it is a task, as The Muppets have since long broken up and are living in various parts of the world.

Co-writers Segel and Nicholas Stoller (Forgetting Sarah Marshall) and director James Bobin (Flight of the Conchords) have come up with is a truly nostalgic road trip down memory lane for the first half of the film, which is sprinkled with some pretty nifty reveals (Fozzie Bear works the Reno circuit performing with “The Moppets”, Gonzo owns a very successful plumbing company, Miss Piggy runs Vogue Magazine) and an awesome “let’s put on a show!” bravado (literally) for the second half. All-in-all, very entertaining.

And also very smart and very, very funny (at times the jokes come at you in a rapid pace). The film is very aware at how outdated The Muppets are perceived to be so the humans do act accordingly, from Cooper’s Richman to Rashida Jones’ cynical TV exec on one end of the spectrum to Segel and Adams’ wide-eyed optimists on the other and they all go for broke in their performances (including the many celeb cameos, from Neil Patrick Harris to Dave Grohl).

But ultimately, it’s about The Muppets. While it is fun to see the gang back together, the standout is new Muppet Walter. He best embodies the naive innocence we all experience as a child and the doubts of who we really are, which we go through most days as adults. That grounds the film more than the nostalgia. It gives it much needed heart. If there can be an Academy Award given to the best performance by a puppet, it would go to Walter.

The Muppets
The Muppets
Starring: Jason Segel, Amy Adams, Steve Whitmire, Eric Jacobson, Dave Goelz, Chris Cooper
Directed by: James Bobin
Writers: Jim Henson (characters), Jason Segel (screenplay), Nicholas Stoller (screenplay)
Studio: Mandeville Films, Muppets Studio, Walt Disney Pictures
Release Date: November 23, 2011

Rating:

9 / 10

Emmy Nominations 2011: Cable Dominates Dramas While Networks Take Consolation in Comedy

After all the campaigning and pleads for consideration, the nominations have been announced. As expected HBO and AMC took a majority of the drama nominations with Boardwalk Empire, Game of Thrones, and Mad Men. However several snubs included Joel Kinnaman from The Killing, Katey Sagal of Sons of Anarchy, Idris Elba of Luther, and William H. Macy of Shameless.

On the comedy side, all the edgy comedies such as Californication, Weeds, Hung, It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, The League, were shut out in favor of network shows like NBC’s Thursday night lineup (minus Community), The Big Bang Theory, Glee and gulp, Saturday Night Live?!

Favorites like Tina Fey, Kathy Bates, Edie Falco, Mariska Hargitay, Julianna Margulies, Hugh Laurie, Michael C. Hall, and Jon Hamm have become safe and favorite picks. Voters can’t bring themselves to vote for Ron Perlman, Charlie Hunnam, Kinnaman, Jeffrey Donovan, Matt Bomer, and others.

It’s puzzling. And while some shows like Justified finally broke into the Academy’s field of vision in the individual actor awards, the show overall was snubbed in the casting and outstanding drama categories.

USA continues do be shut out of any of the categories as their square peg “dramedies” don’t quite fit in any of the round pegs of drama, comedy or musical. Burn Notice got one emmy nomination for Sound Mixing. Tough crowd. Satisfied fans who like entertaining shows like White Collar that can be serious in one turn, be thrilled the next and left smiling are left with no representation. And AMC’s The Walking Dead only got recognized in a few technical categories like Makeup and Visual Effects, deservedly so, but nothing that would be considered a big score especially after it had been recognized by other awards shows leading up to today.

Below is a list of the major categories and a selection of the technical awards. For the full listing click here.

Academy of Television Arts & Sciences
63rd Primetime Emmy Award Nominations

Outstanding Drama Series
Boardwalk Empire
Dexter
Friday Night Lights
Game Of Thrones
The Good Wife
Mad Men

This wasn’t a case of being a prisoner in the moment. Game of Thrones is still fresh in people’s minds and deserves to be. Boardwalk Empire was sure to score a nom as was Mad Men. The Good Wife got some great attention this year. Friday Night Lights went out with a bang but Dexter could have taken a nomination from Justified.

Outstanding Lead Actor In A Drama Series
Steve Buscemi as Nucky Thompson – Boardwalk Empire
Michael C. Hall as Dexter Morgan – Dexter
Kyle Chandler as Coach Eric Taylor – Friday Night Lights
Hugh Laurie as Dr. Gregory House – House
Timothy Olyphant as Raylan Givens – Justified
Jon Hamm as Don Draper – Mad Men

With Bryan Cranston and Breaking Bad not eligible this year, the race is wide open and this category has some new faces and some familiar. Hamm and Laurie are back, while Buscemi was expected to be here for Boardwalk Empire. Olyphant got his first nomination for himself as well as Justified, it was well-deserved. Hall has unfortunately always had to compete with Cranston in the best seasons of Dexter, maybe this is his year, but Chandler may be a sentimental favorite.

Outstanding Lead Actress In A Drama Series
Connie Britton as Tami Taylor – Friday Night Lights
Julianna Margulies as Alicia Florrick – The Good Wife
Kathy Bates as Harriet “Harry” Korn – Harry’s Law
Mireille Enos as Sarah Linden – The Killing
Mariska Hargitay as Detective Olivia Benson – Law & Order: Special Victims Unit
Elisabeth Moss as Peggy Olson – Mad Men

Enos and Moss were good but not extra special. Hargitay–yawn–again? Bates, really? Britton and Margulies deserve to be here.  Where’s the love for Katey Sagal? Anna Torv also had an incredible year. Big outrage in a category that went safe instead of showcasing the best of the best.

Outstanding Supporting Actor In A Drama Series
Peter Dinklage as Tyrion Lannister – Game Of Thrones
Josh Charles as Will Gardner – The Good Wife
Alan Cumming as Eli Gold – The Good Wife
Walton Goggins as Boyd Crowder – Justified
John Slattery as Roger Sterling – Mad Men
Andre Braugher as Owen – Men Of A Certain Age

Now here’s a great race. Dinklage is great in everything he does, seriously go seek everything he’s done, especially Station Agent. Then you have the regal Braugher as the weekly highlight of Men of a Certain Age. Cumming has found a career high real in The Good Wife and Goggins is visually arresting as Boyd Crowder, one of the most interesting characters on television today.

Outstanding Supporting Actress In A Drama Series
Kelly Macdonald as Margaret Schroeder – Boardwalk Empire
Archie Panjabi as Kalinda Sharma – The Good Wife
Christine Baranski as Diane Lockhart – The Good Wife
Margo Martindale as Mags Bennett – Justified
Michelle Forbes as Mitch Larsen – The Killing
Christina Hendricks as Joan Harris – Mad Men

Ahh, here’s where Martindale and Macdonald show up and it will be a two-horse race. Both were something special in their respected show but was there anyone who terrified audiences as well as Mags Bennett? Forbes was convincing as the depressing Mitch Larson but she may have been a little too one-note for the Emmy. Game of Thrones fans may be surprised not to see Emilia Clarke.

boardwalk empire cast

Outstanding Casting For A Drama Series
Boardwalk Empire – HBO
Game Of Thrones – HBO
The Good Wife – CBS
The Killing – AMC
Mad Men – AMC

I always liked this category because it recognizes the great ensemble casts. However, again, it’s HBO at the top of this list with its two heavy-hitters. The Good Wife continues its momentum and The Killing makes a bit of a surprise entrance. Obviously here at BuzzFocus we would have loved to have seen some love given to Sons of Anarchy here or Justified.

Outstanding Writing for a Drama Series
Friday Night Lights “Always” DirecTV
Game Of Thrones “Baelor” HBO
The Killing “Pilot” AMC
Mad Men “The Suitcase” AMC
Mad Men “Blowing Smoke” AMC

Outstanding Comedy Series
The Big Bang Theory
Glee
Modern Family
The Office
Parks And Recreation
30 Rock

Wow, NBC looks like it cornered the market on comedy series. While we can agree that Parks and Recreation deserved to be there, it was down years for The Office, 30 Rock, and Fox’s musical drama Glee. Modern Family and Big Bang Theory are write-ins at this point and comes as no surprise. But no Community? No Louie?! No It’s Always Sunny?! Nothing animated, no edge, and no grit. This was a big letdown.

Outstanding Lead Actor In A Comedy Series
Jim Parsons as Sheldon Cooper – The Big Bang Theory
Johnny Galecki as Leonard Hofstadter – The Big Bang Theory
Matt LeBlanc as Matt LeBlanc – Episodes
Louis C.K. as Louie – Louie
Steve Carell as Michael Scott – The Office
Alec Baldwin as Jack Donaghy – 30 Rock

LeBlanc is a surprise name on this list, but one has to love Louis C.K. recognized for his phenomenally dark work on Louie. He does so much more than just act in this series but in my opinion, he’s a class all by himself. Parsons and Baldwin are heavy favorites but could cancel each other out. Carell will likely take it just for sentimental reasons. Gotta say though, Danny McBride (East Bound and Down) is long overdue for some recognition.

Outstanding Lead Actress In A Comedy Series
Edie Falco – Nurse Jackie
Tina Fey – 30 Rock
Laura Linney – The Big C
Melissa McCarthy – Mike and Molly
Martha Plimpton – Raising Hope
Amy Poehler – Parks and Recreation

We were six for six with our predictions for this category. All well-deserved.

Outstanding Supporting Actor In A Comedy Series
Chris Colfer as Kurt Hummel – Glee
Jesse Tyler Ferguson as Mitchell Pritchett – Modern Family
Ed O’Neill as Jay Pritchett – Modern Family
Eric Stonestreet as Cameron Tucker – Modern Family
Ty Burrell as Phil Dunphy – Modern Family
Jon Cryer as Alan Harper – Two And A Half Men

And the Emmy goes to… someone on Modern Family! This is why Colfer is going to take it home unless people still have pity for Cryer having to put up with Charlie Sheen for all of those years.

Outstanding Supporting Actress In A Comedy Series
Jane Lynch as Sue Sylvester – Glee
Betty White as Elka Ostrosky – Hot In Cleveland
Julie Bowen as Claire Dunphy – Modern Family
Sofia Vergara as Gloria Delgado-Pritchett – Modern Family
Kristen Wiig as Various characters – Saturday Night Live
Jane Krakowski as Jenna Maroney – 30 Rock

Everyone may be rooting for Betty White for her mouth-dropping lines in Hot in Cleveland, but I’m surprised by how funny Julie Bowen is on Modern Family. She does a lot of physical comedy and that always impresses me. Jane Lynch has been playing Sue Sylvester in too many other films and is allowed to swear whereas she’s not in Glee. Wiig is at times the only thing that saves SNL, but I can’t see her getting an Emmy for those skits. Krakowski gets hilarious material written for her on 30 Rock. I was hoping to see Allison Brie though for her Annie role on Community. And where’s Mary-Louise Parker?

dexter julia stiles

Outstanding Guest Actress In A Drama Series
The Closer -Mary McDonnell as Capt. Sharon Raydor
Dexter – Julia Stiles as Lumen Pierce
Grey’s Anatomy – Loretta Devine as Adele Webber
Mad Men – Randee Heller as Miss Blankenship
Mad Men – Cara Buono as Faye Miller
Shameless – Joan Cusack as Sheila Jackson
True Blood – Alfre Woodard as Ruby Jean Reynolds

Outstanding Guest Actor In A Drama Series
Big Love – Bruce Dern as Frank Harlow
Brothers & Sisters – Beau Bridges as Nick Brody
The Good Wife – Michael J. Fox as Louis Canning
Harry’s Law – Paul McCrane as Josh Peyton
Justified – Jeremy Davies as Dickie Bennett
Mad Men – Robert Morse as Bertram Cooper

Outstanding Guest Actor In A Comedy Series
The Big C -Idris Elba as Lenny
Modern Family – Nathan Lane as Pepper Saltzman
Saturday Night Live – Zach Galifianakis, Host
Saturday Night Live – Justin Timberlake, Host
30 Rock – Matt Damon as Carol
30 Rock – Will Arnett as Devin Banks

Outstanding Guest Actress In A Comedy Series
Glee – Kristin Chenoweth as April Rhodes
Glee – Dot-Marie Jones as Coach Beiste
Glee – Gwyneth Paltrow as Holly Holliday
Raising Hope – Cloris Leachman as Maw Maw
Saturday Night Live – Tina Fey, Host
30 Rock – Elizabeth Banks as Avery

Outstanding Casting For A Comedy Series
The Big C – Showtime
Glee – FOX
Modern Family -ABC
Nurse Jackie – Showtime
30 Rock – NBC

Good to see the casting of Nurse Jackie and The Big C make it in. 30 Rock and Glee had big guest-stars make big splashes in their otherwise ordinary seasons. Modern Family is a true ensemble delight but Glee and 30 Rock just don’t belong this year.

Outstanding Writing for a Comedy Series
30 Rock “Reaganing” NBC
The Office “Good-Bye Michael” NBC
Modern Family “Caught In The Act” ABC
Louie “Poker/Divorce” FX Networks
Episodes “Episode 107″ Showtime

Outstanding Writing For A Variety, Music Or Comedy Special
Colin Quinn: Long Story Short – HBO
Louis C.K.: Hilarious – EPIX
Night Of Too Many Stars: An Overbooked Benefit For Autism Education – Comedy Central
The Real Women Of SNL – NBC
64th Annual Tony Awards – CBS

It warms the heart to see the hilarious comedy of Louis C.K. reach so many other depressed people.

Outstanding Variety, Music Or Comedy Series
The Colbert Report – Comedy Central
Conan – TBS
Late Night With Jimmy Fallon – NBC
Real Time With Bill Maher • HBO
Saturday Night Live • NBC

It’s nice to see that no one forgot about Conan after the move to TBS and strangely in his old spot, Jimmy Fallon made a big impression this year. For some reason Bill Maher still impresses people and did they just run out of people to nominate, because how did Saturday Night Live make this list?


Outstanding Variety, Music Or Comedy Special
The Pee-Wee Herman Show On Broadway – HBO
Lady GaGa Presents The Monster Ball Tour: At Madison Square Garden – HBO
Bette Midler: The Showgirl Must Go On -HBO
The Kennedy Center Honors – CBS
Carrie Fisher In Wishful Drinking – HBO

Another category dominated by HBO. I have to admit to not seeing most of these specials, but these all look like can’t miss TV, especially the Carrie Fisher special, Pee Wee Herman on Broadway, Bette Midler and Lady Gaga? This has to be the oddest collection in one category.

robot chicken

Outstanding Animated Program
The Cleveland Show – “Murray Christmas” – FOX
Futurama – “The Late Philip J. Fry” – Comedy Central
Robot Chicken – “Star Wars Episode III” – Cartoon Network
The Simpsons – “Angry Dad – The Movie” – FOX
South Park – “Crack Baby Athletic Association” – Comedy Central

I hate that these are even separated from comedy but there’s not a bad nom on the list here. I expected a few more Adult Swim nominations but I’ll gladly take Robot Chicken take another Emmy home.

Outstanding Short-format Animated Program
Adventure Time – “It Came From The Nightosphere” – Cartoon Network
Disney Prep & Landing: – “Operation Secret Santa” – ABC
Regular Show – “Mordecai And The Rigbys” – Cartoon Network
Robot Chicken – “Robot Chicken’s DP Christmas Special” – Cartoon Network
SpongeBob SquarePants – “That Sinking Feeling” – Nickelodeon

Outstanding Voice-Over Performance
Desperate Housewives “Come On Over For Dinner” – Brenda Strong as Mary-Alice Young
Futurama “Lrrreconcilable Ndndifferences” – Maurice LaMarche as Lrrr & Orson Welles
The Looney Tunes Show “Jailbird And Jailbunny” – Bob Bergen as Porky Pig
Moguls & Movie Stars “The Birth Of Hollywood” – Christopher Plummer as Narrator
Robot Chicken “Catch Me If You Kangaroo Jack” Seth Green as Robot Chicken Nerd, Batman, Venger, Cobra Commander, Teenager, Judge, Newscaster, Light Cycle Driver
The Simpsons “Donnie Fatso” Dan Castellaneta as Homer Simpson, Krusty the Clown, Barney Gumble, Louie

Brenda Strong?! Are you kidding me? Someone’s just mad that this is another category dominated by animation. This is Robot Chicken’s third nomination today, and wouldn’t it be great to have Seth Green just to hear someone read off the list of characters he played in “Catch Me If You Kangaroo Jack”

Outstanding Miniseries/Made For Television Movie
Cinema Verite
Downton Abbey (Masterpiece)
The Kennedys
Mildred Pierce
The Pillars Of The Earth
Too Big To Fail

This is always HBO’s category and they dominated this category with Cinema Verite, Too Big to Fail and Mildred Pierce. It was nice to see The Kennedys recognized even though it was only on the air on the little known Reelz channel for a week. But The Kennedys kept other shows like Luther, and Carlos away from the spotlight.

Outstanding Lead Actor In A Miniseries Or A Movie
Edgar Ramirez as Carlos – Carlos • Sundance Channel
Greg Kinnear as John F. Kennedy – The Kennedys • ReelzChannel
Barry Pepper as Bobby Kennedy – The Kennedys • ReelzChannel
Idris Elba as John Luther – Luther • BBC America
Laurence Fishburne as Thurgood Marshall – Thurgood • HBO
William Hurt as Henry ‘Hank’ Paulson – Too Big To Fail • HBO

Some outstanding nominations here including Ramirez in Carlos and Elba in Luther. Mini-series about our nation’s past presidents always do well and both Kinnear and Pepper stand out in a stacked ensemble. As for Hurt, it seems he’s doing some of his best acting in this stage of his long career.

Outstanding Lead Actress In A Miniseries Or A Movie
Diane Lane as Patricia Loud – Cinema Verite
Elizabeth McGovern as Cora, Countess of Grantham – Downton Abbey (Masterpiece)
Kate Winslet as Mildred Pierce – Mildred Pierce
Taraji P. Henson as Tiffany Rubin – Taken From Me: The Tiffany Rubin Story
Jean Marsh as Rose Buck – Upstairs Downstairs (Masterpiece)

A very strong and stiff competition here and there are no complaints from me. And look at that, Henson (who is talented actress) got nominated for a Lifetime movie which is a network known for pumping out C-grade movies about the downtrodden woman.

Outstanding Supporting Actor In A Miniseries Or A Movie
The Kennedys – Tom Wilkinson as Joe Kennedy
Mildred Pierce – Brian F. O’Byrne as Bert Pierce
Guy Pearce as Monty Beragon
Mildred Pierce – Brian F. O’Byrne as Bert Pierce
Too Big To Fail – Paul Giamatti as Ben Bernanke
Too Big To Fail -James Woods as Richard Fuld

Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Miniseries or Movie
Downton Abbey (Masterpiece) – Maggie Smith as Violet, Dowager Countess of Grantham
Mildred Pierce – Evan Rachel Wood as Veda Pierce
Mildred Pierce – Melissa Leo as Lucy Gessler
Mildred Pierce – Mare Winningham as Ida
Upstairs Downstairs (Masterpiece) – Eileen Atkins as Lady Maud Holland

Outstanding Casting For A Miniseries, Movie Or A Special
Cinema Verite – HBO
Downton Abbey (Masterpiece) – PBS
Mildred Pierce – HBO
Too Big To Fail – HBO
Upstairs Downstairs (Masterpiece) – PBS

It’s always a two-network race in this category and Downton Abbey is a dark horse against Mildred Pierce and who I think is going to take this, Cinema Verite.

Outstanding Writing for a Miniseries, Movie or a Dramatic Special
Upstairs Downstairs (Masterpiece) – PBS
Too Big To Fail – HBO
Sherlock: A Study In Pink (Masterpiece) – PBS
Mildred Pierce – HBO
Downton Abbey (Masterpiece) – PBS

It’s the same old song for these mini-series categories, but hey, an appearance by Sherlock!

Outstanding Writing For A Variety, Music Or Comedy Series
The Colbert Report – Comedy Central
Conan – TBS
The Daily Show With Jon Stewart – Comedy Central
Late Night With Jimmy Fallon – NBC
Saturday Night Live – NBC

Outstanding Writing for Nonfiction Programming
Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations – Haiti
Freedom Riders • PBS
Gasland • HBO
Gettysburg • HISTORY
Moguls & Movie Stars • The Birth Of Hollywood • TCM

Outstanding Reality Program
MythBusters
Kathy Griffin: My Life On The D-List
Hoarders
Deadliest Catch
Antiques Roadshow
Undercover Boss

The death of Captain Phil Harris touched everyone’s hearts on Deadliest Catch. Yet another nomination for Kathy Griffin. Considering all of the air time on A & E devotes to reality programming I guess they had to get one sooner or later. Was surprised it was Hoarders. Geeks will be happy that Mythbusters made the list.

Outstanding Reality – Competition Program
The Amazing Race
Dancing With The Stars
So You Think You Can Dance
Top Chef

Surprised to see The Voice get shut out. This was probably Top Chef’s best season.

Outstanding Nonfiction Series
American Masters • PBS
Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations
Biography • BIO • Pangolin Pictures for BIO
Moguls & Movie Stars • TCM •
Pioneers Of Television • PBS
30 For 30 • ESPN • ESPN Films

I’ll bang the drums for ESPN’s 30 for 30 films to anyone who will listen. If you love documentaries, there was no sweeter collection of compelling stories and new angles aimed at cultural touchstones. No Reservations is the most culturally rich show on cable, and kudos to PBS for continuing to provide quality programming on public donations.

Outstanding Special Visual Effects For A Series
Boardwalk Empire “Pilot” HBO
The Borgias Showtime
Game Of Thrones “Fire And Blood” HBO
Stargate Universe “Awakening” Syfy
The Walking Dead “Days Gone Bye” AMC

Outstanding Special Visual Effects For A Miniseries, Movie Or A Special
Gettysburg – HISTORY
Mildred Pierce “Part Five” HBO
The Pillars Of The Earth “Witchcraft” – Starz
Sherlock: A Study In Pink (Masterpiece) – PBS

Outstanding Main Title Design
Any Human Heart (Masterpiece) – PBS
Boardwalk Empire – HBO
Game Of Thrones – HBO
Rubicon – AMC
Too Big To Fail – HBO

Well, at least Rubicon got recognized for something.

Outstanding Costumes For A Series
Boardwalk Empire “Anastasia” HBO
The Borgias “Lucrezia’s Wedding” Showtime
Game Of Thrones “The Pointy End” HBO
Glee “New York” FOX
Mad Men “The Beautiful Girls” AMC

Outstanding Costumes For A Miniseries, Movie Or A Special
Upstairs Downstairs (Masterpiece) “Part 1″ PBS
Mildred Pierce “Part Two” HBO
Cinema Verite – HBO
Downton Abbey (Masterpiece) “Part 1″ PBS

What do you think about the nominations? Who do you feel was snubbed? Who are you happy for?