Plenty of solid shows will be competing for top honors at this year's Emmy awards, but (as is always the case), there will also be plenty of solid shows that won't be competing.
That's how the cookie crumbles: with countless channels airing countless programs, there will always be quality television that slips under the Academy's radar. But over the course of TV history, there have been a few actors and shows that haven't been simply fallen to the wayside of the Emmys, they've been straight up glossed over. Snubbed.
As we approach this Sunday's ceremony, we took a look back at some of the bigger disappointments in Emmy history, the highlights of sitcoms and dramas that, for whatever reason, never earned their deserved statues.
Homicide Life on the Street/The Wire
Writer/Producer David Simon must have done something horrible in a past life. That seems like the only explanation for a man who's contributed to the world some of the best television of the past twenty years and has rarely seen love from the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences.
Simon's 1993 show Homicide: Life on the Street set a new tone for crime procedurals and only acquired a few supporting cast nods in its six year run. His HBO show The Wire is often referred to as the greatest TV show of all time and not once did it garner a nomination for Best Drama. His latest Treme is only in its second season, but from the get-go had critics raving.
So far, no love. Will Simon's series forever feel the cold backhand of Emmy snubs?
Sarah Michelle Gellar for Buffy
Trumpets are sounding for the return of Sarah Michelle Gellar to primetime television (her new show Ringer debuted last night), but it's not because of her starring roles in The Grudge or Scooby Doo 2: Monsters Unleashed. When Joss Whedon decided to to turn his mildly successful horror movie Buffy into a weekly TV show, he found the perfect hero in Geller, equal parts teen drama beauty and rough, vampire butt-kicker. Geller's performance combined with Whedon's snappy dialogue and imaginative plots helped Buffy transcend its home at the WB. Unfortunately, to Emmy voters, it would always be a "show for teenagers"—Whedon picked up nod once in seven season, while Geller never managed a nomination.
Former Letterman and Larry Sanders Show writer Paul Sims assembled a dream cast for his broadcast-centric office sitcom, but few would have known that at the time: Dave Foley (Kids in the Hall), Maura Tierney, Stephen Root, Andy Dick, Joe Rogen, Phil Hartman—the talent was in its infancy, but it was there. NewsRadio took a classic format and gave it a youthful edge. The result was five seasons of evolving characters, shorelines and humor, put to an untimely end by the death of Phil Hartman. Sadly, the show only earned one comedy nomination in its five season run: a posthumous, supporting nod for Hartman.
An American Family
The Emmy award for Outstanding Reality Program was only adopted by the Academy in 2001 and has since honored shows like The Osbournes, Queer Eye for the Straight Guy and Kathy Griffin: My Life on the D-List. But without 1971's An American Family, the idea of docudramas television—or even guilty pleasure trashy reality TV—may never have come to fruition. The show's premise was simple: document a family's life for six months. The show was cut into 12 revolutionary episodes, spawning spin-off series and the cinematic adaptation Cinema Verite, which aired on HBO this past year.
How many Emmys was it nominated for? Zip.
Desi Arnaz for I Love Lucy
Lucille Ball dominated the '50s sitcom scene with her tour-de-force performance of physical comedy, nabbing five Emmy nominations over the six year run of I Love Lucy. But while Ball's Chaplin-esque antics stand-out decades later, would she really be the legendary star she was without her co-star and then-husband Desi Arnaz?
Arnaz was the Michael Bluth of his time, the straight man counterpart to Ball's whacked out troublemaker. He's best known for throwing his hands in the air, crying "Luuuuccyyyyy!" and stirring up the occasional "Babalu" musical number, but even Arnaz was prone to jumping into Ball's crazy plots. He was a rock of the sitcom block, yet not once in his lengthy career did Arnaz find himself on the Emmy's list of contenders.
Josh Holloway for LOST
Until the final season, it was looking like none of LOST's "lead" actors would see love from the Emmys. That is, until star Matthew Fox squeezed one out as the mind-bending drama crossed the finish line.
LOST has been the object of The Emmys' affection in all categories, but with talent, it's been severely unappreciative. Case in point: Josh Holloway, James "Sawyer" Ford, never picking up a nod. While Fox's nomination was deserved, Holloway was the show's perfect foil and his work in Season Three, when his relationships with Jack and Kate really evolve, helped turn Sawyer into a three-dimensional character that mostly actors can rarely achieve.
Any chance we can go back and just throw him an Emmy after the fact?
Ed O'Neill and Katey Segal for Married with Children
On the opposite end of the brilliant performance spectrum lies Ed O'Neill and Katey Segal as the crass (but lovable) couple Al and Peggy from Married with Children. The show was the debut sitcom when Fox launched in 1987 and helped define the network as a…a youth-centric alternative to the stuffy mainstream channels. That probably didn't help Married with Children round up award nominations (after 11 seasons, it only gained technical noms), but history will forever have a place for Al and Peggy. At that point, audiences hadn't seen anything that filthy, that wrong—which makes O'Neill and Segal selling it one of the bigger snubs in Emmy history.
Lauren Graham for Gilmore Girls
Another case where the Academy can't look past the marketing of a show. Gilmore Girls was another WB/CW comedy pegged by most as a small screen interpretation of the "chick flick," light, fluffy and stale. Quite unfortunate, as Gilmore Girls had one of the sharpest wits on TV thanks to the lightning-fast writing of creator Amy Sherman and a charming lead performance by Lauren Graham. The actress' character Lorelai could have been another comedy mom, but Graham elevated her above Reba-style, surface level caricature to dimensional (but funny!) human being. In an era where Desperate Housewives and Sex in the City were dominating the lead actress category year after year, Graham remains one of the hardest working and underappreciated performers of the 2000s.
Taking genre television seriously has never been the Emmys' strong suit, but when a sci-fi show takes itself seriously enough, people start listening…and watching. Syfy's Battlestar Galactica felt like a breath of fresh air amidst a sea of cornball, syndicated genre crap, diving head first into heady character drama and political intrigue with a few robots thrown in for good measure. The talent gained plenty of critical response—most notably the stand out performance by Katee Sackoff as the tough, female pilot Starbuck—but, alas, Battlestar was confined (like its sci-fi drama predecessors) to a lifetime of technical awards. Yes, the special effects were dazzling—but so was the riveting drama. The show (and the genre as a whole) could have used the Emmy love.
Nick Offerman for Parks & Recreation
As the NBC comedy Parks and Recreation prepares for its fourth season (with destiny unknown), we have an important message for the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences: don't you dare let Nick Offerman be a permanent staple on this list.
Offerman's Ron Swanson is P&R's head grump, the yin to Amy Poehler's hyper-enthusiastic Leslie Knope yang. While they can often be found butting heads, their continued friendship is the glue that keeps Pawnee, Indiana's Parks Department (and the show) together. Offerman paints Ron with a perpetual frown, usually clouded by his sizable mustache. But once in awhile Ron slips a smile (or, even rarer, a drunken tiny hat dance) and in those few seconds Offerman pulls off a complete 180 and warms audiences' hearts. Parks and Recreation began in the shadow of The Office, but thanks to guys like Ron Swanson, has become the more fulfilling of the two shows.
It’s been a while since we’ve hit the palms with our foreheads, but news today deserves nothing better. For you see, the powers that be have decided that Buffy the Vampire Slayer (the FILM, not the TV show [not yet at least, thank god]) needs a reboot. A reboot without Joss Whedon.
Granted, I know that Whedon is considered among nerds to be a God amongst mortals, but whether you like him or not you gotta admit that a Buffy without Whedon is just silly. It would be like doing an Avatar without James Cameron or The Office without Ricky Gervais. Just the mere thought of them doing this... wait a second. They did do an Office without Ricky Gervais. That doesn’t really hold up at all.
And wait a second, this isn’t the first time this has happened either. A year and half ago, there were news reports that they were doing the exact same thing to Buffy (all new cast, no Joss, no connections whatsoever) in order to try and strong arm Whedon into being a part of the production. Since we’ve been down this road before and nothing happened, maybe it will be the same. After all, the only thing different is this time they’ve hired a screenwriter Whit Anderson.
So will this get made? Hopefully not, but it appears the people behind it are adamant about it whether Joss Whedon wants to or not. It’s definitely not a good idea, but if they own the rights to the property they can unfortunately do what they want with it. I doubt Whedon will step in to save this because he’s kind of busy with a slightly larger film called The Avengers, but keep your steaks handy just in case.
Source: Deadline and Pajiba
After more than four years of wrangling, the movie that has been in talks since 1996 has finally been made. Scooby-Doo, starring Matthew Lillard as Shaggy, Sarah Michelle Gellar as Daphne, Freddie Prinze Jr. as Fred and Linda Cardellini as Velma, is slated for release June 16, 2002.
Rumors have been flying about this movie since its inception, and everything from the cast to the script and especially the Great Dane has been grist for the mill.
Some of the rumors are pretty tantalizing.
Zoinks..we've landed on Spooky Island
Fans will reportedly find out why there is a flower painted on the side of the Mystery Machine (which reportedly comes equipped with a barbecue grill and a bean bag chair) and why Fred wears that orange ascot around his neck.
There has also been talk about the story line. While the Hanna-Barbera Saturday morning cartoon relied on the four teens stumbling on to a mystery only to uncover the rubber-masked villain at the end, the story here will attempt more character development and explore personal conflicts. Daphne, for example, grows tired of always being the damsel in distress, while Velma gets sick of always being typecast as the brainy one.
The basic plot has the gang heading off in the Mystery Machine to Spooky Island, a hot resort for college students on spring break, to solve the latest mystery.
Scooby-Doo has had its fair share of negative publicity, which seemed to surround the picture from the start. Changes in directors, screenwriters and cast members, which are often seen as an omen in the entertainment industry, didn't help things. And they might have gotten away with it, if it wasn't for those meddling kids.
Despite all the mayhem, the film began shooting last February in Australia and wrapped in June.
During production, Warner Bros. invited nine movie-news Web sites to Australia to visit the film set and get a glimpse at some of the characters in full costume (Hollywood.com was not one of them). According to The Hollywood Reporter, the visits, courtesy of WB, were meant to dispel negative buzz about the movie. It seems to have worked.
Let's split up. Daphne and I will go this way...
Sporting a blonde 'do, Prinze bragged about the casting for Scooby-Doo in an interview with Hollywood.com. "We have the best casting you've ever seen for a movie period. [Sarah] is Daphne-and she's in love with Fred."
That would explain why Fred and Daphne spend so much time together in the Mystery Machine.
"Matthew Lillard does the best Shaggy you've ever seen. He even does the voice crack," he laughs. "Casey Kasem on his best day wishes he could do Shaggy as well as Matt. Linda Cardellini also does [Velma] well. It's sick; it's uncanny! I don't know how they do it."
Rowan Atkinson plays the villain, Mondavarious. Scott Innes, who has voiced Scooby-Doo in the last five movies, will continue the tradition for this new installment, this time as a CGI creation.
Like, it's old pumpkin' puss
The buxom Jennifer Love Hewitt had originally been offered the role of Daphne with The Addams Family's Christina Ricci as Velma. Of course much ado was made about who would play the role of Shaggy, with Rhys Ifans (Notting Hill) once at the top of the list. Eventually, the right cast was rounded up. If they'd only figured that out sooner, they would have been halfway towards solving this mystery!
A number of directors were also attached to the movie before Raja Gosnell (Never Been Kissed, Big Momma's House) chose to helm the project, including Kevin Smith and Tim Burton. The gig was apparently a toss up for Gosnell, who at the time was also considering directing the sci-fi, action-adventure flick Fantastic Four.
The final script was penned by Craig Titley, Andrew Gunn and John August, but went through its own chain of tumultuous changes. Mike Myers, of Wayne's World and Austin Powers fame, reportedly wrote a script that was so terrible it was actually turned down. Gulp! Myers was also supposed to play one of the villains in the film.
Ree hee hee! It looks like Scooby-Doo fans will undoubtedly have something to look forward to next summer.