I’m headed to the set of Glee and The New Normal today, (Tweet me your questions: @LeanneAguilera) so I’m keeping this intro short and sweet. The week’s edition of Leanne’s Spoiler List is filled with five fantastic shows! I chatted with the lovely Megan Hilty of Smash to find out what’s next for Ivy’s love life, and gathered scoop on what’s coming up for Hannah and the gang on Girls. I also hit up the FOX all-star party to find out what’s happening for the Raising Hope wedding bells and watched future episodes of Shameless and American Horror Story: Asylum to snag some crazy spoilers. Read on for all the TV fun below!
1. Girls: Cocaine-Induced Craziness
Oh em effing gee this season of Girls is amaze. I’ve only seen then first four episodes (subtle brag intended) and I’m already counting down the days til Lena Dunham wins her next Golden Globe. This Sunday’s episode, “I Get Ideas,” is truly fantastic. It has everything you could ever need: puppies, attempted restraining orders, high-waisted shorts and the return of Missy Elliot in the world of pop culture. Donald Glover is back as Hannah’s kinda, sorta, but oh-so hot boyfriend and spoiler alert: He’s a Republican. This of course is not a quality that Elijah deems admirable, but he really doesn’t get any say in this considering he had sex with Marnie for like “two and a half pumps.” And yes, that hilarious matter will be addressed soonish. But as great as the second episode is, the third (“Bad Friend”) is quite possibly the best thirty minutes of my entire life. And I’ve lived 23 phenomenal years so far.
If you thought Shoshanna on crack was incredible, just wait until you see Hannah and Elijah’s wild cocaine-induced adventure. Warning: You will see Hannah’s lady buttons, out and proud for the majority of the episode. And it’s both distracting and entertaining. Our leading lady is looking for some writing inspiration, so she does what any early-to-mid-twenties NYC girl would do: She asks her junkie neighbor if he could hook her up with some illegal drugs. (Writer's Note: I don’t actually live in New York so I have no idea if that last statement is entirely true. Editor's Note: Totally true.) The result is a laugh-out-loud, call your best friend and tell her you love her experience that only Girls could create.
2. American Horror Story: Asylum: Time Jumps Galore!
“What the eff was that?” Those were the exact words I though to myself after I finished this week’s all-new episode of American Horror Story: Asylum. We all know that this season has been absolutely one hundred percent batshit rocking back-and-forth in a corner crazy, and tonight’s episode, “Continuum,” is just as bizarre as the rest of them. The episode is divided into four chapters through a series of fast-paced time jumps: The Kit-centric storyline is set in 1967, Jude’s (or should I say Betty Drake’s) tale takes place in 1968, and Lana’s story in 1969. The final segment is a quick capper that fast-forwards the fans to an unknown year, starring Johnny Morgan (Dylan McDermott) completely scaring the crap out of an old woman.
While all four storylines are intriguing in their own psychotic way, Kit’s journey in “Continuum” is definitely the most horrific. Last week we saw that Alma is actually alive after Kit had already proposed to Grace. Ruh Roh! So, what’s a fella to do when he loves two women and has a child with each of them? Answer: Become one big dysfunctional family living under the same roof. Plus, attention ladies: Kit spends a few key scenes in his tighty-whities! True he’s splattered with blood while he’s wearing them, but come on — we’ve seen way worse on this series. Overall, Kit’s progression throughout the episode is heart breaking, and we’re starting to get the sense that Ryan Murphy does not want to end this season on a happy note. Sigh.
3. Shameless: The Baby Whisperer
Shameless is back, and I’m going to be totally honest when I say it’s better than ever. Last week we saw that after 137 days, Frank returned to his family and was welcomed with a less than enthusiactic reponse. Well, except for Debbie. This week we see that Debbie is still over the moon to have her dysfunctional dad back in her life, but of course, leave it to Frank to break a young girl’s heart in just a few short hours. The result is one of the most hilarious and satisfying scenes we’ve ever seen on Shameless. When I caught up with William H. Macy last week, he revealed that doing that scene was a challenge. “Emma, who plays Debbie, was pretty timid at first, but once she got going she really rattled my brain. I always take quite a beating on this show.”
Also in “The American Dream,” fans will see that Sheila and Jody are doing their best to quiet down the worlds most obnoxious baby. I love this show more than most of my shoes, but I swear if they don’t find a cure for this baby’s crying, then I seriously just might have to watch it on mute. Luckily it looks like Frank is also known as the baby whisperer and he’s able to quiet the little tyke down. I’m not sure if Frank's methods are considered legal, but at least the demon baby stops crying right?
4. Raising Hope: A Modern Wedding
Confession: I’ve recently rediscovered how much I love this show. Back when I was just a little baby journalist, (Ahem, that would be a year ago) my very first interviews were with the stars of Raising Hope. Luckily the cast was sweet and did not make me cry, so I continued on with my career choice. I was on set for last year’s Valentine’s Day episode, when Sabrina finally realized that she had feelings for Jimmy. It was oh-so adorable, and now the two crazy kids are getting married! Even though I wasn’t invited to the wedding, (Um, rude.) Shannon Woodward recently told me that it’s going to be an fantastic, spoof-filled episode. “Melanie Griffith’s character, who plays Sabrina’s mother, she decides not to come to the wedding… So instead of coming to the wedding she hires the film crew from Modern Family to document Jimmy and Sabrina’s wedding.” The actress continues, “Which is basically an amazing way of saying that this episode is exactly like Modern Family — we talk to the cameras, and for one episode it’s like a completely different show.” That. Sounds. Amazing.
Obviously this is going to be the TV wedding to watch this season, (airing Jan. 29 bee tee dubs) but according to Woodward the Natesville nuptials are not going to be the main focus of the episode. “It was really fun, but there is a huge surprise that I’m not allowed to say… but I can say that it is so big that the wedding is almost the B story. You will never guess it. There’s no way you’ll guess it, but it’s worth watching.” I pried and pleaded and even complemented her cute shoes, but she would not divulge the big secret. Grrr. However, she did tell me that there are plenty of other hilarious episodes coming up before and after the wedding. First up are the bachelor and bachelorette parties in an episode called "What Happens at Howdy's Doesn't Stay at Howdy's." Woodward explains, “Something crazy does happen, and it may involve Jimmy marrying a man by accident.” There is also a honeymoon two-parter in which Jimmy and Sabrina visit Los Angeles, end up on the set of a children’s TV show, and somehow involve monkeys. Sounds like a normal vaycay to me!
5. Twitter Question: @markisawimp: Saw 1st hour of Smash s2 & LOVED it, esp the opening Marilyn no. & Jimmy's song! Any good ep2 scoop?!
Why hello there fellow Smash lover! I’m so glad that you enjoyed the first hour of our beloved musical theater drama, and for those who are yet to witness the amazingness you can watch it here. But please don’t even get me started on Jimmy’s song, I swoon, pass out and then bump my head each and every time I watch it (So far I’m up to 9 concussions but it’s so good that I just can’t stop!). Funny you should ask about scoop, because I have tons from when I stalked chatted with the Smash stars last week at the NBC TCA Press Tour party. Megan Hilty — the sweetest girl you’ll ever meet — is just as excited as the fans for the new season to start. In the second episode you’ll witness one of the most gorgeous Ivy solos you’ve ever heard, but she steps on Karen’s toes as Marilyn to be able to sing it. Hilty says that Ivy has a difficult journey ahead of her this season. “She’s forced to really look at her life and ultimately realize that she needs to make some changes, both personally and professionally.”
If you’re hoping Ivy’s personal life will include a new fella, you might have a wait a bit. “For right now, she needs to figure things out for herself first before she can be good for anybody else. Maybe she needs a plant or a dog or something.” Another key aspect of Ivy’s past will be coming back this season: her mother. That’s right: Broadway legend Bernadette Peters will reprise her role as Leigh Conroy, the fabulously fierce musical theater star. Hilty explains that their strained mother/daughter relationship is something that will definitely be addressed. “They’re also trying to mend things between them, but its difficult. They’re two very different personalities and very strong women. It’s a little tumultuous but they’re working towards it.” Be on the look out for more Smash scoop from yours truly as we get closer and closer to the premiere.
Are you excited for the season premiere of Smash? What do you think the “huge surprise” is going to be on the Raising Hope wedding? Want to party with Lena Dunham on Girls? Tell me everything in the comments below!
Follow Leanne on Twitter @LeanneAguilera
[Photo Credit: HBO, Showtime, FX, FOX, NBC]
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Ready for late night television to throw you for a loop? Well, if you missed it Monday night, Ben Affleck was in two places at once: on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon and Jimmy Kimmel LIVE!. But it gets weirder than that. Not only was Affleck on both shows, it was as if the Jimmys shared their interview notes beforehand — both hosts had similar questions to ask Affleck.
But without further ado, here's what happened last night on late night television:
Late Night with Jimmy Fallon
Ben Affleck truly is making the late night rounds. He stopped by Fallon Monday night to share a story about sneaking to New York City with Matt Damon as a teenager to audition for different parts... and to get some underage booze. "In Boston, they were pretty tough on the liquor laws," Affleck said. "Here, any Korean grocer of any kind will sell an 11-year-old a case. So the whole point of coming up here wasn't so much the audition as it was the three-day blackout." The actor-director also talked about his new movie, Argo, which will be released Oct. 12. Affleck compared the experience of directing himself to, ahem, spending some alone time with his hands. "I have never said this before," he stated. "It's a little like masturbation. You kind of know what you want, where you're going. It's intuitive."
Jimmy Kimmel LIVE!
Besides Fallon, Affleck also appeared on Kimmel! And the late night host also asked Affleck the same question that Fallon had: What it was like for Affleck to direct himself in Argo? But Affleck answered differently. This time, he said that he was wary about having people stay on set too long to refilm different takes of his scenes. "I talked to Kevin Costner, Warren Beatty. I talked to George Clooney," Affleck said. "The one thing they all said was, 'There's a tendency to film 10 takes, and then the camera gets to me, and I'll just do one and go home. You are embarrassed. The thing is, you get to the editing room and you don't have enough material.' It got to me... to take number nine... you can see everyone wants to go home. I was running around being like, 'Warren Beatty thinks you guys should stay here.'" Good maneuver, Captain Affleck.
Late Show with David Letterman
Max Greenfield told Letterman the story about how he was attacked by an ostrich at the Six Flags Great Adventure drive-through safari in Jersey as a teenager. "We went there and I was a senior in high school," Greenfield recalled. "They say don't stop the car. Sure enough, [my friend] stops the car by the ostriches. I'm in the backseat and our other friend Ryan is in the front seat. He keeps reaching back knocking my arms away because I'm trying to hold up the windows. As one ostrich is coming this way, and I'm looking out the window face-to-face, these guys are having so much fun." But it wasn't just one ostrich that was after Greenfield. "Meanwhile, this side, this one pops its head into the car," Greenfield continued. "I turn around and all of a sudden... this is it. I'm looking at it right in the face. He could have killed me at any second. He looked at me in that moment, much like my father has looked at me, which is like, 'I'm not angry with you, but boy, I'm disappointed.'"
The Tonight Show with Jay Leno
Arnold Schwarzenegger continued his contrition and book tour promote new memoir Total Recall: My Unbelievably True Life Story and win back his ex-wife, Maria Shriver. He talked to Leno about how uncomfortable it was to watch his 60 Minutes interview last week during which he was grilled about the secrets he revealed in his memoir about his affair with Mildred Baena. "It was very tough to do the interview and be questioned by Leslie Stahl and probably even more painful to watch it," he admitted. "It's my fault. It's my doing." He then again confessed to still having strong feelings for his estranged wife: "I'm very much in love with her." Do you feel bad for Schwarzenegger yet?
Follow Lindsey on Twitter @LDiMat.
[Photo Credit: Fallon]
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In July, when Jimmy Kimmel and Kerry Washington announced the 2012 Emmy nominees, TV fans were shocked that American Horror Story was nominated for a whopping 17 different awards, tying critical darling Mad Men for the most nods. It wasn't a lack of quality that made the nominations surprising — the FX fright fest is quite good. It wasn't its risqué subject matter that made the nods a surprise — we're all used to ghosts in gimp costumes impregnating national treasures like Connie Britton. (Speaking of national treasures, Dylan McDermott's ass needs its own special trophy.) No, the shock came from how the show nabbed all its awards. American Horror Story submitted itself as a miniseries. Say what?!
Yes, AHS and all its actors, ghosts, and ghouls were submitted in the Miniseries or Movie category, one that is typically left to HBO to root and pillage like vikings in a defenseless village. But AHS's placement wasn't the only oddity amongst the nominees. Also, Downton Abbey, the former winner in the Miniseries or Movie category, is now in contention for Best Drama. Add to that the vagaries of some of the actors who qualified for either Guest Star, Lead Actor, or Supporting Actor categories, and it seems like what was once cut and dried between comedy and drama — those indelible masks badly tattooed on so many theater majors — isn't so cut and dried any more. Are certain shows trying to game the Emmys to get more nominations?
It might seem that way to the untrained eye. It's not unthinkable to assume shows like American Horror Story and ABC's canceled drama Missing, which secured a nomination for star Ashely Judd in the Best Actress in a Mini-Series or Movie category, were simply shoehorning themselves into a category so they'd have a better shot. Best Drama is a crowded field with a lot of competition. Why not try something that would make your show stand out?
That case, however, is difficult to prove when it comes to American Horror Story. According to the rules for the awards laid out by the Academy for Television Arts and Sciences, the producers of any show can submit itself in any category and the Academy will decide to accept it or not. When it comes down to a show that could qualify for either, the producers decide which category the show should submit for and the Board of Governors ratifies the choice. "The Awards Committee (and the Board of Governors) approved AHS's request to be classified per the above rule, because it's a hybrid of both drama series and miniseries elements," the Academy said in a statement when the nominations were announced. According to the bylaws, the Academy defines a miniseries as "a single theme or story line, which is resolved within the piece. In a single awards year all of the parts must be presented under the same title and have continuity of production supervision."
Though AHS had already scheduled its second season by the time the nominations rolled around, the FX series also announced the second season would have new actors, a new storyline, and bear little resemblance to the first season. That seems to satisfy the conditions of the rule... though that doesn't keep many TV viewers from thinking the show should compete as a Drama Series (described as a show "in which the ongoing theme, storyline, and main characters are presented under the same title and have continuity of production supervision") apart from true miniseries like Hatfields & McCoys.
The rules, however, hardly faze Connie Britton, who was nominated for Best Actress in a Miniseries of Movie. "That’s all technical stuff that I never paid very much attention to," she tells Hollywood.com "I kind of just got an e-mail about it and I thought, okay! It didn’t really mean anything to me one way or the other. It made sense to me, because it is a limited run show, and it’s a completely different formula than anything else that’s on TV and it makes sense that it has a different category. I just thought, oh yeah, why not?"
While Britton didn't deliberate on which category she would be competing in, Missing creator and executive producer Greg Poirier put a lot of consideration into the process before submitting his show in the Miniseries category. Poirier intended the show to last for several seasons, but was forced to rejigger his Emmy submissions after Missing was cancelled by ABC after its first season. "[A closed ending] was always something that I insisted upon, so that if we didn't get renewed, it would be a closed down story," he says. "I didn't want to be one of the shows when you get to the end of the first season and you didn't finish your story. I wanted to have the potential to go on if we wanted to, but it ended up being a single series show."
And Poirier feels Missing abides by the Academy's Miniseries rules. "It was open and closed and started a story and finished a story," he says. "If we went on to more seasons we wouldn't have done that." Still, Poirier insists star Ashley Judd still would have been nominated if he had submitted to the Drama category.
It does seem, however, that the absence of one more show in the Miniseries category did help Judd get her recognition. At the 2011 Emmys, Downton won four awards in the Miniseries category — and boasted one nomination in the Miniseries acting category — even though the first episode of the second season of the show premiered in England a week before the trophies were handed out. This year, the Board of Directors booted the show to the Drama category, where it might have belonged all along. "Now that Downton has finished its second season (and is preparing a third), the Primetime Awards Committee considers it to have transitioned from a stand-alone miniseries...to a Drama Series," the Academy said in a release when the nominations were announced.
While there is some leeway surrounding which category a show can enter, there is also grey area surrounding the acting categories: Is a role Lead or Supporting? Unlike the Miniseries rulings, these distinctions are not made by the Academy, but by whoever is submitting the actor for contention. That's why we see all the Modern Family actors submitted in the Supporting category — the cast has often stated that they see themselves as an ensemble.
There's more clarity in the Guest Actor categories, even if it appears some actors are stretching the definition of "guest" when placing themselves in the category. Actors' contracts determine whether they are a guest or not in any particular show. Yes, that means nominees Joan Cusack, who was in nearly every episode of Shameless; Uma Thurman, who was around for quite a bit of Smash; and Dot-Marie Jones, a regular character on Glee, are all described in their contracts as "guests." According to Emmy rules, they must also submit a copy of their contract to be considered. A Hollywood agent, who has knowledge of telelvision deals with guest stars, says that some bigger celebs request guest status so that they won't be in "first position" with a TV show, where the show could demand they film episodes rather than make a more lucrative movie. It also is a question of money — a guest can make more (or less) than the other contracted players.
So how about Saturday Night Live? Why were hosts of the sketch comedy show nominated as guests while SNL performers were nominated in the Comedy category? Putting SNL, which is more of a variety show, up against something like The Big Bang Theory seems like comparing apples and nerds, but there is a very simple explanation for why Kristen Wiig is competing with Mayim Bialik and Bill Hader is up against everyone with male genitalia on Modern Family: There is no category for Best Variety Performance. The Academy got rid of it in 2009. Oh, we must do something to save these poor orphans — that's why they're lumped in with the sitcom stars.
For the not-yet-ready-for-primetime-players, this is an age-old problem, but some of these questions are a result of the new media age we live in. If things seem complicated now and it appears like producers are trying to put one over on the Academy and the viewers, it's only going to get worse. When we have miniseries, Web series, download-only-series, not-available-on-Dish-series, and everything in between, the Academy may require a new set of rules (or a new set of categories) to keep them all straight. As for now, the Emmys have a pretty iron-clad rule book. And even though it may not always seem by it, everyone is entitled to play by the rules.
Follow Brian Moylan on Twitter @BrianJMoylan
[Photo Credit: AP Photo]
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Hosting an awards show is a thankless job. Even if you do well, it's likely few will really remember you. If you really fudge it up (and you know I didn't really want to say fudge right there), then it can be a stain on the rest of your career. And that is the challenge that Jimmy Kimmel faces when he hosts the 64th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards (as they're called on their long-form birth certificate) on Sept. 23.
So what advice can we give him? Since we can only judge based on past awards shows, let's look back at the history books. How can he be as successful as some who have gone before him?
Sing a Song: Know who kills as a host of the Emmys, Tonys, Grammys, Kid's Choice Awards, Ari Weisenberg's Bar Mitzvah, or any thing that he has ever hosted or will ever host in his whole life? Neil Patrick Harris. What does he always start with? A jazzy song and dance number. Come on, Jimmy, we know that you masterminded "I'm Fudging Ben Affleck." That is exactly what the Emmys need: A viral hit.
Script Something: Remember when the Emmys finally deigned to give the reality show hosts their own category, and in celebration, had all the nominees host the show that year? Yes, it was a national nightmare. They actually came out on stage and said, "Just like in reality, we have nothing planned." For real. Now, that is fudging ridiculous. (This is why you have a bad rap, reality.) And we shall never forgive Tom Bergeron, Heidi Klum, Howie Mandell, Jeff Probst, or Ryan Seacrest for perpetrating this on us.
Be Alone: A good host should act like a good boyfriend — he should make you feel like you're the most important person in the world, and, in turn, you should only want to focus on him. Look at how awful it was when the reality group hosted. Then, in 2003, there was like 11 hosts. No, there was lit-rally, to quote Rachel Zoe, 11 hosts. We can't even remember one. And who cares! Just let one guy do it. Don't share, Jimmy. Don't you dare.
Host a News Show: There are a surprising number of journalists who have hosted the show: Jane Pauley, Hugh Downs, Bryant Gumbel, Jon Stewart, Chet Huntley. That's weird. So perhaps Kimmel should get a lined notebook and put a card that said "Press" in his hat. Or maybe not. There's a reason why Anderson Cooper doesn't have this gig.
Have a Long Skinny Microphone: Television personality Art Linkletter hosted the Emmys twice. Let's remember the good ol' days of mid-century game shows and equip Kimmel with one of those long skinny microphones like on Match Game or one of Linkletter's programs. That would be so rad.
Differentiate Yourself: I have a really hard time keeping Jimmy Kimmel and Jimmy Fallon separate. They're like the Dylan McDermott and Dermot Mulroney of late night TV. And since Fallon just hosted the Emmys in 2010, Kimmel really has to do something different unless he wants the two of them to be the Selena Gomez and Demi Lovato of Emmy Hosts. Fallon did that whole canned opening with the cast of Glee. Please don't do that. Please, no Glee.
Come Out: Seriously, the hosts of the Emmys are gayer than Richard Simmons' headband collection. The aforementioned NPH, Jane Lynch, Wanda Sykes, Ellen DeGeneres (multiple times!), David Hyde Pierce, Raymond Burr, Joan Rivers (an honorary inductee). Still, there must be something that connects the gay gene with the hosting gene. How about Jimmy get some of that? Wait, maybe we should call Anderson Cooper after all. Either way, I'm sure Ben Affleck will be thrilled to help out.
Follow Brian Moylan on Twitter @BrianJMoylan
[Photo Credit: ABC]
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