It's Emmy time! The 64th Primetime Emmy Awards nominations are here, and the television industry will no doubt be audibly buzzing over the next two months leading up to the awards telecast on Sept. 23rd (which will be hosted by Jimmy Kimmel).
Kimmel (who stepped in for scheduled presenter Nick Offerman, wearing nothing but his pajamas) and Kerry Washington announced the nominees from North Hollywood early this morning. So who made the cut?
American Horror Story and Mad Men emerged on the top, with 17 nominations each. Downton Abbey, in its first year submitting as a regular drama series, swept through the acting categories with the aplomb of an experienced butler: in addition to six acting nods, the show earned 16 nominations (along with the miniseries Hatfields & McCoys). Hemingway & Gellhorn earned 15, Modern Family and Saturday Night Live both earned 14, and Breaking Bad (which rewarded not only Walt, but Jesse, Gus, Skyler and Tio!), 30 Rock and Sherlock: A Scandal in Belgravia each rounded out the top with 13 noms. See the rest below: Best Drama SeriesBoardwalk Empire Breaking Bad Downton Abbey Game of Thrones Homeland Mad Men Best Comedy SeriesThe Big Bang Theory Curb Your Enthusiasm Girls Modern Family 30 Rock Veep Best Leading Actor in a Drama SeriesHugh Bonneville, Downton Abbey Steve Buscemi, Boardwalk Empire Bryan Cranston, Breaking Bad Michael C. Hall, Dexter Jon Hamm, Mad Men Damian Lewis, Homeland Best Leading Actor in a Comedy SeriesAlec Baldwin, 30 Rock 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 Best Leading Actress in a Drama SeriesKathy Bates, Harry's Law Glenn Close, Damages Claire Danes, Homeland Michelle Dockery, Downton Abbey Julianna Margulies, The Good Wife Elisabeth Moss, Mad Men Best Leading Actress in a Comedy Series Zooey Deschanel, New Girl Lena Dunham, Girls Edie Falco, Nurse Jackie Tina Fey, 30 Rock Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Veep Melissa McCarthy, Mike & Molly Amy Poehler, Parks & Recreation Best Miniseries or MovieAmerican Horror Story Game Change Hatfields & McCoys Hemingway & Gellhorn Luther Sherlock Best Leading Actor in a Miniseries or MovieWoody Harrelson, Game Change Clive Owen, Hemingway & Gellhorn Benedict Cumberbatch, Sherlock: A Scandal in Belgravia (Masterpiece) Idris Elba, Luther Kevin Costner, Hatfields & McCoys Bill Paxton, Hatfields & McCoys Best Leading Actress in a Miniseries or MovieJulianne Moore, Game Change Connie Britton, American Horror Story Nicole Kidman, Hemingway & Gellhorn Emma Thompson, The Song of Lunch (Masterpiece) Ashley Judd, Missing Best Reality CompetitionThe Amazing Race Dancing With The Stars Project Runway So You Think You Can Dance Top Chef The Voice Best Reality HostTom Bergeron, Dancing With The Stars Cat Deeley, So You Think You Can Dance Phil Keoghan, The Amazing Race Ryan Seacrest, American Idol Betty White, Betty White's Off Their Rockers Best Variety ProgramThe Colbert ReportThe Daily Show with Jon StewartJimmy Kimmel LiveLate Night with Jimmy FallonReal Time with Bill MaherSaturday Night Live Best 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 Best Supporting Actress in a Drama SeriesArchie Panjabi, The Good Wife Anna Gunn, Breaking Bad Maggie Smith, Downton Abbey Joanna Froggatt, Downton Abbey Christina Hendricks, Mad Men Christine Baranski, The Good Wife Best Supporting Actor in a Comedy SeriesEd O'Neill, Modern Family Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Modern Family Ty Burrell, Modern Family Eric Stonestreet, Modern Family Bill Hader, Saturday Night Live Max Greenfield, New Girl Best Supporting Actress in a Comedy SeriesMayim Bialik, The Big Bang Theory Merritt Wever, Nurse Jackie Julie Bowen, Modern Family Kristen Wiig, Saturday Night Live Sofia Vergara, Modern Family Kathryn Joosten, Desperate Housewives Best Supporting Actress in a Miniseries or MovieSarah Paulson, Game Change Frances Conroy, American Horror Story Jessica Lange, American Horror Story Judy Davis, Page Eight (Masterpiece) Mare Winningham, Hatfields & McCoys Best Supporting Actor in a Miniseries or MovieEd Harris, Game Change Denis O'Hare, American Horror Story David Strathairn, Hemingway & Gellhorn Martin Freeman, Sherlock: A Scandal in Belgravia (Masterpiece) Tom Berenger, Hatfields & McCoys Best Guest Actress in a Comedy SeriesDot-Marie Jones, Glee Maya Rudolph, Saturday Night Live Melissa McCarthy, Saturday Night Live Elizabeth Banks, 30 Rock Margaret Cho, 30 Rock Kathy Bates, Two and a Half Men Best Guest Actor in a Comedy SeriesMichael J. Fox, Curb Your Enthusiasm Greg Kinnear, Modern Family Bobby Cannavale, Nurse Jackie Jimmy Fallon, Saturday Night Live Will Arnett, 30 Rock Jon Hamm, 30 Rock Best Guest Actress in a Drama SeriesMartha Plimpton, The Good Wife Loretta Devine, Grey's Anatomy Jean Smart, Harry's Law Julia Ormond, Mad Men Joan Cusack, Shameless Uma Thurman, Smash Best Guest Actor in a Drama SeriesMark Margolis, Breaking Bad Dylan Baker, The Good Wife Michael J. Fox, The Good Wife Jeremy Davies, Justified Ben Feldman, Mad Men Jason Ritter, Parenthood Best Writing for a Comedy SeriesCommunity, Chris McKenna for "Remedial Chaos Theory"Parks and Recreation, Amy Poehler for "The Debate"Parks and Recreation, Michael Schur for "Win, Lose, or Draw"Girls, Lena Dunham for "Pilot"Louie, Louis C.K. for "Pregnant" Best Writing for a Drama SeriesDownton Abbey, Julian Fellows for "Episode 7"Mad Men, Semi Chellas and Matthew Weiner for "The Other Woman"Mad Men, Andre Jacquemetton and Maria Jacquemetton for "Commissions and Fees"Mad Men, Erin Levy and Matthew Weiner for "Far Away Places"Homeland, Alex Gansa, Howard Gordon, and Gideon Raff for "Pilot" Follow Marc on Twitter @MarcSnetiker More:2012 Emmy Awards: Our Predictions! 2012 Emmy Longshots: Our Picks!
Invincible is Rudy and The Rookie all rolled into one. Set in the mid-‘70s Mark Wahlberg stars as the real-life Vince Papale a blue-collar Philadelphian down on his luck after his wife leaves him. His only solace is playing football with his cronies and rooting for his beloved Philadelphia Eagles who are in a real rut. Newly hired head coach the legendary Dick Vermeil (Greg Kinnear) decides to infuse some new blood into the team by holding open tryouts. All of Vince’s friends think he’d be perfect and urge him to go for it. He does makes it and is soon playing with some of his idols much to their chagrin. I mean who is this punk anyway? Sure he’s got some excellent instincts but can he really be a NFL player with no experience? Yes in fact he can proving to all those regular Joes out there you can live the dream. Yeah yeah. Unfortunately none of the actors really add anything either. Wahlberg is definitely a natural to play this kind of role having already done so in Rock Star. At least in Invincible he gets to show off some of his athletic abilities rather than just his bare chest in black leather pants. But the performance is run of the mill. As is Kinnear who as Vermeil takes on the headaches of turning a losing team into winners all while his supportive wife sweetly reassures him he’s doing the very best he can. Seen it. To their credit some of the supporting actors—including Kirk Acevedo (The New World) Michael Kelly (Dawn of the Dead) and Michael Rispoli (Mr. 3000)—paint a convincing picture of genuine camaraderie between local Philadelphians. And Elizabeth Banks (The 40 Year-Old Virgin) rounds things out as Vince’s cute love interest (and eventual real-life wife) who knows a few things about football by golly. You’d think Invincible would be a no-brainer feel-good kind of sports flick. It’s based on a real-life person has that whole underdog thing going for it and it’s football. What could go wrong with that? Nothing really besides the fact it’s been done about a hundred times over—and has now been left in the hands of newbies. First-time director Ericson Core a former cinematographer and writer Brad Gann are clearly green doing things by the play book line for line. It’s scary helming a feature film for a big studio like Disney who had such sport hits like The Rookie and Remember the Titans. Perhaps Core wanted to go more out on a limb but was reigned in. Who knows? The football scenes are definitely the highlight and Core handles the action well. I mean you do want Papale to prove himself the natural athlete he truly is and make all his homies proud. But the rest of it is just blah.
On the one hand it’s a comedy. We meet Sarah Huttinger (Jennifer Aniston) a thirtysomething knee deep in a pre-midlife crisis with a way too patient fiancé (Mark Ruffalo) and a nowhere job. Her anxiety is only exacerbated when she visits her picture perfect family in Pasadena CA a place she’s never felt like she belonged especially after her mother died. But then it gets weirder when Sarah finds out her family was the inspiration for The Graduate. It seems Sarah’s grandmother (Shirley MacLaine) was the Mrs. Robinson and that her mother ran off with the same guy briefly right before she got married to Sarah’s dad. Sarah becomes obsessed with finding this “other” guy Beau Burroughs (Kevin Costner) believing he might be the key. He’s a key all right--to a night of drunken lust. But none of this is going to solve Sarah’s problems now is it? She’s got to find her own answers in her heart. Excuse me while I go throw up. Maybe Jennifer Aniston should just write this year off. Not only did she lose a husband to another woman she also hasn’t made very smart choices in her career. Derailed completely missed the track and now this comedy is no better suited to her talents. Aniston is much better playing sweet and quirky rather than messy and neurotic and honestly shines brighter when co-starring with strong comedic talents such as Ben Stiller (Along Came Polly) or Jim Carrey (Bruce Almighty). (That’s why we’re holding our breath for her next film The Break Up with [real-life boyfriend?] Vince Vaughn.) Shirley MacLaine making a habit out of being the best thing in an otherwise dull movie (In Her Shoes anyone?) is a hoot as grandma. Costner doesn’t look anything like Dustin Hoffman thank goodness but has zero chemistry with Aniston. And who knows what the hell Ruffalo is doing wasting his talents doing this romantic comedy crap. Just say no Mark. As a director Rob Reiner hasn’t had much luck lately either. This is the first movie he’s directed since 2003’s Alex & Emma--and we all remember what a success that was. To be fair Reiner apparently took over the reins from screenwriter Ted Griffin (Matchstick Men) who was making his feature film debut ten days into production and changed things quite a bit. That’s not surprising because Rumor quite simply lacks direction. It wants desperately to be a comedy with a hint of relationship drama but somehow misses the mark on both. Now the idea of a Graduate update is somewhat intriguing. Reminds me of Robert Altman’s The Player in which The Graduate’s original screenwriter Buck Henry pitches a sequel of sorts to a studio development exec. It’s meant to be a joke of course but somewhere in the spoof there might’ve been a sliver of mad brilliance. Too bad Rumor ruins it.
Keifer Sutherland does impromptu striptease
Kiefer Sutherland surprised club patrons in New Zealand with an impromptu striptease last week. A group of women were watching the male strip act Men of Steel at Raetihi's Cosmopolitan Club, while Sutherland was drinking at an adjoining bar. According to the New Zealand Herald, the 24 decided to join the act and slipped out of his socks and whipped off his shirt, waving it above his head to the tune of the Tom Jones' "You Can Leave Your Hat On" until he was ushered off the stage. "Kiefer had a hell of a night," club president Danny Mills told The Associated Press. "He's coming back in August, mate, and as far as we're concerned we want him back in here." Sutherland is in New Zealand filming River Queen, a historical drama about an Irish immigrant during the 18th-century wars between indigenous Maori and colonial settlers.
Margaret Cho uninvited from event near Democratic convention
The Human Rights Campaign, a gay and lesbian organization, has uninvited comedian Margaret Cho from a unity event scheduled to coincide with the Democratic National Convention. Human Rights Campaign spokesman Mark Shields told the AP Cho's invitation was rescinded because officials thought her material might take the focus off gay issues. As part of the unpaid benefit performance, Cho was going to use material from her new State of Emergency tour, a no-holds-barred interpretation of current events. Her comments on the Iraq prison scandal prompted her to be escorted from a recent show in San Diego. "I am not surprised at the reversal in light of how the Kerry campaign distanced itself from Whoopi [Goldberg]'s routine in response to the unrelenting media hype and Republican criticism," Cho's manager told the AP.
Joan and Melissa shut out of Emmy pre-show
It looks as though Joan and Melissa Rivers won't be handing out fashion citations on the red carpet at this year's Emmy Awards. The veteran comedian and her daughter announced last month they were leaving E! Entertainment Television for the TV Guide Channel in a three-year deal valued at between $6 million and $8 million. But it turns out E! still holds exclusive rights to the Emmy's red-carpet coverage under a contract with the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. A TV Guide insider, speaking on condition of anonymity, told Reuters that TV Guide knew about E!'s exclusive Emmy contract but had been hopeful they could work something out. E!, which does not have exclusive pre-show coverage deals for the Oscars or the Grammys, said it plans to hire fresh faces to anchor its Emmy arrivals coverage on Sept. 19.
Brandy's ex says they were never married
Singer Brandy, who announced two years ago that she had been secretly married to music producer Robert Smith for months, was actually never married at all, the AP reports. Smith told New York radio station WBLS-FM Tuesday that he and Brandy were the marriage announcement was to protect Brandy's image because she was pregnant at the time with their daughter, Sy'rai. The two broke up in early July of last year. In a statement released to the press, Brandy said she was hurt and shocked by Smith's comments. "He is trying to destroy my reputation, while using me and our daughter to get publicity and radio airplay for his artists," the statement said. "I am stunned that he is being so dirty about it." Smith told MTV.com he "was just stating the truth."
"Girlie men" T-shirts go on sale
Republican Arnold Schwarzenegger inadvertently set off a marketing blitz when he called state Democrats "girlie men" for failing to pass a budget by the state's July 1 deadline. A San Francisco-based entrepreneur has begun selling T-shirts over the Internet with the slogan "Sacramento Girlie Men." The T-shirts, priced at $24, are available at www.sacramentogirliemen.com, with 20 percent of proceeds benefiting "the California Democratic Party, which as you may have noticed, could use the help," the Web site reads. The phrase comes from a Schwarzenegger-inspired Saturday Night Live skit about fitness gurus Hanz and Franz ("I'm Hanz und I'm Franz, und we are here to pump YOU up!"). Schwarzenegger's use of the term "girlie men" angered legislators, gays and women's groups. Schwarzenegger has refused to apologize for the remark and has taken to campaigning for his budget among voters outside the capital in the past week.
Kristie Alley takes on tabloids, Hollywood and her weight
Kirstie Alley is set to star in Showtime's Fat Actress, a reality-comedy series about the life of an overweight celebrity. Alley, who is often pictured in tabloids wolfing down bugers in her car, proposed the series to the cable channel as a "send-up of her own image as well as Hollywood's obsession with weight and beauty," Robert Greenblatt, entertainment president for Showtime Networks Inc., told the AP Thursday. Alley and Brenda Hampton (7th Heaven, Mad About You) co-created the series and will also serve as executive producers along with Curb Your Enthusiasm's Sandy Chanley. The six planned episodes will be based on a story line but largely improvised. The half-hour series, set to begin production this fall, will air on Showtime sometime next year.
No charges in alleged Real World rape
The San Diego County district attorney's office said Thursday no charges will be filed in the case of a 22-year-old woman who claimed she was raped on the set of MTV's The Real World in November 2003, the AP reports. The woman, who was not a cast or crewmember on the show, told police she blacked out after accepting a drink from a man at a downtown San Diego nightclub and woke up fully clothed in the guest bedroom of The Real World house in San Diego's Point Loma neighborhood. She later told police she believed she was sexually assaulted by an acquaintance of a cast member. At the time, San Diego police seized taped footage for the show, bedding, towels and couch cushions from the house. No arrests were made. A spokesman for the D.A.'s office told the AP there wasn't enough evidence to prosecute.
Robert Evans divorces wife No. 6
Meanwhile, a judge Thursday granted 74-year-old film producer Robert Evans a divorce from his sixth wife, former Versace model Leslie Ann Woodward. The couple was married for seven months before separating in June 2003. Woodward, 35, filed for divorce two months later, citing irreconcilable differences, the AP reports. Evans, whose life story was the subject of the 2002 documentary The Kid Stays in the Picture, began his Hollywood career as an actor and headed Paramount Pictures during its comeback in the 1960s and early 1970s with Rosemary's Baby, Love Story and The Godfather. His ex wives include Love Story star Ali MacGraw, former Miss America Phyllis George and Dynasty co-star Catherine Oxenberg.
Hardened by years of brutal but loyal military service special ops officer Robert Scott (Val Kilmer) is assigned to find the president's apparently kidnapped daughter Laura Newton (Kristen Bell). Pairing up with his protégé Curtis (Derek Luke) Scott works diligently with a task force of presidential advisors the Secret Service the FBI and the CIA to find her and through their investigation they stumble upon a white slavery ring in the Middle East which may--or may not--have some connection to Laura's disappearance. The straightforward search-and-rescue mission is soon bogged down in political machinations and the girl's abduction starts to look even more suspicious than it did at first. In fact the mission comes to an abrupt halt altogether when the girl is supposedly found drowned from a boating accident. Scott returns to his quiet life until Curtis shows up and proves that Laura is still alive and most likely trapped in the white slavery ring. In a race against time Scott and Curtis embark on their own unofficial rescue mission--and put themselves at the center of a dangerous conspiracy that goes all the way to the top of the U.S. government.
Val Kilmer probably won't be joining Mamet's dedicated circle of players--which includes Joe Mantegna William H. Macy and Mamet's wife actress Rebecca Pidgeon--any time soon. While it's clear Kilmer took the role to work with the talented writer/director he isn't well suited to deliver "Mamet-speak"--the rapid fire delivery of terse dialogue the writer is known for--and Kilmer looks uncomfortable trying to do it. The gifted actor who can't help but bring in his own quirky sensibilities to the part still hits the nail on the head as steely resolute Scott. But the minute he starts dispensing sage advice--Mamet-style--Kilmer sticks out like a sore thumb. Same goes for Luke (Antwone Fisher) who is entirely miscast as Scott's sidekick. Others in the ensemble however handle the Mamet chores more adeptly including Macy and Ed O'Neill (yes the guy from TV's Married ... With Children) as presidential aides.
Spartan's real problem however is that it's a thriller without much thrill. Mamet's expertise is in creating scenarios within a microcosm whether it's a world of con artists (House of Games; The Spanish Prisoner) salesmen (Glengarry Glen Ross) or even showbiz (State and Main). These Mamet films are even-keeled--almost devoid of emotion. He sets up characters and actions relevant to that particular world so when characters spout lines in Mamet's distinctive style it comes off as perfectly natural. Yet with Spartan Mamet is tackling a bigger grander picture and when his style is applied to the world as a whole it doesn't work. Plus in the thriller genre the audience needs to feel invested in the characters and Mamet's distant unemotional style doesn't lend itself to sending the audience's collective hearts racing. The only poignant moment in the film belongs to Bell as the wounded daughter who just wants a little attention from Daddy and the only truly exciting moments are during her rescue. That said however Spartan proves Mamet still knows how to craft a story. Although the script is at times vague and convoluted it thankfully never falls into any of the genre's usual patterns and it throws in enough twists to keep you on your toes.