Getty Images/Kevin Winter
The 66th Primetime Emmy Awards ceremony will air on Monday (oddly enough), August 25, and will be hosted by Saturday Night Live vet and Late Night host Seth Meyers. Here are the nominees recognized for their achievements over the course of this past year in television.
Best Comedy SeriesThe Big Bang TheoryLouieModern FamilyOrange Is the New BlackSilicon ValleyVeep
Best Drama SeriesBreaking BadDownton AbbeyGame of ThronesHouse of CardsMad MenTrue Detective
Best Actor - ComedyLouis C.K. - LouieDon Cheadle - House of LiesRicky Gervais - DerekMatt LeBlanc - EpisodesWilliam H. Macy - ShamelessJim Parsons - The Big Bang Theory
Best Actress - ComedyLena Dunham - GirlsEdie Falco - Nurse JackieJulia Louis-Dreyfus - VeepMelissa McCarthy - Mike and MollyAmy Poehler - Parks and RecreationTaylor Schilling - Orange Is the New Black
Lead Actor - DramaBryan Cranston - Breaking BadJeff Daniels - The NewsroomJon Hamm - Mad MenWoody Harrelson - True DetectiveMatthew McConaughey - True DetectiveKevin Spacey - House of Cards
Lead Actress - DramaLizzy Caplan - Masters of SexClaire Danes - HomelandMichelle Dockery - Downton AbbeyJulianne Margolies - The Good WifeKerry Washinton - ScandalRobin Wright - House of Cards
Best Mini-SeriesAmerican Horror Story: CovenBonnie and ClydeFargoLutherTremeThe White Queen
Best TV MovieKilling KennedyMohammad Ali's Greatest FightThe Normal HeartSherlock: His Last VowThe Trip to Babylon
Best Actor - Mini-Series/TV MovieBenedict Cumberbatch - SherlockChiwetel Ejiofor - Dancing on the EdgeIdris Elba - LutherMartin Freeman - FargoMark Ruffalo - The Normal HeartBill Bob Thornton - Fargo
Best Actress - Mini-Series/TV MovieHelena Bonham Carter - Burton and TaylorMinnie Driver - Return to ZeroJessica Lang - American Horror Story: CovenSarah Paulson - American Horror Story: CovenCicely Tyson - The Trip to BountifulKristen Wiig - Spoils of Babylon
Best Variety ShowThe Colbert ReportThe Daily ShowJimmy Kimmel Live!Real Time with Bill MaherSaturday Night LiveThe Tonight Show
Best Reality Competition ShowThe Amazing RaceDancing with the StarsProject RunwaySo You Think You Can DanceTop ChefThe Voice
Best Supporting Actor - Comedy SeriesFred Armisen - PortlandiaAndre Braugher - Brooklin Nine-NineTy Burrell - Modern FamilyAdam Driver - GirlsJesse Tyler Ferguson - Modern FamilyTony Hale - Veep
Best Supporting Actress - Comedy SeriesMayim Bialik - The Big Bang TheoryJulie Bowen - Modern FamilyAnna Chlumsky - VeepAllison Janney - MomKate McKinnon - Saturday Night LiveKate Mulgrew - Orange Is the New Black
Best Supporting Actor - DramaJim Carter - Downton AbbeyJosh Charles - The Good WifePeter Dinklage - Game of ThronesMandy Patinkin - HomelandAaron Paul - Breaking BadJon Voight - Ray Donovan
Best Supporting Actress - DramaChristine Baranski - The Good WifeJoan Froggatt - Downton AbbeyAnna Gunn - Breaking BadLena Headey - Game of ThronesChristina Hendricks - Mad MenMaggie Smith - Downton Abbey
Best Guest Actor - ComedySteve Buscemi - PortlandiaLouis C.K. - Saturday Night LiveGary Cole - VeepJimmy Fallon - Saturday Night LiveNathan Lane - Modern FamilyBob Newhart - The Big Bang Theory
Best Guest Actress - ComedyUzo Aduba - Orange Is the New BlackLaverne Cox - Orange Is the New BlackJoan Cusack - ShamelessTina Fey - Saturday Night LiveNatasha Lyonne - Orange Is the New BlackMelissa McCarthy - Saturday Night Live
Best Guest Actor - DramaDylan Baker - The Good WifeBeau Bridges - Masters of SexReg E Cathey - House of CardsPaul Giamatti - Downton AbbeyRobert Morse - Mad MenJoe Morton - Scandal
Best Guest Actress - DramaKate Burton - ScandalJane Fonda - The NewsroomAllison Janney - Masters of SexKate Mara - House of CardsMargo Martindale - The AmericansDiana Rigg - Game of Thrones
True Detective, Breaking Bad and House Of Cards are among the shows leading the 2014 Primetime Emmy Awards nominations. True Detective's stars Woody Harrelson and Matthew McConaughey will battle it out for the Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series prize, and they will compete with Bryan Cranston (Breaking Bad), Jeff Daniels (The Newsroom) and Kevin Spacey (House of Cards).
The hit crime show is also nominated for Outstanding Drama Series alongside Breaking Bad, Game of Thrones, Mad Men, Downton Abbey and House of Cards.
Scandal's Kerry Washington is in the running for the Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series award along with Claire Danes (Homeland), Julianna Margulies (The Good Wife), Lizzy Caplan (Masters of Sex), Michelle Dockery (Downton Abbey), and Robin Wright (House of Cards).
Modern Family will vie for the Outstanding Comedy Series gong for the fifth year running and faces competition from The Big Bang Theory, Veep, Orange Is the New Black, Silicon Valley and Louie.
Fargo will face American Horror Story: Coven, Bonnie & Clyde, Luther, Treme, and The White Queen to be named Outstanding Miniseries.
The nominees were announced in Los Angeles on Thursday morning (10Jul14) by The Office actress Mindy Kaling and TV host Carson Daly.
Comedian Seth Meyers will host the 66th annual awards ceremony on 25 August (14).
The main list of nominees is as follows:
Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series:
Lena Dunham - Girls
Edie Falco - Nurse Jackie
Julia Louis-Dreyfus - Veep
Melissa McCarthy - Mike & Molly
Amy Poehler - Parks and Recreation
Taylor Schilling - Orange Is the New Black
Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series:
Louis C.K. - Louie
Don Cheadle - House of Lies
Ricky Gervais - Derek
Matt LeBlanc - Episodes
William H. Macy - Shameless
Jim Parsons - The Big Bang Theory
Outstanding Comedy Series:
The Big Bang Theory
Orange Is the New Black
Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series:
Lizzy Caplan - Masters of Sex
Michelle Dockery - Downton Abbey
Julianna Margulies - The Good Wife
Kerry Washington - Scandal
Robin Wright - House of Cards
Claire Danes - Homeland
Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series:
Bryan Cranston - Breaking Bad
Jeff Daniels - The Newsroom
Jon Hamm - Mad Men
Woody Harrelson - True Detective
Matthew McConaughey - True Detective
Kevin Spacey - House of Cards
Outstanding Drama Series:
Game of Thrones
House of Cards
Outstanding Lead Actor in a Miniseries or a Movie:
Benedict Cumberbatch - Sherlock: His Last Vow
Chiwetel Ejiofor - Dancing on the Edge
Martin Freeman - Fargo
Mark Ruffalo - The Normal Heart
Billy Bob Thornton - Fargo
Idris Elba - Luther
Outstanding Lead Actress in a Miniseries or a Movie:
Helena Bonham Carter - Burton and Taylor
Minnie Driver - Return to Zero
Jessica Lange - American Horror Story: Coven
Sarah Paulson - American Horror Story: Coven
Cicely Tyson - The Trip to Bountiful
Kristen Wiig - Spoils of Babylon
American Horror Story: Coven
Bonnie and Clyde
The White Queen
Outstanding TV Movie:
The Normal Heart
The Trip to Bountiful
Sherlock: His Last Vow
Muhammad Ali's Greatest Fight.
Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama:
Aaron Paul - Breaking Bad
Jim Carter - Downton Abbey
Peter Dinklage - Game of Thrones
Josh Charles - The Good Wife
Mandy Patinkin - Homeland
Jon Voight - Ray Donovan
Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama:
Anna Gunn - Breaking Bad
Maggie Smith - Downton Abbey
Joanne Froggatt - Downton Abbey
Lena Headey - Game of Thrones
Christine Baranski - The Good Wife
Christina Hendricks - Mad Men
Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy:
Andre Braugher - Brooklyn Nine-Nine
Adam Driver - Girls
Jesse Tyler Ferguson - Modern Family
Ty Burrell - Modern Family
Fred Armisen - Portlandia
Tony Hale - Veep
Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy:
Mayim Bialik - The Big Bang Theory
Julie Bowen - Modern Family
Allison Janney - Mom
Kate Mulgrew - Orange Is the New Black
Kate McKinnon - Saturday Night Live
Anna Chlumsky - Veep.
The first and most important thing you should know about Paramount Pictures’ Thor is that it’s not a laughably corny comic book adaptation. Though you might find it hokey to hear a bunch of muscled heroes talk like British royalty while walking around the American Southwest in LARP garb director Kenneth Branagh has condensed vast Marvel mythology to make an accessible straightforward fantasy epic. Like most films of its ilk I’ve got some issues with its internal logic aesthetic and dialogue but the flaws didn’t keep me from having fun with this extra dimensional adventure.
Taking notes from fellow Avenger Iron Man the story begins with an enthralling event that takes place in a remote desert but quickly jumps back in time to tell the prologue which introduces the audience to the shining kingdom of Asgard and its various champions. Thor (Chris Hemsworth) son of Odin is heir to the throne but is an arrogant overeager and ill-tempered rogue whose aggressive antics threaten a shaky truce between his people and the frost giants of Jotunheim one of the universe’s many realms. Odin (played with aristocratic boldness by Anthony Hopkins) enraged by his son’s blatant disregard of his orders to forgo an assault on their enemies after they attempt to reclaim a powerful artifact banishes the boy to a life among the mortals of Earth leaving Asgard defenseless against the treachery of Loki his mischievous “other son” who’s always felt inferior to Thor. Powerless and confused the disgraced Prince finds unlikely allies in a trio of scientists (Natalie Portman Stellan Skarsgard and Kat Dennings) who help him reclaim his former glory and defend our world from total destruction.
Individually the make-up visual effects CGI production design and art direction are all wondrous to behold but when fused together to create larger-than-life set pieces and action sequences the collaborative result is often unharmonious. I’m not knocking the 3D presentation; unlike 2010’s genre counterpart Clash of the Titans the filmmakers had plenty of time to perfect the third dimension and there are only a few moments that make the decision to convert look like it was a bad one. It’s the unavoidable overload of visual trickery that’s to blame for the frost giants’ icy weaponized constructs and other hybrids of the production looking noticeably artificial. Though there’s some imagery to nitpick the same can’t be said of Thor’s thunderous sound design which is amped with enough wattage to power The Avengers’ headquarters for a century.
Chock full of nods to the comics the screenplay is both a strength and weakness for the film. The story is well sequenced giving the audience enough time between action scenes to grasp the characters motivations and the plot but there are tangential narrative threads that disrupt the focus of the film. Chief amongst them is the frost giants’ fore mentioned relic which is given lots of attention in the first act but has little effect on the outcome. In addition I felt that S.H.I.E.L.D. was nearly irrelevant this time around; other than introducing Jeremy Renner’s Hawkeye the secret security faction just gets in the way of the movie’s momentum.
While most of the comedy crashes and burns there are a few laughs to be found in the film. Most come from star Hemsworth’s charismatic portrayal of the God of Thunder. He plays up the stranger-in-a-strange-land aspect of the story with his cavalier but charming attitude and by breaking all rules of diner etiquette in a particularly funny scene with the scientists whose respective roles as love interest (Portman) friendly father figure (Skarsgaard) and POV character (Dennings) are ripped right out of a screenwriters handbook.
Though he handles the humorous moments without a problem Hemsworth struggles with some of the more dramatic scenes in the movie; the result of over-acting and too much time spent on the Australian soap opera Home and Away. Luckily he’s surrounded by a stellar supporting cast that fills the void. Most impressive is Tom Hiddleston who gives a truly humanistic performance as the jealous Loki. His arc steeped in Shakespearean tragedy (like Thor’s) drums up genuine sympathy that one rarely has for a comic book movie villain.
My grievances with the technical aspects of the production aside Branagh has succeeded in further exploring the Marvel Universe with a film that works both as a standalone superhero flick and as the next chapter in the story of The Avengers. Thor is very much a comic book film and doesn’t hide from the reputation that its predecessors have given the sub-genre or the tropes that define it. Balanced pretty evenly between “serious” and “silly ” its scope is large enough to please fans well versed in the source material but its tone is light enough to make it a mainstream hit.
Top Story: Oscar-Winning Actor Peter Ustinov Dies
Oscar-winning British actor and playwright Peter Ustinov died of heart failure Sunday night at a clinic near his home in Switzerland, Reuters reports. He was 82. Ustinov was hospitalized at the end of January after he came down with an undisclosed illness on his return from a holiday in Thailand and never recovered. "It was not a surprise, he was pretty ill. He had had a busy life and he was tired," his son Igor Ustinov told Reuters in a telephone interview. "But he certainly was not ready to go." An actor, writer and humorist, Ustinov, whose career spanned more than 60 years, won two Best Supporting Actor Oscars, for his clown in the 1960 epic Spartacus and his engaging con man in the 1964 actioner Topkapi. He also earned critical praise for his directorial efforts Romanoff and Juliet in 1962; a biting Cold War satire based on his own play, Billy Budd, in 1962; and the 1972 Elizabeth Taylor-Richard Burton comedy Hammersmith Is Out. Ustinov was knighted in 1990 by Britain's Queen Elizabeth but did not like to be known as "Sir Peter." He was also well known for charity work and continued to make public appearances until this last illness, raising money for the United Nations' Children Fund (UNICEF), for which he was an ambassador.
CBS Searches for Next Martha Stewart
CBS is looking for the next Martha Stewart and--lo and behold!--yet another reality TV show is born. According to Reuters, the network has teamed up with LMNO Productions to create a 10-episode reality show to discover the next lifestyle trendsetter. The program will feature 12 individuals living together and competing in the domestic arts such as interior decorating, cooking and party planning ,as producers throw them curves to test their imaginations and their grace under pressure. Casting will be open to both men and women, but a spokesman for LMNO told Reuters producers have not decided whether any men will necessarily make the cut.
Baywatch Star Discusses JFK, Jr.-Bessette Love Triangle
The A&E Network is set to air a special one-hour documentary and exclusive interview Monday night with former Baywatch star and Calvin Klein model Michael Bergin, in which he says he had an affair with Carolyn Bessette, John F. Kennedy Jr.'s wife. This marks the first time Bergin has spoken publicly in great detail about the Bergin-Bessette-Kennedy love triangle, which began when he dated Bessette for several years before her marriage. In The Other Man: JFK, Jr., Carolyn Bessette & Me, Bergin says their relationship rekindled in Los Angeles in 1997 after she was married, and at one point she spent 11 days with him when Kennedy was on a kayaking trip with his friends. Bergin was living in Hawaii in July 1999, when Kennedy and Bessette were killed in a plane crash off the coast of Martha's Vineyard.
Soprano Star De Matteo Joins Joey
The Sopranos star Drea De Matteo has landed the role of Joey Tribbiani's sister on NBC's upcoming Friends spinoff, Joey. According to The Hollywood Reporter, De Matteo will play Joey's (Matt LeBlanc) sister Gina, a hairdresser who lives in Los Angeles with her son. Like Joey, Gina is a strong person who isn't afraid to speak her mind and has a way with the opposite sex. And expect her to be a tad bit smarter than Joey, too.
Nick Lachey in ABC's Hot Mamma
Singer turned reality TV star Nick Lachey has been cast opposite Gina Gershon in the ABC comedy Hot Mamma, about a hip wedding planner and single mom (Gershon) and her more conservative daughter. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Lachey will play a struggling actor who works odd jobs and runs errands for the women in exchange for boarding. The casting comes form Lachey's development/talent deal with ABC and its Disney-owned corporate sibling, Touchstone TV.
William Shatner Has Two Feet Back on Earth With The Practice Spinoff
Former Star Trek star William Shatner is expected to make a permanent return to primetime in David E. Kelley's spinoff to canceled legal drama The Practice, which is wrapping its eight-year run this season. Shatner has already appeared on The Practice as Danny Crane, the senior partner in the law firm that represents Alan Shore (James Spader) in his wrongful termination lawsuit against Young, Frutt & Berluti, the company around which The Practice revolved.
Singer Howie Day Arrested After Madison Gig
Singer Howie Day, who opened for the band Barenaked Ladies at a concert Wednesday in Madison, Wis., was charged Friday with two misdemeanor counts of criminal damage to property and disorderly conduct in connection with a post-concert incident on his tour bus, The Associated Press reports. According to a criminal complaint, Day was arrested Wednesday for allegedly locking a woman in a bathroom on the tour bus after she refused his sexual advances, broke the cell phone of another woman trying to call police and then poured beer on them. "That was probably wrong of me," Day said about breaking the phone. "But I felt violated."
Hagar Joins Van Halen for Summer Tour
After an eight-year split, singer Sammy Hagar is returning to rock band Van Halen-- just in time for a summer concert tour. The band will hit the road this summer for the first time in almost six years in a tour of indoor North American arenas, starting with a June 11 performance in Greensboro, N.C., Reuters reports. Hagar first joined Van Halen in 1985 after original vocalist David Lee Roth quit to launch a solo career. But Hagar left the group in early 1996 claiming that he was fired by his bandmates, who countered he had quit. Van Halen found itself a new singer--Gary Cherone--but the change didn't gel with fans and the band's popularity faded, as did their deal at Warner Bros. Records.
Role Call: Disney Mulls Toy Story 3
Walt Disney Co. studio chief Dick Cook said Friday he was leaning toward making the third installment of Toy Story, Pixar Animation Studios Inc. 's 1995 hit, a feature film rather than a straight-to-video project. Although Disney and Pixar plan to part ways after two more films together, the Mouse House still retains