It's a question Joan Rivers tells us she finds "boring," and it feels almost Seinfeldian in nature, but: What's the deal with the lack of female hosts on late night television?
It's been a few weeks since The New York Times' first reported Jimmy Fallon would replace Jay Leno on The Tonight Show, a story NBC confirmed Wednesday. And in that time, nary a woman has been mentioned in any serious context as Fallon's possible Late Night replacement. Certainly, there are plenty of talented ladies funny enough to replace him — after all, in his former post, the Saturday Night Live actor was often outshined by his female co-stars. (Hello Amy, Tina, Maya, and Rachel!) Still, with Seth Meyers as the only frontrunner, not one female's name has been brought up as a legitimate successor. Because late night is a total sausagefest.
And it has been since its inception. With very few exception, only men have been allowed to stay up late. Johnny Carson ruled the Tonight Show circuit for a whopping 30 years, with personalities like Jack Paar, Steve Allen, Tom Snyder, Joey Bishop, Dick Cavett, Merv Griffin, Arsenio Hall, Chevy Chase, Craig Kilborn, and even non-comedians Pat Sajak and Carson Daly all trying out the genre. And that's not even considering the men currently on air. With so many late night opportunities given out over the last half a century, the gender gap is a serious mind-boggler.
RELATED: Fallon to Replace Leno as 'Tonight Show' Moves Back to NYC
So what's to blame? The fact that late night doesn't allow women to be themselves. Whereas male comedians are allowed to embrace their own style of humor for late night, female comedians are forced to change — to fit into a mold made up of the contradicting ideas about what we want from our late night hosts versus what we want from our women. History proves the genre has favored commercial male comedians to anything else — funny, class-clown types whose senses of humor are inoffensive enough to make them the everymen. Which is why folks like Fallon, Kimmel, and Leno flourish post-primetime. But when you look at some of the industry's most popular female comedians — Rivers, Kathy Griffin, Chelsea Handler, Roseanne Barr, Margaret Cho, Phyllis Diller, Sarah Silverman — one consistent unifier is evident: These are some bold and brassy broads. Just like Wanda Sykes, Mo'Nique, and Whitney Cummings — all women who failed on late night after failing to stay true to their comedy.
But bold and brassy is exactly what we need. We need to see different viewpoints, strong identities, and, yes, we need to be a little bit offended from time to time. In order to stand out in comedy — an industry that has long favored men — female comedians need to be tough and aggressive, traits that often end up bleeding into their comedy styles. (With, obviously, a few low-key exceptions, like Maria Bamford.) But to be a brash and opinionated woman on television is putting yourself in very sticky territory: loud, confident, opinionated women not only struggle to fit in with the mild late night comedy scene, but they also counter a female stereotype that still exists even years after women's suffrage. "Let me tell you, all women comedians, we are strong and we are lion tamers — and don’t you ever forget it," Rivers says. "We can have three little bows in our hair and [be] wearing six-inch heels, [but] we’re still lion tamers. And we go in there and we take over, otherwise we wouldn’t be able to do stand-up."
The trouble is, as Fallon and Leno's success has proven, network audiences don't want to even see lions. They want cubs. And who better to sit in the late night position than the people we're already comfortable seeing in power: middle-aged white dudes. As Robert J. Thompson, founding director of the Bleier Center for Television and Popular Culture and Trustee Professor of Television and Popular Culture at the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at at Syracuse University, says, "When you go down the line — especially the major players — there’s a couple of categories that link them. And those categories are 'White' [and] 'Men.'"
And, hoo boy, is he right. There's Leno, Fallon, and Daly on NBC, Jimmy Kimmel on ABC, with David Letterman and Craig Ferguson rounding out the pack at CBS. The biggest male outlier before the 2010 late night clusterf**k was Conan O'Brien, and that's really just because he's a ginger. Channel surf your way through the networks after 11 PM, and the only women you'll see will be sitting in late night's audiences. Cable, on the other hand, has been far more risky and female-friendly, but suffers from an already overcrowded late night field, with Jon Stewart, Stephen Colbert, Bill Maher, Russell Brand, W. Kamau Bell, and O'Brien yucking it up after dark. That's a lot of competition. "A lot of women have been given a chance," Rivers tells Hollywood.com. "The ones that are good are going to stick."
But, so far, few have. Whereas Handler and Griffin have found success on E! and Bravo with Chelsea Lately and Kathy*, respectively, Wanda Sykes, Mo'Nique, Whoopi Goldberg, Rivers, and Whitney Cummings are among those who have been given a late night opportunity... only to watch it slip right through their fingers. And while MTV is attempting to strike comedy gold with its female-fronted-but-faltering Nikki And Sara Show, but as Thompson puts it, "It's different when you get put into a cable show versus when you’re put into The Tonight Show."
*One day after publication, Bravo canceled Kathy.
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And while the differences between cable and network are many, the genre still largely necessitates its women to change. Many reviews and reactions to Cummings and Mo'Nique's shows focus on the hosts' penchant for yelling — a kneejerk, low-brow humor trope that should admittedly be banished from any sort of regular use in comedy, period. (And that includes everyone, and Especially you, Dane Cook.) One fan review of The Mo'Nique Show laments about the change from a woman who "called you a b**ch and made you laugh at the same time" to someone whose "gushing over the guest and screaming 'yeeeeeees!' like a fake a$$ Oprah." Mo'Nique's noticeable change in appearance (a slimmer frame and shaved legs — something the comedian was quite vocal about not changing in the past), only proved to further disappoint fans who felt the strong-willed funnywoman wouldn't jump through such standard hoops in order to earn success. Sacrifice is always par for the course — but shouldn't come with a cost that compromises their very essence.
Cummings' stand-up routine is often described as transgressive — making jokes about sex, relationships, and the female body are run-of-the-mill topics for her. When placed on stage during Love You, Mean It, we saw a different Cummings. One that the production team felt a need to temper with the presence of her male sidekick, comedian Julian McCullough. While the thought is not an unwelcome one (a show co-hosted by a male/female duo has the potential for greatness), McCullough's presence came across as a way to reel Cummings back into what the show was really about: popular culture and entertainment. So why hire a female comedian whose jokes are primarily about love and relationships, to host a show about pop culture and entertainment? Just because she's a pretty face and a funny woman? Being female isn't a magical band-aid big enough to fix that sort of oversight.
That's not to say late night is an easy role for men either: Just recall the criticism Fallon faced during his first season on Late Night, which was far less refined than O'Brien's well-oiled machine. (Insert "oiled" and "masturbating bear" joke here.) Between the host's perma-laughter and doesn't-translate-to-TV jokes, viewers were calling for his head just episodes in. But the network maintained its faith in the comedian (thanks, no doubt, to comedy TV godfather, Lorne Michaels) and, after a season-and-a-half of Internet-friendly content, Fallon was at the top of his game, winning the Tonight Show gig a mere four years into his late night career.
But Fallon was lucky enough to be given enough time to work out Late Night's kinks. Not only was O'Brien canned less than a year after moving to Tonight — and less than one year after man fans criticized Coco's newly toned-down humor — but the women of late night haven't received much time come into their own, either. In a review of Cummings' show on E!'s Love You, Mean It, writer David Wiegand wielded a critique of Cummings' show that stated "...no one seems to laugh more loudly at Whitney’s humor than Whitney herself," something that rings eerily similar to criticism lobbed at Fallon in his early days. But Cummings' show was — you guessed it! — canceled after its first season.
In fact, of all the female-fronted late night shows, only two have lasted more than a season. Hardly seems fair, does it? Such disparities can be chalked up to the difference between what major networks can afford versus cable or the talent selection. Network executives may be simply picking the wrong women for what they want. Just look at critical response to anything Cummings seems to do. Or even Sykes' stint staying up late — though many were polarized by her bold comedic style, more people disliked the dialed-down, TV-friendly spin she put on her own late night series. To find the lowest-common denominators and risqué acts to prop up (and tone down) as tributes to the late night Hunger Games is practically asking for them to be weeded out early on. "In schools, boys tend to be rewarded for being the class clown more than girls," states Thompson. "Those kind of gender roles — even as we go generations into the women’s movement — a lot of that stuff is still, surprisingly, in tact ... If NBC had replaced Leno not with Fallon, but if they had chosen a really good female comedian, that woman would've had a real struggle, because I do think the genre, the formula of late night television, is so macho."
It's no surprise women often have to struggle to even get recognized in the first place. "I think, in general, truly — women are never looked at, primarily, as somebody funny," Rivers says. "Nobody’s ever quoted me a joke that Kate Moss did. So women already have that hurdle to go over, because they don’t ever think any woman is ... funny. And I don’t know if men want a woman that is, really. To this day. I do, all my friends are hilariously funny women. But we’re women with women. I think men just want you to be gorgeous. And available. I still believe that basically that’s really all they want from you."
RELATED: If Jimmy Fallon Replaces Leno, Who'll Replace Fallon?
Listen, the concept of women as funny beings is debated ad nauseum. It's a stupid conversation that isn't worth having, full stop. But, as Thompson puts it, "To say 'Oh, this many women have tried and failed at late night comedy' — I don’t think we can draw the conclusion that that means women just can’t do this, or even that they were the wrong women; there are so many other variables there. When they were on, how much it was marketed, whether it was a cable channel or syndication — all those kind of things play into it."
That's not to say there haven't been some successes — even in the perceived failures. Rivers was a longtime guest host on Johnny Carson's iteration of The Tonight Show, and her ratings were often higher than Carson's. It's no wonder she was rumored to be in the running to replace him once he decided to retire. But in 1986, FOX came a-knocking and offered Rivers her own show. Naturally, she said yes. "I was the first, first permanent guest hostess on the Carson show, which is unprecedented," she says. "It was never done before in history — between me and 6,000 men. And they picked me."
When Rivers did go off the air less than one year later, it was for personal reasons, not ratings. But the conflict had little to do with her as a person — according to the comedian, the men at the top (including Rupert Murdoch and Barry Diller) did not get along. "I was told by them, 'The tail does not wag the dog,'" she says. "I was told that on a Thursday and we were off air on a Friday."
But, strangely, whereas Cummings and Mo'Nique have struck out with toned-down humor, bigger personalities have performed well in cable's late night arena. Taking a look at the women who have succeeded — namely Handler and Griffin — one thing connects them: They are who they are. No one is toning down Handler's schtick, and Griffin is still doing the same snarky, celeb-obsessed routine on her show that she does on stage. They perform well because they refuse to be anything but what they are — and it works. Right talent, right network. It was no doubt a challenge for them to reach the levels of success they have, but the pay-off has been obvious. To steal a phrase from The West Wing's Leo McGarry: it's time to let Bartlet be Bartlet. Let the ladies be the comedians that made them popular to begin with. "Their humor has balls," Thompson says. "[Griffin and Handler are] females, but they're almost working in that aggressive — what we think of as male — humor, even though that’s a very sexist thing to say." Sexism in Hollywood? No! You don't say.
But with a brawnier choice at the helm, could we find a late-night Katniss of our own? Perhaps, but it won't necessarily be easy for her, either. "People don’t want to see women in that position, even though we all know Cleopatra ruled the roost, and we all know that Marie Antoinette made the decisions," Rivers says. "[But] things have changed tremendously for women. When a woman is good, that's it: the door is open to her much more." Which brings us back to late night poster children Handler and Griffin, again. When it's right, and the metaphorical stars align (right network, right time, right show) it's just so right.
But there is still much work to be done when it comes to changing society's opinions even further. All women must push past expectations consistently and without fear. Step forth, funny ladies, and claim your throne.
For Rivers, her choice is simple: "Tina Fey — give her the job and let’s all go home." Sorry, Tina, looks like you're still the catch-all answer for the way society wants women to do comedy. But we're hopeful that it won't be for long.
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Growing old is a part of every person's life, a universal source of anxiety that's scrutinized beyond comprehension by both individuals and the world around them. Few people enjoy talking about their age... making it the perfect subject for writer/director/producer Judd Apatow (Knocked Up, The 40-Year-Old Virgin) to confront head on.
Unlike most, Apatow has been working his present job since his early 20s, when he was a writer on 1992's short-lived but much-revered Ben Stiller Show. Two decades later, he's one of the most important faces in the world of comedy. With his new film This Is 40, Apatow confronts his own longevity, following a couple (played by Paul Rudd and Apatow's real life wife, Leslie Mann) as they near the milestone age and jump every hurdle that comes with it. The film is recognizably personal. But for Apatow, there's an added layer of introspection happening on screen. Apatow's aging experiences have occurred under in the lens of show business, an industry where modern relevance is key.
The maintenance of this relevance is not an easy task, and one Apatow is certainly aware of. Hollywood.com sat down with the actor to discuss growing up in Hollywood, how he continues to stay funny after all these years, and his eagerness to collaborate with young performers, like Lena Dunham, Seth Rogen, and even Megan Fox. And because The Master director Paul Thomas Anderson really loves Heavyweights, we can't help but bring up Apatow's misunderstood Disney classic:
As you've told many people, you drew a lot from your own life in This Is 40. But do you think working in Hollywood has made you more aware of age?
Judd Apatow: I don't think about it a ton, but every once in awhile I think, "What if slowly I lose my sense of humor and I don't know it. And everyone in the world knows I'm not funny but me." [laughs]
How do you stay conscious of that?
Apatow: I try and think of people who are hysterical when they're old like Mel Brooks and Carl Reiner and Woody Allen. I think, "It's possible! You can stay sharp forever!" I just have to keep an eye on what they're doing. You know, Mel Brooks has a new special. He's 86-years-old and the entire special is him doing an interview and it's so hysterical that they made it an HBO special. It's just him talking to a guy for an hour and a half! And he did the exact same special a year ago with Dick Cavett! Because he's so funny, he can sit in a chair and make you laugh for an hour.
Do you talk to older comedians about that challenge of staying relevant?
Apatow: I never ask them directly about staying relevant, it's just certain people stay fully, intellectually engaged. It's not that they change their sense of humor, like suddenly Mel Brooks is working in an edgy, current genre. [laughs] I'd go as far to say, "Who has made an edgier movie than Blazing Saddles?" I mean, you couldn't even make Blazing Saddles today, it's so ballsy. He remains hysterical in the way he's hysterical. Hopefully I'll be just as lucky.
Along with This Is 40, I was fortunate enough to watch your movie Heavyweights with the new Blu-ray commentary you recorded. Thinking about you then and now...
Apatow: Oh yes, I had long beautiful hair! [laughs]
You were young when you wrote and produced that movie — I think you say 26 in the commentary. Do you look to collaborate with younger people because of your own early experiences? Does recalling your earlier work impact what you do now?
Apatow: I'm just a fan of comedians. I try and figure out how to get talented people [to] get their ideas across. It really doesn't matter what age they are. It is fun working with young people at the moment when they're first trying to figure out how they can develop their screen persona. So it was fun working on 40-Year-Old Virgin and Bridesmaids and working with Seth [Rogen] on Superbad and Knocked Up. But I had an amazing time working with Albert Brooks and John Lithgow on This Is 40, and being with people who were brilliant with their craft and had so much to offer. In a lot of ways, that was a new experience for me. I found it equally fulfilling. So who knows, maybe I'll find the courage to work with Dame Judi Dench.
I think the Marigold Hotel sequel is looking for a director.
Do you think you've learned anything as a director from the younger people you've worked with? Even on a film that's about turning 40?
Apatow: Absolutely. Superbad had such a strong comedic point-of-view. We had been kicking it around for a long time — I was producing it for him and his writing partner Evan [Goldberg]. But we couldn't get it made. And in the period that we couldn't get it made, we wrote Knocked Up, and we got that made. And I'm sure working on Superbad influenced how hard we went at a certain edgy type of comedy in Knocked Up. He had a big influence.
And working with Lena Dunham I'm sure influenced This Is 40, because I was seeing someone being so courageous in her choices. It made me want to have the courage to take a lot of risks with my movie. Being around someone like Lena, who is a real visionary, it definitely inspires me.
What about someone like Megan Fox, a young performer but not someone who is known as a "comedic voice"?
Apatow: Megan Fox is an example of a person who people see as a gorgeous woman, and people put them in a box because of one definition. Leslie and I saw her on Saturday Night Live and we instantly thought she was hysterical. We could tell there was so much more going on if she had the opportunity to present to people. So for me, that becomes a major opportunity. I get to be the person to show everyone that Megan Fox is also riotously funny.
So she came in and read with us and improvised and had so many funny and bizarre ideas for her character. I'm really proud of the fact that her work in the movie is so strong. And she's such a nice person, it's great to help somebody get to show more of their colors.
The movie ends up chronicling so many different scenarios for the characters. How did you know how much you could cram into one movie? At times I felt like I was watching one of your television shows.
Apatow: I was definitely influenced, and am probably more influenced these days, by television and shows like Mad Men and The Sopranos. I wanted something that was random, like life. You never know where it's going to go at any moment. You can have a great moment, then life falls apart — then something great happens at the end of the day. That's accurate to what our lives are like.
And I like when you see a movie and you don't know where it's going. There's no clear goal. It's just life, just this week. There isn't a treasure map and they're not trying to find the gold. They're just trying to get to the end of the week and put their birthdays behind them.
When you're making a movie, how do you discern what is random in a way that mimics life versus what is random in a way that's meandering? I assume there's a risk.
Apatow: I watch it with people and I can tell when they're engaged. So, in addition to how much they're laughing — because when people start getting bored, the laughs get smaller and smaller — but also, when there's a new plot point and you hear the whole crowd gasp, you go, "Oh, they're paying attention." I often joke that it's hard to know when the drama's working, because when the joke works, people make a noise. I wish when the drama works there would be a noise. Sometimes there's a "Uh! Ahh!" [laughs] But I think when they like the people and want the best for them, people get deeply involved. I don't need a murder.
Is going back to television with your own original concept something you're still interested in?
Apatow: I'm definitely not closed off to it. I'm having such a good time working on Girls that it's reminded me how much freedom you have on television to be creative. And it would be nice not to worry if scenes got laughs! When we make Girls episodes, I write a few here and there with Lena, it makes me happy to put them on television without having tested them and not wondering how people will react. Do it based on the gut and the story — that's it. Shows don't have to have resolutions that are so clean. With movies, there's a little more of a demand that people learn something.
You've got to have that lesson.
Apatow: It's hard not to have a lesson. But in television, you can end on an awkward moment or a sad moment or a happy moment — you have a different level of freedom.
Another Heavyweights question: on the Blu-ray you mention that Paul Thomas Anderson [director of The Master] loves the movie. I'm curious why he loves it.
Apatow: [Laughs] That's a good question, I'm not sure I know. For a few years, we had the same agent, and he told me he was a big fan of Heavyweights. He was working with Adam [Sandler] on Punch Drunk Love. And it was a great point of pride for me.
You can't get a much better endorsement.
Apatow: I think when you watch The Master, you feel some Heavyweights influence.
Do you talk to Paul, or other filmmakers who might be outside of your sphere of interests, about filmmaking? Ways to evolve the way you work?
Apatow: I don't, but I do ask them to watch my cuts. Ask for input. Sometimes I just want to see if I'm crazy. So I'll show Paul the movie and go, "Does this make any sense at all or am I off base for even attempting this?" He's been kind enough to look at cuts of some of my movies, and has been very helpful.
I go to my heroes when I'm figuring out the edit. In the past, James Brooks has looked at the movies, Jay Roach [Austin Powers], Cameron Crowe, Ron Howard... I'll do anything to find out what I'm doing wrong from the people I respect.
I assume you in turn watched The Master and gave notes about where jokes would fit.
Apatow: Exactly. I was the punch-up guy!
[Photo Credit: Universal Pictures; Walt Disney Pictures]
Follow Matt Patches on Twitter @misterpatches
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Jimi Hendrix may have left us in Sept. 1970, but his presence is still felt every time his music fills a room.
The music legend would have been 70 today, and in celebration of his legacy, we've compiled exactly 70 words of wisdom from the revolutionary guitarist. Of course, no Hendrix tribute would be complete without a soundtrack, so while you enjoy his sage thoughts, feast your ears on one of his greatest musical accomplishments. "I don't really live on compliments. As a matter of fact, I find them distracting." —Hendrix during an interview on The Dick Cavett Showin 1969 Total Word Count: 15 "Even castles made of sand fall into the sea eventually." —Lyrics from "Castles Made of Sand" New Total Word Count: 25 "I'm the one who has to die when it's time for me to die/ So let me live my life the way I want to." —Lyrics from "If 6 was 9" New Total Word Count: 50 "When the power of love overcomes the love of power, the world will know peace." —Hendrix* New Total Word Count (so close!): 65 "Knowledge speaks, but wisdom listens." —Hendrix* New Total Word Count: 7-0(Ta-da!) *These quotes are widely attributed to Hendrix, though many people note the similarities to quotes by William Gladstone and Oliver Wendell Holmes, respectively, and have suggested Hendrix's word were inspired by them. Follow Kelsea on Twitter @KelseaStahler [Photo Credit: Wenn] More: 'The Hunger Games: Catching Fire' First Look: The Quarter Quell Begins! — PICS Cory and Topanga Are In! 'Girl Meets World' Pilot Nabs Danielle Fishel, Ben Savage Staff Picks: The 14 Best Songs of 2012 (And 5 We'd Like to Forget)
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It's the biggest night in television. But will it be the most surprising one? Turns out, not quite. Though there were a few shockers during Sunday's 64th annual Emmy Awards — for instance, Homeland's Damian Lewis wins over Breaking Bad's Bryan Cranston — ABC's Modern Family was, per usual, the belle of the ball with four Emmys, including Outstanding Comedy series. Other big winners of the evening? Showtime's Homeland — which also picked up four wins, including Outstanding Drama — HBO's Game Change — which won four awards, including Best Miniseries or Movie — and Louis C.K., who won Outstanding Writing for his FX darling Louie and Outstanding Writing in a Variety, Music, or Comedy Special for Louis C.K. Live at the Beacon Theater.
Who else walked home with a gold statue? See the complete winners list below and be sure to check out our Emmys hub for all breaking news, interviews, and features surrounding the 2012 Emmys!
Outstanding Drama Series
Game of Thrones
Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series Ed O'Neill, Modern Family Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Modern Family Ty Burrell, Modern Family Winner: Eric Stonestreet, Modern Family Bill Hader, Saturday Night Live Max Greenfield, New Girl
Outstanding Writing for a Comedy Series
Winner: Louis C.K., Louie
Lena Dunham, Girls
Amy Poehler, Parks and Recreation
Michael Schur, Parks and Recreation
Chris McKenna, Community
Outstanding Directing for a Comedy Series
Winner: Steve Levitan, Modern Family
Robert B. Weide, Curb Your Enthusiasm Lena Dunham, Girls Louis C.K., Duckling Jason Winer, Modern Family Jake Kasdan, New Girl
Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series Mayim Bialik, The Big Bang Theory Merritt Wever, Nurse Jackie Winner: Julie Bowen, Modern Family Kristen Wiig, Saturday Night Live Sofia Vergara, Modern Family Kathryn Joosten, Desperate Housewives
Outstanding Comedy Series The Big Bang Theory Curb Your Enthusiasm Girls Winner: Modern Family 30 Rock Veep
Lead Actress in a Comedy Series Zooey Deschanel, New Girl Lena Dunham, Girls Edie Falco, Nurse Jackie Tina Fey, 30 Rock Winner: Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Veep Melissa McCarthy, Mike & Molly Amy Poehler, Parks and Recreation
Lead Actor in a Comedy Series Alec Baldwin, 30 Rock Don Cheadle, House of Lies Louis C.K., Louie Winner: Jon Cryer, Two and a Half Men Larry David, Curb Your Enthusiasm Jim Parsons, The Big Bang Theory
Outstanding Made for TV Movie/Miniseries American Horror Story Winner: Game Change Hatfields & McCoys Hemingway and Gellhorn Luther Sherlock: A Scandal in Belgravia
Leading Actor in a Made for TV Movie/Miniseries Woody Harrelson, Game Change Clive Owen, Hemingway & Gellhorn Benedict Cumberbatch, Sherlock: A Scandal in Belgravia Idris Elba, Luther Winner: Kevin Costner, Hatfields & McCoys Bill Paxton, Hatfields & McCoys
Lead Actress in a Made for TV Movie/Miniseries Winner: Julianne Moore, Game Change Connie Britton, American Horror Story Nicole Kidman, Hemingway & Gellhorn Emma Thompson, The Song of Lunch Ashley Judd, Missing Outstanding Reality-Competition Program Winner: The Amazing Race Dancing With the Stars Project Runway So You Think You Can Dance Top Chef The Voice Outstanding Host for a Reality or Reality-Competition Program Winner: Tom 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 Outstanding Reality Program Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution MythBusters Antiques Roadshow Shark Tank Winner: Undercover Boss Who Do You Think You Are? Outstanding Nonfiction Series American Masters Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations Inside The Actors Studio The Weight Of The Nation Winner: Frozen Planet
Outstanding Variety, Music, or Comedy Series The Colbert Report Winner: The Daily Show with Jon Stewart Jimmy Kimmel Live! Late Night with Jimmy Fallon Real Time with Bill Maher Saturday Night Live Outstanding Variety Special Betty White's 90th Birthday: A Tribute To America's Golden Girl Kathy Griffin: Tired Hooker
Winner: The Kennedy Center Honors Mel Brooks And Dick Cavett Together Again Tony Bennett: Duets II (Great Performances)
Supporting Actor in a Drama Series Winner: 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
Supporting Actress in a Drama Series Archie Panjabi, The Good Wife Anna Gunn, Breaking Bad Winner: Maggie Smith, Downton Abbey Joanna Froggatt, Downton Abbey Christina Hendricks, Mad Men Christine Baranski, The Good Wife
Supporting Actress in a Miniseries or Movie Sarah Paulson, Game Change Frances Conroy, American Horror Story Winner: Jessica Lange, American Horror Story Judy Davis, Page Eight Mare Winningham, Hatfields & McCoys Supporting Actor in a Miniseries or Movie Ed Harris, Game Change Denis O'Hare, American Horror Story David Strathairn, Hemingway & Gellhorn Martin Freeman, Sherlock: A Scandal in Belgravia Winner: Tom Berenger, Hatfields & McCoys Guest Actress in a Comedy Series Dot-Marie Jones, Glee Maya Rudolph, Saturday Night Live Melissa McCarthy, Saturday Night Live Elizabeth Banks, 30 Rock Margaret Cho, 30 Rock Winner: Kathy Bates, Two and a Half Men Guest Actor in a Comedy Series Michael J. Fox, Curb Your Enthusiasm Greg Kinnear, Modern Family Bobby Cannavale, Nurse Jackie Winner: Jimmy Fallon, Saturday Night Live Will Arnett, 30 Rock Jon Hamm, 30 Rock Guest Actress in a Drama Series Winner: Martha Plimpton, The Good Wife Loretta Devine, Grey's Anatomy Jean Smart, Harry's Law Julia Ormond, Mad Men Joan Cusack, Shameless Uma Thurman, Smash Guest Actor in a Drama Series Mark Margolis, Breaking Bad Dylan Baker, The Good Wife Michael J. Fox, The Good Wife Winner: Jeremy Davies, Justified Ben Feldman, Mad Men Jason Ritter, Parenthood Outstanding Animated Program American Dad Bob's Burgers Futurama Winner: The Penguins Of Madagascar: The Return Of The Revenge Of Dr. Blowhole The Simpsons Outstanding Children's Program Degrassi Good Luck Charlie iCarly Victorious Winner: Wizards Of Waverly Place
Writing for a Drama Series
Winner: Alex Gansa, Howard Gordon, Gideon Raff, Homeland
Directing for a Drama Series
Winner: Tim Van Patten, Boardwalk Empire
Vince Gilligan, Breaking Bad
Brian Percival, Downton Abbey
Phil Abraham, Mad Men
Michael Cuesta, Homeland
Lead Actor in a Drama Series
Winner: Damian Lewis, Homeland
Steve Buscemi, Boardwalk Empire
Michael C. Hall, Dexter
Bryan Cranston, Breaking Bad
Hugh Bonneville, Downton Abbey
Jon Hamm, Mad Men
Lead Actress in a Drama Series
Winner: Claire Danes, Homeland
Julianna Margulies, The Good Wife
Kathy Bates, Harry's Law
Elisabeth Moss, Mad Men
Michelle Dockery, Downton Abbey
Glenn Close, Damages
Writing for a Variety Special
Winner: Louis C.K., Louis C.K. Live At The Beacon Theatre
Dave Boone, Written by; Paul Greenberg, 65th Annual Tony Awards George Stevens, Jr., Written by; Michael M. Stevens, Written by; Sara Lukinson, Written by; Lewis Friedman, The Kennedy Center Honors
Jon Macks, Written by; Dave Boone, Written by; Carol Leifer, Written by; Tim Carvell, Special Material Written by; Jeff Cesario, Special Material Written by; Billy Crystal, Special Material Written by; Ed Driscoll, Special Material Written by; Billy Martin, Special Material Written by; Ben Schwartz, Special Material Written by; Marc Shaiman, Special Material Written by; Eric Stangel, Special Material Written by; Justin Stangel, Special Material Written by; David Steinberg, Special Material Written by; Mason Steinberg, Special Material Written by; Colleen Werthmann, 84th Annual Academy Awards
Jon Macks, Written by; Steve Ridgeway, Written by; Mason Steinberg, Written by; Brad Lachman, Betty White's 90th Birthday: A Tribute To America's Golden Girl
Directing for a Variety Special
Don Mischer, 84th Annual Academy Awards Louis J. Horvitz, The 54th Annual Grammy Awards Louis C.K, Louis C.K. Live at the Beacon Theatre Alan Skog, New York City Ballet George Balanchine's The Nutcracker (Live From Lincoln Center) Winner: Glenn Weiss, 65th Annual Tony Awards
Writing for a Miniseries, Movie, or a Dramatic Special
Winner: Danny Strong, Game Change
Ted Mann, Ronald Parker & Bill
Abi Morgan, The Hour
Neil Cross, Luther
Steven Moffat, Sherlock: A Scandal in Belgravia
Directing for a Miniseries, Movie, or a Dramatic Special
Winner: Jay Roach, Game Change
Philip Kaufman, Hemmingway & Gellhorn
Paul McGuigan, Sherlock: A Scandal in Belgravia
Kevin Reynolds, Hatfields & McCoys
Sam Miller, Luther
[Photo Credit: ABC]
Emmys Idle Threats: Give Steve Buscemi an Emmy or I'll Waste Away with Whiskey
Emmy Idle Threats: Give 'Game of Thrones' Emmy Gold or I'll Give (?) a Crown of Gold
Emmys Idle Threats: Give Lena Dunham an Emmy or Chris O'Dowd Will Yell at You
On its first day of release in Britain, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone sold an astounding 1.25 million video and DVD copies, breaking the 1.1 million sales record set by Titanic in 1997. Some stores even opened at midnight Friday to sell the video and reported large crowds, The Associated Press reports. Harry Potter videos and DVDs, which are distributed by Warner Home Video, are set to go on sale in the United States on May 28.
Madonna made her West End debut in the play Up For Grabs at London's Wyndhams Theatre on Monday evening. While members of the press were not allowed into the auditorium, fans who saw the preview show commented that the pop star got off to a nervous start but that her performance improved as she went along, according to the BBC. The show opens for a 10-week run starting on May 23.
Nicole Kidman's camp is dismissing rumors that the Aussie star is dating Spider-Man thesp Tobey Maguire. "They hung out together some, a couple of weekends ago. End of story. No romance," a spokeswoman said. Funny--we never even heard of the rumor until now.
"It's all untrue." That is what ex-football star O.J. Simpson is saying about an article that appeared in Ohio paper Toledo Blade, which alleges he did illegal drugs, the AP reports. According to the article, admitted drug dealers told federal agents they snorted cocaine with Simpson as far back as 1999 and sold him the drug as recently as seven months ago.
Sylvester Stallone, Thandie Newton, Gabriel Byrne and Stuart Townsend will star in Damian Nieman's directorial debut, Shade, for RKO Pictures. According to The Hollywood Reporter, the film is set in the world of poker hustlers working the clubs and martini bars of Los Angeles. Production begins in Los Angeles May 30.
Friends star Matthew Perry has agreed to star in two films for Paramount Pictures, including One of Us, a drama in which he falls in love with an alien who's cloaked in human form, Variety reports. Perry will follow that film with a comedy. The deal comes after Perry filmed Paramount's Serving Sara, alongside Elizabeth Hurley, which hits theaters this August.
In the Biz
Paramount has more than the Friends star up its sleeve. The studio, along with MTV Films, has teamed up with Ludacris and Original Film to develop a feature film based on the rap star. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Skip Day will be a sort of House Party meets Ferris Bueller's Day Off with Ludacris starring as a teenager who is transferred from an inner-city school to an uptight suburban prep school.
Following the success of the hit series CSI: Crime Scene Investigation and The Amazing Race, producer Jerry Bruckheimer is churning out four new shows for CBS this fall. The network has already picked up Bruckheimer's CSI: Miami and Without a Trace, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
A new Gallup Poll shows that Johnny Carson is ranked the best late-night talk-show host of all time, CNN reports. Respondents were asked to pick from six hosts, including David Letterman, Jay Leno, Steve Allen, Jack Paar and Dick Cavett.
Richard Karn, who played Al on the successful series Home Improvement, will become the host of Family Feud, the AP reports. Karn will replace Louis Anderson.
U2 frontman Bono and U.S. Treasury Secretary Paul O'Neill will begin a 10-day tour of Africa on May 20, the AP reports. The duo will visit Ghana, Uganda, South Africa and Ethiopia to visit schools, AIDS clinics and various World Bank development projects.
Indiana Jones star Harrison Ford accepted an award from Harvard Medical School's Center for Health and the Global Environment on Monday, the AP reports. Ford was honored for his work with the board of Conservation International, in helping to save various plants and animals around the world.
November 15, 2001 1:03pm EST
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, set to debut in 3,672 theaters on Friday, looks to be on its way to breaking weekend box office records, Reuters reports. The record for widest opening belongs to Mission: Impossible, which opened in 3,653 theaters last summer and made $56.8 million. The record number of theaters scheduled to show Harry Potter could push the movie to surpass the $72.1 million three-day opening of The Lost World: Jurassic Park in 1997.
Singer Van Morrison won a libel suit against the London paper Sunday Independent over statements that he had an affair with singer Linda Gail Lewis. The paper has fully accepted that there was absolutely no truth in the allegation and agreed to pay substantial damages to Morrison, including legal costs, BBC News reports. Morrison, who recently recorded an album with Lewis, called the allegations a complete and utter fabrication.
In the soon-to-be-released documentary Being Mick, Mick Jagger pokes fun at Britain's royal family for not awarding him any royal honors, The Associated Press reports. Right before a meeting with Prince Charles, Jagger puts on an exaggerated upper-class English accent and jokes, "Is it true that you haven't got anything at all? That is rather odd, isn't it." Paul McCartney and Elton John both wear the title of "sir." The documentary will air on ABC on Thanksgiving.
Michael Jackson: 30th Anniversary Special surprised CBS execs with a stunning 25.73 million viewers, the largest audience for a music special on any network since ABC's Beatles Anthology in 1995. Variety, which dubbed it the "Wacko Jacko" effect, claims viewers tuned in not so much for the music, but to get a glimpse at the frighteningly pale and surgically altered Jackson.
For the first time in its 18-year history, Jeopardy! will increase the dollar amount on its question-and-answer board, raising the minimum amount to $200 from the current $100 and the top amount to $2,000 from $1,000, Reuters reports. The show's longtime host Alex Trebek said he is happy that contestants will be rewarded even more for their hard work and vast knowledge.
Author Jonathan Franzen won the National Book Award for fiction Wednesday for his novel The Corrections, Reuters reports. Franzen found himself embroiled in controversy last month when he voiced reservations about having the novel included in Oprah Winfrey's book club. After complaining about having the club's logo on the dust cover of his novel, Winfrey took back her invitation to have Franzen appear on her show.
Over the next two months, Jerry Springer, Sally Jessy Raphael, Penn & Teller, Dave Holmes, Cindy Adams, Gilbert Gottfried and Robin Leach will temporarily replace Dick Cavett as the narrator of The Rocky Horror Picture Show on Broadway. After Cavett warned his successors about the show's crazed fans, daytime talk Raphael told AP, "People throw things? That's part of my daily existence. I'm afraid that is not a stretch."
A study by researchers at the University of Tuebingen in Germany indicates that the brain waves of professional musicians respond to music in a way that suggests they have an intuitive sense of the notes. Using brain-scanning MRI machines to peer into the minds of professional German violinists, neuroscientists found the subjects could hear the music by simply thinking about it, AP reports.
October 23, 2001 10:57am EST
Organizers of three all-star benefit concerts this weekend have so far raised an estimated at $17 million, The Associated Press reports. The New York concert, which featured Paul McCartney, Billy Joel and Elton John, raised approximately $14 million while the United We Stand concert in Washington raised about $3 million. Ticket sales figures for the Nashville charity concert were not available Monday. A concert in Seattle featuring R.E.M. also raised $1 million for a United Nations food program.
Andre Agassi and Steffi Graf were married Monday in a private ceremony by a Las Vegas judge, Reuters reports. The two are expecting their first child in December.
An independent inquiry found significant failings in the care of paranoid schizophrenic Michael Abram, who stabbed former Beatle George Harrison at his home in December 1999. The probe found that Abram went untreated despite numerous contacts with mental health and drug services before he was discharged from a psychiatric hospital in November 1999. The report also criticized community health services for not notifying Abram's family after his discharge, Reuters reports.
O.J. Simpson testified at his road rage trial in Miami that Jeffrey Pattinson "puffed up like a bullfrog and went off," People.com reports. Pattinson, who lives near Simpson, claims Simpson ran a stop sign and flew into a rage when he honked his horn. Simpson was acquitted of murdering his ex-wife and her friend in 1995, but was later held responsible for their deaths in a civil trial.
James Brown's former security chief pleaded guilty to forgery, property damage and stealing $75,000 from the singer, AP reports. Richard Glenn, who was arrested in May 2000 after a fire destroyed a business office for James Brown Enterprises, was sentenced to 15 years on Friday.
Country singer Johnny Cash was released from Baptist Hospital in Nashville Monday after recovering from a two-week bout with bronchitis, Reuters reports. Cash was admitted to the hospital Oct. 7. He suffers from autonomic neuropathy, which makes him susceptible to pneumonia.
Fox on Monday announced plans to re-release Moulin Rouge on Nov. 21, with special engagements in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago and San Francisco. According to Variety, the theatrical re-release will not affect its home video release on Dec. 18.
First week sales for Star Wars: Episode I -- The Phantom Menace have set a record with an estimated 2.2 million DVD units purchased by consumers since its release on Oct. 16, Variety reports. The sales equate to more than $45 million in consumer spending on the DVD.
Jerry Springer will be replacing talk show host Dick Cavett in the production of The Rocky Horror Picture Show reopening on Broadway Oct. 30. According to Variety, Springer played the narrator 20 years ago in a Cincinnati Playhouse production of Rocky Horror.
While the Spice Girls have not decided whether to split the band, two members have confirmed they have dumped their manager Nancy Phillips. Melanie Brown and Victoria Beckham blame Phillips for their lack of success as solo artists, the BBC reports. Meanwhile, former Spice Girl Geri Halliwell will be launching a sex education Web site this week aimed at children under the age of 16.
An hourly talk show featuring television personality Dick Cavett, as part of ABC's post-midnight programming. The celebrated actress, comedienne and satirist Lily Tomlin, and actor/comedian Tom Hanks appeared as the guests on the premiere episode.