Monday, September 23, 2013

The 2013 Emmy Awards: My review

Someone told the Emmy producers that the “In Memoriam” segment always got a ratings spike. So this year they presented the most maudlin award show ever. It was one long funeral interspersed with production numbers. In addition to the normal obit montage there were individual tributes, musical tributes, presidential tributes, and we even got to see Lee Harvey Oswald shot again. Why not just hold the festivities at Arlington National Cemetery?

Neil Patrick Harris was the host so there were high expectations based on his previous hosting triumphs. What a letdown. Instead of coming out and blowing everyone away with a spectacular musical number (like he does on the Tonys), he did a tepid filmed bit about binge-watching (I thought we were back in the hatch on LOST), then a monologue that scored as often as the Houston Astros (Paula Deen jokes? Really?), and finally a lame bit where former Emmy hosts offered advice. In keeping with the theme of the evening, the opening died.

Still, in fairness, he did the best with what he was given. And throughout the night he did have a couple of good quips. I’d just make him the permanent host and move on.

But before we get to the show itself, no major award ceremony would be complete without a look-in at the KTLA Channel 5 Red Carpet coverage with Hollywood Fawn Correspondent Sam Rubin and his booblehead doll, Jessica Holmes. They were in rare form this year! They interviewed all the big stars, like six-year-old Aubrey Anderson-Emmons who plays Lily on MODERN FAMILY. Sam asked what was in her purse? Later, Sam asked fourteen-year-old Nolan Gould, who plays Luke on the show: “Do you think the grown-ups are going to be excited about this?”

Jessica asked Matt LaBlanc why he thought he’s lost so many Emmys?

Sam to Jeff Daniels, who plays an anchor on THE NEWSROOM: “Would you ever want to be the big anchor?” to which Daniels replied: “First of all, I’m fictional.”

Jessica to Linda Cardellini: “Did anyone famous step on your train?”

But the best was Sam with Kunal Nayyar. Kunal had been wearing Google Glass and said it will take a picture of what you see. Sam then asked: “Can it capture your thoughts?” I swear, I'm not making this up.

Once they started handing out the actual hardware, the show became the Cable Ace Awards. Or, this year – the Liber-ace Awards.

I was thrilled that BEHIND THE CANDLEABRA got best TV movie. Same with Michael Douglas winning Best Actor. Weren’t you curious as to who his date was going to be? His ‘two-hander” remark was a highlight or lowlight of the evening depending upon which state you're in.

For Best Comedy the choices were shows that used to be better vs. shows you wish were better. But I was glad that MODERN FAMILY won although when Steve Levitan, the most handsome writer in the history of the WGA and one of the most charming people you’ll ever meet says he’s a ‘loser” I have to go, “Huh????” If he's a loser then the rest of us are serving life sentences in Papillon

BREAKING BAD was also a very worthy choice. HOUSE OF CARDS might have won if it had actually been on TV. Of course, no fan of BREAKING BAD saw them win since they were watching BREAKING BAD instead.

There were a few surprises but none bigger than Jeff Daniels winning Best Actor in a Drama over Kevin Spacey, Bryan Cranston, Jon Hamm, and some other guys. Note to him and a lot of actors last night: ease up on the spray tan. There’s something wrong when Jeff Daniels is darker than Mindy Kaling.

And what’s with the beard, Jon Hamm? Have you joined the Boston Red Sox?

Didn’t expect Merritt Wever to win but cheered when she did. Neil Patrick Harris was right. Best speech ever. Here’s what she said: “I gotta go. Bye.”

Connie Britton looked like she was wearing the showroom curtain from Caesar’s Palace.

Bob Newhart’s Emmy win was only 51 years overdue. I loved the spontaneous standing ovation he received. It was so nice to see someone saluted who was still alive.

So Rob Reiner does a heartfelt tribute to Jean Stapleton and then they cut to dufus Shermar Moore backstage saying they’ve got “a party goin’ on!” Nice segue. At least they didn’t have anyone twerking while Reiner spoke.

Elton John, who has nothing to do with television, did a tribute to Liberace. I forget the title. “Candelabra in the Wind” I think. He was wearing a sparkly blue jumpsuit and I was worried there would be a fashion faux pas and Jane Lynch would be wearing the same outfit. Fortunately, she wore her Ming the Magnificent pantsuit instead.

Here’s how important the Emmys are to Hollywood: In the LA Times entertainment section yesterday, Emmy coverage began on page 9. Page 6 featured a big article on Wong Kar Wai.

Julia Louis-Dreyfus is a comedy goddess. And I loved Tony Hale standing right behind her as he does on VEEP. His win was a nice surprise. (Was it a make-good for ARRESTED DEVELOPMENT?)

I’m surprised DOWNTON ABBEY didn’t win more awards since they killed off half their cast this year.

Betty White and Ryan Seacrest competed in the same category and it wasn’t “Most hours on television over a lifetime.” Ryan would have won that award.

Which brings me to that painful mock public service announcement for “excessive hosting disorder” featuring the cast of HOW I MET YOUR MOTHER and twelve bad dick jokes. I couldn’t wait for the next eulogy segment.

And when Neil Patrick Harris finally did do a production number in the middle of the show it looked like a bad version of that Sam Horowitz Bar Mitzvah video that went viral on YouTube.

The WHITNEY Emmy screener makes a really nifty coaster.

Funniest moment was Tina Fey and Amy Poehler crawling onto the stage. Second funniest: the Oscar Meyer luncheon meat commercial.

CBS took this opportunity to trot out as many of their “stars” as possible as presenters, which explains why many Time-Warner cable subscribers didn’t know who they were.

Morena Baccarin still looked gorgeous even though she’s fifteen months pregnant.

And for downright stunning, I’ve got to acknowledge Kerry Washington, Robin Wright, Cobie Smulders, Sofia Vergara, Zooey Deschanel, her sister, Tina Fey, Anna Gunn, and Kate Mara who gets extra points for the side boobs (to see the rest go to Netflix).

THE VOICE beat perennial winner THE AMAZING RACE for best Reality Competition Series. People would rather watch Adam Levine than couples fighting drug mules for the last two seats on a flight out of Colombia.

And finally, finally! THE COLBERT REPORT knocked off THE DAILY SHOW. That’ll teach Jon Stewart to take the summer off.

The personal tributes were lovely except for Robin Williams, who took the occasion of a eulogy to trot out his tired shtick, but how do you determine whose death deserves a personal tribute over someone else’s? With all due respect, why was Cory Monteith’s so honored and not Jack Klugman? Or Larry Hagman? Or Annette? Why Gary David Goldberg and not Alan Kirschenbaum? By the way, Reinhold Weege, who created NIGHT COURT and produced BARNEY MILLER wasn’t even included in the overall “In Memoriam” montage. And just so you know: Cory Monteith never won an Emmy. Jack Klugman won three. Annette hosted the Emmys one year.

Everyone says Lena Dunham is courageous for always walking around naked. Far more courageous was wearing that hideous green schmatah.

The Academy sent out a pretty clear message. Louis C.K. – not yet. Lena Dunham – not happening. Chuck Lorre – never.

What does it say when Bill Maher is now 0-32 and most Emmy voters are Democrats?

Wow! Diahann Carroll said she’d be royally pissed if Kerry Washington didn’t win (She didn’t. Claire Danes deservedly did.) and then took a gratuitous shot at actor Lloyd Nolan who’s been dead for almost thirty years. Oh wait, maybe that was another eulogy.

Anna Faris looked like a big yellow Easter Peep.

Odd that MODERN FAMILY won for Best Comedy without a single writing nomination. That said, yay Tina Fey and Tracy Wigfield! Nice to see women win this award. And nice to see a woman win Best Director for a Comedy.  Kudos  to Gail Mancuso, whom I’ve hired several times so I’m going to just claim I discovered her.

One of my favorite moments was when Kevin Spacey shooed the camera away when they took a close up of him for no reason. I’m only sorry he lost because I would have loved to have heard him blast network television the way he’s been doing at every luncheon from here to Kiwanis’s Chapter 345.

If Zosia Mamet’s dress was the result of another Kickstarter campaign she must’ve only raised eleven dollars.

Note to the Academy: Presenters should be able to pronounce the name of their category. Heidi Klum can’t say choreography.

What a loss writer Henry Bromell was. His “Q & A” script for HOMELAND was truly brilliant. Claire Danes gave a touching tribute, but since he wasn’t a former cast member of GLEE she got the walk-off music halfway through it.

Claire looked scrumptious in that suggestion of a dress. Looking at that sheer gown I thought, “this is the closest I’m ever going to come to having X-Ray vision.”

The walk-off music in general was way too quick. Any time anyone had a genuine moment, like Stephen Colbert thanking his mother, out came the musical hook. Producers needed that time for a random bloated production number highlighting choreography. Nothing salutes grim dramas better than Rockettes.

Carrie Preston looked like the Little Mermaid. So did Alyson Hannigan.

For some unfathomable reason other than an excuse to show the Kennedy funeral (because the show wasn’t dreary enough), they had a musical salute to the year 1963. Carrie Underwood sang “Yesterday”, which was a song from 1965. By the way, Paul McCartney is in town. He’s doing the Jimmy Kimmell Show tonight. Wouldn’t it have been a wacky idea to ask him to sing the song instead of a country singer who was born in 1983? Two of the Beatles are still with us, y'know?

All in all, this year’s Emmycast was a somewhat muted affair. Black is the new Orange. I’m sure the 6,000 in attendance couldn’t wait to get to their Emmy parties, or as they’re calling them this year – shiva calls.

I gotta go. Bye.


Carol said...

Disclaimer: I didn't watch the Emmy Awards. I planned on just checking YouTube to see what NPH did later on. Which I did.

This brings me to my Friday question. Do you, as a comedy writer, think there's room for variety show format in today's television landscape? I'm talking the old-fashioned, Carol Burnett type show. Because if anyone can pull off a varity show successsfully, I think NPH could. I'd watch it, anyway.

Daniel S. said...

Agreed re Macca.

George Burditt was left out of the tributes, too.

Anonymous said...

Nicely done.

15-Seconds said...

VERY minor point...wasn't it "Ming the Merciless" (not Magnificent?)

Johnny Walker said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Johnny Walker said...

Sounds pretty dull! Yet another year that doesn't appear to have been ruined by watching the "best bits" on YouTube.

I'm super-happy that Breaking Bad won, but am I the only one who feels that this year's episodes haven't been up to scratch with the rest? (Although I guess none of this year's were eligible for nomination.)

I'm asking here because there's some smart TV watchers who comment, and all my friends are loving it. Am I really alone in feeling that some of the "magic" of the previous years is missing?

Some examples:

- The smart dialogue seems to be missing. For example, even Bob Odenkirk's usually reliable Saul hasn't raised a smile from me.
- There's been a few, "But why didn't they just...?" moments. (Like why didn't Hank or Gomez call for backup...? Yes, H's career was on the line, but... really?)
- For a show that's always been so visually exciting, things feel flat. Even Rian Johnson's episode seemed run-of-the-mill.

It just feels like they had less time/less money this year.

Is it just me? Are my expectations too high? Is everyone else loving it?

Wendy M. Grossman said...

I guess I'm the only one who liked Connie Britton's dress; I thought the colors looked great on her and so did the shape. The ones I can't stand are the flesh-toned things, especially coupled with the fake blonde hair so many actresses have.

As for the winners: I like Jeff Daniels' work, but he shouldn't have won; I can't believe Jon Hamm keeps getting overlooked. Pleased for Jim Parsons, Carrie Preston, Merritt Wever, all of whose work on their respective shows I've loved (despite, in the case of Wever, not particularly liking the show she's on). How does Edie Falco keep getting nominated for NURSE JACKIE when even she admits she's not funny?

Friday question: if Chuck Lorre really is "never" going to win an Emmy (why?) which would he rather have? Three (possibly soon four) highly successful shows on the air, one of which is the top-rated comedy with a still-growing audience, or less popular success and the award? Granted, Lorre almost certainly would rather have both - but if he can only choose one?


Oliver said...

The writers/producers did a bad job. Incredibly limp material. Especially disappointing as NPH is a great host who can deliver anything, but he had absolutely nothing to work with. I realise it's a tough gig but it was just woeful.

E!'s cross-promotion of USA's Modern Family reruns and NBC shows was incredibly obnoxious. Screw you Steve Burke and your "symphony", you're impacting my enjoyment. Shame how many businesses emphasise obnoxious cross-promotion and synergy over delivering a good product.

Even CBS's in-show promotion was less irritating, aside from the blatant Arsenio Hall bit.

Oliver said...

Also, my pitch for NBC's show next year: Joel McHale.

It's likely to be Fallon or Meyers, but McHale is funnier than either, plus he has the writing staff of The Soup and Harmon/Schrab (who did Jackman's Oscars opening) to write him bits.

Then again, knowing NBC, they will go with Sean Hayes.

DwWashburn said...

With few exceptions (Jim Parsons, Modern Family) the Emmy voters showed that they believe taking network programs and adding cursing, nudity and gore to them makes them award worthy.

My wife subscribes to some of the premium cable networks so I’ve had the chance to sample a few of the shows. And they look just like the ones you see on CBS or ABC except everyone swears like sailors and every now and again you see some skin or someone spewing out fake blood. And this is what impresses the Emmy voters? Dear Lord, I’m back in fifth grade again.

VP81955 said...

Perhaps the worst by-product of adding cable and related programs to the Emmys is that it has considerably diminished the comedy awards. Whereas in the '90s the likes of "Seinfeld" and "Frasier" (and even the overrated "Friends") spurred water-fountain conversation, dramas hold that distinction today -- and whereas in the '80s "Cheers" and "The Cosby Show" revived the genre, Showtime, HBO, AMC, etc., have next to no interest in creating comedies. Who's going to revive the sitcom -- PBS? (Not that I'm counting on help from a "network" ridiculously dominated by WGBH. New York, Los Angeles and Chicago should rule public broadcasting, not those stuck-up Ivy Leaguers from Boston.) Any thoughts, Ken?

Cindy S. said...

Totally agree with your review. I thought the too short time for the acceptance speeches was totally tasteless and NPH seemed flatr from the beginning.
Can I please get those three-and-a-half hours back?

Johnny Walker said...

Forget what I wrote. I just watched "Granite State" (the penultimate episode) and I finally completely re-engaged with the show. Wow. Goosebumps.

Maybe I just needed to voice my doubts.

Anonymous said...

The Amazing Race zinger would have hit closer to home if you knew how to spell Colombia correctly.

Bubba Gurney said...

Ken can't help it...he grew up subscribing to the Columbia Record Club under 15 different names.

Edward Copeland said...

I was complaining about singling out Cory Monteith for a separate tribute when they announced it. (Sorry Larry Hagman and Jack Klugman -- your bodies of work can't possibly equal his.) Even worse, at least the Oscars finally got the clue to drop the mics in the audience when they do the Memoriam clip montage. Not the Emmys, so you hear the applause rise and fall as if it's a contest for "Who Is Our Favorite Dead Person?"

Igor said...

When Edie Falco delivered her tribute to James Gandolfini, her dress looked like a blue Gumby costume (minus the head piece; plus a train).

Anthony V. said...

Why did the producers think the audience wanted to see a conceptual dance segment? If they cut this, it would have not run over. And why after a series of commercials do we get 30 seconds of NPH saying "Coming up Michael J. Fox..." and then another series of commercial? Can't they just run all the commercials and come back to the show? Sadly, I think the extended tributes were done this year just so they could do an extended tribute to Cory Monteith. I bet someone thought this would make the show a hit with the young kids but then they realized they couldn't focus on this one young star so they added a few others. In any event, it did not work. Stick to the one "In Memoriam" segment and really, there is no excuse for leaving out anyone, let alone Reinhold Weegie.

Igor said...

Upon further review, that was not Kate Mara side-boob. It was a well-color-matched undergarment.

Lois Bernard said...

Ken, I was so glad to read your review. I was beginning to think I was being overly critical but yes, more time for memorials than speeches. I think, maybe being paranoid, that producers did not want to give any of the winners a chance to say something poignant or politically controversial. And point well taken about the tragic loss of Henry Bromell. The overly long and totally boring production numbers, and the "yesterday" made feel well, bored, (I checked on twitter and there was alot of that going on) and yes I was watching the fantastic Breaking Bad DVR'd as well.

Deke said...

"With all due respect, why was Cory Monteith’s so honored and not Jack Klugman?"


It's what happens when bean counters are invited into the planning meetings.

jackscribe said...

A perfect example of the stark difference between the NYC Tony Awards and the LA Emmys state of mind. Last evening was over-produced and under-written. Taking a free-flowing talent like NPH and limiting him from what he does best was a waste. Ho hum.

Diogo said...

I think it's Merritt Weaver, not Merrill

cshel said...

Ken -

I have to disagree with you about Claire Danes's dress. Well, the dress was great, but she looked horrible in it. The top was ill-fitted for her. It was a flashback to Gwyneth Paltrow at the Oscars years ago. I think she's a very attractive woman, but last night - the dress top, the hairstyle, the makeup - something was just off.

I do agree with you about Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Tina Fey, and Amy Poehler. They were the highlights of the show - and their tops fit right.

And it was a fun moment when the Colbert Report finally beat The Daily Show.

And the standing O for Bob Newhart - amazing he never won an Emmy before.

I thought it was odd and disappointing that in the individual death tributes they didn't show any clips.

Except for a few things, it was a ho-hum show.

Mike C said...

Check out Liberace and Elton, sort of ... via SCTV ...

Frank Paradise said...

I'm just glad nobody mentioned comedies when they referred to the new Golden Age of television as comedy has gone back to the Bronze Age.

Jeffro said...

Tina Fey is Zooey Deschanel's sister? I'm learning all kinds of informative stuff from this blog!

Cap'n Bob said...

If there are no categories for Best Small Claims Court Show, Best Storage Locker Auction Show, or Best pawn Shop Show, I have no reason to watch. So I don't. But I love to read your take on the proceedings, Ken, even the Mr. Blackwell impressions.

cardsfan said...

1. Gee, those Shemar Moore backstage segments were awful.

2. Even gay people thought this show was too gay.

3. Jeff Daniels. Seriously?

4. Watching the Emmys train wreck was bad enough. But even worse were the CBS sitcom promos. Uggghhh!

5. Claire Danes' cleavage: Step away people, there's nothing to see here.

RCP said...

"In Memoriam" segments are rarely satisfying. To be totally fair, you'd have to give everyone equal time but we all have our favorites - then there's the issue of merit on a professional level. Personally, I'd rather watch 30-second clips of Jonathan Winters, Jean Stapleton, Larry Hagman, Jack Klugman, etc. than the actual show. To make time, get rid of those pointless production numbers (sorry, out of work dancers), which would also allot a few more precious seconds for acceptance speeches. I thought the most moving part of the evening was Henry Bromwell's lovely wife.

Julia, Amy, Tina, Kevin Spacey, Michael Douglas and Bob Newhart were among the highlights. I'm glad James Cromwell won - his portrayal on "American Horror Story: Asylum" was chilling.

As much as I like Claire Danes, I have to disagree with you about her dress, Ken - not flattering. The guys have it easy - all they have to do is show up in black tie. Your 'On the Red Carpet' comments are hilarious.

Kelly said...

Good grief. Who gives the best grief? Dullsville Emmyland! And Jeff Daniels was chewing gum! Good grief. And I thought spray tans were for strippers. Also, please leave the dick lit out of next years telecast which felt like a grief telethon. Al Pacino looked embalmed sitting next to his daughter. That WAS his daughter, right?? Oh, of course it wan't his daughter. And to the poster knocking the knockers of one Claire Danes...real boobs rule!!

Elayne Boosler said...

AS usual, YOU are the best writer in television. This review is your best yet, hilarious and brilliant. Thank you thank you for the laughs and insight. Sharing everywhere. Genius! Elayne Boosler

YEKIMI said...


VERY minor point...wasn't it "Ming the Merciless" (not Magnificent?)

"Ming the Magnificent" was the less famous gay twin of "Ming the Merciless"

YEKIMI said...


VERY minor point...wasn't it "Ming the Merciless" (not Magnificent?)

"Ming the Magnificent" was the less famous gay twin of "Ming the Merciless"

JC said...

A Friday Question:

We're all here because we find your blog very interesting, we enjoy your writing, and we also learn from it. That's a given. So what's with the obvious ass-kissing in some of the comments? I find myself rolling my eyes... I'm wondering if you do the same.

BrettJ said...

Didn't like the show, hated Clare Dane's dress, thought Ms. Vergara's was the nicest. Am I the ONLY person in the world who does not find Ms. Fey and Ms. Poehler not even remotely funny? I am so sick of smart-ass, in-joke humor.

Anonymous said...

How all awards show should be...

C.J. (approaches) They sent me two turkeys. The most photo-friendly of the two gets a Presidential pardon and a full life at a children’s zoo. The runner-up gets eaten.
BARTLET: If the Oscars were like that, I’d watch.

From The West Wing

Gypsy Bob said...

Ken, you're right on the money (literally) on why the Emmys stretched out the memorials. And the ones that got special tributes were all chosen for business reasons, often more for who was presenting than who just died.

Jean Stapleton - The influence of Ron Reiner, powerful director

James Gandofini - Has a new movie out that was advertised during the show

Jonathan Winters - Robin Williams has a new show.

Cory Monteith - young and dead so young and living would watch

Gary David Goldberg - Michael J Fox has a new show

The other dead people had no such connections to anything or anyone with an agenda.

When the dancers were bopping to "Breaking Bad" and BANG-BANG-BANGING to "Big Bang Theory," it reminded me of another Emmy moment in which Donny and Marie sang "Hill Street Blues/Hill Street Blues..."

That goes down in comedy music history with "Star Wars/Give me those Star Wars" and "Kelly/Kelly/Kelly/Kelly/Kelly."

Gypsy Bob said...

Ron, Rob, whatever Reiner.

Chris said...

I hope my Friday question doesn't get lost in all the post-Emmy stuff. Here goes: I have seen "The Innkeepers" episode of Frasier several times now (Frasier and Niles buy their once favorite restaurant and disaster and hilarity ensue). It was just on the other night. So, looking at it I'm thinking it had to be a production nightmare: a major redo of a huge set, water from the sprinklers, wet actors (hair, make-up, costumes), Roz's hair after the explosion, a breakaway wall. Holy Mackerel. How on earth did you do it that night? Was there even an audience? Were there scenes pre-shot and rolled in? Can you share anything? Thanks in advance.

Anonymous said...

Eff Ken Erlich... #gottagobye

Bob B. said...

Count me as one who can't get enought of Tina Fey. Almost every program I've seen her in, she has always scored mega comedy points. Amy is a little hit and miss, but not Tina.

Judy Hughes said...

I'm a little late to the party (as you had asked this question a couple of weeks back), but I came to your site as you made the 2011 Time Magazine list and I checked it out. Since then, I have come back every day to check on your latest musings. No, I have no interest in writing screenplays or moving to Hollywood or anything of that nature. Today's article is the PERFECT example of why I come visit every day. You are HILARIOUS Ken Levine! Truly enjoyed your review of the Emmy Awards - Death and Dance version.

Thanks so much for always brightening my day.

Anonymous said...

Kate Mara was the only winner in that family Sunday. Both the NY football Giants and Pittsburgh Steelers lost.

Breadbaker said...

Michael Douglas's comment on his son Cameron, who is in jail for drug offenses, was quite an interesting use of the medium.

chuckcd said...

...but not a real green dress, that's cruel.

Anonymous said...

I enjoyed the 40-minute salute to Genevieve from the Jack Paar show.

Amity said...

Hi Ken!

I caught a little of the Emmys last night, and I thought it was so-so. (Sorry, but the Tony's were much better!)

Anyways, I have a Friday Questions for ya:

At the Emmys, the showed clips of writers answering a few questions, one of them being who's funnier: you or your writing partner?

So, who's funnier you or David?


Mike said...

1) Abi Morgan swiped a gong for The Hour. As a mini-series? It was 6 episodes; 12 if you count the previous series. That's a whole season for us. Are we now relegated to mini-series?
2) The London 2012 Olympics Opening Ceremony was nominated in 5 categories, winning only 1, which it had to share with Saturday Night Live. Furfuxake.
It was the In Memorium piece, wasn't it? For the victims of the London 2005 bombings. That's why NBC cut away to Ryan Seacrest. You don't like In Memorium pieces.

Austin in Japan said...

Hello Ken. Nice Emmy coverage.
Friday Question:
I am currently reading "The Comedy Writer" by Peter Farrelly. There is a prominent character in the novel, a writers agent, referred to as "Adam Levine". M*A*S*H and Cheers are mentioned in the novel in some places.
Also in the book, Henry Hollaran, the main character who is in LA trying break into the business as a writer, plays a pick-up game of basketball with the cast of Cheers on the studio lot of Paramount Pictures.
On page 277 Henry exclaims,"If only I'd bolted the studio after my meeting....(I) couldn't leave the Cheers guys alone. For Christ sakes, that show hadn't had a decent episode in two years!"
I wonder if there is a back story between you and Peter in all this.

Phil In Phoenix said...

Well I for one thought the show was FANTASTIC!

It started a little slow, as these things often do, but you could see the potential.

But then it quickly became fun and entertaining! Everyone I thought was going to win was winning!

Sure, there were a few "Did that really happen?" moments. But that's what makes these things interesting and keeps you guessing.

And it DID get interesting and keep me guessing for a bit.

But in the end, my picks were on top, they continue to show the television world why they are winners, and they all looked good winning.

Of course, I was watching "Sunday Night Football" and I'm a Bears fan.

The Mutt said...

It was a Mournado!

Anonymous said...

I noticed that as Abi Morgan walked to the stage to receive her award for "The Hour" that, a camera man and (I guess) a producer were in the far aisle shooting Jimmy Fallon laughing hard. There was nothing funny going on, and no one around Fallon was laughing or even paying any attention to him; everyone but Fallon was simply applauding as Ms. Morgan walked to the stage. It hit me that they were asking "stars" such as Fallon to deliver various reactions that could be cut into the show as the thing ground on.

Ike Iszany said...

You know the big difference between Cory Monteith and Jack Klugman? I know who Jack Klugman is.

Hoverbored said...

Ken, there was an article on today saying that the writers of Cheers kept Frasier around to annoy Shelley Long. If you please, would you clear this up for us?

BigTed said...

You're kind of letting Neil Patrick Harris off the hook (which is what most of the show deserved).

He had the first producer credit in the closing titles. And I'm pretty sure if he had asked to start things off with a funny production number, or to cut out the mediocre production number in the middle, or just for a good writer to take another crack at the jokes, it would have happened.

D. McEwan said...

Normally I write a funny Emmy review for Tallulah's blog, but this show was so dull, slow, dispiriting and depressing, that 15 minutes in I deleted what notes I'd taken up to then, said "Fuck it!" and began fast-forwarding through the acceptance speeches of anyone I didn't recognize. Two-thirds of the way through, I shut it off and went to bed, and watched the last hour, with plenty of Fast-forwarding, the next morning. Just bloody awful. It was so bad (How bad was it?) It was so bad that they could have had James Franco and Anne Hathaway co-host it, and it would have improved it.

D. McEwan said...

Oh, another stunning omission in the In Memorium slide show: Richard Matheson included (Good. He's been a favorite writer of mine for half a century; met him a few times), Elmore Leonard, omitted. Wha??? I'm not a Leonard fan myself, but I'm well aware of his massive contributions.

Nick said...

Was Will Ferrell on the American telecast? He was my absolute favourite part of the show and no one (not even you Ken) has even mentioned him. I was almost asleep watching it (the only thing keeping me awake was trying to guess on which breath the music would cut in during the speeches) then Will walked out with his kids wearing pretty much exactly what I was wearing and I loved it.

The dance bit however - truly extraordinarily lame. Is there no executive producer for this thing who can say "um... no, terrible idea." to the director?

Anyway - quick Friday question.

Do you foresee a time when shows that are made straight for download (like House of Cards et al) are excluded from TV categories in award shows such as the Emmys or the Golden Globes because... you know.... they don't actually appear on TV? (It was on TV here in Australia BTW). I can just see a lawsuit brewing in the not so distant future. I mean the Academy Awards still require movies to actually appear at a cinema you know...

Charles L said...

Elmore Leonard's death was only a month ago, so maybe it was past the deadline for inclusion this year. Apart from that, his impact on TV was mostly through the adaptations other people did of his work--a few movies based on his novels, and the series "Maximum Bob," "Karen Sisco," and "Justified." As far as I know, the only thing he actually wrote for TV was a forgettable Western movie called "Desperado," some 25 years ago. That is in constrast to Richard Matheson, who wrote for several series, including "Star Trek" and "Twilight Zone," and wrote the highly influential TV movies "The Night Stalker" and "Duel." So, omitting Leonard does seem to me justifiable.

Charles L said...

Which reminds me: In Leonard's novel "Maximum Bob," there is a scene in which some characters discuss which actor the title character reminds them of, and they conclude that it is Harry Dean Stanton. So, when this was adapted into a TV series, who got the lead? Beau Bridges, of course.

Leonard occasionally liked to suggest casting in his books, but Hollywood never listened to him. In "Rum Punch," bailbondsman Max Cherry compares stewardess Jackie Burke to Annette Bening, but Quentin Tarantino changed her name to Brown and cast Pam Grier in the role. In "Stick," we are repeatedly told that the title character's role model was Warren Oates, but Burt Reynolds starred in the movie. Well, there was not really a chance in the latter case, as Oates was dead by then.

Anonymous said...

Not sure what NPH did as a Producer but maybe it's a cautionary example of trying to be two things at once?

What about Ed Shaunessy in the Memoriam segment?Yeah, I know. He was just a drummer. Just a drummer who played 29 years on one of the most beloved shows to ever grace the television set and often a comedy partner for Johnny. I would have given up the Shemar Moore "aren't we young and cool and wasted!" segments to have been a bit more generous with the speeches and more thorough with the dearly departed.

And those of us in the music part of your industry were gratified to see "20 live musicians!" working for a change but please don't blame them for the short acceptance speeches. We do as we are told OFTEN against our better judgement.

Matt Tauber said...

Regarding the "In Memoriam", what was with the credits? Some would say what they were (actor, director, etc.) and some would list a credit, but most didn't. I think it was best to leave the credits off. Charles Durning's 60-year tv career was summed up with a TV movie he did in 1975. It was just bizarre.

Janet said...

Rural janitor?

Albert Giesbrecht said...

The Cory Montheith tribute was a knee-jerk reaction to his sudden death (in Vancouver). I assume the other tributes were an afterthought to bring some respectability to the show.

Anonymous said...

CBS sure knew how to squeeze in the self-promotion. Even in the 1963 retrospective. When Don Cheadle said America was ready to laugh after the JFK assassination, it did it with three shows... Dick Van Dyke, Andy Griffith and The Lucy Show. Apparently only CBS had comedy shows that year.