Sunday, May 31, 2015

The 5th Annual Critics Choice Television Award Winners

I will be updating the winners live!:

Best Drama Series - The Americans
Best Comedy Series - Silicon Valley
Best Actor in a Drama Series - Bob Odenkirk "Better Call Saul"
Best Actress in a Drama Series - Taraji P. Henson "Empire"
Best Actor in a Comedy Series - Jeffrey Tambor "Transparent"
Best Actress in a Comedy Series - Amy Schumer "Inside Amy Schumer"
Best Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series - T.J. Miller "Silicon Valley"
Best Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series - Allison Janney "Mom"
Best Supporting Actor in a Drama Series - Jonathan Banks "Better Call Saul"
Best Supporting Actress in a Drama Series  -Lorraine Touissant "Orange is the New Black"
Best Guest Performer in a Comedy Series - Bradley Whitford "Transparent"
Best Guest Performer in a Drama Series - Sam Elliott "Justified"
Best Movie Made for Television - Bessie
Best Limited Series - Olive Kitteridge
Best Actress in a Movie/Limited Series - Frances McDormand "Olive Kitteridge"
Best Actor in a Movie/Limited Series - David Oyelowo "Nightingale"
Best Supporting Actress in a Movie/Limited Series - Sarah Paulson "American Horror Story: Freak Show"
Best Supporting Actor in a Movie/Limited Series - Bill Murray "Olive Kitteridge"
Best Reality Series - Shark Tank
Best Reality-Competition Series - Face Off
Best Reality Show Host - Cat Deeley "So You Think You Can Dance?"
Best Talk Show - The Daily Show with Jon Stewart
Best Animated Program - Archer
Louis XIII Genius Award - Seth MacFarlane

The 5th Annual Critics Choice Television Award Predictions

The Critics Choice Television Awards kind of slipped up on me, and it seems entirely too quickly for the ceremony. Of course in its 5th Year, they are still trying to master their setup. Anyway, my predictions are below, and I can honestly say that I am not very confident in how these will turn out, as the nods seem to be a bit all over the place, and they have been known for unpredictability.

Best Drama Series - Game of Thrones
Best Comedy Series - Transparent
Best Actor in a Comedy Series - Jeffrey Tambor "Transparent"
Best Actress in a Comedy Series - Gina Rodriguez "Jane the Virgin"
Best Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series - Tituss Burgess "The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt"
Best Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series - Allison Janney "Mom"
Best Guest Performer in a Comedy Series - Bradley Whitford "Transparent"
Best Actor in a Drama Series - Matthew Rhys "The Americans"
Best Actress in a Drama Series - Viola Davis "How to Get Away With Murder"
Best Supporting Actor in a Drama Series - Walton Goggins "Justified"
Best Supporting Actress in a Drama Series - Lorraine Toussaint "Orange is the New Black"
Best Guest Performer in a Drama Series - Cicely Tyson "How to Get Away With Murder"
Best Movie Made for Television - Bessie
Best Limited Series - Olive Kitteridge
Best Actor in Movie or Limited Series - Richard Jenkins "Olive Kitteridge"
Best Actress in a Movie or Limited Series - Frances McDormand "Olive Kitteridge"
Best Supporting Actor in a Movie or Limited Series - Jonathan Pryce "Wolf Hall"
Best Supporting Actress in a Movie or Limited Series - Sarah Paulson "American Horror Story: Freak Show"
Best Reality Series - Shark Tank
Best Reality-Competition Series - The Voice
Best Reality Host - Anthony Bourdain "Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown"
Best Animated Series - Bob's Burgers
Best Talk Show - Last Week Tonight with John Oliver

Saturday, May 30, 2015

2015 Tony Predictions: Best Lead Actor and Actress in a Play

Best Lead Actor in a Play
Will Win - Alex Sharp "The Curious Case of the Dog in the Night-Time"
Could Win - Steven Boyer "Hand to God" or Bradley Cooper "The Elephant Man"
Commentary - Three first time nominees battle it out for the prize. Steven Boyer got a lot of love for Hand to God, but it probably a safe third place. That leaves two. Bradley Cooper has gone from young hotshot to five-time Oscar nominated and well-respected actor in a matter of years. His popularity and high-profile appearance could easily land him the Tony. It doesn't hurt that he has received nothing but raves for this role in the revival of The Elephant Man. But they don't always go for the popular screen actor (see Tom Hanks). Alex Sharp is a young talent who apparently knocked it out of the park in the front runner for Best Play. He has some stiff competition, but I think he wins his first Tony.

Best Lead Actress in a Play
Will Win - Helen Mirren "The Audience"
Could Win - Carey Mulligan "Skylight" or Elisabeth Moss "The Heidi Chronicles"
Commentary - You know how I was just saying they don't always go for the popular screen actor? Well in this category, voters don't have much of a choice but to do just that. Carey Mulligan and Elisabeth are great dark horses (both Emmy/Oscar nominees), but this award belongs to Helen Mirren. She apparently stole the show in The Audience is a legend, and has never won a Tony Award. I think she finally wins the triple crown of acting.

Friday, May 29, 2015

2015 Emmy Contenders: Best Actor in a Comedy Series

2015 Contenders
Anthony Anderson "black-ish"
Jay Baruchel "Man Seeking Woman"
Gael Garcia Bernal "Mozart in the Jungle"
Adam Brody "Billy and Billie"
Louis C.K. "Louie"
Cedric The Entertainer "The Soul Man"
Don Cheadle "House of Lies"
Steve Coogan "Happyish"
Jon Cryer "Two and a Half Men"
Billy Crystal "The Comedians"
Will Forte "The Last Man on Earth"
Johnny Galecki "The Big Bang Theory"
Billy Gardell "Mike & Molly"
Jeff Garlin "The Goldbergs"
Chris Geere "You're The Worst"
John Goodman "Alpha House"
Jonathan Groff "Looking"
Derek Jacobi "Vicious"
Jake Johnson "New Girl"
Keegan Michael Key "Key and Peele"
Matt LeBlanc "Episodes"
Thomas Lennon "The Odd Couple"
William H. Macy "Shameless"
Ken Marino "Marry Me"
Ian McKellen "Vicious
Thomas Middleditch "Silicon Valley"
Michael Mosley "Sirens"
Randall Park "Fresh Off the Boat"
Jim Parsons "The Big Bang Theory"
Jordan Peele "Key and Peele"
Matthew Perry "The Odd Couple"
Tyler Ritter "The McCarthys"
Andy Samberg "Brooklyn Nine-Nine"
Adam Scott "Parks & Recreation"
Jeffrey Tambor "Transparent"
Josh Thomas "Please Like Me"

Commentary - There is a real opportunity for Emmy voters to shake up this category after years of it being kind of a bore. I'm sure Louis C.K. and Jim Parsons are in again, and rightfully so. And William H. Macy, especially after winning the SAG Award, seems like a shoo-in as well. But those other three slots are where it gets interesting. It would be easy to continue to predict Matt LeBlanc and Don Cheadle, but haven't they simply felt like placeholders until better competition comes along? Well this year, for the first time in a long time, better competition has come along, and their once safe spots are up for grabs. He may not be as funny as usual, but Globe winner Jeffrey Tambor is a real threat for the hit Amazon series Transparent. The legend himself Billy Crystal should be an easy pick for voters even though The Comedians didn't quite have the landing most thought it would. Will Forte might have a shot for The Last Man on Earth, but his character was so unlikable by the second half of the season, he might have turned some voters away. Randall Park led a popular first season of Fresh Off the Boat, Ian McKellen and Derek Jacobi hurled insults splendidly on Vicious, Chris Geere made grumpy kind of endearing on You're the Worst, Steve Coogan did his best to save Happyish, and Jay Baruchel continues to play awkward well. But a real contender could be Anthony Anderson, who was great in the first season of black-ish, really the only new broadcast sitcom to land with critics and viewers this year. There are also plenty of guys from veteran shows such as Thomas Middleditch, Andy Samberg, Jake Johnson, Adam Scott, Josh Thomas, Key and Peele, Jonathan Groff, Jeff Garlin, and, one last time, Jon Cryer. For the first time in a long time, this race is actually semi-interesting to watch.

Thursday, May 28, 2015

2015 Tony Predictions - Best Featured Actor and Featured Actress in a Musical

Best Featured Actor in a Musical
Will Win - Andy Karl "On the Twentieth Century"
Could Win - Christian Borle "Something Rotten" or Brad Oscar "Something Rotten"
Commentary - Andy Karl was nominated last year for Rocky, and I think he is going to win his first Tony, on his second try for On the Twentieth Century opposite Peter Gallagher and Kristin Chenoweth. He managed to be a standout despite two dominating leads, and already has made a name for himself on Broadway. But if anyone can beat him it is the duo from Something Rotten. Brad Oscar is a two-time nominee that has yet to win, and Christian Borle is a recent winner for Peter and the Starcatcher. Borle probably has the higher profile of the two, with several television and film roles of note, but I think both will split the Something Rotten vote giving it to Karl.

Best Featured Actress in a Musical
Will Win - Judy Kuhn "Fun Home"
Could Win - Sydney Lucas "Fun Home" or Ruthie Ann Miles "An American in Paris"
Commentary - An interesting race that is pitting co-stars against one another, leading to a potential dark horse. Of the two from Fun Home, I am leaning toward Judy Kuhn, a veteran stage actress, who is on her fourth nomination with zero Tony wins. But if the Fun Home votes split, watch out for Ruthie Ann Miles in the Best Musical front runner, An American in Paris.

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

2015 Tony Predictions - Best Featured Actor in a Play

Will Win - Nathaniel Parker "Wolf Hall Parts 1 and 2"

Could Win - Micah Stock "It's Only a Play" or Richard McCabe "The Audience"

Commentary - This is one of those categories that seems all over the board. Richard McCabe for The Audience and even Matthew Beard for Skylight are not out of the question, but if I had to boil it down to two, I would put it between Micah Stock and Nathaniel Parker. Both have great reviews, and Stock is the only cast member to get nominated for a Tony, in his Broadway debut, and in a cast that includes Oscar Winner F. Murray Abraham, Two-time Tony winner Matthew Broderick, Tony and Emmy winner Stockard Channing, and Emmy winner Megan Mullally. That makes him a real threat, and a great way to honor a burgeoning new talent. But I think that the more popular Wolf Hall, and the well-received performance of Nathaniel Parker. This is one that might change between now and the final list, but for now it is Parker in the lead.

Monday, May 25, 2015

2015 Tony Predictions - Best Featured Actress in Play

Will Win - Annaleigh Ashford "You Can't Take It With You"

Could Win - Patricia Clarkson "The Elephant Man" or Julie White "Airline Highway"

Commentary - There is a trio at the top of this race that will make for an interesting one. Patricia Clarkson is opposite Bradley Cooper in the revival of The Elephant Man and this is her first Tony nomination. She is a veteran actress with rave reviews and an Oscar nomination under her belt. She is a real contender. So is Tony-winner Julie White for Airline Highway, despite the play's lack of recognition across the board. But after breaking through with a nod in 2013, and having a scene-stealing role on a popular television show, Masters of Sex, I think that it is Annaleigh Ashford's year to win. Reviews have been great, and the show has done well on the circuit so far. I think she takes the prize.

2015 Emmy Contenders: Best Actress in a Comedy Series

2015 Contenders
Cristela Alonzo "Cristela"
Beth Behrs "2 Broke Girls"
Alex Borstein "Getting On"
Saffron Burrows "Mozart in the Jungle"
Aya Cash "You're The Worst"
Courtney Cox "Cougar Town"
Kat Dennings "2 Broke Girl"
Zooey Deschanel "New Girl"
Minnie Driver "About a Boy"
Lena Dunham "Girls"
Edie Falco "Nurse Jackie"
Anna Faris "Mom"
Jane Fonda "Grace and Frankie"
Sutton Foster "Younger"
Ilana Glazer "Broad City"
Kathyrn Hahn "Happyish"
Patricia Heaton "The Middle"
Abbi Jacobson "Broad City"
Lisa Joyce "Billy and Billie"
Mindy Kaling "The Mindy Project"
Ellie Kemper "The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt"
Lisa Kudrow "The Comeback"
Julia Louis-Dreyfus "Veep"
Melissa McCarthy "Mike & Molly"
Laurie Metcalf "Getting On"
Lea Michele "Glee"
Niecy Nash "Getting On"
Amy Poehler "Parks & Recreation"
Gina Rodriguez "Jane the Virgin"
Emmy Rossum "Shameless"
Tracee Ellis Ross "black-ish"
Kristin Schaal "The Last Man On Earth"
Amy Schumer "Inside Amy Schumer"
Lily Tomlin "Grace and Frankie"
Kate Walsh "Bad Judge"
Casey Wilson "Marry Me"
Constance Wu "Fresh Off the Boat"

Commentary - With Taylor Schilling leaving the race to join Drama, there is at least one spot open in this category, although with some of the new contenders emerging here, some of the old favorites might get knocked out. Julia Louis-Dreyfus is a lock to return, and honestly, I would not be surprised if she won yet again for Veep. But all of the other four are vulnerable. McCarthy has been left off before, and managed to come back. Her summer movie Spy this year could help her retain her slot. Poehler should get one last nod, and hopefully a first win. Girls and Nurse Jackie used to be high on the Emmy list, but have slipped in terms of total nominations. Dunham and Falco are currently Emmy favorites, and both have had strong seasons. But as we know, as shows age, and new shiny contenders emerge, even favorites can be left off the list. For example, Gina Rodriguez has a Golden Globe in hand, and a lot of supporters out there. The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt will have the full weight of Netflix behind it, without Orange is the New Black in the running, meaning Ellie Kemper could be a dark horse. Grace and Frankie is getting mixed reviews, but do not discount the power of legends Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin. There are also plenty of veteran shows trying to get their leads into this competitive race. Mindy Kaling just got a boost from Hulu who has saved The Mindy Project and given the show a ton of great buzz. Zooey Deschanel could benefit from a good season of New Girl. Emmy Rossum could get in for Shameless, who has had its stock rise since it switched to Comedy. Amy Schumer is on the rise, Tracee Ellis Ross is fantastic in black-ish, Lea Michele, the girls from Getting On, Aya Cash, Courtney Cox, Minnie Driver, the leads on Broad City and hopefully the hilarious Anna Faris on Mom, are all major contenders that could crop in in this close, and exciting race.

Sunday, May 24, 2015

2015 Cannes Film Festival: Award Winners

Palme D'Or - Jacques Audiard "Dheepan"

Grand Prix - Lazlo Nemes "Son of Saul"

Prix du Jury - Yorgos Lanthimos "The Lobster"

Prix du Scenario - Michael Franco "Chronic"

Camera D'Or - Cesar Augusto Acevedo "La Tierra y La Sombre"

Short Film - Ely Dagher "Waves '98"

Best Director - Hou Hsiau-Hsien "The Assassin"

Best Actor - Vincent Lindon "La Loi Du Marche"

Best Actress - (TIE) Rooney Mara "Carol" and Emmanuelle Bercot "Mon Roi"

Queer Palm - Todd Haynes "Carol "

Directors Fortnight Winners
Art Cinema Award - Ciro Guerra "Embrace of the Serpent"

SACD Prize - Arnaud Desplechin "My Golden Days"

Label Europa Cinemas Prize - Deniz Gamze Erguven "Mustang"

Short Film Illy Award - Fyzal Boulifa "Rate Me"

Un Certain Regard
Prize of Un Certain Regard - Grimur Hakonarson "Hrutar"

Jury Prize - Dailbor Matanic "Zvizdan"

Best Director - Kiyoshi Kurosawa "Kishibe No Tabi"

Un Certain Talent Prize - Corneliu Porumboiu "Comoara"

Promising Future Prize - Neeraj Ghaywan "Masaan"

Johnny Depp in Black Mass Trailer

Could this be Johnny Depp's big comeback? Who knows, but what I do know is that this is a nice diversion for Depp, a nice break from his usual fare, and maybe can resurrect a career that has become a bit ridiculous. Tim Burton did the softer Big Eyes (which was disappointing, but still a nice palate cleanser after some of this recent failures), maybe Depp can take it one step further with Black Mass. The initial footage looks great and the cast around him (which are only seen in spurts in this trailer) is fantastic. Check out the trailer below:

2015 Tony Predictions: Best Director of a Play and a Musical

Best Director of a Play
Will Win  - Marianne Elliott "The Curious Case of the Dog in the Night-Time"
Could Win - Stephen Daldry "Skylight" or Jeremy Herrin "Wolf Hall Parts 1 and 2"
Commentary - The Curious Case of the Dog in the Night-Time is going to rack up a lot of Tonys come June 7th, and its reviews highlight its creativity, its unique set up, and its powerful message. So Marianne Elliot should be a shoo-in, and honestly, I would be kind of surprised if she were snubbed. But Wolf Hall has a lot of buzz with its TV and theater releases, and most importantly, Stephen Daldry is lurking around the corner. He is as well-liked by the American Theater Wing as he is by the AMPAS, and has won both of the Tony Awards he was nominated for. Plus, Skylight is a hit and one of the three plays that could win the revival category. I am going with Elliott, but I will not be shocked if Daldry ends up accepting his Third Tony.

Best Director of a Musical
Will Win - Sam Gold "Fun Home"
Could Win - Christopher Wheeldon "An American in Paris" or Casey Nicholaw "Something Rotten!"
Commentary - This one is a bit trickier than it looks on the surface. So far An American in Paris has swept the precursors for Best Musical, and I am definitely leaning towards it for the win come Tony night. But judging by the reviews and the buzz, Fun Home is a bit quirkier, and a bit more ingenious in its execution. It makes me think that for these top awards there is going to be a split, and you will be wondering what will win up until the name is revealed (sort of like the Matlida and Kinky Boots year). So I am predicting the split, and going with Sam Gold to win here, while still losing the top prize to An American in Paris. Of course, we'll have to wait and see.

Saturday, May 23, 2015

2015 BET Award Nominations

Best Female/Pop Artist
Jhene Aiko
Janelle Monae
K. Michelle

Best Male R&B/Pop Artist
August Alsina
Chris Brown
John Legend
Trey Songz
The Weekend

Best Group
A$AP Mob
Rae Sremmurd
Rich Gang
Young Money

Best Collaboration
August Alsina feat. Nicki Minaj "No Love (Remix)"
Big Sean feat. E-40 "IDFWU"
Chris Brown feat. Lil Wayne and Tyga "Loyal"
Chris Brown feat. Usher and Rick Ross "New Flame"
Common and John Legend "Glory"
Mark Ronson feat. Bruno Mars "Uptown Funk"

Best Male Hip-Hop Artist
Big Sean
J. Cole
Kendrick Lamar

Best Female Hip-Hop Artist
Iggy Azalea
Azealia Banks
Dej Loaf
Nicki Minaj

Video of the Year
Beyonce "7/11"
Big Sean feat. E-40 "IDFWU"
Chris Brown feat. Lil Wayne and Tyga "Loyal"
Chris Brown feat. Usher and Rick Ross "New Flame"
Common and John Legend "Glory"
Nicki Minaj "Anaconda"

Video Director of the Year
Benny Boom
Beyonce, Ed Burke, & Todd Tourso
Chris Robinson
Fatima Robinson
Hype Williams

Best New Artist
Dej Loaf
Bobby Shmurda
Sam Smith
Rae Sremmurd
Fetty Wap

Best Gospel Artist
Erica Campbell
Deitrick Haddon
Fred Hammond
Mali Music
Michelle Williams

Best Movie
Beyond The Lights
Think Like a Man Too
Top Five

Best Actress
Viola Davis
Taraji P. Henson
Tracee Ellis Ross
Gabrielle Union
Kerry Washington

Best Actor
Anthony Anderson
Idris Elba
Kevin Hart
Terrence Howard
Jussie Smollet

YoungStars Awards
Mo'ne Davis
Jacob Latimore
Jaden Smith
Quvenzhane Wallis "Annie"

Sportswoman of the Year
Skylar Diggins
Brittney Griner
Candace Parker
Serena Williams
Venus Williams

Sportsman of the Year
Stephen Curry
Lebron James
Marshawn Lynch
Floyd Mayweather Jr.
Chris Paul

Coca-Cola Viewer's Choice Award
Beyonce "7/11"
Kendrick Lamar "i"
Dej Loaf "Try Me"
Rae Sremmurd feat. Nicki Minaj and Young Thug "Throw Sum Mo"
The Weeknd "Earned It"
Nicki Minaj feat. Chris Brown, Drake, and Lil Wayne "Only"

Centric Award
Mark Ronson feat. Bruno Mars "Uptown Funk"
Sam Smith feat. Mary J. Blige "Stay With Me"
Jazmine Sullivan feat. Meek Mill "Dumb"
Avery Sunshine "Call My Name"
The Weeknd "Earned It"

Best International Act - Africa
AKA (South Africa)
Yemi Alade (Nigeria)
Fally Ipupa (Democratic Republic of the Congo)
Sarkodie (Ghana)
Sauti Sol (Kenya)
The Soil (South Africa)
Stonebwoy (Ghana)
Wizkid (Nigeria)

Best International Act - UK
FKA Twigs
Fuse ODG
Lethal Bizzle
Little Simz

2015 Tony Predictions: Technical Categories, Orchestrations and Choreography

Stay tuned for all of the Tony predictions in the next two weeks!:

Best Orchestrations
Christopher Austin, Don Sebesky, Bill Elliott "An American in Paris" 

Best Choreography
Christopher Wheeldon "An American in Paris" 

Best Costume Design of a Play
Christopher Oram "Wolf Hall Parts 1 & 2"

Best Costume Design of a Musical
Catherine Zuber "The King and I"

Best Lighting Design of a Play
Paule Constable "The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time" 

Best Lighting Design of a Musical
Natasha Katz "An American in Paris"

Best Scenic Design of a Play
Bunny Christie and Finn Ross "The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time"

Best Scenic Design of a Musical
Bob Crowley and 59 Productions "An American in Paris" 

Thursday, May 21, 2015

The 65th Annual Outer Critics Circle Award Winners

Outstanding New Broadway Play
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time

Outstanding New Musical Play
An American in Paris

Outstanding New Off-Broadway Play
Between Riverside and Crazy

Outstanding New Off-Broadway Musical

Outstanding Book of a Musical

Outstanding New Score

Outstanding Revival of a Play (Broadway or Off-Broadway)
You Can't Take It With You

Outstanding Revival of a Musical (Broadway or Off-Broadway)
The King and I

Outstanding Actor in a Play
Alex Sharp "The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time"

Outstanding Actress in a Play
Helen Mirren "The Audience"

Outstanding Actor in a Musical
Robert Fairchild "An American in Paris"

Outstanding Actress in a Musical
Kristin Chenoweth "On the Twentieth Century"

Outstanding Featured Actor in a Play
Richard McCabe "The Audience"

Outstanding Featured Actress in a Play
Annaleigh Ashford "You Can't Take it With You"

Outstanding Featured Actor in a Musical
Andy Karl "On the Twentieth Century"

Outstanding Featured Actress in a Musical
Ruthie Ann Miles "The King and I"

Outstanding Solo Performance
Jim Dale "Just Jim Dale"

Outstanding Director of a Play
Marianne Elliott "The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time

Outstanding Director of a Musical
Christopher Wheeldon "An American in Paris"

Outstanding Choreographer
Christopher Wheeldon "An American in Paris"

Outstanding Set Design
Bunny Christie "The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time"

Outstanding Costume Design
Catherine Zuber "The King and I"

Outstanding Lighting Design
Paule Constable "The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time"

John Gassner Award
Ayad Akhtar "The Invisible Hand"

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

2015 Emmy Contenders: Best Limited Series

2015 Contenders
24: Live Another Day
A.D.: The Bible Continues
American Crime
American Horror Story: Freak Show
The Book of Negroes
The Casual Vacancy
The Dovekeepers
The Game
The Honorable Woman
Lizzie Borden Chronicles
The Missing
Olive Kitteridge
One Child
Red Band Society
The Red Tent
The Secret Life of Marilyn Monroe
Secrets and Lies
The Slap
Sons of Liberty
Texas Rising
Wolf Hall

Commentary - This race has a bit more heat than the Television Movie race, where I feel like Bessie is solidly in the lead. Olive Kitteridge was the early favorite, and is still my pick for the win, but there are a lot of potentials looking to steal some buzz. The Honorable Woman is not just the Maggie Gyllenhaal show, but received great reviews for its entire cast, and for overall product. American Crime got rave reviews, and despite low ratings, also got renewed. It has a stellar cast, a timely subject matter, and has the broadcast community behind it. American Horror Story: Freak Show was somehow left off of the list for the BTJA, a feat I don't think will be repeated at the Emmys. This show always racks up tons of nods, and will have generous support from both the actors, and the craft categories. Wolf Hall is PBS's answer this year, and its live action adaptation is hoping to sweep the Tonys in a few weeks. Can it be this year's Downton Abbey? 24: Live Another Day got great reviews, and there is still probably a lot of love leftover from the original series, which did win Best Drama Series in its heyday. The Book of Negroes was highly successful for BET this year, and was a huge hit with critics. Its historical appeal and high production values could make it a hit with industry voters as well. The Missing, The Game, and Houdini were all well-reviewed, with star power in the mix. Texas Rising could be this year's Hatfields and McCoys, and never discount the likes of Sons of Liberty, Red Band Society, The Secret Life of Marilyn Monroe, Gracepoint, or the inspirational duo of A.D: The Bible Continues and The Dovekeepers.

2015 Cannes Film Festival: Inside Out and Sicario Impress at Fest

Inside Out is Pixar's first since 2013, and apparently it has been worth the wait. Inside Out's reviews are nothing short of raves, most reviewers commenting on how it is not only an entertaining film, but also a vital piece of creative art that hopefully will continue to push the art and storytelling of animation further into the future. Basically, it looks like Inside Out may get Pixar back on track in terms of its prestige and its impact on the industry. It also begs the question: can it join Up and Toy Story 3 as another Best Picture nomination for the studio? Obviously it is ridiculous to say 100% yes or no in May, but I do think that if the raves continue once it is rolled out to the masses next month, and the box office is stellar (which is most likely will be), then I definitely think it will be in the minds of Academy voters. After suffering from declining ratings, and complaints that after four or five years of including some more populist choices (Avatar, District 9, Up, Toy Story 3, Inception, The Help, Django Unchained, Life of Pi, etc.) this year there was really only American Sniper, and then mostly indie fare. If they want to reach audiences as well as reward the best then films like Inside Out, and Mad Max should be high on their lists going into fall.

The other premiere that I was personally interested in was Denis Villeneuve's Sicaro, the drug-war action thriller starring Emily Blunt and Benicio Del Toro. His last film Prisoners did well at the box office, but despite some initial buzz, only ended up with the one Oscar nomination for Cinematography (and let's face it, that had more to do with Roger Deakins than with the film). Apparently Sicario is another bruiser of a film, slowly building its tension and its suspense. It is also getting rave reviews. Like Prisoners, this one may be too dark for audiences and the critics, but if the film is half as good as early word suggests, then I hope that it gets more recognition than it probably will. I am personally rooting for Emily Blunt, who is said to be great in the lead role. She has been churning out great performances for almost a decade now (The Devil Wears Prada, Into the Woods, Edge of Tomorrow, Looper, Salmon Fishing in the Yemen, Sunshine Cleaning, etc), but has failed to earn an Oscar nomination. Maybe the well-reviewed Sicario is her ticket? As always, we'll have to wait and see...

73rd Golden Globes to be Held on January 10, 2016

The Hollywood Foreign Press Association has released its calendar for the upcoming 73rd outing, which will take place on January 10th of next year. Here are some other important dates:

October 30th - Television entry form deadline

November 25th - Nomination ballots mailed

December 7th - Nomination ballots due

December 10th - Nominations announced

December 21st - Final ballots mailed

January 6th - Final ballots due

January 10th - 73rd Annual Golden Globe Awards

Steve Jobs Teaser Trailer

This is a true teaser in the sense of the word, but I have been high on this project since I first got a look at the final team in place. Sorkin is a genius, Boyle is talented, and the cast is top-notch (yes including Seth Rogen who showed us with 50/50 and Take This Waltz he is more than capable on a dramatic level). I know this film has had some issues getting off the ground, but I still think it has a lot of potential this year.

Monday, May 18, 2015

2015 Billboard Music Award Winners

Top Artist
Taylor Swift

Top Country Artist
Florida Georgia Line

Billboard Chart Achievement Award
Taylor Swift

Top Touring Artist
One Direction

Top Female Artist
Taylor Swift

Top Radio Song
John Legend "All of Me"

Top Male Artist
Sam Smith

Top Rap Song
Iggy Azalea feat. Charli XCX "Fancy"

Top Billboard 200 Album
Taylor Swift "1989"

Top Duo/Group
One Direction

Top New Artist
Sam Smith

Top Billboard 200 Artist
Taylor Swift

Top Hot 100 Artist
Taylor Swift

Top Digital Songs Artist
Taylor Swift

Top Radio Songs Artist
Sam Smith

Top Social Artist
Justin Bieber

Top Streaming Artist
Iggy Azalea

Top R&B Artist
Pharrell Williams

Top Rap Artist
Iggy Azalea

Top Rock Artist

Top Latin Artist
Romeo Santos

Top Dance/Electronic Artist
Calvin Harris

Top Christian Artist
Hillsong United

Top Soundtrack

Top R&B Album
Pharrell Williams "G I R L"

Top Rap Album
J. Cole "2014 Forest Hills Drive"

Top Country Album
Jason Aldean "Old Boots, New Dirt"

Top Rock Album
Coldplay "Ghost Stories"

Top Latin Album
Enrique Iglesias "Sex and Love"

Top Dance/Electronic Album
Lindsey Stirling "Shatter Me"

Top Christian Album
Lecrae "Anomaly"

Top Hot 100 Song
Meghan Trainor "All About That Bass"

Top Digital Song
Meghan Trainor "All About That Bass"

Top Streaming Song
John Legend "All of Me"

Top R&B Song
Pharrell Williams "Happy"

Top Country Song
Jason Aldean "Burnin' It Down"

Top Rock Song
Hozier "Take Me to Church"

Top Latin Song
Enrique Iglesias feat. Descemer Bueno and Gente de Zona "Bailando"

Top Dance/Electronic Song
DJ Snake and Lil Jon "Turn Down for What"

Top Christian Song
Carrie Underwood "Something in the Water"

Sunday, May 17, 2015

2015 Emmy Contenders: Best TV Movie

2015 Contenders
Agatha Christie's Poirot's: Curtain, Poirot's Last Case
Away and Back
Derek: The Final Chapter
Foyle's War: Elise, The Final Mystery
Hello Ladies: The Movie
Killing Jesus
One Christmas Eve
Outlaw Prophet
A Poet in New York
Stockholm, Pennsylvania
Worricker: Salting the Battlefield

Commentary - The split in TV Movie and Limited Series was a great idea, as it really benefited the Limited Series category which has exploded in recent years. Unfortunately, it leaves  a bit of a weak spot on the TV Movie side. Don't get me wrong, some years are incredibly strong, and this year has some great choices, but there are also some duds that could crack the top five. For example, I think that Killing Jesus will follow in the footsteps of Killing Kennedy, despite poor reviews or the middling Stockholm, Pennsylvania could slip in with its powerhouse cast. Whitney also had mixed reactions, but Angela Bassett is an Emmy favorite, and the sentimentality of the film could sway some voters. But then there are titles like Bessie, which premiered last night on HBO to great reviews and its HBO counterpart Nightingale, which has yet to be reviewed, but looks like a great platform for its star David Oyelowo. The Brits, for their part, are hoping to breakthrough with a litany of possibilities. Long-running popular shows Poirot and Foyle's War have two entries this year, both supposedly the finales, A Poet in New York premiered on BBC America to rave reviews from critics, and Salting the Battlefield hopes to go where Page Eight could not. Finally, there could be some humor in the mix as Derek and Hello Ladies, two short-lived series, ended their runs with feature-length films, both getting tons of good vibes and buzz.

Saturday, May 16, 2015

2015 Emmy Contenders: Best Actor in a TV Movie/Limited Series

2015 Contenders
Ben Barnes "Sons of Liberty"
Adrien Brody "Houdini"
Ricky Gervais "Derek: The Final Chapter"
Tony Goldwyn "Outlaw Prophet"
Tom Hollander "A Poet in New York"
Tom Hughes "The Game"
Timothy Hutton "American Crime"
Jason Isaacs "Dig"
Richard Jenkins "Olive Kitteridge"
Michael Kitchen "Poirot: Curtain, Poirot's Last Case"
Nathan Lane "The Lance"
Jason Lee "Away and Back"
Stephen Merchant "Hello Ladies: The Movie"
James Nesbitt "The Missing"
Bill Nighy "Worricker: Salting the Battlefield"
David Oyelowo "Nightingale"
Bill Paxton "Texas Rising"
Evan Peters "American Horror Story: Freak Show"
Ryan Phillippe "Secrets & Lies"
Mark Rylance "Wolf Hall"
Peter Sarsgaard "The Slap"
David Suchet "Poirot: Curtain, Poirot's Last Case"
Kiefer Sutherland "24: Live Another Day"
David Tennant "Gracepoint"

Commentary - A group that simply pales in comparison to its female counterpart, nonetheless has some great actors populating its ranks. At the top of the list is Richard Jenkins for his heartfelt performance in Oliv Kitteridge, the one I personally hope wins. He was fantastic, is a well-respected veteran with an Oscar nomination under his belt, and he holds his own against the ferocity of Frances McDormand. David Oyelowo might have missed out on an Oscar nomination (still a shameful snub), but his new HBO movie Nightingale looks like a potential powerhouse for the now-popular actor. Bill Paxton missed out in favor of his co-star Kevin Costner for Hatfields and McCoys. He has another shot this year with Texas Rising. American Crime was a low-rated, but critical favorite, and Oscar winner Timothy Hutton could benefit with a nomination. Wolf Hall was a huge hit for PBS, and Mark Rylance is a popular Tony-winner making a big jump quite well to television. After his Oscar win, Adrien Brody has been on a losing streak, but his Houdini got decent reviews and could earn him an Emmy nomination. Ricky Gervais got in last year in Comedy for Derek, and The Final Chapter could earn him two in a row. For some strange reason, Evan Peters has bumped up to lead for Freak Show. It would be a worthy nomination, but I think it is not going to happen (for the fourth year in a row, a true shame). James Nesbitt is not getting quite the affection that Frances O'Connor is for The Missing, but he is a possibility. Bill Night and Tom Hughes could be British additions, Stephen Merchant is hilarious, and you can never count out Kiefer Sutherland. Then there are the string of great actors in less-than-stellar roles who are hoping that name recognition will be enough: Jason Lee, Peter Saarsgard, Nathan Lane, Jason Issacs, Ryan Phillippe, and Tony Goldwyn.

2015 Cannes Film Festival: Carol and Amy Winehouse Doc Impress Critics

The film I was most interested in at the Cannes Film Festival this year was Todd Hayne's Carol. It's early buzz was great, and Haynes doesn't do a project but one every few years. After his success on television with Mildred Pierce, I was wondering how his jump back to the big screen would turn out. It turns out that Carol, as I hoped it would be, is the film that all of us thought it could be, and is probably our first real Oscar contender to premiere at the festival (hopefully Mad Max will also figure in). The early reviews are raves to say the least, and a lot of attention is not just being heaped on Haynes, but on the cast itself. Kyle Chandler and Sarah Paulson are apparently great, but it is Mara and Blanchett that are getting the most praise. If I were Weinstein, I would campaign one as lead and one as supporting to make sure that both get in. I'm sure they are already plotting their strategy going forward. This is Weinstein. It only takes about one good review and they will run with it. These kind of raves I'm sure have emboldened their future Oscar plans for the film.

The other major premiere is a film I don't think will play into the Oscar race, but one that I am looking forward to is the new Amy Winehouse documentary, which did not have the support of the family going into Cannes. The reviews are strong for the film, which makes it a shame that it will most likely be ignored by the Academy's documentary branch. I can also kind of understand why the family is against it, because apparently it is pretty brutally honest. Obviously Amy had a dark side, it is that dark side which ended her life too soon. The film explores both her light and her dark, and is one that I think will be a fascinating view. And early reviews confirm that it is one to watch.

Stay tuned for more mini-Cannes updates!

Friday, May 15, 2015

The 81st Annual Drama League Award Winners

Outstanding Production of a Broadway or Off-Broadway Play
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time

Outstanding Revival of a Broadway or Off-Broadway Play
You Can't Take it With You

Outstanding Production of a Broadway or Off-Broadway Musical
An American in Paris

Outstanding Revival of a Broadway or Off-Broadway Musical
The King and I

Distinguished Performance Award
Chita Rivera "The Visit"

Distinguished Achievement in Musical Theater
Joel Grey

Unique Contribution to Theater
WNET: Neal Shapiro and David Horn

Founders Award for Excellence in Directing
Stephen Daldry

2015 Cannes Film Festival: Irrational Man Gets Decent Response, Sea of Trees Booed

Two potential Oscar contenders premiered early at this year's Cannes Film Festival among the indie and foreign fare, that has, frankly, fared better. There are still several major premiered (Mad Max already a hit) left of potential Oscar films, but so far they have failed to make a huge impact.

First on deck is Woody Allen's latest Irrational Man, which many of us were hoping would be a major improvement on Magic in the Moonlight. First, I think it is safe to say that the initial reaction has been much better than its predecessor. Of the major publications covering Cannes, the response has been pretty good. Not raves, not Annie Hall or even Midnight in Paris/Blue Jasmine, his last two films to have tremendous success, but most of the reviews seem to indicate that it is still a pretty solid effort from Allen, a twisty tale like Crimes and Misdemeanors and Match Point, and is bolstered by strong performances. Of particular note seems to be Emma Stone, who could be the one that garners the most awards attention for the film. Allen has always done well with his actresses, and while none of the early reviews make it seem like Stone is another Cate Blanchett, she looks like she carries the film with sincerity.

The second major contender to premiere did not fare so well as Irrational Man. Early reports were that Gus Van Sant's latest The Sea of Trees, starring Matthew McConaughey and Ken Watanbe was booed by the Cannes audience. This is not neccessarily an indicator, as that audience has been known to boo projects that went on to be great successes (The Tree of Life comes to mind). But then the reviews started trickling in. And boy are they bad. Not even mixed, just plain bad. Is the McConassaince over? Probably not, but this is not another Dallas Buyers Club, Interstellar, or Mud. Van Sant has always seemed to end up on either end of the spectrum. Either his films or winning the Palme D'Or or Oscars like Elephant, Good Will Hunting, or Milk, or they are duds like Promised Land and Restless. But this one seems to be a particular misfire.

As always, early reviews can morph as the studios moves it stateside, and both films could have different trajectories by summer's end. But either way, Cannes is seemingly never boring, and this year proves to be no exception. Check back in the coming days for more updates as new films land.

2015 Emmy Contenders: Best Actress in a TV Movie/Limited Series

2015 Contenders
Helena Bonham Carter "Worricker: Salting the Battlefield"
Essie Davis "A Poet in New York"
Yaya DeCosta "Whitney"
Cote De Pablo "The Dovekeepers"
Aunjanue Ellis "The Book of Negroes"
Rebecca Ferguson "The Red Tent"
Kelli Garner "The Secret Life of Marilyn Monroe"
Anna Gunn "Gracepoint"
Maggie Gyllenhaal "The Honourable Woman"
Felicity Huffman "American Crime"
Minka Kelly "Away and Back"
Jessica Lange "American Horror Story: Freak Show"
Juliette Lewis "Secrets and Lies"
Queen Latifah "Bessie"
Brit Marling "Babylon"
Frances McDormand "Olive Kitteridge"
Frances O'Connor "The Missing"
Molly Parker "Outlaw Prophet"
Christina Ricci "Lizzie Borden Chronicles"
Saoirse Ronan "Stockholm, Pennsylvania"
Octavia Spencer "Red Band Society"
Yvonne Strahovski "24: Live Another Day"
Allison Williams "Peter Pan Live!"

Commentary - This race is shaping up to be one of the most interesting in the upcoming Emmy season. There are four front runners that are all stunning performances in well received productions, and all four are awards magnets. Emmy and Oscar nominee Queen Latifah's Bessie premieres tomorrow, and the buzz leading into it is deafening. Jessica Lange has won for AHS several times, and this is her final season. A two-time Oscar winner and a three-time Emmy winner is a safe vote for Academy members. Frances McDormand, an Oscar winner, and an Emmy nominee won the SAG Award for Olive Kitteridge in January proving that the industry, as well as critics, love her performance in the HBO miniseries. Finally, there is Maggie Gyllenhaal, who won the Globe earlier this year for her beloved work in The Honorable Woman. Throw in Emmy winner in the critically acclaimed (and surprisingly renewed) anthology series American Crime, and Golden Globe nominee Frances O'Connor for The Missing, and this race could go down to the wire. Beyond those six there is Saorise Ronan, Allison Williams, Oscar-Nominee Helena Bonham Carter, breakout star Essie Davis, Rebecca Ferguson, Kelli Garner, Emmy-winner Anna Gunn, Oscar-winner Octavia Spencer, and a beautiful performance from Aunjanue Ellis in BET's The Book of Negroes.

2015 Emmy Contenders: Best Supporting Actor in a Drama Series

2015 Contenders
Mahershala Ali "House of Cards"
Geoffrey Arend "Madam Secretary"
Devon Bagby "Ray Donovan"
Jonathan Banks "Better Call Saul"
Erich Bergen "Madam Secretary"
Jason Biggs "Orange is the New Black"
Jeremy Bobb "The Knick"
Billy Brown "How to Get Away With Murder"
Norbert Leo Butz "Bloodline"
Trai Byers "Empire"
Reeve Carney "Penny Dreadful"
Jim Carter "Downton Abbey"
Charlie Carver "The Leftovers"
Max Carver "The Leftovers"
Tom Cavanagh "The Flash"
Justin Chambers "Grey's Anatomy"
Chad L. Coleman "The Walking Dead"
Rick Cosnett "The Flash"
Nikolaj Coster-Waldau "Game of Thrones"
Brendan Coyle "Downton Abbey"
Alan Cumming "The Good Wife"
Matt Czuchry "The Good Wife"
James D'Arcy "Broadchurch"
Tim Daly "Madam Secretary"
Patrick Dempsey "Grey's Anatomy"
Guillermo Diaz "Scandal"
Peter Dinklage "Game of Thrones"
Christopher Eccleston "The Leftovers"
Noah Emmerich "The Americans"
Alfred Enoch "How to Get Away With Murder"
Patrick Fabian "Better Call Saul"
Jack Falahee "How to Get Away With Murder"
Scott Foley "Scandal"
Rupert Friend "Homeland"
John Gallagher Jr. "The Newsroom"
Michael Gaston "The Leftovers"
Walton Goggins "Justified"
Tony Goldwyn "Scandal"
Bryshere Y. Gray "Empire"
Bruce Greenwood "Mad Men"
Kit Harington "Game of Thrones"
Michael Harney "Orange is the New Black"
Josh Hartnett "Penny Dreadful"
Andre Holland "The Knick"
Zeljko Ivanek "Madam Secretary"
Joshua Jackson "The Affair"
Rob James-Collier "Downton Abbey"
Vincent Kartheiser "Mad Men"
Michael Kelly "House of Cards"
Rory Kinnear "Penny Dreadful"
Duncan Lacroix "Outlander"
Frank Langella "The Americans"
Tracy Letts "Homeland"
Donal Logue "The Flash"
Michael Mando "Better Call Saul"
Jesse L. Martin "The Flash"
Dave Mazouz "Gotham"
Matt McGorry "How to Get Away With Murder"
Michael McKean "Better Call Saul"
Kevin McKidd "Grey's Anatomy"
Graham McTavish "Outlander"
Ben Mendelsohn "Bloodline"
Tobias Menzies "Outlander"
Joe Morton "Scandal"
Chris Noth "The Good Wife"
Dev Patel "The Newsroom"
Mandy Patinkin "Homeland"
Jeff Perry "Scandal"
Sean Pertwee "Gotham"
James Pickens Jr. "Grey's Anatomy"
Norman Reedus "The Walking Dead"
Chandler Riggs "The Walking Dead"
Tim Roth "Penny Dreadful"
Thomas Sadoski "The Newsroom"
Danny Sapani "Penny Dreadful"
Teddy Sears "Masters of Sex"
Michael Shannon "Boardwalk Empire"
Jake Richard Siciliano "The Affair"
John Slattery "Mad Men"
Jussie Smollett "Empire"
Cory Michael Smith "Gotham"
Aaron Staton "Mad Men"
Robin Lord Taylor "Gotham"
Richard Thomas "The Americans"
Harry Treadaway "Penny Dreadful"
Jon Voight "Ray Donovan"
Sam Waterston "The Newsroom"
Charlie Weber "How to Get Away With Murder"
Michael Kenneth Williams "Boardwalk Empire"
Jeffrey Wright "Boardwalk Empire"
Chris Zylka "The Leftovers"

Commentary - This is category where a lot of the same folks could return, or there could be a lot of shakeup. Peter Dinklage feels like a lock, but as always, there is a potential for some of his Game of Thrones co-stars to join the fray. Jim Carter is never predicted to make the cut, and yet he continues to be a popular choice. If Downton is still as respected as it has been in past seasons, then Carter, and the other Downton guys are definitely still in the mix. Homeland had a resurgent season, so if Mandy Patinkin can get in for that third season, I don't see why he wouldn't get in for a much better season. Jon Voight is, well, Jon Voight. So if we assume that those four slots are taken, we know there are at least two left with Josh Charles and Aaron Paul out of the mix. Jonathan Banks is great in Better Call Saul, which will surely benefit from the Breaking Bad hangover. Alan Cumming, Chris Noth, and Matt Czurchy could get in where Josh Charles left off, as The Good Wife had another great season. Netflix's Bloodline is getting a ton of buzz, which could benefit Ben Mendelsohn and Norbert Leo Butz. Mad Men has never won an acting Emmy, so maybe John Slattery, Vincent Kartheiser, or Bruce Greenwood could end the streak. Robin Wright and Kevin Spacey are shoo-ins for House of Cards, but could Michael Kelly finally breakthrough or Mahershala Ali? Joe Morton had to bump up to Supporting after winning last year on Guest, joining Jeff Perry and Tony Goldwyn as potentials. Walton Goggins and Norman Reedus have been so good for so many years, and an Emmy nomination would be a nice reward. Genre potentials from the casts of Penny Dreadful, Gotham, The Flash, Outlander, and The Leftovers could join the Game of Thrones guys. Also be on the lookout for the guys from Boardwalk Empire, The Affair, The Americans, Empire, How to Get Away With Murder, Grey's Anatomy, The Newsroom, Madam Secretary, or The Knick.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

2015 Emmy Contenders: Best Supporting Actress in a Drama Series

2015 Contenders
Uzo Aduba "Orange is the New Black"
Joan Allen "The Killing"
Annaleigh Ashford "Masters of Sex"
Christine Baranski "The Good Wife"
Bonnie Bedelia "Parenthood"
Camren Bicondova "Gotham"
Amy Brenneman "The Leftovers"
Danielle Brooks "Orange is the New Black"
Joy Bryant "Parenthood"
Jessica Capshaw "Grey's Anatomy"
Linda Cardellini "Bloodline"
Laura Carmichael "Downton Abbey"
Erika Christensen "Parenthood"
Gwendoline Christie "Game of Thrones"
Emilia Clarke "Game of Thrones"
Adelaide Clemens "Rectify"
Carrie Coon "The Leftovers"
Laverne Cox "Orange is the New Black"
Geena Davis "Grey's Anatomy"
Kim Dickens "House of Cards"
Ann Dowd "The Leftovers"
Sarah Drew "Grey's Anatomy"
Katie Findlay "How to Get Away With Murder"
Caitlin FitzGerald "Masters of Sex"
Jane Fonda "The Newsroom"
Joanne Froggatt "Downton Abbey"
Grace Gealey "Empire"
Lauren Graham "Parenthood"
Lena Headey "Game of Thrones"
Christina Hendricks "Mad Men"
Kathrine Herzer "Madam Secretary"
Eve Hewson "The Knick"
Elizabeth Hurley "The Royals"
Aja Naomi King "How to Get Away With Murder"
Lily James "Downton Abbey"
January Jones "Mad Men"
Ta'Ronda Jones "Empire"
Phyllis Logan "Downton Abbey"
Katie Lowes "Scandal"
Natasha Lyonne "Orange is the New Black"
Kelly MacDonald "Boardwalk Empire"
Annet Mahendru "The Americans"
Mozan Marno "The Blacklist"
Elizabeth Marvel "House of Cards"
Melissa McBride "The Walking Dead"
Elizabeth McGovern "Downton Abbey"
Sophia McShera "Downton Abbey"
Patina Miller "Madam Secretary"
Susan Misner "The Americans"
Gretchen Mol "Boardwalk Empire"
Elisabeth Moss "Mad Men"
Kate Mulgrew "Orange is the New Black"
Olivia Munn "The Newsroom"
Bebe Neuwirth "Madam Secretary"
Leslie Nicol "Downton Abbey"
Hayden Panettiere "Nashville"
Archie Panjabi "The Good Wife"
Alexandra Park "The Royals"
Molly Parker "House of Cards"
Merritt Patterson "The Royals"
Alison Pill "The Newsroom"
Monica Potter "Parenthood"
Laura Prepon "Orange is the New Black"
Margaret Qualley "The Leftovers"
Sara Ramirez "Grey's Anatomy"
Charlotte Rampling "Broadchurch"
Erin Richards "Gotham"
Juliet Rylance "The Knick"
Caterina Scorsone "Grey's Anatomy"
Rhea Seehorn "Better Call Saul"
Chloe Sevigny "Bloodline"
Gabourey Sidibe "Empire"
Maggie Smith "Downton Abbey"
Jada Pinkett Smith "Gotham"
J. Smith-Cameron "Rectify"
Karla Souza "How to Get Away With Murder"
Sissy Spacek "Bloodline"
Abigail Spencer "Rectify"
Darby Stanchfield "Scandal"
Maura Tierney "The Affair"
Lorraine Touissant "Orange is the New Black"
Sophie Turner "Game of Thrones"
Liza Weil "How to Get Away With Murder"
Mae Whitman "Parenthood"
Maisie Williams "Game of Thrones"
Chandra Wilson "Grey's Anatomy"
Penelope Wilton "Downton Abbey"
Katheryn Winnick "Vikings"
Alfre Woodard "State of Affairs"
Allison Wright "The Americans"
Bellamy Young "Scandal"

Commentary - This race is one where you wonder if there will be any turnover or not. We know that Anna Gunn is gone, but the other five seem like decent bets to return. Maggie Smith and Joanne Froggatt's return will depend on the continuing popularity of Downton Abbey. It also determines if any of the other actresses break through. Christine Baranski is a perennial favorite, but can previous winner Archie Panjabi get in for her last season on the show? Christina Hendricks is also a favorite, but Mad Men's Emmy prospects continue to decline. And Lena Headey is having another great season on Game of Thrones, but, like Emilia Clarke, will she be replaced by a different co-star like Maisie Williams or Sophie Turner? Then there are the Orange is the New Black gang, which have had to switch to supporting and to drama, after most competed last year in Comedy Guest Actress. Uzo Aduba did well in Comedy because her character is funny, but maybe Lorraine Toussaint, Kate Mulgrew, and Laverne Cox will do better with the drama crowd. Bloodline is getting great reviews at Netflix, and the legend Sissy Spacek will be a popular name on a ballot (as well as Linda Cardellini and Chloe Sevigny). State of Affairs may have been a big flop, but Alfre Woodard is Emmy gold. And The Leftovers did not appeal to me, but after her successes in Gone Girl, Carrie Coon is on the rise. Melissa McBride and Bellamy Young were getting tons of buzz last year, but that seams to have calmed down a bit. Also look out for Jada Pinkett Smith, Kathryn Winnick, Charlotte Rampling, and the respective casts of How to Get Away With Murder, The Americans, Empire, Parenthood, Grey's Anatomy, Kim Dickens, Elizabeth Marvel, and Molly Parker in House of Cards, The Newsroom, and The Royals.

2015 Outer Critics Circle Award Winners

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime

An American in Paris

Between Riverside and Crazy


OUTSTANDING BOOK OF A MUSICAL (Broadway or Off-Broadway)

OUTSTANDING NEW SCORE (Broadway or Off-Broadway)

OUTSTANDING REVIVAL OF A PLAY (Broadway or Off-Broadway)
You Can’t Take It With You

The King and I

Marianne Elliott - The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time

Christopher Wheeldon - An American in Paris

Christopher Wheeldon - An American in Paris

Bunny Christie - The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time

Catherine Zuber - The King and I

Paule Constable - The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time

Alex Sharp - The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time

Helen Mirren - The Audience

Robert Fairchild - An American in Paris

Kristin Chenoweth - On the Twentieth Century

Richard McCabe - The Audience

Annaleigh Ashford - You Can’t Take It With You

Andy Karl - On the Twentieth Century

Ruthie Ann Miles - The King and I

Jim Dale - Just Jim Dale

(Presented for an American play, preferably by a new playwright)
Ayad Akhtar - The Invisible Hand

Sunday, May 10, 2015

2015 Emmy Contenders: Best Supporting Actress in a TV Movie/Limited Series

2015 Contenders
Hiam Abbass "The Red Tent"
Jane Alexander "The Book of Negroes"
Khandi Alexander "Bessie"
Lubna Azabal "The Honorable Woman"
Morena Baccarin "The Red Tent"
Angela Bassett "American Horror Story: Freak Show"
Kathy Bates "American Horror Story: Freak Show"
Eve Best "The Honorable Woman"
Angela Bettis "Dig"
Emily Bevan "The Casual Vacancy"
Ciara Bravo "Red Band Society"
Sandra Caldwell "The Book of Negroes"
Lolita Chakrabarti "The Casual Vacancy"
Ria Choony "The Casual Vacancy"
Chipo Chung "A.D.: The Bible Continues"
Kristen Connolly "Houdini"
Frances Conroy "American Horror Story: Freak Show"
Judy Davis "Worricker: Salting the Battlefield"
Emile Dequenne "The Missing"
Rosemarie DeWitt "Olive Kitteridge"
Monica Dolan "The Casual Vacancy"
Ann Dowd "Olive Kitteridge"
Minnie Driver "The Red Tent"
Lindsay Duncan "The Honorable Woman"
Clea DuVall "The Lizzie Borden Chronicles"
Michelle Fairley "24: Live Another Day"
Rebecca Ferguson "The Red Tent"
Phoebe Fox "A Poet in New York"
Claire Foy "Wolf Hall"
Melissa George "The Slap"
Caitlin Gerard "American Crime"
Victoria Hamilton "The Game"
Keeley Hawes "The Casual Vacancy"
Madilyn Horcher "Gracepoint"
Gleendilys Inoa "American Crime"
Marin Ireland "The Slap"
Felicity Jones "Worrkicker: Salting the Battlefield"
Zoe Kazan "Olive Kitteridge"
Regina King "American Crime"
Virginia Kull "Gracepoint"
Abigail Lawrie "The Casual Vacancy"
Zoe Levin "Red Band Society"
Julia McKenzie "The Casual Vacancy"
Janet McTeer "The Honorable Woman"
Monique "Bessie"
Mandy Moore "Red Band Society"
Genevieve O'Reilly "The Honorable Woman"
Thandie Newton "The Slap"
Cynthia Nixon "Stockholm, Pennsylvania"
Katherine Parkinson "The Honorable Woman"
Sarah Paulson "American Horror Story: Freak Show"
Elizabeth Perkins "One Child"
Chloe Pirrie "The Game"
Sarah-Jane Potts "Gracepoint"
Jessica Raine "Wolf Hall"
Mary Lynn Rajskub "24: Live Another Day"
Kim Raver "24: Live Another Day"
Emma Roberts "American Horror Story: Freak Show"
Vinette Robinson "The Red Tent"
Susan Sarandon "The Secret Life of Marilyn Monroe"
Hannah Steele "Wolf Hall"
Alison Sudol "Dig"
Regina Taylor "Dig"
Uma Thurman "The Slap"
Maria Tucci "The Slap"
Emily Watson "The Secret Life of Marilyn Monroe"
Jacki Weaver "Gracepoint"
Honeysuckle Weeks "Foyle's War: Elise, The Final Mystery"
Joanne Whalley "A.D.: The Bible Continues"
Olivia Williams "Worricker: Salting the Battlefield"
Debra Winger "The Red Tent"

Commentary - Every year, the same question presents itself: how many American Horror Story actresses are going to get in. Sarah Paulson (who dropped back down to supporting) and Kathy Bates are probably safe bets, but don't forget Angela Bassett, Frances Conroy (both nominees last year), let alone Emma Roberts. Last year, they got three, they could easily get three, heck four, again. The Honorable Woman will surely get Maggie Gyllenhaal in for lead, but Janet McTeer and Lindsay Duncan could also benefit from strong reviews and overall positive reception. Olive Kitteridge will probably get a lot of nominations, but I'm not sure that Zoe Kazan or Ann Dowd can breakthrough, although either would be a nice nomination. Bessie premieres this Saturday, and it looks fantastic, and both Monique and Khandi Alexander got recognition for the BTJA. A repeat looks pretty good at this point. We have yet to see The Secret Life of Marilyn Monroe, but even if it is bad, never discount names like Emily Watson and Susan Sarandon. The 24 gang is back, meaning another chance for Kim Raver, Mary Lynn Rajskub, and Michelle Fairley. The Red Tent got mixed reviews, but Debra Winger, Minnie Driver, Rebecca Ferguson and Morena Baccarin did well with those same critics and are popular actresses with proven track records. American Crime managed to get renewed despite its low ratings, which also helps bolster its Emmy chances, which were already pretty good thanks to its rave reviews. So look out for Regina King (who is owed a nomination after years of quality television work), and the other actresses from the series. Wolf Hall is going to be popular with voters, with several potentials, the best being Claire Foy. The Slap was bad, but Uma Thurman and Melissa George should not be discounted. Also watch out for Judy Davis, Jacki Weaver, Abigail Lawrie, Jane Alexander, and the actresses from Red Band Society.

The 26th Annual GLAAD Media Award Winners: Part 2

Outstanding Film - Limited Release

Outstanding Documentary
L Word Mississippi: Hate the Sin

Outstanding Reality Program
R&B Divas: Atlanta

Outstanding Talk Show Episode
Last Week Tonight with John Oliver - "Pepe Julian Onziema"

Outstanding Television Journalism Segment
MSNBC Live - "Fired for Being Gay?"

Outstanding Television Journalism - News Magazine
Nick News with Linda Ellerbee - "Coming Out"

Outstanding Television Journalism Segment (Spanish)
Cafe CNN - “La historia de una [mujer] transexual”

Outstanding Television Journalism - News Magazine (Spanish)
(TIE) Primer Impacto - "Felipe Najera abre su coraz√≥n” and Al Rojo Vivio - “Orlando Cruz habla de su vida”

Excellence in Media Award
Kelly Ripa

Vito Russo Award
Thomas Roberts

Thursday, May 7, 2015

2015 Emmy Contenders: Best Supporting Actor in a TV Movie/Limited Series

2015 Emmy Contenders
Dave Annable "Red Band Society"
Jonathan Aris "The Game"
Astro "Red Band Society"
Jonathan Banks "Lizzie Borden Chronicles"
W. Earl Brown "American Crime"
Michael Chiklis "American Horror Story: Freak Show"
Brian Cox "The Game"
Brian Cox "The Slap"
Wilson Cruz "Red Band Society"
Martin Csokas "Sons of Liberty"
Jeremy Davies "Texas Rising"
William DeVane "24: Live Another Day"
Shaun Dooley "The Game"
Devin Druid "Olive Kitteridge"
Mike Epps "Bessie"
Ralph Fiennes "Worricker: Salting the Battlefield"
Hugh Fraser "Curtain: Poirots Last Case"
John Gallagher Jr. "Olive Kitteridge"
Michael Gambon "The Casual Vacancy"
Richard Glover "The Casual Vacancy"
Cuba Gooding Jr. "The Book of Negroes"
Louis Gossett Jr. "The Book of Negroes"
Kelsey Grammer "Killing Jesus"
Neil Patrick Harris "American Horror Story: Freak Show"
Bob Hess "American Crime"
David Hoflin "American Crime"
Joe Hurst "The Casual Vacancy"
Jason Isaacs "Stockholm, Pennsylvania"
Daren Kagasoff "Red Band Society"
Rory Kinnear "The Casual Vacancy"
Kris Kristofferson "Texas Rising"
Damien Lewis "Wolf Hall"
John Carroll Lynch "American Horror Story: Freak Show"
Benito Martinez "American Crime"
Olivier Martinez "Texas Rising"
Jeffrey Dean Morgan "The Secret Life of Marilyn Monroe"
Stephen Moyer "Killing Jesus"
Bill Murray "Olive Kitteridge"
Sam Neill "The Dovekeepers"
Joe Nemmers "American Crime"
Elvis Nolasco "American Crime"
Nick Nolte "Gracepoint"
Dean Norris "Sons of Liberty"
Denis O'Hare "American Horror Story: Freak Show"
Evan Peters "American Horror Story: Freak Show"
Jonathan Pryce "Wolf Hall"
Zachary Quinto "The Slap"
Stephen Rea "The Honorable Woman"
Paul Ritter "The Game"
Charlie Rowe "Red Band Society"
Nolan Sotillo "Red Band Society"
Rafe Spall "Sons of Liberty"
Christopher Walken "Peter Pan Live!"
Michael Kenneth Williams "Bessie"
Finn Wittrock "American Horror Story: Freak Show"

Commentary - A lot, I mean a lot of names populate this race, and it kind of makes you wonderful, who is going to rise out of the masses to Emmy glory? It is best to look at these contenders grouped by their projects. Bill Murray is an obvious nominee for Olive Kitteridge, although I would argue that his role is rather limited, and that maybe John Gallagher Jr. should also be the mix. As always, there are loads of potentials for American Horror Story: Freak Show. Denis O'Hare only got a nod for the first miniseries, and poor Evan Peters has somehow managed to miss out year after year (a real shame). Out of the bunch it looks like the newcomers to the mix Finn Wittrock, Michael Chiklis, Neil Patrick Harris, and John Carroll Lynch might be safer bets come nomination morning. We still don't know how Texas Rising will turn out, but names like Jeremy Davies, Oliver Martinez, Kris Kristofferson could be hard names to pass up. Bessie did well at the Critics Choice Television Awards, although their supporting guys Michael Kenneth Williams and Mike Epps. American Crime might only be a boon for its leading players, as most of the supporting players are unknown, and two quality British productions will probably be left out either due to being too small (The Game) or mixed reviews (The Casual Vacancy) although British legends Brian Cox and Michael Gambon could get in on name recognition alone. Wolf Hall could be a winner at both the Emmys and the Tonys in the same summer, with Jonathan Pryce and Damien Lewis could be in the mix. Sons of Liberty has some big names with Dean Norris and Rafe Spall. The Book of Negroes got some nods with the Critics Choice, and was a big hit for BET, so be on the look out for Oscar winners Louis Gossett Jr. and Cuba Gooding Jr. Finally, keep Christopher Walkin, Sam Neill, Nick Nolte, Stephen Rea, Kelsey Grammer, Stephen Moyer, Jason Isaacs (who got a nod with the BTJA), and Ralph Fiennes.

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

5th Annual BTJA Critics Choice Television Award Nominations

So basically, the anti-Emmys, and a much better list than the one that will probably come in July. Louie, House of Cards and Game of Thrones are the biggest snubs (Thrones did get in for Drama Series but that was it), and while Modern Family and Downton Abbey have lost favor with the critics, zero nods for both is a bit surprising. I would have loved to have seen more love for The Mindy Project, black-ish, New Girl, Brooklyn Nine-Nine, Please Like Me, Getting On, The Comeback, You're The Worst (a great Best Comedy Series pick by the way), and the final season of Parks and Recreation. But I love nods for Empire, Mom, The Good Wife, and lots of great individual nomiantions. I will say there is a common theme here of spreading the love around as, across the board, a bunch of shows got at least one nomination. May 31st is the big night, and check out for more info.

Broad City
Jane the Virgin
Silicon Valley
You’re the Worst

Anthony Anderson - black-ish
Will Forte - The Last Man on Earth
Johnny Galecki - The Big Bang Theory
Chris Messina - The Mindy Project
Thomas Middleditch - Silicon Valley
Jeffrey Tambor - Transparent

Ilana Glazer - Broad City
Lisa Kudrow - The Comeback
Julia Louis-Dreyfus - Veep
Gina Rodriguez - Jane the Virgin
Amy Schumer - Inside Amy Schumer
Constance Wu - Fresh Off the Boat

Tituss Burgess - Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt
Jaime Camil - Jane the Virgin
Adam Driver - Girls
Tony Hale - Veep
T.J. Miller - Silicon Valley
Cameron Monaghan - Shameless

Mayim Bialik - The Big Bang Theory
Carrie Brownstein - Portlandia
Allison Janney - Mom
Judith Light - Transparent
Melanie Lynskey - Togetherness
Eden Sher - The Middle

Becky Ann Baker - Girls
Josh Charles - Inside Amy Schumer
Susie Essman - Broad City
Peter Gallagher - Togetherness
Laurie Metcalf - The Big Bang Theory
Bradley Whitford - Transparent

Killing Jesus
A Poet in New York
Stockholm, Pennsylvania

24: Live Another Day
American Crime
The Book of Negroes
The Honorable Woman
Olive Kitteridge
Wolf Hall

Michael Gambon – The Casual Vacancy
Richard Jenkins – Olive Kitteridge
James Nesbitt – The Missing
David Oyelowo – Nightingale
Mark Rylance – Wolf Hall
Kiefer Sutherland – 24: Live Another Day

Aunjanue Ellis – The Book of Negroes
Maggie Gyllenhaal – The Honorable Woman
Felicity Huffman – American Crime
Jessica Lange – American Horror Story: Freak Show
Queen Latifah – Bessie
Frances McDormand – Olive Kitteridge

Jason Isaacs – Stockholm, Pennsylvania
Bill Murray – Olive Kitteridge
Elvis Nolasco – American Crime
Jonathan Pryce – Wolf Hall
Cory Michael Smith – Olive Kitteridge
Finn Wittrock – American Horror Story: Freak Show

Khandi Alexander – Bessie
Claire Foy – Wolf Hall
Janet McTeer – The Honorable Woman
Mo’Nique – Bessie
Cynthia Nixon – Stockholm, Pennsylvania
Sarah Paulson – American Horror Story: Freak Show

The Americans
Game of Thrones
The Good Wife
Orange Is the New Black

Viola Davis – How to Get Away with Murder
Vera Farmiga – Bates Motel
Eva Green – Penny Dreadful
Taraji P. Henson – Empire
Julianna Margulies – The Good Wife
Keri Russell – The Americans

Freddie Highmore – Bates Motel
Charlie Hunnam – Sons of Anarchy
Bob Odenkirk – Better Call Saul
Timothy Olyphant – Justified
Matthew Rhys – The Americans
Aden Young – Rectify

Christine Baranski – The Good Wife
Joelle Carter – Justified
Carrie Coon – The Leftovers
Mae Whitman – Parenthood
Lorraine Toussaint – Orange Is the New Black
Katheryn Winnick – Vikings 

Jonathan Banks – Better Call Saul
Christopher Eccleston – The Leftovers
Walton Goggins – Justified
Ben Mendelsohn – Bloodline
Craig T. Nelson – Parenthood
Mandy Patinkin – Homeland

Sam Elliott – Justified
Walton Goggins – Sons of Anarchy
Linda Lavin – The Good Wife
Julianne Nicholson – Masters of Sex
Lois Smith – The Americans 
Cicely Tyson – How to Get Away with Murder

Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown
Deadliest Catch
Married at First Sight
Shark Tank
Undercover Boss

The Amazing Race
America’s Got Talent
Dancing With the Stars
Face Off
Master Chef Junior
The Voice

Tom Bergeron – Dancing with the Stars
Anthony Bourdain – Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown
Cat Deeley – So You Think You Can Dance
Phil Keoghan – The Amazing Race
James Lipton – Inside the Actors Studio
Betty White – Betty White’s Off Their Rockers

Bob’s Burgers
Gravity Falls
The Simpsons
South Park
Star Wars Rebels

The Daily Show with Jon Stewart
The Graham Norton Show
Jimmy Kimmel Live
Last Week Tonight with John Oliver
The Late Late Show with James Corden
The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon

Sunday, May 3, 2015

2015 Emmy Contenders: Best Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series

2015 Contenders
Frankie J. Alvarez "Looking"
Aziz Ansari "Parks and Recreation"
Fred Armisen "Portlandia"
Justin Baldoni "Jane the Virgin"
Lance Barber "The Comeback"
Ike Barinholtz "The Mindy Project"
Murray Bartlett "Looking"
Kevin Bigley "Sirens"
Beck Bennett "Saturday Night Live"
Dirk Blocker "Brooklyn Nine-Nine"
Desmin Borges "You're The Worst"
Andre Braugher "Brooklyn Nine-Nine"
Miles Brown "black-ish"
Dan Bucatinsky "The Comeback"
Tituss Burgess "The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt"
Ty Burrell "Modern Family"
Dan Byrd "Cougar Town"
Jaime Camil "Jane the Virgin"
Raul Castillo "Looking"
Michael Che "Saturday Night Live"
Bob Clendenin "Cougar Town"
Gary Cole "Veep"
Chris Colfer "Glee"
Terry Crews "Brooklyn Nine-Nine"
Darren Criss "Glee"
Kevin Daniels "Sirens"
Pete Davidson "Saturday Night Live"
Adam Driver "Girls"
Kevin Dunn "Veep"
Jay Duplass "Transparent"
Mark Duplass "Togetherness"
Billy Eichner "Parks and Recreation"
Jesse Tyler Ferguson "Modern Family"
Laurence Fishburne "black-ish"
Josh Gad "The Comedians"
John Gemberling "Marry Me"
Ian Gomez "Cougar Town"
Max Greenfield "New Girl"
Tony Hale "Veep"
Simon Helberg "The Big Bang Theory"
Josh Hopkins "Cougar Town"
Ken Jenkins "Cougar Town"
Clark Johnson "Alpha House"
Colin Jost "Saturday Night Live"
Alex Karpovsky "Girls"
Taran Killam "Saturday Night Live"
Josh Lawson "House of Lies"
Joe Lo Truglio "Brooklyn Nine-Nine"
Matt Malloy "Alpha House"
Stephen Mangan "Episodes"
Kevin McHale "Glee"
Joel McKinnon Miller "Brooklyn Nine-Nine"
T.J. Miller "Silicon Valley"
Kyle Mooney "Saturday Night Live"
Lamorne Morris "New Girl"
Robert Michael Morris "The Comeback"
Bobby Moynihan "Saturday Night Live"
Kunal Nayyar "The Big Bang Theory"
Matt Oberg "The Comedians"
Nick Offerman "Parks and Recreation"
Jim O'Heir "Parks and Recreation"
Ed O'Neill "Modern Family"
Chord Overstreet "Glee"
Adam Pally "The Mindy Project"
Jay Pharoah "Saturday Night Live"
Chris Pratt "Parks and Recreation"
Andrew Rannells "Girls"
Paul Reiser "Married"
Iwan Rheon "Vicious"
David Roberts "Please Like Me"
Mel Rodriguez "Getting On"
Mel Rodriguez "The Last Man on Earth"
Ben Schwartz "House of Lies"
Peter Scolari "Girls"
Reid Scott "Veep"
Marcus Scribner "black-ish"
Martin Sheen "Grace and Frankie"
Timothy Simons "Veep"
Eric Stonestreet "Modern Family"
Kenan Thompson "Saturday Night Live"
Nico Tortorella "Younger"
Russell Tovey "Looking"
Matt Walsh "Veep"
Thomas Ward "Please Like Me"
Sam Waterston "Grace and Frankie"
Damon Wayans Jr. "New Girl"
Ed Weeks "The Mindy Project"
Jeremy Allen White "Shameless"
Bradley Whitford "Happyish"
Zach Woods "Silicon Valley"
Damien Young "The Comeback"
Steve Zissis "Togetherness"

Commentary - There is a really good chance that all six nominees from last year make it back again. A lot of it depends on how Emmy voters view this season of Modern Family. Despite being left out, Eric Stonestreet and Ed O'Neill are always possibilities, but voters may be ready to move on from the two holdouts Jesse Tyler Ferguson, and less likely, Ty Burrell. But let's assume that, despite a dramatic drop in guild honors, that both are still in the game. Adam Driver had less to do on a strong season of Girls, but as his film career continues to grow (he's in Star Wars!), I think he will continue to get in. Tony Hale is having a great season on Veep, Andre Braugher is, well, Andre Braugher, and every year Portlandia continues to improve its nomination haul, and Fred Armisen is a beloved veteran, so a second nomination in a row seems like a safe bet. So who can crash the party? Besides the other Modern Family guys, watch out for some of the other supporting guys on Veep and particularly Brooklyn Nine-Nine which is a great ensemble piece with lots of great characters. After Bill Hader left, I am wondering if any of the SNL guys can get in. Veterans Taran Killam, Bobby Moynihan, and Kenan Thompson are probably the most likely although neither feel like a safe pick. There are a slew of new contenders to watch for: Josh Gad holding his own against Billy Crystal (and being a co-lead, kind of got the Emmy shaft), the great Laurence Fishburne as the scene-stealing grandpa in black-ish, Tituss Burgess is hilarious in Netflix's newest hit The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, and veterans Sam Waterston and Martin Sheen could be standouts in the upcoming Grace and Frankie with Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin. Then there those litany of great supporting characters in great casts that could get one of their guys through like New Girl, The Mindy Project, The Big Bang Theory, Cougar Town, Parks & Recreation (especially Nick Offerman), Shameless, Silicon Valley, Looking, Glee, Jane the Virgin. For the record, I would also like to make a plug for the two guys in Togetherness, the guys from Sirens (a really great underrated gem on USA), Thomas Ward and David Roberts from Please Like Me, and Desmin Borges in You're the Worst, all great performances that will probably be ignored by the Television Academy voters.

Friday, May 1, 2015

2015 Emmy Contenders: Best Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series

2015 Contenders
Ellen Barkin "Happyish"
Vanessa Bayer "Saturday Night Live"
Stephanie Beatriz "Brooklyn Nine-Nine"
Kristen Bell "House of Lies"
Valerie Bertinelli "Hot in Cleveland"
Mayim Bialik "The Big Bang Theory"
Julie Bowen "Modern Family"
Sufe Bradshaw "Veep"
Carrie Brownstein "Portlandia"
Aidy Bryant "Saturday Night Live"
Anna Chlumsky "Veep"
Amanda Crew "Silicon Valley"
Kaley Cuoco-Sweeting "The Big Bang Theory"
Frances de la Tour "Vicious"
Hilary Duff "Younger"
Megan Ferguson "The Comedians"
Melissa Fumero "Brooklyn Nine-Nine"
Tamsin Greig "Episodes"
Tymberlee Hill "Marry Me"
Gaby Hoffman "Transparent"
Sarah Hyland "Modern Family"
Allison Janney "Mom"
Dot-Marie Jones "Glee"
January Jones "The Last Man on Earth"
Leslie Jones "Saturday Night Live"
Carol Kane "The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt"
Mimi Kennedy "Mom"
Jemima Kirke "Girls"
Jane Krakowski "The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt"
Amy Landecker "Transparent"
Debra Lawrance "Please Like Me"
Jane Leeves "Hot in Cleveland"
Judith Light "Transparent"
Jane Lynch "Glee"
Melanie Lynskey "Togetherness"
Wendie Malick "Hot in Cleveland"
Zosia Mamet "Girls"
Marsai Martin "black-ish"
Debi Mazar "Younger"
Kate McKinnon "Saturday Night Live"
Laurie Metcalf "The McCarthy's"
Christa Miller "Cougar Town"
Heather Morris "Glee"
Andrea Navedo "Jane the Virgin"
Amanda Peet "Togetherness"
Chelsea Peretti "Brooklyn Nine-Nine"
Melissa Peterman "Baby Daddy"
Busy Philipps "Cougar Town"
Aubrey Plaza "Parks & Recreation"
Carrie Preston "Happyish"
Melissa Rauch "The Big Bang Theory"
Retta "Parks & Recreation"
Amber Riley "Glee"
Naya Rivera "Glee"
Yara Shahidi "black-ish"
Eden Sher "The Middle"
Hannah Simone "New Girl"
Anna Deveare Smith "Nurse Jackie"
Cecily Strong "Saturday Night Live"
Jenna Ushkowitz "Glee"
Sofia Vergara "Modern Family"
Marcia Warren "Vicious"
Lauren Weedman "Looking"
Stephnie Weir "The Comedians"
Merritt Wever "Nurse Jackie"
Betty White "Hot in Cleveland"
Allison Williams "Girls"
Sarah Wright "Marry Me"
Sasheer Zamata "Saturday Night Live"

Commentary - With Orange is the New Black switching to Drama there is at least one slot to fill in this year's race. Allison Janney is sure to return, and will probably easily win a second Emmy in this category. She is fantastic in Mom, and literally every episode this season could be a submission. Julie Bowen could hang on another year, but after her co-star Sofia Vergara missed the cut last year, it means that Bowen is vulnerable. That being said, she is a safe bet, and don't discount a Vergara comeback. Mayim Bialik continues to be a popular, and she and co-stars Kaley Cuoco-Sweeting and Melissa Rauch are always in the mix as The Big Bang Theory continues to be a ratings juggernaut. Anna Chlumsky has been underestimated the last couple of years, and as Veep continues to rise in terms of nominations, I think that as Veep continues to be a favorite, Chlumsky continues to be a contender. Finally, there is Kate McKinnon, a delightful surprise last year. She continues to be a standout on the show, but she has plenty of female co-stars including Aidy Bryant, Vanessa Bayer, Sasheer Zamata, Cecily Strong, and Leslie Jones, that could breakthrough. Those are the five from last year that could return, leaving just one spot. I actually think there is more wiggle room here than the pundits and odds suggest. There are plenty of previous nominees/winners to watch for including Betty White, Jane Lynch (who is a real threat, she had a practically leading role this final season), Merritt Wever, Vergara (as previously mentioned), and Dot-Marie Jones, who is now in supporting due to the new episodes rule). But they are not the only ones to look out for. Transparent is really a drama, but it has some spectacular performances from Judith Light, Amy Landecker, and Gaby Hoffman. Brooklyn Nine-Nine was unjustly left out of so many categories last year, but has one of the best ensembles working on television today. Maybe some of the supporting actresses like Beatriz, Fumero, or especially Chelsea Perretti can get some love. The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt could have a huge breakthrough this year at the Emmys thanks to Netflix being behind it and great reviews. This means that Carol Kane and Jane Krakowski (who is owed an Emmy for 30 Rock), could benefit in this category. Marcia Warren and Frances de la Tour are standouts in Vicious and could benefit from the love of all-things British. Neither The Comedians nor Happyish have been as well-received as we all thought, but that does not mean that Carrie Preston (a previous winner), Ellen Barkin (also a previous winner), Megan Ferguson, and Stephnie Weir should be counted out. I personally hate the character of Melissa on Last Man On Earth, but January Jones is a previous nominee on a popular new show with a lot of great reviews. Melanie Lynsky should submit in lead and Amanda Peet in supporting for Togetherness, but it looks like both are going supporting which could, unfortunately, cancel each other out. Finally, don't forget the supporting casts of Girls, Hot in Cleveland, Marry Me, Glee, Cougar Town, Parks & Recreation, as well as Lauren Weedman, Hannah Simone, Eden Sher, the daughters on black-ish, Debi Mazar and Hilary Duff on Younger, Andrea Navedo, and my personal favorite Debra Lawrence.