Friday, July 31, 2009

"Mad Men" Season 3 Promo -- Action!

Our Mad Men World: Hortense the Neighbor

Betty Draper is surprised when her next-door neighbor makes an unexpected visit. The usually calm Hortense is visibly inebriated, and insists on trying to teach Betty the samba, tipsily demonstrating the intricate steps on the squeaky linoleum floor. All Mrs. Draper can do is try to offer her some coffee, but Hortense is having none of it, and soon wanders back to her own house, muttering something about wanting to watch Virginia Graham on TV. Betty is disturbed but intrigued, and wonders if Don might enjoy a little samba lesson tonight after dinner...

Our Mad Men World: "And Awaaaay We Go!"

CBS TV star Jackie Gleason stops by Sterling Cooper to drop off a pair of airplane tickets to Miami for Don Draper, inviting him to fly down to watch a filming of his show. Don is excited, though he decides not to admit to Gleason that he really preferred Art Carney's Ed Norton in "The Honeymooners".

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Our Mad Men World: Mr. Bob, the Evil HR Director

Mr. Bob, the dreaded Sterling Cooper HR Director rolled through the hall to the typing pool, his massive belly leading the way. "I smell fire and brimstone" said Peggy under her breath. Mr. Bob was generally the harbinger of doom. He loved to make people squirm. And he was not above pinching asses in a crowded elevator, if he thought he could get away with it.

"Good morning, girls" he cried out in a hollow booming voice. He always tried to sound so cheerful, but his eyes...dead and flat like dull pennies, told the true story. Mr. B's soul was as empty as a bottle of Alka Seltzer at a chili cook off. Watch your back, Don! Mr. Bob loves to bring the high and mighty to their knees!

Our Mad Men World: Don's Swedish Lesson

Don Draper is visibly impressed when visiting Swedish advertising genius Astrid Svensson helps the Sterling Cooper troupe come up with a new twist for their sagging Playtex account. She holds their rapt attention as she describes a dreamy history-influenced scenario involving King Henry VII, Cardinal Richelieu and Catherine The Great clad in a bejeweled Playtex girdle. The boys love it.

After the presentation and a long productive working lunch at "21", Don slips Astrid the key to a Manhattan hotel room, and a few hours later the no-nonsense Swedish ad exec, now transformed in a fragile and breathtaking Nordic goddess, awaits his arrival...

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Our Mad Men World: Don's Drive Home

Don takes to the wheel after one too many with his new Prison Guard buddy at the Manhattan watering hole. The long and winding highway to his suburban haven in Connecticut lulls him to sleep and he turns on the radio to help keep his eyes on the line.

A sweet South American calypso drifts through the speakers...the Girl from Ipanema? His eyes close and the Cadillac swerves towards the dense brush at the side of the road.

Seconds before disaster he turns the wheel and is on the pavement again. Almost home. He's flashes back to the afternoon with Gretchen the frozen food mogul. Nice. But in his reverie she looks more like a Latin beauty in glasses. And her boobs have been deflated. Whoa! What's up with that?

Not for the first time, Don thinks maybe it's time to cut back on the double shots of Johnny Walker Red.

The engine purrs as he pours the car into the driveway.

Our Mad Men World: Danny Kaye Visits Sterling Cooper

The office is abuzz when world famous comedian and UNICEF ambassador Danny Kaye drops by to discuss the new campaign the agency is putting together for his annual Halloween fundraiser. Sterling Cooper employees eagerly agree to donate their time to helping Danny with worthy United Nations effort. Bravo, Don Draper, for being such a good corporate citizen!

Don Draper Ventures Into the Wrong Bar

Yet another avatar scenario -- Don Draper drops into an unfamiliar watering hole for a little nip after working late. Here he chats up a former women's prison guard who's come to NYC to catch Mary Martin in a matinee of The Sound of Music on Broadway, but (as she tells Don) she intends to walk out as soon Maria hooks up with Baron Von Trapp. Don nods, suddenly understanding everything.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Our Mad Men World: Gretchen the Frozen Food Mogul

Meet Gretchen. Owner of the multi-million dollar food conglomerate that developed
"Chicken Finger Frozen Fun". Here she congratulates the Sterling Cooper team that came up with a new campaign to replace the tired, "Betcha Didn't Know Chickens had Fingers" catch-phrase. The Sterling Cooper pitch is dreamy and iconic, as housewives in their undergarments wander through the frozen tundras of Alaska with plates of canapes in their slightly blue fingers.

Gretchen also meets Don after the meeting in a cozy little bar downtown with red Naugahyde leather booths. Naturally, they hit it off, since she is the male version of he...and Don has an ego the size of the Goodyear blimp.

OK folks, now go make your own Mad Men avatar! And check out the zippy early 60's muzak in the background. It reminds me of when my parents would let the kids eat the maraschino cherries out of their Manhattans.

"Mad Men" Yourself at AMC's Website!

Flaming Nose favorite Mad Men returns next month on Sunday, August 16th, and AMC has a nifty and very fun promotion going on! Go to their "Mad Men Yourself" website here -- with illustrations created by the talented Dyna Moe (be sure to check out the full set of her Mad Men-inspired work) -- and you can turn yourself into a Mad Men-esque character, or just make one up.

It's tremendously amusing, and you can download your creations and use them as avatars and also they are beautiful as desktop images. You won't want to stop at making one, either. It's addicting! I made several, including a hard-drinking lady who doesn't smile much --

A blowhard guy with an eyepatch and a drink --

And a career lady I tried to make look like Edith Prickley from SCTV --

Definitely check this wonderful website out and congrats to Dyna Moe!

Monday, July 27, 2009

Viral Video Moment: Simon's Cat in "Fly Guy"

We haven't done a Viral Video in a while either, and what could be more perfect than following Lisa's 90 year old TV animated cat tribute to Felix with a very modern YouTube animated cat. The "Simon's Cat" series is up to 5 original episodes now, and each one is delightful. There is even a Thanksgiving version that features (gasp) a dog. This animator is a genius. Anyone who has a cat will instantly recognize that he has captured the very essence of what makes cats simultaneously adorable and maddening.

Below is one of the most popular Simon's Cat episodes, called TV Dinner. It has gotten nearly 8 million views on YouTube!

Nose-Talgia: "Felix The Cat" Cartoons

We haven't tread the nostalgic path in a while, but today feels like a good day to offer the theme song to Felix The Cat, one of my favorite cartoons when I was a kid. I'm sure I loved this because I really like cats and always have, and Felix was resourceful, funny, and I liked his villains The Professor and Rock Bottom. Here's the opening theme, and then one of his cartoons, where The Professor follows Felix to the Arctic to try to steal his bag of tricks and the Abominable Snowman interrupts the plan. I mean...the Abominable Snowman? No wonder I loved Felix's adventures!

The character of Felix The Cat is ninety years old this year, and you can read all about the important role he played in the history of television here! Long before he showed up as a children's TV show that delighted baby boomers, Felix was a mega-star in the world of animation. He's more than deserving of our attention!

He's truly a wonderful, wonderful cat!

Sunday, July 26, 2009

"Hung" Tonight on HBO!

You may not have caught some of the videos out there for HBO's intriguing comedy Hung, starring Thomas Jane, Jane Adams and Anne Heche. In a nutshell, Jane Adams plays Tanya, who has decided to go into business with her financially-strapped friend Ray (Thomas Jane), offering his sexual services to women for money. HBO offers short little "Tanya's Diary" segments which are lovely moments for the talented Jane Adams, and we want to feature them here. There are three so far.

There are also two amusing vid ads for Ray and Tanya's "Happiness Consultants" business --

Don't miss Hung on HBO tonight at 10pm, right after TrueBlood!

"TrueBlood" Tonight -- More Promos for HBO's Great Vampire Series

In case you've missed the promos for this week's episode of HBO's TrueBlood, here it is. The ep is titled "Hard-Hearted Hannah":

There's also a new longer TrueBlood promo just released at Comic Con, which covers events to come in the rest of the season. Watch for actress Evan Rachel Wood (The Wrestler, Across The Universe, Thirteen) who will be joining the show for a limited run.

Looks like the Season 2 is only going to get better! TrueBlood airs on HBO Sunday nights at 9pm, with frequent encores throughout the week. It`s easy to see why this is one of The Flaming Nose Favorites!

Saturday, July 25, 2009

BBC America on a Sci-Fi Roll!

Just when Sci Fi changes to that new horrible name and seems to lose its way, BBC America comes on strong with the best selection of incredible British science fiction/fantasy programming around. Doctor Who, Torchwood, Primeval, and now the newest series Being Human give BBCA the edge in out-of-this-world television. (Pictured above, Torchwood.)

If you missed the harrowing new Torchwood miniseries Torchwood: Children of Earth which played this past week, all five parts will repeat tomorrow, Sunday 7/26, beginning at 1pm with a special which will get you up to speed with Captain Jack Harkness and the group. I'm telling you, this special is riveting even if you've never watched the series before, and it's pretty damned shocking, too. Really horrifying in sections, especially from Part 3 onward. Yikes. Some creepy stuff.

Torchwood: Children of Earth runs straight up until 8pm, at which time BBCA presents a Doctor Who special "Planet of the Dead" -- available in HD, too -- and on Monday there's another Doctor Who special entitled "The Next Doctor". (Pictured below, "Planet of the Dead".)

Being Human, a brand new show, premiered earlier tonight. It's about a werewolf, a vampire and a ghost 20-somethings living together in Bristol, England, and the opener repeats tomorrow night at 9:15p after the Doctor Who special.

We recommend taking some time and perusing BBC America's website to find out about these great shows. There's of course no easy way to catch up on forty years of Doctor Who, but just know that there is about to be a change of actors playing the Doctor, and this might be a wonderful time to jump into the series. Torchwood has only been on for two seasons, so you've an easier way in there, and it's definitely recommended. Being Human...well, it's just the beginning, to get in at the start. And let's not forget about Primeval, which is a whopping action adventure show in its second season, with dinosaurs running all over contemporary Britain. Read about that one, too!

Lots to watch! Here's a cute trailer for Being Human, from its run on BBC 3 in Great Britain.

Friday, July 24, 2009

First Look at "Dexter" Season 4 Showtime Promo

Here's a nice new long promo for the upcoming season of Dexter, starting September 27th on Showtime!

As expected, the return of Keith Carradine as Frank Lundy is a wonderful thing, and John Lithgow has the perfect mien to be the mild-mannered longtime serial killer, Dexter's new nemesis. The detective work this season should be fascinating, and we're counting on it being the highlight because we're not so much looking forward to all the domestic stuff. I don't think we're going to be disappointed.

It will also be especially interesting to watch Jennifer Carpenter and Michael C. Hall onscreen together as brother and sister again, because as we know they are real life husband and wife. Just kind of an intriguing subtext for us to ponder!

Thursday, July 23, 2009

How About This "Dexter" Ad from The Netherlands?

One of our favorite series premieres overseas in The Netherlands very soon. Here's what they're seeing to promote the show. In case it doesn't load, check it out here.

We'll be waiting here until September 27th for the fourth season of Dexter on Showtime!

Monday, July 20, 2009

Goodnight Moon: A Final Tribute to Apollo 11

To Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins for your service and bravery 40 years ago, we thank you.

To all the men and women of NASA and related industries who's brilliance and diligence helped put humans on the moon, we thank you.

To all the people of the world who support space exploration and dream (as we do) of going boldly where no man has gone before...we thank you.

To all the television networks and Internet websites who remembered with their coverage this historic day, the Flaming Nose says a very heart felt thank you. Especially to the History Channel which featured the original CBS telecast of the Apollo landing narrated by the unforgettable news anchor Walter Cronkite, who just passed away this week.

Forty years ago people all over the earth put their differences on pause, to watch humans take the first step towards the stars. May it happen again in my life time.

Next stop...Mars. (Imagine how great it will look on HDTV!)

To The Moon!

We've posted this clip from the amazing 2006 British television opera Man on the Moon by composer Jonathan Dove on another occasion, but on this 40th Anniversary of the Moon Landing it couldn't be more appropriate and thrilling. It's the opening minutes of the piece.

Here's another stunning excerpt, entitled "Blast Off".

I can't find the whole opera anywhere yet (I keep hoping Ovation will play it sometime), but if you are fascinated by this amazing piece, there are four segments of conductor Brad Cohen in rehearsal which will give you a taste of more of this incredible production, available here, here, here and here.

Of course, you might like to tune into Turner Classic Movies today for a whole day of space-related movies, including in prime time at 8pm the documentary For All Mankind about the Apollo missions, featuring the words of the astronauts themselves, and following that, the greatest, smartest and most entertaining movie about space and astronauts ever made, 1983's The Right Stuff, directed by Jonathan Kaufman. (Pictured below, from left, Fred Ward, Dennis Quaid, Scott Paulin, Ed Harris, Charles Frank, Scott Glenn and Lance Henricksen, as the Mercury 7 astronauts.)

Take a few minutes today to reflect on the marvelous achievement from 40 years ago. The Flaming Nose salutes the men and women of NASA, past and present!

Sunday, July 19, 2009

So, How Are You Liking HBO's "Hung"?

Sunday's other treat (besides TrueBlood) on HBO is Hung, starring Thomas Jane and Jane Adams. I believe the whole thing rests on the appeal of Thomas Jane and the semi-eccentric Jane Adams, and they are up to it. Somewhat mining the same ground, but at a very different malaise level, as AMC's incredible Breaking Bad -- both about underpaid high school teachers and what they have to do to make ends meet -- Hung is not at all merely the dirty joke that its title would imply.

While Walt on Breaking Bad has always been under the economic gun -- he's a brainy guy who chose to teach high school chemistry, and loved it -- Ray from Hung is a former jock who coaches high school sports. Ray once "had it all" -- good looks, beauty queen wife, all the undeserved accolades thrown at sports-types in modern-day America -- but it's all crashed and burned (literally) around him.

As everything else that made him a man is broken down and taken away -- his wife, his house, his children -- the only thing he has left is his actual manhood. His penis is basically all that he has left of his masculine identity, at least that's how he sees it. Lucky for him it's a big one, and it becomes his money-making idea, just as Walt in BB turns to manufacturing drugs to dig out of his economic hole.

Hung lacks the heartbreaking sense of pathos that informs every second of Breaking Bad, but the best parts of Hung are the moments where Ray is camped out in a tent next to his burned-out house, alone and pretty much at hope's end. Where BB is a complex and dramatic descent into Walt's change of character, Hung (so far at least) is a sympathetic portrait of a guy who thought he had everything -- Walt never thought he had everything, and it's only gotten worse from there -- and his amusing solution to try to get back on his feet by putting women on their backs.

I was happy to see more skin in the last episodes as compared to the pilot which was quite chaste, and I also enjoyed Jane Adams as Tanya and her attempts to put a little more polish into Ray's foreplay and seduction skills. Though Ray is well-endowed, he seems not to be the best lover in a technical sense, which is kind of an interesting character flaw.

I recommend the show. Thomas Jane is appealing, Jane Adams is fresh and unusual as she plays an over-educated poetess who has to work in a deadly office environment to survive, and Anne Heche is always a concise presence onscreen. Even the character of her earnest dermatologist husband, played by Eddie Jemison, isn't the complete fool he might have been. He's written as a nice nerd who by virtue of his profession and its monetary rewards gets to marry the beauty queen, something that would only happen because of his salary, and I think he knows it. However, I am happy to see Ray's next-door neighbor consistently played as an ass; he's built a McMansion next to Ray's parents' spot and wants to buy the house and raze it. (Hang in there, Ray. Don't let that bastard have it!) I also have to applaud the casting of two genuinely unique young actors -- Charlie Saxton and Sianoa Smit-McPhee -- as Ray's twin children.

Here's the opening title sequence to give you a taste of the show -- and a glimpse of Thomas Jane's behind:

And although it may be unwatchable or maybe that's merely unbearable, considering the source, here's a clip of Thomas Jane and Jane Adams on a recent episode of The View:

Hung airs on HBO Sunday nights at 10pm, following TrueBlood. Visit HBO's Hung website for more show information and video.

New Episode of "TrueBlood" Tonight on HBO

Here's the promo for tonight's TrueBlood episode "Never Let Me Go" --

And why is it SO hard to find a promo online that one can embed in blogs? doesn't offer one, nor do they on their YouTube channel. C'mon...we're just trying to help promote the show. Would you rather have these crummy versions out there? Put the promos up, HBO!

Saturday, July 18, 2009

More on Walter Cronkite

Be sure to read some of the excellent obituaries for veteran newsman Walter Cronkite, who died yesterday at the age of 92. He was the best of the best, an embodiment of responsible journalism and his like will never be seen again.

The New York Times has a good account of his life here, and CBS News is featuring Cronkite on their main page now.

The sadness at the passing of Walter Cronkite is no sentimental nostalgia spawned in childhood of Baby Boomers. It is the genuine respect that all Americans felt for his place in their lives, and for the knowledge that we were all so fortunate to have had such an upstanding, honest, ethical and intelligent man as the face of television news for that long time.
It is truly the end of an era.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Amazing Website from JFK Library on the Moon Mission Anniversary

Be sure to check out this fascinating page that is tracking the Apollo mission that launched 40 years ago today!

Called "We Choose The Moon", it's (I think) a real-time re-creation of the spaceflight, complete with audio transmissions, photos and a countdown clock. Just the weird sound of the website -- a kind of blank radio noise with occasional clicks and sounds -- is fascinating and a little unsettling. Highly recommended!

More Emmy Nomination Feedback

First of all, congratulations again to all the nominees, especially to our favorites! Let's post the Emmy-nominated song (Outstanding Music and Lyrics) "Carol Brown" from the Unnatural Love episode of Flight of the Conchords.

The Flaming Nose is not necessarily of one mind on the Emmy Awards, but here are some of my own initial thoughts on the noms.

Outstanding Comedy Series -- Glad to see Flight of the Conchords, Family Guy, Weeds and How I Met Your Mother breaking into the category alongside the usual suspects. Probably will go to 30 Rock, of course, which had a great season again.

Outstanding Drama -- Good to see Big Love in there. Can't imagine it wouldn't go to Mad Men, but I think Breaking Bad is a close second, and of course we love Dexter around here a lot.

Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series -- All good...particularly nice to see Jim Parsons from The Big Bang Theory and Jemaine Clement from FOTC in there, isn't it? Is it time to let somebody other than Alec Baldwin win? If so, I'd go with Parsons, pictured above.

Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series -- Such a good group, interesting to see Simon Baker in there for his freshman series The Mentalist. I still think Bryan Cranston is the one to beat. He won last year, deservedly so. Sorry not to see Denis Leary in there, though.

Outstanding Lead Actor in a Miniseries or a Movie -- Can't imagine they won't give it to Sir Ian McKellan for his King Lear on PBS, but in terms of a tight, unflashy and excelllent performance, Kevin Bacon from Taking Chance certainly earned his nomination, as seen above.

Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series -- It still feels like it's Tina Fey's time, for 30 Rock. All are talented gals -- there is much sentimental feeling for Christina Applegate from Samantha Who? -- but Fey is still on top and deserves it.
Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series -- Let's give this to the actress playing the many-layered yet unknowable Peggy in Mad Men, the terrific Elisabeth Moss, pictured above. Great to see her nominated -- it's her first!

Outstanding Lead Actress in a Miniseries or a Movie -- Wouldn't it be nice if Drew Barrymore and Jessica Lange shared the Emmy for their roles in Grey Gardens? Both were superb, and even though their performances were based on real people, they were touching and far, far beyond impersonation. (Grey Gardens grew on me after several viewing, btw.)

Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series -- Wow...great field. Wouldn't it be great to have just-announced Emmy host Neil Patrick Harris win the Emmy here? He deserves it, too. All noms are good here, though I would substitute Johnny Galecki from The Big Bang Theory or Jason Segal from HIMYM for Jon Cryer.

Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series -- I go for Aaron Paul in Breaking Bad. Great to see him nominated. Would also loved to have had somebody from Rescue Me in there...excellent ensemble cast who deserve more recognition. Pictured above, Bryan Cranston and Aaron Paul.

More soon!

An Emmy Nomination Surprise

The Emmy Award nominations were announced this morning by the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. A complete list of the top categories is posted below, but we wanted to be among the first to congratulate a Flaming Nose favorite that was a wonderful surprise. HBO's quirky musical comedy "Flight of the Conchords" was nominated for Outstanding Comedy and our beloved Jemaine Clement from the same show was nominated for Outstanding Lead Actor in a comedy series. Jemain has delighted us for several seasons with his deadpan delivery, fetching New Zealand accent and hilarious song paradies. Scroll to the bottom after the nomination list and you'll see a video featuring Jemaine that is close to our hearts (Sugar Lumps).

The Emmy Awards will air on CBS, September 20, 2009.

Outstanding Comedy Series

“Entourage,” HBO, Leverage and Closest to the Hole Productions in association with HBO Entertainment

“Family Guy,” FOX, Fox Television Animation

“Flight Of The Conchords,” HBO, Dakota Pictures and Comedy Arts in association with HBO Entertainment

“How I Met Your Mother,” CBS 20th Century Fox Television

“The Office,” NBC, Deedle-Dee Productions and Reveille LLC in association with Universal Media Studios

“30 Rock,” NBC, Broadway Video, Little Stranger, Inc. in association with Universal Media Studios

“Weeds,” Showtime, Showtime Presents in association with Lionsgate Television and Tilted Productions, Inc.

Outstanding Drama Series

“Big Love,” HBO, Anima Sola Productions and Playtone in association with HBO Entertainment

“Breaking Bad,” AMC, High Bridge, Gran Via Productions, Sony Pictures Television

“Damages,” FX Networks, FX Productions and Sony Pictures Television

“Dexter,” Showtime, Showtime Presents in association with John Goldwyn Productions, The Colleton Company, Clyde Phillips Productions

“House,” FOX, Universal Media Studios in association with Heel and Toe Films, Shore Z Productions and Bad Hat Harry Productions

“Lost,” ABC, Grass Skirt Productions and ABC Studios

“Mad Men,” AMC, Lionsgate Television

Outstanding Miniseries

“Generation Kill,” HBO, Company Pictures and Blown Deadline Productions in association with HBO Films

“Little Dorrit,” PBS, A co-production of BBC Productions and WGBH Boston

Outstanding Lead Actor In A Comedy Series

Jim Parsons as Sheldon Cooper, “The Big Bang Theory,” CBS, Chuck Lorre Productions, Inc. in association with Warner
Bros. Television

Jemaine Clement as Jemaine, “Flight Of The Conchords,” HBO, Dakota Pictures and Comedy Arts in association with HBO Entertainment

Tony Shalhoub as Adrian Monk, “Monk,” USA, Universal Cable Productions in association with Mandeville Films and ABC Studios

Steve Carell as Michael Scott, “The Office,” NBC, Deedle-Dee Productions and Reveille LLC in association with Universal Media Studios

Alec Baldwin as Jack Donaghy, “30 Rock,” NBC, Broadway Video, Little Stranger, Inc. in association with Universal
Media Studios

Charlie Sheen as Charlie Harper, “Two And A Half Men,” CBS, Chuck Lorre Productions, Inc., The Tannenbaum Company in association with Warner Bros. Television

Outstanding Lead Actor In A Drama Series

Bryan Cranston as Walter White, “Breaking Bad,” AMC, High Bridge, Gran Via Productions, Sony Pictures Television

Michael C. Hall as Dexter Morgan, “Dexter,” Showtime, Showtime Presents in association with John Goldwyn Productions,
The Colleton Company, Clyde Phillips Productions

Hugh Laurie as Dr. Gregory House, “House,” FOX, Universal Media Studios in association with Heel and Toe Films, Shore Z
Productions and Bad Hat Harry Productions

Gabriel Byrne as Paul, “In Treatment,” HBO, Leverage, Closest To The Hole Productions and Sheleg in association with HBO Entertainment

Jon Hamm as Don Draper, “Mad Men,” AMC, Lionsgate Television

Simon Baker as Patrick Jane, “The Mentalist,” CBS, Warner Bros. Television

Outstanding Lead Actor In A Miniseries Or A Movie

Kevin Kline as Cyrano de Bergerac, Cyrano de Bergerac (Great Performances),” PBS, A Cyrano on Film, LLC Production
with Thirteen/WNET New York in association with Ellen M Krass Productions, Inc. and NHK Enterprises

Brendan Gleeson as Winston Churchill, “Into The Storm,” HBO, Scott Free and Rainmark Films production in association with the BBC and HBO Films

Sir Ian McKellen as King Lear, “King Lear (Great Performances),” PBS, A Co-production of The Performance Company,
Iambic Productions Limited, Thirteen/WNET New York and Channel 4, in association with NHK

Kevin Bacon as LtCol Mike Strobl, “Taking Chance,” HBO, Motion Picture Corporation of American and Civil Dawn Pictures in association with HBO Films

Kiefer Sutherland as Jack Bauer, “24: Redemption,” FOX, Imagine Television and 20th Century Fox TV in association with
Teakwood Lane Productions

Kenneth Branagh as Kurt Wallander, “Wallander: One Step Behind,” PBS, A Left Bank Pictures/Yellow Bird/ TKBC/BBC series for WGBH

Outstanding Lead Actress In A Comedy Series

Julia Louis-Dreyfus as Christine, “The New Adventures Of Old Christine,” CBS, Kari's Logo Here in association with Warner Bros. Television

Christina Applegate as Samantha Newly, “Samantha Who?,” ABC, ABC Studios

Sarah Silverman as Sarah Silverman, “The Sarah Silverman Program,” Comedy Central, Central Productions/Eleven Eleven O'Clock Productions/Oil Factory Inc.

Tina Fey as Liz Lemon, “30 Rock,” NBC, Broadway Video, Little Stranger, Inc. in association with Universal Media Studios

Toni Collette as Tara Gregson, “United States Of Tara,” Showtime, Showtime presents in association with DreamWorks Television

Mary-Louise Parker as Nancy Botwin, “Weeds,” Showtime, Showtime Presents in association with Lionsgate Television and Tilted Productions, Inc.

Outstanding Lead Actress In A Drama Series

Sally Field as Nora Walker, “Brothers & Sisters,” ABC, ABC Studios

Kyra Sedgwick as Brenda Leigh Johnson, “The Closer,” TNT, The Shephard/Robin Company in association with Warner Bros. Television

Glenn Close as Patty Hewes, “Damages,” FX Networks, FX Productions and Sony Pictures Television

Mariska Hargitay as Detective Olivia Benson, “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit,” NBC. Wolf Films in association with Universal Media Studios

Elisabeth Moss as Peggy Olson, “Mad Men,” AMC, Lionsgate Television

Holly Hunter as Grace Hanadarko, “Saving Grace,” TNT, Fox Television

Outstanding Lead Actress In A Miniseries Or A Movie

Chandra Wilson as Yvonne, “Accidental Friendship,” Hallmark Channel, A Muse Entertainment and Automatic Pictures Production

Shirley MacLaine as Coco Chanel, “Coco Chanel,” Lifetime, Lux Vide S.p.A, Pamp Productions and Alchemy Television Group

Drew Barrymore as Little Edie, “Grey Gardens,” HBO, Specialty Films and Locomotive in association with HBO Films

Jessica Lange as Big Edie, “Grey Gardens,” HBO, Specialty Films and Locomotive in association with HBO Films

Sigourney Weaver as Mary Griffith, “Prayers For Bobby, Lifetime, Once Upon The Times Films, LTD in association with Permut Presentations and Sladek Taaffe Productions

Outstanding Supporting Actor In A Comedy Series

Kevin Dillon as Johnny Drama, “Entourage,” HBO, Leverage and Closest to the Hole Productions in association with HBO Entertainment

Neil Patrick Harris as Barney Stinson, “How I Met Your Mother,” CBS, 20th Century Fox Television

Rainn Wilson as Dwight Schrute, “The Office,” NBC, Deedle-Dee Productions and Reveille LLC in association with Universal Media Studios

Tracy Morgan as Tracy Jordan, “30 Rock,” NBC, Broadway Video, Little Stranger, Inc. in association with Universal Media Studios

Jack McBrayer as Kenneth Parcell, “30 Rock,” NBC, Broadway Video, Little Stranger, Inc. in association with Universal Media Studios

Jon Cryer as Alan Harper, “Two And A Half Men,” CBS, Chuck Lorre Productions, Inc., The Tannenbaum Company in association with Warner Bros. Television

Outstanding Supporting Actor In A Drama Series

William Shatner as Denny Crane, “Boston Legal,” ABC, A David E. Kelley Production in association with Twentieth Century Fox Television

Christian Clemenson as Jerry Espenson, “Boston Legal,” ABC, A David E. Kelley Production in association with Twentieth Century Fox Television

Aaron Paul as Jesse Pinkman, “Breaking Bad,” AMC, High Bridge, Gran Via Productions, Sony Pictures Television

William Hurt as Daniel Purcell, “Damages,” FX Networks, FX Productions and Sony Pictures Television

Michael Emerson as Ben Linus, “Lost,” ABC, Grass Skirt Productions and ABC Studios

John Slattery as Roger Sterling, “Mad Men,” AMC, Lionsgate Television

Outstanding Supporting Actor In A Miniseries Or A Movie

Ken Howard as Phelan Beale, “Grey Gardens,” HBO, Specialty Films and Locomotive in association with HBO Films

Len Cariou as Franklin D. Roosevelt, “Into The Storm,” HBO, Scott Free and Rainmark Films production in association with the BBC and HBO Films

Bob Newhart as Judson, “The Librarian: Curse of the Judas Chalice,” TNT, Electric Entertainment

Tom Courtenay as Mr. Dorrit, “Little Dorrit,” PBS, A co-production of BBC Productions and WGBH Boston

Andy Serkis as Rigaud, “Little Dorrit,” PBS, A co-production of BBC Productions and WGBH Boston

Outstanding Supporting Actress In A Comedy Series

Kristin Chenoweth as Olive Snook, “Pushing Daisies,” ABC, Living Dead Guy Productions, The Jinks/Cohen Company in association with Warner Bros. Television

Amy Poehler as Various Characters, “Saturday Night Live,” NBC, SNL Studios in association with NBC Studios and Broadway Video

Kristin Wiig as Various Characters, “Saturday Night Live,” NBC, SNL Studios in association with NBC Studios and Broadway Video

Jane Krakowski as Jenna Maroney, “30 Rock,” NBC, Broadway Video, Little Stranger, Inc. in association with Universal Media Studios

Vanessa Williams as Wilhelmina Slater, “Ugly Betty,” ABC, ABC Studios

Elizabeth Perkins as Celia Hodes, “Weeds,” Showtime, Showtime Presents in association with Lionsgate Television and Tilted Productions, Inc.

Outstanding Supporting Actress In A Drama Series

Rose Byrne as Ellen Parsons, “Damages,” FX Networks, FX Productions and Sony Pictures Television

Sandra Oh as Dr. Christina Yang, “Grey's Anatomy,” ABC, ABC Studios

Chandra Wilson as Dr. Miranda Bailey, “Grey's Anatomy,” ABC, ABC Studios

Dianne Wiest as Gina, “In Treatment,” HBO, Leverage, Closest To The Hole Productions and Sheleg in association with HBO Entertainment

Hope Davis as Mia, “In Treatment,” HBO, Leverage, Closest To The Hole Productions and Sheleg in association with HBO Entertainment

Cherry Jones as President Allison Taylor, “24,” FOX, Imagine Television and 20th Century Fox Television in association with Teakwood Lane Productions

Outstanding Supporting Actress In A Miniseries Or A Movie

Marcia Gay Harden as Janina, “The Courageous Heart Of Irena Sendler (Hallmark Hall Of Fame Presentation),” CBS, Jeff Most/Jeff Rice Productions in association with Hallmark Hall of Fame Productions

Jeanne Tripplehorn as Jackie O., “Grey Gardens,” HBO, Specialty Films and Locomotive in association with HBO Films

Shohreh Aghdashloo as Sajida, “House Of Saddam, HBO, HBO Films in association with BBC

Janet McTeer as Clementine Churchill, “Into The Storm,” HBO, Scott Free and Rainmark Films production in association with the BBC and HBO Films

Cicely Tyson as Pearl, “Relative Stranger,” Hallmark Channel, A Larry Levinson Production

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Entourage Season Six: Bro-TV is Back!

"Entourage" is to dude fantasy as "Sex in the City" is to chick fantasy. Delete designer clothes and cosmopolitans in NYC and replace with luxury cars and tequila shots in Malibu. The Entourage boys have fun like it's their job and they are back in the leather bucket seats for Season Six on HBO (premiered Sunday, June 12th at 10:30pm eastern).

Last season ended with an exhilarating roller coaster, culminating in Vinnie getting the lead in a Martin Scorsese picture. This Sunday found the boys back in LA, struggling to wean themselves from the pack and find their own (homes, girl friends, identities). There was a completely unnecessary arc about Vinnie learning to drive the big black Cadillac sport utility vehicle. Note to producers: a) Gas guzzlers are so 2008 in Hollywood now. The coolest celebrities are all in little Hybrids. And b) why the heck should Vinnie have to learn how to drive? Everybody drives like crap in L.A. anyway, he should stick with a chauffeur since he can afford it. Maybe they are planning a DUI for him in this season? How Lindsay Lohan can you get.

What I liked about the season premier? Shades of "it's lonely at the top" with Vinnie going home to a dark house while his bro's are all out doing their own thing. What I didn't like? Ari's over the top hazing of his hapless gay assistant who is gunning for a promotion. Check out the HBO website for Lloyd's diary and snarky video.

Not the best start ever, but I still love these guys and I'm glad to see them back.

'Big Valley' film rolls out

Good news for fans of this classic TV Western!

'Big Valley' film rolls out

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Sunday, July 12, 2009

HBO's "TrueBlood" Back With New Episode Tonight!

With the July 4th weekend hiatus behind us, we eagerly await tonight's "Shake and Fingerpop" episode of HBO's bloody fantastic TrueBlood, at 9pm. According to early buzz, the ep is amazing, with all the various pleasures and scares of the series in play, and with all characters going at full speed. If you are in the mood for some spoilers, you can always read this which will tip you off to a lot of what will be going on tonight. Me...I think I'll hold off. Some things are definitely worth waiting for. Pictured below, Rutina Wesley as Tara and Anna Paquin as Sookie.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Apollo 11: 40th Anniversary This Week

This Thursday will mark the 40th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon mission launch. The journey that followed for astronauts Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins, became one of the most viewed television events of all time, as people from every nation turned to the small screen to see history being made.

I was a geeky little kid with blue glasses when my Dad stuffed us into the family station wagon and drove from NY to Florida to see the launch in person. We woke up before dawn on July 16th and drove as far down the beach as possible, to get closer to Cape Canaveral. I remember thinking how strange it was to see what was normally a deserted beach just covered with thousands of cars and people. We all had transistor radios so we could hear the launch countdown. Ours was a lime green Panasonic Ball and Chain model. Even though the crowd on that beach was huge, you could have heard a pin drop when Apollo 11 lifted off, on that bright July morning in 1969. Look at the fantastic NASA slow motion video posted above and you'll get a sense of the wonder reflected in the faces of the people lucky enough to witness this moment in person. See that fiery glowing rocket in the corner of the sky? That's humanity going to a different world for the first time. Heavenly.

Central Florida around the time of the Apollo 11 mission had "space fever". Half the buildings in the state looked like they were designed by the animators from The Jetsons. You could buy moon pies at the 7-11 and Blast Off cocktails at the beach side restaurants. We even had a beach ball colored to look like the surface of the moon. Here's a picture of it deflated, and being worn like a hat by our dog King.

I had space fever too after the launch, and would run from the beach back to our hotel room to watch the news coverage on a little black and white TV. On July 20, 1969, I sat with my sisters and parents while we watched the Eagle detach and then descend to the surface of the moon. We were part of the largest TV audience ever at that time. It was estimated that over 500 million people around the world watched the Apollo 11 moon landing. Below you'll see an excellent video depicting that moment. Be sure to watch all the way to the end, because there's a wonderful montage of folks from around the world, eyes wide and mouths agape, as Neil Armstrong makes the most famous step in history. I'm amazed that he came up with the line "One small step for man, one giant leap for mankind" on his way to the moon. Nice to think that not every great quote is from a ghost writer or PR agent.

As we remember the glorious and successful Apollo 11 mission, we actually have a modern day space flight to view tomorrow at 7PM eastern time. If all goes well, the much delayed STS-127 Endeavor mission to install new equipment on the space station will finally launch. Visit the NASA website to learn more or to watch the launch in streaming video.

Both Discovery and History channel websites also have plenty on Apollo 11. And History will be airing an Apollo 11 special on Modern Marvels, July 18th at 1pm.

There is not much to feel cheerful about these days, with millions of people out of work and the economy doing a nose dive. I think we need another shot of hope like that moment when JFK swore that the USA would land a man on the moon before the next decade. We did it then and we can do it again. So...note to President Obama: Please throw a little of that stimulus money over to NASA and we can make the next stop Mars!

Friday, July 10, 2009

If You're in Portland, Oregon, This Weekend, Go Amok Here!

One of the greatest events I've ever heard of is taking place in the Woodlawn neighborhood of Portland, Oregon. Though I could not claim it's a first of its kind, local art org Atomic Arts is presenting a live performance of the Star Trek episode "Amok Time", starring local actors and with music and sound effects, at the local park. For free, too. Here is part of the iconic fight scene between Spock and Kirk, with Gerald Fried's legendary musical score backing it up.

Can you imagine anything so cool? If you are anywhere near Portland, get thee to Woodlawn Park and enjoy this unique summer treat! Playing the next three weekends, at 5pm.

"Star Trek in the Park". I love it! Wish I could be there!

And if STitP isn't amazing enough, I just found this incredible Star Trek opera on YouTube, also inspired by "Amok Time". OMG -- it's insanely great! If you are a Trek fan, be sure to watch the six parts. Clever, Written by composer Steven Clark, and first performed in San Francisco in 2006, it's terrific. Why hadn't I run into this before? See, the internet is still full of surprises for us, every day!

I also just ran into a great blog called "My Star Trek Scrapbook", which is just that -- a wonderful collection of articles and photos collected by a devoted fan over the years. (I'll have to put my stuff online sometime, too.) It's a delightful site and be sure to visit! Our congrats to Frederick for such an impressive job!

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

"Dexter" Season 4 Ads Begin to Surface

We forgot to post this the other day -- the first bit of promotional photography for Showtime's Dexter series, returning for its fourth season this coming September. How do you like it?

Dexter hasn't been shy about using the juxtaposition of youngsters and sanguine surroundings as powerful images. Remember all those flashback scenes with the young Dexter imprisoned in that shipping container, watching as his mother was chainsawed to death by a vicious druglord? Yikes.

The above image is a lighthearted but still massively creepy take on Dexter's occupation. We've got a terrific guest villain to look forward to, also. John Lithgow is onboard as the resident nemesis, and that's gotta be good. I'd say we're in for huge amounts of dark humor!

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Michael Jackson's Memorial in Downtown LA: TV Hysteria

It would be remiss of The Flaming Nose to not cover the extraordinary live television event that is building to a hysterical pitch this morning. Coverage of the Michael Jackson memorial at the Staples Center in downtown Los Angeles has gone from breathless celebrity chest beating to an almost apocalyptic tone. It reminds me very much of a classic Nathanael West novel (Day of the Locust) set in Hollywood during the Great Depression.

Every cable news, local news and network news channel appears to be covering the event. It is also streaming live on all news websites. It's not worth listing them all here. If you can't find the coverage within 30 seconds of switching on your set or booting up your PC, then stick a mirror under your nose to see if you're still breathing.

One of the most interesting circus side stories to this amazing public meltdown, quite literally involves the circus. KTLA-TV's website reported that dozens of elephants were paraded through LA at dawn, past the pulsating crowds waiting outside the Staples Center for Michael Jackson's memorial. Barnum and Bailey's circus begins its run at the same venue tomorrow and an elephant walk is part of their tradition. We don't make this stuff up folks, we're just passing it along.

Meanwhile, several news outlets have just reported that Mr. Jackson's casket will be transported to the Staples center for the memorial. Apparently it will be rolled out during a performance of "Thriller". OK, I did actually make that one up. But it wouldn't surprise me.

Superstars scheduled to appear at the memorial include Stevie Wonder and Jennifer Hudson. Elizabeth Taylor respectfully declined.

I don't recall anything like this level of public insanity when past music superstars met their demise. Surely both Elvis and John Lennon were as big, if not bigger in the pantheon of dead celebrities? What makes Michael Jackson's death and subsequent memorial a bigger media event? I offer the following hypothesis:

  • The number of media outlets has exploded. There are countless websites, cable channels, social networking can barely get a Tweet in edgewise. They all contribute to the media uproar like twigs being thrown onto a giant bonfire.
  • Similar to "The Day of the Locust" which is set in the great Depression, we are now teetering on the edge of very dark days. If not an actual depression, we are certainly in a deep recession, with massive unemployment in Southern California. Mob mentality thrives in an economic downturn.
There's no escaping it, so unless you're trapped in an office with no Internet connection or hiking in the desert...there will be coverage. The Flaming Nose will be there to watch and report.

Monday, July 6, 2009

The Flaming Nose Covers the "Summer of '69"

Three huge events occurred during the summer of 1969, and they all went on to become formative television moments which helped define the sixties for years to come. The Flaming Nose will be covering all and will be giving you a heads up on where you might find coverage (TV and Web) to mark their respective 40th anniversaries.

The first and most important is NASA's Apollo 11 moon voyage, which took place forty years ago in mid-July. At least three of the Flaming Nose bloggers are confirmed space program fanatics, so you can expect multiple posts over the next few weeks. The website already features some terrific information about the mission. I have a personal connection to the Apollo 11 story, since I was lucky enough to be standing on the beach in Florida when I was a kid to witness the launch with my own eyes. Quick TV factoid about the moon landing 40 years ago; according to Nielsen Media Research it was one of the most viewed live events (worldwide) for decades, with between 600 million and 1 billion watching Neil Armstrong step onto the moon. Immense population growth and greater availability of television globally has seen many additional events surpass that number, including the funeral for Princess Diana, which was estimated at 2.5 billion viewers.

The next event is as dark a moment as the Apollo 11 mission was glorious. On August 9th, 1969, the infamous Manson "family" began its murderous rampage in Los Angeles, by killing movie star Sharon Tate and her friends, and later the LaBianca couple. Captured months later, the trial of Manson and his followers became a television and media circus (and that was BEFORE cable!), as well as spawning the best selling true crime book of all time, "Helter Skelter". Here's another little personal factoid about the Manson murderers. For a while, the family from Hell hung out at the abandoned Spahn movie ranch in Chatsworth, California....a mere mile away from this blogger's current humble abode. I drove up there to see what has become of the ranch 40 years later. The familiar rocky hills are still there, but the ranch location is now a private gated picnic area. There are no buildings left and the only sign that it was once a ranch is a large wooden crossbar made out of railroad ties at the entrance.

The final big event from the summer of 1969 was the long weekend of peace, love and hallucinogenic drugs on Max Yasgur's upstate NY farm. Of course, we are referring to "Woodstock", the muddy four day music festival that rendered a feature length movie, an album, made stars out of many musicians and gave us the most interesting rendition of the National Anthem ever when Jimi Hendrix reinvented it on a rain soaked morning. And now for the final personal connection... I was raised in upstate NY, and I recall very well the hoards of colorful hippies hitch hiking up route 17 to attend the festival that weekend in August. I was way too young to go myself (darn!).

So strange to have connections to all three of these historical moments. I feel a little like Forest Gump right now.

Stay tuned for more on the Summer of '69, right here on The Flaming Nose!