Friday, September 30, 2011

The Flaming Nose Fall TV Preview: The Final Frontier

It's time to line-up all the Broadcast Networks and see the totality of the 2011 Fall TV Season.

The Fall 2011 ABC TV Schedule

The Fall 2011 CBS TV Schedule

The Fall 2011 CW TV Schedule

The Fall 2011 (and mid-season) Fox TV Schedule

The Fall 2011 NBC TV Schedule

Be sure to revisit our daily previews previously posted here:

We'll be posting our full-on reviews of the new series beginning immediately, which is pretty important -- there's a good chance some of these shows won't be around very long!
Happy Viewing!

The Flaming Nose Fall TV Preview, Part 6 & Part 7: Friday and Saturday

Friday:  A pair of new series on a night which already has a super-competitive 9pm hour.

At 8pm -- a timeslot where years ago CBS put a terrific little series called Joan of Arcadia and too quickly let it die but where Medium prospered quite handily -- the network goes again into the big-concept feel-good arena with A Gifted Man, a medical drama with a touch of the supernatural.  Patrick Wilson (Little Children, Angels in America, Watchmen) stars as a elitist high society neurosurgeon whose deceased do-gooder-doctor ex-wife returns from the grave to advise him and help him make his life -- and the lives of those around him -- better.  Jennifer Ehle (Pride and Prejudice, The King's Speech, Contagion, and she's the daughter of actress Rosemary Harris, too) is the back-from-beyond wife, Julie Benz (Dexter, No Ordinary Family) plays Wilson's unconventional sister (a role that has since been changed from regular to recurring), recent Emmy winner Margo Martindale (Dexter, Justified) as Wilson's medical office manager.  Rachelle Lefevre (Swingtown, Twilight, Life on a Stick) joins the cast in the newly-created role (not in the pilot) of another doctor, as does Pablo Schreiber (The Wire) whose pilot character of a New Age spiritual leader will now be a show regular.

Jonathan Demme (Rachel Getting Married, The Manchurian Candidate, Philadelphia, The Silence of the Lambs) directed the pilot and is one of the executive producers along with Susannah Grant (writer of Erin Brokovich), and that's a good start.  Probably the worst thing about A Gifted Man is its 8pm time slot; it's awfully early for something of substance, though it's happened before.  A Gifted Man could definitely jump-start CBS' already strong Friday night drama line-up, plus give fans of solid genre drama an extra hour of appointment viewing.  It isn't a stretch to imagine this working, especially with ghosts so popular on cable so-called reality shows, and America reportedly becoming more supersititious every day.  It's easier to believe that a man's ghostly wife could come back than to have faith in our political system, isn't it?

At 9pm, NBC brings in Grimm, a series that's gotten a lot of mocking and is already on a lot of the cancellation watch lists even before it begins (on October 21st.).  Grimm is the second new series (along with ABC's Once Upon a Time) set in the world of fairytale reality, and lovers of cool will enjoy its real-life co-setting of Portland, Oregon, currently the designated go-to city for hipsters.  The premise of Grimm is storybook simple:  The stories of the Brothers Grimm were really early efforts in criminal profiling, detailing the modus operandi of a whole slew of mythological creatures wreaking havoc on humanity.  Their work is carried on by current day "Grimms" who are on the front lines of this otherworldly battle.  All I can think when I hear this is that at least two excellent series with somewhat the same general storyline that bit the dust far too long  ago and I'd rather have them back than this series.  (I'm talking about UPN's Special Unit Two and USA Network's G vs. E...gone but not forgotten!)

You can't fault the cast assembled for Grimm:  David Giuntoli (Love Bites, Turn the Beat Around) stars as a newly-minted Grimm, Russell Hornsby (Lincoln Heights, In Treatment) his non-Grimm cop partner, Silas Weir Mitchell (Prison Break, My Name is Earl, Burn Notice) a creature-turned-stool pigeon, internet actress Bitsie Tulloch (quarterlife, lonelygirl15The Artist) is the hero's girlfriend, Reggie Lee (Prison Break, Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End, The Fast and the Furious, Drag Me to Hell, Tropic Thunder) is another cop in the Portland P.D., and Sasha Roiz (Caprica, Warehouse 13, and several Canadian series) is another Grimm who's also in real police work.

Will & Grace actor Sean Hayes' production company is behind this series, and you've got to give him kudos for showing some imagination.  Maybe the fact that naysayers are already gunning for this one should put it on our must-watch list! But OMG -- the competition!  In the same spooky genre there are Fox's excellent Fringe and CW's equally excellent Supernatural, and if you're looking for sraight police drama you'll probably opt for CBS's CSI: NY.  Doesn't leave much audience underserved, does it?

And now to Saturday!

Really, there's nothing going on Saturdays...nothing new, that is.  There are opportunities to watch replays of CBS and NBC shows -- not a bad thing for viewers, and if the nets are going to go into automatic pilot then economically this is a sound idea.  

CBS has placed the returning David Spade/Patrick Warburton Rules of Engagement sitcom in the 8pm slot -- talk about being consigned to a desert island!  Yikes!   What did they do to deserve this?   CBS also is running a comedy encore in the 8:30pm slot, before turning to a repeat of one of their many procedurals and then into their 48 Hour Mystery franchise.

Fox highlights the everlasting Cops in their 8pm hour -- so ahead of its time in its fascination with rednecks and the things they do! -- followed by unnamed encores and some assorted America's Most Wanted specials.  AMW, after being essentially cancelled by Fox, was the subject of a heartfelt "save the show" campaign which seems to have worked.  Lifetime cable network will be picking up the show beginning next May for a regular run, and that seems like a good fit.  Fox will still run several specials of AMC, starting in October.

Our final post will be all the network schedules in one last look!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

A farewell to a man named Andy Rooney

I'd like to say here that I could come anywhere near the cleverness of that sharp, silvered gentleman who, for a long time, told it like it is each week at the end of 60 MINUTES. But I can't. I don't have the sing-song nasal voice, the regal eyebrows, the resolutely clasped hands, the piercing camera glare, the crumpled suit or the wisenheimer Irish attitude. And I certainly don't have the seasoned wisdom, the wood-hewn office with that impressive bookshelf, or the wildly charismatic jowls. Andy Rooney is retiring from 60 MINUTES this week, and with this, we can truly say an era has passed. Who'll be there to complain about computers, kids, grocery stores, shoes, or any other cultural atrocity one can finger?

Oh, of course, we'll always have our comedians. Jerry Seinfeld and Louis C.K. aren't leaving our sights any time soon. But I don't think any stand-up artist can deliver the the whallop of an Andy Rooney. No one out there can point out the foibles of each and every time period like he has week after week, much less for six decades, and certainly any comer would be without his journalistic moxie. And the astonishing thing is that Andy can annoy you and endear himself to you with every snarky remark. No matter who you are, where you are, what you are, you could always rely on Andy to tell you the truth. He didn't fall back on partisan politics; he could jab a razor at either side of the aisle. Still, you always knew where he was coming from as he retained an everyman quality whether he was talking about the Iraq war or Christmas decorations. This made it hard to give in to slapping him when he said something you disagreed with. It helped that he seemed like the kind of guy that could tell you the funniest joke you've ever heard--and bourbon wouldn't even enter the picture.

Ultimately, his two minutes each week at the end of CBS' newsmagazine powerhouse could largely be seen as the two most resolutely honest moments on all of TV all week long. And, given the copious amount of TV programming buffeting us here and there every seven days, this was quite a unique gift. Andy may have long ago segued into cranky old man territory--he didn't bother with Joe Piscopo letting him in on the joke--but that doesn't mean he's ever been out of touch. On point of fact, he embraced his encroaching age, and in doing so, he touched upon everything there is to touch upon. Maybe that's why, in his ageless early 90s, he's retiring. It's not that he has nothing more to say. It's simply that he's said it all, and eloquently at that.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Dancing with the Stars: Better Late than Never!

As ABC's hit reality contest "Dancing with the Stars" enters its 13th season, I have finally joined the rest of the devoted millions who are entranced by the magic under the mirror ball. Better late than never! There is probably nothing I can say about the show that hasn't been said before by thousands of other bloggers. It has a familiar cast; an older crabby British Judge (Len Goodman) a pretty younger lady judge (Carrie Ann Inaba) and an exuberant hyper comic relief judge with a Euro-trash accent (Bruno Tonioli). They score the dancing contestants on Monday nights while viewers call or text their votes. On Tuesday night the low hanging fruit is eliminated. It's certainly a winning formula, as both DWTS and the singing competition American Idol remain two of the top rated TV shows on the air.

What sets DWTS apart from AI, is the seasonal parade of mostly B and C list celebrities who compete against each other for top prize. Occasionally they will feature someone who is truly a leader in their field...Apollo 11 astronaut Buzz Aldrin, for example. This year's set includes the following:

Carson Kressley: Emmy winning TV star (Queer Eye) and fashion expert who admits that he can't dance, Carson has provided the most humor and highest level of energy early in the season. I hope he sticks around, and I think he botoxed his lips. Let's see if they deflate as the weeks pass by.
Chaz Bono: LGBT activist and author, Chaz is more than just the son of famous acting duo Sonny and Cher. I'm hoping he will last long enough to prove that Mom's A+ performance genes might kick in, but so far he has brought a lot of drama with sore knees
and low energy. I don't believe poor Chaz is used to this much exercise, so hopefully he will find the stamina somewhere.
Chynna Phillips: Singer and actress, she seems fit, pretty and graceful. The judges seem to love her so far, and I think she will be a front runner on the leader board.
David Arquette: I thought he was famous for being Rosanna's brother and Courtney Cox's ex
husband, but apparently he is also an actor/producer. Does anyone else think that David is just a taco or two short of a combo plate? There's something just a little strange about this boy, and I can't quite put my finger on it. Even he defines himself as "silly". He can dance, however, and that's what this is all about.
Elisabetta Canalis: Italian supermodel, actually bores me to death. I don't see her lasting long, she does not seem very compelling.
Kristin Cavallari: Apparently Kristin is a former MTV reality show star. I wouldn't recognize her on the street if she came up and bit me on the nose. She is blond. And an OK dancer. Meh.
Hope Solo: Soccer Superstar is widely considered to be one of the best female goalies in the world. Athletes have performed extremely well on DWTS in the past, with Olympic medalist Apolo Ohno winning in 2007. So far she can hold her own on the dance floor.
J.R. Martinez: Just two episodes into the season, J.R. (pictured at the top of the post) is already being touted as the one to beat. He is an immensely appealing guy. An Iraq war veteran who overcame severe burns and injuries, he has become an ABC daytime soap star. He's witty, uplifting and best of all, a very coordinated and exciting dancer. I'm rooting for J.R. to go all the way.
ancy Grace: Former attorney and (now) TV star, Ms. Grace is providing the most drama on the show next to Chaz. This week she had a wardrobe malfunction, unleashing what one judge called "the twins". She might consider a better constructed costume for next week. I suggest one made out of Kevlar.
Ricki Lake: The TV talk show host is a natural dancer who is taking this competition seriously. I like her a lot, and expect that she's going to be a finalist.
Rob Kardashian: Brother of the Kardashian sisters and reality TV celebrity, Rob spends life in the shadow of his insanely rich and widely despised sisters. Right off the bat, that underdog
status makes me want to be in his corner. He is also charmingly honest and unaffected about his weight and other less than buff attributes. Rob did a fine job under the mirror ball last night.

Who will go home tonight? I think being boring is more fraught with peril than lack of talent at this stage of the show, so I'm going to make a long shot prediction for Ms. Elisabetta. Chaz is really struggling, although I believe most people (and ABC) would like to see how the human interest story plays out. Ice those knees, Chaz!

Depending on the response, the Nose will decide if we want to make DWTS a regular feature. Give us your comments folks. Here's J.R. jumping and jiving from Monday night to get you in the mood.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

The Flaming Nose Fall TV Preview, Part 5: Thursday!

Thursday:  Lots of new on a night that's fraught with tough competition for all!

At 8pm, Fox offers the 2nd half of its The X Factor from Wednesday.  The X Factor Results Show will rely on what happens the previous night. If the show doesn't hit, Fox will have two dead spaces on the schedule, which seems highly unlikely.

Also a 8pm, ABC debuts their reboot of Charlie's Angels, with producing power including Drew Barrymore who was involved in the Charlie's Angels features.  Are people thinking that the original Charlie's Angels was a deep, thoughtful series that somehow a flirty, superficial remake is disrespecting?  The original was of course immensely popular, but for tight t-shirts, visible nipples, attractive female stars -- glitz, not guts.  Let's not forget that when judging today's Charlie's Angels.  Today's Angels are a multi-racial trio, equally as attractive as the original Angels, with a new Bosley who's a hunky Latino (Ramon Rodriguez -- Day Break, Battle: Los Angeles), with an eye for the ladies.  Victor Garber (Alias, Titanic) supplies the voice of Charlie, his languid narration a bit too tepid to crank up the excitement level.  Australian Rachael Taylor (Transformers, Bottle Shock) plays the rich girl Angel, Annie Ilonzeh (General Hospital) is the bad cop Angel, and Minka Kelly (Friday Night Lights, Parenthood) is the Angel who steps in when her sister is killed.  Charlie's Angels is a steamy Miami-based action-adventure, nothing special, not particularly good, unmemorable, but it won't kill you.  Neither will it charm you or make you want to watch another episode, probably.

At 8:30pm following The Big Bang Theory, CBS debuts How To Be a Gentleman, based on the book of the same name, a sitcom that belongs into the mini-genre of shows bemoaning the feminization of masculinity.  No denying the great cast here -- David Hornsby (It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia), Kevin Dillon (Entourage), Dave Foley (NewsRadio, The Kids in the Hall), Mary Lynn Rajskub (24, Punch Drunk Love), Rhys Darby (Flight of the Conchords), and Nancy Lenehan (The New Adventures of Old Christine, Worst Week).  That is a tremendous list of people, many personal favorites of The Flaming Nose in there.  In a nutshell, etiquette columnist Hornsby hires his old friend/fitness guru Dillon to teach him how to butch up.  Dillon was always the best thing about Entourage, Foley is always outstanding, Darby adorable, Rajskub strange and wonderful -- what's not to like about this?  Its terrific lead-in will give it a strong leg-up, but the provenance of How To Be a Gentleman will keep it around.  If this turns out to be the less weird and more mainstream 8:30pm comedy -- compared to NBC's great but far from invincible Parks & Recreation -- How To Be a Gentleman will be a go-to show for the long haul.

At 9pm, CBS brings in its new cop drama Person of Interest, starring two of the eeriest actors anywhere, paired together in a complicated crime-solving premise involving ex-CIA operatives, mysterious billionaires, and unorthodox tactics.  Jim Caviezel (The Passion of the Christ, Angel Eyes) and Michael Emerson (Emmy winner for Lost and The Practice, Saw) join up to try to stop crimes before they happen, using super-secret computer software and their own brilliant minds. Also starring are Taraji P. Henson (The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, Larry Crowne) and Kevin Chapman (Brotherhood, Rescue Me). Hard -- make that impossible -- to imagine that this won't work, with a good lead-in and CBS' expertise in the crime drama genre.

Also at 9pm, the CW brings in The Secret Circle, coming out of the strong (for them) cult favorite The Vampire Diaries.  The Secret Circle is about a modern day coven of witches called The Secret Circle, and the young woman who returns to her mother's hometown only to learn that her destiny lies within the Circle, too.  This is prime CW fare, and they know how to do it up right, with a cast full of gorgeous young thespians and enough supernaturality to keep things interesting.  Britt Robertson (Life Unexpected) stars, along with Thomas Dekker (Cinema Verite, Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles), Gale Harold (Queer as Folk, Hellcats), Australians Phoebe Tonkin and Louis Hunter, Shelley Hennig (Days of Our Lives), Jessica Parker Kennedy (50/50), and Natasha Henstridge (Species, Eli Stone).  There's no reason why fans of The Vampire Diaries should even consider changing the channel -- The Secret Circle was made just for them.  Hard to imagine other than a young demo being drawn to this, what with so many other very strong choices out there, but the CW would be happy just making sure their core audience is kept content.

NBC at 9:30pm slots in new half-hour sitcom Whitney, starring comedienne Whitney Cummings (who's also creator of CBS' Monday night offering Two Broke Girls) as Whitney, one-half of a happily unmarried couple who are facing increased pressure -- from friends, family, and society -- to get officially hitched.  Stand-up comedienne Cummings (Chelsea Lately, Money Shot, Punk'd) stars (her character's a photographer), with Chris D'Elia (Glory Daze, Lopez Tonight) as her boyfriend who evidently lives off his profits from selling an internet company, Zoe Lister-Jones (Delocated, Bored to Death, Breaking Upwards) as a good friend, Maulik Pancholy (30 Rock) as her boyfriend, Rhea Seehorn (I'm With Her, The Shaggy Dog) as a dagger-tongued divorcee, and Dan O'Brien (The Greatest Movie Ever Made) as a next-door neighbor who's a cop and an inveterate womanizer. 

Since we've seen the pilot, we'll say that Whitney is no Liz Lemon, that's for sure; Whitney is as over-confident about her sexuality as Liz is under, and this includes feeling good about putting on naughty nurse costumes and showing off her ass. You're going to have to be a fan of Whitney Cummings to really enjoy Whitney, because though as pure sitcom it's not exactly bland, it is wince-worthy as it combines nasty talk with otherwise very conventional set-up and pacing and ultimately nothing new under the sun.  Co-star Seehorn as the cynical divorced friend seemed to have all the good lines in the scenes she was in, more than Whitney had, anyway.  Plus Cummings isn't too confident or natural in her line readings.  I think the better bet is to catch her behind-the-scenes comic chops in Two Broke Girls over on CBS.  I'm sure it seems like a wonderful thing to have another multi-talented female comedy force out there, but she may not have quite the depth right now to headline her own show.  But we will see if Whitney catches on...

At 10pm, NBC introduces their remake of the acclaimed British series Prime Suspect, substituting actress Maria Bello (The Cooler, A History of Violence, Auto Focus, The Company Men, Grown Ups, ER) for Helen Mirren, and those are some shoes to fill, but she's up to the challenge.  The rest of the cast is impressive, too, all strong actors (and we mean actors because they are all guys):  the talented Aidan Quinn (An Early Frost, Benny and Joon) co-stars, along with Kirk Acevedo (Oz, Fringe, Band of Brothers), Peter Gerety (Brothers & Sisters, The Wire) as Bello's father, Tim Griffin (Star Trek, Iron Man, Grey's Anatomy, Party of Five), Damon Gupton (Unfaithful, Before the Devil Knows You're Dead, Deadline), Bryan F. O'Byrne (Flash Forward, Mildred Pierce, Tony winner for Frozen), and Kenny Johnson (The Shield, Sons of Anarchy, Saving Grace). 

If you watched the original version of you know the story -- tough woman comes into a detective squad, makes waves rather than friends, and doesn't let the department politics or gossip deter her from getting the bad guys.  While we know that there's no way that this U.S. version can ever exactly duplicate the taut British brilliance that was Mirren in Prime Suspect, we can at least hope that it hasn't been Americanized too much and dumbed down past tolerance.  Many japes have been thrown about because of the weird hats that they've put Maria Bello in, no doubt to demonstrate her edgy uniqueness, but they don't do her any favors and maybe they'll be toned down in future episodes.  This is sort of another "how can it lose" situation, but if lead-in Whitney doesn't get some loyal viewers/ decent numbers, and CBS' Person of Interest hits the deck at full force and funnels viewers straight into The Mentalist, then Prime Suspect will have a difficult time getting its niche going. Maybe this will be the one that gets DVRed and watched later on.  It's hard to imagine that any lover of police procedurals is going to ignore Prime Suspect completely, but it might not have the impact to warrant original eyeball viewing on Thursday nights.  Early reviews are lukewarm, too.

Next up, Fridays and Saturdays, one of which is interesting and one of which is the same-old, same-old.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

The Flaming Nose Fall TV Preview, Part 4: Wednesday!

Lots of new offerings, with only CBS keeping to old favorites with their line-up on this day.

NBC leads off with two new sitcoms in the 8- 9pm hour.  First up is 8pm entry Up All Night, with excellent production credentials -- Loren Michael (SNL, 30 Rock), Emily Spivey (Parks and Recreation, SNL) -- and equally top-notch front-of-camera talent.  Check out this cast -- Christina Applegate (Samantha Who?, Jesse, Married With Children) as TV talk show producer who's about to go back to work after having a baby, Will Arnett (Arrested Development, 30 Rock, Running Wilde, Blades of Glory) as her house-husband, Maya Rudolph(SNL, Bridesmaids, Grown Ups, Away We Go) as the star of the talk show, and Nick Cannon (America's Got Talent, The Nick Cannon Show).  Clearly up to the task, Christina and Will play new parents contending with the awesome task of raising an infant, modern style -- that is, full of snark, sarcasm, and self-congratulation.  Of course the baby is cute and the writing on Up All Night is funny and clever, but it's all about a certain life stage.  Does it have enough wide appeal to transcend its very specific niche -- neurotic upper middle class (double-wide Sub Zero fridge proves it) first-time parents --  and haul in general baby-lovers and family comedy-lovers?  Also, can we buy Will Arnett, who usually specializes in kind of creepy and hard-edged comedy characterizations, as a concerned and caring parent?  I'm not sure it's a done deal, but Up All Night is an attractive package and it's all about the baby, don't forget that.

At 8:30pm NBC brings in Free Agents, a sophisticated comedy which really doesn't belong in the 8:30pm time slot, by virtue of some very salty talk.  Adapted from the British series of the same name, Free Agents takes on the dilemma of a once-married couple struggling to re-enter the dating scene, of course fighting those ol' romantic feelings which still simmer between them.  The series stars Hank Azaria (The Simpsons, Huff, Tuesdays with Morrie), Kathryn Hahn (Crossing Jordan, Hung), Anthony Head (Buffy the Vampire Slayer), Mo Mandel (Chelsea Lately, Love Bites), Natasha Leggero (Ugly Americans, Nick Swardson's Pretend Time), Al Madrigal (Gary Unmarried, Wizards of Waverly Place), and Joe LoTrulio (Sons of Tucson, Reno 911!, Backwash). Free Agents couldn't be truly horrible with such a talented cast, but it does have a sad sack quality that the British do so well -- and believably -- but whether this American re-do can achieve what The Office did isn't guaranteed.  (The original Brit version will be coming to BBC America in October; it stars the terrific Stephen Mangan from Episodes).  Free Agents U.S.-style (a least in the pilot) seems not to know whether to make fun of Azaria or empathize with him, and his office-mates are a horrible bunch.  Eh.  Maybe if it were on cable, darker, sadder, more desperate, it would actually be something we'd try to watch. 

Fox at 8pm brings in Simon Cowell's The X Factor, the U.S. version of the series that has been on top in the U.K. for seven seasons.  Cowell's expertise in the singing competition genre is unquestioned, and this one is different because the initial auditions are performed not only in front of the judges but in front of an audience.  The winning contestants advance through several stages -- Boot Camp, Judge's Houses -- and finally to the long audience performance finals.  Serving as The X Factor judges with Cowell are L.A. Reid, head of Island Def Jam Records, Nicole Scherzinger (Dancing with the Stars, member of The Pussycat Dolls group), and Paula Abdul, whose history with Cowell from American Idol adds to this new program's sizzle. Could this not work?  Unlikely.  Nail-biting suspense and raw emotions will assure The X Factor is Fox's newest phenomemon.  (Not until the end of November does Fox bring in its Jaime Pressly/Katie Finneran comedy I Hate My Teenage Daughter, so let's just hold off on that for now!).

Unfortunately set up at 8pm against The X Factor over on CW is a new series with a cute premise, the Mario Lopez-hosted H8R.  The affable Lopez (Extra, Nip/Tuck) brings people who hate a certain celebrity together with that celebrity who then tries to win over the hater.  Two haters and two celebrities per episode, celebs like Snooki from Jersey Shore or Eva Longoria meet their loathers -- maybe a funny premise and certainly of interest if you devour People magazine.  In a horribly tough time slot but maybe CW's loyal audience will get into the catty vibe and glom onto H8R.

At 8:30pm, ABC debuts new sitcom Suburgatory, about a single father who discovers his teen daughter is going wild and decides to move them away from big NYC to a calmer life in the suburbs.  Jeremy Sisto (Law & Order, Kidnapped, Six Feet Under) stars as the alarmed dad, Jane Levy (Shameless) is his precocious daughter, Cheryl Hines (Curb Your Enthusiasm, Waitress) their new next-door neighbor, Carly Chaikin her daughter, plus Rex Lee (Entourage), Alan Tudyk (Dollhouse, V, Firefly) and newly-announced Jay Mohr (Gary Unmarried, Ghost Whisperer, Action) will be joining as Hines' husband.  The buzz is pretty good on this one and it's certainly got a great home snug in ABC's very successful Wednesday comedy block. 

At 10pm ABC premieres Revenge, about a spurned young woman who returns to a hoity-toity Hamptons neighborhood to wreak vengeance on those who ruined her family's life years before.  Emily VanCamp(Everwood, Brothers & Sisters) stars as the wronged lass, and the rest of the cast is plenty impressive, too, including Madeleine Stowe (The Last of the Mohicans, 12 Monkeys), Henry Czerny (The Tudors, Clear and Present Danger, Mission: Impossible), and a whole bunch more.  Buzz is also good on this one, with the swank setting and super-soapy melodramatic mystery of Revenge hitting a lot of the right buttons.

Next up, the strong and very important weeknight Thursday!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

The Flaming Nose Fall TV Preview Pt. 3: Tuesday

Tuesday:  Some new comedies, including one of the buzziest this season, and two intriguing dramas make for an interesting night of TV.

ABC breaks out two new half-hour comedies in the 8pm hour, both with excellent behind-the-scenes names and dedicated to the proposition that it's not easy being a guy these days.  Sitcom legend Tim Allen (Home Improvement, Galaxy Quest) returns to the weekly grind in Last Man Standing, about a guy whose changing home situation puts him at comedic odds with his strong-willed all-female family.  Nancy Travis (Becker, Duckman, The Bill Engvall Show) plays Allen's wife; Molly Ephraim, Kaitlyn Deaver (Justified) and Alexandra Krosney play their three daughters.  Veteran actor Hector Elizondo (Grey's Anatomy, Monk, Chicago Hope) plays Tim's boss, the head honcho of a huge sporting goods store.  Jack Burditt (30 Rock, The New Adventures of Old Christine, Just Shoot Me!, Frasier) is among the several executive producers of the show, and his deft touch could make this premise workable.  There have been some feminist rumblings that this show is dreadful stereotypical nonsense full of misogynistic ranting, and well...that's comedy for you.  The theme of the emasculated man is common this season in sitcom land, but I wouldn't put much sociological coin on it.  Either you laugh at this kind of humor or you don't; ABC is hoping that Tim Allen's fan base hasn't forgotten how much they like him.

Man Up! is ABC's 8:30pm entry, this one also with a good producer pedigrees, including Victor Fresco's (Mad About You, My Name is Earl, Better Off Ted).  Modern men + romance troubles + male identity crises = Man Up!, where embattled leads Christopher Moynihan (According to Jim, and that bad adaptation of Coupling several seasons back), Mather Zickel (Reno 911!, The Cape), and Dan Fogler (Balls of Fury, Fanboys) jovially fight to maintain hold on their dwindling masculinity, while ultra-guy Henry Simmons (Shark, N.Y.P.D. Blue) effortlessly carries on. The ladies in their lives -- Teri Polo (Meet the Parents, The West Wing) and Amanda Detmer (Private Practice, Necessary Roughness) -- offer the distaff complications.  Nothing stand-out about Man Up!, with its agreeable guys and gals, but if lead-in Last Man Standing finds success with an audience of disgrunted males and sympathetic female viewers, it may be enough to pull Man Up! along in its wake. (Does the title have an "!" or not?  I've seen it both ways; I'm going with the emphatic!)

As the lead-out for a maybe-past-its-glory Glee, at 9pm Fox slots the half-hour comedy New Girl, one of the most buzzed-about new series this Fall. If you haven't been made aware yet of star Zooey Deschanel and her awe-inspiring adorability, you've obviously been hiding out somewhere deep and dark.  Deschanel (500 Days of Summer, Elf, Tin Man, Weeds, The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy) is the slacker's sweetheart, the hipster's heartthrob, and ladies seem to like her, too.  Wide-eyed, wistful and weird, Deschanel's character Jess in New Girl lives one of those unlikely only-in-Hollywood plotlines -- the one where a totally cute and hilarious woman can't seem to find a date.  It's also the world where she ends up being platonic friend and roommate with a trio of guys -- Jake Johnson (No Strings Attached, lots of net comedy shorts), Max Greenfield (Ugly Betty, Veronica Mars, Greek), and Lamorne Morris (replacing Damon Wayans Jr. who ended up in ABC's Wednesday show Happy Endings; Morris has been in lots of comedy shorts) -- of varying degrees of likeability.  Jess's also got a dry-witted model as a best friend, played by Hannah Simone (host of SyFy's WGC Ultimate Gamer series). 

Fox has made the pilot available all over the web, which might help garner some sympathy and interest for this show whose hopes lies solely on the charm of Zooey to bewitch the audience.  I wouldn't call New Girl (at least the pilot) funny exactly; maybe its secret weapon is just to put you in kind of a good mood trance from watching Deschanel's guileless good-hearted insousiance. It worked for the movies Amelie and Mike Leigh's Happy-Go-Lucky, both of which also featured dark-haired charmers who tended to positively influence the world around them, but the films had an edge, too.  (Especially Happy-Go-Lucky -- watch the movie!)  Is that the aim of New Girl -- to give us something more -- or is Jess merely going to be like a cute but incorrigible puppy whose adorableness makes you forgive the poop on the carpet?  Are we supposed to think she has all the answers, or just that she's an idiosyncratic oddity?  Zooey is a smart performer and has tremendous personal charisma, and maybe she can take this into a place where it might surprise us.  We'd like that, because at the risk of sounding churlish, there's just not quite enough going on with New Girl to justify all the clamor.

At 9pm the CW offers up the return to network TV of fan favorite Sarah Michelle Gellar (Buffy the Vampire Slayer) in Ringer, a CBS reject which nevertheless retains a CBS veneer of class, now combined with CW's pizazz.  Gellar has grown up gorgeous and her acting prowess as right as on ever, as she plays a pair of identical twins -- one living the deluxe life, and one who's in trouble with the law -- who are embroiled in sophisticated criminality and unending mystery.  The very good actor Ioan Gruffud (Fantastic Four, W, Horrible Bosses) plays the rich twin's husband, Kristoffer Polaha (Life Unexpected, Man Men) is a handsome friend, Nestor Carbonell (The Dark Knight, Lost) is an FBI man keeping tabs on one of the twins, and Mike Colter (The Good Wife, Million Dollar Baby) is the troubled twin's NA sponsor and true friend.  The plot is all twisty-and-turny but there's a lot of wit in evidence, too.  Ringer is designed to keep the loyal CW younger viewers interested, but also attract a slightly older demo -- starting with grown-up Buffy fans (the show ended eight years ago) -- who are looking for some high-class excitement in a classy show starring a talented TV veteran actress. 

10pm brings the new CBS entry Unforgettable, about a police detective with the ultra-rare condition known as HSAM (Highly Superior Autobiographical Memory) who can remember everything except anything about how her sister was murdered.  The neatest thing about this show may be that plucky actress Marilu Henner is a consultant on the series because she really has HSAM, and she's set for a guest shot on the show, too.  Poppy Montgomery (Without a Trace, Blonde) stars along with Dylan Walsh (Nip/Tuck, Everwood), Michael Gaston (Jericho), Kevin Rankin (Friday Night Lights), and actress/dancer Daya Vaidya. CBS knows and loves police procedurals -- they never seem to let the network down -- and CBS also knows how to make a female-led show (like their past success Cold Case) rise to the top of the heap.  Coming out of a double NCIS lead, Unforgettable is sitting pretty, with ABC's Body of Proof its main competiton.  Interested viewers aren't going to need a reminder to check out Unforgettable!

Next up, anything but middle-of-the-road middle-of-the-week Wednesday!

Monday, September 19, 2011

The Flaming Nose Fall TV Preview, Pt. 2: Monday!

Monday:  An interesting quartet of new series show up brand new on Monday nights this fall, something -- as they always like to say -- for everyone. 

CBS adds one new comedy to their newly-invigorated -- thanks to Ashton Kutcher replacing Charlie Sheen in Two and a Half Men -- but always very successful line-up.  2 Broke Girls -- premiering on 9/19 at 9:30pm but its regular slot is 8:30p -- comes from Michael Patrick King (Sex and the City, The Comeback, Will & Grace) and Whitney Cummings, the hot young-ish comedienne who also stars in her own eponymous sitcom Thursdays nights on NBC this season.  Channeling some Laverne & Shirley vibes, it's the tale of two slightly down-on-their-luck but plucky young women -- one is a disinherited heiress, the other a hard-knocks waitress -- who team up as roommates and restaurant co-workers.  Beth Behrs stars as the ex-socialite Caroline, Kat Dennings (E.R., Raising Dad) is the quick-witted Max, improv comic Jonathan Kite is their co-worker, Garrett Morris (SNL) the restaurant's cashier, and Matthew Moy is their boss.  This one's all about the chemistry between the two leads, and all indications are that they complement each other well and aren't afraid to get into some physical comedy.  Can 2 Broke Girls connect with the funnybone of a Americans facing a depressed real-life economy and still get the laughs?  They've got a great timeslot and we know CBS wouldn't put a mess in there. 

Debuting on Monday 9/19 at 10pm, NBC brings in the second Mad Men-era-inspired series with The Playboy Club, an evocation of ring-a-ding Chicago of the early 1960s where Hugh Hefner started his first gentleman's key club.  Produced by Brian Grazer (A Beautiful Mind, 24, and so many more), The Playboy Club offers up a seductive mix of adventure, intrigue, beautiful ladies, and the delights of a vanished era, long gone with the tides of social and political change.  You can expect a bevy of gorgeous and talented ladies in the cast -- Amber Heard (Zombieland, Pineapple Express), acclaimed theatrical actress Laura Benanti, Canadian actress Leah Renee, Naturi Naughton (Notorious, and part of the singing group 3LW), and Jenna Dewan Tatum (Set Up, Step Up).  The male leads are also impressive -- Eddie Cibrian (Third Watch, CSI: Miami) and David Krumholz (Numb3rs, Ray), along with Wes Ramsey (The Guiding Light, Charmed).

As with the stewardesses of ABC's Pan Am, the alluring sexual mystique inherent in the Bunnies fuels the The Playboy Club, but for a start the series will have to be lots peppier than Mad Men to succeed on a broadcast network.  It's got some tough competition in the 10pm from ABC's Castle and CBS' successful Hawaii 5-0 reboot returning from last season.  What audience isn't being served there already?  And wouldn't you really rather see a show about Hugh Hefner's empire on a pay cable outlet?  Yes, I realize that Playboy Bunnies weren't anywhere close to call girls, but even the intellectual climate necessary to adequately portray Hefner's monumental achievement doesn't seem like network TV country.  Good luck to The Playboy Club, though, because it will no doubt look gorgeous while it lasts.

On Fox at 8pm, debuting Monday 9/26, is the long delayed (from last May) but much anticipated Terra Nova, a science fiction adventure from Steven Spielberg and an impressive list of executive producers with credits like 24, Castle, The Borgias, Nikita and other similarly classy series.  A hundred and fifty years from now the Earth is on its last legs, humanity essentially over, until a time rift makes it possible to send people back in time to re-establish the human race at a point in the planet's past, thus ensuring the continuation of the species.  That point is 85 million years ago, and the brave adventurers who make the journey back face unbelievable horrors from both the hostile creatures of that prehistoric time as well as the human companions who've made the journey with them. 

Avatar's Steven Lang, a terrific actor and dynamic presence, plays the pioneer leader of the mission, heading a cast that includes Jason O'Mara (Men in Trees, Life on Mars), Shelly Conn (Mistresses), Christine Adams (Tron: Legacy) and the young actors playing Conn and O'Mara's children. According to reports, the 8pm time slot necessitated a shift in emphasis to place the plight of the transplanted family at center stage in the drama, which definitely takes it out of Lost territory, at least. (But instead of Lost in Space, think "Lost in Time"...) To keep your dinosaurs straight, Terra Nova takes place in the Cretaceous Period, the prehistoric time which followed the Juraissic Period, a plot point that was deliberate in order to separate this from Spielberg's previous forays into the latter.  And don't worry about the Mass Extinction event that marked the division between the Cretaceous and the Tertiary Period -- that happened 65 million years ago so the Terra Nova time travelers will have at least 20 million years to play around.

Promising at least one dinosaur per episode, the spare-no-expense Terra Nova could be great but we're wondering if the family-orientation will suck the juice out of the premise.  We're hoping not, and any self-respecting dinosaur-loving kid (are kids still into dinosaurs?) would also prefer plenty of excitement and very little soap opera from a show like Terra Nova.  If it becomes too much of a family drama, no matter what perils may lurk outside hearth and home, it will lose viewers craving action and intensity.  Cross your fingers that Terra Nova gives us plenty of what we're looking for!

At 9pm, the CW offers up a distaff, soap opera version of Doc Hollywood in Hart of Dixie, the story of a beautiful and privileged NYC med school graduate who ends up practicing in rural Alabama and learning the meaning of life.  This is a romance novel for young women come to life, and as that fits in perfectly to CW's target demo and strength.  Rachel Bilson (The O.C.) stars as Dr. Zoe Hart, along with Scott Porter (Friday Night Lights), model-turned-actress Jamie King, Wilson Bethel (The Young and the Restless), and Cress Williams (Friday Night Lights).  This show is a good companion piece to its lead-in show Gossip Girl, and I think we can rest assured it won't be the last series to use Southern stereotypes to make a point. 

Next Up:  Pt. 3, Tuesday, coming tomorrow morning!

The Flaming Nose Fall 2011 Network TV Preview, Pt. 1: Sunday Night

Another year, another TV season, another batch of hopefuls, each eyeing a full-season pick-up and maybe life beyond even that.  It doesn't happen very often, and even less often these days with so much TV available on venues other than network TV, and still matters.  Even though most of us don't even receive the broadcast networks over-the-air anymore -- everybody's a cable or satellite channel now, even if they don't start out that way -- they are the bedrock of TV and will remain so until their economic model completely poops out.  Let's hope that isn't too soon.

We'll start at the very beginning, which for us is Sunday night.  If we were going ala classic TV Guide, we'd start on Saturday, but that's just too out of the box even for TFN.  (Besides, Saturdays now are mostly encores of what's playing the rest of the week, so it definitely shouldn't lead the pack.)  So Sunday it is.

Sunday:  ABC is throwing the most out there, with two new series skewed towards the non-youthful (who are watching Fox), non-general male (who are with the NFL), non older-audience (CBS's traditional line-up) available.  Actually, they've gone quite imaginative, with the fairy-tales-are-real drama Once Upon a Time at 8pm, and Pan Am -- their attempt to capture some of the 1960s Mad Men style -- at 10pm out of a declining Desperate Housewives.  Fox is adding the new comedy series Allen Gregory (voices by Jonah Hill and French Stewart), about a precocious spoiled rich kid who transfers into a public elementary school, into their always successful animation line-up in the secure 8:30pm slot. 

Coming at us first from ABC will be Pan Am (premiering in two weeks on September 25).  Historically speaking, the most famous and popular stewardess movie from the period Pan Am is set was 1963's Come Fly With Me, starring Dolores Hart (who left Hollywood to become a nun), Pamela Tiffin and Hugh O'Brian, and while Pan Am may strive for the same wardrobe groove, it's a whole new flight pattern.  (The flight attendant genre also got a kick from the book/TV movie Coffee, Tea or Me? and the section in 2002's feature Catch Me If You Can where the serial imposter played by Leonardo DiCaprio masquerades as a Pan Am pilot.)  Though most of the glamour has gone out of air travel these days, Pan Am aims to recreate the era when boarding a plane was full of excitement, the stewardesses all pert and young and the pilots stalwart and handsome.  Will nostalgia for that long-gone time entice audiences enough to tune into Pan Am?  Is the promise of a talented and good-looking young cast enough to bring viewers to the gate? 

Christina Ricci stars, long grown up from her Wednesday Addams days and a very talented actress (stunning in Monster, among other roles) who leads the female contingent including talented Quebec actress Katrine Vanasse, Australian Margot Robbie, and Kelli Garner.  In the pilot cabin are Michael Mosley (Scrubs) and Mike Vogel (The Help, Blue Valentine).  You can't base a show only on costumes and a snazzy mise-en-scene, and maybe we're going to wish this were on cable so that at least we'd get some nudity.  The airplane-in-distress genre hardly seems appropriate anymore, so probably nix that trope used to pep up most aviation-set movies over the years.  Is there actually an overwhelming desire for more 1960s style?  (We'll ask more questions like this when we discuss NBC's The Playboy Club.)  Pan Am promises romance, espionage, adventure and the show clips look jazzy and gorgeous.  Will we be a frequent flier on ABC's Pan Am?  Book us an aisle seat for now...

Premiering on October 23rd on ABC, Once Upon a Time boasts a provenance including writers from Lost, something that already puts this on the viewing short list, and a fanciful storybook setting that's at the very least intriguing.  A great cast -- Jennifer Morrison (House, M.D.), Ginnifer Godwin (Big Love), Lana Parrilla (Miami Medical, Swingtown), Robert Carlyle (The Full Monty, Hamish Macbeth, Trainspotting), Josh Dallas (Thor), and Jared Gilmore (Don Draper's son on Mad Men) -- ably populates this parallel world-tale. 

Anybody who's been eating up Game of Thrones, Spartacus, True Blood, or anything else remotely fabulous and fantastic will want to tune into Once Upon a Time, if nothing else than to see a show lavishly produced with all the oomph that a broadcast network can throw behind a show.  Unfortunately, imaginative premises don't always guarantee anything, particularly viewer loyalty, but if Once Upon a Time can grab enough female viewers away from The Amazing Race (viewers who already clearly like adventure, but ostensibly more realistic) it might have a chance.  ABC doesn't have a designated rerun slot anywhere on its schedule to replay OUaT -- unfortunate -- but if there's enough positive buzz and the promise of wondrous things on the small screen then we'll be cheering for this one to work.  Fantasy isn't easy on TV -- hey, nothing really is anymore -- but if it's imagination you're seeking, Once Upon a Time could be your favorite destination this fall. 

Pt. 2:  Monday, coming up next!

63rd Annual Emmy Awards Had a Few Good Moments

It was a night of expected (cringe worthy musical numbers) and unexpected (Charlie Sheen clear eyed and sober...wait, what?). It was the best award ceremony ever for women who are not size 2 and men who are not 6'2. It had laughs from hilarious host Jane Lynch, and tears for those actors who are no longer with us as Leonard Cohen's hypnotic anthem "Hallelujah" was sung in the back ground.

The 63rd Annual Emmy Award ceremony aired on FOX Sunday night and it had something for everyone, including a large infusion of Hollywood greats (like Kate Winslet and Martin Scorcese) the likes of which wouldn't have been caught dead slumming in the vast wasteland of television 20 years ago. Guess what? TV is cool now, with just as much quality and star power (sometimes more) than motion pictures. Any given episode of "Mad Men" is just as fabulous as something you have to buy a ticket for, and it won Best Drama again last night.

I loved seeing Leonard Nimoy as Mr. President of Television in the opening segment and I thought it was great when Melissa McCarthy (Mike and Molly) was crowned pageant style with a tiara by her fellow nominees for Best Comedy Actress. This was her year, as everybody who saw Bridesmaids knows she stole the show there too. Also -- as the world's 2nd biggest Game of Thrones fan (my son is #1), I was thrilled to see Peter Dinklage win for his breakout role as Tyrion Lannister. He was so shocked to win he charmingly thanked his dog sitter along with his manager.

The musical number spoofing Michael Bolton and his over the top angst filled ballads was so exquisitely weird, it will probably go viral on YouTube. Worth watching if only to see the blue spandex back up singers. Here, let's help it go there. Sorry, I wish the quality could be better...

Sunday, September 18, 2011

The Flaming Nose TV Blog Emmy Award Picks

This is a little less elaborate of an Emmy posting than we usually do; are we getting old, or is it just too confusing with a huge number of the winners already having won at the Creative Arts section of the awards, and the rest coming up tonight?  Too hard for me, but please consult this excellent list at Gold of who's gotten the statuettes so far.  Jane Lynch from Glee hosts.

But we've got some/most of the other big categories here, with a little editorial comment and our picks/predictions in red.  (Actually mine; The Flaming Nose often has many opinions!)


Outstanding Drama Series

Boardwalk Empire -- grand achievement, fairly cold and probably not quite ascending to the MM level

Dexter -- consistently good and entertaining but probably not a stand-out season in this company

Friday Night Lights -- a truly decent show and an honor to be in this category

Game of Thrones -- maybe too cult-ish for a general win, but a good surprise and deserved a nomination

The Good Wife  -- good solid network show

Mad Men -- lots of nominations, great season, no reason it shouldn't win

Outstanding Actress in a Drama 

Kathy Bates, Harry's Law

Connie Britton, Friday Night Lights

Mireille Enos, The Killing

Mariska Hargitay, Law and Order: SVU

Julianna Margulies, The Good Wife -- A favorite of many who has been overlooked, and from a network show, too

Elisabeth Moss, Mad Men

Outstanding Supporting Actress in A Drama

Kelly Macdonald, Boardwalk Empire

Archie Panjabi, The Good Wife

Christine Baranski, The Good Wife

Margo Martindale, Justified -- Mamy good vibes for this solid actress in this interesting series

Michelle Forbes, The Killing

Christina Hendricks, Mad Men

Outstanding Actor in a Drama

Steve Buscemi, Boardwalk Empire  -- If not Hamm then Buscemi, a veteran who's always superb

Kyle Chandler, Friday Night Lights -- the show is ending but a little too soft for a win

Michael C. Hall, Dexter -- the show is cruising along just fine but nothing unusual considering the competition

John Hamm, Mad Men -- If Bryan Cranston were in here, he'd take it, but Hamm has the field now and should finally triumph
Hugh Laurie, House -- he's got enough money to not worry about awards

Timothy Olyphant, Justified -- the show is a critical favorite and without Hamm or Cranston he could rise to win one of these years

Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama

Peter Dinklage, Game of Thrones -- We're going with Dinklage's charismatic performance in this intriguing series.

Josh Charles, The Good Wife

Alan Cumming, The Good Wife

Walton Goggins, Justified

John Slattery, Mad Men

Andrew Braugher, Men of a Certain Age


Outstanding Comedy Series

Big Bang Theory


Modern Family -- The bloom may be a little off this series but probably still on top here

The Office

Parks and Recreation

30 Rock

Outstanding Actress in a Comedy

Edie Falco, Nurse Jackie -- hardly a comedy, not played for laughs most of the time, great actress always, though.

Tina Fey, 30 Rock  -- Not the best season, award should go elsewhere

Laura Linney, The Big C -- she's a great actress but the series tries way too hard

Melissa McCarthy, Mike & Molly -- more traditional network show but a deserved nod for Melissa

Martha Plimpton, Raising Hope -- good idiosyncratic turn

Amy Poehler, Parks and Recreation -- let's give it to a real comedienne!

Outstanding Supporting Actress In A Comedy

Jane Lynch, Glee -- her hosting gig is her win tonight

Betty White, Hot In Cleveland -- an always funny veteran, we'd also love if she got it

Julie Bowen, Modern Family  -- very popular choice from popular show

Sofia Vergara, Modern Family -- same as Julie

Kristen Wiig, Saturday Night Live -- versatile, a real comedy trouper, maybe too popular at the movies this year, though

Jane Krakowski, 30 Rock -- always funny but not the best season of the series

Outstanding Actor in a Comedy

Alec Baldwin, 30 Rock -- always good but it wasn't the series' best season

Louis C.K., Louie -- astounding performance that never fails to surprise, we're going to go with him because we love him, too!

Steve Carrell, The Office -- An Emmy as a going-away present?  Possibly...probably.

Johnny Galecki, The Big Bang Theory -- Only if he and Parsons split the award...

Matt LeBlanc, Episodes -- He was quite good in the series but did anybody see the show? 

Jim Parsons, The Big Bang Theory -- only if he and Galecki split the award...

Outstanding Supporting Actor In A Comedy -- (too much Modern Famly in here!)

Chris Colfer, Glee

Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Modern Family

Ed O'Neill, Modern Family  -- a comedy veteran who continues to serve it up with skill

Eric Stonestreet, Modern Family

Ty Burrell, Modern Family

Jon Cryer, Two and a Half Men


Outstanding Reality Show

The Amazing Race

American Idol -- though not quite the powerhouse it once was, it's a keeper

Dancing With the Stars

Project Runway

So You Think You Can Dance

Top Chef

Best Host for a Reality Series -- who cares?  Any of them...

Phil Keoghan, Host- The Amazing Race

Ryan Seacrest, Host- American Idol

Tom Bergeron, Host- Dancing with the Stars

Cat Deeley, Host- So You Think You Can Dance

Jeff Probst, Host- Survivor -- he won this at the Creative Awards ceremony


Outstanding Variety, Comedy Or Musical Series

The Colbert Report


The Daily Show With Jon Stewart

Late Night With Jimmy Fallon

Real Time With Bill Maher

Saturday Night Live

Outstanding Guest Actor In A Comedy

Idris Elba, The Big C

Nathan Lane, Modern Family

Zach Galifianakis, Saturday Night Live

Justin Timberlake, Saturday Night Live -- won at the Creative Emmy ceremony

Matt Damon, 30 Rock

Will Arnett, 30 Rock

Outstanding Guest Actress In A Comedy

Kristin Chenoweth, Glee

Dot-Marie Jones, Glee

Gwyneth Paltrow, Glee--- she already won this at the early Creative Awards ceremony

Cloris Leachman, Raising Hope

Tina Fey, Saturday Night Live

Elizabeth Banks, 30 Rock

Outstanding Guest Actor In A Drama Series
Bruce Dern, Big Love
Beau Bridges, Brothers & Sisters
Michael J. Fox, The Good Wife
Paul McCrane, Harry's Law -- won it at the Creative Awards ceremony
Jeremy Davies, Justified
Robert Morse, Mad Men

Outstanding Guest Actress In A Drama Series

Mary McDonnell, The Closer
Julia Stiles, Dexter -- also a very great performance which grew over the season and was stand-out
Loretta Devine, Grey's Anatomy -- won it at the Creative Awards ceremony
Randee Heller, Mad Men -- Miss Blankenship, how we loved you!
Cara Buono, Mad Men
Joan Cusack, Shameless
Alfre Woodard, True Blood


Outstanding TV Miniseries or Movie

Cinema Verite

Downton Abbey

The Kennedys -- Because everybody came down on this, undeservedly...

Mildred Pierce -- too boring but probably will win, because it had "quality" all over it

The Pillars of the Earth

Too Big To Fail

Outstanding Leading Actress in a Miniseries or Movie

Kate Winslet, Mildred Pierce -- without the oomph one would have hoped from her

Elizabeth McGovern, Downton Abbey

Diane Lane, Cinema Verite -- taut, brittle and solid

Taraji P. Henson, Taken From Me: The Tiffany Rubin Story

Jean Marsh, Upstairs Downstairs

Outstanding Leading Actor in an MiniSeries or Movie

Greg Kinnear, The Kennedys -- you know what?  he was good in chance to win, but what the heck.

Barry Pepper, The Kennedys

Edgar Ramirez, Carlos

William Hurt, Too Big To Fail

Idris Elba, Luther

Laurence Fishburne, Thurgood -- if you didn't see this, you should, though...

Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Miniseries or Movie

Guy Pearce, Mildred Pierce

Bryan F. O'Byrne, Mildred Pierce

Tom Wilkinson, The Kennedys

Paul Giamatti, Too Big to Fail

James Woods, Too Big to Fail

Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Miniseries or Movie

Evan Rachel Wood, Mildred Pierce

Melissa Leo, Mildred Pierce

Mare Winningham, Mildred Pierce

Maggie Smith, Downton Abbey -- how can she not be good?

Eileen Atkins, Upstairs Downstairs

Outstanding Directing For A Comedy Series  --will undoubtedly be one of the Modern Familys

Pamela Fryman, How I Met Your Mother  -- nice to see this show get something
Michael Alan Spiller,  Modern Family 
Gail Mancuso, Modern Family 
Steven Levitan, Modern Famiy  
Beth McCarthy-Miller, 30 Rock

Outstanding Directing For A Drama Series
Martin Scorsese, Boardwalk Empire -- pilot was awesome, obviously a pet project
Jeremy Podeswa, Boardwalk Empire 
Neil Jordan, The Borgias 

Tim Van Patten, Game of Thrones  
Patty Jenkins, The Killing 

Outstanding Directing For A Miniseries, Movie Or A Dramatic Special

Olivier Assayas, Carlos  Directed by

Shari Springer Berman & Brian Percival, Cinema Verite
Todd Haynes, Mildred Pierce  -- maybe not for the acting but for all the other nuances
Curtis Hanson, Too Big to Fail 

We've missed some categories, no doubt, but you can get a complete list of the nominations sorted various ways at the Emmy website.  Interactive features at the top of the page, and scroll down to almost the bottom of the page at the right for a selection. of all the ways you can download the lists.
The 63nd Primetime Emmy Awards air on Fox tonight, live, at 8pm Eastern and 5pm Pacific.