VARIOUS: Hollywood gears up to honor the best of American television while trying to be sensitive to the plight...
- Title: VARIOUS: Hollywood gears up to honor the best of American television while trying to be sensitive to the plight of Hurricane Katrina victims
- Date: 22nd September 2005
- Summary: LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA, UNITED STATES (RECENT) (REUTERS) SOUNDBITE (English) LYNETTE RICE , SENIOR WRITER ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY, SAYING: "Ian is just marvellous, if there's one reason to tune into that show it's him. He's incredible. He's certainly not likeable, he's a trainwreck, something on the 405 you have to slow down to see it. he's amazing to watch and you can't get enough of him and he should be rewarded for that character."
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- Topics: Entertainment
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- Story Text: Television audiences have a lot to look forward to at Sunday's (September 18) annual Emmy Awards, U.S. television's highest honors. Critics say this year's top picks are red hot and predict that the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences will part with the old and honor some new breakout shows.
The ABC network's "Lost" and "Desperate Housewives," are heavily favored to steal the show.
Both shows represent a turning point for the Emmys and for prime-time TV generally, invigorating the often repetitive awards competition and ushering in a new wave of formula-breaking shows to television this season.
Lynette Rice, a Senior Writer at Entertainment Weekly magazine, says "Lost" has brought back the serial drama that many viewers have been looking for.
"I would love to see "Lost" win. This was a phenomenal drama - brought something new to the table- something we were all hungry for and haven't been getting. and JJ Abrams and Damon Lindelof, creators of the show, did a phenomenal job and they deserve the attention."
The castaway thriller is widely seen as sparking a trend toward high-concept, supernatural themes in prime time this fall, and leads the field of drama series contenders with 12 nominations.
"Desperate Housewives," a wry, steamy saga of suburban intrigue that ranked as the top-rated new show last season, is competing in 15 Emmy categories, including the race for best comedy, tying veteran NBC sitcom "Will & Grace" as this year's most nominated series.
If "Housewives" wins for best comedy, as many expect, it would mark ABC's first outstanding-comedy prize since 1988 when the award went to "The Wonder Years." ABC also won the top drama award that year with "Thirtysomething."
"Desperate Housewives," which some TV sitcom veterans have grumbled is more of a drama wedged unfairly into the Emmys' comedy contest, led the way for a ratings turnaround at the Walt Disney Co.-owned network last season and sparked a parade of new female-skewing shows at other networks.
Rice points out that it'll be a tight race for Housewives up against a well received traditional sitcom like "Everybody Loves Raymond."
"Everybody loves Raymond - there may be a feeling that you want to reward that show with best comedy prize, keep in mind that that show only won one time, which is kind of a crime. also one other nominee in the category - Desperate Housewives - that's your big zeitgeisty hit. There's a lot of attention for that show - that show got so much press. You'd have to have been living under a rock not to notice that show so I think in that category it's down to those two shows."
"Housewives" also has yielded best-actress nominations for three of its stars -- Marcia Cross, Teri Hatcher and Felicity Huffman -- with most critics picking Hatcher and Cross as front-runners. But Rice points out that in this category, the ladies of Wisteria Lane could end up canceling each other out, and two-time winner Patricia Heaton could eke out yet another Emmy for her role as the Ray Romano's sharp-tongued wife on the final season of CBS hit "Everybody Loves Raymond."
The contest for best actor in a comedy is harder to call this year, with most observers seeing a three-way race among three past winners -- Romano, Eric McCormick of "Will & Grace" and Tony Shalhoub of USA Network's "Monk."
Best actor in a drama is an equally tight race with two British actors taking the lead; Hugh Laurie, whose grumpy doctor with a limp on "House" captivated audiences, and Ian McShane's character of "Al Swearengen" on the HBO hit series "Deadwood" is gruff yet somehow irresistible.
James Spader also is a contender for his portrayal of an ethically challenged attorney on ABC's "Boston Legal."
"Ian is just marvelous, if there's one reason to tune into that show it's him. He's incredible. He's certainly not likeable, he's a trainwreck, something on the 405 you have to slow down to see it. he's amazing to watch and you can't get enough of him and he should be rewarded for that character," Rice says.
In the battle for best actress in a drama, Emmy watchers have singled out the stars of two cop shows -- Glenn Close for her role on cable network FX's "The Shield" and Mariska Hargitay from NBC's "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit."
But, Rice predicts that Close "has it in the bag."
"She did a great job. I think this is a slam dunk for this category. One because of who she is, everyone knows her - that she's a film actress and did the television thing for a year and she was great."
In the best made for TV movie, there are also several strong contenders - HBO's "The Life and Death of Peter Sellers" starring Geoffrey Rush, British hit comedy "The Office" as well as HBO's "Warm Springs" starring Kenneth Branagh.
"I think the Peter Sellers movie is going to be a slam dunk," Rice says.
"Because it is Geoffrey Rush involved, because it's a character that we all know and love. And we love Peter Sellers, it got so much press attention and it's an HBO movie."
If predictions prove correct it looks as though "Desperate Housewives" and "Lost," both would break with tradition by winning top honors in their first seasons. Emmy voters typically gravitate toward older, familiar shows.
Meanwhile, at Los Angeles's Shrine Auditorium, preparations for the big night are well underway. Seat cards are already in place and the red carpet is rolled out. Now all that's missing are the stars who will adorn it at Sunday evening's glamorous event.
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- Embargoed:7th October 2005 13:00