By now you’ve probably read lots of Emmy rants and raves, and maybe even heard a rant or two from me on-air this week. But guess what? I’m not finished.
My final word on the Emmy nominations: Not since Jethro Tull won a Grammy award for Best Hard Rock/Metal Performance has an award show voting body been so misguided.
(Quick refresher: Tull, with its flute injection, is bluesy, folksy and rock — not hard, and not metal. The group’s victory was so controversial the band members never turned up to pick up their award.)
For starters, what do the following television shows have in common? “Six Feet Under.” “The Comeback.” “Out of Practice.” “Will & Grace.” “Malcolm in the Middle.” “Commander in Chief.” “The West Wing.” “Arrested Development.”
Answer: All of them are off the air — for good.
Answer No. 2: All of them received at least one Emmy nomination in a major category (Best Drama series, Best Comedy, Best Actor/Actress in a Comedy, Best Actor/Actress in a Drama).
That’s EIGHT cancelled series going up for the biggest prizes of the night. Am I the only one who thinks this is a serious problem for NBC, which airs the Emmy awards on Sunday, August 27? I mean, how excited will viewers be to watch SHOWS THEY CAN NEVER SEE AGAIN compete for statues?
Last year, three of the “Desperate Housewives” were nominated for Lead Actress in a comedy, with Felicity Huffman winning. This year, zero of them are nominated.
But thank goodness Stockard Channing is in there for “Out of Practice!” Frankly, that’s what I thought I was when I heard her name announced — out of practice. I mean, I could barely remember that show even existed and I cover this stuff for a living. How the heck should anybody else remember it?
The reason given by most TV critics for why the nominations are screwy — a “Housewives” near shut-out, ditto for “Lost” (which won Best Drama series last year), no Lead Actor/Actress nods for “The Sopranos,” etc. — is that there’s a new two-tiered voting system. It’s boring to go into, but basically it was supposed to help quality shows on smaller networks score nominations, instead of just the same tired faces.
This was the year the WB’s “Gilmore Girls” — voted best new series by the Television Critics Association five years ago — was supposed to make it in. Or Showtime’s “Weeds,” and perhaps even the Sci-Fi Channel’s cult fave “Battlestar Gallactica.”
Well, “Gilmore Girls” star Lauren Graham must be ready to shoot herself — or better yet, Emmy voters. The poor woman was touted everywhere as finally having a shot, and yet once again she was left out of the party.
To be fair, there are a couple of instances in which the new system worked: Denis Leary got a nomination for the fine FX series “Rescue Me,” and Kyra Sedgwick earned one for TNT’s popular crime drama “The Closer.”
But “The Sopranos” star Edie Falco gets left out while Geena Davis is in for the booted “Commander in Chief?” C’mon.
HBO’s brilliant “Entourage” isn’t nominated for Best Comedy, but the abysmal final season of “Will & Grace” is?
And Julia Louis-Dreyfus for “The New Adventures of Old Christine?” That show has less buzz than, well, her last post-“Seinfeld” series.
Ah well, what can you do? I’ll be in L.A. covering the Emmy Awards in August. For now, I’m off to buy Jethro Tull CDs for the plane.