The Primetime Emmy Awards will be televised live from the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles, on Sunday September 16, 2007. The awards are a Hollywood institution for the television industry; however, this year’s broadcast is definitely not your parent’s (or your grandparent’s!) Emmy Awards. Some new additions to the awards ceremony (and some of the surprise nominees) show that the Emmys are drawing in a younger, hipper crowd this year.
This trend is reflected in the choice of host: for the first time, American Idol host Ryan Seacrest will be the emcee of the show. This should definitely draw in that “pop culture” crowd, and boost the Emmy ratings.
This recent trend of Emmy trying to pull in the “in crowd” (a demographic of culturally hip young viewers) is also reflected in its choice of presenters. This year, Emmy has chosen presenters like Stephen Colbert (The Colbert Report) and Jon Stewart (The Daily Show with Jon Stewart) from Comedy Central–two stars who are very popular with the hip, “Young Hollywood” crowd. There should be plenty of laughs from presenters like Steve Carell (the maddening boss from NBC’s The Office) and Kelsey Grammer and Patricia Heaton. Younger viewers love comedy, and should enjoy this year’s unique Emmy tribute to late night television’s “funniest one liners.”
One of the hottest trends in Hollywood right now, especially among the younger crowd, is “going green.” This year the Emmys are going “eco-friendly,” with changes like organic make up being used backstage to touch up the faces of the stars. Scripts and all printed material to do with the Emmys are being printed on recycled paper, recycling bins are posted all around the ceremony, and the awards are using biodiesel generators for the first time this year. This should attract the attention of environmentally conscious celebs and viewers into “the green movement.” Architectural Digest has even designed a special “green room” for the event.
The Emmy nominees this year are of a high caliber; despite some obvious snubs that seem to occur every year, this year’s nominees represent the finest television of the season.
Speaking of snubs, in the category of Drama Series, how could Emmy overlook ABC’s dramas Brothers & Sisters and the now defunct Six Degrees? We need to honor shows that feature intelligent actors and storylines. How could they not recognize the finely nuanced acting of Campbell Scott and Hope Davis in Six Degrees and the contribution made by delightful Lauren Graham of The Gilmore Girls? (Lorelai Gilmore, she’s America’s Sweetheart!) I feel that thought provoking television should be honored with some Emmy nods, this is why it’s frustrating that Kyle Chandler and Friday Night Lights were overlooked.
But here’s some good news: Emmy appears to be lightening up a bit, and thinking outside the box! This is reflected in the nominations of Ugly Betty (11 noms) 30 Rock (10 nods) and Heroes (8 nominations), all shows that draw in that hip, pop culture crowd sometimes overlooked by the often staid, traditional Emmys. It is a breath of fresh air to see nominations like Minnie Driver for The Riches, but what about Eddie Izzard in that same show? How can you nominate one without the other? They are a powerful duet in a fine ensemble of players. Now, if Emmy really wanted to be cutting edge and avant-garde, how about a nod for Rescue Me? Hopefully, more progressive Emmy will move in that direction someday.
One thing’s for certain: it looks like a strong year for The Sopranos, which garnered 15 nominations. This show was a powerhouse and in many ways, it had a hand in changing the face of what we now call television. Keep your eye on The Sopranos Emmy night; it will probably be victorious in many categories, due to a sentimental feeling about the series conclusion.
And now, without further ado, let the curtain go up on my personal Emmy predictions for 2007:
My Emmy Picks (Who Will Win, Who I Think Should Win…)
Drama Series: As I just mentioned, it’ll be hard to beat The Sopranos. This is who I think will win, and I would also love to see it win. Heroes and House might give it a run for its money, but The Sopranos will walk away with the prize. I doubt Grey’s Anatomy can offer any serious competition; many feel the series “jumped the shark” awhile ago. In fact, many of us “Grey’s” fans are just waiting for Kate Walsh and Tim Daly’s new show Private Practice to premiere (after all, smart sexy Kate Walsh is like an Old Hollywood heroine and wasn’t she the best thing about Grey’s Anatomy? Shouldn’t McDreamy have picked her sophisticated, savvy Dr. Addison Montgomery over whiny, indecisive Meredith? I think so.) And Boston Legal? Sorry Boston Legal fans, but the show robbed Lost of a spot in this category; in my opinion, it doesn’t have a snowball’s chance of winning the award.
Comedy Series: I doubt that 30 Rock and Two and a Half Men have any traction here. I predict The Office will pull out another win. I’d be happy to see The Office win, but I’d be even happier if Ugly Betty took the trophy. Look for a possible upset by Entourage, which has a real cult following.
Lead Actor, Drama: If you think the Emmy will go to anyone else but James Gandolfini as Tony Soprano…fuggedaboutit! (Sorry, couldn’t resist.) This is definitely The Sopranos year. I feel that Gandolfini’s Emmy would be richly deserved; however, I’d love to see Denis Leary win for Rescue Me. Hugh Laurie has a following for House, if there is an upset it could be from Laurie.
Lead Actress, Drama: I know, I know, I said it will be a Sopranos sweep. That would mean Edie Falco will win in this category. And she might? But I believe it will be between Kyra Sedgwick for The Closer and Sally Field for Brothers & Sisters. Who I’d like to win? I’d like to see Minnie Driver win the Emmy, for her gripping acting in The Riches.
Supporting Actor, Drama: I believe the victor will be Michael Imperioli from The Sopranos. This is a tough category to call though, and it’s possible that one of the actor’s from Lost might pull off an upset. Sentimental favorite: Masi Oka from Heroes, it’s nice to see the Emmys recognize such an inventive show.
Supporting Actress, Drama: The award will probably go to Lorraine Bracco from The Sopranos. It’s The Sopranos year, and Bracco is a terrific actress. The tide of public opinion might be in her favor. With so many nominees from Grey’s Anatomy, they could cancel each other out. My pick: Rachel Griffiths for Brothers & Sisters. The woman’s a brilliant actress and a true chameleon. She seems to disappear seamlessly into every role; her character on Brothers is so different than Brenda on Six Feet Under. Like Meryl Streep, she literally becomes the character, and it would be nice to see her recognized.
Lead Actor, Comedy: Alec Baldwin of 30 Rock is the popular favorite in this category, and his work has garnered a lot of Hollywood buzz. But I think that Steve Carell from The Office has a shot, too. My personal pick: Ricky Gervais in Extras, a wonderfully witty series.
Lead Actress, Comedy: This is pretty much a no brainer: America has fallen in love with America (Ferrera that is, the actress from Ugly Betty!) I believe she has a real shot at the award. If not Betty, then, Mary-Louise Parker of Weeds, is a strong contender, and seems to be a favorite also. Who I’d like to see win? Tina Fey from 30 Rock. She’s such a smart funny woman, and a great writer!
Supporting Actor, Comedy: It’s Ari Gold’s world, we’re just living in it. I think that Jeremy Piven will be honored for playing agent Ari Gold, from HBO’s hit Entourage. He would be my personal pick, too. But keep an eye out for Neil Patrick Harris to walk away with the Emmy for How I Met Your Mother (he’s so money.)
Supporting Actress, Comedy: Jaime Pressly from My Name is Earl nailed her role and will walk away with the gold. I would feel good about that, but I have a real soft spot for the understated, and underrated Jenna Fischer in The Office.
Reality-Competition Program: It seems like a foregone conclusion that The Amazing Race will win again. But hey, wouldn’t it be fun to see one of Bravo’s fun creative shows, like Top Chef, or Project Runway with Heidi Klum and Tim Gunn, take home the big prize? (Maybe when Amazing Race folds, they’ll have a shot!)
In keeping with the pop culture feel of this year’s awards, white hot Dancing With The Stars alums Lisa Rinna and Joey Fatone are the hosts of The TV Guide Network’s Live at the Emmy Awards preshow (6/5c). Host Ryan Seacrest is certainly one busy guy–he is one of the hosts of E!s Live from the Red Carpet (6/5c).
Feel free to make up your own list of Emmy predictions, and don’t forget to tune in to the FOX network on Sunday night (at 8/7c) to watch the Primetime Emmy Awards. See you there!