Friday, July 7, 2006

The Emmys and the New Fall Season

Thursday this year's list of Emmy nominees was announced. To say that I am disappointed is putting it mildly. Lost did receive several nominations. It was nominated for Casting for a Drama Series, Cinematography for a Single-Camera Series, Directing for a Drama Series, Single-Camera Picture Editing for a Drama Series, Guest Actor in a Drama Series (for Henry Ian Cusick), Single-Camera Sound Mixing for a Series, Special Visual Effects for a Series, and Writing for a Drama Series. But somehow Lost was passed over when it came to nominations for Best Drama Series. Indeed, Lost was passed over in favour of Grey's Anatomy, a medical drama that is about as cliched as they come. Furthermore, none of the leads for Lost were nominated in any of the actor categories, even though the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences saw fit to nominate Geena Davis for Commander in Chief, even though she was totally miscast and unconvincing. Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje (Mr. Eko), Terry O'Quinn (John Locke), Evangeline Lilly (Kate), and Josh Holloway (Sawyer) all deserved to be nominated for the acting categories.

Of course, Lost was not the only series to be snubbed. HBO's Entourage, possibly the best comedy on the air, was not nominated for Best Comedy, even though the undeserving Curb Your Enthusiasm and Two and a Half Men were. Entourage was snubbed in the Best Actor in a Comedy category as well. Neither Kevin Dillon as Drama or Jeremy Piven as Ari were nominated.

While both Lost and Entourage were snubbed, the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences must be convinced that Grey's Anatomy is the best thing since white bread. The show was not only nominated in the Best Drama category, but earned ten other nominatios as well. Outside of a few acting nods (I do have to admit that the cast is sincere in their performances), it deserved none of them. Grey's Anatomy is a standard soap opera disguised as a stardard medical drama. That having been said, I am happy to see House getting some recognition. It was nominated for Best Drama, Art Direction for a Single-Camera Series, Casting for a Drama Series, Music Composition for a Series (Dramatic Underscore), and Single-Camera Sound Mixing for a Series. Curiously, however, it did not receive any nominations for its two strongest points: its writing and Hugh Laurie as Gregory House.

While I am disappointed in the Emmys, I must say that the new fall season is shaping up well. For once the networks seem to be something different than doctor and lawyer shows (although there is Shark with James could he?!). On CBS there is Smith, a drama focusing on a team of high stakes thieves. The leader is played by Ray Liotta and it is produced by John Wells of ER and West Wing fame. It looks promising. Also on CBS is Jericho, show centred on a town of the same name which may or may not be the only city surviving a nuclear holocaust. While I must admit that the format sounds limited, it could be interesting if done correctly.

NBC also seems to be showing some originality. Its new series Heroes focusing on a diverse group of people who one day wake up with super powers and may have to save mankind. The show is created by Tim Kring, who also created Crossing Jordan. While Crossing Jordan is not my cup of tea (it's not bad, just not something I'd watch regularly), I must admit that the concept behind Heroes is intriguing. Also on NBC is Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip. The show is produced by West Wing creator Aaron Sorkin and is a behind the scene look at a late night sketch comedy show. Given it's produced by Sorkin, it could well be worth a look.

Earlier in the week I did a three part series on road shows. Well, it looks like there will be another one this fall. Runaway is a show in which an entire family must go on the run. While I admit it sounds a bit far fetched to me (a whole family!), there hasn't been any road shows on the networks for a while. It airs on the new CW network (it's the results of the UPN/WB merger). ABC also has an show that could be interesting called The Nine. The show centres on nine hostages in a bank robbery and their subsequent lives. I'll admit that the concept sounds somewhat limited to me, but then it could be interesting if it is done well. In other good news, ABC moved Grey's Anatomy to Thursdays, where it will be against CSI. In other words, it probably won't last another season to see any more Emmy nominations.

While the fall season could be better (they always can be), I am glad to see that there are some original series debuting. Indeed, beyond Shark there are no shows focusing on lawyers and I can think of no police procedurals debuting this fall. With any luck maybe the networks have learned that viewers don't always want the same old types of shows all the time.


RC said...

great analysis...this is very complete...

maybe you should be allowed to be a part of the nomination process.

--RC of

Terence Towles Canote said...

Alas, one must be a member of the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences to be able to make nominations. )-: