On Thursday, July 14, the 2011 Emmy awards were announced, and more than a few New England connections were found, proving once again that Hollywood East has become a powerful force in the entertainment industry.
In the Outstanding Comedy Series category, “Glee” was once again nominated. The musical series was co-created by Newton native Brad Falchuk. The show will compete against the likes of “The Office” and “Parks and Recreation” which stars Concord’s Steve Carell and Burlington’s Amy Poehler, respectively. Each were nominated for their own individual awards for Outstanding Actor and Actress in a Comedy. Poehler will compete against Laura Linney from “The Big C”, and series that has been shooting in Connecticut. Carrell will compete against fellow Massachusetts native, Matt LeBlanc, for his role on “Episodes”. The former “Friends” star originally hails from Newton.
On the drama side, Kathy Bates was nominated for Outstanding Actress for her role in the new “Harry’s Law”, yet another lawyer-themed show from the Boston-educated David E. Kelley.
“Glee” star Jane Lynch was nominated for Outstanding Supporting Actress In A Comedy. The funnywoman got married in Massachusetts in 2010.
Connecticut resident Tom Bergeron was nominated for Outstanding Reality Host in his role “Dancing With the Stars” ringleader.
The controversial Reelz channel miniseries, “The Kennedys” racked up a number of nominations, including Greg Kinnear and Barry Pepper for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Miniseries or a Movie and Tom Wilkinson for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Miniseries or a Movie.
Brookline’s Conan O’Brien earned himself a little redemption, getting a nomination for Outstanding Variety, Music or Comedy Series for his TBS talk show, “Conan”. The late-night funnyman found himself hoisted from a short stint as host of the “Tonight Show” only to be replaced by its former host, Jay Leno in early 2010, only to reemerge on basic cable this past November. Leno and the “Tonight Show” did not receive any nominations this year.
For a complete list of the nominations, check out the official Emmy website. The 63rd Primetime Emmy Awards will air on Sunday, September 18th, at 8 p.m. on Fox.
On Monday evening, Brookline native Conan O’Brien’s anxiously anticipated return to television kicked off in grand fashion on his new home at the cable network, TBS. The late night funny man had his first time out in the 11PM time slot, one half hour earlier than Andover’s Jay Leno, who took back his old post at “The Tonight Show” earlier this year after O’Brien spent less than 7 months as host himself. The NBC debacle turned publicity nightmare meant O’Brien got booted, and Leno was reinstated at his former post. Since the kerfuffle, O’Brien and his crew received a multi-million dollar payout, and the comedian was forbidden from appearing on any new television shows until the fall.
The show was filmed on the Warner Brothers Studio lot, and featured guests Seth Rogan, Lea Michelle, and musical guest Jack White–whom O’Brien actually performed with at the close of the show. His first official guest was actually winner of first guest contest, Arlene Wagner, founder of the Leavenworth’s Nutcracker Museum in Washington, who beat out the likes of Justin Bieber, though she did only make a brief appearance. Familiar faces filled the spacious set, such as Jimmy Vivino and the Basic Cable Band, and announcer Andy Richter.
Then lanky red-head took to the stage in what was titled “Episode: Baa Baa Blackmail”, doing his trademark string dance amidst rousing cheers of “Conan! Conan!” to which he quipped: “Sit down, we don’t know how much time I’m gonna get here. That lasted longer than my last job.”
Not one to shy away from the subject of his departure from NBC, he went on to joke:
“Welcome to my 2nd annual first show! Its called ‘Conan.’ People asked me why I named it ‘Conan,’ its so that I would be harder to replace…I want you to know, I have dreamed about being a host on basic cable since i was 46.”
After taking his seat behind his new desk, O’Brien showed off some of the features of his new digs; a remote controlled moving moon on the background scene painting. With Richter seated in a guest chair next to him, the two talked about one of O’Brien’s lowest points in the months since he’s been off the air–finding out that a Halloween mask was being sold in his likeness and labelled as an “Ex-Talk Show Host.” After each donning the masks, Richter quipped, “These are very authentic–the inside smells like tears.”
Later on in the evening, now in his new time slot at midnight, George Lopez of “Lopez Tonight” welcomed his new lead-in.
“Sixty years ago, a redhead and a Latino made history on “I Love Lucy,” history repeats itself tonight with Conan O’Brien and George Lopez! Team Coco, meet Team Loco!”
Reports show that “Conan” was watched by 2.45 million adults 18-34; 3.28 million in the 18-49 category and 4.155 million total viewers on its opening night, with a projected median age of 30.
★ “True Blood” stars come to The Estate in Boston.
★ Jerry Seinfeld appearing at the Wang Center for two shows on September 11.
★ Star of the Food Network, Bobby Flay, comes to Connecticut to judge a healthy grilling contest sponsored by Aetna insurance.
★ The Music Hall in Portsmouth, NH gives you highlights from the Telluride film festival (which was at one time held in Portsmouth).
The now infamous NBC late-night bru-ha-ha that happened months ago, which led to Conan O’Brien being released from hosting duties of the “Tonight Show” only to have Jay Leno reclaim his former post after his 10 o’clock comedy/variety show experiment failed is still not quite finished. On May 2nd, Conan O’Brian appeared in an in-depth interview on “60 Minutes”. The show aired on the night after he was no longer contractually banned from appearing on television in accordance with his agreement with NBC for leaving “The Tonight Show”.
Choosing his words carefully, per the stipulations of his agreement not to publicly disparage NBC, O’Brien told correspondent Steve Kroft that he did not agree with how Leno handled the situation, and purported that had he been in Leno’s position, he would have handled things differently.
Meanwhile, on May 1st, Jay Leno headlined the annual White House correspondent’s dinner, where the President himself poked fun at the North Andover native, asserting that, like Leno, his approval ratings had also dropped in the last year. Obama, who introduced Leno, likewise exclaimed his relief at the order in which they spoke, saying “We’ve all seen what happens when you take the time slot after Leno.”
Just a few nights later, Leno slipped in a slight jab at O’Brien, his former late-night follower when Conan occupied the time slot after “Tonight”. In a joke about Faisal Shahzad, the man accused of the recent attempted car bombing in New York’s Times Square, Leno displayed a fake Facebook profile of Shahzad. Among the things displayed on the faux page, Shahzad was listed as a member of “Team Coco”, the name of the group of fans who rallied behind O’Brien during the original late-night show shake-up.
O’Brien’s “The Legally Prohibited from Being Funny on Television Tour“ will keep him busy into the summer months before he turns his attention to his new late-night show on TBS, set to debut in November.
★ Last Saturday was a busy day in Boston for celebrity events; Chelsea Handler had a book signing in Brookline, and Tinsley Mortimer of “High Society” on the CW made an appearance at The Estate.
★ Our own Matt Dolloff interviews Emmy award winning Northeastern U professor.
★ Conan O’Brien announces plans to team up with George Lopez to create all-new late-night line-up on TBS.
★ New Hampshire Film Office survives first round of state budget cuts, what happens next?
★ Matt Damon receives mid-career achievement award from American Cinematheque.
★ Connecticut’s Chloe Sevigny talks about her recent Golden Globe win.
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