The Latest in TV with Lisa de Moraes

Jul 20, 2012

The Post's TV columnist Lisa de Moraes discussed the latest in TV news - on and off the screen.

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Hey Pook -- Why do the Emmys consider American Horror a mini-series? It's coming back next year (with Dame Chloe Sevigny, no less). This seems a creative way to ensure multiple Emmy noms, and is a little too cute for me (and I'm a fan of the show).

The folks behind "American Horror Story" decided to switch from drama (the category in which they'd competed at Globes, etc) to miniseries because it's a less tough category... The TV academy said they could do it because the storyline resolved itself at the end of the season, and the show is going to hit "reboot" next season... So, in theory, "American Horror Story" will be able to compete as a miniseries EVERY season. And, Ryan Murphy is now in the TV movie/miniseries business. Who knew?

Pookie, the last couple of episodes of Dallas have made me giggle ... every time I see the "look" a character gives when chewing on a scene - they should make an Emmy category just for that! Those folks have made it an art form.

It's a wonderful romp....I'd like to see Larry Hagman's eyebrows given character names...any suggestions?

I happened to stumble across ratings for "Next Foodnetwork Star" show on the Food Network. I was quite surprised to see ratings of 12 million viewers. That seems spectacular for a cable network, no?

It's also not the show's ratings...I can't imagine what that number represents..... "Next Food Network Star" averaged 2.6 million viewers on Sunday.... where did youj see this other stat?

I have been catching up on my episodes of Veep, which I love. I have to ask: what was your reaction to the over-the-top, aggressive, potty-mouthed Post reporter who was chasing the "scandal" on the reassigned secret service agent? Was this role modeled after any real life Post reporter? Please name names!

I like to think it was me.... but I'm guessing that's not the case...

Pookie -- I have a deep and abiding love for crunchy gravel dramas, but season 2 of Downton Abbey wasn't the best drama on TV last season. Will the academy's love of British accents and pretty clothes get in the way of logic?

Well, this will be one of the MOST interesting things to look for at the Emmy Awards on Sunday, Sept. 23... TV academy voter have a deep and abiding love for people who speak with proper British accents.. They're actually very intimidated by them.. .There used to be a reporter who covered industry who did just that -- possibly because she was a proper Brit -- and you can't believe how people in the biz responded to her... kind of awed, I thought....Anyway, will TV academy voters be able to resist those accents and vote for the drama that actually was the season's best, or will those proper British accents call to them irresistably, like the sirens, and cause them to vote irresistably, for "Downton", when it comes to the pretty clothes, and gorgeous interiors, I think that's a perfectly legitimate reason to vote for a show. I know the clothes got me through the last season on "Sex and the City" when they'd really run out of interesting storylines.....that dress Carrie wore in the final episode I still dream about... this is why I'm not a TV critic....

I tried to read yesterday's chat in the commenting section, and it was the weirdest thing ever with no real way for me to follow. Maybe I just didn't get what was going on, but I bailed pretty quickly. In case anyone your way is wondering about numbers and trying to make that "comment chat" thing a THING, this is one set of eyeballs that you'll lose. Oh, and to make this about tv...any chance of Fox bringing back Keen Eddie any time soon?

Nice save! I'll take any Keen Eddie question, as you know.... I've designated you as the representative of all those people who have contacted me to make similar comments about the Emmy noms chat yesterday. I will pass along your concerns to the people who are in charge of making those decisions. But, on the bright side, I will continue doing chats in this format and we can talk Emmy noms till you're blue in the face today... So, what do you think of the noms?

16 nominations, really? If lesser names than Clive Owen and Nicole Kidman were attached to this dreck, would it have been nominated at all? In other news, how can we be expected to choose between Carson and Bates and are any Downton Abbey nominees considered favorites in their respective categories? Could the show win but all actors get passed over?

you mean lesser names than Clive Own and Nicole Kidman and HBO.....and Maggie Smith is nominated for best supporting actress in a drama. Put your money on her......

Horace for the left, Greeley for the right.

I love it..... anybody else got any ideas? Otherwise we're going with Horace and Greeley.....

have u seen the new movie linsey shot about liz taylor? is it good? do u think she'll win an emmy?

It's Lindsay Lohan who I don't think anyone has accused of being a fine actress, playing Elizabeth Taylor, for Lifetime, which means it will be all about her boozing and  stealing friends husbands, etc. and not about her body of work... In other words -- it'll be great! She won't win an Emmy, but she will win a Teen Choice Award for sure...

I love the show! Have you seen it, your thoughts, can you tell us how it's doing ratings wise? My other must see TV is SYTYCD but I'm not loving their new format of once a week for. Project Runway is back, Top Chef Masters is going to be on soon (I think). Very happy with TV shows right now! Btw, you do look marvelous! And I hope Winkie has fully recovered!

Winkie is happily snoring in Santa Monica, where it's in the upper 70's.. He is fully recovered....."Bunhead" this week clocked 1.2 million viewers, which is a good number for ABC Family. If you could see me right now you'd know how funny is your comment about my looking marvelous... I'm still recovering from three consecutive days getting up at 4's not my best look....

Would love to see Zooey Deschanel get the Emmy as best comedy actress. What are her chances, being a new show and all?

I am praying now to the TV gods, because I think she would make a good acceptance speech. I'm so sick of actors taking themselves so seriously they think they can use the PUBLIC airwaves to thank their managers, shrinks, manicurists and personal trainers for three hours and call it a trophy show.....I'd love to see the TV academy start to NOT vote for people who've given lousy, self indulgent acceptance speeches in the past -- those laundry-list speeches.... we all know who they are.....

You mentioned last week that you were not happy with Ciaran Hind's performance in Political Animals. I have liked Hinds for a long time - still get misty when I think of him kissing the heroine at last in "Persuasion" where he was great but I digress - anyhow I wondered: could Lisa be wrong about this? Then I watched the premiere of PA. I enjoyed Sigourney Weaver, who seemed to be playing a believable human being with more than a passing resemblance to Hillary Clinton. Hinds, on the other hand, seemed to be playing a cartoon figure who had more in common with Boss Hogg than Bill Clinton. I am sorry I ever doubted you, Pookie. I kinda liked the show, just not as much as I had hoped. Does it get better, or does Hinds get more overbearing? I'm wondering if I should bail.....

Don't bail, just dont' expect too much from that role... I blame the director... anyway, that's my story and I'm sticking with it...

Reading the internet, the blame for the current Today Show ratings seems to be pointing to Savannah Guthrie and anger over the treatment of Ann Curry. Why is not one thinking Matt Lauer came out looking pretty arrogant in this whole thing?

Because it's always about the chick on these shows in these situations....always....

Forget the British accent snobs the more reckless snobbish Emmy voters are those who would rather be voting for the Oscars. How else do you explain the two, count them TWO nominations for Kathy Bates in middling performances and then the one for Glen Close from a show that only a small handful of people actually watch.

Yes, that's the other thing TV Academy members are totally suckers for -- Movie Stars!...

Lisa, please arrange for Steve Buscemi to win the Emmy. He acts circles around those other guys in his category.

I'm with you.. He's great....

No nominations? Doesn't seem to be on entertainment site snub lists. Why no love from the critics/voters?

Critics are too busy fawning over Community and Parks and Rec to have room in their hearts for a show like "The Middle." 

OK, Modern Family was awful this season. I can't believe how many emmy nominations they got. The Emmys are almost as bad as the Grammys - the same nominations every single year - we get it Edie Falco, you're a good actress! Now give someone else a chance. There should be a rule that you can't be nominated more than two years in a row; it would make for a more interesting show and would probably get more viewers. Game of Thrones got robbed - especially Alfie Allen. And I'm the only person on earth that doesn't like Downton Abbey, so I guess this year I'll just ignore the whole thing. Oh, and Big Bang Theory as best comedy? Another one that had a crappy season.

But the gowns will be great that night. And Jimmy Kimmel is going to be great as host, if his performance yesterday morning is any indication... Not only did he show up in pajamas -- really shocking to the crowd in the TV academy theater, who take this thing ever so seriously -- but, in an interview after the reading of the names, he said something that went kind of like this. "The Emmys should be spelled M-E because that's what this is really all about."... As you know I've been advocating for Kimmel to host a major trophy show for some time and I am very much looking forward to this particular one, no matter who got snubbed....

Isn't it time to rename the best comedy/variety/etc. program to "The Daily Show with Jon Stewart" award?

No, because then it would not get nominated the next year -- look at what happened to Jeff Probst yesterday. I mean, booted by Betty White?!

I'm having fun imagining a 'Modern Family' scene where Fred tries to explain the circumstances of such an arrest to his son, a bewildered Phil Dunphy...

I hope "Modern Family" doesn't fire him, like PBS just did.....

What is happening w/ this show? It started another season and then disappeared. Also, what did you think of Political Animals? (This chat makes me laugh out loud.)

"Southland" is returning for Season 5 in Feb. 2013 with 10 whole episodes, reports The Fabulous Emily Yahr. .. and I love Political Animals, if for no other reason than that it's employing Ciaran Hinds, though I love it for loads of other reasons too -- like how many times they keep saying it's not about Hillary Clinton.... I always enjoy a good laugh...

I feel sorry for Fred Willard although he should have stayed home and used the Internet, but I think most guys do look at porn in today's world of ready availability and I do feel kinda sorry for the guy.

Yes, this is what happenes when people are not internet savvy. Let this be a lesson to us all....or something like that... Isn't this what they call "a teachable moment"?

Lisa, I love the show Mike and Molly.. Although Melissa McCarthy got nominated for lead actress, why 'no love' for Swoosie Kurtz and/or Rondi Reed, who play both mothers, for supporting actress.. They are great...

I'm sorry, did you ask a question? The room started to spin around me after I read the words "I love the show Mike and Molly." ....Anyway, Melissa McCarthy getting a nomination is a real coup for this show which otherwise would be totally ignored at Emmytime....

For the eyebrows, I suggest "Andy" and "Rooney"....but it may be too soon for this.

an homage? Nice idea...

Pete Rose and Kiana Kim having a TV show is a sure sign that the end is indeed near. What sort of individual could possibly think this is a good idea? Somebody will commit some amount of money to produce it? Some idiototic programmer would put it on the air? It places my mind in a state of boggletude.

Hey, you're talking about the network of hoarders and strange eating addictions and coupon crazies....a reality series on the marital issues of Pete Rose and Kiana Kim reads like Masterpiece Theater on TLC.....

Admit I'm not a Nicole Kidman fan and didn't see the other shows in the miniseries category. But really, Julianne Moore was just phenomenal at doing Sarah Palin better than Sarah Palin.

It was a brilliant performance and she's the one to beat in this category....

Lisa, having Viacom and DirecTV able to take Jon Stewart out of my life just like that makes me feel sad and helpless. Should I occupy something?

Nope because -- they've kissed and made up! Comedy Central will be back on DirectTV immediately, if it isn't already.....

I totally forgot this show existed until Don Cheadle got nominated for an Emmy. I only made it through two episodes before I decided I had better things to watch. Do you think he was really that good in it, or is this a case of shortage in the lead drama actor race since the entire cast of Modern Family was in the sporting category.

I like the idea of a sporting category! I think you should refer to our "Movie Star" discussion, see above.. that said, there are some actors who are always worth watching. I'd put Don Cheadle in that class.....Like Meryl Streep.. She was worth watching, even in that dreadful "Mama Mia."

I have to confess I'm a huge Kathy Griffin fan, although her 'talk show' is BAD! Anyway, how much fun would it be if they say: "And the Emmy goes to 'Tired Hooker'."

Fingers crossed... it would be a great TV moment and one I'm sure Kimmel will have a field day with that night....

Jumping old TV shows here, but we could call them Darryl and Darryl...

brilliant! (For those not in the know... this is a reference to  two of the three brothers on the old "Newhart" show -- Larry, Darryl and Darryl....)

Pookie, is it a given that goofy sorts like PeeWee Herman and Fred Willard can eventually rebound from their ahem! behavior more so than a more serious actor, like a movie star or someone with a british accent, that we take more seriously?

Well, Hugh Grant, who has a proper British accent, recovered nicely from an evening with a hooker on Sunset Boulevard and is now apparently the conscience of the British media, so I don't see why Fred Willard should not be able to rebound from being picked up in an adult theater in Hollywood doing what I had always assumed people went to porn theaters to, you know, do.....I'm still trying to grasp the concept of police doing "routine patrols" or whatever the explanation was,  of  the insides of porn there not enough actual crime being perpetrated in Hollywood?

Is it just me or has the second season of Episodes been a disappointment? Last year was all about the eccentricities of the Hollywood "creative process" and now it's basically the same show every week. Wish they'd go back to the Hollywood parody instead of the various romantic angles.

I'm loving this season, though I take your point that they're starting to develop the characters and their relationships....

Right now I don't see how Mad Men doesn't win again. I think there's a slight chance that Homeland takes it, but once the Emmy's crowns something it takes something big to give that crown to another show. I also think Downton Abbey takes more votes away from any other choice.

and maybe pools them into one tidal wave of votes.... that' s the thinking

One of the interesting twists in yesterday's Emmy nods is that while "Parks and Recreation" was shut out of the comedy series list and only Amy Poehler was nominated in an acting category, it got two writing nominations, while "Modern Family" got none. This says that other writers must like it a lot, but that it is otherwise not widely well-regarded within the academy membership. Any thoughts on that?

Yes. Modern Family will win.... except, apparently, in the best comedy writing category....

Seems that the Emmy guest actor nominations are really just a reward for movie actors or other generally "too-good-for-TV" types. Greg Kinnear on Modern Family? Nothing special. Uma Thurman? Come on. Emmy should reward hard working actors, not just throw awards at stars who sleep-walk through roles they think are beneath them.

See "movie actors!" above.....but, in the academy's defense, they do sometimes do just what you are suggesting.....I wish I could remember a one but, like I said, I'm still recovering from three consecutive days of getting up at 4 a.m.

Why no love for Sons of Anarchy? It's a great show with a huge following.

Kurt? Is that you?

I'm not a huge fan of the show... no, on second thought, that's not true... I'm not a fan of all the hype about this show, that it's Shakespearean, and Sophocles-ian(?), and generally the greatest thing since sliced bread.. It's a fine show -- many better, but also many worse... But "Sons of Anarchy" always gets snubbed at the Emmys and even the noms and I don't think Sutter would really have it any other way...It would be like putting on a suit or something, and he's not about that...

Major Healey and Major Nelson

that's a fantastic guys are doing much better than I am today... all I came up with was Mutt and Jeff...

In about 15 years, he can have a comeback, ala Peewee.

it won't take that long... in fact, he's on ABC this Tuesday, hosting two episodes of its "Trust Us With  Your Life" ...and, hopefully, next season on "Modern Family"'s only PBS that got its undies in a bunch over this one....

If he was nominated as a guest actor on "Nurse Jackie" does that mean he's not coming back next season? He's really cute and looks much more age appropriate to be the love interest of Edie Falco than the husband played by Dominic Fumusa. When I looked the actor's name (for the husband) on the internet I found out that Steve Buscemi had directed six episodes of Nurse Jackie. Wow. Are you a Nurse Jackie fan?

I don't think it means he's not going to come back... it's usually just about the time commitment and the contract... over the years we've seen loads of people who were "guests" on a show come back for multiple epsiodes over several seasons... I am a fan... but I'm not sure it' s a comedy... I'm out of time... thank you for ignoring directions (something we should all try to do more often!) and joining me on this chat...Next week I'll be at Summer TV Press Tour 2012, and so chat will have to be moved to 11:30 a.m. ET Friday,  to fit in around the tour schedule...see you then!

In This Chat
Lisa de Moraes
Pulitzer Prize winner, Peabody recipient, Medal of Freedom honoree -- Lisa de Moraes is none of these, but she is an authority on the bad direction, over-acting, and muddled plot lines being played out in the TV industry's executive suites. de Moraes worked for a decade as the television editor at The Hollywood Reporter, the entertainment industry trade paper, where she was routinely on the receiving end of more shouting phone calls from TV suits than Paula Abdul's manager.

When she upgraded to The Washington Post in 1998, a well-known executive producer called to suggest she have someone else start her car, but her trenchant writing (and refusal to use words like "trenchant") earned her the following praise from the brilliant, handsome media observer at Slate: "She writes like a wicked bitch." Wikipedia has called her "a noted television columnist," but they're often unreliable. It's pronounced "deh more ICE."

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