The Weekly Pulse: Mr. Coogan's Groove Tube Update

LOOK AT THIS!

** Holy ridiculous canceled shows Batman! I can’t believe it”¦It’s the return of”¦”¦A Current Affair!!!

** What a surprise”¦Teachers in a New Jersey suburb don’t want Paris Hilton around their students. Next, you’ll tell me Christmas is going to fall on December 25th again”¦

** It’s dopey stories like this that give the southern United States a bad name”¦Um”¦Jon Stewart was KIDDING! He’s a comedian!

** My tribute to hard news: In case you missed it, CBS’s decision on who’s responsible for the suspect 60 Minutes story about President Bus’s National Guard duty has come down and four staffers lost their jobs.

I have to say though, I loved Bill O’Reilly’s response. He “wisely” noted (at least in his opinion) that those liberal bastards working on the story wanted so badly for it to be true, that they went ahead with the story without fully researching it. Outstanding. And you wonder why the media somehow gets blamed in 75 percent of the United States’ problems?!?!

THE OPENING CREDITS: This is your IP TV STAFF!!!

** I took my latest so-called television column and devoted it to the new NBC series, Medium. I trashed the show and called it formulaic. But at this point, with 16 million viewers tuning in for the first two original episodes, my opinion isn’t worth a hill of beans. But those beans would go in a fantastic chili!

** We have a new reality celebrity contributor joining the IP TV team as Al from The Amazing Race 4 has submitted a column and broken down the remaining teams in The Race. Welcome aboard, buddy!

** Ms. Didey is back and talking about Medium (she liked it better than I did”¦), and a few of those hit shows you might have heard something about on ABC and Fox. Ever hear of Desperate Housewives or 24?

** I’m not feeling the awards show action like Cheri is, but she does bring up a good point. Now that’s it awards season, it is kind of hard to throw yourself into a long telecast like the Golden Globe’s or the Osca’s without SOME kind of warm up to prepare you for what’s coming. Then again, I just jump right on the treadmill without stretching. I live dangerously”¦

** I’m not sure what Mark Polishuk said in his latest column, but maybe his Voice of Reason can tell me.

** No quotes from Sarah Quigley this week because her column about The Amazing Race quotes several of the show’s competitors. But I do like the word prickosity.

Then, she casts The Breakfast Club with Survivor contestants. Wow!

** Mike Lawrence bares his soul and then reviews the broadcast network series that said good bye in 2004. Some will be missed (Friends, Frasier) and some won’t (Lyon’s Den, Cracking Up).

** Patrick Gilchriest analyzes, of all people, Everybody Loves Raymond‘s Frank Barone! Survivor can’t come back soon enough!

** I still say John Duran has one of the best gigs on InsidePulse.com as he gets to review the events both Desperate Housewives AND Lost. He does a great job though so, it’s worth it!

TV NEWS

CBS shake-up”¦Looks like they need Survivor more than they think they did”¦

** Survivor moves up its premiere date from March to sweeps month – Apparently feeling pressure from an average reality show debut (Wickedly Perfect) and a terrible reality show debut (The Will), CBS has elected to move up the premiere date of the 10th season of Survivor from March to Thursday, February 17 smack dab in the middle of a sweeps month. I wonder why they didn’t adopt this strategy to begin with”¦

Nonetheless, television’s most popular reality show (from a ratings perspective anyway) will be coming back with a bang next month as the new series will have a whopping 20 new castaways on the island (Palau — it’s made up of 83 islands in the Pacific, southeast of the Philippines and north of Papua New Guinea). Even more interestingly, TVGuide.com’s Michael Ausiello said the following in his daily column for the website:

Coming off of one of the lamest Survivor seasons ever, CBS has some big twists in store for the upcoming 10th edition. Debuting Feb. 17, Survivor: Palau will feature 20 contestants, three of whom will be booted at the end of the first episode. “They’re given very little instruction about what to do, and some of them are genuinely lost,” exec producer Mark Burnett tells Variety. “Two people don’t make it to the first challenge. That’s how tough it is. It’s very emotional.” The cast includes a 23-year-old dolphin trainer from Florida, a 55-year-old English teacher and a 39-year-old Vegas showgirl — whose name, regrettably, is not Cristal Connors.

Who doesn’t love a Cristal Connors joke?

Anyway, the fact that the 10th season is going to start out with 20 contestants and actually dump three of them in the first episode is an intriguing start and definitely wildly different compared to past seasons. But is that really enough? ABC tried to hype the latest season of The Bachelor by making the beginning fresh and different with two Bachelors instead of just one with the 25 women choosing who gets to stay and who leaves. But after that initial wrinkle, the show morphed back into the format seen in past seasons and it lost any freshness that developed early.

If Burnett and his production team think a small wrinkle like that will keep the game just as captivating for the entire 10th season, he’s going to be mistaken. Unlike organized professional team sports where the rules rarely change and the games still remain intriguing, these competitive reality shows are different and production teams can’t expect to run the same game time after time and expect the same level of interest. The television viewer is generally a lot more fickle than the sports fan in that respect.

But part of the news is Survivor debuting early”¦Why would that be? There’s a little more to this story!

** The Will gets canceled and Wickely Perfect doesn’t live up to expectations”¦ – This is why networks should abandon original programming on Saturday nights altogether”¦NO ONE WATCHES! Hell, if(/when) I’m stuck at home on Saturday night, I’m running over to USA for Law & Order: SVU and Monk repeats faster than you can say “You have the right remain silent”¦”

Yet, there is CBS, debuting The Will, a reality show where a group of family and friends of a 73-year-old tycoon compete for a piece of the man’s riches when he eventually passes on. The 90-minute debut secured a positively frightful 4.2 million viewers, unacceptable for a broadcast network even in comparison to the XFL broadcasts of several years back.

Zap2it.com reported that’s it’s the quickest hook for a series since CBS yanked South of Sunset after its premiere on CBS in October 1993.

Oddly, instead of just running high profile repeats of shows like CSI or Cold Case, CBS is bent on running original programming at that time, so the network will move another high profile reality offering that hasn’t been received all that well, Wickedly Perfect, to Saturday nights. Then the eye will move up the debut of the newest Survivor a couple of weeks to maintain that stranglehold they have on the weekly ratings.

Considering Thursday is such a monster television night, it’s apparent CBS didn’t want to take itself out of the running for maintaining its hold as the new Thursday night king of television and if they had left Wickedly Perfect in that timeslot for too long, I guess they thought it would have been a problem.

According to Zap2it.com’s ratings report for last Thursday (shows airing Jan. 6), Joey (with an 8.2 rating) and Committed (7.6) fairly significantly outdrew the debut of Wickedly Perfect on CBS (6.7), which was apparently enough of a concern for the eye, since they have consistently outdrawn NBC in the 8 p.m. timeslot since putting Survivor in 2000.

And here you go”¦it all comes together. CBS cancels The Will, moves Wickedly Perfect and to stay safe, moves up the debut of Survivor to the middle of sweeps month to maintain the vice-like grip it has in the ratings on Thursday. It all fits like a puzzle!

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ESPN continues to chug on with the original projects

It appears that ESPN is going to have to lumped in the same category as USA, FX and HBO instead of the “news” channels like CNN and Fox News. Why? Simply because channels like HBO are offering original programming in addition to their “bread & butter” (movies) and ESPN is following in that regard as they add their own original programming to their “bread & butter (live sports coverage and analysis).

According to a Zap2it.com story, when speaking to reporters at the semiannual Television Critics Association press tour, Mark Shapiro, ESPN’s executive vice president of programming and production, announced that ESPN has as many as 30 (!) original films in some stage of development.

In addition to an already announced plan to produce a movie about Jack Johnson, the legendary boxer from the early 20th century, ESPN plans to use 2005 as a launching pad for up to three other original films including Four Minutes, another historical film about Roger Banister’s record shattering mile run, in the works. In addition, the cable sports network wants to air films about the classic Jack Dempsey/Gene Tunney boxing match and Code Breakers, a movie about scandals at West Point and the Naval Academy.

It’s not just movies either as the Zap2it.com article also stated that ESPN has signed a deal with Playmakers creator/writer/executive producer (and Alias producer), John Eisendrath to draft a boxing pilot that will hit the air sometime in 2006.

I used to have a very hard line stance about what I thought of ESPN taking what they do well and offering dramatic series and movies that dramatize the very news they were likely involved in covering, either live or from a historical perspective. But, with the exception of the endless promotion on the family of networks, the great thing about these offerings is that they don’t get in the way of what ESPN does best, actually covering sports. One might argue that as a “news organization,” the cable sports network really shouldn’t involve itself with drama at all, but after recently airing what many critics considered to be a good television movie in 3 (the story about NASCAR driver, Dale Earnhardt), they showed they can do good, creative work and it have nothing to do with covering the news that tens of millions of people rely on every day.

The movies and original shows are just a way for ESPN to try some distinctive things and reach sports fans out there in a completely different way. The expansion in programming strategy just comes from the fact that ESPN is a multi-billion dollar corporation and now has the room to try some other things with the products they offer to consumers.

And remember”¦the E in ESPN stands for “Entertainment,” so if they want to produce movies, then they should go for it. It’s not like they’re lying to the Joe Consumer or anything”¦

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News from FX

** The Shield has a premiere date – After several weeks of vague advertisements used primarily to show off their casting coup in Glenn Close, FX finally announced the premiere date for the fourth season of the critically acclaimed cop drama, The Shield. The magical day according to a Tuesday (Jan. 11) statement released by FX and reported by Zap2it.com: Tuesday, March 15.

On that magical day, five-time Oscar nominee, Glenn Close, will make her debut on the show (her first recurring television role) as Vic Mackey’s (Michael Chiklis) new boss. Naturally, FX has been very excited about it and has been pumping the ad with Vic chasing a criminal only to run into his new boss at the end ad nauseum.

Within the storylines, Close’s character, Capt. Monica Rawling, takes over the Farmington precinct after Capt. David Aceveda’s (Benito Martinez) election to the City Council. Her appointment causes some friction between Rawling and Detective Claudette Wyms (CCH Pounder), who was in line for the promotion but was passed over. There’s one great storyline already lined up.

The network also announced that comic actor Anthony Anderson would be appearing in 10 of the season’s 13 episodes playing a “supposedly reformed drug dealer who returns to Farmington and preaches a message of peace to gangs in the area” Detective Mackey doesn’t quite buy the transformation though and the storyline will surely be a major one as the season progresses. Another great storyline already lined up.

Fans of The Shield should get ready to party on March 15.

** Nip/Tuck is back for at least two more seasons – According to several news outlets, including TVGuide.com, FX and creator Ryan Murphy announced a deal at the Television Critics Association winter press tour that will bring the acclaimed Nip/Tuck back for (at least) another two seasons.

The announcement isn’t a huge surprise from FX’s end as the critics adore the show and it does well in the cable ratings. According to TVGuide.com’s Michael Ausiello, there was some question as to whether or not the show would be back and if brainchild Murphy was going to be involved because he was more interested in making movies. He said in the fall when answering a reade’s question:

The good news: Yes, F/X will have a third season of Nip/Tuck. The bad news: Series creator Ryan Murphy may not be a part of it. (He wants to make movies, beginning with the Julianne Moore pic Running with Scissors.) And as he half-jokingly pointed out to me last week on the phone, “The only person in the world who knows whether Christian is dead or alive is me, so the fate of that character does rest in my hands.”

It’s a good thing he doesn’t think too highly of himself or anything.

Anyway, Nip/Tuck‘s 15-episode third season (that’s two more than the standard cable order) will debut again late this summer or early in the fall. Coordinating it with the beginning of the regular fall season? Sounds risky”¦When I start thinking about another new, bad ABC comedy outdrawing Nip/Tuck in the ratings, I begin to get a little woozy and light headed. Damn safe, family comedies!!!!

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** What is E! DOING? – E! Entertainment Television President Ted Harbert (“accidentally”) announced this week that once the Michael Jackson child molestation trial begins later this year, E! will broadcast a daily series about the trial complete with their own expert testimony and reenactments from the events of the day in court. This is being done in part because the judge in the Jackson case is not allowing cameras in the courtroom during the trial.

According to a Zap2it.com article, upon the announcement at the Television Critics Association press tour on Tuesday (Jan. 11), reporters and critics seemed taken aback and the news prompted an uproar and general disbelief among the assembled reporters.

Harbert responded by saying the following:

I’m a little bit surprised that this would be surprising to you, because A, we’ve done this before. B, this is a case of obvious worldwide interest … I don’t think this is close to crossing any line that hasn’t been jumped over about a thousand times by a lot of different outlets.

When Harbert said “we’ve done this before,” that was in reference to when E! used a similar tactic in covering the O.J. Simpson civil trial in 1996.

Initially, when I heard what E! was doing, I had a similar reaction to the reporters who heard it live”¦Some sort of stunned disbelief that a television channel devoted to anything entertainment would schedule a series based on a entertainment sta’s court trial. Then, I realized this is the exactly the kind of thing the entertainment media does. For them, this is the story of the century”¦Brad and Jen breaking up * 10.

The general public is fascinated by just about anything regarding a celebrity. They want to watch their trials, look inside their houses, find out who they’re dating or sleeping with and read the police reports when they do something stupid that leads to them getting arrested.

Is it right? That’s highly debatable. Many people would lean towards saying no to that. But I have to ask this. What if Congress forced E! to cease operations, Entertainment Tonight and Extra! to be canceled and told the New York Post to stop writing their infamous Page Six column? Wouldn’t the pesky First Amendment get in the way of that? The bottom line is if you don’t like it, don’t watch it and get your friends to stop watching too”¦Then, the public will speak and all this stuff gets canceled.

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** HBO ratings news”¦It’s not good – The news is in about Carnivale‘s second season premiere and the series debut of George Clooney and Steven Soderberg’s new series, Unscripted. And if bad news makes you faint, maybe you should stop reading now. Here goes”¦

They both performed terribly, even for cable. Zap2it.com’s ratings report revealed that only 1.3 million people bothered to tune in to the first episode of Carnivale‘s second season and a combined 1.54 million watched the two first episodes of Unscripted. And that’s a bit misleading too because only 814,000 people actually tuned in for the first episode and 726,000 tuned in for the second. Ugh.

The news is not good for either show, as one might expect. There was at least some speculation about whether or not Carnivale would even return for a second season and fans of the mythical, Dust Bowl period drama rejoiced when the announcement that it would came down. After all, a show this wacky hasn’t been around since”¦Yeah, I’ll say it”¦the days of Twin Peaks. But the cast is gigantic, the sets appear to be extravagant and expensive and it just may not be worth it for HBO to keep this show on too long if they aren’t getting the eyes to tune in or the critical buzz that shows like The Sopranos and Six Feet Under receive. At least the storylines in the season premiere picked up considerably. That was definitely a knock on the show during Season 1.

As for Unscripted, this could be the second time that the Clooney/Soderbergh team has struck out in developing a successful series for HBO. Their first effort, K Street only lasted one season before the network pulled the plug. The lack of interest in this show is a bit surprising to me since the public generally likes Hollywood themed shows and stories and this one, albeit it being unconventional, is one that I thought people may latch onto, even if it doesn’t deal with the sanitized Lifestyles of the Rich & Famous version many other shows may offer.

Then again”¦after this, we may have to declare that the executives at HBO aren’t as brilliant as we have been giving them credit for. They still may be churning out quality shows that are a lot more adventurous than the stuff on network television, but without the buzz, HBO definitely loses here. I wonder what the next step for them is”¦

THE CLOSING CREDITS: I’m not committed to Committed

After all the buzz surrounding shows like Scrubs, Arrested Development, The Simpsons and even Family Guy, you might think television executives (and writers too) would get it. Whether it’s a phase we’re going through or not, I don’t know, but television viewers are falling in love with the quirky comedy where the characters don’t necessarily have to be as deep as they are in the grittiest dramas.

I mean, let’s be honest”¦the Bluth family and the staff of Sacred Heart Hospital all are unique in their own way and all bring something to the table, but we watch because their unique (but largely one-dimensional) personalities all together combined with the way the writers write the stories with the gags and jokes make a funny show.

Sitcoms don’t really need to be personality driven, they need good jokes; jokes from out of left field, jokes that make people think (and subsequently laugh at) and jokes that exploit the few obvious personality traits a character has.

Unfortunately for NBC’s new series Committed, the writers seem to be more concerned with character development instead of jokes. Maybe they think that we’ll latch onto Marni (Jennifer Finnegan, a Daytime Emmy winner for her role in Bold and the Beautiful and a former cast member of Crossing Jordan) and Nate (Josh Cooke, only known for guest appearances in various series) the same way the general public latched on to Ross and Rachel (and later, Monica and Chandler). The difference there is that the writing on Friends actually went hand-in-hand with intriguing storylines. Here, it doesn’t.

The jokes aren’t particularly funny (including one agonizing sequence where Josh hangs around with Marni’s friend Todd, who’s African-American and in a wheelchair) and the main characters are a less attractive version of Dharma & Greg, if that’s all possible. Marni is a “free spirit” who believes and trusts in just about everyone, but believes in cosmic forces as well. She also has a goofy sounding voice that’s unbearably annoying because she sounds like she should be hosting The Teletubbies or Barney not starring in an adult themed situation comedy. Meanwhile, Nate has a little Will Hunting in him as he’s a “genius” of some kind, but he chooses to suppress his intelligence by working as a record store clerk. Oh yeah”¦and he has a trait that no sitcom character needs: he’s high strung. Chandler Bing pulled it off pretty well, but he usually got some of the best one-liners written for him too. Poor Nate is just high strung and it’s not funny.

Committed‘s story starts out in the beginning of Marni and Nate’s relationship. The “new relationship glow” is obvious between the two characters as they largely get along and continue to learn each othe’s various quirks. In addition to Marni and Nate, the audience meets Jos’s friend/co-worker, Bowie (Family Matters‘ Darius McCrary) and Marni’s friend/neighbor, Tess (Tammy Lynn Michaels, That ‘80s Show, Popular) who don’t really add much to the show since Bowie is too vain to care about and Tess is too much of a mean, cynical bitch to care about.

So, what we have here is a relationship comedy that focuses too much on the relationship and not enough on the jokes and has a cast full of people who play annoying characters not worth watching. Great!

Thankfully, there is one bright spot to the show and it’s the legendary Tom Poston (Newhart) playing a retired clown who lives in Marni’s apartment in a walk-in closet. The apartment was left to Marni and is allowed stay there for as long as she wants as long as the clown (aptly named “Clown”) can stay there too (again, in a walk-in closet). The situation is brilliantly random and funny enough to latch onto, especially since Poston plays the bitter, old clown so well. Of course, the problem is that not enough of the show revolves around “Clown” or similarly random, but funny storylines. Instead, the audience is fed more painful storylines about the young, annoying couple in love.

Alas, Committed is another sitcom that has done at least fairly well in the ratings, well enough for it to stick around at least on a temporary basis as a Tuesday night companion to Scrubs. And in many cases, that’s all it needs to survive, at least on a temporary basis”¦

Hey! I didn’t make the rules. I just want to see more of the damn clown!

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OH, BY THE WAY”¦.

In case you’ve forgotten, Beth Gottfried (from IP Music and a published author related to television) and myself teamed up and looked at the television nominations for the Golden Globe awards before Christmas.

Here are predictions one more time:

(We’ll be back in this space next week to look at the winners! OUTSTANDING!)

BEST TELEVISION SERIES — DRAMA

24 (FOX)
Deadwood (HBO)
Lost (ABC)
nip/tuck (FX)
The Sopranos (HBO)

Gottfried: Lost sports an outstanding cast and gut-wrenching episodes. It doesn’t try to “shock” us by perversion (See: nip/tuck or The Sopranos) or an ultra photogenic cast. (See: nip/tuck) I wasn’t aware that 24 was still on. Winner: Lost

Coogan: I’m pleasantly surprised to see the nomination for Deadwood as the show is very intriguing but it doesn’t have much of a chance of winning. 24 could be a popular choice, but Lost is fresher in people’s minds and it really does bring a lot to the table. Winner: Lost

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BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS IN A TELEVISION SERIES — DRAMA

Edie Falco – The Sopranos (HBO)
Jennifer Garner – Alias (ABC)
Mariska Hargitay – Law & Order: Special Victims Unit (NBC)
Christine Lahti – Jack & Bobby (WB)
Joely Richardson – nip/tuck (FX)

Gottfried: I just think after years of assisting rape victims and having to bear witness to some of the most gruesome crimes, MARISKA HARGITAY deserves some recompense for her acting. Besides, I just think she rocks. If Tommy Schlame has a say (Executive Producer, Jack and Bobby) his wife will be going home with the award, but then again, hasn’t Lahti been rewarded enough in the past. She’s good, I just don’t know if anyone is THAT good. Jennifer Garner= “eh” Winner: Mariska Hargitay

Coogan: I love that Hargitay has been receiving the love from various critics not only for the most recent Emmy in this category, but here too. I just don’t see anyone from a procedural law show ever winning an outstanding acting award since the stories are so cookie cutter in nature. The Hollywood Foreign Press loves to take chances so I could see any of the five win, but I feel like they’ll play it safe here and go with Edie Falco. Winner: Edie Falco

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BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTOR IN A TELEVISION SERIES — DRAMA

Michael Chiklis – The Shield (FX)
Denis Leary – Rescue Me (FX)
Julian McMahon – nip/tuck (FX)
Ian McShane – Deadwood (HBO)
James Spader – Boston Legal (ABC)

Gottfried: Ian McShane seems like a shoe-in for Deadwood as this HBO show has seemed to receive a lot of critical praise. If not him, then I’m rooting for James Spader. That man never goes outta style. Is Rescue Me still on? Winner: Ian McShane

Coogan: All very intriguing choices as they have all done an outstanding job in their respected series. Unfortunately, every show except for Boston Legal was on earlier this year and may not be fresh in the mind of those voting. So, even though the Hollywood Foreign Press likes to go against the grain, I see the Boston Legal star picking up another trophy: Winner: James Spader

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BEST TELEVISION SERIES – MUSICAL OR COMEDY

Arrested Development (FOX)
Desperate Housewives (ABC)
Entourage (HBO)
Sex and the City (HBO)
Will & Grace(NBC)

Gottfried: Desperate Housewives-Although I have to say that this show doesn’t seem to fit in this category, unless you’re the type to think morbid=hysterical or can relate to any of the f*cked up cast. Maybe the comedic element is on us-ABC is all having a long, hard laugh on us. Yet again, Americans are the butt of all jokes, but this time, as opposed to having snobbish Frenchies snub their noses at us, network execs are now patronizing our ignorance in categorizing this as a “comedy!” Winner: Desperate Housewives

Coogan: I have to agree with my partner here. Why is Desperate Housewives nominated as a comedy? Is it because this could be clarified as a parody of how nice and gentle suburban housewives and their lives in the middle of nowhere are? Either way, it comes down to the gang on Wisteria Lane and Arrested Development I would think. Will the critics pick the show with more viewers or the show that’s already won an Emmy? I’m thinking it’s Emmy time baby. Winner: Arrested Development

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BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS IN A TELEVISION SERIES – MUSICAL OR COMEDY

Marcia Cross – Desperate Housewives (ABC)
Teri Hatcher – Desperate Housewives (ABC)
Felicity Huffman – Desperate Housewives (ABC)
Debra Messing – Will & Grace (NBC)
Sarah Jessica Parker – Sex and the City (HBO)

Gottfried: Marcia Cross will win for this. Although, Teri Hatcher and Felicity Huffman (costars) were also nominated and are great actors in their own right, Cross stands out somehow. It’s that loveable Bree. If Sarah Jessica Parker wins again, I’m shooting myself. Seriously. Winner: Marcia Cross

Coogan: Everyone on Desperate Housewives is outstanding and everyone who was nominated definitely deserved the honor. To me it comes down to Cross and Huffman who probably have to stretch the farthest to get good performances. And who’s the more psychotic? Cross’s Bree is crazy period. Huffman’s Lynette needs her kids’ ADD medication to get that way. So, Bree wins! Winner: Marcia Cross

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BEST MINI-SERIES OR MOTION PICTURE MADE FOR TELEVISION

American Family — Journey of Dreams (PBS)
Iron Jawed Angels (HBO)
The Life and Death of Peter Sellers (HBO)
The Lion in Winter (Showtime)
Something the Lord Made (HBO)

Gottfried: Something the Lord Made – I’m entirely guessing on this one. While I do watch a lot of TV, I don’t really watch many HBO or Showtime made-for-TV movies. The only one I saw of these was the Peter Sellers one and that one just blew rhino chunks. Winner: Something the Lord Made

Coogan: Thank you for that graphic description Beth”¦I think timing is an issue with this award too. Iron Jawed Angels debuted almost A YEAR AGO and is only rerun occasionally on HBO. How is it going to get remembered? Anyway, I’m in Bet’s camp on this one. Mos Def and Alan Rickman rule. Winner: Something the Lord Made

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BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS IN A MINI-SERIES OR A MOTION PICTURE MADE FOR TELEVISION

Glenn Close – The Lion in Winter (Showtime)
Blythe Danner – Back When We Were Grownups (CBS)
Julianna Marguiles – The Grid (TNT)
Miranda Richardson – The Lost Prince (BBC)
Hilary Swank – Iron Jawed Angels (HBO)

Gottfried: I’m gonna go with Hilary Swank. She seems to have made critically acclaimed choices yet again this year and further expanded her repertoire in the new Million Dollar Baby by playing a she-man who challenges societal taboos. Ah, we shouldn’t be so hard on her. After all, she’s found her Million Dollar Cash Cow. Winner: Hilary Swank

Coogan: Beth, you realize she’s up for her role in Iron Jawed Angels, here, right? Since the Hollywood Foreign Press has recognized the work the BBC has done before (The Office for starters) I’m going to go on a limb and go with Richardson despite the fact that the BBC special came out very early. Winner: Miranda Richardson

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BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTOR IN A MINI-SERIES OR A MOTION PICTURE MADE FOR TELEVISION

Mos Def – Something the Lord Made (HBO)
Jamie Foxx – Redemption (FX)
William H. Macy – The Wool Cap (TNT)
Geoffrey Rush – The Life and Death of Peter Sellers (HBO)
Patrick Stewart – The Lion in Winter (Showtime)

Gottfried: Geoffrey Rush played like a gazillion people (some dressed in drag) in this film. If that ain’t superior acting, I don’t know what is. Just please don’t make me watch it ever again. Winner: Geoffrey Rush

Coogan: I have to agree with my colleague here about Mr. Rush. Though, I wouldn’t be surprised if any of these five won, especially Macy. TNT really lets him do whatever he wants”¦Winner: Geoffrey Rush

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BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS IN A SUPPORTING ROLE IN A SERIES, MINI-SERIES OR MOTION PICTURE MADE FOR TELEVISION

Drea de Matteo – The Sopranos (HBO)
Anjelica Huston – Iron Jawed Angels (HBO)
Nicollette Sheridan – Desperate Housewives (ABC)
Charlize Theron – The Life and Death of Peter Sellers (HBO)
Emily Watson – The Life and Death of Peter Sellers (HBO)

Gottfried: There’s a place in heaven for Nicollette Sheridan. She’s done enough Lifetime movies playing battered women to warrant it. Here’s hoping. Winner: Nicollette Sheridan

Coogan: I could take a real bath on this one but for some reason I like de Matteo to pull the Emmy/Golden Globe trifecta here (OK”¦so trifecta isn’t the right word, but you get the hint”¦). What she’s got going against her is that she plays virtually the same character in Joey, she’s just a lot less likely to get whacked here. Typecast much? Nonetheless, I’m going for it: Winner: Drea de Matteo

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BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE IN A SERIES, MINI-SERIES OR MOTION PICTURE MADE FOR TELEVISION

Sean Hayes – Will & Grace (NBC)
Michael Imperioli – The Sopranos (HBO)
Jeremy Piven – Entourage (HBO)
Oliver Platt – Huff (Showtime)
William Shatner – Boston Legal (ABC)

Gottfried: I’m hoping Sean Hayes gets this because I love him, but anyone in this category deserves a nod. Winner: Sean Hayes

Coogan: Piven is TERRIFIC in Entourage and Imperioli is reliably good on The Sopranos but it’s really about one man: Denny Crane. Winner: William Shatner

Gottfried: And that’s my cue to nod off.

Coogan: Good idea”¦We’ve put in a lot of work on this bad boy. Great job Beth! Hope we can do it again soon!

Have a good weekend”¦

— Coogan

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