Gwen Stefani, Pharrell and Adam Levine Will Rock the People Magazine Awards

With awards season poised to take a break for the holidays after the recent nomination announcements from the Critics’ Choice, Golden Globes and SAG, along comes—what is to the best of our current knowledge– the very last award show of 2014.

And it’s a first – the inaugural edition of “The People Magazine Awards,” slated to air on NBC Thursday night from the Beverly Hilton.

The two-hour telecast, which will air live on the East Coast and be tape-delayed in other time zones, is billed as a snapshot of the year in pop culture and will be hosted by Nick Cannon. On tap are performances from Grammy Award winners Gwen Stefani and Pharrell Williams, Maroon 5 and 5 Seconds of Summer.

Other talent expected to attend include Jennifer Aniston, Jeff Bridges, Kaley Cuoco-Sweeting, Billy Eichner, Josh Gad, Josh Groban, Diane Guerrero, Ryan Guzman, Jon Hamm,  Sean Hayes, Kevin Hart, Kate Hudson, Mindy Kaling, Michael Keaton, Karlie Kloss, John Krasinski, Lisa Kudrow, Jennifer Lopez, Chris Messina, Chloë Grace Moretz, Elisabeth Moss, Ryan Phillippe and Kate Upton.

Not to be confused with the “People’s Choice Awards,” but similarly populist in nature, “The People Magazine Awards” will present a Hero of the Year Award to recipient Nora Sandigo and a fan-voted award for Best People Magazine Cover of the Year.

As for the inspiration behind the creation of the new awards show, one of the magazine’s editors says it’s a natural extension of the brand. “People has been the go-to brand for all things pop culture for the last four decades,” says Jen Garcia. “Who better to celebrate and bring to life all that happened in 2014 than the leading voice in the industry? Our show is created through the unique lens of the People brand: it’s celebrity, fashion and ordinary people doing extraordinary things.”

Sandigo is one of those people. She’ll be lauded for her work advocating for the rights of immigrants and their families and helping them adjust to American culture. She is the founder and executive director of American Fraternity Inc., which focuses on U.S.-born children of illegal immigrants facing the threat of deportation. Remarkably, she is the legal guardian of more than 800 such immigration “orphans,” who credit her tireless work with helping them remain in the country.

The two-hour special is being produced by dick clark productions, the industry’s largest producer of televised live entertainment programming whose programs include legacy titles “American Music Awards,” “Golden Globe Awards,” “Academy of Country Music Awards,” “Billboard Music Awards,” and “Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve with Ryan Seacrest.”

“The People Magazine Awards” is the latest addition to that portfolio and comes on the heels of two other brand new dcp-produced kudocasts—this past Monday night’s “American Country Countdown Awards” (FOX) and “Hollywood Film Awards,” which aired last month on CBS.

As for the future of this latest entry into the awards canon, Garcia says she hopes it’s the beginning of another pop culture touchstone the magazine is known for creating during its 40 years of publication. “We hope that viewers enjoy the show and we are able to build a franchise like we’ve done so successfully with Sexiest Man Alive and World’s Most Beautiful.”

(“The People Magazine Awards” air on NBC, Thursday, Dec. 18, at 9 P.M. ET/PT.)

–Hillary Atkin

Critics’ Choice Showers ‘Birdman,’ ‘Budapest’ and ‘Boyhood’ with Noms for 20th Annual Awards

“Birdman,” “The Grand Budapest Hotel” and “Boyhood” lead the pack in the just-announced nominations for the 20th Annual Critics’ Choice Awards voted on by members of the Broadcast Film Critics Association.

Historically, the awards–which will be broadcast live on A&E on January 15, 2015 with Michael Strahan hosting– are the most accurate predictor of the films and talent that will also receive Oscar nods.

With 13 nominations, the Michael Keaton-starrer “Birdman” tops the list of the critics choices with “Grand Budapest” pulling 11 and “Boyhood” receiving 8 nominations.

During ceremonies taking place at the Hollywood Palladium, Kevin Costner, Jessica Chastain and Ron Howard will receive special awards.

Costner, winner of two Academy Awards and a Primetime Emmy Award, will be honored with the ‘Lifetime Achievement Award’ celebrating more than three decades of incredible work in film.

The LOUIS XIII Critics’ Choice Genius Award, established to honor an icon who has demonstrated unprecedented excellence in the cinematic arts, will be presented to multiple award-winning director, producer and actor Ron Howard.

Chastain will receive the inaugural ‘Critics’ Choice MVP Award,’ which recognizes an extraordinary actor for their work in several standout movies throughout a single year.

“I am excited to host a night honoring some of the most talented people in the industry,” said Strahan. “‘The Critics’ Choice Movie Awards’ show paves the way for the upcoming awards season, and the best part is that the winners are selected by the very people who make a living watching and reviewing films. It doesn’t get much more competitive than that.”

Among the other films topping the nods, “Interstellar” earned seven nominations, followed by “Gone Girl” and “The Imitation Game” each with six.  “Guardians of the Galaxy,” “Into The Woods,” “Selma,” and “The Theory of Everything” were each nominated for five awards, while “Edge of Tomorrow,” “Inherent Vice,” “St. Vincent,” “Unbroken” and “Whiplash” are each in the running for four.

“It’s been a great year for movies,” said BFCA President Joey Berlin.  “Filmmakers have demonstrated that riveting, magical and provocative stories can be told in an incredible range of styles and techniques.  The members of the BFCA and our new partners at A&E are proud to salute wonderful films and performances in the traditional categories and a wide variety of popular genres including Comedy, Action and Sci-Fi/Horror.  Audiences love all kinds of movies – and so do we.”


Here is the full list of Critics’ Choice nominations:




Gone Girl

The Grand Budapest Hotel

The Imitation Game



The Theory of Everything





Benedict Cumberbatch – The Imitation Game

Ralph Fiennes – The Grand Budapest Hotel

Jake Gyllenhaal – Nightcrawler

Michael Keaton – Birdman

David Oyelowo – Selma

Eddie Redmayne – The Theory of Everything



Jennifer Aniston – Cake

Marion Cotillard – Two Days, One Night

Felicity Jones – The Theory of Everything

Julianne Moore – Still Alice

Rosamund Pike – Gone Girl

Reese Witherspoon – Wild



Josh Brolin – Inherent Vice

Robert Duvall – The Judge

Ethan Hawke – Boyhood

Edward Norton – Birdman

Mark Ruffalo – Foxcatcher

J.K. Simmons – Whiplash



Patricia Arquette – Boyhood

Jessica Chastain – A Most Violent Year

Keira Knightley – The Imitation Game

Emma Stone – Birdman

Meryl Streep – Into the Woods

Tilda Swinton – Snowpiercer



Ellar Coltrane – Boyhood

Ansel Elgort – The Fault in Our Stars

Mackenzie Foy – Interstellar

Jaeden Lieberher – St. Vincent

Tony Revolori – The Grand Budapest Hotel

Quvenzhane Wallis – Annie

Noah Wiseman – The Babadook





The Grand Budapest Hotel

The Imitation Game

Into the Woods




Wes Anderson – The Grand Budapest Hotel

Ava DuVernay – Selma

David Fincher – Gone Girl

Alejandro G. Inarritu – Birdman

Angelina Jolie – Unbroken

Richard Linklater – Boyhood



Birdman – Alejandro G. Inarritu, Nicolas Giacobone, Alexander Dinelaris, Jr., Armando Bo

Boyhood – Richard Linklater

The Grand Budapest Hotel – Wes Anderson, Hugo Guinness

Nightcrawler – Dan Gilroy

Whiplash – Damien Chazelle



Gone Girl – Gillian Flynn

The Imitation Game – Graham Moore

Inherent Vice – Paul Thomas Anderson

The Theory of Everything – Anthony McCarten

Unbroken – Joel Coen & Ethan Coen, Richard LaGravenese, William Nicholson

Wild – Nick Hornby



Birdman – Emmanuel Lubezki

The Grand Budapest Hotel – Robert Yeoman

Interstellar – Hoyte Van Hoytema

Mr. Turner – Dick Pope

Unbroken – Roger Deakins



Birdman – Kevin Thompson/Production Designer, George DeTitta Jr./Set Decorator

The Grand Budapest Hotel – Adam Stockhausen/Production Designer, Anna Pinnock/Set Decorator

Inherent Vice – David Crank/Production Designer, Amy Wells/Set Decorator

Interstellar – Nathan Crowley/Production Designer, Gary Fettis/Set Decorator

Into the Woods – Dennis Gassner/Production Designer, Anna Pinnock/Set Decorator

Snowpiercer – Ondrej Nekvasil/Production Designer, Beatrice Brentnerova/Set Decorator



Birdman – Douglas Crise, Stephen Mirrione

Boyhood – Sandra Adair

Gone Girl – Kirk Baxter

Interstellar – Lee Smith

Whiplash – Tom Cross



The Grand Budapest Hotel – Milena Canonero

Inherent Vice – Mark Bridges

Into the Woods – Colleen Atwood

Maleficent – Anna B. Sheppard

Mr. Turner – Jacqueline Durran




Guardians of the Galaxy

The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies

Into the Woods




Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

Edge of Tomorrow

Guardians of the Galaxy

The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies




Big Hero 6

The Book of Life

The Boxtrolls

How to Train Your Dragon 2

The Lego Movie



American Sniper

Captain America: The Winter Soldier

Edge of Tomorrow


Guardians of the Galaxy



Bradley Cooper – American Sniper

Tom Cruise – Edge of Tomorrow

Chris Evans – Captain America: The Winter Soldier

Brad Pitt – Fury

Chris Pratt – Guardians of the Galaxy


Emily Blunt – Edge of Tomorrow

Scarlett Johansson – Lucy

Jennifer Lawrence – The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1

Zoe Saldana – Guardians of the Galaxy

Shailene Woodley – Divergent




The Grand Budapest Hotel

St. Vincent

Top Five

22 Jump Street



Jon Favreau – Chef

Ralph Fiennes – The Grand Budapest Hotel

Michael Keaton – Birdman

Bill Murray – St. Vincent

Chris Rock – Top Five

Channing Tatum – 22 Jump Street



Rose Byrne – Neighbors

Rosario Dawson – Top Five

Melissa McCarthy – St. Vincent

Jenny Slate – Obvious Child

Kristen Wiig – The Skeleton Twins



The Babadook

Dawn of the Planet of the Apes



Under the Skin



Force Majeure



Two Days, One Night

Wild Tales




Glen Campbell: I’ll Be Me

Jodorowsky’s Dune

Last Days in Vietnam

Life Itself

The Overnighters



Big Eyes – Lana Del Rey – Big Eyes

Everything Is Awesome – Jo Li and the Lonely Island – The Lego Movie

Glory – Common/John Legend – Selma

Lost Stars – Keira Knightley – Begin Again

Yellow Flicker Beat – Lorde – The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1



Alexandre Desplat – The Imitation Game

Johann Johannsson – The Theory of Everything

Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross – Gone Girl

Antonio Sanchez – Birdman

Hans Zimmer – Interstellar








  1. Best Comedy
  2. Best Actor in a Comedy – Channing Tatum



  1. Best Action Movie
  2. Best Actor in an Action Movie – Bradley Cooper



  1. Best Young Actor/Actress – Quvenzhane Wallis



  1. Best Young Actor/Actress – Noah Wiseman
  2. Best Sci-fi/Horror Movie



  1. Best Song – “Lost Stars” by Keira Knightley



  1. Best Song – “Big Eyes” by Lana Del Rey


BIG HERO 6 (1)

  1. Best Animated Feature



  1. Best Picture
  2. Best Actor – Michael Keaton
  3. Best Supporting Actor – Edward Norton
  4. Best Supporting Actress – Emma Stone
  5. Best Acting Ensemble
  6. Best Director – Alejandro G. Inarritu
  7. Best Original Screenplay – Alejandro G. Inarritu, Nicolas Giacobone, Alexander Dinelaris, Jr., Armando Bo
  8. Best Cinematography – Emmanuel Lubezki
  9. Best Art Direction -  Kevin Thompson/Production Designer, George DeTitta Jr./Set Decorator
  10. Best Editing – Douglas Crise, Stephen Mirrione
  11. Best Comedy
  12. Best Actor in a Comedy – Michael Keaton
  13. Best Score – Antonio Sanchez



  1. Best Animated Feature



  1. Best Animated Feature



  1. Best Picture
  2. Best Supporting Actor – Ethan Hawke
  3. Best Supporting Actress – Patricia Arquette
  4. Best Young Actor/Actress – Ellar Coltrane
  5. Best Acting Ensemble
  6. Best Director – Richard Linklater
  7. Best Original Screenplay – Richard Linklater
  8. Best Editing – Sandra Adair



  1. Best Action Movie
  2. Best Actor in an Action Movie – Chris Evans


CAKE (1)

  1. Best Actress – Jennifer Aniston


CHEF (1)

  1. Best Actor in a Comedy – Jon Favreau



  1. Best Documentary Feature



  1. Best Visual Effects
  2. Best Sci-fi/Horror Movie



  1. Best Actress in an Action Movie – Shailene Woodley



  1. Best Visual Effects
  2. Best Action Movie
  3. Best Actor in an Action Movie – Tom Cruise
  4. Best Actress in an Action Movie – Emily Blunt



  1. Best Young Actor/Actress – Ansel Elgort



  1. Best Foreign Language Film



  1. Best Supporting Actor – Mark Ruffalo
  2. Best Hair & Makeup


FURY (2)

  1. Best Action Movie
  2. Best Actor in an Action Movie – Brad Pitt



  1. Best Documentary Feature



  1. Best Picture
  2. Best Actress – Rosamund Pike
  3. Best Director – David Fincher
  4. Best Adapted Screenplay – Gillian Flynn
  5. Best Editing – Kirk Baxter
  6. Best Score – Trent Reznor, Atticus Ross



  1. Best Picture
  2. Best Actor – Ralph Fiennes
  3. Best Young Actor/Actress – Tony Revolori
  4. Best Acting Ensemble
  5. Best Director – Wes Anderson
  6. Best Original Screenplay – Wes Andreson, Hugo Guinness
  7. Best Cinematography – Robert Yeoman
  8. Best Art Direction – Adam Stockhausen/Production Designer, Anna Pinnock/Set Decorator
  9. Best Costume Design – Milena Canonero
  10. Best Comedy
  11. Best Actor in a Comedy – Ralph Fiennes



  1. Best Hair & Makeup
  2. Best Visual Effects
  3. Best Action Movie
  4. Best Actor in an Action Movie – Chris Pratt
  5. Best Actress in an Action Movie – Zoe Saldana



  1. Best Hair & Makeup
  2. Best Visual Effects



  1. Best Animated Feature



  1. Best Actress in an Action Movie – Jennifer Lawrence
  2. Best Song – “Yellow Flicker Beat” by Lorde


IDA (1)

  1. Best Foreign Language Film



  1. Best Picture
  2. Best Actor – Benedict Cumberbatch
  3. Best Supporting Actress – Keira Knightley
  4. Best Acting Ensemble
  5. Best Adapted Screenplay – Graham Moore
  6. Best Score – Alexandre Desplat



  1. Best Supporting Actor – Josh Brolin
  2. Best Adapted Screenplay – Paul Thomas Anderson
  3. Best Art Direction – David Crank/Production Designer, Amy Wells/Set Decorator
  4. Best Costume Design – Mark Bridges



  1. Best Young Actor/Actress – Mackenzie Foy
  2. Best Cinematography – Hoyte Van Hoytema
  3. Best Art Direction – Nathan Crowley/Production Designer, Gary Fettis/Set Decorator
  4. Best Editing – Lee Smith
  5. Best Visual Effects
  6. Best Sci-fi/Horror Movie
  7. Best Score – Hans Zimmer



  1. Best Supporting Actress – Meryl Streep
  2. Best Acting Ensemble
  3. Best Art Direction – Dennis Gassner/Production Designer, Anna Pinnock/Set Decorator
  4. Best Costume Design – Colleen Atwood
  5. Best Hair & Makeup



  1. Best Documentary Feature



  1. Best Supporting Actor – Robert Duvall



  1. Best Documentary Feature



  1. Best Animated Feature
  2. Best Song – “Everything Is Awesome” by Jo Li and the Lonely Island



  1. Best Foreign Language Film



  1. Best Documentary Feature


LUCY (1)

  1. Best Actress in an Action Movie – Scarlett Johansson



  1. Best Costume Design – Anna B. Sheppard
  2. Best Hair & Makeup



  1. Best Supporting Actress – Jessica Chastain



  1. Best Cinematography – Dick Pope
  2. Best Costume Design – Jacqueline Durran



  1. Best Actress in a Comedy – Rose Byrne



  1. Best Picture
  2. Best Actor – Jake Gyllenhaal
  3. Best Original Screenplay – Dan Gilroy



  1. Best Actress in a Comedy – Jenny Slate



  1. Best Documentary Feature



  1. Best Picture
  2. Best Actor – David Oyelowo
  3. Best Acting Ensemble
  4. Best Director – Ava DuVernay
  5. Best Song – “Glory” by Common/John Legend



  1. Best Actress in a Comedy – Kristen Wiig



  1. Best Supporting Actress – Tilda Swinton
  2. Best Art Direction – Ondrej Nekvasil/Production Designer, Beatrice Brentnerova/Set Decorator
  3. Best Sci-fi/Horror Movie



  1. Best Young Actor/Actress – Jaeden Lieberher
  2. Best Comedy
  3. Best Actor in a Comedy – Bill Murray
  4. Best Actress in a Comedy – Melissa McCarthy



  1. Best Actress – Julianne Moore



  1. Best Picture
  2. Best Actor – Eddie Redmayne
  3. Best Actress – Felicity Jones
  4. Best Adapted Screenplay – Anthony McCarten
  5. Best Score – Johann Johannson



  1. Best Comedy
  2. Best Actor in a Comedy – Chris Rock
  3. Best Actress in a Comedy – Rosario Dawson



  1. Best Actress – Marion Cotillard
  2. Best Foreign Language Film



  1. Best Picture
  2. Best Director – Angelina Jolie
  3. Best Adapted Screenplay – Joel Coen & Ethan Coen, Richard LaGravenese, William Nicholson
  4. Best Cinematography – Roger Deakins



  1. Best Sci-fi/Horror Movie



  1. Best Picture
  2. Best Supporting Actor – J.K. Simmons
  3. Best Original Screenplay – Damien Chazelle
  4. Best Editing – Tom Cross


WILD (2)

  1. Best Actress – Reese Witherspoon
  2. Best Adapted Screenplay – Nick Hornby



  1. Best Foreign Language Film

The 20th Annual Critics’ Choice Movie Awards will be broadcast live on A&E from the Hollywood Palladium on January 15th at 9pm ET/ 6pm PT, the day the Academy Award nominations are announced.  This is the first year that the BFCA will partner with A&E to broadcast the show.

–Hillary Atkin

Christian Bale as Moses Powers ‘Exodus: Gods and Kings’

The opulence, sophistication and the sheer spectacle of ancient Egypt as the backdrop for one of the most resonant tales in the Old Testament is brought to vivid, 3-D life by director Ridley Scott in “Exodus: Gods and Kings.”
It’s the story of Moses, played evocatively here by Christian Bale, who was raised into a life of Egyptian privilege and “knighthood” before learning he is actually the son of Hebrew slaves and is exiled to the desert by Ramses, (Joel Edgerton) the Pharoah’s son and a rival for the ruler’s attention and affection.
With a gritty realism and an unexpected depiction of the character of God, Moses takes his place as leader of the Jewish people to deliver them from slavery in Egypt, sacrificing for a time the family life he’s created.
The religious may find the film not faithful enough to scripture. The secular will enjoy the dramatic interpretation of a story for the ages, complete with vivid and haunting imagery of the ten plagues.

Breaking the Code: Benedict Cumberbatch Shines in ‘The Imitation Game’

Opening in just four New York and Los Angeles theaters over the Thanksgiving weekend to extremely strong box office, “The Imitation Game” is clearly making its mark as a Best Picture contender.

Set mainly during World War II, but going back in time to the 1930s and forward into the 1950s, the film stars Benedict Cumberbatch as the genius mathematician Alan Turing working to break a secret Nazi communications code called Enigma for Great Britain’s intelligence service.
His methodology initially alienates superiors and coworkers but he gets the backing of Winston Churchill and the affection of a rare female math prodigy portrayed by Keira Knightley in one of the most affecting roles she’s ever played.

Directed by Morten Tyldum with a screenplay by Graham Moore, “The Imitation Game” is a riveting biopic that deserves all the attention it will accumulate.
But the Turning story is so much more than a war thriller. It brings to life his contributions to computer science and the sad ending to what more he might have accomplished had he not been persecuted for homosexual acts after the war.

Redmayne, Jones Reach for the Stars in ‘The Theory of Everything’

As we move deeper into the heart of awards season, you will be hearing more and more about British actors Eddie Redmayne and Felicity Jones, and for very good reason. In “The Theory of Everything,” both are equal parts spellbinding, charismatic and heartbreaking as they portray the time and space of a relationship that not only shaped two individuals and their families but the entire universe of astrophysics.

As the legendary, brilliant scientist Stephen Hawking, Redmayne brings to cinematic life the time before he was struck with Lou Gehrig’s disease– and given just two years to live. Playing Jane Wilde, a fellow student, Jones vows to be by his side throughout the unknown challenges that lie ahead, and puts marriage to him and having children into hyperdrive. The rest, as they say, is history.

In reality, Hawking has survived for half a century with the disease, and was married to Jane for 25 years before each moved on to other relationships.

This beautiful film, with stellar performances from its leads, serves to make their lives even more inspirational.

Primetime Emmy Awards: The Past is Prelude to a ‘Bad’ Night in TV History

With the 66th Primetime Emmy Awards now down in the history books, the television industry’s highest honors will be remembered as an awards show that was all about “in with the old and out with the new.”

With repeat program winners in the marquee drama and comedy series categories, it also turns out that every lead actor and actress whose name was announced for their work in those shows has other Emmys at home to keep their new ones company. for their work in those shows

Here’s a look at the golden Emmy history of all the big winners who emerged triumphant with trophies in hand from the Nokia Theatre Monday night:

Drama Series—“Breaking Bad” (AMC)


“Downton Abbey” (PBS)

“Game of Thrones (HBO)

“House of Cards” (Netflix)

“Mad Men” (AMC)

“True Detective” (HBO)

Despite the controversy of limited series “True Detective” being in the category – and favored by many to win it –“Breaking Bad” made television history by taking the big crown of the evening home. Some may not recall that the meth-making crime drama set in Albuquerque, New Mexico started off extremely slowly, both in viewership and Emmy love. In 2008, the first year it was eligible, it picked up just four nominations and got two wins, including the first for lead actor Bryan Cranston, and for single camera picture editing. The following year, it won the same two trophies, garnering just three other nominations. In 2010, Cranston picked up his third trophy for playing the iconic character of Walter White while costar Aaron Paul received his first Emmy Award for portraying Jesse Pinkman. There were five additional nominations.

By 2012—the show didn’t air during the eligibility period for 2011–“Breaking Bad” had become an awards powerhouse and a pop cultural touchstone with 13 nominations and another win for Paul in the supporting actor category. Thirteen was the magic number again in 2013, with three more golden statuettes added to the trophy case, including the big one of outstanding drama series and the first of Anna Gunn’s two wins for playing Sklyer White. And this year, with eight nominations and a whopping five wins for its final season, which aired nearly a year ago, “Breaking Bad” cements its status as one of television’s greatest and most influential dramas.

Comedy Series – “Modern Family” (ABC)


“The Big Bang Theory” (CBS)

“Louie” (FX)

“Orange Is the New Black” (Netflix)

“Silicon Valley” (HBO)

“Veep” (HBO)

It was another history making night for the comedy series, which matched “Frasier” in taking the Emmy five times, and in this case, five consecutive years that began with its first eligibility in 2010. Since its premiere, “Modern Family” has garnered 67 Emmy nominations and taken home 18 trophies. Just for comparison’s sake, “Frasier” holds the Emmy record for most statues, 37. Still, “Modern Family” is a steamroller. None of its comedic competition comes even close to those numbers. Many critics celebrated the new blood in the category, particularly “Orange Is the New Black,” while others questioned its inclusion in the comedy mix. “It’s a wonder that we get to do this for a living, that we get to be the ones up here when there are so many deserving shows,” said co-creator Steven Levitan. And many are left wondering if “Family” can hold onto its comedy crown next year with such worthy competition, particularly the HBO laffers, of which “Silicon Valley” cracked into the elite group after its freshman season.

Miniseries – “Fargo” (FX)


“American Horror Story: Coven” (FX)

“Bonnie and Clyde” (AMC)

“Luther” (BBC America)

“Treme” (HBO)

“The White Queen” (Starz)

This category was FX’s to lose, with its two contenders garnering an insane total of 35 nominations between them, “Fargo” with 18 and “AHS” with 17, trailing only “Game of Thrones” 19 total in this year’s contest. Emmy voters went for the 10-episode miniseries inspired by the 1996 Coen Brothers film of the same name, written by Noah Hawley with the blessings of Joel and Ethan Coen, who were listed as executive producers.  Shot in Calgary, standing in for Minnesota, “Fargo” also picked up a directing win for Colin Bucksey. All of its main actors – Billy Bob Thornton, Martin Freeman, Allison Tolman and Colin Hanks were nominated. Unlike the ensemble of “AHS,” none will appear in the second season announced earlier this summer by FX in the wake of its huge commercial and critical success.

Drama Series Actor – Bryan Cranston, “Breaking Bad” (AMC)


Jeff Daniels, “The Newsroom” (HBO)

Jon Hamm, “Mad Men” (AMC)

Woody Harrelson, “True Detective” (HBO)

Matthew McConaughey, “True Detective” (HBO)

Kevin Spacey, “House of Cards” (Netflix)

Amid formidable competition– especially Oscar-winner McConaughey –all hailed Walter White/Heisenberg, who in previous outings picked up three consecutive trophies before nailing the fourth Monday night at the Nokia Theatre. Also nominated in 2012 and 2013, Cranston’s character was bested then by Damian Lewis (“Homeland”) and Jeff Daniels (“The Newsroom”) before sealing the deal again this year. Could there be any truer words in this case than, ”I did it for me. I liked it. I was good at it. And I was really — I was alive.”

Drama Series Actress – Julianna Margulies, “The Good Wife” (CBS)


Lizzy Caplan, ”Masters of Sex” (Showtime)

Claire Danes, “Homeland” (Showtime)

Michelle Dockery, “Downton Abbey” (PBS)

Kerry Washington, “Scandal” (ABC)

Robin Wright, ”House of Cards” (Netflix)

In the face of fierce competition, especially from the Showtime women– Danes has won this category for the last two years–Margulies showed that you can’t count out Alicia Florrick, particularly after such a groundbreaking season for the legal drama, which premiered in 2009. She took this prize in 2011 and was also nominated for her role in 2010 and 2012, giving her a stellar batting average of .500. Her first of three career Emmys came in the supporting actress category for “E.R.” in 1995.

Comedy Series Actor – Jim Parsons, “The Big Bang Theory” (CBS)


Louis C.K., “Louie” (FX)

Don Cheadle, ”House of Lies” (Showtime)

Ricky Gervais, “Derek” (Netflix)

Matt LeBlanc, ”Episodes” (Showtime)

William H. Macy, “Shameless” (Showtime)

Parsons’ role as Sheldon Cooper was catnip again to Television Academy voters, and his separate nomination for supporting actor in HBO telefilm “The Normal Heart,” which won for best movie, added to his cachet.  His “Big Bang” track record is formidable, with six nominations beginning in 2009 and four acceptance speeches. So are the numbers racked up by his fellow nominees in the category, with C.K’s totaling 30 noms and five wins and Gervais with 21 nods and two Emmy wins. By comparison, Parsons’ Emmy stats may seem slim, but do the math.

 Comedy Series Actress – Julia Louis-Dreyfus, “Veep” (HBO)


Lena Dunham, “Girls” (HBO)

Edie Falco, “Nurse Jackie” (Showtime)

Melissa McCarthy, “Mike & Molly” (CBS)

Amy Poehler, “Parks and Recreation” (NBC)

Taylor Schilling, “Orange Is the New Black” (Netflix)

Despite the sentiment to finally recognize the multi-nominated Poehler for the final season of “Parks,” JLD is truly the reigning queen of comedy with her third consecutive win for portraying Selina Meyer–on top of two previous comedy statuettes for her roles in “The New Adventures of Old Christine” and “Seinfeld.” She has a total of 18 nominations going back to 1992. With Meyer about to fulfill her dream of becoming the president of the United States on “Veep,” there appears to be no stopping Louis-Dreyfus’ journey of total world domination.

–Hillary Atkin


VMA Moments and Memories: It’s Still All About Miley, and Beyonce

There was no “Miley Moment” akin to last year’s foam finger twerking brouhaha, so it turned out to be a tamer night at the 31st annual MTV Video Music Awards, held August 24 at the refurbished Forum in Inglewood as Lorde, Beyonce, Taylor Swift, Ariana Grande, Iggy Azalea, Cyrus, Nicki Minaj and Gwen Stefani all performed, presented or took home the coveted Moonmen.

Oh, unless you count the moment where Cyrus sent a homeless man on stage to accept her VMA for “Wrecking Ball,” which won for best video. The idea was for 22-year-old Jesse Helt to call attention to youth homelessness in this generation’s version of Marlon Brando sending a Native American woman to accept his Oscar in 1973.

Clearly nervous, while Cyrus looked on tearfully from the audience, Helt encouraged viewers to go to her Facebook page to learn more about the cause and to donate money to help homeless youth find jobs, housing and education. “I’ve survived in shelters all over,” he said. “I’ve cleaned your hotel rooms. I’ve been an extra in your movies. I’ve been an extra in your life.”

Turns out he’s also wanted on a probation violation in Oregon which stem from a drug-related burglary attempt.

The VMAs always seem to capture memorable pop culture snapshots, although this year the show and its ratings didn’t quite live up to past glories. While still this summer’s most-watched cable telecast, viewing numbers fell to 8.3 million from last year’s 10.1 million for the original airing. Yet factoring in simulcasts on other MTV networks and Logo, plus repeat airings, viewing levels hit 13.7 million.

And the VMAs were a social media hit, generating 12.6 million tweets and 259 trending topics according to Nielsen Social. The VMA All Access Live Stream delivered 6.5 million streams, making it the second-most-watched MTV digital live stream of all time.

The show got started with a medley culminating in a “Bang Bang,” Jessie J’s record featuring Nicki Minaj and Ariana Grande, who had emerged from a spaceship for “Break Free,” before Minaj appeared to prevent a wardrobe malfunction during her twerk-fest for “Anaconda.”

As usual, the awards seemed almost secondary to the performances which included British soul sensation Sam Smith performing a straightforward, riveting “Stay With Me,” Taylor Swift doing her new single, “Shake it Off,” Usher and Minaj pairing for “She Came To Give It To You” and Maroon 5—in their first-ever VMA appearance–on an outdoor stage performing “Maps” as planes came in for landings at nearby LAX.

Otherwise, real life only intruded when Common called for a moment of silence to remember Michael Brown, the teenager shot to death by a police officer in Ferguson, Mo. earlier this month.

No mention was made of the previous night’s shooting of former rap mogul Suge Knight at a Sunset Strip nightclub during a pre-VMA party where Chris Brown was performing. A host like Kevin Hart would have gone to town with that, bad taste or not.

With no one playing host, Jay Pharaoh of “Saturday Night Live” filled the comedy aspect by popping up with impersonations of Jay-Z and Kanye West. West’s real-life wife, Kim Kardashian–who introduced Smith’s performance – appeared to love it, while Beyoncé got 15 minutes in the spotlight during a medley of numbers from her “On the Run” tour, culminating with the real Hova and their daughter, Blue Ivy presenting her with the Michael Jackson Video Vanguard Award.

–Hillary Atkin

Emmy Governors Ball: An Electrifying Kaleidoscope of Celebratory Color

Imagine putting on a party for 3,000-4,000 people who happen to be television’s most talented and well-recognized in the industry.

Then imagine doing it every year, managing all the moving parts and trying to top yourself.

That’s the challenge that Cheryl Cecchetto and her company, Sequoia Productions takes on every year in producing the Governors Ball for the Emmy Awards. (And being the best in the business with a stellar track record, they also do the Governors Ball for the Academy Awards.)

For the Emmy Awards, there are actually two separate Balls, with the first one following the Creative Arts Emmys which were held on August 16 and the second after the Primetime Emmys on August 25, both held in the West Hall of the Los Angeles Convention Center.

The goal is for all the nominees, presenters, winners and invited guests to toast each other in a memorable – and gorgeous – gala celebration with outstanding entertainment.

This year’s Ball fused modern lighting technologies with creative color concepts and a three-course dinner from acclaimed chef Joachim Splichal’s Patina Group catering, accompanied by wines by Beaulieu Vineyard, cocktails by Grey Goose and chocolates by Cellar Door Chocolates. The “kaleidoscope of color” themed bash featured dazzling displays of color throughout the venue emanating from thousands of LED lights, media-enhanced Versa TUBES and lasers.

Cecchetto had promised that the party would be a sensory delight, offering sights, sounds, cuisine and hospitality that were unique– and guests were thrilled.

“I come to this every year and this is the most beautiful Ball that I’ve seen in the venue,” said one impressed attendee at the Creative Arts Ball.

“This year’s theme and décor are metaphors for the creative excellence, vibrancy and richness of our industry and this television season,” said Governors Ball committee chair Russ Patrick.

On the menu: a first course salad of grilled peaches and heirloom tomatoes with figs, almonds and buratta, followed by a main course of filet mignon, golden potato purée and caramelized cippolini. For dessert, a contemporary scrumptious lee delicious take on chocolate s’mores designed by Patina Restaurant Group’s Executive Pastry Chef Carlos Enriquez.


At the Creative Arts Ball, Emmy winners in attendance included: Allison Janney (Outstanding Guest Actress in a Drama Series, Masters of Sex), Anthony Bourdain (Outstanding Informational Series, Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown), Bill Simmons (Outstanding Short-Format Nonfiction Program, 30 For 30 Shorts), Don Was (Outstanding Music Direction, The Beatles: The Night That Changed America), Jane Lynch (Outstanding Host for a Reality-Competition Program, Hollywood Game Night), Joe Morton (Outstanding Guest Actor in a Drama Series, Scandal), Tabitha and Napoleon Dumo (Outstanding Choreography, So You Think You Can Dance) and Tate Donovan (Outstanding Short-Format Nonfiction Program, 30 For 30 Shorts).

Other guests partaking in the festivities included Adam Reed (Archer), Amber Nash (Archer), Beau Bridges (Masters of Sex), Bob Newhart (The Big Bang Theory), Carrie Brownstein (Portlandia), Carrie Preston (True Blood), Chris Parnell (Archer), Fred Armisen (Portlandia), Gary Cole (Veep, Bob’s Burgers), James Lipton (Inside The Actors Studio), Jim Rash (Community, The Writers’ Room), Joel McHale (The Soup / Community), Jon Voight (Ray Donovan), Judy Greer (Archer), Kumail Nanjiani (Silicon Valley), Laverne Cox (Orange Is The New Black), Mandy Moore (So You Think You Can Dance), Margo Martindale (The Americans / The MIllers), Matt Weiner (Mad Men), Morgan Freeman (Through the Wormhole with Morgan Freeman), Natasha Lyonne (Orange Is The New Black), Neil deGrasse Tyson (Cosmos: A SpaceTime Odyssey), Vince Gilligan (Breaking Bad), and Zach Woods (Silicon Valley).

– Hillary Atkin






Creative Arts Emmy Awards Honor TV’s Best Artisans and Craftspeople

“These are the real Emmys. The ego-free Emmys,” shouted Kristen Schaal, part of the ensemble from “Bob’s Burgers” accepting one of more than 90 trophies handed out at the 2014 Creative Arts Emmy Awards August 16 at the Nokia Theatre L.A. LIVE.

Egos did seem to be left at the door for the 3 ½ hour-long ceremony – the prelude to the 66th Primetime Emmy Awards next Monday– which honors outstanding achievement in categories ranging from casting, picture editing, hairstyling, art direction, costume design, animation, music composition, title design, sound editing and makeup. As well, there are multiple categories for reality programs, variety specials, documentaries, Web shows, interactive content and even one for commercials.

It was a big night for HBO, which took home 15 trophies including a quartet of honors each for “Game of Thrones” and “True Detective” and NBC, awarded 10 Emmys, including five for “Saturday Night Live,” the most honored show of the night. Two other programs, “Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey” (Fox/NatGeo) and “Sherlock: His Last Vow,” (PBS/Masterpiece) also topped the charts with four Emmys apiece.

The guest actor categories are always a highlight of the ceremony, and this year’s winners included Allison Janney for Showtime’s “Masters of Sex,” Joe Morton for ABC’s “Scandal” and Jimmy Fallon for “SNL.”

John Voight gave a moving tribute as he presented the prestigious Governors Award posthumously to casting icon Marion Dougherty, whom he credited with giving him his first television role, albeit a small one, on “Naked City” and later casting him in his star- making role as Joe Buck in 1969’s “Midnight Cowboy.”

The CA Emmys, produced for the 20th year running by Spike Jones, Jr., are technically host-less, but feature individuals or pairs of well-known personages who present multiple awards.

This year, the lengthy kudofest got started with two of television’s most brilliant creator/showrunners, Matt Weiner and Vince Gilligan, handing out the casting awards after making some cracks about top talent on “Mad Men” and “Breaking Bad.”

“I see Don Draper when I look in the mirror,” Weiner said, to which Gilligan retorted, “I see this guy”– showing a picture on the theater’s monitors of Tortuga’s severed head on a tortoise shell.

Humor, or attempts at it, made the protracted ceremony seem to go a bit faster and just about all of it came from the presenters, with funny bits from the likes of Jane Lynch, Amy Schumer, Joel McHale, Nick Kroll, Keegan-Michael Key and Jordan Peele, Paul Scheer and Aisha Tyler.

“All kidding aside – which seems to be the theme of tonight– they thought they were talking to Chelsea Handler when they asked me to come,” said Schumer.

Key and Peele did a little comedy routine juxtaposing admiration for television shows with the fact that they weren’t getting paid to appear. “They picked me up in an Uber,” Peele complained, while Key, ignoring him, intoned about how he admired Eddie Murphy. “My driver was a hipster from Silver Lake. His cologne gave me a nosebleed. He asked for a five-star rating. I’m doing his podcast on Thursday,” said Peele, in an interplay with Key, getting in the last word before they presented awards in the sound mixing categories.

This year’s award winners had it a little bit easier than last year, when they were given just 45 seconds to get out of their seats, make it up to the stage and give an acceptance speech– a situation that resulted in those seated in the far reaches of the auditorium running down the aisle and arriving onstage short of breath with just a few seconds left to shout out their gratitude.

A 30-second clock started ticking this time when Emmy recipients hit the stage, and it was a hard 30. Those who weren’t short, sweet and to the point received a loud dose of playoff music, in one case, the theme to “The Twilight Zone,” before their mics were abruptly and unceremoniously cut.

But when it came time for Morgan Freeman to present the last award of the evening, outstanding guest actress in a comedy series, there was no clock running for winner Uzo Aduba of “Orange is the New Black,” the last of three Emmys the Netflix program took home.

With tears literally streaming down her cheeks, the actress thanked her mother– who was in the audience– for coming to America from Nigeria to make a better life for her family and producers for a show “that lets everyone be represented in such a beautiful way.”
(FXM will broadcast an edited version of the Creative Arts Emmy Awards on Sunday, August 24 at 5 PM PT/8 PM ET, repeating at 7 PM PT/10 PM ET and they will be streamed in their entirety on at 12 PM. PT/3 PM ET on Monday, August 25.)

–Hillary Atkin

Top Ten Reasons Why the MTV Movie Awards Will Be a Gas

What the Oscars are to seriousness and gravitas in the world of film, the MTV Movie Awards are to fun and frivolity–particularly when it comes to the ceremony itself. The 2014 edition will be held at LA’s Nokia Theater April 13, (6pm PT/9pm ET) more than a month after Oscars’ lustrous gleam illuminated all in its path.

Many of those who took home or were in the running to win the golden statue will be back competing for MTV’s version, the Golden Popcorn. Here are the top 10 reasons we are looking forward:

10. Conan O’Brien is hosting, and that guy’s always good for a few laughs

9. Amy Adams and Jennifer Lawrence could re-enact their girl on girl kiss from “American Hustle”

8. Jennifer Lawrence will either fall down or say something gross and TMI about her digestive process

7. Jonah Hill will be back in his natural element, with Seth Rogen and James Franco—and in more rarified air with Leo, with maybe another Titanic moment?

6. “WTF Moment” is the name of a category and we’ll get to re-live the Quaalude scene in “The Wolf of Wall Street”

5. Somali vs. Slavemaster: Barkhad Abdi and Michael Fassbender slug it out for Best Villain

4. John Travolta won’t be there to butcher any names

3. Shirtless and Scared as Shit are hotly competitive categories

2. We get to see Matthew McConaughey and Jared Leto together again, hopefully in matching color jackets

1. Leonardo diCaprio stands a strong chance to take the Best Actor trophy for “WoWs”

The nominations came out today and there’s no surprise that Oscar favorites like  ”American Hustle” and “The Wolf of Wall Street” lead with eight nominations each but that big franchise flicks like “The Hunger Games: Catching Fire” and “The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug” are also well recognized.

Here’s the complete list of nominees:

“12 Years a Slave”
“American Hustle”
“The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug”
“The Hunger Games: Catching Fire”
“The Wolf of Wall Street”

Amy Adams — “American Hustle”
Jennifer Aniston — “We’re the Millers”
Sandra Bullock — “Gravity”
Jennifer Lawrence — “The Hunger Games: Catching Fire”
Lupita Nyong’o — “12 Years a Slave”

Bradley Cooper — “American Hustle”
Leonardo DiCaprio — “The Wolf of Wall Street”
Chiwetel Ejiofor — “12 Years a Slave”
Josh Hutcherson — “The Hunger Games: Catching Fire”
Matthew McConaughey — “Dallas Buyers Club”

Liam James — “The Way Way Back”
Michael B. Jordan — “Fruitvale Station”
Will Poulter— “We’re the Millers”
Margot Robbie — “The Wolf of Wall Street”
Miles Teller — “The Spectacular Now”

Jennifer Lawrence and Amy Adams — “American Hustle”
Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Scarlett Johansson — “Don Jon”
James Franco, Ashley Benson and Vanessa Hudgens — “Spring Breakers”
Shailene Woodley and Miles Teller — “The Spectacular Now”
Emma Roberts, Jennifer Aniston and Will Poulter — “We’re the Millers”

“Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues” — Will Ferrell, Paul Rudd, David Koechner and Steve Carell vs. James Marsden vs. Sacha Baron Cohen vs. Kanye West vs. Tina Fey and Amy Poehler vs. Jim Carrey and Marion Cotillard vs. Will Smith vs. Liam Neeson and John C. Reilly vs. Greg Kinnear
“Identity Thief” — Jason Bateman vs. Melissa McCarthy
“The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug” — Orlando Bloom and Evangeline Lilly vs. Orcs
“The Hunger Games: Catching Fire” — Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson and Sam Claflin vs. Mutant Monkeys
“This is the End” — Jonah Hill vs. James Franco and Seth Rogen

Kevin Hart — “Ride Along”
Jonah Hill — “The Wolf of Wall Street”
Johnny Knoxville — “Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa”
Melissa McCarthy — “The Heat”
Jason Sudeikis — “We’re the Millers”

Rose Byrne — “Insidious: Chapter 2″
Jessica Chastain — “Mama”
Vera Farmiga — “The Conjuring”
Ethan Hawke — “The Purge”
Brad Pitt — “World War Z”

Amy Adams and Christian Bale — “American Hustle”
Matthew McConaughey and Jared Leto — “Dallas Buyers Club”
Vin Diesel and Paul Walker — “Fast & Furious 6″
Ice Cube and Kevin Hart — “Ride Along”
Jonah Hill and Leonardo DiCaprio — “The Wolf of Wall Street”

Jennifer Aniston — “We’re the Millers”
Sam Claflin — “The Hunger Games: Catching Fire”
Leonardo DiCaprio — “The Wolf of Wall Street”
Zac Efron — “That Awkward Moment”
Chris Hemsworth — “Thor: The Dark World”

The RV Crash — “Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues”
The Beauty Pageant — “Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa”
Car Sex — “The Counselor”
The Lude Scene — “The Wolf of Wall Street”
Danny’s New Pet — “This is the End”

Barkhad Abdi — “Captain Phillips”
Benedict Cumberbatch — “Star Trek into Darkness”
Michael Fassbender — “12 Years a Slave”
Mila Kunis — “Oz The Great and Powerful”
Donald Sutherland — “The Hunger Games: Catching Fire”

Christian Bale — “American Hustle”
Elizabeth Banks — “The Hunger Games: Catching Fire”
Orlando Bloom — “The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug”
Jared Leto — “Dallas Buyers Club”
Matthew McConaughey — “Dallas Buyers Club”

Backstreet Boys, Jay Baruchel, Seth Rogen and Craig Robinson Peform in Heaven — “This is the End”
Jennifer Lawrence Sings “Live & Let Die’ — “American Hustle”
Leonardo DiCaprio Pops and Locks — “The Wolf of Wall Street”
Melissa McCarthy Sings “Barracuda” — “Identity Thief”
Will Poulter Sing “Waterfalls” — “We’re the Millers”

Robert De Niro — “American Hustle”
Amy Poehler and Tina Fey — “Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues”
Kanye West — “Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues”
Joan Rivers — “Iron Man 3″
Rihanna — “This is the End”

Henry Cavill as Clark Kent — “Man of Steel”
Robert Downey Jr. as Iron Man — “Iron Man 3″
Martin Freeman as Bilbo Baggins — “The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug”
Chris Hemsworth as Thor — “Thor: The Dark World”
Channing Tatum as John Cale — “White House Down”