News Nuggets: Ready for a super competitive Emmy race for Best Drama Actress?

Will this year’s Emmy Awards race for Best Drama Actress be “super competitive” and one of the hardest to predict in recent memory? Two newcomers are predicted to be nominee locks: Viola Davis (“How to Get Away with Murder“) and Taraji P. Henson (“Empire“). Two recent champs that should be safe are Julianna Margulies (“The Good Wife“) and Claire Danes (“Homeland“). After those names, there is an intense battle for the final two spots. Last year’s nominees Lizzy Caplan (“Masters of Sex“), Michelle Dockery (“Downton Abbey“), Kerry Washington (“Scandal“), and Robin Wright (“House of Cards“) could be back. Ruth Wilson (“The Affair“) just won the Golden Globe. And there are at least a dozen more ladies with legitimate chances. Film Experience

For the first time in almost 30 years, a Steven Spielberg film will not have John Williams composing its score. “Bridge of Spies” stars Tom Hanks, Mark Rylance, Alan Alda, and Amy Ryan. It is called a “dramatic thriller set against the backdrop of a series of historic events” during the Cold War. Williams is a five-time Oscar winner with an astounding 49 nominations in his career. Thomas Newman, a 12-time Oscar nominee with no wins so far, will take his place. HitFix

Empire’ first season – Click here to discuss in our forums

New Fox drama “Empire” continues its dominance of pop culture. With stellar TV ratings already, its soundtrack now tops the U.S. album charts. With sales of 130,000 units this past week, the debut album is out front on Wednesday’s new chart. The 13th studio album from Madonna is “Rebel Heart,” and it starts out in 2nd place with 121,000 units sold. Luke Bryan is in the third spot for “Spring Break…Checkin’ Out.” Billboard

The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame announces presenters for their upcoming induction ceremony on April 18. They are Paul McCartney (for Ringo Starr), Stevie Wonder (Bill Withers), Patti Smith (Lou Reed), Peter Wolf (Paul Butterfield Blues Band), Fall Out Boy (Green Day), John Mayer (Stevie Ray Vaughan), and Steve Cropper (“5” Royales). Other performers will include Beck, Dave Grohl, Joe Walsh, Tom Morello, John Legend, and Jimmie Vaughan. TV by the Numbers

Emmys movie & limited series contenders – Click here to join our forums chat

HBO now has another top flight contender for this year’s Emmy races. TV movie “Nightingale” from Brad Pitt‘s Plan B will air on May 29, just in time to meet the eligibility deadline. The telefilm stars David Oyelowo as a war veteran “whose life begins to unravel as he lives in isolation.” It is directed by Elliott Lester and written by Frederick Mensch. Variety

The Nickelodeon Kid’s Choice Awards add more presenters to their ceremony on March 28. Pop star Nick Jonas hosts with the newly-announced participants including Nick Cannon, Josh Gad, Liam Hemsworth, Kevin James, Ross Lynch, Laura Marano, and Quvenzhane Wallis. The Wrap

With the surprise departures of both Kathy Griffin and Kelly Osbourne, E! is putting its show “Fashion Police” on hiatus. It was scheduled to return later this month but will now be off the air until September. The remaining two panelists, Giuliana Rancic and Brad Goreski, are expected to be back for red carpet coverage of the 2015 Emmy Awards. Hollywood Reporter

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