Blog: News & Views

Contest: Predict who'll win 'American Idol'

By Marcus James Dixon
By Marcus James Dixon
Feb 21 2014 13:38 pm

American Idol entertainment news

Now that Season 13 of "American Idol" has reduced its contestants to the Top 13, can you spot the eventual winner? Make your prediction now and compete against other fans to win our contest prize: $100 Amazon gift certificate.

Make your predictions on a weekly basis: Who will receive the fewest number of America's votes? Will the judges' save be used? You'll earn points based upon the wagers you make against Gold Derby's exclusive racetrack odds, which are generated by our users' predictions. You can continue to update and change your picks before every results episode airs Thursday on Fox at 8 p.m. Eastern time (5 p.m. Pacific).

When making your ultimate prediction -- who will win "Idol" -- you need to employ strategy. Points will be awarded at the end of the game based upon how many weeks you correctly predicted the winner. Loyalty is rewarded so that if you started predicting the correct winning singer in week #1, you'll get more points than someone who started predicting the correct winning singer in week #10.

Enter your predictions center, then click on the "American Idol" button to start making your voice heard. Click on singer names to get more information on each contestant. Keep up with the leaderboards along the right side after each episode to determine whether you're among the top users ... or whether you're in danger of being voted out. And as always, join the "American Idol" discussion in our Gold Derby TV forum.



Memo to TV academy: You owe Emmys to 'Hatfields & McCoys,' 'AHS: Asylum' ...

By Marcus James Dixon
By Marcus James Dixon
Feb 21 2014 12:35 pm

Now that the TV academy has gone all Oprah on us and deemed that "Everybody gets an Emmy!" let's take a moment to reflect on one of their bigger changes -- that of splitting the top longform race into Best TV Movie and Best Miniseries.

For the record, I believe that this is the right call. It never seemed right to me that a two-hour movie like "Behind the Candelabra" had to go up against a 13-hour miniseries like "American Horror Story: Asylum." By reverting back to the pre-2011 method of splitting these two into their own categories, it'll help even the playing field.

But hey, not so fast. What about those three years (2011, 2012, 2013) when there was only one winner? Shouldn't the Emmys rectify that injustice now by revealing what were the top vote-getters each year from the losing category?

In other words, since "Behind the Candelabra" -- a TV movie -- won last year, the Emmys should now give a trophy to whatever miniseries came in first place.

My assumption is that "American Horror Story: Asylum" received the highest number of miniseries votes last year, but there were three other minis in the running (see below) that could have surprised us on Emmy night.

Similarly, since the telefilm "Game Change" prevailed in 2012, my thinking is that "Hatfields and McCoys" would have won Best Miniseries if the categories had been split.



Emmys merit many more categories than Oscars

By Daniel Montgomery
By Daniel Montgomery
Feb 21 2014 12:06 pm

emmy category changes simpsons duck dynasty

Do the Emmys have too many categories? That's what Riley Chow thinks, especially after the TV academy announced it was splitting or expanding several current categories. To an extent I agree, but is the solution to trim them to Oscars' size?

No, because there's far more variety in TV than there is in movies.

That's not a comment on the quality of either medium, simply an observation of greater homogeneity on the big-screen. Yes, there are many different kinds of movies covering many different subjects, but we can mostly agree that a movie will generally be a stand-alone story between 90 and 180 minutes. There are movie franchises that tell continuous stories, but at most we'll get one installment of those per year ("The Hobbit," "The Hunger Games," etc.).

Where there are more significant differences, the Oscars do have separate categories: for animated films, documentaries, foreign films, and shorts.

But compare that to TV, where the formats are far more diverse. Some shows are continuous or finite. Some air 22 hour-long episodes per year (like "The Good Wife"), while others might air three 90-minute episodes ("Sherlock"), or eight 30-minute episodes ("Looking").

In addition to those programs are variety shows like "The Daily Show," the likes of which we don't see in movie theaters. And programs like that are vastly different from live events such as the Kennedy Center Honors, Tony Awards, or Olympics opening ceremonies.



Why can't Emmys be more like Oscars?

By Riley Chow
By Riley Chow
Feb 21 2014 12:05 pm

That television has surpassed film as the home for quality, grown-up entertainment is not a rare sentiment these days. It seems near impossible to bring up “Breaking Bad” in conversation these days without the phrase “best ever” coming up at some point.

RELATEDEmmys merit many more categories than Oscars

Why then, are the Emmys not the big deal that the Oscars are? Why do relatively few media outlets cover them?

The Emmys are known to have much more rigorous and accountable voting processes and are comparatively unfazed by external factors, such as campaigns. There are many reasons for the lack of respect, but one of them is that no matter the quality of the work that is being judged, the Primetime Emmy award itself can only ever be so prestigious because so damn many of them are given out.

According to the Academy Awards, there are about two dozen aspects of filmmaking in which one can make an outstanding achievement. These categories are easily distinguishable from one another for the most part, acting being a key exception, where there are not one, but four categories. Still, that the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences nominates 20 performances per year pales in comparison to the minimum 96 (usually more because the Emmys allow nominating “ties”) that the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences will nominate this year. 

Without even counting other performance categories, like voiceover and hosting, the Emmys have fourteen categories -- most with six slots --to award the best acting on television. That they have so many categories to fill means that the Emmys have nominated performances with under a minute of screen time multiple times in the last two years.



News Nuggets: Is it OK for Ellen to make jokes about slavery at the Oscars?

By Chris Beachum
By Chris Beachum
Feb 21 2014 07:45 am

entertainment news nuggetsSteve Pond addresses an interesting topic regarding this year's Oscar ceremony: Is it OK to joke about slavery? He mentions that BAFTA's Stephen Fry is the latest comedian/host to try and make light of the issue. Unfortunately, the "tricky lesson" he learned is that making jokes about "12 Years a Slave" is "at your own peril." He concludes with "the ball's in your court, Ellen DeGeneres," and that "you have to tread very, very carefully" as the next Academy Awards host on March 2. The Wrap.

entertainment news nuggetsPete Hammond looks back on the historic 50th anniversary of Sidney Poitier's Oscar win in 1964. He says "it is particularly appropriate to recall Poitier's win this year, as 2013 was significant for the number of acclaimed films revolving around the black experience." When Anne Bancroft opened the envelope and announced his name for the 1963 film "Lilies of the Field," it had already been 24 years since a victory by Hattie McDaniel ("Gone with the Wind"). It would be until 1982 that another black actor, Louis Gossett, Jr. ("An Officer and a Gentleman") would prevail. Deadline.

entertainment news nuggetsMichael Musto secretly interviews an Academy member about voting for this year's Oscars. The wide-ranging chat asks about the effect of various smear campaigns (Woody Allen, Cate Blanchett, "The Wolf of Wall Street") and the choices marked on the ballot: "Gravity" for Best Picture and acting awards for Bruce Dern, Judi Dench, Barkhad Abdi, and Sally Hawkins. Daily Beast.

entertainment news nuggetsChristoph Waltz is the latest presenter confirmed to present at this year's Academy Awards. With his name revealed, it means that all four of last year's acting winners (Daniel Day-Lewis, Jennifer Lawrence, Anne Hathaway) will be handing out trophies. If tradition continues, these four performers will present the acting Oscars. Entertainment Weekly.

entertainment news nuggetsScott Feinberg offers a video interview with the Oscar-nominated members of the rock band U2. In the 20-minute conversation, they reveal a three-decade interest in South Africa and Nelson Mandela. A visit from producer Harvey Weinstein convinced them to write a new original tune for the film "Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom." The band will perform the song "Ordinary Love" on the March 2 ceremony. Hollywood Reporter.

entertainment news nuggetsAs part of Black History Month, First Lady Michelle Obama will screen the new Lifetime movie "The Trip to Bountiful" on Monday at the White House. This production of the Horton Foote play won leading actress Cicely Tyson a Tony Award last June. She reprises her role for the telefilm, which also stars Vanessa Williams and Blair Underwood. TV by the Numbers.



Emmys split Voice-over Performance prize in two: Narrator and Character

By Paul Sheehan
By Paul Sheehan
Feb 21 2014 04:32 am

The TV academy has been handing out a voice-over performance prize since 1992. This was a juried award until 2008, with mulitple winners in some years and none given in 1996 and 2007. However, only five of the 24 Emmys awarded went to narrators. 

RELATEDEmmys divide Reality Program race into Structured and Unstructured

Beginning in 2009, the category had six contenders annually. Of the 30 nominees since then, only six were for narration. The only narrator to prevail was Emmy darling Lily Tomlin who won this award last year for HBO's "An Apology to Elephants."

RELATED: Hurray, Emmys bring back separate miniseries category

To recognize this disparity, the category is being split into two: Narrator and Charcter Voice-Over Performance. 

We will be adding both these categories to our prediction center in the coming weeks. In the meantime, get started with your Emmy predictions now by forecasting what will win Best Comedy Series by using our easy drag-and-drop menu below. And join in our fierce forum debate about the merits of this split here



Good news 'Duck Dynasty' as Emmys add new category: Unstructured Reality Program

By Paul Sheehan
By Paul Sheehan
Feb 21 2014 03:23 am

The TV academy has responded to the overwhelming number of reality television series by splitting that decade-old category into two: Structured and Unstructured.

Ironically, in making this announcement, the Emmys give four examples of these two genres which have never won the combined race for Best Reality Program. Eight-time also ran “Antiques Roadshow” and four-time loser “MythBusters” are listed as Structured series while the never-nominated "Duck Dynasty" and "Pawn Stars" represent the Unstructured shows. 

The Reality Program prize was introduced in 2004. Of the 10 races to date, there has been an uneven split between structured and unstructured programs with the former winning seven times while the latter claimed only three Emmys. 

RELATED: Emmys split Voice-over Performance prize in two: Narrator and Character

Structured shows won the first three races: "Queer Eye for the Straight Guy" (2003) and "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition" (2004, 2005). 

Then the very unstructured "Kathy Griffin: Life on the D-List" won two in a row (2006, 2007) before the surprise wins by the structured "Intervention" (2008) and "Jamie Oliver: Food Revolution" (2009). 

The unstructured "Deadliest Catch" won in 2010 with the structured "Undercover Boss" claiming the prize for the last two years running. 

RELATEDHurray, Emmys bring back separate miniseries category

We will be adding both Best Structured and Best Unstructured Reality Program to our prediction center in the coming weeks. In the meantime, get started with your Emmy predictions now by forecasting what will win Best Comedy Series by using our easy drag-and-drop menu below. And join in our fierce forum debate about the merits of this move here.



Hurray, Emmys bring back separate miniseries category

By Paul Sheehan
By Paul Sheehan
Feb 21 2014 02:40 am

Three years after merging Best Miniseries with Best TV Movie, the Emmys are splitting this category into two again. This follows an uptick in the production of longer form programming that was forced to compete with telefilms for one award. 

With the return of the separate miniseries race, among the strongest competitors is likely to be Fox's "24: Live Another Day," a 12 episode version of the 2006 Drama Series champ. Its fiercest foe might be HBO's anthology "True Detective." Among the other hopefuls are first-ever minis from Discovery ("Klondike") and FX ("Fargo") as well as Lifetime's "Bonnie & Clyde" and returning favorites "American Horror Story," "Luther" and "Sherlock." 

The TV academy had axed the separate miniseries prize in 2011 after two years in a row in which only a pair of nominees contended. All of the other races, including acting, directing and writing, have considered the two genres together since the late 1970s. These categories will all be bumped from five to six nominees this year. 

RELATED: Emmys split Voice-over Performance prize in two: Narrator and Character

In 2010, HBO's epic 10-part miniseries "The Pacific" prevailed over the PBS production "Return to Cranford." In 2009, it was the pubcaster's "Little Dorrit" that won over the paycaster's "Generation Kill." HBO won Best Miniseries seven times since 1998. Even though a mini-series need only have two parts, the broadcast networks had not contended in the category since 2005 when the CBS production of "Elvis" lost to the PBS's "The Lost Prince."

RELATEDEmmys divide Reality Program race into Structured and Unstructured

In the first year of the merged race in 2011, the seven episodes of PBS' "Downton Abbey" prevailed over the eight episodes of both "The Kennedys" (History) and "The Pillars of the Earth" (Starz) as well as the five episodes of HBO's "Mildred Pierce" and the paycaster's telefilms "Cinema Verite" and "Too Big to Fail" 



Cinema Audio Society Awards predictions: 'Gravity,' 'Frozen'

By Paul Sheehan
By Paul Sheehan
Feb 21 2014 01:55 am

 Cinema Audio Society Awards nominations The Hobbit Lincoln Les Miserables Skyfall Zero Dark Thirty film entertainment news 13579086It is no surprise that Oscar frontrunner "Gravity" is the overwhelming favorite to win the Live Action Sound Mixing award at the Cinema Audio Society Awards on Saturday.

It is far out in front over Oscar rivals "Captain Phillips," "Inside Llewyn Davis," and "Lone Survivor" as well as "Iron Man 3." At the Oscars, the latter lost its slots to "The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug." 

And "Frozen" is as strongly favored to take the Animation Sound Mixing Award over "The Croods," "Despicable Me 2," "Monsters University" and "Walking with Dinosaurs." 

As a precursor prize, these kudos, now in their 50th year, have an uneven track record with only about two-thirds of the nominees going on to contend at the Oscars. 

Last year, only three of the five CAS nominees -- "Les Miserables,"  "Lincoln" and "Skyfall" -- went on to reap Oscar bids. "Les Miserables" won both awards. The rest of the CAS slate -- "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey"and "Zero Dark Thirty" -- was replaced at the Oscars by "Argo" and "Life of Pi."   

In 2011, "Hugo" won over "Hanna," "Moneyball," "Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides" and "Super 8" ath CAS. It went on to claim the Oscar as well with only "Moneyball" also contending there. The other Oscar nominees were: "The Girl with the Dragon Tatttoo," "Transformers: Dark of the Moon" and "War Horse." 

In 2010, "True Grit" edged out "Black Swan," "Inception," "Shutter Island" and "The Social Network" for the CAS award. "Inception" beat it as well as "The Social Network," "Salt" and "The King's Speech" at the Oscars.   

In 2009, the CAS bestowed its top prize on "The Hurt Locker" which went on to win the Oscar as well. Four of the five Cinema Audio Society nominees for sound mixing also contended at the Oscars with just "District 9" being replaced by "Inglourious Basterds."  




Video: Here's How to Make Award Predictions at Gold Derby

Hot Links from the Web
Gold Derby's Emmy Nominee Webchats



Join Us for Live Webcam Chats with These Top Emmy Nominees

You can participate by adding your comments or questions to the chat room that will appear on our home page next to the live-stream video.

Christine Baranski ("The Good Wife")
postponed to date TBA

Ty Burrell ("Modern Family")
Today, July 25, 4:00 p.m. PT ; 7:00 p.m. ET

Uzo Abduba ("Orange Is the New Black") 
Today, July 25, 5:00 p.m. PT; 8:00 p.m. ET

Gary Cole ("Veep")
Sunday, July 27, 2:50 p.m. PT; 5:50 p.m. ET

Jane Fonda ("The Newsroom")
Monday, July 28, 1:00 p.m. PT; 4:00 p.m. ET

Julia Louis-Dreyfus ("Veep")
Monday, July 28, 2:00 p.m. PT; 5:00 p.m. ET

Allison Janney ("Mom" & "Masters of Sex")
Monday, July 28, 6:00 p.m. PT; 9:00 p.m. ET

Gail Mancuso ("Modern Family" director)
Tuesday, July 29, 11:00 a.m. PT; 2:00 p.m. PT

Cat Deeley ("So You Think You Can Dance")
Tuesday, July 29, 12:00 p.m PT; 3:00 p.m. ET

Adam Bernstein ("Fargo" director)
Wednesday, July 30, 1:00 p.m. PT; 4:00 p.m. ET

Watch our exclusive webcam chats with top Emmy nominees

CLICK HERE to see our in-depth chats with Matt Bomer, Beau Bridges, Ellen Burstyn, Lizzy Caplan, Carson Daly, Minnie Driver, Edie Falco, Ricky Gervais, Whoopi Goldberg, Tony Hale, Colin Hanks, Matt LeBlanc, Kate Mulgrew, Jim Parsons, Kerry Washington and more.

Inside Track: Emmy Voting

EXCLUSIVE: See the episodes
submitted to Emmy judges
by actors and TV series

Every actor submits only one sample episode, which will be judged by other actors (ranging from 25 to 75 per category jury) between July 28 and August 14. TV series submit six, which will be split into three pairs to be distributed randomly to about 300 voters. We now have uncovered every single title submitted for the 2014 races. CLICK HERE FOR THE EPISODES

We analyze the pros and cons
of episodes submitted by actors
to Emmy judges

Who submitted well? Click links below to read our in-depth analysis of each actor's episode entry. 

Dylan Baker ("The Good Wife")
Beau Bridges ("Masters of Sex")
Reg E. Cathey ("House of Cards")
Paul Giamatti ("Downton Abbey") 
obert Morse ("Mad Men")
Joe Morton ("Scandal")

Kate Burton ("Scandal")
Jane Fonda ("The Newsroom")
Allison Janney ("Masters of Sex")
Kate Mara ("House of Cards")
Margo Martindale ("The Americans")
Diana Rigg ("Game of Thrones")

Steve Buscemi ("Portlandia")
Louis C.K. ("SNL")
Gary Cole ("Veep")
Jimmy Fallon ("SNL")
Nathan Lane ("Modern Family")
Bob Newhart ("The Big Bang Theory")

Uzo Aduba ("OITNB")
Laverne Cox ("OITNB")
Joan Cusack ("Shameless")
Tina Fey ("SNL")
Melissa McCarthy ("SNL")
Natasha Lyonne ("OITNB")


Photo Galleries: Oscars, Emmys, ...
Emmy Nominees: Video Interviews

Subscribe to our free news service