In 1974, the Oscars delivered one of its biggest surprises ever when first-time contender Art Carney claimed Best Actor for "Harry and Tonto" over four repeat nominees: Dustin Hoffman ("Lenny"), Albert Finney ("Murder on the Orient Express"), Al Pacino ("The Godfather: Part II") and Jack Nicholson ("Chinatown"). At the time, Carney was best known as TV's Ed Norton, wacky neighbor to Ralph Kramden (Jackie Gleason), a part for which he had won five Emmy Awards.
While Carney’s win usually comes under fire as undeserved, his performance is one that merits being examined closer and given proper credit. At just 55, Carney played Harry Coombes, a man well into his seventies who embarks on a cross country journey with his cat Tonto after his apartment building in Manhattan is demolished.
Of the five performances in contention, Carney’s had the most heart as he played an old man who comes to realize he can still have a big effect on those around him while discover new things about himself. Sometimes his journey is funny, other times it’s touching. Then there are those moments, such as in one of the final scenes where Harry bids farewell to his feline companion by singing "Roamin’ in the Gloamin’," that it is incredibly sad.
Carney’s skills as an actor bring all these moments home at the precise level where the emotions hit you and feel much more powerful than if it were a made-for-television movie. Others share this sentiment. Variety singled out Carney’s performance as a standout while Roger Ebert says Carney’s acting “helps the material succeed” and added it was, “worthy of the Academy Award it received.”
This year, four TV shows returned to the airwaves after being away for a year and received a warm welcome return from the Emmys. Absence does indeed make the academy voter fonder as these are just the latest in a line of shows that have made Emmy comebacks. While this quartet was only off the Emmy ballot for a year, nine other shows have been away longer and returned to Emmy glory. VIEW GALLERY
Of this year's quartet of Emmy comeback kids, "Breaking Bad" did the best reaping a series' best 13 nominations, including a bid for Best Drama Series.
"Curb Your Enthusiasm" contends for five awards, including Best Comedy Series. This laffer debuted on HBO back in 2000. In the intervening dozen years, there have been eight seasons, all of which but the first have been nominated for the top Emmy. It was on hiatus in 2005, 2007, 2009 and 2011.
The fourth season of "Damages" snared only one nomination but it is a biggie -- Drama Actress for Glenn Close who won this award for both the first and second seasons in 2008 and 2009. The show had contended for Drama Series in those years as well. After being cancelled by FX after its third year, it was picked up for two final seasons by DirecTV, the same satellite provider that saved NBC's "Friday Night Lights." The delay between its third and fourth seasons left the series ineligible in 2011.
In a video chat with Gold Derby, she recalled, "It's like a whirlwind. You can't even imagine what it feels like. It just blew me away that they called my name. I think I blacked out. I have no idea what I said."
She has been a recurring guest on the medical drama "Grey's Anatomy" since season two, appearing as Adele Webber, the wife of the hospital's chief of surgery (James Pickens Jr.). For the past two years, Webber has suffered from Alzheimer's. During the recently concluded eighth season, she has continued to deteriorate, causing great concern for her husband.
Devine detailed her experience on the hit ABC show: "The person I spend the most time talking with is Jim Pickens because we are the two characters that sort of work together. I always say it's like butter working with Jim because we don't even rehearse. Whatever we bring to it is sort of an energy that is innate. It just happens when we come together to do the actual scenes for the camera. It's really extraordinary in a lot of ways."
New Motion Picture Academy president Hawk Koch explains his top priorities: "Number one, we've got to get the producer and the host of the Oscars ... And the other thing is really important to me is that the world understands that the Academy is not just the Oscars, that we do so many other things. We preserve this great art form, we educate, we inspire. The next generation of AR Rahmans and Chris Nolans should want to join the Academy. Maybe there's a Walt Disney out there, an animator who's going to change things, or a visual effects person, or a cinematographer who's gonna be the next Gordon Willis or Owen Roizman. I want those people to know there's a place they should be, not just in America but internationally." THE WRAP
"End of the Rainbow" ends its Broadway run on August 9: "Broadway's 'End Of The Rainbow,' Peter Quilter's play with music about the final days of Judy Garland, starring the hailed-as-incandescent 2012 Tony Award nominee Tracie Bennett as the broken songbird, will close Aug. 19 at the Belasco Theatre. The producers had hoped the run would last to Jan. 6, 2013. As previously reported, the production (first seen in London) will play the West Coast March 12-April 21, 2013, at the Ahmanson Theatre in Los Angeles. A post-L.A. tour is in the works, and a film adaptation starring Bennett is being developed." PLAYBILL
"American Horror Story" isn't Emmy's only questionable category placement: "Sure, it's a 13-episode series that's coming back next season. But at least it has a closed-ended story and none of the characters from Season 1 are coming back this fall. In the miniseries and movie category, the show is up against two two-hour movies ('Hemingway and Gellhorn,' 'Game Change'), the second season of 'Luther,' an episode of 'Sherlock' and a true miniseries, the six-hour, three-part epic 'Hatfields and McCoys.' How the voters can compare any of them -- and the performances within them -- against each other is a mystery. There are a few other category bugaboos that have left us scratching our heads this year, wondering if the television academy is ever going to tighten up the rules and get this right." ZAP2IT
Michael Musto sizes up next year's Tony race for Best Actress in a Musical: "I love predicting Tony award categories 10 whole months before they're announced because there's something so perverse about guessing who'll get the nominations before some of the shows have even started rehearsing! Even more deliciously, I usually get at least 60% right." VILLAGE VOICE
Margo Martindale cast in "August: Osage County" film: "Tony nominee Margo Martindale is set to star as Mattie Fay Aiken in the forthcoming film adaptation of Tracy Letts’ Tony and Pulitzer Prize-winning play 'August: Osage County.' Martindale joins previously announced Academy Award winners Meryl Streep and Julia Roberts. Oscar winner Chris Cooper, Juliette Lewis and Abigail Breslin. 'August: Osage County' will be directed by John Wells, adapted by Letts and produced by George Clooney & Grant Heslov, Jean Doumanian and Steve Traxler. Production is slated to begin in August." BROADWAY.COM
Lady Gaga surprisingly overlooked by the MTV Video Music Awards: "She had 'Marry the Night' and 'You and I.' The former is a killer dance track with a clip directed by Mother Monster herself, but -- granted -- it was eight full minutes of non-music footage that likely served as her reel for her first acting role in 'Machete Kills.' And the latter was a not-very-good-song with a video that was... interesting? Regardless, the MTV VMAs have kind of been Gaga's thing: she donned a meat dress, she spent her camera face-time in 2010 kicking off her 'Born This Way' album promo, trotted out Joe Calderone last year and has mega-plans to announce details on her new set some time in September." HITFIX
A burgeoning youth movement meant that perennial nominees Betty White and Cloris Leachman did not make the cut in the acting fields at this year's Emmys. While a baker's dozen of performers aged 35 and under can't run for the office of President, they have all been recognized by their peers in the Television Academy. VIEW GALLERY
The youngest of these is 26-year-old Lena Dunham, the only one of this group with multiple bids. She picked up her first four Emmy nominations for producing, directing, writing, and starring in the freshman comedy "Girls."
Dunham competes against Zooey Deschanel ("New Girl"), 32, for Comedy Actress. In the other funny categories, youth is represented by three supporting nominees: Deschanel's co-star Max Greenfield who is 31, 32-year-old Merritt Wever ("Nurse Jackie") and Bill Hader ("Saturday Night Live"), 34.
Alicia Keys will perform new song at the MTV Video Music Awards: "Alicia Keys is set to celebrate the biggest night in music at the 2012 Video Music Awards when she performs for her fifth time. Keys will debut a brand-new track off her upcoming album when she takes the stage on September 6. This will be the second time Keys has debuted new material at the VMAs. Back in 2007, Keys rocked Las Vegas as she performed her hit 'No One,' and is looking to re-create that same magic this year at the Staples Center in Los Angeles." MTV
Anderson Cooper's daytime talk show makes changes for its second season: "The program's name will change from 'Anderson' to 'Anderson Live.' The new name is the latest in a series of changes to hit the season-old production. Previous reports indicated that the show will air live instead of being taped ahead of time, include a guest co-host daily, and move to a new studio, thereby allowing the CNN host to cover live events as they unfold. Broadcasting & Cable reported that the new program will emulate 'Live! With Kelly,' the show that Cooper guest-hosted a number of times to great reviews. There is still a possibility that Cooper may name a permanent guest host for his show." HUFFINGTON POST
Max Greenfield will write Emmy blog for friend Gwyneth Paltrow's website: "'New Girl' actor Max Greenfield (Schmidt) has become virtual besties with actress Gwyneth Paltrow — and he's planning to write another blog for her website, GOOP. 'We e-mail all the time but I've never met her. I just think her website is fun! And I think she's fun!' Max told Us Weekly. Max is a new Emmy nominee for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series, and we'll have to check out Gwyneth's site for details on his first Emmy experience. 'I had done a piece for GOOP a while back and I e-mailed her recently and said, "Hey, Gwyneth, what if my next piece for GOOP was me getting ready for the Emmys?"' he said. 'She was like, "Done!" So now we are going to document it and put it on GOOP!' Nice!" WETPAINT
Will the Venice Film Festival give a preview of the next Oscars? "The 69th Venice Film Festival ... kicks off on August 29 and ends on September 8, while Toronto runs from September 6 through September 16. Since Venice begins first, we’re discussing the Lido players that might become major award contenders, starting with the most likely of the bunch and making our way down the list, this week. No likely Oscar players are hitting theaters this upcoming weekend, so we’ll tackle Toronto next week." SCREEN INVASION
Michael Musto hosts a talk for "End of the Rainbow," where Tracie Bennett discusses not winning the Tony: "I MC'd a Talkback after last night's performance of 'End of the Rainbow,' in which Tracie Bennett gives a volcanically energetic performance as declining legend Judy Garland ... mostly she was sincere, probing, and informative, as when she talked about not nabbing the Tony award for her performance. It happened when an audience member blurted, 'I can't wait till you win the Tony!' Tracie shot back, 'I lost!' and we all had a giggle. She went on to say that it's absurd to compare the different nominated performances unless all the actresses are playing the same role. She added that she got to know Nina Arianda (who won the award for 'Venus in Fur') and she felt similarly about the weirdness of such a competition." VILLAGE VOICE
TV costume designers celebrate their Emmy nominations: "For longtime film and television costume designer Ruth Myers, nominated this year for an Emmy for her tailored 1930s and '40s-based dress slacks and suits in the HBO movie 'Hemingway and Gellhorn,' that muse came in the form of the film's sleek, svelte, 5'10" costar Nicole Kidman, whom she worked with on the 2007 movie 'The Golden Compass' ... Myers and other Emmy-nominated costume designers came to celebrate the clothes from multiple shows and TV movies, including 'Hemingway and Gellhorn,' FX series 'American Horror Story,' PBS favorite 'Downton Abbey,' ABC's fairy tale drama 'Once Upon a Time' and HBO's Prohibition-era series 'Boardwalk Empire.' Co-presented by the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, the exhibit runs Tuesday through Oct. 20. The 64th Primetime Emmy Awards airs Sept. 23 on ABC." ASSOCIATED PRESS
Readers like YOU determined the nominees for the ninth annual Gold Derby TV Awards and can now vote for the winners. Log into your account and click on the link marked "Vote: Gold Derby Awards" in the left column of your Profile Page (It's just below the "Predictions" link where you log your Emmy forecasts.) To see how your favorites fared in the nominations, click on the "Archive" link just underneath the voting link. If you haven't got an account yet, just click here to register.
“Mad Men” leads with 11 nominations (its best haul ever) including a bid for Best Drama Series, which it has won for the last three years. The AMC drama has won nine awards out of 35 nominations.
“American Horror Story” follows with eight nods in the Movie/Miniseries races – nine if you count Jessica Lange's nomination for Performer of the Year. Its closest competitors in the longform categories may be “Game Change” and “Sherlock: Scandal in Belgravia,” which contend for five apiece.
Also landing eight nominations is “Parks and Recreation,” which leads all comedies. Gold Derby Award favorite Amy Poehler is nominated for Best Comedy Actress again this year along with Performer of the Year; she has three previous Gold Derby TV Award victories: two Variety Performance prizes for “Saturday Night Live” (2005, 2006) and last year's Comedy Actress award for “Parks.”
Emmy also-ran “Community,” did well with six noms, tied with “Modern Family.” “Community” vies for Best Comedy, Best Ensemble, Best Comedy Actor (Joel McHale), Best Comedy Supporting Actor (Danny Pudi) and twice for Best Comedy Supporting Actress (Alison Brie and Gillian Jacobs)
Our forum posters have been busy dishing the announcement of the nominees for the 29th annual MTV Video Music Awards. Join in the lively discussion and have your say here. See the full list of nominations here.
Below, just a sampling of their thoughts.
Gotye is in Video of the Year but not in Male Video or New Artist! David Guetta was left out of Electronic Dance Music Video. "Titanium" would have been a worthy nominee. I'm glad that "We Are Young" isn't in Video of the Year. It deserves its nominations for New Artist and Pop Video but it isn't that special.
Pretty boring choices.
I loved the surprise nomination for Childish Gambino!!!! I have a funny feeling that the winners will be like the Teen Choice Awards lol.
Not a single nod for Lady Gaga? Sad day. I didn't expect major noms but maybe some technical ones, for sure. Maybe they can use this as a platform for her collaboration with Cher, even though that seems to be more for the Grammys. Not a single Madonna nod anywhere? Not even in Female Video?
His son, known as "Hawk," is limited to serving for just 365 days as he is entering his ninth year as a governor of the academy and is term-limited for that post. He is the 32nd president of the academy, which was founded in 1927, and succeeds film exec Tom Sherak who served the maximum three one-year terms as president.
PR exec Cheryl Boone Isaacs, producer Kathleen Kennedy and writer Phil Robinson were elected to vice president positions, while studio exec Rob Friedman was chosen as treasurer and producer Robert Rehme (academy president from 1991 to 1992 and then again from 1997 to 2001) was named secretary.
Earliest Oscars Predictions Ever
Our Oscarologists are busy updating their predictions as they see more and more contenders. Make your early picks now -- click here -- and change them later as the derby heats up.