Category Archives: Grey’s Anatomy

The Highlights and Lowlights of the 2007 Emmy Nominations

The nominations for the 56th annual Primetime Emmy awards have been released, and the result is a whole lot of frustration. While there are certainly some attributes in these categories that certainly warrant some sort of positive feelings, the overall impact is limited with some rather vile mistakes made by the voters. Yes, I said mistakes. Let’s take a look at the Best and the Worst of the nominations.

Best Category

Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series

This one is simple, really. While there were some other categories that had either too many familiar faces or the wrong mix of people, Supporting Actor in a Comedy gets it just right. Jon Cryer is the token nominee for the popular vote, but then you’ve got four awesome comedic talents: last year’s winner Jeremy Piven along with new (And fantastic) fresh faces in Rainn Wilson, Kevin Dillon and Neil Patrick Harris. I really can’t argue with any of these selections. I would have liked to see Justin Kirk in there, but it’s still a great category.

Runner-Up: Supporting Actor in a Drama Series

Worst Category

Supporting Actress in a Drama Series

Three Grey’s Anatomy actresses, two Sopranos actresses, and perennial Emmy favourite Rachel Griffiths. It is clear that the men are where the new talent is making an impact, because these nominees couldn’t be much more predictable. The lack of new talent (Elizabeth Mitchell for Lost, Hayden Panettiere for Heroes) is the biggest problem, and I really hope that this can change in the future.

Runner-Up: Outstanding Drama Series

Most Surprising Nominee

Michael Emerson (Lost) – Supporting Actor in a Drama

I had written off Michael Emerson, one of my early picks, after Elizabeth Mitchell failed to crack the Top 10. However, it appears that Emerson was able to make it in, and with 6 nominees in his category worked his way into the fold. This was likely supported by Terry O’Quinn’s tape, which featured Emerson heavily. It is most deserved, and the most pleasant surprise of the morning.

Runner-Up: Boston Legal – Outstanding Drama Series

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The 2007 Emmy Awards Nominations: Lost Snubbed, Sopranos Praised

After months of coverage and more than a little bit of analysis, it is has finally come down to this: this morning, the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences have officially announced their nominations for what their voters believed to be the best in television over the past year. Are they right on the money, or are they off the mark once again?

The Big Stories

– Lost and Friday Night Lights snubbed, although Lost dominates in Supporting Actor with Terry O’Quinn and Michael Emerson! Woo!

– The Sopranos leads with 15 nominations.

– Battlestar Galactica and Lost each garnered writing and directing nods on the Drama side, while 30 Rock and The Office dominated the categories in terms of Comedy series.

– There’s a lot of snubs all over the place, I’ll go into more detail tomorrow, but Michael C. Hall is the worst one. Yes, worse than Lost.

– Rainn Wilson and Jenna Fischer break through as supporting contenders for The Office, which garnered a whole lot of nominations once you factor in writing and directing.

And the Nominees Are…

Oustanding Drama Series

The Sopranos


Boston Legal

Grey’s Anatomy


Oustanding Comedy Series

The Office


Two and a Half Men

30 Rock

Ugly Betty

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Filed under 24, ABC, Award Shows, Battlestar Galactica, Brothers & Sisters, Desperate Housewives, Dexter, Emmy Awards, Entourage, FOX, Friday Night Lights, Gilmore Girls, Grey's Anatomy, Heroes, House, How I Met Your Mother, Lost, Monk, My Name is Earl, NBC, Reality TV, Scrubs, Television, The Amazing Race, The Office, Ugly Betty, Weeds

Cultural Learnings’ 2007 Emmy Nominations: Final Predictions

Tomorrow morning at 5:35am PDT, the nominations for the 59th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards will be announced. I will now put myself out there on a limb with my own predictions of whose names will be called. I’ll have all the final nomination information as soon as it breaks, as long as my plan to be online at that point in time works out. I will literally stop working to do this for you, remember that.

NOTE: Some of these predictions have changed thanks to the leaked Top 10 lists. Most have not.

Oustanding Drama Series


I think it’s the best show on television, and I think that its season was certainly worthy of an Emmy nomination. The show is unmatched on network television in terms of writing, production and performances.

Grey’s Anatomy

It’s season was uneven, but its popular support and wide-range of acting talents will be too hard for the ATAS to ignore.

The Sopranos

The show’s final season kept the buzz level high, and the finale basically clinched it: no one will be forgetting The Sopranos this year.


It’s the second biggest drama on television, and people just seem to love the show to death. I think that it is a show that has proven itself worthy in the past, unlike Heroes which still hasn’t won that level of respect.

Friday Night Lights

Admittedly, this is a sentimental choice. However, I can’t not believe that Emmy voters will find the heart of this series too endearing to pass up. With Kyle Chandler making the Drama Actor Top 10, I think the show has a shot.

Oustanding Comedy Series

The Office

Last year’s winner had another strong and buzz-worthy season. It was a bit of a dark horse last year, but this time around it’s absolutely a front-runner…but in a category full of them.

Ugly Betty

One-hour comedies have a distinct advantage over half-hour ones, but even ignoring that Ugly Betty was a charming series that features some great performances. With Becki Newton and Vanessa Williams making the Top 10, I also think this show is a shoe-in.

30 Rock

The other new show to make this list, 30 Rock is a show made for the Emmys: prestigious talent (Fey, Baldwin, Krakowski), relevant and relatable theme (Show about a show), and it’s incredibly liberal. Plus, it’s kind of also the best new comedy of the year. Just sayin’.

Two and a Half Men

The only traditional sitcom left in the Emmy race, I think that voters will trend towards it like the sheep they are. That being said, the show is not the worst sitcom ever: it’s just similar to them in every way.


While Scrubs did have the musical episode, I think that Entourage is the closest the category has to a hip show that hasn’t quite gotten its due. 30 Rock is actually quite safe, The Office is now almost too popular, so it’s Entourage that best fits the bill. With Kevin Dillon breaking the Top 10 for Supporting Actor, the show has a shot.

Extra Prediction:

The Sopranos will garner the most nominations on the drama side, while 30 Rock and The Office will fight it out for the most comedy nominations with Ugly Betty not far behind.

The rest of the nominations can be found below, with full explanations found here (Drama) and here (Comedy).

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The Leak: Emmy Top 10s in Acting Categories Emerge

Tom O’Neill at The Envelope is teasing readers once again by revealing the Top 10 lists at a ludicrously slow pace that is only dragging this thing out further. With nominations coming on Thursday, who is going to make the cut? Here’s the lists so far.

Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series

Conchata Ferrell, “Two and a Half Men”
Jenna Fischer, “The Office”
Ashley Jensen, “Extras”
Kathryn Joosten, “Desperate Housewives”
Jane Krakowski, “30 Rock”
Becki Newton, “Ugly Betty”
Elizabeth Perkins, “Weeds”
Jaime Pressly, “My Name Is Earl”
Holland Taylor, “Two and a Half Men”
Vanessa Williams, “Ugly Betty”

My Thoughts: Yay for Becki Newton and Jenna Fischer, who will duel in the battle of the receptionists. The only real suprise is Kathryn Joosten, who is always an Emmy favourite but is only credited as a guest star on DH. Very interesting, Emmy voters.

Lead Actor in a Dramatic Role

Kyle Chandler, “Friday Night Lights”
Patrick Dempsey, “Grey’s Anatomy”
Matthew Fox, “Lost”
James Gandolfini, “The Sopranos”
Michael C. Hall, “Dexter”
Eddie Izzard, “The Riches”
Hugh Laurie, “House”
Denis Leary, “Rescue Me”
James Spader, “Boston Legal”
Kiefer Sutherland, “24”

My Thoughts: Good to see Matthew Fox make it in, and there really aren’t any huge snubs here other than Michael Chiklis for The Shield.

Supporting Actress in a Drama Series

Lorraine Bracco, “The Sopranos”
S. Epatha Merkerson, “Law & Order”
Rachel Griffiths, “Brothers & Sisters”
Katherine Heigl, “Grey’s Anatomy”
Sandra Oh, “Grey’s Anatomy”
CCH Pounder, “The Shield”
Aida Turturro, “The Sopranos”
Kay Walsh, “Grey’s Anatomy”
Patricia Wettig, “Brothers & Sisters”
Chandra Wilson, “Grey’s Anatomy”

My Thoughts: Where the hell is Elizabeth Mitchell for Lost? Her performance as Juliet was the one that was supposed to actually have a chance at a nomination for the series, and she doesn’t make the Top 10 over S. Epatha Merkerson who barely does anything on Law & Order anymore? Le sigh. I’m glad to see Patricia Wettig get her due, and I like that Kate Walsh made it, but not over my beloved Mitchell. Boourns, Emmy voters.


Filed under Award Shows, Brothers & Sisters, Emmy Awards, Friday Night Lights, Grey's Anatomy, Lost, The Office, The Sopranos

The Leak: Emmy Top 10s for Drama and Comedy Series Hit the Web

Well, thanks to Tom O’Neill over at, the Top 10 Drama and Comedy Series according to the popular voters of the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences have been revealed. These 10 shows will then screen an episode each in front of blue ribbon panels, and the Top 5 with the two processes combined will be nominated. If they didn’t make this list, they’re screwed.

Top 10 Drama Series

Boston Legal
Friday Night Lights
Grey’s Anatomy
The Sopranos

Biggest Surprise: I’m much happier about Friday Night Lights making it, but arguably Rome is the bigger surprise. The show had much less critical hype and aired such a short 2nd season that it was unexpected to get much attention. It appears that it got the period costume sex drama buzz as opposed to Showtime’s The Tudors.

Most Glaring Omission: Brothers & Sisters had good ratings, buzzworthy stars, but apparently voters didn’t feel the love. The aforementioned Tudors was also quite a shock considering how hard Showtime had pushed it, but Brothers & Sisters probably deserves one of those spots. And, even though it had no shot, Battlestar Galactica deserved better. Le sigh.

Network Breakdown: ABC leads with three series, while HBO, NBC and FOX all perform well with two a piece. Meanwhile, CBS is completely shut out while Showtime grabs the 10th spot.

Who Will Do Well: Lost and the Sopranos are riding the most buzz right now, and Grey’s and 24 both submitted strong episodes.

Who Won’t Do Well: Heroes, having submitted their pilot, will be EATEN ALIVE by these other shows. And Friday Night Lights, unfortunately, might have hit a roadblock against such tough competition. But it’s made it in, and that’s what matters.

Top 10 Comedy Series

Desperate Housewives
My Name is Earl
The Office
Thirty Rock
Two and a Half Men
Ugly Betty

Biggest Surprise: Eh, not much of one. We knew there were two spots up for grab, and it appears that voters liked British comedy (Extras) and American commercial success (Two and a Half Men) out of the remaining candidates.

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Filed under 24, 30 Rock, ABC, Award Shows, Brothers & Sisters, Desperate Housewives, Dexter, Emmy Awards, FOX, Friday Night Lights, Grey's Anatomy, Heroes, House, How I Met Your Mother, Lost, My Name is Earl, NBC, Scrubs, Television, The Office, The Sopranos, Ugly Betty, Weeds

The 8+ Best Episode Submissions for the 2007 Emmy Awards

So yesterday I shed some light on some of the worst Emmy submissions that could make or break potential nominees. And, through some discussions over at the Gold Derby forums, it is clear that some people actually submitted quite well, and maybe they should be highlighted as well. Since I’m all for equal opportunity Emmy coverage, let’s spend some time investigating who understands this Emmy process well enough to submit powerhouse episodes worthy of consideration.

Elizabeth Mitchell “One of Us”

As Juliet on Lost, Mitchell received two flashbacks that turned her character from recurring Other to full blown cast member. “One of Us”, however, was the easy choice: she has highly emotional scenes on both the present and the past, and it sheds a lot of light on her character that she embraces with a nuanced performance.

Cultural Learnings’ FYC: Elizabeth Mitchell

How I Met Your Mother and Cobie Smulders “Slap Bet”

Robin Sparkles was the absolute best thing to happen to How I Met Your Mother, and Supporting Actress candidate Cobie Smulders, in terms of its Emmy chances. Both are unlikely to break the Top 10 (The show itself has an outside shot), but this episode’s conclusion and build-up are irresistible.

Cultural Learnings’ FYC: Cobie Smulders

Steve Carell “Business School”

The star of The Office picked poorly last year, selecting the episode where he grilled his foot. There he was unsympathetic and annoying. In Business School, Michael gets to interact with the public (Always a plus), argues with Ryan (Another good relationship for his character), and his moment with Pam at episode’s end perfectly encapsulates why Michael, despite being flawed, is still a good boss in the end. Perfect submission.

Cultural Learnings’ FYC: Steve Carell

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Character Suicide: Considering Why Isaiah Washington was Fired from ‘Grey’s Anatomy’

When we last left ABC’s Grey’s Anatomy, Dr. Preston Burke had left his fiance at the altar and had moved out of their shared apartment. As the source of a great deal of controversy over the past year thanks to the use of a hateful slur against gay castmate T.R. Knight, actor Isaiah Washington‘s job was often in jeopardy in the eyes of television media, but Shonda Rhimes always stuck by her star. With the season over, however, that has changed: as of this moment, Isaiah Washington has been fired from Grey’s Anatomy.

There is something fascinating about this whole saga, and I think that it goes beyond the question of homosexual actors in hollywood. Over the past year it seems like “Coming Out” is becoming standard practice: Lance Bass, Neil Patrick Harris, T.R. Knight and most recently David Hyde Pierce have all done so. T.R. Knight, however, was the only one to really be forced out of the closet thanks to a tabloid story, which makes him the most distinctive case. Despite a much more open society, it seems being gay is still seen as an oddity, as something that (when revealed) changes everything. Washington’s use of the ‘f-word’ was certainly an instigative act that resulted in him going into counseling and taping a PSA on the subject of equality.

The media has beaten this angle of the story to death, although not unjustly so. Washington’s statement was hurtful, juvenile, and unacceptable, and if this is punishment for that act then there is reason to be pleased with this retribution. However, I think that Washington’s problems did not stop there, and that as an individual his actions AFTER the event have gone somewhat unanalyzed. If you are Shonda Rhimes, how do you handle an actor whose actions off-screen affect his on-screen character to the point of overshadowing the show itself? And, if you’re that actor, how could you possibly return to work in that scenario? It’s an important question, and one that has been raised in the past. And one that Cultural Learnings will now analyze.

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Filed under ABC, Grey's Anatomy, Lost, Television

The Results are In: Nielsen Ratings Data for 2006/2007 Season

This list is long. This list is extensive. And I really want to know what this list means. Nielsen (Via The Hollywood Reporter) has released their data for every single TV show that aired in America this past season. It tells us where our favourite shows ranked, where much maligned shows ranked, and how scripted drama did against reality programming.And, it raises a lot of questions about this data that I think Nielsen might not want to answer.

For instance, does this list include repeats in its viewers averages? Because that’s the only way CSI (#4) should be beating Grey’s Anatomy (#6) in total viewers by my calculations. If so, this gives a distinct advantage to shows without repeats (Reality Shows, Lost, Heroes, etc.) or those shows which repeat extremely well (House, CSIs, etc.)

The major thing to watch for in the list is the difference between 18-49 numbers and viewership rankings. It rises many shows into positions of being picked up, even with lacklustre performances in viewers. Some show, like 30 Rock, are in the doldrums in terms of total viewers but shoot up into the Top 75 with adults 18-49, which got it renewed for a second season.

After a few formatting errors, I’ve realized that getting it to highlight canceled shows would drive me crazy, so just refer to your memory. And, either way, some will seem a bit strange. However, remember that these are averages, and don’t reflect ratings dropoff in their later episodes.

This is the case for Jericho, which clearly performed better than many canceled shows. However, CBS did cancel the better rated Close to Home airing on Fridays, so it’s not as if Jericho was the only victim of CBS’ extremely highly place high bar. It might as well be a pole vault at this point.

With the 2006/2007 season over, the industry trades are going right for ratings as their barometer of success. Outside of this post, I’m unlikely to do so as I go into my own year in review season. For now, check out the ratings for all of the dirt, and stay tuned for less quantitative analysis at Cultural Learnings.

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The Three Timeslots to Watch on the 2007/2008 Fall Schedule

In a final word on the 2007/2008 Upfronts, I figure it’s time we returned to the schedule as a whole. Because, let’s face it, some of us watch a lot of TV. And, sometimes, that TV all falls within the exact same timeslot. As more and more shows emerge as fan favourites, more and more conflicts take place. This year’s Fall Schedule has created many of these conflicts, and some of them are sure to be key ratings battlegrounds in the year to come. Which five, however, will prove the most interesting? And, as a result, which ones will be a nightmare for non-TiVo owners across North America? Well, there’s only one way to find out.

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Reviewing the Finales: Brothers & Sisters – “Matriarchy”

Two ABC finales went by over the past few days without me reviewing them, and there’s a reason for it. Grey’s Anatomy and Desperate Housewives each lost my interest this year, the latter towards the beginning and the prior towards the end. I have gotten to the point where the dramas seem like a never-ending cycle of happy and unhappy, usually remarkably quick to turn the delightful into the depressing. And, it was therefore somewhat disheartening to see that the finales of both shows tended to reflect this: Grey’s ended on one of the most depressing sequence of events in television history, and Desperate Housewives ended with someone swinging from the rafters. As a result, I can’t help but feel disillusioned with these series for taking the easy way out. They ended with cliffhangers of a shocking nature, designed to beat our senses into submission. It is therefore that I highlight the only ABC finale of the past week which handled itself with subtlety and grace, and the only one that had the balls to end happily. That finale is “The Matriarchy”, the season-concluding episode of Freshman success Brothers & Sisters.

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