And the Winner Isn’t…
The Carsey-Werner Company may be the most powerful sitcom producer in television, but when it comes to the Emmy awards, it doesn’t have much of a vote. This year, Carsey-Werner’s four hit comedies — The Cosby Show, Roseanne, A Different World, and Grand-got just three nominations: one for Roseanne’s good-sport husband, John Goodman, and two minor mentions in technical categories.
Other Emmy odds and ends:
Twin Peaks creator David Lynch set a record by winning nominations for five different jobs — as a producer, director, scriptwriter, composer, and lyricist. Other multiple nominees include Billy Crystal (for producing, writing, and starring in the HBO special Midnight Train to Moscow), Keenen Ivory Wayans (for producing and writing-but not for his acting-in In Living Color), Angela Lansbury (for Murder, She Wrote and emceeing the Tonys), Colleen Dewhurst, James L. Brooks, and the late Jim Henson.
It was a very bad year for guys named Miles: Murphy Brown’s Grant Shaud (character: Miles Silverberg) and thirtysomething’s David Clennon, both viewed as likely candidates for acting awards, were left out in the cold. However, Emmy voters inexplicably found room to nominate Edward Woodward as best actor for The Equalizier, a series CBS canceled more than a year ago. According to a network spokesman, a few leftover episodes ran last summer, making Woodward eligible for a prize.
NBC and ABC led the list of nominations with 95 apiece, followed by CBS with 73. Fox scored 26 nominations — its most ever — but 13 went to the canceled Tracey Ullman Show. The Simpsons was nominated for best animated program, but Nancy Cartwright, who was eligible for a best actress prize as the voice of Bart, was ignored.
With 361 nominations in 76 categories, some credibility-stretching choices were inevitable. This year’s strangest selections included George Burns, who was nominated for outstanding individual achievement in informational program- ming merely for giving an interview to the Disney Channel; I Love Lucy’s long-lost pilot, nominated as of all things, an informational special, not a comedy; and Olympic ice skaters Brian Boitano, Brian Orser, and Katarina Witt, competing against one another in the classical music/dance field for their work in HBO’s Carmen on Ice.
Winners will be announced Sept. 16 on Fox’s broadcast of the awards ceremony.
Donald Trump’s real estate empire may be in trouble, but the dealmaker’s show will go on. The syndicated Trump Card, a bingo-style TV quiz program, began taping at Trump Castle in Atlantic City, N.J., on July 25, and will make its debut on more than 100 stations on Sept. 10. Categories will range from history to science to entertainment, and former Miami Dolphins wide receiver Jimmy Cefalo — who has worked as a game analyst on NBC’s NFL coverage — will act as host. But The Donald’s recent fiscal woes have been echoed on the show: Winners’ takes have been slashed from $25,000 in the pilot episode to a maximum of $10,000.
Name That Show
Every year, network producers struggle to get their new shows on the fall schedule and then face an even more protracted struggle — the title search. This year’s longest-running name games:
Sons and Daughters: CBS’ family drama was known as The Hammersmiths until executive producer Eugenie Ross-Leming realized that title sounded like the saga of ”a German munitions family.” Star Lucie Arnaz associated it with ”bad toes.” CBS already owned the new title, having used it for a flop series in 1974.
Lifestories: NBC’s new medical docudrama has gone through ”about 11” titles, says series creator Jeffrey Lewis. Among them, Anatomy of an Illness (”I forgot it had been taken — so scratch that one”); Life and Death; Body and Soul; Signs of Life (”It didn’t clear legally — American Playhouse had used it for some movie that was in theaters for about four days”), and Ordinary Heroes.
E.A.R.T.H. Force: CBS’ action series about environmentally aware crimebusters was filmed as The Elite, a title that ”did not have an adventure connotation,” says executive producer Richard Chapman. Title number two, The Green Machine, was deemed ”too frivolous” (i.e., Incredible Hulk-like).
Hull High: NBC’s teen musical has played musical titles — High, Street High, Hull Street High, High Street, and Hell Street High have all been in contention. What’s the final title? Executive producer Gil Grant says, ”We truly don’t have one.”
Baby Talk: ABC’s adaptation of the hit movie Look Who’s Talking was forced to shed that title when the film’s producers reserved it for a sequel.