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June 26, 2008

Emmy preemptive


"Desperate Housewives" is out, "Family Guy" is in.

"The Wire," "Mad Men," "The Tudors" and "Damages" are contenders. "Heroes," not so much.

So far, it's enough to make us lean in for a closer look.

Here's the deal: The Academy of Television Arts and Sciences this afternoon released the top 10 vote-getters for best comedy and best drama in the race for the Primetime Emmys. It's an unprecedented move.

Seems that in years past, sneaky bloggers like Tom O'Neil at Gold Derby have put their paws on various top 10 lists and published them, much to the chagrin of ATAS execs who were trying to keep those under wraps until they're winnowed to the final five.


Brother blogger Ray Richmond says ATAS didn't want to be scooped again, and O'Neil argues that full disclosure of the top 10 -- asap! -- can give a much-needed boost to some of the shows that are critically lauded but viewership starved.

When we look at the lists, we see some real inspiration. "Pushing Daisies" and "Flight of the Conchords" on the comedy side and, of course, "The Wire," one of the best dramas ever produced for TV (though arguably it should've been nominated before its last season, which many hardcore fans don't feel like was its best. But hey, we'll take it).

Still, both those groups could and likely will be narrowed into something a lot less interesting. When that happens, will the shows left behind be using, "We Almost Made the Cut!" as a promotional tagline? That might be sad.

Top 10 lists of acting nominees may get released in the days ahead. Check back to see what, when and who.


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Oscar Contenders

  • So "The Dark Knight" didn't make it into the final five after all, never mind that critical and popular support. Let's just call the comic-inspired mega-hit "The Biggest Snubee."

    Here are the best picture contenders in a race that, two weeks away from the Oscars, seems to be a foregone conclusion ("Slumdog") unless there's a come-from-behind possibility ("The Reader" anyone?)

    "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button," with Brad Pitt and Cate Blanchett; the politically timely "Milk;" rags-to-riches fairy tale, "Slumdog Millionaire," Holocaust best-seller-based drama "The Reader," and Watergate-era biopic "Frost/Nixon."

    Could "Button" and "Slumdog" split the vote, allowing another film to take the prize? Doesn't seem likely. After having clung to "Button" for months as what we thought would be the Academy voters' top vhoice, our money's now on "Slumdog." Momentum can't be ignored.

    Watch this blog for updates, ephemera and all manner of postulating.

Picture this

  • Mmmmm, chocolate Oscar. Not every star will walk away from the 81st annual Academy Awards with a trophy, but if they hit the high-profile Governor's Ball they can have pastry chef Sherry Yard's gold-dusted candy version. Also on the menu from celeb chef Wolfgang Puck is tuna tartare in sesame miso cones, chopped Chino Farms vegetable salad with ginger soy vinaigrette, Maine lobster and caviar. Serve it up! (Getty Images)

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