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The Daily Beast: "Emmy Awards’ Dark Horse Nominee: Tatiana Maslany of Orphan Black"

If you didn’t watch BBC America’s clone drama Orphan Black , you missed one of the year’s best dramatic performances. My take on why Tatiana Maslany deserves an Emmy nod. Over at The Daily Beast, you can read my latest feature, "Emmy Awards’ Dark Horse Nominee," in which I offer a look at one of the year's best television performances, that of Tatiana Maslany on BBC America's Orphan Black , and state why this dark horse deserves at least an Emmy nomination. If you don’t regularly tune in to shows about global conspiracies, illegal medical research, and genetically identical clones, you may be forgiven for not watching Orphan Black , the serpentine Canadian-American science fiction drama that wrapped up its first season earlier this month on BBC America. (Season 2 will air in 2014.) But not watching this compelling and surprisingly emotional cult drama—created by Graeme Manson and John Fawcett—means that you missed out on one of the year’s most intense and aston

The Daily Beast: "Homeland Sweeps the Emmys: Why Showtime’s Thriller Exploded"

Mad Men is triumphant no more. I examine Showtime’s superlative terrorist thriller Homeland , which took home the Emmy for best drama Sunday. Over at The Daily Beast, you can read my latest feature, " Homeland Sweeps the Emmys: Why Showtime’s Thriller Exploded," in which I take a look at Homeland 's victory at the Primetime Emmy Awards last night and look at why the premium cable drama toppled Mad Men . Not only did Mad Men not win the Emmy Award for best drama, the AMC period drama went home empty-handed Sunday, leaving the 64th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards with not a single statuette in its possession. In the weeks leading up to the awards telecast, Mad Men seemed very much like a sure thing: it had won four of the four times it was eligible for Best Drama, and the odds seemed very much in its favor once more. In fact, Showtime’s Homeland—the taut psychological drama that also nabbed best-actor and -actress awards for Damian Lewis and Claire Danes—had cooled in

The Daily Beast: "Why Comedy Writers Love HBO's Game of Thrones"

Game of Thrones is beloved by viewers and critics alike. But the Emmy-nominated HBO fantasy drama is also a surprising favorite in the writers’ rooms of TV comedies around Hollywood. I talk to sitcom writers about why they’re obsessed with the sex-and-magic-laden drama, and how the show informs their own narratives. At The Daily Beast, you can read my latest feature, "Why Comedy Writers Love HBO's Game of Thrones, " in which I talk to writers from Parks and Recreation, Modern Family , and Community about why they love HBO's Game of Thrones, nominated for an Emmy Award for Best Drama. Fox’s upcoming sitcom The Mindy Project, created by and starring Mindy Kaling, deconstructs the romantic comedy fantasies of its lead character, an ob-gyn whose disappointment in the dating world stems from her obsessive viewing of Nora Ephron films. At the Television Critics Association Summer Press Tour in July, Kaling was candid about the role that When Harry Met Sally and oth

The Daily Beast: "2012 Emmy Awards: Our Predictions for Who Will Win"

Will Breaking Bad unseat Mad Men ? Will Maggie Smith be crowned a winner? Ahead of Sunday’s Primetime Emmy Awards telecast, Maria Elena Fernandez and I predict the outcomes of the top races. Over at The Daily Beast, you can read my latest feature, "2012 Emmy Awards: Our Predictions for Who Will Win," in which Maria Elena Fernandez and I offer our predictions in ten of the key races in Sunday's Primetime Emmy Awards. Will Mad Men remain triumphant? Will Downton Abbey 's Dowager Countess reign supreme? Let's take a look The Emmy Awards aren’t typically known for shocking anyone, but there are some unexpected twists every now and then. Just look at last year’s surprise Best Actor win for Kyle Chandler for the beloved, barely watched Friday Night Lights, and the look of absolute shock upon the face of Best Supporting Actress winner Margo Martindale. This year’s races are tighter than ever, especially in the acting categories, where no fewer than seven comedia

The Daily Beast: "Abbey's Road: Downton Abbey's Emmy Bid,"

Can Downton Abbey topple Mad Men at the Emmys later this month? Jace Lacob talks to creator Julian Fellowes, as well as actors Hugh Bonneville, Brendan Coyle, Michelle Dockery, and others about Season Two, WWI, and the show’s 16 Emmy nominations. (Come back tomorrow for Part Two, in which the Fellowes and the cast discuss details about Season 3 of Downton Abbey , which launches on Sunday in the U.K.) At The Daily Beast, you can read my latest feature, "Abbey's Road: Downton Abbey 's Emmy Bid," in which I sit down with Downton Abbey creator Julian Fellowes, executive producer Gareth Neame, and the cast (including Hugh Bonneville, Brendan Coyle, Michelle Dockery, Joanne Froggatt, and others) to discuss the British costume drama's road to the Emmys, Season Two, and more. It’s hardly a surprise that the Television Academy would shower some love upon PBS’ Downton Abbey. After all, the Julian Fellowes–created drama—which airs in the U.S. on the 41-year-old anthol

The Daily Beast: "6 Best Spoof Videos of the Emmy Nominated Period Drama Downton Abbey"

PBS’s white-hot British import Downton Abbey , nominated this year for 16 Emmy Awards, is now a bona-fide cultural phenomenon—with its own spoofs. From Jimmy Fallon’s "Downton Sixbey" to the Mean Girls - Downton mash-up, I take on the six best. Over at The Daily Beast, you can read my latest feature "6 Best Spoof Videos of the Emmy Nominated Period Drama Downton Abbey ," in which I take a look at the six best Downton Abbey video spoofs and discuss the swirling pop culture influence of the period drama. While devotees of costume dramas instantly fell under the spell of Downton Abbey when it first premiered in the U.S. in January 2011 on PBS’s Masterpiece Classic, it took a second season for it to truly permeate popular culture. Nominated for 16 Emmy Awards this year—including Best Drama, Best Actress in a Drama, Best Actor in a Drama, Best Supporting Actor, Best Supporting Actress, and seemingly a billion others—Downton Abbey has become deeply entrenched

The Daily Beast: "Christine Baranski: The Grande Dame of The Good Wife"

2012 Emmy nominee Christine Baranski’s character on The Good Wife , Diane Lockhart, is coming off a fierce season. She tells Jace Lacob what lies ahead for the show and addresses those crazy (and untrue) Brady Bunch rumors. At The Daily Beast, you can read my latest feature, "Christine Baranski on The Good Wife Season 4, Diane, and Brady Bunch ," in which I talk to Baranski about what lies ahead in Season 4, playing Diane Lockhart, her binary romantic choice this season, those bizarro Brady Bunch /child actor rumors, and more. In the third season of CBS’s The Good Wife, Christine Baranski’s Diane Lockhart found herself on the defense, fending off attacks from the equity partners after the suspension of her partner, Will (Josh Charles), a grand jury investigation, uppity clients, and vengeful adversaries. In the process, Emmy and Tony Award winner Baranski, 60, showed Diane at her fiercest, as she kept a strong hand on the firm’s figurative tiller, even as, in her

The Daily Beast: "Mad Men: Matthew Weiner and Christina Hendricks Dissect 5 Scenes From ‘The Other Woman’"

Mad Men ’s creator Matthew Weiner and star Christina Hendricks go deep into five pivotal scenes from the Emmy-nominated episode “The Other Woman” in the second of a two-part conversation. Read Part 1 here . At The Daily Beast, you can read my latest feature, " Mad Men : Matthew Weiner and Christina Hendricks Dissect 5 Scenes From ‘The Other Woman,’" in which Weiner and Hendricks discuss five scenes from Season Five's controversial Joan-centric episode, "The Other Woman." In Mad Men’s controversial fifth season episode “The Other Woman,” Christina Hendricks’ Joan Harris is offered an indecent proposal: sleep with the head of the Jaguar dealership association and receive a partnership in Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce. Over the course of the episode, Hendricks’ Joan battles with the decision, ultimately choosing to sell her body for a seat at the table next to the men. In Part 2 of a two-part deconstruction of “The Other Woman,” series creator Matthew Weine

The Daily Beast: "Mad Men: Matthew Weiner & Christina Hendricks on ‘The Other Woman,’ Part 1"

Season Five’s ‘The Other Woman’ was a controversial, polarizing episode of Mad Men . Show creator Matthew Weiner and star Christina Hendricks offer an oral history of the heartbreaking, Emmy-nominated Joan episode, the first of a two-part conversation. Over at The Daily Beast, you can read my latest feature, " Mad Men : Matthew Weiner and Christina Hendricks on ‘The Other Woman,’ Part One," in which I talk to Weiner and Hendricks about the controversial Joan-centric Season Five Mad Men episode, "The Other Woman." (Part Two is slated to run tomorrow.) Among the topics covered: the thematic undertones within the episode, Peggy's departure, and what would happen if the writers put Christina Hendricks' Joan Harris and Jon Hamm's Don Draper together. AMC’s Mad Men has never shied away from uncomfortable or challenging circumstances, but Season 5’s “The Other Woman”—during which Emmy nominee Christina Hendricks’s Joan Harris had sex with a potential clie

The Daily Beast: "2012 Emmy Nomination Snubs & Surprises"

The nominations are out: Homeland, Downtown Abbey , and Girls get their shot at the awards, while The Good Wife, Community, Louie, Justified , and many others are shut out. Over at The Daily Beast, you can read my latest feature, "2012 Emmy Nomination Snubs & Surprises," in which I discuss which shows and actors were snubbed by the TV Academy as well as a few surprise nominations. Plus, view our gallery of the nominees . The Television Academy has today announced its nominations for the 64th Primetime Emmy Awards and, looking at the list, you may be forgiven for thinking that every single member of the casts of Downton Abbey and Modern Family had walked away with nominations. (It just seems that way.) AMC’s Mad Men and FX’s American Horror Story tied for the most nominations, with 17 apiece, while PBS’ cultural phenomenon Downton Abbey—which shifted from the miniseries category into Best Drama this year—grabbed 16 nominations (tying with History’s Hatfields &

The Daily Beast: "Our Emmy Picks!"

While the Primetime Emmy Awards aren’t typically known for offering gasp-inducing surprises, last year’s ceremony did make an instant star out of The Good Wife ’s Archie Panjabi, who walked off with the award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series, even as most of the crowd gathered said, “Who?” (Those of us who know and love The Good Wife, however, cheered for Kalinda’s win.) Anything is possible, particularly in some key races (like Panjabi’s category again this year) that are going neck-and-neck as we move into the days leading up to Sunday’s telecast, which will air—for the second year in a row—live from coast to coast. The winners will be announced on Sept. 18’s live Primetime Emmy Awards telecast on Fox. But, in the meantime, over at The Daily Beast, you can read my latest feature, "Our Emmy Picks!," in which Maria Elena Fernandez and I offer their predictions of who and what will take home the top prizes in 10 key Emmy races. Will stealth frontrunn

The Daily Beast: "The Real Race for Best Drama: Why Mad Men May Not Win"

The race for the Emmy Awards’ top drama prize isn’t as cut and dried as it looks. Over at The Daily Beast, you can read my latest feature, "The Real Race for Best Drama: Why Mad Men May Not Win," in which I examine the cutthroat competition this year for best drama, and why Mad Men may not win the top spot at next weekend's awards ceremony. (Though it probably will.) What's your take on the drama race this year? Will Mad Men four-peat? Will The Good Wife claim the top pick? Will HBO's Game of Thrones or Boardwalk Empire walk away with the statuette? Or will Friday Night Lights pull off the impossible and finally get some recognition for its outstanding fifth and final season? Head to the comments section to discuss.

The Daily Beast: "Mad Men Up Close: Matthew Weiner and Jon Hamm on 'The Suitcase'"

Mad Men 's fourth season episode "The Suitcase" was instantly deemed a classic hour of TV. Over at The Daily Beast, you can read my latest feature, " Mad Men Up Close," in which series creator Matthew Weiner and star Jon Hamm offer an oral history of the gut-wrenching, Emmy-nominated episode "The Suitcase." Weiner and Hamm dissect six of the most powerful and indelible sequences from “The Suitcase,” the relationship between Don and Peggy, and Hamm’s performance, which Weiner called “magical.” Get your handkerchiefs ready. Season Five of Mad Men is slated to begin March 2012 on AMC.

The Daily Beast: "Game of Thrones' Creative Gurus:" (Interview with Dan Weiss and David Benioff)

Hungry for some Game of Thrones scoop? (I know I am.) Over at The Daily Beast, you can read my latest feature, " Game of Thrones ' Creative Gurus," in which I catch up with Game of Thrones writer/executive producers Dan Weiss and David Benioff to discuss the show's numerous Emmy nominations (and Emilia Clarke's snub), the casting of Carice van Houten and Hannah Murray (as Melisandre and Gilly, respectively), "sexposition," and what's to come in Season Two of the HBO fantasy drama. All together now: "HODOR!" Season Two of Game of Thrones will launch in 2012.

The Daily Beast: "The Brits' Surprising Emmy Hit" and "Inside Downton Abbey Season Two"

Yes, Downton Abbey adherents, I've got a bit of a treat for you: not just one, but TWO, features about the hit British period drama today. Over at The Daily Beast, you can read my latest feature, "The Brits' Surprising Emmy Hit," Part One of Two of my Downton Abbey features today, this time an Emmys feature on the British drama, recognized with 11 nominations this year, including Outstanding Made-for-TV-Movie or Miniseries. I talk with creator Julian Fellowes and the cast about Emmy nominations, the show’s insane popularity on both sides of the Atlantic, and what’s coming up on Season Two. If that's not enough period goodness for you, there's my second feature, entitled "Inside Downton Abbey Season Two," in which Julian Fellowes and the cast of Downton Abbey (including Dan Stevens, Michelle Dockery, Elizabeth McGovern, and Siobhan Finneran) provide me with some clues about what's coming up on the second season of the period drama, begin

The Daily Beast: "Margo Martindale: Emmy’s Stealth Frontrunner"

Nominee Margo Martindale, in the running for outstanding supporting actress, may not be prepping an Emmy acceptance speech--but she should be, especially after her magnificently malevolent turn as Mags Bennett on FX's Justified this year. Over at The Daily Beast, you can read my latest feature, "Emmy’s Stealth Frontrunner," in which I sit down with Martindale to discuss playing Justified ’s Mags Bennett, how she won’t be wasted on CBS’s A Gifted Man , and why she believes in ghosts. Justified returns for a third season in 2012.

The Daily Beast: "Emmys 2011: The Good Wife's Best Actress" (Julianna Margulies)

Julianna Margulies has been nominated for an Emmy Award for CBS’ The Good Wife . Over at The Daily Beast, you can read my latest feature (and the first in a series of Emmys-centric pieces heading your way), " The Good Wife 's Best Actress," in which I speak with Margulies about playing the brilliant and career-driven Alicia Florrick on The Good Wife , Alicia and Will (Josh Charles), Alicia and Kalinda (Archie Panjabi), wigs, gate-crashing the Governor's Ball, and her Emmy nomination. Season Three of The Good Wife begins Sunday, September 25th at 9 pm ET/PT on CBS.

The Daily Beast: "The Emmy Awards’ 10 Biggest Snubs"

The nominations are out: Parks and Recreation, Game of Thrones, Friday Night Lights , and Mad Men get their shot at the awards, while Community , Nick Offerman, and many others are shut out. Over at The Daily Beast, you can read my latest feature, entitled, "The Emmy Awards’ 10 Biggest Snubs," in which I examine shows and actors were snubbed by the TV Academy. Plus, view our gallery of the nominees . The 63rd Primetime Emmy Awards will be televised live on September 18th on Fox.

The Daily Beast: Fire and Ice: Mad Men's Christina Hendricks and January Jones

As promised, the last Emmy-related piece of this year. While I've already discussed Modern Family and Glee , Friday Night Lights , and to a certain extent Lost , as well as rounded up my picks for who will win a gold statuette and who should have won , I can't imagine not discussing AMC's luminous period drama Mad Men . Over at The Daily Beast, my latest feature--which is curiously entitled " Mad Men 's Ice Queen" --takes a look at Mad Men 's Emmy nominated actresses January Jones and Christina Hendricks and explores how they fit into certain female iconic traditions and why our perceptions of their characters seem to spill over into their real lives. Just why is Betty Draper so misunderstood and disliked? Why does Jones seem so icy whereas Hendricks--a somewhat reluctant sex symbol--seems so vibrant and full of life? Can they escape our own perceptions of them? Head to the comments section to discuss. Season Four of Mad Men airs Sunday evenings at 1

The Daily Beast: "Give Friday Night Lights An Emmy Already"

Could Friday Night Lights finally win an Emmy Award? Or, more importantly, isn't about time that the Academy recognized the amazing quality of this fantastic series and its lead actors? That's the question that I'm asking in a new feature over at The Daily Beast entitled "Give Friday Night Lights An Emmy Already" where I talk to stars--and current Emmy underdogs--Kyle Chandler and Connie Britton. In the piece, which went live this morning, I talk to Chandler and Britton about their nominations, saying goodbye to one another, the end of Friday Night Lights , and what the fifth and final season of FNL holds for Coach Eric and Tami Taylor. Head to the comments section to discuss why you think this series has been criminally overlooked by the Television Academy and whether you think Chandler and Britton are more than deserving to take home a statuette or two this weekend at the Primetime Emmy Awards. Season Five of Friday Night Lights begins October 27th on D