And the joke's on FOX
Any hit to FOX TV’s reputation would have been forgotten by the first commercial of last night’s Primetime Emmy Awards. Instead, the network’s decision to censor an Alec Baldwin gag has resulted in an unremitting explosion of commentary across the blogosphere.
The gag, part of a pre-taped bit that was to open the show, ribbed FOX parent company News Corp.’s involvement in the recent British phone-hacking scandal.
"I understand NewsCorp killing that joke," Baldwin tweeted yesterday, adding: "If I were enmeshed in a scandal where I hacked phones of families of innocent crime victims purely 4 profit, I'd want that 2 go away, 2."
According poynter.org, the bit had Baldwin playing a network exec on a cell phone.
Baldwin reportedly requested that FOX delete his entire appearance rather than run the bit neutered. It complied, replacing him with king of comedy Leonard Nimoy (???). Here's the result...
In some ways, this response is funnier than the joke would have been. If anyone at FOX is reading this, you may want to brush up on the following definition the next time an issue like this comes up: comedy.
Baldwin presciently tweeted that letting the joke stay “would have made them look better." Then he added: "A little."
News outlets widely reported that Baldwin boycotted the Emmys in retaliation. However, last night, he was one of the hosts of Tony Bennett’s 85th birthday bash in New York, something to which he committed before the censorship occurred last week.
“I skipped the Emmys … because I wanted to be here,” he told Entertainment Weekly on the scene.
“Congrats to Jim Parsons and all tonight's winners,” Baldwin tweeted, but only after tweeting before that, more characteristically: “Who won the Emmys? Did I win? No?!! S***!”
Walt turns contemplative, and Gus makes a bold move
"I made a mistake. It's my own fault. I had it coming." – Walter White
There has always been plenty of heart-pounding action in "Breaking Bad", but this show has also been determined to show us the inexorable build-up to those set pieces, as well as the details of the aftermath. That hasn't changed this season, as almost everything is a direct result of Gus defying the cartel and Jesse murdering Gale. But even while ramping up the action this season, from the gruesome blood-letting in "Box Cutter" to the spectacular final scene of tonight's episode, the creators have slyly done the unthinkable: they have completely sidelined our main character, reducing him to doing a frustrated and desperate dance around the other folks in his sphere, futilely and frantically trying to push them to do his bidding. Walt has spent seven episodes sniping at Mike, pressuring Jesse, cajoling Gus and dodging Hank, and he appears to be as beaten down as he could possibly be at this point.
Walt spends all of "Salud" recovering, both physically and emotionally, from his fight with Jesse, missing his own son's birthday in the process. As was the case in "Fly", drugs tend loosen his tongue and so Walt groggily pours out his deeply repressed feelings of guilt, shame and remorse to Junior, ending with the mega-Freudian slip of calling him "Jesse". The next morning, Walt is horrified at this admission of real emotion (or what he would see as weakness), and tries to backtrack with a revealing monologue about the trauma of seeing his own father helpless and ill, dying in front of his eyes. Bryan Cranston was terrific as he told this story about real vs. manufactured memories, and we gained new insight into his horror of losing control and appearing powerless.
But you know who does not have a problem appearing to be subservient, while all the while plotting a daring take down of the entire Mexican meth cartel? Gus Fring, that's who. Everything about that storyline was great, including his usual meticulous folding of his jacket before he vomited up the poisoned tequila. His final wild man challenge to his unseen enemies, even as he was barely able to stand was incredible ("Fill your pockets and leave in peace. Or fight me and die!"), and hopefully, he (and Mike) will live for the final three episodes. We are surely in for a wild ride.
- Jesse was certainly able to intimidate the cartel chemists and gain the upper hand fairly quickly in a precarious setting. Wonder where he learned to be so arrogant to others?
- Also apparently paying off: Jesse's first person shooter video game expertise.
- Yes, there was also the Ted Beneke and Skyler White comedy hour, which is taking a strong turn toward sitcom levels of silliness. I'm not sure why I find a mass poisoning/shoot-out to be more believable than Skyler's eye-roll inducing "surprise inheritance" ruse, but at least it gave us some classic Saul Goodman moments. ("You and I don’t wear the same rose-colored glasses where Johnny Fabulous is concerned.")
- Ted went from misunderstood victim to world-class jackass with one trip to the Mercedes dealer, huh?
- I actually put my hand over my eyes with embarrassment when Skyler started going on about Jr. listening to his "tunes" while he is "cruising' around". Groan.
- "You can do this."
A look insde the HP TouchSmart Gift Lounge at the 2011 Emmy's
By Minh Nguyen
Special to MSN TV
Ever wonder what it's like to attend a gift suite for the Emmys? We went inside the HP TouchSmart Lounge, strategically located at the Nokia Theater where the Emmys are scheduled for September 18th. Celebrities were coming and going and included: David Boreanaz, Andy Sandberg and Wilmer Valderrama. David Boreanaz attended with his family where his little boy didn’t want to stop playing the Angry Birds game on the HP TouchSmart PC. HP will make a donation to The Academy of Television Arts & Sciences for every celebrity that visited the suite.
The place is airtight with security so if you even think about sneaking it, it is near impossible. The gifting lounge was right smack in the middle of all the Emmy commotion and was right across from this year's host's (Jane Lynch) dressing room. We were even escorted to and from the bathroom and told it was because they did not want people (us) to know the sitting placements of the stars or what was being rehearsed for the show.
By attending the HP TouchSmart Lounge, the invited celebrities could have their pick of lots of great stuff. Starting off, celebs got a silver Le SportSac large weekender bag and a personal attendant who would follow them around from booth to booth carrying the bags to fill with the swag they wanted. They had their choice of:
- HP Mini 210, which came in many colors
- A Tiffany spreader from “the I Can’t Believe It Is Not Butter” booth which also had a fancy rhinestone toaster
- New ProNutrients by Centrum Vitamins and a Luxurious multi-speed juicer
- A sleek Nespresso espresso/latte maker
- New Balance Sky Sneakers made out of recycled water bottles (which will come out to the rest of us common folks in October)
- A Sedu Icon Prive Hair Dryer which claims to be “the last dryer you’ll ever own,”
- Ron White Signature heels which they claim we can wear all day
- A year pass to AMC theatres for two
- Sheets Energy Strips (a breath strip with caffeine in it)
- Hasbro games
- Sarah Chloe jewelry
- 1 Year membership to Crunch and Yogaworks so they can look their absolute best
We got a chance to talk to Wilmer Valderrama who said, “I’m excited to perform for the Emmys. I’ve never performed before. I’m going to be doing some musical intros with Jane (Lynch) and some great actors.” When asked if he could sing, Wilmer replied, “Yeah, that’s the word on the street.” If Wilmer can sing the way he discoed on “That '70s Show” we’ll hold our breath with anticipation for the Emmys show tonight!
Eavesdrop on our phone call about Jason and Sam's 'General Hospital' wedding
With the long awaited "General Hospital" JaSam wedding finally upon us the week of Sept. 19, MSN TV visited Port Charles for the big event and also got on the horn with Steve Burton (Jason) and Kelly Monaco (Sam) to talk details. That phone call was videotaped (see below), giving fans a peek at how these two daytime stars get along, along with some fun wedding tease and a promise from Burton: Jason's shirt is coming off during the honeymoon!
Bing:Watch clips and episodes of 'General Hospital'
Before that phone call with Monaco and Burton, MSN TV was invited to spend the wedding day with Burton, who is enjoying his break from the mob world -- for now.
"It's always good to get to do something else, and this story with Sam and the wedding needed to be told, at some point," Burton reflected. "We had to take time away from the mob stuff to get Jason and Sam's life set on the right path -- hopefully! There are still impending threats -- Franco is always going to be around and stuff with Johnny, Sonny and Anthony Zaccara -- but it was good to get a break to see where we're going.
"I'm excited to see where Garin will take Jason and Sam by interweaving all the mob business we do," he continued. "I always have a great time working with Maurice [Benard, Sonny], and we don't get to work together much, anymore. If it was a good story, it would be great to get back to working with him a lot."
Is there room for a baby in that story? "Are we going to have a kid?" Burton hedged."Jason and Sam are going to lean that way. They'll go down that road of 'Can we? Should we really try it?' But I don't know if it's going to happen..."
As for the big wedding day -- or should we say week! -- Burton is confident fans will approve. "There's surprisingly not a lot of drama, which is great for Jason and Sam fans," Burton previewed. "They get married, and then they can go on a honeymoon and be a normal couple for just a week. (laughs)"
We can confirm that the newlyweds will say "I do" and ride Jason's bike into the sunset after the reception, but we are almost as confident these two will never be a normal couple -- especially not with Franco (James Franco) on the scene.
The psycho artist didn't get his invitation to the wedding, and he's crushed. He'll be hovering over Port Charles starting Tuesday, Sept. 20, and those fortune cookie wedding favor's we received last week portend trouble. The question is: When will he strike?
Jason and Sam's wedding is set for Sept. 23, according to Maxie, but the wedding actually gets going at the start of the week. Miss Sept. 22, JaSam fans, and you will be very sorry!
Kelly Monaco & Steve Burton VideoPhoner
ABC closes the book on the iconic soap next Friday, after a visit with 'The View'
Stay tuned for more on the "All My Children" finale days, and in the meantime, here are the details on "The View":
“THE VIEW” SALUTES 41 YEARS OF ABC’S “ALL MY CHILDREN,” SEPT. 23
Daytime Emmy® Award-Winner Susan Lucci to Co-Host
Exclusive Pine Valley Reunions:
Laurence Lau and Kim Delaney (Greg and Jenny)
Darnell Williams and Debbi Morgan (Jesse & Angie)
The hosts of “The View” will commemorate and honor “All My Children” with a special one-hour theme show, Friday, Sept. 23 (11:00 a.m.-12:00 noon), hours before the final broadcast on ABC. “The View” will celebrate 41 years of love, passion, drama and intrigue of the generations of families from fictional Pine Valley. Daytime Emmy award-winner Susan Lucci (Erica) will serve as the show’s featured guest co-host. Legendary creator/writer Agnes Nixon and “All My Children” executive producer Julie Hanan Carruthers are scheduled to appear.
An exclusive Pine Valley reunion of two of the most memorable super couples of the 1980s, Greg Nelson and Jenny Gardner (Laurence Lau and Kim Delaney) who’ll reunite with their on-screen best friends Jesse Hubbard & Angie Baxter Hubbard portrayed by Darnell Williams and Debbi Morgan. Lau and Delaney have not appeared together since January, 1995 when they were interviewed by Carol Burnett for the “All My Children 25th Anniversary” special.
Confirmed appearances from beloved All My Children cast members Cameron Mathison (Ryan); Rebecca Budig (Greenlee), Vincent Irizarry (David), Thorsten Kaye (Zach) and Alicia Minshew (Kendall).
Exclusive never-before seen footage of the final ABC taping; exclusive never-before-seen interviews with a number of the “special” guest stars and returning cast members; an exclusive “sneak peek” clip of the final ABC broadcast episode of “All My Children” and the final cast photo and the on-set cake cutting ceremony with the “All My Children” cast & crew are to be featured.
A special videotaped montage will feature some of the show’s most memorable moments throughout the years, both in front of and behind the cameras.
The entire studio audience will be filled with loyal daytime fans and devoted fans of “All My Children” whose continued passion and commitment has made “All My Children” an iconic staple of daytime television.
'Heart of Archness Part I' brings the show back strong, and that's no ruse.
Oh, Sterling Malory Archer, how I have missed you. Apparently, I'm the only one, since he's gone missing since the unfortunate murder of his precious fiancée on their wedding day, and his fellow spies don't seem too bothered about it. So Malory calls in an ex-ISIS employee with the delightful name of Rip Riley and the square jaw and graying temples to go along with it. He instantly tracks Archer down to the tropical island where he is assuaging his grief as only Archer can: with lots of booze and meaningless sex with honeymooning ladies.
From there, Archer and Rip (aka "Sky Captain of Yesteryear") survive a plane crash and a shark attack, only to get kidnapped by pirates (Archer: "I didn't know pirates were…still a real thing."). Once they kill the captain, our hero is declared the new pirate king. Meanwhile, Ray and Lana are winging down to the island to "rescue" them, but that won't be happening anytime soon.
Adam Reed managed to transition smoothly and efficiently from the semi-tragedy of Katya's death to the silliness and mayhem that are the bread and butter of this series. Archer is still the perfect combination of super-spy and super-jerk. Add in an excellent callback to how loud guns can be when they fire right by your ear, two wonderful guest voice actors – Patrick Warburton as Rip and David Cross "slave pirate" Noah – and it's like we've never been apart. Hooray.
- "Oh please, we all…think he would dare to do that."
- "So what happened was somebody ordered room service but the regular room service guy, uh, he died so I came in here and then I fell on the bed. Wait, you're not her husband!"
- "The 1930s called…"
- "Don't you have some humans to resource?"
- Autopilot is a bit of a difficult concept to understand.
- No Carvel? Outrage!
- "Don't just sit there sweating like a gigantic cheese. Do something!"
- "I thought it was just a myth, like a big, beautiful, no-limit unicorn."
- "I'll shoot you with a flare and then I'll use a D ration bar and two survival crackers to make s'mores over the crackling fire that used to be your chest cavity."
- To review: pirates have sails, cannonballs, and beards. Also, planks.
- "Not now, Jerkins!"
- Remember, the "go" word changes all the time.
- Only two special episodes left? Sigh.
Sarah Michelle Gellar first look; Plus Alicia Minshew contract news
With the exciting first look of Sarah Michelle Gellar's big return to "All My Children" comes news that cast member Alicia Minshew won't be bringing their shared role to the internet. It seems there may be no Kendall after life on ABC, and their mom Susan Lucci isn't likely to bring Erica Kane over to the net either.
First, the fun news: Sarah Michelle Gellar First Look!
"Ringer" star SMG returns to her roots next week when she shows up in one of Dr. Maria Santos' (Eva LaRue) beds at Pine Valley Hospital on Wednesday, Sept. 21. Word is the psych patient thinks she's Erica's daughter and sees vamps, according to Soap Opera Digest. Hmmmm....
The episode is part a finale week that includes appearances from alums David Canary, Julia Barr, Ray MacDonnell, Lee Meriwether, Justin Bruening and Alexa Havins.
Now, for the not so good new: Minshew is Out
When MSN TV talked to Alicia Minshew and Thorsten Kaye a few weeks back, no one was talking life after next week's "All My Children" ABC series finale. Now, Minshew has spoken out: She hasn't been offered a new contract to bring Kendall to the internet yet, but won't she be making the move, anyway -- at least not full time --and neither will Lucci.
“I know they are starting to approach people now,” Minshew told The Hollywood Reporter. “If they were to ask me to do it [and] if I could work it out where I could maybe be recurring, I could pop in every now and then, I could work with these people that I love and still be a part of this. I would be open to that.”
While she's up for a visit or two, the free agent has her eye on shaking up her career. "I'd love to do a sitcom," she said. “I don’t really get a chance to do stuff like that when I'm on a soap, because it's a daytime drama, so everything is very dramatic. I'm really open to whatever the universe is going to lay my way, whatever it is… but I'm leaning towards doing something funny in life, because I enjoy that and because I know I can do it. I’m craving something that's completely the opposite of what I've been doing."
As for her onscreen mom Susan Lucci, as MSN TV reported when we posted our interview with Lucci and Walt Willey last week, Erica Kane's future on the internet is not looking good. “As far as I heard, Susan said no," Minshew told THR.
Minshew also spoke to Lucci's now infamous new epilogue to her memoir, "All My Life," which verbally spanks ABC execs like Brian Frons for ruining her iconic soap. She was surprised by Lucci's fury, but she told TheRealJethro that she gets it.
"You know what? Good for her," she said. "I mean, for God's sakes the woman has been on that show for so long. It has been her life. And she should feel free to say however she feels."
While Lucci seems to be fuming, however, Minshew is rolling with the punches. “If talk shows and reality TV is cheaper to produce and you have to do it to save money, then you've got to do it," she said. "It is kind of changing with the times."
"All My Children" airs weekdays on ABC through Sept. 23. It may reappear on the net in 2012.