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Variety RSS feeds; Emmy news (does Battlestar make the cut?)

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Lots of Emmy stuff below this, but first -- a person from Variety has told me that they are indeed aware that every single one of their RSS feeds have been dead for the better part of two weeks, and that they should be working again within the day. While we wait, I thought I'd just go a head and share the ones that I'm subscribed to.
Can you guess what kind of writer I am? Yeah, thought so. I subscribed to these either right before, or right after they all died off, so I never even got to see how often these update or if they run on any kind of delay. Regardless, they all seem to get you free access to Variety content, which is normally not the case when you go through their website. Not sure why, but they do.

More TV related stuff; the Emmy nominations are coming out tomorrow (Thursday 06), with the awards set to air August 27th. Voting concluded last month. Reuters is reporting on the changes for this years contest.

Under this year's new nominating system, members of the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences choose 10 finalists for best comedy and best drama series on the basis of votes cast for all eligible candidates in each category. The field is then winnowed to five nominees by a blue-ribbon panel of judges who review videotapes of their best work.

A similar process is used to cull five nominees from the top 15 vote-getters in the categories for best lead actor and actress in a comedy and drama series.

O'Neil said critics are hoping the changes will finally reward some stars they see as long overdue for recognition, especially Lauren Graham of the WB's Gilmore Girls. "If she doesn't get nominated this year...TV critics of America will torch the academy," he joked.

Further complicating the Emmy picture this year is the proliferation of hour-long shows that mix elements of comedy and drama--such as Housewives, Rescue Me, and Grey's Anatomy--a factor that can sometimes work against a shows Emmy chances.

I'm a regular reader of Bryce Zabel's blog ever since I found out he released a Trek series treatment (which is more of a written pitch than a treatment) a couple of weeks ago. He wrote about the shows he was voting for this year, and his votes for hour-long drama (note I did not say science fiction):
  • 24
  • Battlestar Galactica
  • CSI: Miami
  • Grey's Anatomy
  • Lost
  • Rescue Me
  • Rome
  • Six Feet Under
  • The Sopranos
  • The West Wing
Battlestar Galactica won't win, but I think it's really interesting that it's in the drama category. I've been tweaking an essay on how I think there are basically no true science fiction shows on television anymore, and this really underscores my point. I'll be releasing that soon, since the editor has ignored my proposal not once, but twice now. It's kind of just sitting there staring you right in the face once I've laid it all out. I'll do that maybe this weekend or something, since it's fairly long.

I've never seen CSI: Miami, Rome, Six Feet Under (Alan Ball is an extremely talented writer), or The Sopranos, so I can't really speak on them. 24 is always excellent and would certainly get my vote. Rescue Me is a fine drama, but it just wasn't quite good enough to keep my attention across the preemptions and regular season breaks. The first episode of Grey's I saw was outstanding, where a guy came into the hospital with some type of live ammunition stuck in his chest (and I'm not talking about bullets here.) Someone stuck their hand in his chest wound to stop something from bleeding, and that's when I guess they found out about the explosive, which the nurse/doctor/whoever was now also touching -- and now couldn't move at all.

It was a great setup and very well executed, and wouldn't you know it, the DVR picked it's once-every-three-months screwup and I missed the second part. Every episode I saw after that, two or three I think, all sucked though. None of them had even 10% of the drama that the one episode did. They were all irreverent and boring, and I quickly canceled my season pass on the DVR because of it. I would not vote for this show.

The West Wing under Aaron Sorkin wins every single time. But without him, it's just another typical John Wells show (e.g. E.R.) It suffered when Sorkin left, and I question whether it can win for it's final season. I know one thing for sure, I stopped watching it when Rob Lowe and Sorkin left, and I was far from being the only one.

BSG is a wonderful drama, but I think it's being held back by two things: being labeled as science fiction (it's not), and living on a cable channel. Sci-Fi carries a stigma with it that will kill any chance this show has of reaping awards, which is really unfair, and it's not true Sci-Fi to boot. The second thing is the SciFi channel being a cable channel. BSG isn't getting 2-2.2 million viewers because there are only that many people that like the show, it's getting 2 million viewers because that's all the SciFi channel has, period. With NBC owning SciFi, BSG could be moved onto NBC's schedule any time it wants, and I honestly think that is what it'll take for BSG to bring home the gold. And what a shame, it's a terrific series by some exceptional people.

I'll post the nominations tomorrow.
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