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No Emmy Love From Critics

July 23, 2006 7:45 PM

A large proportion of the critics who spoke up at the Prime Time Emmy Awards press tour session Saturday afternoon had their collective panties in a bunch.

The group had major issues with this year’s nominee list, which ignored some past Emmy favorites for newcomers that critics didn’t consider up to snuff.

Critics are not the only ones who share concerns about the new nomination process for the Prime Time Emmys, but I won’t go into that here since I wrote about it extensively in our June 10 dead tree edition, which you can access online:

http://www.tvweek.com/article.cms?articleId=30163

TV Academy Chairman and CEO Dick Askin was on the panel, and addressed pretty much all the issues I collared him on in my previous story.

The non-repetitive bright spot in the panel was this year’s awards show host, Conan O’Brien, who responded to one critic who wanted to know why in certain Emmy nomination panels, judges only view one episode of a series, considering television shows play out over 22 episodes or so per season.

The critic forgot that nominees like O’Brien do a lot more that 22 hours of programming.

O’Brien wanted to know if judges in his categories should be required to watch “all 180 episodes I made throughout the year.” He suggested that they would have to be “sent to some sort of center or camp” to get the complete O’Brien season experience.

“Every day they watch 15 episodes of the show, and are fed injections of protein, like veal,” O’Brien imagined.

Another critic wondered if O’Brien could share some of the gags he has planned for the Aug. 27 ceremony. O’Brien kept that to himself, warning that telling a joke too early comes with consequences.

“Comedy, she’s a fickle lady,” O’Brien said wistfully.

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