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TV’s Emmy Awards prove to be anything but predictable

Analise Lipari | Tuesday, September 18, 2007

For a couple of assistant scene editors trying to make predictions, Sunday night’s Emmy Awards broadcast definitely left some things to be desired.

Ever-smarmy “American Idol” host Ryan Seacrest emceed the show on the Awards’ new home network, FOX, and “Boston Legal” nabbed a completely unexpected golden statue for its lead actor, James Spader, over James Gandolfini of the now-defunct HBO classic “The Sopranos.” Someone’s gonna be sleeping with the fishes, and it ain’t gonna be pretty.

However, some of our predictions from Friday’s Observer thankfully came through, including watching Cassie Belek’s pick for Outstanding Lead Actor in a comedy series, major underdog Ricky Gervais, come out on top amidst a strong group of nominees like Alec Baldwin and Steve Carrell. It appears that Badin Hall will live to see another day, since Tony Shalhoub lost and, thus, no television sets were lit on fire by an irate Belek).

I was psyched to see America Ferrera come out on top as Outstanding Lead Actress in a comedy series, securing fan favorite “Ugly Betty” some Emmy gold. Betty’s fashion-savvy little bro Justin would be proud.

On the whole, our prediction lists had hits and misses. Cassie’s pick for Outstanding Comedy Series, NBC’s hilarious “30 Rock,” won its category for the first time – granted, it triumphed over my pick of “Ugly Betty,” but I’m more than happy seeing Ferrera get her due. My dark horse pick for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a comedy series, Jeremy Piven, defeated former Doogie Howser, Neil Patrick Harris, and Dwight Schrute (a.k.a. Rainn Wilson), giving the wildly popular cast of “Entourage” credit and vindicating slimy agents like Ari Gold everywhere.

I’m officially sending a Mrs. Weasley-style Howler to ABC executives and Emmy voters for Sally Field’s win for “Brothers and Sisters” over Carmela Soprano herself, Edie Falco. Granted, it’d be Hollywood blasphemy to say that Sally “You like me, you really like me!” Field is undeserving of the trophies she’s piled up over the years. But to keep Tony and Carmela off stage, after one of the strongest seasons of “The Sopranos?” Fuhgeddaboutit!

Both Cassie and I feel Stephen Colbert’s pain after his loss to Tony Bennett – with fans of the “Report” still lamenting last year’s Barry Manilow debacle, this is just cruel. Seeing “The Daily Show” win over the “Report” didn’t sting quite as badly, but hopefully Colbert fans will someday avenge this mishap.

Setting the artistic merits of most brands of reality television aside, no one likes to see a show win out of pure voter laziness, which veteran series “The Amazing Race” arguably did this year. Bravo’s reality TV offerings are fresh, hip and stylishly done, and should have brought home the gold with either “Project Runway” or “Top Chef.”

Then again, considering the broadcast aired on the venerable network that brought the world “Temptation Island” and “Hell’s Kitchen,” we should probably lower our expectations. Or ask “Runway” judge Michael Kors to run around like a chicken with his head cut off with a dirty chef’s hat and Cockney-style British accent. Then again, maybe not.