It's the official kick-off of Emmy Week, and we're starting off with a look at the actors who bring us tons of laughs as the sidekicks or supporting cast on your favorite comedies. They make a funny show even funnier. Sometimes, it's something as simple as a great entrance (like Kramer on Seinfeld) or it's the delivery of a seemingly mundane line that brings us to fits of laughter. So, here's a look at the actors (male and female) nominated for the Outstanding Supporting Actor and Actress in a Comedy Series award, as well as a few obvious snubs in each category. And of course, my fearless (and probably wrong) predictions.
Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series
Jeffrey Tambor - Arrested Development
Jeremy Piven - Entourage
Peter Boyle - Everybody Loves Raymond
Brad Garrett - Everybody Loves Raymond
Sean Hayes - Will & Grace
WHO WILL WIN: This is a tough category this year because it contains a lot of talent. Jeffrey Tambor is hysterical as the head of the Bluth family, but the Academy does love to honor shows that took their final bow the past season. This gives both Peter Boyle and Brad Garrett an edge. Jeremy Piven is a newcomer, and the Academy is usually hesitant to give out the statue to the first-timer. Sean Hayes won back in 2000 and has been nominated every year since then without winning, but he's on an aging show that received too many nominations this year. Will & Grace, although an Emmy darling, is past its prime and offers up few laughs these days. I think this is going to come down to Brad Garrett and Peter Boyle because of Raymond's excellent send-off this season. Garrett has won twice before for his portrayal of Robert Barone, so look for Peter Boyle to finally get a win after seven straight years of nominations and no wins.
WHO SHOULD WIN: I'm going to go with Peter Boyle in this category as well. He has been consistently funny as Frank Barone and never received his due recognition. Boyle is a terrific actor, and he turned every line into a funny one on Raymond. Hopefully, the Academy will get it right and give him his overdue win.
WHO GOT SNUBBED: Most obviously, John C. McGinley from Scrubs. It was nice to see the show get some serious overdue nominations this year, but the Academy missed the best part of the show. As I said above, this category is chock-full of talent, so it was only obvious that some very talented actors would get left out, but McGinley's snub is just too much. Although I adore Sean Hayes, his show suffered from its aging status this past season and it just wasn't up to par with other comedies. I would have liked to have seen McGinley nominated in Hayes' place.
Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series
Jessica Walter - Arrested Development
Doris Roberts - Everybody Loves Raymond
Holland Taylor - Two and a Half Men
Conchata Ferrell - Two and a Half Men
Megan Mullally - Will & Grace
WHO WILL WIN: Another tough category with legends like Jessica Walter, Doris Roberts, and Holland Taylor. Plus perennial favorite Megan Mullally and first-time comedy nominee Conchata Ferrell. Mullally won back in 2000 and has been nominated every year since, but I think she suffers from the same problem as Sean Hayes - Will & Grace just wasn't as funny as it used to be. Walter is a first-time nominee for Arrested Development, but she has been nominated (and won one) for other projects in the past. Roberts has one three times (2001, 2002, 2003) for Raymond, but she also benefits from the show's final season. This is Taylor's first nomination for Men, but she has one for other projects in the past. Finally, there's Ferrell whom will most likely get lost in the shuffle this year, plus she is featured on the same show as Taylor. The two will most likely cancel each other out. It will most likely come down to Walter and Roberts, with Roberts getting the edge for Raymond's final season.
WHO SHOULD WIN: Probably Doris Roberts. Like Peter Boyle, she has been consistently funny over the show's nine year run. A mere motherly smile from Doris, and viewers were laughing hysterically. She has a knack for giving us just enough motherly care to not completely despise her constantly butting-in character. I think she deserves the statue again for a season well-done.
WHO GOT SNUBBED: Portia de Rossi for Arrested Development and Judy Reyes for Scrubs. Both actresses consistently make their respective shows funnier, and they both bring their "A" game each week. Two very talented actresses, and it's a shame not to see either of them in this category. Both shows are ensemble casts without a weak link, so it's nice to see some members nominated, but some of the strongest links were left empty-handed.
Over the weekend, the Academy handed out their Creative Arts Emmys to all the fantastic behind-the-scenes folks who make our favorite shows happen. Among the winners was Lost and Desperate Housewives with four each, 24 with three wins, and Will & Grace with two wins. Actress Amanda Plummer won the Outstanding Guest Actress in a Drama award for her appearance on Law & Order: SVU, and Ray Liotta won Outstanding Guest Actor for his role on ER. Bobby Cannavale won Outstanding Guest Actor in a Comedy for his turn on Will & Grace and Kathryn Joosten won Outstanding Guest Actress for her role on Desperate Housewives . Jerry Lewis won the Governor's Award. HBO walked away with the most wins with a whopping 20. For the full list of winners, click on over to the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences.
In other Emmy news, this Sunday's telecast will honor former ABC anchor the late Peter Jennings, retired NBC anchor Tom Brokaw, and retired CBS anchor Dan Rather for their many years at the desk. A special clips package will showcase their respective work at the desk and in the field covering some of history's most momentous stories. The 57th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards air September 18th on CBS.
*Premiering Tonight!!! ABC is rolling out reality hit Wife Swap tonight at 8 p.m. EDT as a lead-in for its final season of Monday Night Football (the coverage will shift to ESPN next season). The better family-switching show is back for a new season of fights and, ultimately, a lot of learning. Then, the Atlanta Falcons take on the Philadelphia Eagles in a rematch of last season's NFC title game.
*ABC plans to go ahead with the premiere of Invasion later this month per zap2it. The network recently pulled the hurricane-heavy promos in light of the real-life tragedy in the Gulf states last month. The network says, although the premiere shows a lot of rain, wind, and damage of a strong hurricane, the rest of the series deals with the aftermath and the strange things that begin happening. Invasion premieres September 21st on ABC.
*Bruce Willis is set to guest star on Fox's That 70s Show. He'll play a fast-talker who's head of security at the Playboy Club in Chicago. Willis is donating his fee to the relief effort for Hurricane Katrina. Look for his episode to air some time this November on Fox.
*And finally, it's TV on DVD Monday! Tomorrow is going to be a busy day on the DVD shelves as Everybody Loves Raymond (season 4), Frasier (season 6), Las Vegas (season 2), One Tree Hill (season 2), and Smallville (season 4) all make their way to a DVD store near you. Also look for classics like Cheers (season 6), The Brady Bunch (season 3), and Taxi (season 3). For a complete list of new releases tomorrow, visit tvshowsondvd.com.
That's all for today. Be sure to tune in tomorrow and all week for Emmy week!! Tomorrow I'll be going over the supporting drama players. Plus, all the latest television news.