Thursday, June 7, 2007

Bianco (pre-) Handicaps (pre-) Nominations for the Prime-time Emmys

As nominated soap actors race look to the Daytime Emmys (a week from tomorrow), the soapiest actors in prime-time are at the start of the process to determine who will share the slate with their non-serial bretheren on the prime-time Emmy ballot.

This week, "nominations for nominations" ballots for the prime-time awards fest begin arriving in Academy member's mailboxes. In honor of the occasion, USA TODAY's Robert Bianco offers his suggestions for who should fit the bill.

Bianco's picks are heavy on soap players, including both prime-time serial women (Evangeline Lilly of LOST, America Ferrera of UGLY BETTY, and Sally Field of BROTHERS & SISTERS) and, after recognizing Kyle Chandler of FRIDAY NIGHT LIGHTS on his best actor list, Bianco stocks his supporting actor slate 100% with nighttime soapsters, including Masi Oka of HEROES, T.R. Knight of GREY'S ANATOMY, and Sam Neil of THE TUDORS.

Bianco's list is strong, if a bit safe. He rightly cites that nearly every woman on UGLY BETTY could be nominated for an Emmy, before proceeding to choose the predictable--and most famous choice--Vanessa Williams as the one most deserving. While I like Williams on the show a great deal, stars Ana Ortiz and Becki Newton have given revelatory performances with characters that could easily have been one-note. He also shortchanges BETTY's men in his calculations, with nary a mention of Eric Mabius or the delightfully surprising Michael Urie. (Personally, I would have thrown Adrian Pasdar, who's complicated take on what--literally--could have been a cartoon made viewers willing to patch over a huge plot hole in HEROES's season finale, and to hope that said hole somehow means he'll still be flying into living rooms on Monday nights next season.)

Still, Bianco shows the nighttime serial the love it deserves by recognizing some of the amazing contributions that have been made by TV stars, movie stars, and newcomers alike to the genre and prime-time slate this past season. To read his full predictions, click

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