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And the Emmy goes to….

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2009’s Emmys air September 20 on CBS.
By Donalevan Maines

See also: 2009 Emmy Nominees

60th Primetime Emmy Awards - Show
Out actor Neil Patrick Harris is this year’s host.

The 2009 Tony Awards could not have been “gayer if Liza was named mayor,” as host Neil Patrick Harris sang in the show’s “11 o’clock number.” The question is, can television’s 61st annual Emmy Awards on Sept. 20 out-gay the Tonys?

Same host (NPH), same network (CBS), but this time Harris could even win an award, as he’s nominated for best supporting actor in a comedy series for playing womanizing Barney on How I Met Your Mother.

In the race for best supporting actor in a drama series is William Shatner, whose Denny Crane married James Spader’s Alan Shore in the series finale of Boston Legal. Oh, and U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia officiated the same-sex bromance wedding.

GreyGardens
Jessica Lange (l) and Drew Barrymore in Grey Gardens.

Emmys’ biggest haul of the night might go to the mother-daughter affair, Grey Gardens, which picked up 17 nominations and surely has Hollywood’s brightest gay minds wondering how to evenly split the winged trophy for best actress in a TV movie between stars Drew Barrymore (Little Edie) and Jessica Lange (Big Edie). Their competition, with every nominee playing a real person, includes Sigourney Weaver as a homophobic woman who repents after her gay son commits suicide, in Prayers for Bobby, a nominee for best TV movie; Shirley MacLaine, who was off-the-rack as inventor of the little black dress in Coco Chanel; and Houston’s Chandra Wilson, who went homeless for the holidays in last fall’s Accidental Friendship. Wilson is also nominated for best supporting actress in a drama series for Grey’s Anatomy.

Our town’s Jim Parsons is finally up for best actor in a comedy series for his highly acclaimed Sheldon Cooper on The Big Bang Theory. How did that happen? Well, this year the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences decided to honor six nominees in comedy- and drama-series categories.

KingLear
Ian McKellen in King Lear.

Parsons, 36, studied acting at the University of Houston and co-founded Infernal Bridegroom Productions. Eleven years ago, he played The Worm, in IBP’s rendition of Bertold Brecht’s In the Jungle of Cities, in a sweltering, corrugated metal barn with no air-conditioning—in Houston, in June! Now he’s nominated for an Emmy for working with Johnny Galecki, 34, who was David on Roseanne, and more enticingly, on Broadway he played a full-frontal nude scene as male prostitute Alex in 2006’s The Little Dog Laughed. Out actor and Sir Ian McKellen is nominated for playing no less than the title role in King Lear, but let’s not dwell on his nude scene.

CherryJones
Cherry Jones in 24.

That extra nomination slot also paid off for our own two-time Tony-winning actress Cherry Jones, whose portrayal of a U.S. president on 24 is nominated for supporting actress in a drama series. OutSmart cover girls Kristen Chenoweth (May) and Vanessa Williams (this month) duke it out for best supporting actress in a comedy series.

Where are Kathy Griffin’s gays? On Emmy night, many will be jammed in the closet at Nokia Theater in Los Angeles, secretly hoping for a marriage-equality shout-out should Griffin win again. Newly christened as “Norma Gay,” Griffin could pick up two trophies this year. Her series My Life on the D List is the reigning outstanding reality program, and Kathy Griffin: She’ll Cut a Bitch is nominated for best music or comedy special.

Other outrageous Griffins are nominated for best comedy series, as Family Guy is the first animated show to make the cut in the category since The Flintstones in 1961. Or so I’m told. I don’t watch the show, but wouldn’t you know, on the one episode I happened to catch, the Griffins flee to Texas, where cross-dressing Stewie enters a “Little Miss” pageant? (My research reveals there was another episode in which Stewie, watching girls undressing in a locker room, remarked, “It appears my wee-wee’s been stricken with rigor mortis.”) I don’t watch United States of Tara either, but Toni Collette reportedly plays a biker dude (sometimes) and must do so pretty well, as she’s up for best actress in a comedy series.

I get 400 or 500 channels, yet never see a lot of this stuff. But hopefully, in the list of major nominations, you’ll find plenty of hopefuls to root for, even if there’s no hardware in sight for makeup or costumes on RuPaul’s Drag Race, best boy toy (Branden) on Make Me a Supermodel, or best villain (Wes) or hero (Jake) on this season’s The Bachelorette.

Also, you won’t find Kyle Chandler or Connie Britton nominated for their deserving work as a straight Texas married couple on Friday Night Lights, or Matthew Rhys and Luke McFarlane as gay newlyweds Kevin and Scotty on Brothers and Sisters. However, both shows are nominated for outstanding casting in a drama series, along with Damages, The Tudors, True Blood, and reigning Emmy champ Mad Men.
Donalevan Maines also writes about Southern Rapture in this issue of OutSmart magazine.

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And the Nominees (in a few categories) Are…

Outstanding Drama Series
Big Love
Breaking Bad
Damages
Dexter
House
Lost
Mad Men

Outstanding Comedy Series
Entourage
Family Guy
Flight of the Conchords
How I Met Your Mother
The Office
30 Rock
Weeds

Outstanding Actor in a Drama Series
Brian Cranston, Breaking Bad
Michael C. Hall, Dexter
Hugh Laurie, House
Gabriel Byrne, In Treatment
John Hamm, Mad Men
Simon Baker, The Mentalist

Outstanding Actress in a Drama Series
Sally Field, Brothers & Sisters
Kyra Sedgwick, The Closer
Glenn Close, Damages
Mariska Hargitay, Law & Order: Special Victims Unit
Elisabeth Moss, Mad Men
Holly Hunter, Saving Grace

Outstanding Actor in a Comedy Series
Jim Parsons, The Big Bang Theory Jemaine Clement, Flight of the Conchords
Tony Shalhoub, Monk
Steve Carrell, The Office
Alec Baldwin, 30 Rock
Charlie Sheen, Two and a Half Men

Outstanding Actress in a Comedy Series
Julia Louis-Dreyfus, The New Adventures of Old Christine
Christina Applegate, Samantha Who?
Sarah Silverman, The Sarah Silverman Program
Tina Fey, 30 Rock
Toni Collette, United States of Tara
Mary-Louise Parker, Weeds

Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series
William Shatner, Boston Legal
Christian Clemenson, Breaking Bad
Aaron Paul, Breaking Bad
William Hurt, Damages
Michael Emerson, Lost
John Slattery, Mad Men

Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series
Rose Byrne, Damages
Sandra Oh, Grey’s Anatomy
Chandra Wilson, Grey’s Anatomy
Dianne Wiest, In Treatment
Hope Davis, In Treatment
Cherry Jones, 24

Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series
Kevin Dillon, Entourage
Neil Patrick Harris, How I Met Your Mother
Rainn Wilson, The Office
Tracy Morgan, 30 Rock
Jack McBrayer, 30 Rock
Jon Cryer, Two and a Half Men

Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series
Kristin Chenoweth, Pushing Daisies
Amy Poehler, Saturday Night Live
Kristin Wiig, Saturday Night Live
Jane Krakowski, 30 Rock
Vanessa Williams, Ugly Betty
Elizabeth Perkins, Weeds

OutSmart cover girls Kristin Chenoweth (May 2009) and Vanessa Williams (current issue) duke it out over supporting actress in a comedy series. When Chenoweth was asked who (other than herself) she would like to see win, she answered: “Vanessa Williams. I think she’s terrific in Ugly Betty. Just terrific.”

Outstanding Made for Television Movie
Coco Chanel
Grey Gardens
Into the Storm
Prayers For Bobby
Taking Chance

Outstanding Lead Actor in a Miniseries or a Movie
Kevin Kline, Cyrano de Bergerac
Brendan Gleeson, Into the Storm
Sir Ian McKellen, King Lear
Kevin Bacon, Taking Chance
Kiefer Sutherland, 24: Redemption
Kenneth Branagh, Wallander: One Step Behind

Outstanding Lead Actress in a Miniseries or a Movie
Chandra Wilson, Accidental Friendship
Shirley MacLaine, Coco Chanel
Drew Barrymore, Grey Gardens
Jessica Lange, Grey Gardens
Sigourney Weaver, Prayers for Bobby

Outstanding Variety, Music, or Comedy Series
The Colbert Report
The Daily Show
The Late Show with David Letterman
Real Time with Bill Maher
Saturday Night Live

Outstanding Reality-Competition Program
The Amazing Race
American Idol
Dancing with the Stars
Project Runway
Top Chef

Outstanding Host for a Reality or Reality-Competition Program
Phil Keoghan, Amazing Race
Ryan Seacrest, American Idol
Tom Bergeron, Dancing with the Stars
Heidi Klum, Project Runway
Jeff Probst, Survivor
Padma Lakshmi and Tom Colicchio, Top Chef

The Emmys air Sunday, Sept. 20, at 8 p.m. on CBS

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Don Maines

Donalevan Maines is a regular contributor to OutSmart Magazine.

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