- The Washington Times - Wednesday, July 4, 2007

Emmy ‘leak’ pondered

An online leak about the Primetime Emmy Award finalists in the comedy and drama series categories raised questions Monday about the security and future of the Emmy voting process, the Hollywood Reporter notes.

When TheEnvelope.com posted the list of the top 10 finalists in each category during the weekend, citing as sources multiple judges who were screening the series, it also shed light into this year’s voting process.

According to the site, the drama finalists are ABC’s “Boston Legal,” “Grey’s Anatomy” and “Lost”; NBC’s “Friday Night Lights” and “Heroes”; Fox’s “House” and “24”; Showtime’s “Dexter”; and HBO’s “Rome” and “The Sopranos.” The comedy finalists, according to the site, are ABC’s “Desperate Housewives” and “Ugly Betty”; NBC’s “My Name Is Earl,” “The Office,” “Scrubs” and “30 Rock”; CBS‘ “Two and a Half Men”; HBO’s “Entourage” and “Extras”; and Showtime’s “Weeds.”

The Academy of Television Arts & Sciences, which oversees the Primetime Emmy Awards, declined comment on the accuracy of the lists.

At least one network source was pleased that the lists of finalists were leaked. The source, who did not wish to be named, said ATAS should make it a policy to start announcing the top 10 finalists on its own every year, the Hollywood Reporter said.

The leak could be linked to a change this year in the Emmy voting procedures.

The finalists — selected by the entire ATAS membership — are being screened in Los Angeles and New York by blue-ribbon panels consisting of several hundred academy members.

One rule change this year ensured that all panelists would know all series that made the cut as the top 10 in a certain category instead of just a few apiece, as they did last year. That makes it more difficult to keep the identity of the finalists under wraps.

The final five nominees — or six, if the vote is close enough, according to a new rule — will be determined for the first time by combining the popular vote with the panel scoring on a 50-50 basis. (Last year, only the panels chose the final five series nominees from a group of finalists picked by ATAS membership. The panels were introduced last year with the goal of giving newcomers and overlooked series a better shot at Emmy recognition.)

Univision rates

What do “Grey’s Anatomy,” “Desperate Housewives,” “House,” “Without a Trace” and “60 Minutes” have in common?

Each of the big-time network shows was seen by fewer people last week than the finale of Univision’s telenovela “La Fea Mas Bella.” The Spanish-language network proved its potency, with three shows among the 10 most watched by viewers aged 18 to 49, while CBS and ABC had none, according to Nielsen Media Research.

With its 7.4 million viewers, “La Fea Mas Bella” ranked No. 15 last week among all viewers. By contrast, a repeat of “Ugly Betty,”ABC’s English-language adaptation of “La Fea Mas Bella,” was seen by 3.5 million people.

It was an otherwise slow week for network television. CBS won the week with an average of 6.8 million viewers. Fox had 5.6 million, and ABC had 4.5 million. Following were the CW with 1.8 million, My Network TV with 770,000 and ION Television with 670,000.

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