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Emmy Countdown: TV world prepares for its closeup

- Associated Press - Friday, August 27, 2010

LOS ANGELES (AP) - The television world's annual tribute to itself is set for Sunday night, going live to all U.S. time zones for the first time in recent memory. Having a totally live show means everything needs to work _ the first time _ so there's plenty of last-minute prepping going on heading into the weekend. Maybe a little anticipation and a few pre-parties, too. Here's the latest:

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ROOTING FOR A RIVAL: Even Holland Taylor is rooting for Jane Lynch to win the Emmys on Sunday.

Like Lynch, Taylor is nominated as supporting actress in a comedy series: Taylor for her portrayal of Charlie Sheen's toxic mother on "Two and a Half Men," Lynch for creating the caustic coach on "Glee."

"If Jane Lynch doesn't take this award, the world will tilt on its axis," Taylor said. "We've never seen a character like that before."

A 1999 Emmy winner for "The Practice," Taylor has been nominated four times for her work on "Men." "My mother died right when I took this job, and I was really at sea," explained the diminutive Philadelphian, who seized opportunities that came with the regular schedule of a hit sitcom, including writing a one-woman show about the late Texas governor Ann Richards. With it, she cast herself against type, as the wickedly witty Southern Democrat.

While Taylor was working on the play this summer, the fate of "Men" was uncertain, despite high ratings, as Sheen was in contract negotiations and also struggling with personal and legal issues. As a result of the negotiations, Sheen is now TV's top-paid actor, making more than $1 million per episode, according to a "TV Guide" magazine report.

Taylor doesn't make nearly as much loot, but said she is grateful for what "Men" has given her since day one. "I just thought, 'Wow! Are you prepared for what you are marching resolutely towards, without even thinking about it?' And the answer was, 'No! Hell, no!' I'm not remotely prepared for what this is going towards the big dirt nap."

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A-LIST OF PRESENTERS: The Television Academy has released its final batch of presenters for Sunday night's Primetime Emmy Awards, completing a parade of talent that is sure to keep the three-hour show glamorous, if nothing else. Included in the most recent stellar lineup are Claire Danes, Ted Danson, Tom Selleck, and Mariska Hargitay of "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit," who is nominated this year for lead actress in a drama series.

They join a list of previously announced presenters that includes Stephen Colbert, Edie Falco, Tina Fey, Ricky Gervais, Jon Hamm, Neil Patrick Harris, January Jones, LL Cool J, John Lithgow, Ann-Margret, newlyweds Anna Paquin and Steven Moyer of "True Blood," Eva Longoria Parker and of course Betty White.

The ceremony will be broadcast from the Nokia Theatre at LA LIVE in downtown Los Angeles beginning at 8 p.m. EDT on NBC.

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STARRY, STARRY NIGHT: After winning (or losing) Emmys, 3,600 celebrities and other invitees will end the evening at the Governors Ball inside the West Hall of the Los Angeles Convention Center, just steps away from the Nokia Theatre. The behemoth 57,600-square-foot space has been transformed into a celestial heaven for Sunday's galactic dinner party.

"This is a very large room," said designer Dwight Jackson. "It's bigger than a football field."

To turn the colossal hall into an intimate ballroom, the space has been surrounded by 50,000-square-feet of black drapery. Thousands of tiny mirror balls dangle from the ceiling around a giant disco ball encased in a glittering sun sculpture hung above the stage, while giant glowing spheres representing each sign of the zodiac circle the dance floor.

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AP Entertainment Writer Derrik Lang contributed to this report.

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Online:

http://www.emmys.com/

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