- The Washington Times - Thursday, September 18, 2003

It’s all about Emmy

The 55th annual Emmy Awards will be handed out Sunday on Fox, promising a slugfest between pay cable HBO and the network competition.

Some Emmys are given out before the main event — NBC’s “Will & Grace” and HBO’s original movie “Live From Baghdad” collected three trophies each during the creative arts portion of the awards presentation.

“Will & Grace” won for guest actor, Gene Wilder, in addition to nods for cinematography and art direction. “Live From Baghdad” earned honors for casting, editing and sound mixing for a miniseries, movie or a special.

Winners in the remaining 28 categories will be revealed at 8 p.m. Sunday.

HBO’s “Six Feet Under,” following a family of funeral directors, notched 16 nominations, the best for any show, including the award for best dramatic series.

NBC’s venerable “The West Wing” may be showing signs of aging, but it earned 15 nominations for ‘03.

Trailing close behind is HBO’s “The Sopranos,” with 13 nominations.

Among the fresh faces nominated for awards this year are Jennifer Garner of ABC’s “Alias” for best drama performance and Cheryl Hines of HBO’s “Curb Your Enthusiasm” for best supporting actress in a comedy.

Red carpet review

It wouldn’t be an Emmys weekend without the fashion and gossip mavens at E! giving their two cents worth.

The network will devote 10 hours to pre-and post-Emmy coverage starting Sunday at noon.

“Primetime Emmy Awards” bows first, giving viewers a look at their favorite stars on and off the small screen.

The real fun begins at 6 p.m. when Joan and Melissa Rivers greet guests along the red carpet and raise a few reconstructed eyebrows over their fashion choices.

On Monday, the network offers “Fashion Police: Primetime Emmy Awards” at 10 p.m. allowing the two to cut loose without the celebrities nearby to hear their catty comments.

Fashion conscience

Jennifer Aniston and Edie Falco won’t just look good at Sunday’s Emmy Awards. They’ll be doing good, too.

Gowns worn by the actresses and other TV stars at the ceremony or other awards shows will be auctioned for charity, the Associated Press reports.

This is the second year of the Clothes Off Our Back fund-raiser, created by actress Jane Kaczmarek, an Emmy nominee for “Malcolm in the Middle.”

“We aren’t asking celebrities for time or money, just the clothes off their backs,” Miss Kaczmarek said in a statement.

More than 35 celebrities will donate their red-carpet outfits, including fashions from Prada, Vera Wang and Hugo Boss, Miss Kaczmarek said. Proceeds benefit the Cure Autism Now Foundation and the Union of Concerned Scientists.

Last year, Miss Aniston of “Friends” donated her dress after winning the award for best actress in a comedy series. Her outfit raised $50,000, Miss Kaczmarek said.

Stars participating this year besides Miss Aniston and Miss Falco (“The Sopranos”) include Cynthia Nixon (“Sex and the City”), Sean Hayes and Debra Messing (“Will & Grace”), Dule Hill (“The West Wing”), Ellen DeGeneres, Bernie Mac and Jennifer Garner.

The E-Bay auction is to begin Sunday evening and run for 10 days. Each winning bid will receive the outfit, a photo of the star on the red carpet and a note from Miss Kaczmarek and her husband, “The West Wing’s” Bradley Whitford.

Cancel ‘Luis’ ASAP

Character actor Luis Guzman has earned his chance at Hollywood’s holy grail: the eponymous sitcom.

The always interesting character actor (“Punch-Drunk Love,” “Traffic,” “Magnolia”) stars in Fox’s “Luis,” a sitcom set in a Spanish Harlem doughnut shop.

The show, debuting tonight at 8:30, could have been a chance to spotlight the actor and give Latinos some overdue regular prime-time exposure. Instead, the diverse cast gives the writers license to peddle stale ethnic jokes and prove not every actor is suited for sitcoms.

Watching Mr. Guzman waddle around the cramped doughnut shop set is an awkward experience made worse by the show’s anemic supporting players.

Mr. Guzman plays a doughnut store owner in Spanish Harlem just trying to get by — and do right by his beautiful daughter, Marly (Jaclyn DeSantis). Marly is smitten with a slacker/artist who doesn’t mind having her pay his rent bills. Of course, Luis does — leading to the first of many confrontations.

Fox should do both itself and the star a favor by allowing the show to die a quick and painless death.

The sooner “Luis” fades to black, the sooner Mr. Guzman can return to worthy feature assignments.

Ambrose goes ‘Swimming’

“Six Feet Under’s” beguiling Lauren Ambrose stars in tonight’s Sundance Channel’s premiere of “Swimming.”

Miss Ambrose is Frankie, a bored teenager dreading another lackluster summer working at her parent’s diner. Into her life walks an incompetent but alluring young waitress (Joelle Carter) and Frankie’s life is changed in significant ways. She also meets Heath (Jamie Harrold), a slacker who peddles tie-dyed T-shirts from his van.

The coming-of-age saga airs at 9 p.m. on the Sundance Channel, dedicated to independent fare.

Swedes nix Oprah

Sweden’s broadcasting watchdog said this week it was censuring an Oprah Winfrey talk show for showing bias in favor of a U.S. military attack on Iraq, according to Reuters News Agency.

The censure means Swedish television network TV4, which broadcast the show in February, must publish the decision, but there are no legal or financial penalties, Annelie Ulfhielm, an official of Sweden’s Broadcasting Commission, told Reuters.

“Different views were expressed, but all longer remarks gave voice to the opinion that Saddam Hussein was a threat to the United States and should be the target of attack,” Sweden’s Broadcasting Commission told Reuters.

The Swedish government strongly opposed the U.S. invasion of Iraq, saying it lacked a U.N. Security Council mandate.

A TV4 spokesman said the Oprah Winfrey show usually drew an audience of about 100,000 to 140,000 Swedes, making it one of Sweden’s more popular daytime television programs.

Compiled by Christian Toto from staff and wire reports.

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