- The Washington Times - Monday, August 21, 2006

Elizabeth’ reigns

“Elizabeth I,” the HBO miniseries starring a passionate but steely Helen Mirren as the British monarch, arrives on DVD today after taking home five Creative Emmy Awards last weekend.

The premium cable channel, in fact, dominated the 58th annual event, winning 17 statuettes overall, reports E! Online. Awards in 63 categories — honoring mostly behind-the-scenes contributions in such areas as art direction, cinematography, costume design and makeup —were presented during a Saturday ceremony hosted by comedy duo Penn & Teller.

HBO’s other winners included “Baghdad ER,” the network’s gritty documentary about the U.S. Army’s medical team in Iraq; and the original series “Rome,” which each took home four Emmy Awards. “Elizabeth I” and “Rome” both won the awards for costume design and hairstyling in their respective categories.

ABC came in second place with 10 awards. Its emotional show “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition” was named Outstanding Reality Program for the second consecutive year.

Fox’s “The Simpsons” and its episode “The Seemingly Neverending Story” won for Outstanding Animated Program, marking the ninth time the show has received the award. It bested “South Park’s” Scientology-skewering “Trapped in the Closet” episode, which Comedy Central had pulled from its rerun schedule until it was nominated for an Emmy last month.

A few on-camera awards were also handed out. Oscar winner Cloris Leachman captured her eighth Emmy, this time for Outstanding Guest Actress in a Comedy for her portrayal of grumpy Grandma Ida on “Malcolm in the Middle.”

Leslie Jordan won the Outstanding Guest Actor in a Comedy for “Will & Grace,” on which he played Beverley Leslie, Jack’s sugar daddy.

Meanwhile, Patricia Clarkson garnered her second Outstanding Guest Actress in a Drama Series Emmy for her role as the quirky Aunt Sarah on HBO’s “Six Feet Under.”

Veteran character actor Christian Clemenson beat out Michael J. Fox and James Woods for Outstanding Guest Actor in a Drama for his work on ABC’s “Boston Legal.”

A two-hour Creative Arts Emmys special will air Saturday evening at 8 on E! Entertainment Television.

The 58th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards, hosted by Conan O’Brien, airs live Sunday evening at 8 on NBC. The network’s Emmy coverage begins at 7 p.m. with the celebrity red carpet arrival.

TBS’ short bites

“Love Bites,” a new micro-series chronicling the romance between a twentysomething couple — Katie (Laureen Bittner) and Max (Canadian actor David Julian Hirsh) — will debut Sept. 22, reports the TV trade publication Cynopsis reports.

Each of the 82 episodes will be 2 minutes long and will air weeknights on TBS after syndicated reruns of “Sex and the City.” It also will air after the 10 p.m. programming block on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays as well as during the day Monday through Friday. Sixty-five of the episodes will air over 13 weeks, while the remaining 17 minis will be distributed by JWTwo through nontraditional platforms which includes retail, e-mail, online and mobile wireless. Viewers also will be able to blog with the actors, view new and different episodes and tour Katie’s apartment on the Web by logging onto lovebites.com or gethairapy.com.

According to Variety, this is “arguably the first time a cable show has been crafted for the new-media landscape.”

The industry trade magazine also reports that the short format is based on the French-Canadian show “Love Bugs,” which aired in Canada for six years.

“Love Bites” is sponsored by Unilever’s new Sunsilk hair product line. However, there will be no actual product placement in the show but rather sponsor identification in the credits.

“Love Bites” is produced by “Mad About You” star Paul Reiser’s Nuance Productions. Ad agency JWTwo Entertainment, a co-producer on behalf of its client Unilever, has had a second project, the animated “Flex and Zephyr,” picked up by Comedy Central. “Flex and Zephyr” has not yet been linked to a particular product.

Compiled by Kelly Jane Torrance from Web and wire reports.

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