- The Washington Times - Sunday, July 23, 2006

Sideshow Bob wins

Kelsey Grammar won his fifth Emmy last week — and he didn’t even have to get in front of a camera to do it.

For the former “Frasier” star, this was his first Emmy that didn’t involve his trademark psychiatrist character, E! Online reports. He earned the award for outstanding voice-over performance for his portrayal of “The Simpsons” villain Sideshow Bob. Mr. Grammar reprised his role as Bart Simpson’s bushy-haired nemesis last season, the show’s 17th, in an episode titled “The Italian Bob,” revolving around the Simpsons becoming stranded in an Italian village where a seemingly rehabilitated Sideshow Bob is the mayor.

“The Simpsons” has won more Emmy Awards than any other animated show: 19, including eight for outstanding animated program (which it’s vying to win again this year).

Mr. Grammar is the latest of the voice cast to be honored. Dan Castellaneta has taken home the award for outstanding voice-over performance three times, in 2004, 1993 and 1992, for giving voice to Homer, Krusty the Clown, Barney, Grampa and Itchy, among others.

Hank Azaria, who voices an equally impressive list of characters, including Moe, Carl, Chief Wiggum, Apu and Cletus, is also a three-time recipient of the award, having taken it home in 2003, 2001 and 1998.

Marcia Wallace (Mrs. Krabappel), Yeardley Smith (Lisa), Julie Kavner (Marge), Jackie Mason (Rabbi Krustofsky) and Nancy Cartwright (Bart) also have been recognized for their work, all receiving Emmys along with Mr. Castellaneta in 1992.

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced recipients in three of the categories for the 58th annual Creative Arts Emmy Awards. The award winners were chosen by juries from their respective academy branches rather than going through the nomination process.

“MadTV,” “Dancing With the Stars” and the PBS special “Benise: Nights of Fire!” were honored for costumes for a variety or music program. The artists and designers behind “Classical Baby 2,” “Robot Chicken,” “Escape From Cluster Prime,” “The Life and Times of Juniper Lee,” “Foster’s Home for Imaginary Friends” and “The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy” won for individual outstanding achievement in animation.

The 58th annual Primetime Emmys air Aug. 27 on NBC.

Compiled by Kelly Jane Torrance from staff, Web reports

Sundance goes green

Sundance Channel Green, a weekly prime-time programming block focusing on environmental topics, will bow on the cable channel in early 2007, Sundance founder Robert Redford announced late last week.

The block will consist of three hours of hosted programming, including original series and documentary premieres “about the earth’s ecology and concepts of ‘green’ living that balance human needs with responsible environmental stewardship,” the network said. It’s the first regularly scheduled programming block on television dedicated entirely to environmental issues.

A number of celebrities besides Mr. Redford have expressed their enthusiasm for the new block, including Robert F. Kennedy Jr. of the Natural Resources Defense Council and the Waterkeeper Alliance, actor Leonardo DiCaprio, and actress Cameron Diaz.

“Documentaries such as Al Gore’s ‘An Inconvenient Truth’ powerfully demonstrate the relevance of, and demand for, so-called green programming,” said Dan Hartman, vice president of programming for DirecTV Inc.

The Sundance Channel Web site will feature a related portal called Eco-mmunity. It will provide a forum for eco-minded consumers, companies and organizations to interact.

The network also plans to make Sundance Channel Green programming available via digital platforms such as video-on-demand, online, download-to-own and wireless. Specific “green”-related content also will be produced and acquired for those platforms, including short films, behind-the-scenes and making-of footage, and exclusive extended footage.

Diggs’ digs

Taye Diggs offered bored writers on the Television Critics Association press tour some comedy relief.

Unfortunately, it wasn’t intentional.

The actor became frustrated by critics asking pointed questions about his new ABC series, “Day Break,” Zap2It.com reports. The show, premiering in late fall, is a cross between the movies “Groundhog Day” and “Training Day,” with a cop accused of murder reliving the day until he finds out who framed him.

“We’re not dumb,” he said in response to questions about problems with the concept. “I’m Taye Diggs. I wouldn’t sign on for that.”

Mr. Diggs has appeared previously in the flops “New Best Friend,” “Basic” and the movie version of “Rent.”

Compiled by Kelly Jane Torrance from staff and Web reports.

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