'Glee' Expected To Clean Up At Emmys

Robert Siegel speaks with Stacey Wilson of the Hollywood Reporter about this year's Emmy awards, which will be handed out Sunday night.

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MELISSA BLOCK, host:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Melissa Block.

ROBERT SIEGEL, host:

And I'm Robert Siegel. The prime-time Emmys will be handed out on Sunday night, and one television show in particular looks to clean up.

(Soundbite of television program, "Glee")

(Soundbite of song)

SIEGEL: "Glee," the wildly popular comedy on Fox, has 19 nominations. That's the most of any show. And joining me now to talk about the Emmys, from NPR West, is Stacey Wilson of the Hollywood Reporter. Welcome to the program.

Ms. STACEY WILSON (Hollywood Reporter): Hi, thanks for having me.

SIEGEL: And what do you think? Can "Glee" be stopped?

Ms. WILSON: You know, all signs point to "Glee" winning. The only show that could unseat "Glee" from the Emmys Sunday night is "Modern Family," another very beloved comedy. But "Glee" has dominated the pop-culture landscape for more than a year now. And it would seem that it is actually the favorite - a very clear favorite, actually, which is pretty rare for a new show.

The last few years - has been dominated by "30 Rock." This is kind of an exciting development.

SIEGEL: This is the comedy category, and absent from it is the conventional sitcom, the situation comedy that we think of.

Ms. WILSON: That's true. The what we would call laugh-track sitcoms. Absent this year is "How I Met Your Mother" and "Two and a Half Men." But yes, it's interesting. All the comedies have what we would consider a filmic quality.

"The Office" and "Modern Family" have that mockumentary style. And "Nurse Jackie," "Glee," "Curb" and "30 Rock" all have what we would consider single-camera, filmic sort of style that feels more like a mini-movie than it does a sort of laugh-track sitcom that we sort of all grew up watching.

SIEGEL: Yes. What you're saying is if we went to the movie theater and saw something that was a living room with angles from different cameras on the different categories, it would be terrible. We wouldn't sit through that movie.

Ms. WILSON: Exactly.

SIEGEL: Now, the kind of technique you'd see in a movie is more likely to be seen on television.

Ms. WILSON: Right, and because dramas have become so sophisticated - now we have "Mad Men," "Dexter," "Lost," "Breaking Bad," "True Blood" - these shows feel like movies each week, which is why they're so incredibly appealing.

So I do feel like the folks who create comedy have taken a page from that, and comedy has never been more sophisticated as it is today.

SIEGEL: Do you think that we're now seeing Emmys for TV shows in the age of hi-def and big, flat screens in people's homes and perhaps, you know, people paying a little bit more attention to what it looks like?

Ms. WILSON: Well, I think that, and the technology has been enhanced. And also, you know, the availability of shows online, the Hulus that you can download full episodes of shows from various network sites - I mean, that's incredible.

But I also think more, it's just people are becoming more homebodies. The movies are very expensive. And they're not that great, for the most part.

SIEGEL: Mm-hmm. Right.

Ms. WILSON: And I think people are just enjoying being home. They have their nice TVs. They have their DVRs.

I mean, I personally spend most of my weekend catching up on all the shows that I record. And you know, I'd rather do that than drive to the mall and park, and go through all that hassle.

(Soundbite of laughter)

SIEGEL: Okay. You mentioned "Mad Men," lots of nominations in the drama category for "Mad Men," but some competition this year for that show.

Ms. WILSON: Definitely some competition. AMC's other drama, "Breaking Bad," that has been kind of - always been the close second. I mean, Bryan Cranston, the lead of "Breaking Bad," he's won the last two years, and the show is absolutely just groundbreaking, very gritty.

I don't know if it's caught on with viewers to the same degree as "Mad Men." It could be a sort of dark horse this year. But we are actually favoring CBS's "The Good Wife," which is very interesting. It's the only new show.

SIEGEL: Yeah, you said CBS, for a second I can't remember what that is. It's an actual network that's...

(Soundbite of laughter)

SIEGEL: ...in the competition.

Ms. WILSON: Right. You know, CBS is you know, CBS always gets a lot of flak, but, you know what, they have done extremely well the last years. The "CSI" franchise is a sure thing. I mean, people love those shows. Obviously, "Survivor" still does very well.

But in the drama contender category, this is the first breakout competitor that they've had. It's only been on one season. The return of Julianna Margulies, who people love, obviously from her "ER" days, she's definitely also favored to win the best actress in a drama category, as well.

SIEGEL: Now, the Emmys are on NBC.

Ms. WILSON: Correct.

SIEGEL: On Sunday. And it could be interesting if Conan O'Brien, who's nominated for his now-defunct version of "The Tonight Show," were to be called up, if he were to win on NBC. Remotely possible?

Ms. WILSON: You know, we actually had a story in yesterday's paper, at the Hollywood Reporter, about - he does have an embargo about what he can and can't say on the air. But I think everyone is very excited, including myself, to see what happens if he gets on stage.

I think everyone's rooting for him because it's such a bizarre situation. But it would be kind of a sweet victory for him to win for that very, very short-lived "Tonight Show."

SIEGEL: Well, thank you, Stacey.

Ms. WILSON: Thank you very much.

SIEGEL: That's Stacey Wilson of the Hollywood Reporter, talking about the Emmys.

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