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Two Tivos To Paradise 6.27.14: The 2014 Norty Awards!
Posted by Al Norton on 06.27.2014

Hello friends; what's good? Norty Award nomination week is always a VERY stressful one for me as I do my best to make sure I am not forgetting anyone from consideration and then do several drafts, cutting the list down each time until I finally end up with the six (usually) in each category. Factor in the twins finishing kindergarten and a lot of activity with my day job and I am one tuckered out buckaroo right now, one very much looking forward to the weekend.

Here's Matt and Ben talking about the new season of HBO's Project Greenlight

Here's a behind the scenes look at FX's The Strain

Why you gotta be so news? Don't you know I'm human, too?

How About A Round Of Applause, A Standing Ovation
It's time for the EIGHTH annual Norty Awards, the Two Tivos To Paradise version of the Emmys. The Emmy nominations will be announced on Thursday, July 10th (with full coverage available here the next day) so we roll out our dream ballot for you today (with a column in September announcing the winners).

The big change for 2014 is that this year, the Norty Awards will have a host! American Ninja Warrior's Matt Iseman, a very funny standup and an official Friend of TTTP, will be emceeing the "event", giving the awards their first opening monologue ever!!! I am thrilled and honored to have Matt taking part; to get someone this talented, from a highly rated network show (American Ninja Warrior won the demos on Monday), to host is a tribute to the power of you, my readers!

Here's what I wrote last year and I think it still applies…Before we get started I want to make sure and get across that these are the performers and series I think were the best in each category for the 2013-2014 TV season. Are you going to agree with all my choices? Hells to the no, and I wouldn't agree with all of yours, either. In the interest of quality civil discourse, please use the comments section below to tell me what/who you would have like to have seen recognized that was not. I am hoping for less "…lost all credibility" and "epic fail" and more "here are my picks."

Here we go…

Michelle Fairley, Suits (USA)
Walton Goggins, Sons of Anarchy (FX)
Allison Janney, Masters of Sex (Showtime)
Ray Romano, Parenthood (NBC)
Alicia Witt, Justified (FX)
James Woods, Ray Donovan (Showtime)

Toughest Omissions: Margo Martindale, The Americans; Juliana Nicholson, Masters of Sex; Jimmy Smits, Sons of Anarchy; Michael Rappaport, Justified, Donal Logue, Sons of Anarchy

Previous Winners2013: Walton Goggins, Sons of Anarchy

Analysis: Can Walton Goggins defend his crown against some amazing competition? Cable series pretty much dominate the nominations, a trend that will continue as you keep reading.

Linda Cardellini, New Girl (Fox)
Laverne Cox, Orange is the New Black (Netflix)
Ron Funches, @midnight (Comedy Central)
Donald Glover, Community (Comedy Central)
Walton Goggins, Community (NBC)
Romy Rosemont, Glee (Fox)

Toughest Omissions: June Squibb, Glee; Bob Newhart, The Big Bang Theory; Kerry Washington, SNL; Charles Grodin, Louie; Nathan Lane, Modern Family; Mike O'Malley, Glee; Doug Benson, @midnight; Nikki Glaser, @midnight;

Previous Winners: 2013: Justin Timberlake, Saturday Night Live

Analysis: This is tough category to pick as some of the comedies have some big dramatic elements to them, and then how do you judge those against incredibly funny appearances on something like @midnight? This one will keep me up a few nights, that's for sure.

Andre Braugher, Brooklyn Nine-Nine (Fox)
Terry Crews, Brooklyn Nine- Nine (Fox)
Keith David, Enlisted (Fox)
Ed O'Neill, Modern Family (ABC)
Danny Pudi, Community (NBC)
Adam Scott, Parks and Recreation (NBC)
James Wolk, The Crazy Ones (CBS)

Toughest Omissions: Ty Burrell, Modern Family; Nick Offerman, Parks and Recreation; Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Modern Family;

Previous Winners: 2013: Ed O'Neill, Modern Family; 2012: Max Greenfield, Modern Family; 2011: Ed O'Neill, Modern Family; 2010: Danny Pudi, Community; 2009: Neil Patrick Harris, How I Met Your Mother; 2008: Chi McBride, Pushing Daisies; 2007: Neil Patrick Harris, How I Met Your Mother

Analysis: Since every year the Emmys usually have one category with seven nominations (meaning the votes were statistically too close to differentiate between 6th and 7th), I give myself one seven nomination category a year and this year is was this one; all were so deserving that I simply couldn't find a way to cut anyone.

Kristen Bell, House of Lies (Showtime)
Julie Bowen, Modern Family (ABC)
Allison Janney, Mom (CBS)
Cristin Milioti, How I Met Your Mother (CBS)
Eden Sher, The Middle (ABC)
Michaela Watkins, Trophy Wife (ABC)

Toughest Omissions: Anna Chulmsky, Veep; Sofia Vergara, Modern Family; Kate Mulgrew,Orange is the New Black; Aubrey Plaza, Parks and Recreation, Miyam Bialik, The Big Bang Theory

Previous Winners: 2013: Eden Sher, The Middle; 2012: Cheryl Hines, Suburgatory; 2011: Jane Lynch, Glee; 2010: Jane Lynch, Glee; 2009: Kristen Wiig, SNL; 2008: Amy Pietz, Aliens In America; 2007: Ashley Jensen, Extras

Analysis: Wow, five of the six nominees from network series (and for the men seven out of seven); clearly funny people in supporting roles is something the broadcast networks know.

Peter Dinklage, Game of Thrones (HBO)
Walton Goggins, Justified (FX)
Rick Hoffman, Suits (USA)
Peter Krause, Parenthood (NBC)
Aaron Paul, Breaking Bad (AMC)
Jon Voight, Ray Donovan (Showtime)

Toughest Omissions: Martin Freeman, Fargo; Bob Odenkirk, Fargo; Josh Charles, The Good Wife; John Slattery,Mad Men; Dean Norris, Breaking Bad, Mandy Patinkin, Homeland; Norman Reedus, The Walking Dead;

Previous Winners: 2013: Rick Hoffman, Suits; 2012: Giancarlo Esposito, Breaking Bad; 2011: Walton Goggins. Justified; 2010: Michael Emerson, Lost; 2009: Ryan Hurst, Sons of Anarchy; 2008: Michael Emerson, Lost; 2007: James Callis, Battlestar Galactica

Analysis: Year in, year out, the single toughest category; every single one of those nominees was aces, and every single one of the omissions are award worthy as well.

Christine Baranski, The Good Wife (CBS)
Anna Gunn, Breaking Bad (AMC)
Christina Hendricks, Mad Men (AMC)
Melissa McBride, The Walking Dead (AMC)
Monica Potter, Parenthood (NBC)
Allison Tolman, Fargo (FX)

Toughest Omissions: Sarah Rafferty, Suits; Michelle Monaghan, True Detective; Caitlin Fitzgerald, Masters of Sex; Emilia Clarke, Game of Thrones

Previous Winners: 2013: Monica Potter, Parenthood; 2012: Kadee Strickland, Private Practice; 2011: Margo Martindale, Justified; 2010: Elisabeth Moss, Mad Men, 2009: Chandra Wilson, Grey's Anatomy; 2008: Diana-Maria Riva, Side Order of Life; 2007: Connie Britton, Friday Night Lights

Analysis: If anyone needed convincing that TV knows how to write quality and diverse female characters can just look at the list above. All powerhouse performances and none in the same way.

Louis CK, Louie (FX)
Christopher Meloni, Surviving Jack (Fox)
James Roday, Psych (USA)
Andy Samberg, Brooklyn Nine-Nine (Fox)
Geoff Stults, Enlisted (Fox)
David Walton, About a Boy (NBC)

Toughest Omissions: JK Simmons, Growing Up Fisher; Thomas Middleditch, Silicon Valley; Don Cheadle, House of Lies; Chris Messina, The Mindy Project; Joel McHale, Community;Johnny Galecki, The Big Bang Theory

Previous Winners: 2013: James Roday, PSYCH; 2012: Joel McHale, Community; 20122: Steve Carell, The Office; 2010: Zachary Levi, Chuck; 2009: Steve Carell, The Office; 2008: Josh Radnor, How I Met Your Mother, 2007: Alec Baldwin, 30 Rock

Analysis: Kind of sad that two of the seven come from shows that got cancelled after one season but this is as strong as this category has been in the history of the Norty Awards.

Mindy Kaling, The Mindy Project (Fox)
Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Veep (HBO)
Wendy McClendon-Clovey, The Goldbergs (ABC)
Amy Poehler, Parks and Recreation (NBC)
Taylor Schilling, Orange is the New Black (Netflix)
Amy Schumer, Inside Amy Schumer (Comedy Central)

Toughest Omissions: Minnie Driver, About a Boy; Anna Farris, Mom; Lena Dunham, Girls

Previous Winners: 2013: Sutton Foster, Bunheads; 2012: Amy Poehler, Parks and Recreation; 2011: Laura Linney, The Big C; 2010: Courteney Cox, Cougar Town; 2009: Christina Applegate, Samantha Who?; 2008: Christina Applegate, Samantha Who?; 2007: Laura Kightlinger, The Minor Accomplishments of Jackie Woodman

Analysis: A great mix of first-time nominees and returning favorites in this category, one without a clear favorite.

Bryan Cranston, Breaking Bad (AMC)
Jon Hamm, Mad Men (AMC)
Gabriel Macht, Suits (USA)
Matthew McConaughey, True Detective (HBO)
James Spader, The Blacklist (NBC)
Michael Sheen, Masters of Sex (Showtime)

Toughest Omissions: Billy Bob Thornton, Fargo; Liev Schreiber, Ray Donovan; Matthew Rhys, The Americans; Timothy Olyphant, Justified

Previous Winners: 2013: Jon Hamm, Mad Men; 2012: Bryan Cranston, Breaking Bad; 2011: Jon Hamm, Mad Men; 2010: Bryan Cranston, Breaking Bad; 2009: Bryan Cranston, Breaking Bad; 2008: Bryan Cranston, Breaking Bad; 2007: Denis Leary, Rescue Me

Analysis: Does Bryan Cranston become a FIVE time Norty winner? Will Matthew McConaughey get the chance to make another wild and wonderful acceptance speech? Will a dark horse like Michael Sheen sneak in?

Lizzy Caplan, Masters of Sex (Showtime)
Claire Danes, Homeland (Showtime)
Julianna Margulies, The Good Wife (CBS)
Tatiana Maslany, Orphan Black (Syfy)
Elisabeth Moss, Mad Men (AMC)
Keri Russell, The Americans (FX)

Toughest Omissions: Kerry Washington, Scandal;

Previous Winners: 2013: Claire Danes, Homeland; 2012: Claire Danes, Homeland; 2011: Elisabeth Moss, Mad Men; 2010: Katey Sagal, Sons of Anarchy; 2009: Jill Scott, The # 1 Ladies Detective Agency; 2008: Mary McDonnell, Battlestar Galactica; 2007: Minnie Driver, The Riches

Analysis: Each in their own way, this is one bad ass group of ladies (and I mean that in terms of characters AND actresses.

Nine for IX (ESPN)
30 for 30 (ESPN)
American Masters (PBS)
Deadliest Catch (Discovery)
Inside Comedy (Showtime)
Time of Death (Showtime)

Toughest Omissions: Comic Book Men, Restaurant Impossible

Previous Winners: 2013: Inside Comedy; 2012; Crave

Analysis: For those who think the reality genre is without merit, watch any of the series above and tell me they don't represent TV at its best.

Chopped (Food)
Dancing with the Stars (ABC)
MasterChef (Fox)
Shark Tank (ABC)
Top Chef Masters (Bravo)
So You Think You Can Dance (Fox)

Toughest Omissions : Top Chef, The Voice

Previous Winners: 2013: Chopped All-Stars; 2012: The Glee Project; 2010: Top Chef: All Stars

Analysis: Competition series where it's about the people and their talents equals high quality TV, and all of the above more than qualify.

@Midnight (Comedy Central)
The Colbert Report (Comedy Central)
The Daily Show with Jon Stewart (Comedy Central)
The Tonight Show starring Jimmy Fallon (NBC)
The Soup (E!)
Tosh.0 (Comedy Central)

Toughest Omissions: None

Previous Winners: 2012: The Daily Show with Jon Stewart

Analysis: There are a ridiculous amount of laughs in this set of nominations, which will make for a tough decision on who wins.

American Horror Story: Coven (FX)
Fargo (FX)
Luther (BBC America)
The Normal Heart (HBO)
Sherlock: His Last Vow (PBS)
True Detective (HBO)

Toughest Omissions: The Trip to Bountiful

Analysis: The changing face of TV programming meant we had to add a category to include these one season series that are becoming all the rage.

About a Boy (NBC)
Brooklyn Nine-Nine (Fox)
Enlisted (Fox)
Louie (FX)
Modern Family (ABC)
Orange is the New Black (Netflix)
Parks and Recreation (NBC)

Toughest Omissions : The Mindy Project, Community, The Middle, Psych, Inside Amy Schumer, Archer, Veep

Previous Winners: 2013: New Girl; 2012: Louie; 2011: Community; 2010: Glee; 2009: Chuck; 2008: The Office; 2007: The Office

Analysis: I went and gave myself another seven. Seriously, how could I leave any of these off?!?!? Comedy is alive and well on TV!

Breaking Bad (AMC)
Mad Men (AMC)
Masters of Sex (Showtime)
Parenthood (NBC)
Ray Donovan (Showtime)
Suits (USA)

Toughest Omissions: Homeland, Game of Thrones, Sons of Anarchy, The Americans, The Good Wife, House of Cards, Orphan Black

Previous Winners: 2013: Breaking Bad; 2012: Sons of Anarchy; 2011: Mad Men; 2010: Friday Night Lights; 2009: Mad Men; 2008: Battlestar Galactica, 2007: Battlestar Galactica

Analysis: In my eight years of doing the Norty Awards, and my 40+ years as a TV viewer, the quality of dramatic television has never been better, and that is reflected not only in the series nominated but also in the remarkably good shows that didn't make the cut.

And there we have it, the 2014 Norty Awards nominations, honoring 59 shows over 18 networks; you may not agree with our picks but you can't argue we don't have an informed opinion! Again, I look forward to reading your thoughts on who should have been nominated and who you would have picked to win so please use the comments section below to sound off.

It's Time To Play The Music, It's Time To Light The Lights
The Muppets video of the week…

TV Pick Of The Week
The news that Disney was working on a sequel series to Boy Meets World set the internet on fire last year, and those flames were stoked with every update on returning cast members from the original. Here's what fans of BMW need to know – this is a DIFFERENT show. BMW was an ABC series, meaning that while it was family based, it was going for broad appeal (as in adults as well as young people), so they dealt with some pretty serious issues over the course of its run. Girl Meets World is on DISNEY, meaning it's not interested in anything other than light entertainment. The pilot is ok (it's VERY light, very mild), and while the next couple of episodes get better, it's never going to be BMW, and that's ok because it's going after a different audience. As an example, my almost six year old twins have seen the ads and can't stop talking about it. All that aside, I expect tonight's series premiere to hit some pretty major ratings highs for Disney as that nostalgia factor is powerful.

Don't miss the series premiere of Girl Meets World, tonight at 9:45 pm on Disney.

Two Tivos To Paradise
@Midnight, About A Boy, American Idol, America's Best Cook, Antiques Roadshow, Beat Bobby Flay, Archer, Arrow, Auction Hunters, Baby Daddy, Bakery Boss, Bitten, The Blacklist, Boardwalk Empire, Bones, Brooklyn Nine-Nine, Cake Boss, Cake Boss: Next Great Baker, Chasing Life, Chicago Fire, Chicago PD, Chopped, Comic Book Men, Community, Cougar Town, Counting Cars, Curb Your Enthusiasm, Cutthroat Kitchen, The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, Dancing with the Stars, The Deadliest Catch, Defiance, Dominion, Face Off, Falling Skies, Family Guy, Fargo, Flipping Out, Food Court Wars, Food Network Challenge, Food Network Star, The Fosters, Ghost Hunters, Ghost Mine, Glee, Graceland, Great Food Truck Race, Grey's Anatomy, Haunted Collector, Haunted Highway, Haunted Treasure, Hawaii Five-0, House of Lies, Inside Comedy with David Steinberg, Inside Amy Schumer, Iron Chef America, Justified, Key & Peele, The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson, Late Night with Seth Myers, Law And Order: Special Victims Unit, The League, Longmire, Lost Girl, Louie, Mad Men, Major Crimes, MasterChef, MasterChef: Junior, Masters of Sex, The Middle, Mike and Molly, The Mindy Project, Modern Family, Monster Man, Murder in the First, Nashville, New Girl, Next Iron Chef, NY Med, The Originals, Outside the Lines, Parenthood, Parks & Recreation, Penny Dreadful, Project Runway, Project Runway All-Stars, Rachael vs. Guy: Celebrity Cook Off, Rachael vs. Guy: Kids Cook Off, Ray Donovan, Real Time With Bill Maher, Rectify, Restaurant Impossible, Revenge, Royal Pains, Saturday Night Live, Shark Wranglers, So You Think You Can Dance?, Sons of Anarchy, The Soup, Suits, Supernatural, The Tonight Show starring Jimmy Fallon, Top Chef, Top Chef: Masters, Tosh.0, True Detective, Undateable, Under the Gunn, The Vampire Diaries, The Voice, The Walking Dead, Worst Cooks In America,

People Love You When They Know You're Leaving Soon
Here ends another Two Tivos To Paradise.

We'll be back next week with a look at two weeks' worth of news plus a guide to the July 4th weekend TV marathons!

Sources for this week's column include Daily Variety, Entertainment Weekly, TV Guide, and Hollywood Reporter (plus the web sites for those publications) as well as Aintit.cool.com, TVline.com & Deadline.com.


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