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Emmy Awards: 'Breaking Bad' star Giancarlo Esposito on his nomination, plans for Emmy night

How is Giancarlo Esposito feeling on Emmy nomination day? “How do you think I am? I’m fantastic!” exclaims the Breaking Bad standout, who received a nod in the Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama category this morning for his turn as meth lord Gustavo Fring. “It’s a great honor. I was tongue-tied all morning talking to all kinds of press, but I’m in gratitude.” EW tried to untie Esposito’s tongue and get him to talk about his big morning, his chance to make history, and much more.

ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: Did you stay up all night thinking about the call or did you sleep like a baby?
GIANCARLO ESPOSITO: I slept like a baby… until 3 a.m. (laughs) At 3 a.m., I started to get squirmy, I don’t know why I couldn’t sleep, I guess somewhere in my consciousness, I knew it was coming down the pike. I got up, I sat on my yoga asana, crossed my legs and meditated for awhile, just in case I got the call. I wanted to be calm and really present.


Emmy Awards: 'Breaking Bad' actress and nominee Anna Gunn on Bryan Cranston's strange advice

At 5:28 a.m. on the West Coast, Anna Gunn woke up — despite her best efforts to sleep through Emmy nominations, which took place this morning. Lying next to her daughter, who’d crawled into bed with her during the night, she told herself to leave the TV off, lest the youngster wake. “If the phone rings, great. If it doesn’t, it doesn’t,” she told herself. It rang.

By the time Gunn called EW this afternoon, her face hurt from smiling, but it’s easy to understand why. The Breaking Bad actress was nominated for her first Emmy Award this morning in the Supporting Actress category, the show was nominated for the third time, her castmate Bryan Cranston was nominated for the seventh time (he’s won three for Breaking Bad and was nominated three times prior for Malcolm in the Middle), Mark Margolis was nominated for Outstanding Guest Actor, and Aaron Paul and Giancarlo Esposito were nominated in the Supporting Actor category. If any day is happy dance worthy, it’s this one. So that’s exactly what she did.

ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: So after your phone rang…
ANNA GUNN: I rushed downstairs and started making squealing noises. Then, of course, both girls woke up and did a happy dance with me. I was sorry I’d woken them up so early, but it was for a good reason. READ FULL STORY

Emmy Awards: Jared Harris calls 'Mad Men' nod a 'thrill'

It’s an understatement to say Jared Harris’ character Lane had one tough year on Mad Men. (Spoiler Alert for those who haven’t seen the fifth season!) Lane’s season-long struggle culminated in his devastating final episode that saddened both the Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce crew, and fans who’ll have to adjust to a Pryce-less show when Mad Men returns.

A bright spot: Harris’ incredible work was noticed when, in addition to several other award nominations for Mad Men, the actor received an Emmy nod for Best Supporting Actor in a Drama. Harris got on the phone with EW from Wales to talk about Lane, his castmates’ work, and saying goodbye.

JARED HARRIS: I’m very excited! What a thrill; what a surprise.

How did you find out this morning?
I’m actually in Wales, visiting a friend of my Dad’s down here in Wales and I was actually cooking him lunch and a phone call came through and my girlfriend answered the phone, and she jumped up and down shrieking with joy, and then I got on the phone and I promptly forgot about the food I was cooking. READ FULL STORY

Emmy Awards: 'Homeland' star Damian Lewis on his nomination, and singing with co-star Mandy Patinkin

Kent Smith/Showtime

It was a big morning for Showtime’s critically acclaimed series Homeland, which netted nine Emmy nominations, including Best Drama Series, Lead Actress in a Drama Series for Claire Danes, and Lead Actor in a Drama Series for Damian Lewis. The noms were a record for the network and the most for any freshman series this year. “I’m really thrilled,” says Lewis, celebrating on a day off from the series currently shooting season two in Charlotte, N.C.. “Over the moon. I was asleep. So I was just getting some extra zzzzs and I woke up with my phone buzzing next to my head.” EW talked to Lewis about Homeland as well as season two and carrying a tune with his co-star Mandy Patinkin.


Emmy Awards: Mayim Bialik talks about her nod and 'Big Bang Theory'

Mayim Bialik already had a busy morning — she had an interview about world breastfeeding month at 8:30 a.m., right as Emmy nominations were being announced.

Needless to say, her morning suddenly got a lot busier. The actress, who earned a Best Supporting Actress in a Comedy Emmy nomination for her work as Amy on The Big Bang Theory, (in addition to a Best Comedy nod for the show) got on the phone with EW to talk about how she’ll celebrate (vegan cupcakes), working with Jim Parsons, and what she loves about Amy and Sheldon.


Emmy Awards: Zooey Deschanel says nomination is 'the kind of moment you dream about'

Zooey Deschanel was awake early this morning — because others woke her up. Phone calls and texts from agents, friends, publicists, her manager, and her sister (Bones star Emily Deschanel) clogged the New Girl stars’ inbox after it was announced that she had snagged her very first Emmy nomination for her work on the Fox comedy. “I wanted to be an actress since I was 2-years-old,” Deschanel told EW. “It’s always been my dream and ambition. This is the kind of moment you dream about. Never in my wildest dreams would I have imagined that I could have this incredible honor and recognition. It’s just so exciting.”

And unexpected, she adds. “I have such a great job that’s just such an incredible gift, and I always want to be doing the work because I love the work and not for some other reason. [But] it just means so much to have this nomination.” READ FULL STORY

Emmy Awards: Jimmy Fallon, Lena Dunham, and others react to their nominations

Nominations for the 64th Annual Emmy Awards were announced this morning and stars took to Twitter and gave statements to announce their delight and gratitude.

Lena Dunham
Girls (best comedy actress and outstanding writing for a comedy)
”I have had the shriekiest morning of my life. I literally feel like I got asked to the prom and engaged and told I was going to the moon all in one day. Not to be too dramatic.” via AP

Damian LewisHomeland (outstanding lead actor in a drama)
“Right now I just have mimosas sort of swimming around in front of my eyes but I haven’t actually managed to get a hold of one, so I think I need to go and put that right, and maybe a little champagne brunch. I have my family with me and my two small children, so as long as I can drink alcohol and keep them alive for the remainder of the day, that will be a job well done.” via AP

Show creator Matthew Weiner, Mad Men (best writing for a drama)
”It’s insane. I can’t believe it. And we’re the show that’s been there, too. That’s weird, too. I can’t believe we are on the air.” via AP

Executive producer Christopher LloydModern Family (best comedy)
“I was a little nervous, and then I walked past my phone this morning and noticed it blinking. I had a text from Julie Bowen that said ‘wowie,’ so I thought it can’t be that bad. We’re at least at a ‘wowie’-level of excitement here. … If you put a numerical value on that, a ‘wow’ would be an eight or a nine, and ‘wowie’ is probably in the teens.” via AP

Executive producer Vince Gilligan
, Breaking Bad (best drama)
“I was lying in bed and couldn’t sleep and feeling foolish for not being able to. I’m lying there thinking it feels so good to get nominated, I’m hoping this isn’t the year it all ends. You never know. Is this the year we’re gonna get shut out? A little bit of hope can drive you crazy. It never gets old. You never get tired of waking up to news like this.” via AP

Giancarlo EspositoBreaking Bad (best supporting actor, drama)
“I really am flying. I know there are a lot of wonderful and profound actors out there who really do focus on their work so I know how special this moment is for me because I’ve seen them, I’ve watched them, I respect them and they all walk through it, they put their heart and soul into everything that they do and so I look at them and I am really, really honored to be regarded in the same vein because that’s how I work. I’m on cloud nine.” via AP


Emmys 2012: And the nominees are...

FX’s new drama American Horror Story and AMC’s perennial fave Mad Men were among the shows to receive the most Emmy nominations that were announced today in Los Angeles. PBS’ Downton Abbey and the History miniseries Hatfields & McCoys also received multiple nods, as did ABC’s Modern Family, AMC’s Breaking Bad, NBC’s Saturday Night Live and the HBO movie Game Change. And it’s a big day for breakout comedienne Lena Dunham, who scored acting and writing nods for her freshman series Girls, which also scored a nomination in the best comedy category.

Here are the nominations for the 64th Annual Emmys, to be telecast Sept. 23 on ABC:

Best comedy
The Big Bang Theory
Curb Your Enthusiasm
Modern Family
30 Rock

Best drama
Boardwalk Empire
Breaking Bad
Downton Abbey
Game of Thrones
Mad Men

Lead actress in drama
Kathy Bates, Harry’s Law
Glenn Close, Damages
Claire Danes, Homeland
Julianna Margulies, The Good Wife
Michelle Dockery, Downton Abbey
Elisabeth Moss, Mad Men

Lead actor in a drama
Hugh Bonneville, Downton Abbey
Steve Buscemi, Boardwalk Empire
Bryan Cranston, Breaking Bad
Jon Hamm, Mad Men
Damian Lewis, Homeland
Michael C. Hall, Dexter

Best competition reality show
The Amazing Race
Dancing with the Stars
Project Runway
So You Think You Can Dance
The Voice
Top Chef

Lead actress in a comedy
Zooey Deschanel, New Girl
Lena Dunham, Girls
Edie Falco, Nurse Jackie
Tina Fey, 30 Rock
Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Veep
Melissa McCarthy, Mike & Molly
Amy Poehler, Parks and Recreation

Lead actor in a comedy
Alec Baldwin, 30 Rock
Don Cheadle, House of Lies
Louis C.K., Louie
Jon Cryer, Two and a Half Men
Larry David, Curb Your Enthusiasm
Jim Parsons, The Big Bang Theory READ FULL STORY

Emmy Watch: 'Breaking Bad' star Aaron Paul on shooting 'Problem Dog'

Between now and June 28, the deadline for Emmy voters to return nomination ballots, is running a series called Emmy Watch, featuring highlight clips and interviews with actors, producers, and writers whom EW TV critic Ken Tucker has on his wish list for the nominations announcement on July 19.

For a high school burnout, Jesse Pinkman has made quite a name for himself. Unfortunately, it’s murdering meth maker.  For four seasons running, AMC’s Breaking Bad has depicted the mesmerizing descent of Walter White (Bryan Cranston) into evil, but it has also captivated us with the doomed struggles of his partner that he’s dragged down with him: the angry, lost, and wounded underdog Jesse (Aaron Paul).

After claiming the Outstanding Supporting Actor Emmy for his potent work in season 3, Paul impressed again in season 4, as Jesse struggled to rebuild his life after gunning down the not-exactly-dangerous chemist Gale (David Costabile). The seventh episode, “Problem Dog,” in particular, proved an emotional showcase for Paul. Still haunted by Gayle’s face (he sees him in his first-person shooter video game), Jesse is instructed by Walt (Bryan Cranston) to kill again by poisoning drug kingpin Gustavo Fring (Giancarlo Esposito) with ricin. Caught between his two lords, he nearly does it with trembling hands, before Mike (Jonathan Banks) interrupts to give him, of all things, a loaded gun for other reasons.

But the scene from “Problem Dog” that truly resonates was the one in which Jesse attends an N.A. support group meeting. He lays himself bare, though tucking his admission of Gayle’s murder in the analogy of killing a dog (“I was looking him straight in the eye. He didn’t know what was happening, he didn’t know why.”) before lashing out at the group (“You’re nothing but customers to me!”).  There would be no salvation in confession, not in this episode. Check it out below before reading what Paul had to say about filming one of his favorite episodes.


Emmy Watch: 'Mad Men' creator Matthew Weiner breaks down his favorite scene

Between now and June 28, the deadline for Emmy voters to return nomination ballots, is running a series called Emmy Watch, featuring highlight clips and interviews with actors, producers, and writers whom EW TV critic Ken Tucker has on his wish list for the nominations announcement on July 19.

It feels like almost a foregone conclusion that Mad Men creator Matthew Weiner would submit “Far Away Places” for writing consideration. For one, it’s likely the most structurally daring hour of television we’ll see this year, a triptych of stories that take place over the course of a single day, interweaving and folding back on themselves with elegance and an almost outrageous narrative confidence. And at the center of it all is Roger Sterling’s first acid trip, a calmly psychotropic journey that results in a moment of clarity for both Roger and his young wife, Jane, where they carry each other to the realization that their marriage is over. For a show where people rarely say what they mean, even if they mean what they say, it was a surprising and touching moment of openness and mutual respect. Here Matthew Weiner discusses why this is the scene he’s proudest of, as well as a whole lot of other elements of Mad Men‘s stellar season.


Emmy Watch: Joel McHale on the 'Community' season finale


Between now and June 28, the deadline for Emmy voters to return nomination ballots, is running a series called Emmy Watch, featuring highlight clips and interviews with actors, producers, and writers whom EW TV critic Ken Tucker has on his wish list for the nominations announcement on July 19.

As disgraced former lawyer-turned-community college student Jeff Winger, Joel McHale has delivered a few speeches in his time on Community. The show even poked fun at Jeff’s frequent soliloquizing in an episode last season. But few scenes were a better showcase for actor and character than the courtroom drama which closed out the show’s third season finale. Jeff was serving (somewhat against his will) as an attorney in the trial to decide whether Pierce or Shirley get to own the college’s new sandwich shop. Jeff is working for Shirley; Pierce hires Jeff’s old co-worker, Alan, played by guest star Rob Corddry. Alan offers Jeff an ultimatum: Throw the case, or never get his old job back. In his closing arguments, Jeff initially seems to be throwing the case…but then he takes a left turn, demonstrating just how he’s evolved over three seasons. Watch the speech below, and then learn more about how the speech came together. (Hint: Prep time was at a minimum.)


Emmy Watch: 'Parenthood' creator Jason Katims on adding a new Braverman, writing for an ensemble

Between now and June 28, the deadline for Emmy voters to return nomination ballots, is running a series called Emmy Watch, featuring highlight clips and interviews with actors, producers, and writers whom EW TV critic Ken Tucker has on his wish list for the nominations announcement on July 19.

While working on Friday Night Lights, Jason Katims learned that critical love, fan buzz, and hopeful thinking don’t always equal a nomination. And sometimes it just takes a while.

After five years of flirting with Emmy, Friday Night Lights secured its first and only nomination for Best Drama Series last year. They didn’t win. (Though Kyle Chandler walked away with an award in the Lead Actor category, and Katims won Outstanding Writing for a Drama Series.) But for Katims, the recognition was a win. And as Parenthood heads into its fourth season, the executive producer is hoping for the same — if not more.

“On Friday Night Lights, we weren’t recognized until later in the series run….,” Katims says. “I’m hoping a similar thing happens to Parenthood. Obviously, it would be a really great thing for everybody.”

And with episodes like “Nora” in their arsenal, their chances are strong. The episode, which marked the birth of the newest Braverman, was one of the episodes the show submitted for consideration. It was also the episode EW dissected with Katims when we spoke as part of Emmy Watch. Check out a clip and read more below. READ FULL STORY

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