As a TV addict and award show junkie, I'm taking this opportunity to offer my comments and suggestions to Academy members in the rare and admittedly highly improbable chance that they should read this blog prior to the June 26th deadline for returning ballots to the Academy.
While it's readily apparent from Emmy history that the Academy likes to pick a show and like an old horse ride it into the ground year in and year out, hence Frasier's win for Best Comedy from 1994 to 1998, or West Wing's win for Best Drama from 2000 to 2003, why not throw some new blood into the mix and ultimately send some new faces up to the stage to accept an award. The Academy has expanded the top 10 categories to six nominees each, but that does not mean this needs to serve as another opportunity for Boston Legal or Monk to have another chance at glory . Be rebels, live dangerously, and forget James Spader in Boston Legal (I think they're still eligible for nomination even though the show is no longer on the air), and instead how about giving cutie Simon Baker in The Mentalist a shot. Why not shock the critics and give them just what they've been asking for, a nomination for Battlestar Galactica? If I could suggest another name for your consideration, how about the brilliant John Noble (Dr. Walter Bishop) from Fringe. He elevates his show to another level with his mere presence on the screen.
On a related and just as important matter, the telecast, the Academy has a lot to make up for to redeem itself from the fiasco that was last year's brilliant idea (not) to have five reality TV hosts emcee the biggest night in television. While I love Survivor, Jeff Probst is just not the guy to host a show celebrating the best of the best on TV. Every time he came on screen I was sure he'd be snuffing someone's tiki torch and saying "the tribe has spoken." In all seriousness, you need someone who can show the right amount of reverence merited by the occasion and its guests, while keeping the mood light and fun for the nominees and the TV viewing audience. Two individuals which quickly come to mind are Neil Patrick Harris (NPH) and Ricky Gervais. NPH was wonderful during the recent Tony Awards, and Ricky Gervais is always funny, including during last year's telecast in his skit with Steve Carell. Either man would do a brilliant job. Oh, and if irrevent and quirky is what you're looking for, how about Stephen Colbert? You'd have to be very brave. Very brave indeed. I don't know that the Academy has it in them.
I've shared my two cents on the matter. I look forward to hearing the list of nominees on July 16th, and even more so to cheering for my favorites on award night, September 20th. Don't let me down.