×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Highlights from variety special nominees

Road to the Emmys 2012: Variey, Music or Comedy

“Betty White’s 90th Birthday: A Tribute to America’s Golden Girl”
NBC
Highlights:
• President Obama’s lame but topical birth certificate joke shows. White is beloved enough to get a White House cameo — and that she’s got a sharper wit and better timing at 90 than most politicians half her age.
• Carol Burnett’s own zinger-filled appearance on the show prompted the kind of enthralled applause usually reserved only for White herself.
• Watching today’s established comedy actresses and writers pay tribute to White’s bawdy, ballsy work over the years just demonstrated how many doors this ninetysomething performer pushed open for them.

Kathy Griffin: Tired Hooker”
Bravo
Highlights:
• Disagreeing with Ashton Kutcher’s statement that marriage is one of the most difficult things in the world, Griffin offers substitute answers like fighting cancer or “me running into Oprah in a hallway.”
• After admitting she owns four pairs, Griffin impersonates an enthusiastic Pajama Jeans spokesperson, “Have you ever woken up in your pajamas and thought ‘I wish I could go horseback riding?’ Well, now you can.”
• Griffin proves that even her A-list friends aren’t safe when she assumes her best Cher voice and recounts the famous singer stating, “I’m Cher. I don’t know how to order a fucking pizza!”

“The Kennedy Center Honors”
CBS
Highlights:
• An audience filled with formally attired luminaries rises in unison and sings Neil Diamond’s “Sweet Caroline,” led by Smokey Robinson.
• Meryl Streep’s “The Devil Wears Prada” co-stars Anne Hathaway, Stanley Tucci and Emily Blunt perform a rendition “She’s Me Pal” — a twist on “He’s Me Pal,” which Streep sang in “Ironweed.” Number includes Hathaway in a full-blown split.
• Audra McDonald’s belts out a beautiful rendition of “Till There Was You” in honor of Barbara Cook.

“Mel Brooks and Dick Cavett Together Again”
Highlights:
• The art of conversation is never more alive than during the exchange between Brooks and colleague Carl Reiner on the genesis of their co-creation of the “2,000-Year-Old Man”
• Gifted raconteur Cavett recounts Chico Marx’s crude proposal to patrician Tallulah Bankhead, who responded, “And so you shall, you old-fashioned boy.”
• Brooks reenacts his most embarrassing moment when he imitated gameshow host Bill Cullen’s walk as the polio patient crossed the stage to greet him — not realizing until too late that Cullen was really disabled.

“Tony Bennett: Duets II (Great Performances)”
PBS
Highlights:
• Bennett’s “Body and Soul” duet with Amy Winehouse drew attention because it was her likely last recorded performance, but their duet stands out from the others due to Bennett and Winehouse’s sheer artistry as jazz singers.
• Lady Gaga had turquoise hair and vamped it up, but her solid vocals and improvisational skills knocked out viewers, listeners and Bennett himself. The fun they had recording “The Lady Is a Tramp” comes through the screen — especially when Bennett gets the giggles.
• The interviews with Bennett and his duet partners underscore the tremendous impact he’s had on generations of performers spanning all musical genres, and reflects Bennett’s admiration of his fellow artists, young and old.

Road to the Emmys 2012: Variety, Music or Comedy
Correspondents cool | Can anyone dethrone ‘Daily?’
And the nominees are:
Series | Specials
>

More TV

  • PBS Masterpiece Boards British Political Thriller

    PBS Masterpiece Boards Hugh Laurie, Helen McCrory Political Thriller 'Roadkill'

    Britain is getting a new prime minister – on TV, at least, after “Peaky Blinders” star Helen McCrory signed on to play the part in the BBC political thriller “Roadkill.” PBS Masterpiece has boarded the series and will co-produce and launch it in the U.S. Masterpiece’s Rebecca Eaton will exec produce the project. McCrory joins [...]

  • U.K. Producer Barcroft Studios Sold to

    U.K.-Based Producer Barcroft Studios Sold to Future in $30 Million Deal

    Barcroft Studios has been bought by Future in a £23.5 million ($30.1 million) deal. The U.K.-based production outfit specializes in factual fare for channels and platforms, and its own branded channels on the likes of YouTube. Future is a U.K.-listed print and online publishing and events business. Sam Barcroft will stay on as CEO at [...]

  • Writers vs Agents Packaging War WGA

    Agencies' Antitrust Suit Against Writers Guild Set for January Hearing

    The antitrust suit filed by Hollywood’s major agencies against the Writers Guild of America has been set for a Jan. 17 hearing. U.S. District Court Judge Andre Birotte issued the calendar update this week on the litigation, filed on Sept. 27 by CAA, UTA and WME after the agencies consolidated their individual agency suits. The [...]

  • Gabrielle Carteris SAG Awards

    Gabrielle Carteris Preps for 26th Annual SAG Awards

    SAG-AFTRA president Gabrielle Carteris is already looking forward to the 26th SAG Awards on Jan. 19, held in its usual location at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles. “One of the best things about the SAG Awards is that it’s a peer-to-peer recognition,” she says. “It’s the highest honor for performers to be recognized by [...]

  • GoliathSeason 3CR: Greg Lewis/Amazon Studios

    'Goliath’ Renewed for Fourth and Final Season at Amazon

    Amazon has renewed gritty legal drama “Goliath” for a fourth and final season. The series centers on washed-up lawyer Billy McBride, played by Billy Bob Thornton, who seeks redemption after a client he successfully defended from a murder charge went on to slaughter a family. Thornton won a Golden Globe for his performance in 2017. [...]

  • Jon Favreau'The Mandalorian' TV show premiere,

    Jon Favreau Already Has a Star Picked for His 'Star Wars' Holiday Special

    The “Star Wars” franchise is no stranger to the strange and odd. But the wildest of all the offerings from the galaxy far, far away is the bizarre (but beautiful) “Star Wars Holiday Special.” And Jon Favreau is ready to resurrect it. The TV special celebrating the Wookiee holiday “Light Day” aired on CBS in [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content