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TV Junkie: More Emmys Fallout; 'Breaking Bad' Returns on Sunday

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Weekend Edition

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"Breaking Bad" returns to AMC this Sunday at 10pm
[BREAKING: TNT has cancelled "Men of a Certain Age" - for us this means that since I don't watch basketball, I have no reason to turn that network on. How many other shows have been cancelled within a couple months of receiving a Peabody Award? Way to put dollars above quality and artistic integrity - I understand TV is a business but you need to have a balance. I don't see anything in the TNT lineup that will be receiving any nominations, much less awards, anytime in the near future - the one exception will be nerdy and obscure sci-fi awards for "Falling Skies". Here's the chance for another network to make some hay: pick up "Men of a Certain Age"!]
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This Weekend: Marc Maron is on a tear this week - last night we saw him on an excellent episode of Showtime's "The Green Room With Paul Provenza" (if you like comedy this is a must-watch) and tonight he will be on HBO's "Real Time With Bill Maher" (8pm) which will be epic although I would have loved for Maron to have squared off with Ann Coulter last week. Be sure to check out our recent in-depth interview with Maron --- Of course we're building up to more great episodes of "True Blood" and "Curb Your Enthusiasm" but Sunday is all about the return of AMC's "Breaking Bad" (which is somehow not up for an Emmy in 2010?). Despite writing about the show weekly since it debuted, yeah, before everyone jumped on the bandwagon saying how great the show is, we've been left off the mailing list for screeners this time around but we know it will be great and we can't wait to see what comedian Bill Burr does in his multi-episode arc. --- On the Tour de France front, if there is a stage to watch, it will be tomorrow's as it is a massive mountain stage and the true contenders will be duking it out bigtime, set your DVRs or get up early (3:30am). --- Ooh, don't forget to check out the most recent Pardo Patrol on TeamCoco (with Tom Hanks!!) at the bottom of this post.
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More Emmys Fallout: "Sons of Anarchy" showrunner Kurt Sutter has never been afraid to voice his opinion and he did it yesterday on his Twitter account after his show had been excluded from every single category of the Primetime Emmy nominations. "Sons of Anarchy" is both popular and critically acclaimed, for it to not even get writing, casting, directing, or acting nomination inspires one to develop any variety of conspiracy theories.

Deadline.com also brought up an interesting point about the Guest Star categories which appear to be out of control. It used to be that an actor could be nominated for a Guest Star Emmy if they appeared in just one episode of a show per season. This was broadened to 3 episodes in order to cover a multi-episode character arc but evidently this was too restrictive and their appears to be no limit (or common sense) in the category. Let us consider the nominations of Cloris Leachman, Joan Cusack, Julia Stiles, and Jeremy Davies who appeared in all but one or two episodes of their shows [didn't Stiles appear in every episode of "Dexter" last season?] What's going on here is an obvious abuse of the category. Dear Academy, the rule should be: An actor in less than 1/2 the show episodes of a season can be considered for a Guest Star Emmy and the same actor can not be considered for a Guest Star Emmy on the same show in consecutive seasons.

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Yesterday I was enthusiastic about ABC's "Modern Family" scoring multiple Emmy nominations in the Supporting Actor/Actress categories. I still think all these actors are great but after engaging in some online discussions last night I now think that this kind of sweep is a bit ridiculous and it points to yet another problem at the Emmys: the lack of an Ensemble award category. "But Tom," you say, "aren't the Emmys already a hideous spectacle of Hollywood masturbation without adding even more awards?" Yes, they are, and if I were King I would only implement the category by getting rid of some of the other categories, like all the Casting categories. Casting is part of the business of getting a show together and whether someone is cast or not has more to do with what agents and managers can agree upon than it does with artistic inspiration. If we have Casting why don't we have Accounting and Catering categories for effsakes?
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If you love Reggie Watts as much as I do, you were bummed to learn that his LA show sold out but now the man who has wowed TV audiences on "Conan" every few months has added a second show on August 15 at Largo.
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The TV Junkie Must-Watch Plan: Tonight - "Real Time With Bill Maher" (Entrepreneur Mark Cuban; editor Chrystia Freeland; journalist Dan Savage; comic Marc Maron), "The Soup," "The Tonight Show With Jay Leno" (Actor Bryan Cranston; TV-show host Nancy Grace; Shaggy performs), "The Late Late Show With Craig Ferguson" (Actor Tim Daly; actress Leslie Bibb; Foster the People performs). Saturday - Tour de France, "CHAOS". Sunday - Tour de France, "True Blood," "Breaking Bad," "Curb Your Enthusiasm" (late night rerun).

Tonight

8:00pm Real Time With Bill Maher HBO - Entrepreneur Mark Cuban; editor Chrystia Freeland; journalist Dan Savage; comic Marc Maron.

8:30pm Great Performances PBS/KOCE - Rigoletto From Mantua Zubin Mehta conducts Verdi's "Rigoletto," filmed in Italy.

10:00pm The Soup E! - The Soup Awards

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10:00pm Torchwood: Miracle Day Starz - Rendition Jack realizes he's vulnerable; a flight turns into a battle for survival.

10:00pm Rhett & Link: Commercial Kings IFC - Taxidermy
Rhett & Link make a commercial for "Ojai Valley Taxidermy."

10:00pm Haven Syfy - Season Premiere. A Tale of Two Audreys Audrey meets a woman who claims to be her and Nathan takes the lead at the department.

11:35pm The Tonight Show With Jay Leno NBC - Actor Bryan Cranston; TV-show host Nancy Grace; Shaggy performs.

12:35am The Late Late Show With Craig Ferguson CBS - Actor Tim Daly; actress Leslie Bibb; Foster the People performs.

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12:35am Late Night With Jimmy Fallon NBC - Actress Marisa Tomei; Billy Ray Cyrus performs.

Saturday

3:30AM2011 Tour de France Versus - Stage 14 From Saint-Gaudens to Plateau de Beille

8:00pm CHAOS CBS - Proof of Life The agents go on a rogue mission when they learn a former colleague, who was presumed dead, is being held hostage in Panama.

Sunday

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5:00AM 2011 Tour de France Versus - Stage 15 From Limoux to Montpellier.

9:00pm True Blood HBO - I'm Alive and on Fire Alcide helps Sookie look for Eric; Marnie seeks guidance to break a spell; Bill discovers a connection with the Bellefleurs; Jason begs for liberation; Sam infiltrates Luna's inner circle; Tommy returns to his roots.

9:00pm Masterpiece Mystery! PBS/KOCE - Zen: Vendetta A man seeks revenge on those who wrongly imprisoned him.

9:00pm Food Network Star Food - Dinner Party for Wolfgang Puck The finalists cook signature dishes; one finalist gets a cooking lesson from Wolfgang Puck.

10:00pm Breaking Bad AMC - Season Premiere. Box Cutter Walt and Jesse face deadly consequences; Skyler deals with a puzzling disappearance; Marie helps Hank with his recovery.

10:00pm Curb Your Enthusiasm HBO - The Safe House Larry becomes a role model for battered women; Richard Lewis' relationship is tested; Leon survives a case of mistaken identity

10:00pm Bar Rescue Spike - Series Premiere. Fallen Angels Jon Taffer attempts to rescue a biker bar that is struggling with a scandalous reputation.

10:00pm The Freshman TCM - (1925) Although he is the butt of jokes, a young man (Harold Lloyd) wins Tate College's big football game.

10:00pm The Marriage Ref NBC - Seth Meyers, Denise Richards, George Wallace. A woman tires of the twin bed she shares with her husband; a woman takes issue with the signs her husband posts around the house; a man resists his wife's holistic lifestyle.

10:00pm In Plain Sight USA - Provo-Cation Mary helps protect a guilt-ridden Army veteran; Mary's ex returns.