Emmy voting process forces some tough choices

Sun Sep 14, 2008 4:58pm EDT
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By Randee Dawn

LOS ANGELES (Hollywood Reporter) - Arguably, the greatest stress in a TV producer's life comes after the season has wrapped, when he must select the best episode from the past 20-odd to send to the Emmy judges.

In the case of comedy and drama series, just one episode has to stand in the nomination process (though once the series is nominated, the producer can submit six total episodes for final balloting).

What follows is a brief look at the episodes five shows selected for the pre-nomination process, and some of the behind-the-scenes agonizing that ultimately got them shortlisted in their outstanding series categories. Nominees will have to wait until September 21 to see if they chose wisely.


Episode: "The Court Supreme"

In this episode, the lawyers try to overturn a death sentence and end up arguing before the Supreme Court. The setup created its own particular obstacles, explains exec producer Bill D'Elia. "Since we were dealing with real people in portraying the Supreme Court judges, we were attempting to cast not only the best actors but actors that bore some reasonable resemblance to the actual court. James Spader's closing was perhaps his longest of the season, and on a set that was new to us, so the physical production of the Supreme Court scenes was challenging. To produce an episode of this magnitude and maintain our episodic budget was also challenging. That said, over the course of a full season there are many episodes that present these challenges. The trick is to balance these episodes with those that take place without a large guest cast and on our standing sets."


Episode: "Frozen"   Continued...