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Whos Up for the Gold?

Monday, March 13, 2006

Assessing This Year's Drama and Acting Nominees...

Lead Actress

Unlike last year's lead actress Emmy race, which had a record eight finalists, this year is back to the traditional five contenders. "I still don't know how that happened," mused Kim Zimmer, a nominee this year and last as Reva Shayne on "Guiding Light." "And I don't know why it didn't happen again this year. I'd love it if there were a representative from every show for the blue ribbon panels."

Ms. Zimmer's submission this year included scenes in which Reva confessed to her husband that she didn't think he was enough for her (Ouch!) A three-time Emmy winner, Mrs Zimmer has been at the game long enough to know that winning comes down to having two sensational episodes. "You could have the greatest year of your life, but if you don't pick the right two tapes, you don't win," she said.

Arguably, fellow nominee Susan Flannery, who has four outstanding lead actress statues, had such a year, thanks to story given to her character, Stephanie Forrester on CBS's "The Bold and the Beautiful," in 2005. The matriarch's machinations included faking a heart attack, taking over her family's fashion house and urging rival Brooke to commit suicide. "Susan's so real and truthful in her performances," said Bradley Bell, "Bold and Beautiful's" executive producer and head writer. "We stretched Stephanie Forrester this year. She's known for having tricks up her sleeve, and she had quite a few this past year."

Another contender in the lead actress race is "Guiding Light" veteran Beth Ehlers, whose character Harley Davidson Cooper shared an emotional farewell with her young children after being sentenced for killing her ex-husband. Nominated for the first time is Bobbie Eakes, who plays Krystal Carey on ABC's "All My Children." Ms. Eakes won a spot on the ballot by sending in scenes in which her "wrong side of the tracks" character matched wits with her conniving upscale husband, Adam, played by multiple Emmy winner David Canary "It was a cat-and-mouse-type thing," the actress said.

Also nominated is Kelly Monaco, who portrays Sam McCall on "General Hospital." "I submitted an episode from last December in which my character tries to convince [her boyfriend] to have [life-saving] brain surgery," Ms. Monaco said. "Those scenes were some of the most powerful ones that we did all year. They told a story."

Ms. Monaco shrugs off buzz that she landed on the ballot thanks in part to her high-profile status as last summer's winner of ABC's "Dancing With The Stars." "I've already gotten some backlash," said the actress, a previous nominee for her work on the now defunct "Port Charles."

Is a voter going to be influenced by a potential nominee's extracurricular activities? "No," said Michael Bruno, a daytime talent manager (whose clients include Ms. Eakes) and celebrity judge on SoapNet's "I Wanna Be a Soap Star." "If people are going to give up time to judge, then they're going to pick who the best actors are."


While this year's Daytime Emmy ballots were filled with deserving nominees, actors and other industry insiders couldn't help but point out a few glaring omissions. "I saw the tapes and I would have bet you anything that Nancy [Grahn, who plays Alexis on `General Hospital'] was going to get in," shrugged Mr. Benard. "Rick Hearst [who plays Ric in `General Hospital'], too."

Ms. Zimmer felt it was an oversight that her "Guiding Light" niece Stephanie Gatschet did not receive a nod, but added, "The fact that we have [so many others] is great."

Ms. Grimes spoke for many at the "The Young and the Restless" when she said she was shocked that her grieving TV parents, played by Joshua Morrow and Sharon Case, didn't make the cut. "Sharon's an amazing actress," Grimes raved. "Josh is amazing, too."

"Joshua Morrow was robbed," concurred Mr. Bruno, the talent rep. "Josh has really come into his own. I'm surprised he was snubbed." Mr. Bruno also agrees with Mr. Benard that Ms. Grahn's lead actress omission was a shocker. "When I saw the ballot, I said, `Where's Nancy?' I was also surprised that Roscoe Born wasn't nominated for supporting actor. His character Tom [on `The Young and the Restless'] was his role. Another CBS soap should take him on."

In outstanding drama series, Mr. Bruno felt that "One Life to Live" was overlooked. "[Head writer] Dena [Higley] and [executive producer] Frank [Valentini] have completely turned that show around," he said. 'Also, `The Bold and the Beautiful' should have gotten an outstanding drama series nomination. It makes no sense that it's up for writing and directing and not for show. Writing is show. Bottom line."

By Michael Maloney

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