Staff Blog: A Day At Access (July 6, 2006)

9:30 AM PDT: The show is progressing nicely. But another lingering issue has suddenly raised its bald, scowling, butt-kicking head.

Michael Chiklis’ non-nomination…snub or not?

Unprovoked, mighty Access Executive Producer Rob Silverstein has chimed in from Germany, where he has gone to watch the World Cup finals. “Michael Chiklis is a snub,” he mentions with his usual unemotional, robot-like brevity and iron-fisted forcefulness.

Which leads to this response from Access Television producer/Superwoman/Poor Speller Stephanie: “Chiklas (sic) is not a snub, he did not get nominated last year”

Which, in turn, inspires another transcontinental comment from The Boss: “Chiklis is a snub…”

Now, the ellipsis that Rob closed his email with would normally indicate that his thought was about to continue, however, I suspect he expected the conversation would end there.

It does not.

I will have the final say, even though I have never seen an episode of The Shield.

Michael Chiklis…not a snub. Friend of Access? Yes. Sentimental favorite around here? Yes. Deserving of an Emmy nomination this year? Probably not (he said without a shred of evidence).

By the way, we’re watching the Brad Garrett interview from this morning as I type. Funny stuff, very manic…completely unairable.

8:00 AM PDT: A big question just arose in the production meeting.

Which nominee should Tim Vincent go and interview this morning - since, as of right now, he can only do one at the time they both want to do it…Denis “Rescue Me” Leary or Chris “Law & Order:SVU” Meloni?

The Leary People argue that Leary is a bigger star, the show is controversial and he always has something interesting to say. The Meloni People (present company included) argue that many more people watch “SVU” than “Rescue Me”, he’s a first time nominee and he was on a boat with his family away from his cell phone when the nominees were announced, which makes for a good story.

The verdict: Tim does the cop, we beg the fireman to push the interview an hour.

(And Denis, if you’re reading this, I’m sure you understand. The Boat Story was the clincher. You’d do the same thing.)

7:15 AM PDT: The ungumming continues.

I am coming to you, live, from inside the production meeting. There are many people talking at once. The debate is almost heated.

How do you explain the new voting procedures without boring people? Which first time nominees are the most important to track down? Just how much shtick did Brad Garrett do at the nomination announcement that won’t air - cementing his title once again as “The Star With The Most Skewed Ratio Of Access Hollywood Tape Shot vs. Footage Aired On The Show”? I personally witnessed the man get out of his limo on the way to the Emmys two years ago to drop in on a real estate open house unannounced and riff for 25 minutes, completely shocking the bored realtor who was sitting alone in the empty Encino two bedroom. Unfortunately for everyone involved, not a minute aired because we couldn’t find room in the show the next day after the awards. (Post awards shows are notoriously tight) And in spite of the constant snubbing, Brad still finds plenty of time to talk to us when we run into him, always dutifully supplying plenty of good-natured insults for the crew along with mountains of tape that will probably be left on the edit bay floor for time.

The production meeting has ended around me. I am late for the graphics meeting. Thanks for nothing yet again, Garrett.

6:15 AM PDT: It is Emmy nomination day and, thanks to the the new manner in which voters pick the nominees, there’s plenty of action in the trailer this morning. Actors and shows you would have chosen as favorites last night - most importantly Desperate Housewives, Lost, Edie Falco and James Gandolfini - were shut out of all the major categories and the shows and actors that you (and by “you” I mean “me”) kind of root for - Scrubs, Kevin James, and Chris Meloni, just to name a few - are waking up to good news.

And now the chase begins, as our crack staff of producers tries to convince the nominees’ high powered and often moody publicists to let their clients go on camera to talk about how great they feel. More importantly, the pressure is on to find a nominee who is willing to speak with us while not speaking to the competition. (Not likely. When they’re talking, they’re talking to anyone who’ll show up with a camera and correspondent.) We’ve also begun the delicate dance of trying to figure out how to stack the show. Nomination days are always kind of tricky but having to explain the new voting system along with the surprises and snubs makes things even gummier. Time to ungum.

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