The Fix

The Emmys are in! Did Conan's plane crash joke go too far? Plus: Tom Cruise wins sexist award and Kevin Federline debuts on "CSI."


Salon Staff
August 28, 2006 5:30PM (UTC)

Morning Briefing:
And the Emmy goes to: While HBO was the biggest winner overall (26 if you include last week's Creative Arts Emmys), the big story of Emmy night was "24" winning best drama series and Kiefer Sutherland's award for best actor in a drama. "The Office" won best comedy series, but Steve Carell was passed over in the best comedy actor category for Tony Shalhoub of "Monk," who won for the third time in a row. Julia Louis-Dreyfus kissed off the "Seinfeld" curse with a win for best comedy actress: "Well, I'm not somebody who really believes in curses -- but curse this, baby!" (See who Salon readers chose here; for a full list of the actual Emmy winners, go here.) (Associated Press, BBC News)

Jokes on a plane: The other story to come out of the Emmy broadcast had nothing to do with who won and who was snubbed. Though host Conan O'Brien did a solid job as host, there's is a bit of a furor rising about the decision to go ahead with the not-very-funny crash-landing joke in the filmed opening segment (Conan, drinking champagne on a plane, wonders what could possibly go wrong just before he crashes on a very "Lost"-like island) on the same day that a jet crashed in Lexington, Ky. The local NBC affiliate says it was given no warning about the bit: "We wish somebody had thought this through. It's somewhere between ignorance and incompetence." (For an actually funny bit, see Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert presenting the award for best reality TV show.) (Deadline Hollywood)

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Cruise wins award: Tom Cruise was given Australia's Ernie award just last week, but already his rep is saying he doesn't deserve it. The Ernie is given out for making the "worst derogatory public statement," and Cruise was nominated on the strength of a quote attributed to him by Life & Style back in February: "I've got Katie tucked away, so no one will get to us until my child is born -- and until I want them to." Cruise's flack now says "Tom's comments that they have attributed to him are completely fabricated. Anyone who knows him knows that he is a complete gentleman and would never ever say such a thing ... He has the utmost respect for women." Rival mag People is piling it on, claiming "research shows that, indeed, Cruise never made such a statement." (People, Life & Style)

Also:
Rob Reiner is demanding that Mel Gibson acknowledge that "The Passion of the Christ" is anti-Semitic: "When he comes to the understanding that he has done that, and can come out and say, you know, 'My views have been reflected in my work and I feel bad that I've done that,' then that will be the beginning of some reconciliation for him." (Associated Press) ... Kevin Federline has landed a bit part on "CSI." In an episode scheduled to air in October but shot last week, he plays a haughty teen who harasses investigators. (People) ... Mark Wahlberg's "Invincible" opened at No. 1 at the box office over the weekend, bringing in $17 million for its debut. (Associated Press) ... The S.S. Minnow, of "Gilligan's Island" fame, is up for sale by its Canadian owner, with an asking price of $99,000. (Post Chronicle)

Money Quote:
Tom Cruise, after it was pointed out that he has earned $3 billion for Paramount: "I guess I don't really think about it like that, but when you put it that way, it's pretty mind boggling." (Us Weekly)

Macaulay Culkin on how his fame is different now that he's 26: "The only thing that has changed now is that now most kids on the street don't recognize me anymore. So when the parents start pushing their children over to me, the children don't know what's going on. They are saying, 'Who is he? Why should we care?'" (Lowdown)

-- Scott Lamb

Turn On:
"Kyle XY" (ABC Family, 8 p.m. EDT) has its season finale; Brian Williams anchors "Katrina: The Long Road Back" (ABC, 8 p.m. EDT), a documentary that looks at New Orleans a year after the hurricane; and "Sleep Well, Drive Carefully" (Starz, 10 p.m. EDT) follows indie band favorites Death Cab for Cutie as they go on the road. Also, it's the first round of the "U.S. Open" (USA, 11 a.m. EDT), Andre Agassi's last appearance in the tournament before retirement.

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On the Talk Shows:
Larry King (CNN, 9 p.m. EDT): Bill Maher
Charlie Rose (PBS, check local listings): Spike Lee, Xavier University president Norman Francis
David Letterman (CBS, 11:30 p.m. EDT): Motocross demo with Travis Pastrana
Jay Leno (NBC, 11:35 p.m. EDT): David Spade, Eva Mendes, Zero 7 with Jose Gonzalez
Conan O'Brien (NBC, 12:35 a.m. EDT): Tom Hanks, Wolfmother (repeat)
Craig Ferguson (CBS, 12:35 a.m. EDT): Cuba Gooding Jr., Jay Larson, Jurassic 5 (repeat)
Jimmy Kimmel (ABC, 12:05 a.m. EDT): Samuel L. Jackson, Elisha Cuthbert, Cobra Starship (repeat)
Jon Stewart (Comedy Central, 11 p.m. EDT): Thomas Ricks (repeat)
Stephen Colbert (Comedy Central, 11:30 p.m. EDT): Ramesh Ponnuru (repeat)

-- Lamar Clarkson

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