Lisa de Moraes on the 2010 Emmy Award nominations
It's Emmy nominations day -- that one day a year when the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences unveils its candidates for the industry's highest honor, and rabid fans of such shows as "Lost," "American Idol," "Real Time With Bill Maher" and "Two and a Half Men" set aside their differences and join hands to celebrate their shared view on the general knuckleheadedness of the academy in its choices.
At an early-morning news conference Thursday -- watch for it on "Today," "Good Morning America," "The Early Show," "E!" and other places too obscure to mention -- "Community's" Joel McHale and "Modern Family's" Sophia Vergara will grip the viewing public for about five minutes as they unveil contenders in the so-called glamour categories, but, in total, the academy unveils nominees in more than 100 categories.
This year's clambake is expected to be particularly scintillating, what with so many pressing questions waiting to be answered:
-- Will "Saturday Night Live" finally become the most nominated program in TV history? It's had more than three decades to try to accomplish what doc drama "ER" did in a short 15 seasons: rack up a record 124 nominations. "SNL" hit 114 last year with 13 new noms -- which was a record for most nominations in a single awards year for a variety show. A repeat performance Thursday morning would put it over the top. Maybe now we know why the huge push to get Betty White to guest on the show by the end of May?
-- Will "Modern Family" or "Glee" break the record set last year by "30 Rock" for most nominations ever clocked by a comedy in a single year (22)?
-- Will Courteney Cox -- the only "Friends" cast member never ever nominated on that show (yes, even Jennifer Aniston got a nomination, and Emmy, for best hair flinging and nose crinkling on the show) finally snag a nom for her "Cougar Town" gig? Will TMZ or Radar be the first to post a quote from Aniston?
-- And whither goest Lauren Graham, who starred on "Gilmore Girls" for seven seasons with nary an Emmy nom because the series aired for most of its run, and all of its good seasons, on WB -- a network the academy was deeply invested in ignoring. Now that she's on NBC, in "Parenthood," will the academy throw her a bone?
-- Has HBO spent its way to a record-breaker with its World War II project, the Steven Spielberg and Tom Hanks-produced miniseries "The Pacific"? Does $200 million get you 38 nominations, which would smash the record held by "Roots" for most nominations ever (37) by a miniseries?