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Emmys 2013 review: What the upsets say about the way we watch TV now

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Jeff Daniels summed it up nicely: “Well, crap!”

That was the Newsroom star’s opening line when he accepted his Emmy for Outstanding Actor in a Drama. But he might as well have been speaking for the rest of us. Last night’s winners list was so baffling, I half-expected seven different Tatiana Maslanys to jump up on stage and claim their trophies, even though the Orphan Black actress was snubbed.

True, there were a few wonderful upsets. As an avowed fan of Nurse Jackie‘s Merritt Wever, I actually said “Yes!” out loud when she won for Supporting Actress in a Comedy — and that was before she delivered the best anti-speech speech of the night. (“Thank you so very much. Um, I gotta go. Bye!”) When Tony Hale stepped on stage to claim his Supporting Actor award for Veep, it started to feel like we were watching some sort of Bizarro Emmys, where the people who deserved to win actually did. Then things got weird. Jonathan Banks and Mandy Patinkin got passed over in favor of Bobby Cannavale, though in his defense, Cannavale worked insanely hard for that victory, right down to his final rubber-hose beat-down. (As my colleague Darren Franich pointed out, “No other nominee could say, ‘I filmed a gunfight where I was completely naked and covered in blood.’”) And Daniels’ win made the internet angry. When he beat Bryan Cranston and Jon Hamm for a season of The Newsroom that at least one critic compared to the crash-and-burn spectacularity of NASA’s Vanguard rocket explosion, you’d think it was an American tragedy so solemn that Will McEvoy will surely deliver a self-important monologue about it next season, to the strains of some sad Coldplay song.

And yet, watching this, something struck me: you can’t really be outraged if you don’t already have a pretty good idea of who’s expected to win. Never in history have viewers had access to more information about who to vote for in their Emmys office pools — simple Googling can get you critics’ picks, industry insiders’ picks, even gamblers’ betting odds — and maybe that’s why these upsets felt like such a shock. At a time when TV viewing habits are getting more and more niche, the Emmy picks for who will win (as opposed to who should) are the one thing that many experts and fans agree upon. READ FULL STORY

Emmys 2013: Neil Patrick Harris cuts loose in 'The Number in the Middle of the Show' -- VIDEO

And there it is.

EW knew host Neil Patrick Harris wouldn’t open tonight’s show with a big, splashy musical number. (How did we know? Because he told us so.) Still, we couldn’t help hoping that he’d still strap on his dancing shoes at some point — and finally, at the midpoint of tonight’s telecast, NPH did just that.

The song, appropriately enough, was called “The Number in the Middle of the Show.” And while it was definitely “fairly arbitrary” — NPH’s words, not ours — the bit still deserves points for getting Harris moving — as well as for pairing him with pinch-hitters Nathan Fillion and Sarah Silverman. Watch their shenanigans below:

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Emmys 2013: Neil Patrick Harris kicks off the show with help from former hosts (and one Paula Deen joke)

And we’re off! Neil Patrick Harris kicked off the 65th Primetime Emmy Awards with a host-filled opening number. What started with an over-complicated binge-watching bit (that made at least one viewer very dizzy), turned into a bit of a rough start on stage for the usually musical host.

Shying away from said musical talent, Harris wasn’t exactly on his game when he first came out on stage, trying too hard to make a joke about the way “kids” watch television nowadays. But after the first Paula Deen joke of the night, Harris was joined on stage by previous hosts Jimmy Kimmel, Jane Lynch, Jimmy Fallon, and Conan O’Brien, who picked up the tempo (a little) with gender jokes, tap dancing, and those always funny 2002-was-so-long-ago jokes. READ FULL STORY

PopWatch Planner: 'How I Met Your Mother' and more new fall shows, plus the 'Breaking Bad' finale!

We’re looking at a prime time life cycle – one of big returns and one very big Bad finale. How I Met Your Mother and The Big Bang Theory  return and the final two episodes of Breaking Bad bookend the week. Better get your DVR revved up.

All times listed are Eastern.
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Emmys 2013: Here's your drinking game guide

Awards shows: Fun, but also more fun if you’re either A.) In the audience or B.) A little bit buzzed. Since you won’t be heading to the Emmys this year, PopWatch has broken down all the likely phrases and jokes you’ll be hearing when Neil Patrick Harris takes to the Emmys stage tonight at 8 p.m. ET. Obviously, PopWatch cautions you to celebrate responsibly — especially if you’re not planning to switch over to Breaking Bad halfway through. Pace yourself! READ FULL STORY

Emmys, 'Breaking Bad,' 'Dexter' finale -- which will you watch live Sunday?

Judgment Day is almost upon us.

By that, of course, I’m referring to Sunday, Sept. 22 — when millions of TV viewers will be forced to choose between Dexter Morgan’s last stand, Walter White’s second-to-last stand, and TV’s biggest night.

Dexter‘s series finale begins at 9 p.m. ET that evening. So does “Granite State,” the 75-minute-long penultimate episode of Breaking Bad. By that point, the 65th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards — which begin at 8 p.m. and go until at least 11 p.m. — will be in full swing as well. Just to complicate matters further, HBO is also premiering a new episode of Boardwalk Empire at 9. (There’s also a Sister Wives reunion special on TLC, but somehow I doubt that’s your first priority at a time like this.)

Let’s be real: As much as you may love Nucky, Boardwalk just isn’t as zeitgeisty as its three major timeslot competitors. (To say nothing of Sister Wives.) But even discounting HBO’s drama, TV lovers will have a tough decision to make. Even if you’re planning to stay up until 1 a.m. in order to watch all three, you can’t take in Dexter, Breaking, and the Emmys at the same time. Before making a final decision, let’s weigh the pros and cons of viewing each one live:

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Neil Patrick Harris joins us for a Google+ hangout -- VIDEO

Neil Patrick Harris is hosting the Emmys this weekend on CBS, but first he’s joining us for a conversation with EW’s Laura Hertzfeld and a few lucky fans live on Google+ today. Tune in at 8:45 a.m. PT/ 11:45 a.m. ET and watch the hangout here. To join the chat and submit a question for NPH, click over to the event on Google+.

Watch with us! READ FULL STORY

Join Neil Patrick Harris for a pre-Emmys Google hangout

Have a burning question for Emmys emcee and How I Met Your Mother star Neil Patrick Harris? EW and Google are teaming up for a live Google+ hangout with the host with the most on Friday, Sept. 20 at 8:45am PT/ 11:45am ET to chat about this weekend’s Emmy awards and what’s coming up for Barney on the upcoming final season of HIMYM. Add the chat to your calendar by clicking here and check back to EW.com Friday morning to watch the hangout live online.

To submit a question for the chat, add your question on the Google event page or tweet us @EW with the hashtag #EWtalksTV.

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PopWatch Planner: 'Mindy Project' and more new fall shows, plus the Emmy Awards!

Gosh, after such a whirlwind fan-dom week we’ve had with the Breaking Bad spin-off and another J.K. Rowling movie in the works, what could possibly be in store for us the week of Sept. 15 – Sept. 22 that could match or top our excitement? Why, it’s the return of Fall TV and the beginning of TV awards season to cap off the week! You’re gonna want to hold on to your remote.

All times listed are Eastern.
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Watch the cast of 'How I Met Your Mother' play 'Finish the Line' -- VIDEO

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At Entertainment Weekly’s cover shoot featuring the cast of How I Met Your Mother, we had stars Cobie Smulders, Neil Patrick Harris, Alyson Hannigan and Jason Segel play a game of “Finish the Line,” featuring quotes from their hit series. Watch the  actors struggle to remember lines from the show below:

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