'O.J.' Cleans Up at Emmy Awards
September 19, 2016

Somehow, 2016 will go down in television history as the comeback year of O.J. Simpson. No, the ex-football player turned (technically still alleged) double murderer turned thief of his own memorabilia has not been released from his Nevada prison cell, but 22 years after the Bronco chase, his story has been plastered all over the tube again. That number, 22, by the way, is also the number of Emmy nominations a mini-series about his Hollywood trial received.

The ten-part series titled The People vs. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story, which aired on FX (and I actually watched), took five awards out of the 22 nominations, but the show was nominated against itself in many categories, including, somehow, two for best actor. It wasn't Cuba Gooding, Jr. who won for playing Simpson, but Courtney B. Vance who played Johnnie Cochran. Sarah Paulson, who portrayed prosecutor Marcia Clark, won for Best Actress, Sterling K. Brown, who played Christopher Darden, won for supporting actor, even beating out heavyweight co-stars like John Travolta (Robert Shapiro) and David Schwimmer (Robert Kardashian). The show itself also took Best Miniseries.

Emmy host Jimmy Kimmel, naturally had a lot of fun with the whole thing. His show open placed him in the Bronco with Al Cowlings (Malcolm Jamal Warner) and Simpson (Gooding). Paulson actually brought Clark as her 'plus one', causing Kimmel to comment that “everyone in Hollywood knows if you want to win you should sit next to Marcia Clark.” Kimmel also asked Travolta if he would thank O.J. if he won, and later wondered if Simpson was having a viewing party.

'People vs., O.J.' was excellent, but the timing of it's airing was a little bizarre because this isn't a big anniversary or anything. Also, ESPN, apparently not to be outdone, did a five-part, ten-hour documentary about Simpson's career, starting with his college football days and leading up to the trial. That series was not nominated, but the two shows put the 69 year-old, who should be, and is, rotting away in prison, back in the headlines. Despite being on for ten weeks, 'People vs. O.J.' was worth the watch and worth the awards.

Kimmel's bits: When Kimmel came out on stage, he had an Emmy in his hand, took it in to the audience, and gave it to Jeffrey Tambor. “That should save 22 minutes”, he said. Tambor did eventually win for his role in Transparent. That show, which features Tambor as a transgender woman, led to Kimmel's best line of the night. “The show was born as a drama, but identifies as a comedy.” The show somehow ended up in the comedy category...It can be uncomfortable for viewers when award shows get political, but Kimmel singled out the one person who is responsible for Donald Trump running for President. The camera quickly cut to a smiling Mark Burnett, the producer of The Apprentice. “If Donald Trump gets elected and he builds that wall, the first person we're throwing over it is Mark Burnett", Kimmel said in a fairly serious tone. Burnett took it in stride, and even tried a comic retort later in an acceptance speech, but it was drowned out by the orchestra. Burnett accepted the award for Best Reality Competition Show, for NBC's The Voice.

Sports report: The Minnesota Vikings got to open their brand new stadium on NBC's Sunday Night Football, while the Rams' first game in SoC al in over two decades got bubkus. According to, all of southern California (except for San Diego and Imperial Counties) got to see the Los Angeles Rams beat the Seattle Seahawks 9-3. Since Fox was the network televising the game, and it wasn't their doubleheader week, the rest of the state, southern Oregon, and most of Nevada got the Niners-Carolina early game. The game was carried in most of the Northwest (Seahawks territory), and in parts of the East and Midwest-mostly in AFC markets. Strangely, and maybe not coincidentally, the Rams game was carried in St. Louis.

Salute to Scully: If you are in northern California, check ESPN before watching Wednesday's Giants-Dodgers game. The Worldwide Leader is doing the game, and will feature nightlong tributes to Vin Scully, who is down to 10 broadcasts remaining in his 67-year career. It's possible the broadcast will be blacked out in Giants territory, but it's worth a peak first.

Timeless Vin: The YES Network, which televises the Yankees, had this stat about Scully, which has since been repeated in several places. With just one degree of separation you can link the Dodger legend to the Civil War. When Scully began announcing games in 1950, Connie Mack was still managing. Mack was born in 1862.

Thinking a lot about my dad this weekend. He would have been 85 on Saturday.

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