The Sopranos, which aired its final episode in June, was given a fitting sendoff Sept. 16 when it earned Emmy Awards for best drama and for best writing and direction in a drama. The award for best comedy went to 30 Rock. James Spader (Boston Legal) and Sally Field (Brothers & Sisters) won the lead acting awards for drama, while America Ferrera (Ugly Betty) and Ricky Gervais (Extras) were honored for comedy. In the supporting categories, Terry O'Quinn (Lost) and Katherine Heigl (Grey's Anatomy) won for drama, and Jeremy Piven (Entourage) and Jaime Pressly (My Name Is Earl) took the prizes for comedy.
The Toronto International Film Festival drew to a close Sept. 15, as David Cronenberg's Eastern Promises grabbed the audience award. The Canadian filmmaker took the top prize at Toronto's 32nd edition after he reunited with A History of Violence lead Viggo Mortensen to make a thriller about a Russian gangster who crosses paths with an innocent midwife, played by Naomi Watts. The movie opens Sept. 21. See out Toronto wrap-up on page 24. (The Hollywood Reporter)
Sir Cameron Mackintosh, the musical theatre impresario who helped bring Les Misérables, Cats, Miss Saigon, and The Phantom of the Opera to the West End and Broadway, has teamed with the China Arts and Entertainment Group to adapt Western musicals for audiences in China. The first production, scheduled for November 2008 at the new National Grand Theatre at Tiananmen Square, will be Les Misérables; it will be followed in 2009 by Mamma Mia!. There are also long-term plans to work with Chinese writers, performers, and producers to create original musicals.
Brett Somers, the husky-voiced TV character actor who found fame on the game show Match Game, died Saturday at her home in Westport, Conn., of stomach and colon cancer. She was 83. During a career that spanned half a century, the Canadian-born actor appeared on a host of television programs, including The Odd Couple, in which she played Blanche, the willful ex-wife of Oscar Madison, opposite real-life husband Jack Klugman. The two separated in 1974 but never divorced. She is survived by Klugman; their sons, David and Adam; and a daughter, Leslie, from a previous marriage.
The upcoming Web series quarterlife, from the creators of thirtysomething, will be produced under a Screen Actors Guild contract, the union announced Sept. 14. Though the guild has signed more than 200 Internet projects to contracts in the past two years, this is a high-profile program that has garnered attention in The New York Times and other national media outlets. The show, about six creative people in their 20s, will have 36 eight-minute episodes, which begin airing on MySpaceTV.com Nov. 11. Thirteen SAG actors have worked as principals on the show so far.