<p>Aubrey Plaza as April Ludgate on &quot;Parks and Recreation.&quot;</p>

Aubrey Plaza as April Ludgate on "Parks and Recreation."

Credit: NBC

If I had an Emmy ballot 2012: Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series

The women of 'Suburgatory,' 'Big Bang Theory,' 'Cougar Town' and more

Okay, it's part 2 of our look at the Emmy nominations process for 2012. As always, Fienberg and I are going to approach things in two ways. I'll pretend that I have an Emmy ballot and make my picks for the six actors or shows I would put on my ballot, while Dan will rank the potential nominees from most likely to least. And, as always, we are working off of the actual Emmy ballot, so we can't consider people who didn't submit themselves, nor can we reassign anyone to a more suitable or easier category.

Yesterday, we looked at the comedy supporting actors, so now it's time to make our picks for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series. (Click here for Dan's predictions.)

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<p>Jeffrey Donovan as Michael Westen in &quot;Burn Notice.&quot;</p>

Jeffrey Donovan as Michael Westen in "Burn Notice."

Credit: USA

Season premiere review: 'Burn Notice' - 'Scorched Earth'

What did everybody think of Michael Westen and friends' return?

When "Burn Noticewrapped up its previous season back in December, I wrote that while I still enjoyed the show as a summer diversion, it had been telling the same kinds of stories for so long that I'd run out of new things to say about it, and had lot some emotional investment along the way. So unless this new season presents an unexpected masterpiece at some point, I'm going to be watching but not writing.

But since I got to see the season premiere in advance, I wanted to at least take the temperature of the room on where the show is right now. Many of you agreed with me on last season's finale — not that the show had gone awry, but that we'd seen it all before, many times. Did the seven months away rekindle your passion for Michael, Sam and Fi, or are you still feeling the same ennui I am? How did you feel about the way the Anson and Fiona stories played out in the premiere? Do you buy that Michael would be this reckless for the sake of Fi? Were you happy to see the return of an old face? How did you feel about the introductory narration finally including Jesse? 

Have at it, folks. Again, barring something special, I'll be back around mid-season finale time.

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<p>Bryan Cranston from &quot;Breaking Bad.&quot;</p>

Bryan Cranston from "Breaking Bad."

Credit: AMC

Bryan Cranston to host the 2012 Television Critics Association Awards

'Breaking Bad' star is also up for a TCA Award

Last year, the Television Critics Association Awards were hosted by Ron Effing Swanson himself, Nick Offerman. So perhaps the only way to top that in terms of finding someone capable of making very dangerous things was to recruit Bryan Cranston from "Breaking Bad" to emcee this year's awards.

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<p>In my ideal world, Jim Rash from &quot;Community&quot;&nbsp;would be up for an Emmy to go on the shelf next to his Oscar.</p>

In my ideal world, Jim Rash from "Community" would be up for an Emmy to go on the shelf next to his Oscar.

Credit: NBC

If I had an Emmy ballot 2012: Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series

The men of 'Parks and Recreation' and 'Community' dominate the first stage of our annual exercise

It's Emmy nominating time once again, which means it's time for Fienberg and I to resume our annual tradition of predicting the people and shows we either wish will be nominated (me) or think will be (Dan). I pretend that I have an Emmy ballot and pick the six performers/shows per category that I'd be happiest to see nominated, while Dan runs down the contenders in each category, starting with the locks, then moving to the contenders and then the ridiculous longshots.

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<p>It was hard for &quot;Mad Men&quot;&nbsp;creator Matthew Weiner to have Peggy and Don split up.</p>

It was hard for "Mad Men" creator Matthew Weiner to have Peggy and Don split up.

Credit: AMC

'Mad Men' creator Matthew Weiner talks Peggy, Joan, sci-fi and more

How did moving into the late '60s change the series? And does he think the show's become unsubtle?
I loved the fifth season of "Mad Men" overall, but did not love the season finale, in part because I felt the show's creator Matthew Weiner spelled out the themes of the episode in less subtle fashion than usual.
So when Weiner was able to spare a few minutes this afternoon from the set of "You Are Here," his writing and directorial movie debut, among the things we discussed was whether or not he feels ths season has been more overt in its meaning than previous ones. We also talked about his reasons for writing Peggy out of the agency — if not necessarily off the show — how the show has changed as it's moved into the more famous half of the '60s, this season's obsession with science fiction, and more.
Given the limited amount of time we had, I tried not to rehash too much of the ground that was already covered in previous post-finale interviews Weiner gave to the New York Times and to Slate — both of them deal with Don's feelings about Megan, and about Weiner's belief that of course Joan would have accepted the indecent proposal in the Jaguar episode — and instead look at the finale, and the season, from other angles.
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<p>Yvonne Strahovski from &quot;Chuck&quot;&nbsp;will be guest-starring on &quot;Dexter.&quot;</p>

Yvonne Strahovski from "Chuck" will be guest-starring on "Dexter."

Credit: NBC

'Dexter' casts 'Chuck 'alum Yvonne Strahovski for season 7 guest arc

The former spy will go to work helping out Miami Metro in several episodes next season

Credit to Showtime for casting one of the few guest actors who might convince me to give "Dexter" another try, as they've just announced that "Chuck" alum Yvonne Strahovski will be doing a multi-episode story arc in the upcoming seventh season.

Strahovski will play Hannah McKay, whom the press notes describe as "a strong, independent woman with a past that she's struggled to put behind her." Miami Metro recruits Hannah to help solve some old cases, Dexter works alongside her, begins to wonder if there's more to her than meets the eye, etc., etc., etc. It's "Dexter." You know how this works.

That said, loyalty to "Chuck" and admiration for Strahovski's work — along with some other interesting guest stars like Ray Stevenson and Jason Gedrick — might lead me to give the show one more look when it returns on September 30.

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<p>Larry Hagman returns as J.R. Ewing in the new &quot;Dallas.&quot;</p>

Larry Hagman returns as J.R. Ewing in the new "Dallas."

Credit: TNT

Review: TNT's 'Dallas' brings back Larry Hagman and friends

But old-school stars Hagman, Patrick Duffy and Linda Gray upstage the next generation
Larry Hagman's eyebrows are a character unto themselves in TNT's new "Dallas" series. They are beautiful and terrifying, white and expansive and at once a sign of the frailty of old age and the endurance of one of the biggest television stars of all time.
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<p>Sutton Foster in her showgirl days on &quot;Bunheads.&quot;</p>

Sutton Foster in her showgirl days on "Bunheads."

Credit: ABC Family

Series premiere review: 'Bunheads' - 'Pilot'

What did everybody think of the new ABC Family drama?

I posted my review of ABC Family's "Bunheads" on Saturday morning, and now that the pilot has aired, I want to talk specifically about a couple of things, just as soon as I develop a dirty ventriliquist act...

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Firewall & Iceberg Podcast, episode 134: 'Mad Men' finale, 'Bunheads,' 'Dallas' & 'Falling Skies'
Credit: AMC

Firewall & Iceberg Podcast, episode 134: 'Mad Men' finale, 'Bunheads,' 'Dallas' & 'Falling Skies'

Dan and Alan also review the 'Teacher's Pet' episode of 'Buffy' season 1


Last week, we did two installments of the Firewall & Iceberg Podcast: one where we went on at some length and depth about "Game of Thrones" and "Mad Men," the other with quick hit reviews of new and returning shows. This week's only podcast is a blend of the two, with brief-ish reviews of "Bunheads," "Dallas" and "Falling Skies," plus a longer discussion of the "Mad Men" finale and this week's "Buffy" chatter.

The line-up: 

"Bunheads" (00:00:40 - 00:16:45)
"Dallas" (00:16:45 - 00:29:55)
"Falling Skies" (00:30:00 - 00:38:50)
"Mad Men" finale (00:39:40 - 01:11:45)
Buffy: "Teacher's Pet" (01:11:45 - 01:22:00)
As always, you can subscribe to The Firewall & Iceberg Podcast over at the iTunes Store, where you can also rate us and comment on us. Or you can always follow our RSS Feed, download the MP3 file or stream it on Dan's blog.
And as always, feel free to e-mail us questions for the podcast.
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<p>Don (Jon Hamm) finds himself alone at a bar in the &quot;Mad Men&quot;&nbsp;season finale.</p>

Don (Jon Hamm) finds himself alone at a bar in the "Mad Men" season finale.

Credit: AMC

Season finale review: 'Mad Men' - 'The Phantom'

Megan needs a job, Pete needs a friend and Don makes a decision

A review of tonight's "Mad Men" season finale coming up just as soon as I'm president of the Howdy Doody Circus Army...

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