Emmy has a habit of embarrassing itself. A favorite game for viewers is identifying Emmy's snubs. Emmy's judges are all too susceptible to the familiar. (Item: "Veep" star Julia Louis-Dreyfus, with three wins in a row, is nominated again. Item: "Modern Family," named best comedy series for five years straight, is nominated again.)
Emmy sometimes demonstrates a snobbish attitude. That would explain its aversion to Starz' "Outlander," which features splendid actors Caitriona Balfe, Sam Heughan and Tobias Menzies.
Emmy love did lead to a few breakthroughs. Tatiana Maslany, who wows "Orphan Black" viewers, landed a best actress nomination.
But how to account for the neglect of FX's terrific "The Americans"? A sly Cold War-era thriller, it stars Keri Russell and Matthew Rhys as Russian-born spies planted in the U.S. For a third year, none of them was nominated, nor was their series.
Queen Elizabeth has awarded actor John Hurt a knighthood for services to drama in his 40-year career. The queen recognized the 75-year-old actor, who has received two Oscar nominations for his roles in "The Elephant Man" and "Midnight Express." Hurt's other roles included playing Garrick Ollivander in the Harry Potter films as well as playing the War Doctor in a 50th anniversary episode of the "Doctor Who" television series. Hurt, who was recently diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, said his only regret was that his parents were not alive to watch him collect the honor at Windsor Castle Friday.
Link to Luke: A new mobile app will put fans closer to Luke Bryan with live streaming and interactive features. The multiplatinum singer said that the Luke Bryan App will be available July 24 on iTunes and Google Play. "You're going to be able to have interactive experiences with it, find out what I am up to, find new videos, special content, even new songs," said Bryan, who is selling out stadiums and arenas on the Kick The Dust Up tour.
Farewell: Ettore Stratta, who produced records by stars like Barbra Streisand and Tony Bennett and conducted symphonic arrangements of everything from bossa nova to the music of Andrew Lloyd Webber, died July 9 in Manhattan. He was 82. A classically trained conductor who worked with the London, Melbourne and Royal Philharmonic symphony orchestras, Stratta produced Bennett's "The Art of Excellence" (1986) and Streisand's "Je m'appelle Barbra" (1970) and worked with artists including Chaka Khan, Ray Charles, Lena Horne and Dave Brubeck.