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Emmy Contenders: Tituss Burgess still likes his Pinot Noir, thank you

If you're not looking at a glass (or, if you're like us, a bottle) of Pinot Noir a bit differently these days, you somehow missed Tituss Burgess' viral video sensation from the Netflix comedy "Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt," a giddy minute that found more ways to rhyme with the word "noir" than we thought possible. And we're old enough to remember this guy.

Burgess stopped by The Times recently to talk about his breakout role on the show and the differences between "Kimmy Schmidt's" Titus (one s) and the actor himself (named after the apostle Paul's protege, with a bonus s), many of which can be gleaned simply by the absence of glitter anywhere on the outfit Burgess wore to the building.

We discussed how Burgess related to the career strivings of "Kimmy's" Titus and how auditioning for the part gave him some insight into what made the character tick. The "Peeno Noir" song was, of course, dissected, with Burgess admitting he initially thought it was a bad idea and how, in its aftermath, people...

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Emmy chat: Join 'Fresh Off the Boat's' Constance Wu on Tuesday

Constane Wu, "Fresh Off the Boat" star and (according to her Twitter page) proud Silver Lake resident, will be dropping by The Times on Tuesday at 11 a.m. PDT to talk about the breakout ABC comedy.

Wu plays Jessica, the show's assertive wife and mother who's trying to adapt to the family's move from Washington, D.C., to the muggy suburbs of Orlando, Fla. Yes, she's a little paranoid (Jessica needs to dial back on the nightly news) and over-protective, but she means well. And who knows? Maybe pork-bone stew would be a great meal to feed your pre-adolescent son when he brings friends over. Beats takeout pizza, right?

"Fresh Off the Boat" does what few television shows do now, which is to make race not beside the point," wrote Times television critic Robert Lloyd in his review of the series. "It sits inside a minority culture and looks with bewilderment and bemusement at the dominant one."

We'll talk to Wu about all that bewilderment and bemusement and where "Boat" might be headed for its...

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Emmy chat: Join 'Kimmy Schmidt's' Tituss Burgess on Monday

If you're not looking at a glass (or, if you're like us, a bottle) of Pinot noir a bit differently these days, you somehow missed Tituss Burgess' viral video sensation from the Netflix comedy "Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt," a giddy minute that found more ways to rhyme with the word "noir" than we thought possible. And we're old enough to remember this guy.

Burgess will be stopping by The Times on Monday at 2 p.m. PDT to talk about his breakthrough role on "Kimmy," a part that the show creators ("30 Rock" vets Tina Fey and Robert Carlock) wrote specifically for him -- without his knowledge. Talk about a happy surprise. That didn't mean Burgess didn't have to audition even though the character was named after him and inspired by him and specifically tailored to his talents. But that's show business. Burgess crushed it and won the part.

In addition to all of that, we'll try to pin him down on the number of times he actually auditioned for "The Lion King" on Broadway, how he's negotiating his...

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Gina Rodriguez staying grounded despite 'Jane's' success

The night she won the Golden Globe for her warm, funny and versatile work as the kindhearted title character in the CW comedy "Jane the Virgin," Gina Rodriguez brought her whole family — Mom and Dad, her two older sisters and their husbands — to the celebrity-filled InStyle after-party at the Beverly Hilton. They hung out for about an hour, people watching, but Rodriguez mostly sat with her parents while her sisters Iveliss and Rebecca tracked down Channing Tatum for a selfie.

Full Coverage: Emmys 2015

Once that mission was accomplished, Rodriguez and her parents headed back to her one-bedroom Santa Monica apartment, where the 30-year-old actress made up her couch ("Of course, my mom and dad get dibs on the bed") and conked out early. She had to be on set at 5 a.m. the next day.

"The reason I got the Golden Globe was because of my job, so I needed to make sure I wasn't a hot mess the next day," Rodriguez says. "Yes, they probably would have cut me a little slack, but I didn't want to disappoint."

...

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A look at the new Emmy rules and what they might change

Last year's Emmy season started off confusing ("Orange Is the New Black" is a comedy? Really?) and ended up wholly predictable, with no new winners in the drama and comedy series and acting categories, and "Modern Family" taking the comedy trophy for the fifth year running. And while television academy voters have never really been known for their impulsive choices (Again with the "ER"?), the rubber-stamping of the past seems at odds with the sheer volume of great choices available every year.

Put it another way: If we are indeed living in yet another Golden Age of television, shouldn't somebody besides Julia Louis-Dreyfus and Jim Parsons win an Emmy?

FULL COVERAGE: Emmys 2015

The television academy's board of governors seems to think so, changing several rules in recent months that might make this year's Emmys a bit more interesting. "I think we'll know fairly quickly if these have an impact on the process," says television academy Chairman Bruce Rosenblum.

At the very least, the revisions...

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Unlike Oscars, 2015 Emmys have diverse shows, actors to recognize

While the Oscars were largely a dry white straight male season, the Emmys are shaping up to be anything but, with acclaimed shows starring women, people of color and characters of various sexual and/or gender orientations. The list of newcomers breaking some rare ground is impressive: "Jane the Virgin," "The Nightly Show," "black-ish," "Empire," "Fresh Off the Boat," "How to Get Away With Murder," "Cristela" and "Transparent."

They join longer-running shows, including "Orange Is the New Black," "The Mindy Project," "Being Mary Jane," "Power," "Scandal" and "Looking," in giving the audience characters and stories from communities that were previously all but invisible on television.

One of the champions of the "normalizing" of TV — the term she prefers over "diversity" — is Shonda Rhimes. Her three ABC shows do so, starting with colorblind casting for "Grey's Anatomy." "Scandal" was the first network drama in 30 years to star a black woman. The newest Shondaland entry, "How to Get Away...

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