Flashback '95: Emmy Nominee Claire Danes

By ROBERT PACE

August 21, 2013

Predominantly a film and stage actress, Claire Danes has been a regular on two television series: her current show Homeland and the show that bolstered her career, My So-Called Life. While the show only lasted one season, the then-15-year-old rising actress received her first Emmy nomination and won her first Golden Globe for her performance on the teen drama.

My So-Called Life has attracted a substantial cult following in the years since its original run was halted at one season, but the series about teen social issues wasn't much of a hit in the mid-nineties. Nevertheless, Danes shone bright as a promising young actress.

As she cradles her first Golden Globe Award in the pressroom, Danes emanates the poise of a woman ten years her elder and offers an intellectual view on why the show hasn't thrived on TV despite the critical acclaim.

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"There's a lot of different reasons why it could not be doing so well," she begins. "First of all, I don't know about that Nielsen box system. Who knows what's up with that? I think it's on a weird timeslot and it's a really complicated show and it's very confusing to figure out how to market it. It's pretty fragile."

The show was indeed perceived as being an odd specimen to market, as its main audience of teenage girls was viewed as an obstacle; however the show's demographic dilemma proved to be only part of the reason why the show was abruptly canceled after its premiere season.

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Unfortunately for the show, its teenage actors weren't simply living out their high school lives on TV and were burdened with their own sets of schoolwork, including Danes' paper on the Protestant Reformation, which led specifically Danes and her parents to become weary of a second season due to the time commitment.

While the exact reasoning behind My So-Called Life's cancellation remains a vague hodgepodge of factors, co-executive producer Marshall Herskovitz alleged that Danes and her parents expressed their disinterest in a second season, which Danes admitted to in an interview ten years later.

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Regardless of the rationale behind the show's demise, it bolstered Danes' career and immediately landed her a trio of movie roles. Better yet, she found an in with TV critics, as she has received an Emmy and a Golden Globe for both projects she has taken on since My So-Called Life (Temple Grandin (TV film), Homeland).

After winning an Emmy for the first season of Homeland, the now-34-year-old actress is up for another award at this year's Emmys, which gives her a shot at winning three consecutive Emmys for her TV work.



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