Astro-nomical!

Television fetes itself next

Sunday at the 50th Annual Emmy Awards with a deluxe four-hour gala (6/13, 6pm NBC), during which they will presumably stop reminiscing long enough to give away some awards. NBC has the home-network advantage and the most nominations (86), but — except for Out-standing Television Movie, which ought to be renamed Outstanding HBO Movie — this year it looks like the major awards are Fox's to lose.

In comedy, word-of-mouth, zeitgeist, and PC-ism should converge, thus allowing Ally McBeal to break Frasier's stranglehold on Outstanding Comedy Series. Even if Ally's hour length turns voters off, the funniest show ever, The Larry Sanders Show, still won't win; it'll be Dr. Crane again. Kelsey Grammer and Calista Flockhart (because they gave Helen Hunt an Oscar) should nail the Lead Actor categories, and the supporting awards will probably go to sentimental favorites Phil Hartman and Julia Louis-Dreyfus, but don't count out David Hyde Pierce or Lisa Kudrow.

Dramatically, this is the year for The X-Files to break on through to the other side. The Fox linchpin was consistently compelling last year, more so than any year since the second. Ideally, David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson should sweep Lead Actor, but also lurking are NYPD perennials Jimmy Smits and Dennis Franz and ER's Julianna Margulies, who had her strongest season yet as Nurse Carol Hathaway. The supporting awards should both wind up in the ER as well, because Eriq La Salle, Noah Wyle, Laura Innes, and Gloria Reuben all deserve one. (Where is Alex Kingston, though?) Law & Order was a fluke, it's wait 'til next year for The Practice, so if voting for a sci-fi show still freaks the voters out, page the ER staff to the podium stat!


Final thoughts: ER begins

its syndicated run on TNT Sunday with the two-hour pilot, then settles into the 6pm weekday slot also occupied by Party of Five on Lifetime. How to decide? Happy times in Spelling-land this week as a very reliable source (the Star) revealed that not only is Luke Perry rejoining his once and future 90210 mates, but Brenda's back too! Shannen Doherty will star in a new Spelling-produced drama for the WB called Charmed, about a trio of benevolent witches (or is it Wiccans now?) trying to cast a spell preventing Buffy the Vampire Slayer's audience from changing the channel. Word is Shannen is already staring daggers at costar Alyssa Milano on the set. Rrrrowrrr! And best of all, the Star also reported that the hideous Coop (Linden Ashby) is indeed on his way out the Melrose Place door, most likely as the victim of a horrible "accident." Oh, happy day! The only way I could be more elated is if Billy Wagner struck out Derek Jeter with the bases loaded to lead the Astros over the Yankees in the World Series. But we'll get there soon enough...


Tune in to the sound of white noise at TVEye.auschron.com

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KEYWORDS FOR THIS STORY

Tv, T.v., Television, Channels, Channel Surfing, Stations, Network, Margaret Moser

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