TV Eye

Shoo-ins, sentimentality, and few surprises

TV Eye

The Emmy Award nominations were announced last week. There were a few surprises in the high-profile nominations, but mostly, it was business as usual. Before I get to those, let's take a look at the nominees from where it all starts: the writers.


Outstanding Writing for a Comedy Series

There's no surprise that Sex and the City got two nominations, one for part two of the series finale and another for "The Ick Factor," written by Julie Rottenberg and Elisa Zuritsky. It's great to see the pilot episode for Arrested Development (Fox) by Mitchell Hurwitz get a nod, as well as the often overlooked Scrubs (NBC). Rounding out the list is the series finale episode of Frasier (NBC), written by Christopher Lloyd and Joe Keenan.


Outstanding Writing for a Drama Series

HBO owns this category. David Milch's pilot for Deadwood is nominated, and the remaining nominees are scripts from The Sopranos. Overlooked is Ryan Murphy's superb pilot episode for Nip/Tuck (FX).


Outstanding Writing for a Miniseries, Movie or a Dramatic Special

The magnificent Angels in America (HBO) should take this, and any other category in which it appears. But I wouldn't be surprised if Emmy rewards the old-timer Larry Gelbart for And Starring Pancho Villa as Himself (HBO). While it's recognition worthy, it can't compete with Tony Kushner's Angels, based on his stage play. Neither can Iron Jawed Angels, Something the Lord Made (both from HBO), or the Showtime biopic The Reagans.


Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series

John Ritter's nomination (8 Simple Rules) in this category is strange and sentimental. The strongest and most deserving candidate in this category is Larry David (as himself) from Curb Your Enthusiasm (HBO). Other nominees include Matt LeBlanc (Joey Tribbiani) of Friends and Tony Shalhoub (Adrian Monk) in Monk (USA). Monk is a great character. If only the show were better. Overlooked are Zack Braff from Scrubs and Jason Bateman from Arrested Development.


Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series

James Spader as Alan Shore from The Practice (ABC) is new to the list. I suspect Emmy will go with Martin Sheen as President Josiah Bartlet on The West Wing (NBC) or Anthony LaPaglia as Jack Malone on Without a Trace (CBS). LaPaglia, like Shalhoub, is a fine actor in a so-so series. Other nominees include James Gandolfini from The Sopranos and Kiefer Sutherland from 24 (Fox).


Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series

Someone in Hollywood loves Bonnie Hunt, and I don't get it. Yet here she is, nominated for her lead role in the now canceled Life With Bonnie (ABC). If you're going to go with second-string actors, why not go with Kelly Ripa from Hope & Faith (ABC) or Sara Rue from Less Than Perfect, two much more engaging performers? But none of them are on par with the divine Sarah Jessica Parker from Sex and the City (HBO). Other nominees include Patricia Heaton from Everybody Loves Raymond (CBS), Jennifer Aniston from Friends (NBC), and Jane Kaczmarek from Malcolm in the Middle (Fox). Missing is Lauren Graham as Lorelai Gilmore in The Gilmore Girls.


Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series

There are two new faces in this category: Amber Tamblyn as Joan Girardi on Joan of Arcadia (CBS) and Mariska Hargitay as Detective Olivia Benson in Law & Order: Special Victims Unit (NBC). The always fine Edie Falco from The Sopranos and Allison Janney from The West Wing reappear on this list. My personal favorite (and long shot) is Jennifer Garner as Sydney Bristow on Alias (ABC). Missing is Joely Richardson from Nip/Tuck (FX)


Outstanding Comedy Series

There's only one choice here – Arrested Development (Fox). My sentimental favorite is Sex and the City (HBO), but Curb Your Enthusiasm (HBO) is also a worthy contender. All of the above are better than Everybody Loves Raymond and Will & Grace (NBC). Missing is Scrubs, The Gilmore Girls, and – sure, why not – Two and a Half Men (CBS), which is just as good as, maybe better than, Raymond.


Outstanding Drama Series

Of this slate, The Sopranos is the clear winner. My sentimental favorite is 24 (Fox). Other nominees are CSI (CBS), Joan of Arcadia (CBS), and The West Wing (NBC).

The 56th annual Primetime Emmy Awards presentation, hosted by Garry Shandling, will air Sunday, Sept. 19 on ABC.

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for over 36 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

READ MORE
More TV Eye
TV Eye: That's What She Said
TV Eye: That's What She Said
After 10 years in print, 'TV Eye' has its series finale

Belinda Acosta, July 8, 2011

TV Eye: Go LoCo
TV Eye: Go LoCo
Awards, and a word about what's on the horizon for 'TV Eye'

Belinda Acosta, July 1, 2011

KEYWORDS FOR THIS STORY

56th annual Primetime Emmy Awards

MORE IN THE ARCHIVES
NEWSLETTERS
One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Can't keep up with happenings around town? We can help.

Austin's queerest news and events

Updates for SXSW 2019

All questions answered (satisfaction not guaranteed)

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle