Home Box Office dominated this year’s Emmy Award nominations, with almost double the nods of its closest competitor, NBC.
HBO came in with a massive 124 nominations, led by Angels in America with 21, followed closely by The Sopranos with 20. New series Deadwood and the concluded Sex and the City each won 11 nominations, while Curb Your Enthusiasm scored 8 and Carnivale 7.
In second place, NBC had 65 nominations, led by The West Wing with 12. The final season of Frasier and Will & Grace each got nine nods, while the much-ballyhooed last season of Friends received seven. Will & Grace was the only one of NBC’s three comedies to get a best series nod, with Emmy snubbing both Friends and Frasier.
CBS, the broadcast network that won the most Emmys last year, was in third with 44 nominations. Everybody Loves Raymond was CBS’s leader with nine nods, but the network’s spurned mini-series, The Reagans, scored seven noms for sister network, Showtime. Joan of Arcadia surprised with nods for best drama and best actress for Amber Tamblyn.
ABC, Fox and PBS all were in the same range, with 33, 31 and 27 nominations respectively. UPN get four Emmy nods, all for ratings-challenged Star Trek: Enterprise, while The WB received two, one for Everwood and one for Gilmore Girls.
Among basic cable networks, A&E was by far the leader with 24 nominations. Critical darling FX had only seven nominations, with five of those for Nip/Tuck and none, surprisingly, for The Shield, which two years ago broke the basic cable barrier with a best actor win for star Michael Chiklis. USA Network had nine nominations, four of them for Monk. Bravo had four nominations, two for Queer Eye for the Straight Guy.
Best drama nominees were previous noms The West Wing, a show with declining ratings but the Emmy winner for the past four years, The Sopranos and 24. Joining them, in a victory for CBS, were CSI and Joan of Arcadia, beating such critical picks as Nip/Tuck and Deadwood.
Among the outstanding comedy nods were the best show nobody watches: Arrested Development. Sex and the City, Curb Your Enthusiasm, Everybody Loves Raymond and Will & Grace joined Arrested.
In the acting races, all the ladies of Sex and the City were nominated, with Sarah Jessica Parker again in the lead actress category and Cynthia Nixon, Kim Cattrall and Kristin Davis all in the supporting category. It’s Davis’ first nomination.
Joining Parker as outstanding lead actress in a comedy series were past winners Jennifer Aniston for Friends and Patricia Heaton for Everybody Loves Raymond, as well as Jane Kaczmarek for Malcolm in the Middle and Bonnie Hunt for ABC’s canceled Life With Bonnie.
John Ritter received a posthumous nod for 8 Simple Rules, while Kelsey Grammer and David Hyde Pierce both got nods for the final season of Frasier.
Larry David was back in the comedy category for Curb Your Enthusiasm, a role he says doesn't involve any acting because he's playing himself. And Matt LeBlanc and Tony Shalhoub both returned to the category Shalhoub won last year for Friends and Monk, respectively. Matthew Perry was shut out for Friends, but did pick up a nod for his guest appearances on Emmy magnet The West Wing.
The Sopranos cleaned up, with James Gandolfini and Edie Falco nominated as leads as usual, and Michael Imperioli, and the whacked Drea de Matteo and Steve Buscemi joining them in the supporting category.
Joining Gandolfini was James Spader, a pleasant surprise for The Practice, and previous nominees Martin Sheen for The West Wing, Anthony LaPaglia for Without a Trace and Kiefer Sutherland for 24.
Joining Falco as outstanding actress in a drama series were previous nominee Jennifer Garner for Alias, previous winner Allison Janney for The West Wing, Tamblyn for Joan of Arcadia and Mariska Hargitay for Law & Order: SVU
Angels in America dominated the mini-series categories, with Al Pacino, Meryl Streep and almost the entire supporting cast nominated.