As Usual, Emmy Awards Will Pit NBC Against HBO

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HBO widened its lead over NBC in the Emmy race last week, garnering 109 nominations to NBC's second-place 77. The two networks will go head-to-head in the outstanding-series categories: HBO has two of the nominated dramas, while NBC has one, and HBO and NBC each have two of the nominated comedies. The Emmy Awards ceremony is Sept. 21.

Getting nods for outstanding drama were Emmy stand-bys: HBO's Six Feet Under
and The Sopranos, Fox's 24,
NBC's The West Wing
and CBS's CSI: Crime Scene Investigation.

Six Feet Under
received the most nominations (16), followed closely by The West Wing
(15) and The Sopranos
(13). NBC powerhouse Law & Order
would have broken a tie (with M*A*S*H
and Cheers) for most consecutive best-series nominations had it garnered its 12th for outstanding drama. But it received one nomination in a relatively minor category.

The West Wing
is in a position to be upset after winning the best-drama category the past three years. Last season, though, it suffered in the ratings and creatively, with creator and executive producer Aaron Sorkin departing at the end of the season.

The outstanding-comedy nominees were also regulars: NBC's Friends
and Will & Grace, HBO's Sex and the City
and Curb Your Enthusiasm, and CBS's Everybody Loves Raymond. Raymond
and Sex
tied for the most (13), followed by Will & Grace
(12) and Friends
(11).

The Academy of Television Arts & Sciences added a category for reality shows, nominating CBS's Amazing Race
and Survivor
and Fox's American Idol
for outstanding reality series.

HBO's 109 nods topped its record-setting 93 last year. Although NBC was in second-place overall, its 77 nods were far less than last year's 89. CBS's 59 nominations beat last year's 50. Fox's 37 nominations were four more than last year. And ABC's 33 were two less than last year's 35. UPN received 7 nods, two less than last year, while The WB received two, on par with 2002.

Among cable networks, TNT was a distant second with 14 nominations, followed by A&E (12) and Sci Fi (10).

On basic cable, Tony Shalhoub was nominated as best lead actor in a comedy series for USA's Monk.
Michael Chiklis was nominated as best lead actor in in a drama series for FX's The Shield
after winning last year.

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