The Academy of Television Arts and Sciences announced nominations for the 56th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards today from the Leonard H. Goldenson Theatre in North Hollywood, Calif.
As expected, the unusual suspects received the most nominations. HBO's mob drama The Sopranos led the pack with 20 nods, including a nomination for best drama. HBO's now-defunct series Sex and the City, meanwhile, was the most-nominated sitcom, with nods in 11 categories, including best comedy series.
The late John Ritter, who died Sept. 11, 2003, received a nomination for best comedy actor for 8 Simple Rules.
New shows and exclusions, however, added some excitement to an otherwise predictable slate of nominees. Most notably, NBC heavy hitters Friends and Frasier failed to receive nods for best comedy series, despite it being each show's final season. Fox's Arrested Development, however, beat out the two powerhouse sitcoms to grab a best comedy nomination.
The 56th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards, hosted by Garry Shandling, will be broadcast live on ABC from the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles on Sept. 19. For a complete list of nominees, please visit Emmys.com. Nominees in the top categories follow:
Outstanding Drama Series
CSI: Crime Scene Investigation
Joan of Arcadia
The West Wing
Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series
James Spader as Alan Shore, The Practice
James Gandolfini as Tony Soprano, The Sopranos
Kiefer Sutherland as Jack Bauer, 24
Martin Sheen as President Josiah Bartlet, The West Wing
Anthony LaPaglia as Jack Malone, Without a Trace
Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series
Jennifer Garner as Sydney Bristow, Alias
Amber Tamblyn as Joan Girardi, Joan of Arcadia
Mariska Hargitay as Detective Olivia Benson, Law & Order: Special Victims Unit
Edie Falco as Carmela Soprano, The Sopranos
Allison Janney as C.J. Cregg, The West Wing
Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series
Victor Garber as Agent Jack Bristow, Alias
Brad Dourif as Doc Cochran, Deadwood
Michael Imperioli as Christopher Moltisanti, The Sopranos
Steve Buscemi as Tony Blundett, The Sopranos
John Spencer as Leo McGarry, The West Wing
Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series
Robin Weigert as Calamity Jane, Deadwood
Tyne Daly as Maxine Gray, Judging Amy
Drea de Matteo as Adriana La Cerva, The Sopranos
Janel Moloney as Donna Moss, The West Wing
Stockard Channing as Dr. Abigail Bartlet, The West Wing
Outstanding Comedy Series
Curb Your Enthusiasm
Everybody Loves Raymond
Sex and the City
Will & Grace
Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series
Larry David as Himself, Curb Your Enthusiasm
John Ritter as Paul Hennessy, 8 Simple Rules
Kelsey Grammer as Frasier Crane, Frasier
Matt LeBlanc as Joey Tribbiani, Friends
Tony Shalhoub as Adrian Monk, Monk
Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series
Patricia Heaton as Debra Barone, Everybody Loves Raymond
Jennifer Aniston as Rachel Green, Friends
Bonnie Hunt as Bonnie Malloy, Life with Bonnie
Jane Kaczmarek as Lois, Malcolm in the Middle
Sarah Jessica Parker as Carrie Bradshaw, Sex and the City
Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series
Jeffrey Tambor as George Bluth, Sr., Arrested Development
Brad Garrett as Robert Barone, Everybody Loves Raymond
Peter Boyle as Frank Barone, Everybody Loves Raymond
David Hyde Pierce as Niles Crane, Frasier
Sean Hayes as Jack, Will & Grace
Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series
Doris Roberts as Marie Barone, Everybody Loves Raymond
Kim Cattrall as Samantha Jones, Sex and the City
Kristin Davis as Charlotte York, Sex and the City
Cynthia Nixon as Miranda Hobbes, Sex and the City
Megan Mullally as Karen, Will & Grace
Rob Lowe, once one of the biggest stars of the NBC drama The West Wing, announced in July he was leaving the show following a contract dispute, but that doesn't mean he's leaving for good. Series creator Aaron Sorkin said Thursday that Lowe's character on the show, White House Deputy Communications Director Sam Seaborn, is not being killed off. "Sam Seaborn is not going to die," he said. "So the door is always open." Sorkin added that he wished Lowe didn't have to leave. "It's a difficult situation. There's no villain in this case, and it will be regrettable if it is portrayed that way," he said. Sorkin, however, would not reveal plans for writing Seaborn out of the series. The West Wing's two-hour season premiere airs Sept. 25.
The Los Angeles Times Friday reports that Notorious B.I.G. was a key player in the unsolved drive-by shooting of rapper Tupac Shakur six years ago in Las Vegas. A yearlong investigation by Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter Chuck Philips identifies Shakur's killer as Crips gang member Orlando Anderson, who was later killed in an unrelated shooting. Notorious B.I.G.--who was gunned down himself in Los Angeles a year later--reportedly supplied the .40-caliber Glock pistol used to shoot Shakur. The two had been part of a rivalry that split the rap community between the east and west coasts.
Heather Mills tells Vanity Fair magazine that she offered to sign a prenuptial agreement before marrying Paul McCartney, but the former Beatle wouldn't allow it. In an article in the October issue, McCartney said he knows some people will think he's been suckered by a gold digger. "I'm not stupid. Heather is a really nice person, or else I wouldn't be attracted in the least," he says. "But you're going to find people who are going to knock her because the better story is the negative one."
Winona Ryder did not appear at the courthouse Thursday for a conference between her attorney and the prosecutor to set a possible pretrial date for her shoplifting case, The Associated Press reports. Ryder's attorney Mark Geragos said outside the courthouse, "We have set a pretrial date and a trial date." Pretrial proceedings are expected to begin within 30 days of the Sept. 12 hearing.
Comeback kid Robert Evans announced Thursday during a tribute to him at the American Film Festival in Deauville, France, that he is working on a follow-up to his autobiographical documentary, The Kid Stays in the Picture, Variety reports. Titled The Fat Lady Sang, Evans said his film would chronicle his recovery from a debilitating stroke in 1998.
Funnyman Adam Sandler and Jack Giarraputo's Happy Madison Prods. have inked a two-year deal to develop comedy series for Columbia TriStar Domestic Television, according to The Hollywood Reporter. The deal will provide Happy Madison with a discretionary fund and will pay for the company's overhead. The pact is the first deal for Sony's CTDT since shifting away from maintaining a high volume of long-term development deals with writers and producers.
Sandler is not the only one getting serious about small-screen comedy. National Lampoon, the comedy franchise behind, among others, the 1978 comedy Animal House, said Thursday it would buy Burly Bear Network, a defunct TV network that has distribution relationships with about 420 universities in the United States. According to Reuters, National Lampoon intends to develop live and animated programming for Burly Bear's college viewers aged 18 to 24.