June 13, 2005

TV: thinking about the Emmy Awards

Time to start thinking about this year's awards, and who might get nominated. There's room for a relatively large amount of change to the lists this year; of the 50 nominees in the top categories (series, lead actor/actress, supporting actor/actress), 20 are not eligible this year, because their shows either went off the air or aired no new episodes. (Two of those 20, James Spader and Matt LeBlanc, played the same characters that they were nominated for last year, but in different series.)

Last year's nominees, winners listed first:

SERIES: Arrested Development, Curb Your Enthusiasm, Everybody Loves Raymond, Sex and the City, Will and Grace
ACTOR: Kelsey Grammer, Larry David, Matt LeBlanc, John Ritter, Tony Shalhoub
ACTRESS: Sarah Jessica Parker, Jennifer Aniston, Patricia Heaton, Bonnie Hunt, Jane Kaczmarek
SUPP. ACTOR: David Hyde Pierce, Peter Boyle, Brad Garrett, Sean Hayes, Jeffrey Tambor
SUPP. ACTRESS: Cynthia Nixon, Kim Cattrall, Kristin Davis, Megan Mullally, Doris Roberts

SERIES: The Sopranos, 24, CSI, Joan of Arcadia, The West Wing
ACTOR: James Spader, James Gandolfini, Anthony LaPaglia, Martin Sheen, Kiefer Sutherland
ACTRESS: Allison Janney, Edie Falco, Jennifer Garner, Mariska Hargitay, Amber Tamblyn
SUPP. ACTOR: Michael Imperioli, Steve Buscemi, Brad Dourif, Victor Garber, John Spencer
SUPP. ACTRESS: Drea de Matteo, Stockard Channing, Tyne Daly, Janel Moloney, Robin Weigert

A closer look at some of the possibilities this year:

On the comedy side, neither Enthusiasm or Sex and the City is eligible; of the other three, only Will & Grace seems at all vulnerable. Desperate Housewives will surely take one of the open spots, and were it up to me, Scrubs and Gilmore Girls would get the other two. It will be interesting to see whether Boston Legal is submitted as a comedy or a drama; I think its chances for nominations are better in the comedy categories, and if it's submitted there, I think it'll be one of the nominees.

Of the leading actors, only Tony Shalhoub remains eligible; Matt LeBlanc could be nominated again, this time for Joey, but that show's done so poorly that he could easily be left out. If Boston Legal goes comedy, then Spader's a cinch for a nomination, and probably Shatner, too. With so many open spots, perhaps Zach Braff will finally be noticed for Scrubs.

Heaton and Kaczmarek are the only returning actress nominees, and they'll surely be joined by at least two of the Desperate Housewives; Teri Hatcher is the surest bet, followed by Marcia Cross and Felicity Huffman. I'm hoping Lauren Graham will finally get noticed for Gilmore Girls, but the Housewives gang may keep her out yet again. I have a soft spot for Jennifer Finnigan of Committed, but that ain't gonna happen.

Only one empty slot for supporting actor, though I wouldn't be surprised if Sean Hayes drops off the list this year. Most deserving of being added, as he has been for the last few years, is John C. McGinley from Scrubs. I'd also be happy to see Gilmore's Scott Patterson or Housewives' Steven Culp on the list.

Supporting actress has lots of room for fresh blood, with only Mullally and Roberts returning. Kelly Bishop had a big plotline on Gilmore this year, separating from her husband, and I hope that will be enough to win her a spot. Candice Bergen for Boston Legal seems likely, and I'd be happy to see Harriet Sansom Harris from Housewives or Cynthia Stevenson from Dead Like Me (that last one is quite unlikely, to be sure).

And on the drama side:

Only The Sopranos is ineligible of last year's best series nominees, but I'd be surprised if Joan of Arcadia didn't also drop off the list. Lost is a sure bet to be nominated, and I think House also has a very good chance.

Among the actors, Gandolfini can't be nominated; Spader could be, for a different show, but assuming that Boston Legal goes comedy, that leaves two spots for new nominees. Hugh Laurie of House seems a sure thing, and Matthew Fox of Lost will probably get in, too. I'd be very happy, though, to see Michael C. Hall from Six Feet Under recognized for his fine work in last year's carjacking story.

Edie Falco's the only one of last year's actresses who can't be nominated this year; of the other four, I think Garner and Janney are relatively safe bets, and Hargitay and Tamblyn could go. But this is a weak category; the only name that comes to mind that would really make me happy is Christine Lahti, who was the best thing about Jack and Bobby.

Two vacancies in the supporting actor category -- Buscemi and Imperioli -- and lots of strong contenders to fill those slots, or to bump other names off the list. Heck, you could fill most of this category with the men from Lost, of whom I think Terry O'Quinn and Daniel Dae Kim are the most deserving. I'd also be happy to see nominations for Ron Rifkin of Alias and James Cromwell of Six Feet Under.

Only Drea De Matteo is ineligible among last year's supporting actresses, but neither of the West Wing actresses seems a particularly sure bet to return. Among the deserving are Mary Lynn Rajskub and Shohreh Aghdashloo, both from 24, and Lost's Yunjin Kim.

Anyone you're rooting for who I've left out?

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