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Arts & Culture

HBO Again Leads List of Emmy Nominees

MADELEINE BRAND, host:

I'm Madeleine Brand, and this is DAY TO DAY.

The Emmy Awards nominations were announced this morning. HBO came out on top with 93 nominations. TV critic Andrew Wallenstein is here to talk with us about the nominees.

So who are the big ones? Who are the big winners?

(Soundbite of music from "Desperate Housewives")

ANDREW WALLENSTEIN reporting:

Well, here's a shocker. "Desperate Housewives," which has really been the show of the moment, got about 15 nominations. Three of its actresses were nominated in the best comedy category.

(Soundbite of "Desperate Housewives")

Ms. BRENDA STRONG: (As Mary Alice Young) Yes, Gabrielle Solis knew without a doubt she didn't want to be a mother. But what she couldn't know was just how much her husband wanted to be a father, or that he'd been tampering with her birth control for months.

WALLENSTEIN: And HBO, of course, with 93. Two of their movies--"The Life and Death of Peter Sellers" and "Warm Springs"--got 16 each; that actually was the top figure--"Everybody Loves Raymond," in its last year, 13; and the ABC drama "Lost", 12. So, yeah, those are the ones that we're probably going to see get the most awards.

BRAND: So with HBO, are we talking the usual suspects, "The Sopranos"?

WALLENSTEIN: Not really. Actually, "Sopranos" and "Curb Your Enthusiasm" did not make the cut this year because they haven't been on for at least a year. I mean, it's interesting to note HBO did get the most, but not anywhere near what they usually did. They got about 25 percent less nominations than last year. I think that's also a function of the fact that--besides they didn't have any big extravaganzas like "Angels in America", which was the big winner last year, some of their series just aren't as acclaimed as, you know, "Sex in the City" used to be. "Six Feet Under", "Entourage"--these shows only picked up a handful of nominations.

BRAND: And what are some other surprises this year?

WALLENSTEIN: Well, the NBC sitcom "Will & Grace" got 15 nominations; that tied "Desperate Housewives." And if you've seen "Will & Grace" lately, you know it's been running on creative fumes, probably going into its last year. That struck me as a bit much.

The highest-rated comedy on the air, "Two and a Half Men," which is on CBS, did not get nominated. That's a big surprise. "C.S.I.," which is the highest-rated drama on the air, even higher than "Desperate Housewives" in some categories, did not get nominated. Allison Janney--she won best actress in a drama last year; she didn't get nominated.

It was also very surprising to see FX, which has some really good shows like "Nip/Tuck," "Rescue Me," get shut out of some of the major categories. So, yeah, there were definitely some surprises this year, too.

BRAND: And what are your predictions for the winners?

WALLENSTEIN: Tough ones. Well, you know, let's start with the easy one. "Desperate Housewives" will win in a cakewalk in the comedy category. But drama is a lot tougher. You've got good shows like "Deadwood," "Lost," "Six Feet Under," "24," "West Wing." You know, I love "Lost"--that's my personal favorite--but I'm going to go with "24." I think that show was really acknowledged as having come into its own this year.

(Soundbite of "24")

Mr. KIEFER SUTHERLAND: (As Jack Bauer) What the hell's going on here? You've got a key witness and a missing warhead. We should be pressing this guy with everything we've got.

Mr. JAMES MORRISON: (As Bill Buchanan) Judge Norton(ph) won't budge. If we want to appeal, we have to wait until 7 AM, take it to an appellate judge.

Mr. SUTHERLAND: (As Bauer) Does he know what the stakes are?

Mr. MORRISON: (As Buchanan) He does, but his feeling is Potter's(ph) got no record; he shouldn't be treated like a terrorist.

Mr. SUTHERLAND: (As Bauer) What about the fact that he was caught meeting with a known terrorist in the middle of the night on a pier?

Mr. MORRISON: (As Buchanan) Circumstantial.

WALLENSTEIN: So I think Fox will walk away with the big one.

And let's not forget reality has its own category; it actually has two of them. "Amazing Race" has won the past two years. It'll be interesting if it can win a third time, but "Survivor," "The Apprentice"--those are some pretty strong candidates, as well.

BRAND: "Nanny 911"?

WALLENSTEIN: Yeah. Maybe next year.

(Soundbite of laughter)

BRAND: Andrew Wallenstein is a TV critic who writes for the Hollywood Reporter.

And thanks for coming in.

WALLENSTEIN: No problem.

(Soundbite of music)

BRAND: DAY TO DAY returns in a moment. I'm Madeleine Brand. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.