Sunday, September 16, 2007

'Sopranos,' 'Ugly Betty' Shows to Beat Heading Into Sunday's Emmy Awards

LOS ANGELES — "The Sopranos" and "Ugly Betty" were the big nominees heading into the 59th Primetime Emmy Awards, set to air live Sunday at 8 p.m. ET on FOX.Ryan Seacrest of "American Idol" is hosting the ceremony, to be held at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles.

Watch exclusive live streaming video of Mike Straka and Jill Dobson reporting from the red carpet at 6 p.m. ET on Sunday, only on

Alec Baldwin, Tina Fey, Stephen Colbert, Kyra Sedgwick, Marcia Cross, Ellen DeGeneres, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Jon Stewart, Jeremy Piven, Kelsey Grammer, Kiefer Sutherland and Katherine Heigl were to be among the presenters.

Seacrest's appeal is expected to be a "magnet" that pulls viewers, especially younger ones, to the awards show, Dick Askin, chairman and chief executive officer of the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences, said.

Last year's Emmys, hosted on NBC by Conan O'Brien, drew about 16.1 million viewers, the second least-watched Emmy telecast since 1991. It aired unusually early, in August, to make way for NBC's National Football League telecast.

"The Sopranos," the mob series that went to its grave in June with a shockingly inconclusive finale, has 15 Emmy nominations, including for best drama.

"Ugly Betty" took the most nominations in the comedy category, with 11.

The made-for-TV movie "Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee" led all nominees with 17 bids.

Photo Essay: Emmy Nominees

James Gandolfini, who played the emotionally conflicted mob boss on HBO's "The Sopranos," and Edie Falco, who played his wife, received top acting nominations.

The other best-drama series were "Boston Legal," "Grey's Anatomy," "House" and new sci-fi sensation "Heroes."

List of 2007 Emmy Nominations

"The Sopranos" emerged with the most nominations for a series, followed by "Ugly Betty" with 11 and, with 10 each, sexy medical drama "Grey's Anatomy" and critical favorite "30 Rock."

"Grey's Anatomy," which came through a difficult year in which star Isaiah Washington was fired after twice using an anti-gay slur, wasn't hurt when it came to Emmy bids. Besides best drama series, there were nominations for four supporting cast members and two guest actors.

While Washington was overlooked, co-star T.R. Knight, who said that Washington had directed the slur at him, did receive a supporting actor nod.

The miniseries "The Starter Wife" also was a top nominee with 10 bids.

The freshman hit, "Ugly Betty," based on a Colombian telenovela, made it into the ranks of best comedy series nominees. It's joined by "Entourage," "30 Rock," "Two and a Half Men" and last year's winner in the category, "The Office."

"Ugly Betty" star America Ferrera was recognized with a nod for her starring role.

"Entourage," about the adventures of a young movie star and his loyal rat pack, was embraced despite mocking industry stereotypes.

"It may seem sometimes like we're making fun of Hollywood," said creator Doug Ellin, "but really we're just trying to take a comedic look at how things are done here, because this is how it really is for people sometimes."

In the reality-competition categories, the leading nominee with eight bids was "Dancing With the Stars," followed by "American Idol" with seven.

Joining Gandolfini among lead drama series actor nominees were Hugh Laurie of "House," Denis Leary of "Rescue Me," James Spader of "Boston Legal" and last year's winner, Kiefer Sutherland, of "24." Last year's drama series was "24" but it was snubbed this time.

Falco will compete with Patricia Arquette of "Medium," Minnie Driver of "The Riches," Sally Field of "Brothers & Sisters," Kyra Sedgwick of "The Closer" and last year's winner, Mariska Hargitay, of "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit."

"Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee," adapted from Dee Brown's nonfiction best-seller, received nominations for best made-for-TV movie, writing and for supporting acting. The film chronicles the Sioux victory over General Custer at Little Big Horn and events leading up to the assassination of Sitting Bull and the Sioux massacre at Wounded Knee Creek in 1890.

"The Sopranos," which premiered in January 1999 and had an on-and-off cable run, capped its final episode this year with an ambiguous ending that left fans in the dark about the fate of lead character Tony Soprano, last seen sitting in a diner with his wife and children. A suddenly black screen suggested sudden violence — or not.

The series' other nominees included Michael Imperioli, who received a bid for best supporting dramatic actor for his role as the ill-fated Christopher. Aida Turturro, who played Tony's tough sister, Janice, and Lorraine Bracco, who co-starred as his uneasy psychiatrist, Dr. Melfi, were nominated for supporting actress.

Along with Ferrera in the lead comedy actress category were Felicity Huffman of "Desperate Housewives," Tina Fey of "30 Rock," Mary-Louise Parker of "Weeds" and last year's winner, Julia Louis-Dreyfus of "The New Adventures of Old Christine."

Their actor counterparts included last year's winner, Tony Shalhoub of "Monk," Ricky Gervais of "Extras," Steve Carell of "The Office," Charlie Sheen of "Two and a Half Men" and Alec Baldwin of "30 Rock."

Like "Grey's" Washington, Baldwin drew unflattering attention this year, in his case because of a leaked recording of an angry telephone call to his daughter, who is caught in a legal dispute with ex-wife Kim Basinger.

Nominees for comedy series supporting actor were Kevin Dillon and Jeremy Piven of "Entourage," Neil Patrick Harris of "How I Met Your Mother," Rainn Wilson of "The Office" and Jon Cryer of "Two and a Half Men."

Some categories had six nominees this year rather than the usual five.

Supporting comedy actress nominees included Holland Taylor and Conchata Ferrell of "Two and a Half Men," Jaime Pressly of "My Name Is Earl," Jenna Fischer of "The Office," Vanessa Williams of "Ugly Betty" and Elizabeth Perkins of "Weeds."

Another six-nominee category was best supporting actress in a drama series, with Turturro and Bracco joined by Katherine Heigl, Chandra Wilson and Sandra Oh of "Grey's Anatomy" and Rachel Griffiths of "Brothers & Sisters."

Heigl has also broken out as a movie star with her role in the hit comedy "Knocked Up."

Besides Knight and Imperioli, drama series supporting actor bids went to William Shatner of "Boston Legal," "Lost" actors Michael Emerson and Terry O'Quinn, and Masi Oka of "Heroes."

Despite receiving the most overall nominations, "Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee" did not receive any bids for lead acting. The HBO movie starred Adam Beach as a Sioux physician struggling with assimilation.

Altogether, 463 nominations were announced. HBO was the most recognized with 86 bids, followed by ABC with 70, NBC with 69, CBS with 44, Fox with 28, and PBS with 24.

Nominees as top actors in a miniseries or movie included Jim Broadbent for "Longford," Robert Duvall for "Broken Trail," William H. Macy for "Nightmares & Dreamscapes: From the Stories of Stephen King (Umney's Last Case)," Matthew Perry for "The Ron Clark Story" and Tom Selleck for "Jesse Stone: Sea Change."

Lead actresses nominated in that category were Queen Latifah for "Life Support," Debra Messing for "The Starter Wife," Helen Mirren for "Prime Suspect: The Final Act," Gina Rowlands for "What If God Were the Sun" and "Weeds" star Parker for "The Robber Bride."

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