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HBO Leads Cable's Parade of 188 Nods

7/15/2005 8:00 PM Eastern

Cable networks claimed 188 of 434 nominations in 88 categories in the 57th Emmy Awards competition, with perennial leader Home Box Office leading the way among all networks with 93 nods.

The premium service boasted the two most-nominated programs of the year: made-for-TV movies Warm Springs, a biopic of Franklin Delano Roosevelt and his seeking therapy for polio; and The Life and Death of Peter Sellers, about the late British comedian.

Emmy Scorecard
2005's most-nominated cable shows:
Show Nominations
Source: Academy of Television Arts & Sciences
Warm Springs (HBO) 16
The Life and Death of Peter Sellers (HBO) 16
Deadwood (HBO) 11
Carnivale (HBO) 8
Huff (Showtime) 7
Lackawanna Blues (HBO) 7
Six Feet Under (HBO) 5
The Daily Show With John Stewart (Comedy Central) 4
Death in Gaza (HBO) 4
Faith of My Fathers (A&E) 4
Nip/Tuck (FX) 4
The Wool Cap (TNT) 4

Emmy voters loved virtually everything about each film, nominating them across a variety of categories from their principal performers to their editing and costumes.

Each of those movies received 16 nominations, including performance nominations for Kenneth Branagh, Cynthia Nixon, Jane Alexander and Kathy Bates in Warm Springs; and Geoffrey Rush and Charlize Theron in Sellers.

The service also was honored with the most nominations for a miniseries, with 10 nods for Empire Falls. Despite lackluster reviews, the program's nominations included performance kudos for Ed Harris, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward.

But there were newer faces among the top categories (i.e. those included in the broadcast portion of the awards), including Bravo, which got a best reality competition show nomination for its Project Runway; BBC America, acknowledged for a best made-for-TV movie for The Office Special; and USA Network, whose The 4400 was named among the top miniseries.

Lifetime Contender

Lifetime, which has won the governor's award at the Emmys in the past for its advocacy against domestic violence, as well as an award in a technical category, has a chance this year to see Debra Winger win as best actress for Dawn Anna.

In addition to Project Runway, Bravo was rewarded for its other forays into reality. Project Greenlight, which the basic net added to its schedule after it was dropped by HBO, picked up a nomination for best reality program, a category in which it will compete with its own breakout hit,
Queer Eye for the Straight Guy.

ESPN, which has expanded its original scripted programming slate, did not fare so well with Emmy voters. It earned just one mention, for sound editing for its Dale Earnhardt biopic 3.

Showtime also broke through with multiple nominations in top categories with Huff, copping seven nominations for the series. Star Hank Azaria will compete for the best dramatic actor award. Supporting cast members Blythe Danner and Oliver Platt and guest star Swoosie Kurtz were also nominated.

Ricky Gervais, the much-lauded actor and scribe of the BBC America hit The Office, will have a chance for revenge against Emmy rule-makers who deemed his series ineligible for competition last year. He can compete, both as a writer and producer of The Office Special, named among the best TV movies for this year.

Cable swept that class this year. In addition to The Office Special, movies that will vie for the statuette are HBO's Lackawanna Blues, The Life and Death of Peter Sellers and Warm Springs, as well as Turner Network Television's The Wool Hat.

There was another cable sweep in the outstanding children's program category. The nominees are Nickelodeon's Nick News With Linda Ellerbee: Never Again? From the Holocaust to the Sudan and Zoey 101; A&E Network's Pride; HBO's Classical Baby; and That's So Raven from Disney Channel.

NOMS' SCORECARD

In addition to HBO's 93, these cable networks received nominations: Showtime, 17; A&E, 10; FX and TNT, eight apiece; Sci Fi, seven; USA, six; Bravo, Comedy Central, Discovery Channel and Disney, all with five; Cartoon Network and The History Channel, four; Lifetime and Nickelodeon, three; Animal Planet and BBC America, two each; ESPN, Hallmark Channel, Independent Film Channel, MTV and Turner Classic Movies, all with one.

FUN EMMY FACTS

Some interesting factoids from this year's nominations:

  • USA Network will be among the channels that benefited from the addition of a new category, for best stunt coordination. The channel's The Last Ride was named in that category.

  • The FDR film Warm Springs is tied for the second-most nominated TV movie in Emmy history. The most nominated: 1977's FDR biopic Eleanor and Franklin, nominated 17 times.

  • When you think of The History Channel, do you think costumes? Emmy voters did, nominating it for the clothes used in Conquest of America — The Southwest.

  • Thanks to the vagaries of categorization, Da Ali G Show and The Daily Show With Jon Stewart will have to defeat coverage of the Olympics to win the Emmy for best variety-show direction.

  • Star Wars proved a draw on screens both big and small. Cartoon Network got a nomination for its Star Wars: Clone Wars, Vol. 2 and Star Wars: Empire of Dreams got a nomination for A&E.

  • Dave Chappelle's eponymous show was ineligible for a series Emmy for Comedy Central, the channel that's paid the straying star big bucks, but Showtime could earn two Emmys off the comic's nominated special, Dave Chappelle: For What It's Worth.

The Emmy Awards will be presented Sept. 18 from Los Angeles on CBS.