In a battle of the titans at the 54th annual Emmy Awards, NBC's The West Wing
all but swept such high-profile categories as best drama and acting in its competition with Home Box Office's Six Feet Under, but the cable drama actually took home more statuettes than its broadcast rival.
Six Feet Under
won in six categories, compared to West Wing's
But except for the directing Emmy won by creator Alan Ball, the cable series' awards were bestowed at the non-televised creative arts ceremony for work such as Thomas Newman's quirky, memorable theme music.
Trend watchers believe the vote was probably very close, and ultimate success in the "best drama" category may have hinged on the producers' choice of tape. The shows each submitted eight episodes. But voters don't see all eight — to keep them from being overwhelmed, they receive two randomly selected tapes, so not everyone may see episodes deemed the best by a show's creator.
The fortunes of acting Emmys also often rise and fall on the choice of episode. Michael Chiklis submitted his very strong pilot episode for The Shield,
but ironically, The West Wing's Alison Janney was victorious as lead actress after submitting "The Women of Qumar," an episode
in which she had little face time.
HBO was also able to recapture its dominance in the miniseries category. The channel all but owned that category until a win last year by an adaptation of Anne Frank
on ABC. Band of Brothers
recaptured the flag for the premium service.