Another primetime Emmy Awards season has brought another windfall of Emmy honors to Home Box Office. This time around, though, a series about a family running a mortuary — not an organized-crime family — led the premium channel's way.
With the main primetime Emmy ceremony scheduled for last night (Sept. 22), HBO came into the picture with 16 2002 trophies in its bank, following the presentation of the creative-arts award the prior weekend. HBO's take was one better than NBC's.
A&E Network, ABC and the Fox broadcast network won five honors apiece.
Five Emmy statues went to Six Feet Under, HBO's drama of family life in the funeral-parlor business, including a guest shot nod for actress Patricia Clarkson. Going in, Six Feet
tied the record for most Emmy nominations in a year — held by NBC's The West Wing
— at 23.
exited the creative arts portion with a chance to tie or beat the record nine Emmys that West Wing
took home in one shot last year.
Other Six Feet
honors went to Thomas Newman's main title music and the atmospheric title sequence tailored to that theme. Also, Six Feet
participated in an HBO sweep of awards in the casting area — a first-ever accomplishment. Six Feet
won for drama, Sex and the City for comedy and Band of Brothers
for miniseries, made-for movie or special.
A&E Network came in second among cable programmers with five Emmys, led by Biography
for best informational nonfiction series. Shackleton, A&E's movie about the famed explorer starring Kenneth Branagh, earned Emmys for best movie/miniseries cinematography and original score. The film started out with seven nominations, one for best production in its genre and another for Branagh's performance.
Discovery Channel's Walking With Prehistoric Beasts
special picked up two of the network's four creative-arts Emmys, including best animated program of one hour or more in length. Beasts
beat the 90-minute pilot of Samurai Jack, Cartoon Network's acclaimed series.
In an interesting twist, reruns of Futurama, the other animated series Emmy winner (for half-hour series) were recently acquired by Cartoon for its Sunday-night "Adult Swim" block.
MTV: Music Television only grabbed one Emmy trophy, but it was a big one —The Osbournes
for a nonfiction reality program.
Rounding out cable's pre-weekend Emmy tally: Turner Network Television, which took two awards, and Showtime, with one. E! Entertainment Television, whose The E! True Hollywood Story
was nominated for the second consecutive year in the informational categories, scheduled taped coverage of the creative arts ceremony Sept. 21.
News, doc awards
HBO and other cable networks also received a good share of the news and documentary Emmy Awards for 2001 programming bestowed the previous week, but very little for their coverage of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks and their aftermath.
Cable News Network topped the cable charts there with four awards: all for episodes of CNN Presents, its weekly documentary series. Unholy War, one CNN Presents
segment, was cited for outstanding long-form coverage of a continuing news story, while Beneath the Veil
was a co-winner for outstanding long-form investigative journalism. Both programs featured reporter Saira Shah covering developments in Afghanistan and surrounding countries prior to Sept. 11.
Struggle for Islam, a CNN Presents
contribution from Christiane Amanpour, tied with segments from CBSEvening News
for best story in a regularly scheduled newscast. Director Dollan Cannell also won for Presents
episode Exodus from Africa.
In the news/documentary Emmy competition, categories often will produce more than one winner because of the judging process.
The Learning Channel won an Emmy for outstanding background analysis of a single current story for Inside Flight 93. TLC's documentary special was tied with Bioterror
and Promises, episodes of the PBS staples Nova
and P.O.V., respectively.
Cinemax screened The Carpet Slaves: Stolen Children of India
under its "Reel Life" documentary umbrella, but parent channel HBO received the Emmy credit — two of three Emmys it earned in the news field. Carpet Slaves
tied for long-form investigative journalism and won solo for research individual achievement. America Undercover
received the other HBO Emmy for editor Patrick Gambuti Jr.'s work on Suicide.
MSNBC's National Geographic Explorer
earned two Emmy trophies (the program moved to CNBC earlier this year), and on its own, National Geographic Channel earned its first Emmy ever, for an Inside Base Camp
The primetime Emmys are handled under the auspices of the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences in Los Angeles, while the news/documentary Emmys are bestowed by the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences, based in New York.