I like TV!

‘The Sopranos’ Returns to Crowded Emmy Race
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – “The Sopranos” are back as favorites to grab a piece of the action in this year’s Emmy Awards, muscling in on a crowded field of TV politicians, cops, undertakers and spies vying for nominations for television’s highest honors.
The critically acclaimed HBO mob drama, which sat out the 2002 Emmys due to a production hiatus but returned to the running with fresh episodes last season, is widely seen as a major contender for best drama and other categories when nominees are announced on Thursday.
“The Sopranos” has been nominated three times before as best drama, but the big prize has thus far eluded the show.
Other front-runners for a bid in the drama contest are NBC’s three-time winner “The West Wing,” Fox’s breakout espionage thriller “24,” perennial NBC nominee “Law & Order” and the HBO funereal family soap opera “Six Feet Under,” which was last year’s most nominated show.
But any of those series could be bumped out of the competition by the CBS hit “CSI: Crime Scene Investigation,” television’s highest-rated drama, or HBO’s gritty freshman series about Baltimore’s inner-city drug scene, “The Wire.”
Two other critically favored newcomers are likewise considered longshots in the drama competition — the CBS missing-persons tale “Without a Trace” and NBC’s crime series “Boomtown.
In the race for best comedy, the slate of nominees will probably bear a striking resemblance to 2002’s contenders, including last year’s winner, the NBC smash hit “Friends,” and HBO’s “Sex and the City,” the 2001 comedy winner poised for its fifth consecutive nomination in that category.
“Law & Order” stands to earn a best-drama bid for a record 12th straight year, surpassing “M*A*S*H” and “Cheers” for the most consecutive nominations for outstanding series by either a drama or comedy. Those three shows are currently tied at 11 consecutive nods each.
Awards pundit Tom O’Neil, host of the showbiz awards Web site and author of the book “The Emmys,” said “Law & Order” has a special advantage by virtue of its longevity.
“I’ll bet more than a quarter of the people voting on the Emmys probably have worked on ‘Law & Order’ in one way or another, and they have a very strong emotional attachment to the show,” he said. “Remember, this is the industry voting on itself.”
ABC’s spy adventure “Alias” and the FX cable channel’s cop show “The Shield,” which earned its star, Michael Chiklis, an Emmy last year, also are expected to pick up nominations, primarily in the acting, directing, writing and crafts categories, according to GoldDerby predictions.
The Fox drama “24,” starring Kiefer Sutherland, is tipped by some critics to emerge as this year’s Emmy nominations darling, much the way “Six Feet Under” was in 2002.
In the performance categories, O’Neil said he considered two-time winner Edie Falco a shoo-in for a best actress nod again for her role as a mobster’s wife on “The Sopranos” (it would be her fourth consecutive nomination).
He also said two dark horse candidates were likely to make a splash in this year’s acting nominations — Treat Williams for his role as a widower on the WB’s “Everwood,” and Tony Shalhoub, for his portrayal of an obsessive-compulsive detective on the USA Network comedy “Monk.”
The 55th annual Primetime Emmy Awards will be presented Sept. 21 during a Fox telecast from the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles.