`Angels in America' leads Emmy nominations with 21

Thursday, July 15th 2004, 6:04 am
By: News On 6

LOS ANGELES (AP) _ "Angels in America," the surreal HBO miniseries adapted from a Pulitzer Prize-winning play about New Yorkers affected by the AIDS crisis in the 1980s, received a leading 21 Emmy nominations Thursday.

"The Sopranos" was the leading nominee among series, with 20.

In a year that saw changes in Emmy rules intended to broaden the field beyond familiar nominees, newcomers included Fox's critically acclaimed sitcom "Arrested Development" and CBS' drama "Joan of Arcadia."

TV Academy members gave a fond farewell to HBO's "Sex and the City" with a best comedy series nod for its final season, but didn't nominate two other departing series, "Friends" and "Frasier."

Along with "The Sopranos," which has yet to win a best drama series award, and "Joan of Arcadia," other nominees in the best drama series category include "CSI: Crime Scene Investigation," "24," and last year's winner, "The West Wing."

Joining "Arrested Development" and "Sex and the City" in the best comedy series category: "Curb Your Enthusiasm," "Will & Grace" and last year's winner, "Everybody Loves Raymond."

John Ritter, the "8 Simple Rules" comedy star who died last year, received a posthumous nomination as best lead actor in a comedy series. Also nominated in the category were Larry David of "Curb Your Enthusiasm," Kelsey Grammer of "Frasier," Matt LeBlanc of "Friends" and Tony Shalhoub of "Monk," who was last year's winner.

Jennifer Aniston of "Friends" was nominated for best lead actress in a comedy series, along with Patricia Heaton of "Everybody Loves Raymond," Bonnie Hunt of "Life with Bonnie," Jane Kaczmarek of "Malcolm in the Middle" and Sarah Jessica Parker of "Sex and the City."

In the acting category for dramas, nominated lead actresses include last year's winner Edie Falco of "The Sopranos," Jennifer Garner of "Alias," Mariska Hargitay of "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit," Allison Janney of "The West Wing" and Amber Tamblyn of "Joan of Arcadia."

James Gandolfini of "The Sopranos," who was named best lead actor in a drama series last year, was nominated again. He's joined by Anthony LaPaglia of "Without a Trace," Martin Sheen of "The West Wing," James Spader of "The Practice" and Kiefer Sutherland of "24."

"The Reagans," which was bounced from CBS to cable's Showtime after some protested its portrayal of President Reagan, received seven nominations including outstanding made-for-TV movie. James Brolin and Judy Davis, who played Ronald and Nancy Reagan, received acting bids.

Other nominees in the TV movie category: "And Starring Pancho Villa as Himself," "Something the Lord Made," "Ike: Countown to D-Day" and "The Lion in Winter."

HBO received a dominant 124 nominations, nearly twice that of runner-up NBC with 65 bids. CBS received 44 nominations, ABC had 33, Fox had 31 and PBS had 27.

"Angels in America," based on Tony Kushner's play which combines harsh reality and fantasy, was nominated as outstanding miniseries and earned acting nominations for stars Emma Thompson, Al Pacino and Meryl Streep.

Other nominated miniseries: "American Family: Journey of Dreams," "Horatio Hornblower," "Prime Suspect 6: The Last Witness" and "Traffic: The Miniseries."