WEST Wing', `Sopranos' hoping to cash in on last year's Emmy Awards success

Thursday, July 12th 2001, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

LOS ANGELES (AP) _ The ``West Wing'' and ``The Sopranos'' looked to follow up on their success in last year's Emmy Awards as they awaited the list 2001 nominees.

The nominations were to be announced Thursday morning by Patricia Heaton of ``Everybody Loves Raymond'' and Sean Hayes of ``Will & Grace,'' winners of acting trophies at last year's Emmys.

NBC's White House series ``The West Wing'' received a record nine Emmy awards last year, including best drama. Its chief competition was HBO's mob drama ``The Sopranos,'' which matched ``West Wing'' for nominations with 18 but won only one award, to James Gandolfini for best actor.

For the first time, popular reality programs including ``Survivor'' and ``Temptation Island'' were eligible for Emmy recognition.

Reality shows have a chance to be recognized in two categories, according to John Leverence, Emmy Awards director.

One award honors nonfiction reality programs like ``Temptation Island'' that seek to entertain but do not offer prizes, while the other is for shows that don't fit into any existing categories, including ``Survivor'' and ``Road Rules.''

``It wasn't difficult to see that new prime-time reality programs have reached critical mass'' and required their own category, Leverence said.

Ellen DeGeneres will be the host of the prime time Emmy Awards, which will air Sept. 16 on CBS.