HBO dominates 55th Emmy awards nominations

LOS ANGELES: The darkly amusing drama Six Feet Under and its parent network HBO, dominated television's Emmy Award nominations.

The 55th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards will be held at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles on 21 September 2003. HBO scored 109 nominations to lead second-place NBC, which had 77. CBS is in third spot with 59 nominations.

The domination by HBO explains why the network was so keen to gain exclusive TV rights to the event last year. The National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences however rejected the bid for fear of antagonising the big four American networks - ABC, CBS, NBC and Fox. In the US, the show will air on the Rupert Murdoch-owned Fox.

A Reuters report states that Six Feet Under earned 16 nominations in total, including one for best TV drama where it faces tough competition from three-time winner, White House show The West Wing, mafia drama The Sopranos, CSI: Crime Scene Investigation and the Keifer Sutherland thriller 24. In India, the first three shows air on Zee English while the last two air on action oriented AXN.

The cast of 24

CBS' Everybody Loves Raymond (airs in India on Star World) and HBO's Sex and the City (not yet debuted in India) shared honours as the most-nominated comedies, landing in 13 groups each, including best comedy. They are joined in that category by last year's winner, Friends (airs in India on Zee English and Star World) and Will & Grace (airs on Zee English). In the US, they air on NBC.

The report indicates that the nominees mirrored the choices of last year. One of the few surprises was the absence of NBC's Law and Order from the drama category, where a nomination would have marked a record 12 straight. In India, the show airs on Star World.

The competition in the best dramatic actor group is difficult as expected. They are 2002 winner Michael Chiklis playing a corrupt cop in The Shield, James Gandolfini for The Sopranos, Martin Sheen in The West Wing, Peter Krause for Six Feet Under and Kiefer Sutherland in 24.

HBO chairman Chris Albrecht has been quoted in another report saying: ''Our plan isn't to go out and get Emmys. It's our plan to do interesting and provocative work."

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