NBC's sitcom misses the cut for best comedy; Angels in America leads with 21 nods

By Stephen M. Silverman
Updated July 15, 2004 09:00 AM

Friends went out with a whimper, not a bang, in the 56th annual Emmy nominations, announced Thursday.

Though nominated in seven categories, including those for lead actors Jennifer Aniston and Matt LeBlanc, the 10-year-old show, which ended in May, was overlooked in the race for best comedy series.

Instead, FOX’s critically lauded but ratings-challenged Arrested Development made the list, along with Curb Your Enthusiasm, Everybody Loves Raymond, Sex and the City and Will & Grace.

In the dramatic category, besides the 21 nominations accorded HBO’s miniseries Angels in America, the pace was set by HBO’s The Sopranos, with 20 nominations, followed by the 12 for NBC’s The West Wing. Also in the race for best dramatic series: CSI, Joan of Arcadia, and 24.

Though it’s not up for best drama series, HBO’s Western Deadwood snared 11 nods, as did the cable network’s sitcom Sex and the City, which wrapped up after six seasons.

HBO leads with an astounding 124 nominations, followed by NBC in a distant second, with 65.

In a bow to nostalgia, Kelsey Grammer received one last nomination for Frasier, which ended its celebrated 11-year run in May, but, like Friends, the series failed to garner a nomination for comedy series.

Meanwhile, the late John Ritter was nominated for the few appearances he made on 8 Simple Rules before his untimely death last year.

The controversial miniseries The Reagans, which CBS sold off to Showtime rather than risk the wrath of those who objected to its portrayal of the first family of the 1980s, scored seven nominations, including best miniseries and acting nods for stars James Brolin and Judy Davis.

Matthew Perry was left off the Emmy list for Friends, but he did score a nomination for outstanding guest actor in a drama, for his role on The West Wing. Others up for guest-starring nods include Danny DeVito and Christina Applegate (for Friends), William Shatner, Sharon Stone and Betty White (for The Practice) and Anthony LaPaglia and Laura Linney (for Frasier).

Garry Shandling will host the Sept. 19 Emmys after a four-year absence. The ceremony will air live from Los Angeles on ABC.

Here’s a rundown of the major categories:

Drama Series
CSI: Crime Scene Investigation
Joan of Arcadia
The Sopranos
The West Wing

Comedy Series
Curb Your Enthusiasm
Everybody Loves Raymond
Arrested Development
Sex and the City
Will & Grace

Angels in America
American Family – Journey of Dreams
Horatio Hornblower
Prime Suspect 6: The Last Witness
Traffic: The Miniseries

Made-for-TV Movie
And Starring Pancho Villa As Himself
Ike: Countdown to D-Day
The Lion In Winter
The Reagans
Something the Lord Made

Lead Actor, Drama
James Spader, The Practice
James Gandolfini, The Sopranos
Kiefer Sutherland, 24
Martin Sheen, The West Wing
Anthony LaPaglia, Without a Trace

Lead Actress, Drama
Jennifer Garner, Alias
Amber Tamblyn, Joan of Arcadia
Mariska Hargitay, Law & Order: Special Victims Unit
Edie Falco, The Sopranos
Allison Janney, The West Wing

Lead Actor, Comedy
Larry David, Curb Your Enthusiasm
John Ritter, 8 Simple Rules
Kelsey Grammer, Frasier
Matt LeBlanc, Friends
Tony Shalhoub, Monk

Lead Actress, Comedy
Jennifer Aniston, Friends
Patricia Heaton, Everybody Loves Raymond
Bonnie Hunt, Life with Bonnie
Jane Kaczmarek, Malcolm in the Middle
Sarah Jessica Parker, Sex and the City