By Stephen M. Silverman
Updated August 19, 2003 03:42 PM

Although the 55th annual Emmy broadcast is not until Sept. 21, Hank Azaria has already picked up an Emmy for animation voice-over performance for his work on “The Simpsons,” the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences announced Monday.

The early honor came because Azaria, 39, received a so-called juried award, which covers those categories (such as animation) in which there are no nominations and there may be more than one winner, according to the Hollywood Reporter. Members of the Academy’s animation peer group judge each category.

Azaria, already a three-time Emmy winner, was recognized for his work in the “Moe Baby Blues” episode of the long-running FOX sitcom.

His earlier wins were for “The Simpsons” in 1998 and 2001. In 2000, he won the long-form supporting actor award for his role opposite Jack Lemmon in “Oprah Winfrey Presents: Tuesdays With Morrie.”

This year, Azaria is also up for guest actor in a comedy series for his guest appearance on “Friends.”

Other animation Emmys also went to Scott Wills for production design and to Dan Krall for layout on the Cartoon Network’s “Samurai Jack”; and to Maciek Albrecht, for his animation of the “Imagine” and “Turn, Turn, Turn” segments of the HBO special “Through a Child’s Eye: September 11, 2001.”

Meanwhile, in other TV news, singer Jewel will appear in three episodes of NBC’s new fall drama “The Lyon’s Den,” starring Rob Lowe, reports New York’s Daily News. It’s just the latest acting gig for the pop star, who also recently signed on to appear in the independent film “Wave.”

She made her film debut in Ang Lee’s 1999 film “Ride with the Devil.”