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THE EMMY NOMINATIONS | SCRIPTLAND

`Sopranos' scores final hat trick

July 20, 2007|Jay Fernandez | Special to The Times

IT was as inevitable as Phil Leotardo's whacking.

"The Sopranos" is strong-arming the competition for outstanding writing for a drama series in this year's Emmy nominations: Three episodes were nominated, including the finale written by show capo David Chase. (ABC's "Lost" and the Sci-Fi Channel's "Battlestar Galactica" are taking the lame-duck slots.)

Three episodes from NBC's "The Office" and one from HBO's "Extras" landed among the nominations for outstanding writing for a comedy series. But the new kid is NBC's "30 Rock," guided by former "Saturday Night Live" head writer Tina Fey, who had the quirky temerity to take her underdog show up against heavyweight Aaron Sorkin and his similarly themed "Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip" and self-deprecatingly win.

While the outstanding writing for a variety, music or comedy program category is populated with the usual suspects -- Bill Maher, Conan, Letterman -- all eyes are on two Comedy Central combatants: Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert.

Colbert, of course, a one-time correspondent on "The Daily Show With Jon Stewart," has his own version of wickedly sharp media satire, "The Colbert Report." Last year, Colbert's first year of consideration, Stewart's show took the prize. Could this be the year the student becomes the master? Either result will provide Colbert with plenty of gripe/gloat material.

fernandez_jay@hotmail.com.

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