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THE EMMY NOMINATIONS

Rookies 'Fringe' and 'The Mentalist' are hot with viewers, not voters

The popular series garner only two nods between them, and HBO buzzworthy 's 'True Blood' is nowhere to be seen.

July 17, 2009|Denise Martin

You wouldn't know it from the nominations, but "The Mentalist" and "Fringe" were last season's most watched first-year shows. Together, they garnered only two nominations.

Unlike last year, when newcomers lighted up the ceremonies, this year no first-season program cracked the coveted categories of outstanding drama or comedy series. (Voters did recognize "Mentalist" star Simon Baker with a nomination for lead actor in a drama series. "Fringe" was honored for its special effects.)

In the long tradition of "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" snubs, the intense buzz around HBO's supernatural series "True Blood" didn't help this growing rookie hit about vampires. And Showtime's "United States of Tara," despite the cachet of being executive produced by Steven Spielberg, still managed only a lead acting nod for Toni Collette. ("Tara" has three other nominations -- for casting, title design, theme music.)

Meanwhile, Starz's "Party Down," about a Hollywood catering crew, earned breathless raves from critics but was hampered by the fact that only critics watch the show. And the same goes for HBO's raunchy "Eastbound & Down," which doesn't have big ratings but has a cult following online and with young guys -- probably the same ones who put "Family Guy" into the running.

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denise.martin@latimes.com

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