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Emmy barely commends series at their ends

July 17, 2009|Greg Braxton

In their final bows, "ER," "The Shield" and "Battlestar Galactica" did not receive a fond farewell from Emmy voters.

Despite critical accolades, high-profile guest stars and expanded finales loaded with resolutions, none of the dramas nabbed a major nomination Thursday.

"ER," which holds the record for most Emmy nominations (124), earned only two nominations -- for directing (Rod Holcomb) and guest actor (Ernest Borgnine). The drama, formerly a regular presence in marquee categories, was passed over despite highly touted returns by members of its original cast, including George Clooney, and industry tributes saluting "ER" as a landmark drama.

Ben Silverman, NBC's co-chairman of entertainment, downplayed the snub, emphasizing the 22 nominations earned by its comedy "30 Rock." "We're focused on the positive today," Silverman said. "It's great that 'ER' is the most nominated show in TV history and that '30 Rock' is up on its heels. It's all good at NBC today."

FX's "The Shield," widely praised as a series that drove the TV police genre into new territory, was totally shut out. The drama had been lauded by critics last season, particularly for its finale revolving around the downfall of its antihero, Det. Vic Mackey (Michael Chiklis).

Executives at the cable network had hoped that the series would receive some recognition, particularly for Chiklis, supporting actress CCH Pounder and supporting actor Walton Goggins. Since its premiere in 2002, "The Shield" has won only one Emmy, awarded to Chiklis for lead actor after its first season.

"The Shield" now shares the same legacy as HBO's "The Wire," another gritty drama also regarded by critics as one of the best series in recent TV history that was ignored by the TV academy.

"Battlestar Galactica," another cable series that earned plaudits in its last season, lost out in its final bid for a major nomination, earning five nods, for directing (Michael Rymer), single-camera picture editing, sound editing, sound mixing and special visual effects.

"The Tonight Show" and host Jay Leno continued their losing streak, missing out in the outstanding variety, music or comedy series category in Leno's final year. Other late-night series "The Colbert Report," "The Daily Show With Jon Stewart," "Late Show With David Letterman," "Real Time With Bill Maher" and "Saturday Night Live" filled out the category.

TV academy voters did show some love to one series in its final season. ABC's "Boston Legal" scored four nominations, including two for supporting actor in a comedy series, for William Shatner and Christian Clemenson. It was the fifth consecutive series nomination for Shatner, who won the Emmy in 2005.


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