- The Washington Times - Friday, July 21, 2000

LOS ANGELES Call it the mob vs. the White House: "The Sopranos" and "The West Wing" each received a leading 18 Emmy nominations Thursday.
HBO's drama about a mobster battling federal agents, his family and a nervous breakdown and NBC's tale of a fictional president and his staff will compete for best dramatic series and in major acting categories at September's Primetime Emmy Awards.
"The West Wing," although only in its first year, may have an edge: Emmy judges have been unwilling to give a top-series honor to a cable show and last year picked ABC's legal drama "The Practice" over "The Sopranos." The gritty mob drama also has enough violence and sex to make some judges uncomfortable.
A change in the voting process that aims to bring in a new generation of judges may boost the chances of the HBO series, however.
The awards are to be presented Sept. 10 in ceremonies broadcast by ABC-TV.
In a bittersweet note, Nancy Marchand, who died in June, received a nomination for best supporting actress for her role as mob mom Livia Soprano in "The Sopranos."
Other top contenders are the TV movies "RKO 281," about Orson Welles' making of "Citizen Kane," which received 13 bids, and "Annie," which got 12.
The TV movie "Introducing Dorothy Dandridge" and the sitcom "Will & Grace" also were among top contenders, with 11 nominations apiece.
"Will & Grace," virtually snubbed in its freshman year, was covered in glory yesterday with a bid for best series and nominations for its four stars.
NBC, with 97 nominations, was the leading network, followed by HBO with 86, ABC with 64, CBS with 41 and Fox with 26.
The nominations were announced by Edie Falco of "The Sopranos," last year's winner as best dramatic actress and again a nominee, and by Michael Badalucco of "The Practice." He also has a chance of winning again in the category of best supporting dramatic actor.
Other drama-series bids went to "ER," "Law & Order" and "The Practice."
In addition to "Will & Grace," comedy series nominees include "Everybody Loves Raymond," "Frasier," "Friends" and "Sex and the City."
"The West Wing" also drew nominations for five of its cast members, including Martin Sheen (President Josiah Bartlet) as best dramatic actor and Stockard Channing (Bartlet's physician-wife) for supporting actress.
Mr. Sheen will be competing with James Gandolfini of "The Sopranos" along with Dennis Franz of "NYPD Blue" and Sam Waterston and Jerry Orbach, both of "Law & Order."
Joining Miss Falco in the contest for lead dramatic actress are Lorraine Bracco, also of "The Sopranos," Amy Brenneman of "Judging Amy," Sela Ward of "Once and Again" and former "ER" cast member Julianna Margulies.
Nominees for lead comedy actor include Michael J. Fox of "Spin City," who stepped away from the sitcom because of his battle against Parkinson's disease. Other nominees are Kelsey Grammer of "Frasier," John Lithgow of "3rd Rock From the Sun," Eric McCormack of "Will & Grace" and Ray Romano of "Everybody Loves Raymond."
Among comedy series lead actresses, nominees are Jenna Elfman of "Dharma & Greg," Patricia Heaton of "Everybody Loves Raymond," Jane Kaczmarek of "Malcolm in the Middle," Debra Messing of "Will & Grace" and Sarah Jessica Parker of "Sex and the City."

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