‘The Sopranos’ dominate Emmy nominations

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“Friday Night Lights,” the critically acclaimed but low-rated high school football drama that needed an Emmy boost, failed to gain major nominations.

“The Sopranos,” which premiered in January 1999 and had an on-and-off cable run, capped its final episode this year with an ambiguous ending that left fans in the dark about the fate of lead character Tony Soprano, last seen sitting in a diner with his wife and children. A suddenly black screen suggested sudden violence or not.

The series’ other nominees included Michael Imperioli, who received a bid for best supporting dramatic actor for his role as the ill-fated Christopher. Aida Turturro, who played Tony’s tough sister Janice, and Lorraine Bracco, who co-starred as his conflicted psychiatrist Dr. Melfi, were nominated for supporting actress.

Along with Ferrera in the lead comedy actress category were Felicity Huffman of “Desperate Housewives,” Tina Fey of “30 Rock,” Mary-Louise Parker of “Weeds” and last year’s winner, Julia Louis-Dreyfus of “The New Adventures of Old Christine.”

Their actor counterparts included last year’s winner, Tony Shalhoub of “Monk,” Ricky Gervais of “Extras,” Steve Carell of “The Office,” Charlie Sheen of “Two and a Half Men” and Alec Baldwin of “30 Rock.”

Like “Grey’s” Washington, Baldwin drew unflattering attention this year, in his case because of a leaked recording of an angry telephone call to his daughter, who is caught in a legal dispute with ex-wife Kim Basinger.

Nominees for comedy series supporting actor were Kevin Dillon and Jeremy Piven of “Entourage,” Neil Patrick Harris of “How I Met Your Mother,” Rainn Wilson of “The Office” and Cryer.

Some categories had six nominees this year rather than the usual five.

Supporting comedy actress nominees included Holland Taylor and Conchata Ferrell of “Two and a Half Men,” Jaime Pressly of “My Name is Earl,” Jenna Fischer of “The Office,” Vanessa Williams of “Ugly Betty” and Elizabeth Perkins of “Weeds.”

Another six-nominee category was best supporting actress in a drama series, with Turturro and Bracco joined by Katherine Heigl, Chandra Wilson and Sandra Oh of “Grey's Anatomy” and Rachel Griffiths of “Brothers & Sisters.”

Heigl has also broken out as a movie star with her role in the hit comedy “Knocked Up.”

Besides Knight and Imperioli, drama series supporting actor bids went to William Shatner of “Boston Legal,” “Lost” actors Michael Emerson and Terry O’Quinn, and Masi Oka of “Heroes.”

Despite receiving the most overall nominations, “Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee” did not receive any bids for lead acting. The HBO movie starred Adam Beach as a Sioux physician struggling with assimilation.

Altogether, 463 nominations were announced. HBO was the most recognized with 86 bids, followed by ABC with 70, NBC with 69, CBS with 44, Fox with 28 and PBS with 24.

In June, judges screening potential nominees for the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences made their picks from a list of 10 top contenders for the best drama and best comedy series categories.

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