- The Washington Times - Friday, July 20, 2007

‘Bury’ tops Emmy bids

“The Sopranos,” the mob series that went to its grave with a shockingly inconclusive finale, found a happy ending yesterday with 15 Emmy nominations including best drama.

The made-for-TV movie “Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee” — adapted from Dee Brown’s nonfiction best-seller about the Sioux victory over George Armstrong Custer at Little Big Horn and events leading up to the killing of Sitting Bull and the Sioux massacre at Wounded Knee Creek in 1890 — led all nominees with 17 bids.

James Gandolfini, who played the emotionally conflicted mob boss on HBO’s “The Sopranos,” and Edie Falco, who played his wife, both received top acting nominations. 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 uneasy psychiatrist Dr. Melfi, were nominated for supporting actress.

Other best-drama series were “Boston Legal,” “Grey's Anatomy,” “House” and freshman sci-fi sensation “Heroes.”

“The Sopranos” emerged with the most nominations for a series, followed by “Ugly Betty” with 11 and, with 10 each, sexy medical drama “Grey's Anatomy” and critical favorite “30 Rock.”

“Grey's Anatomy,” which came through a difficult year in which star Isaiah Washington was fired after twice using an anti-homosexual slur, wasn’t hurt when it came to Emmy bids. Besides best drama series, there were nominations for four supporting cast members and two guest actors. While Mr. Washington was overlooked, co-star T.R. Knight, who said that Mr. Washington had directed the slur at him, did receive a supporting actor nod.

USA’s miniseries “The Starter Wife” also was a top nominee with 10 bids.

ABC’s freshman hit, “Ugly Betty,” based on a Colombian telenovela, made it into the ranks of best comedy series nominees. It’s joined by “Entourage,” “30 Rock,” “Two and a Half Men” and last year’s winner in the category, “The Office.”

“Ugly Betty” star America Ferrera was recognized with a nod for her starring role. Along with Miss 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.”

Joining Mr. Gandolfini among lead drama series actor nominees were Hugh Laurie of “House,” Denis Leary of “Rescue Me,” James Spader of “Boston Legal” and last year’s winner, Kiefer Sutherland of “24.” Last year’s top drama series was “24,” but it was snubbed this time.

Miss Falco will compete with Patricia Arquette of “Medium,” Minnie Driver of “The Riches,” Sally Field of “Brothers & Sisters,” Kyra Sedgwick of “The Closer” and last year’s winner, Mariska Hargitay of “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit.”

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

The three-hour Emmy Awards ceremony will be broadcast Sept. 16 by Fox from the Shrine Auditorium. A complete list of all nominees is available at www.emmys.org.

Weekend highlights:

Best bets for viewers:

Today: ABC rolls out Set for Life (8 p.m.), with Jimmy Kimmel hosting a high-stakes seven episode game show where contestants can win a monthly paycheck for up to 40 years. Also, Snoop Dogg guest stars on USA’s Monk (9 p.m.) in a ripped-from-the-headlines role as a rap star accused of murder.

Tomorrow: The indie darling and Oscar-winning Little Miss Sunshine, with its stellar ensemble cast, makes its cable debut (8 p.m., HBO). Greg Kinnear, Toni Collette, Alan Arkin (best supporting actor), Steve Carell, Abigail Breslin and Paul Dano are members of the dysfunctional family that bonds to accomplish a cherished dream on an unforgettable road trip.

Sunday: Design Star, HGTV’s search for the country’s best up-and-coming interior designer, returns for its second season at 10 p.m. This year’s competition is in Vegas, baby, with 11 contenders vying for the top prize — the chance to host their own show on the cable network. Elsewhere, competition is also the focus of TV One’s new series, David E. Talbert Presents: Stage Black, as the noted stage director seeks out undiscovered talent for the national tour of his next production, “Love in The Nick of Tyme,” starring Morris Chestnut (“Boyz n the Hood”) and R&B; recording artist Avant. A star-studded panel of judges, including actors Blair Underwood and Elise Neal, will make the call each week.

Compiled by Robyn-Denise Yourse from staff, Web and wire reports