Emmys find Braugher, but miss 'Homicide'

July 19, 1996|By David Zurawik | David Zurawik,SUN TELEVISION CRITIC

PASADENA, Calif. -- NBC and its quality dramas again dominated in Emmy nominations announced here yesterday -- except for "Homicide: Life on the Street," which had to settle for a split decision. The series failed again to be included in the field of best dramas, but its star, Andre Braugher, earned a nomination for top actor in a drama series.

Braugher, whose snub last year by the Emmy nominators made headlines, was honored twice yesterday. Besides his work on "Homicide," he was nominated as best supporting actor in a movie or miniseries for HBO's "Tuskegee Airmen."

Overall, the most honored series was "ER," which led the field with 17 nominations, including one as best drama and two for George Clooney and Anthony Edwards as best actors and one for Sherry Stringfield as best actress in a drama series. The series airs on NBC, which topped all networks with 88 nominations.

"Homicide," which is filmed in Baltimore, managed only three nominations. Besides Braugher, they went to Lily Tomlin as outstanding guest actress in a drama series and to Baltimore's Pat Moran and Lou DiGiaimo for outstanding individual achievement in casting for a series.

Last year, "Homicide" had no nominations. In 1994, it had one. In 1993, its first year on the air, it earned four nominations and won two Emmys.

In addition to "ER," the shows that edged out "Homicide" as best drama this year are: "Law & Order" (NBC), "Chicago Hope" (CBS), "NYPD Blue" (ABC) and "The X-Files" (Fox). "Chicago Hope" earned 15 nominations, "NYPD Blue" 11, "The X-Files" eight and "Law & Order" two.

One explanation offered by NBC executives for the lack of nominations for the series is the fact that it is produced in Baltimore rather than Los Angeles. The thinking is that many of the members of the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences vote for shows they and their friends work on in Los Angeles, while "Homicide" employs workers in Baltimore.

That would also help explain why "Law & Order," which is produced in New York, received only two nominations. The explanation has been dubbed the "Hollywood Chamber of Commerce" hypothesis by NBC Entertainment President Warren Littlefield.

"I'm just so happy about the nominations we did get," said Tom Fontana, executive producer of "Homicide." "The fact that they recognized Andre this time is a major breakthrough."

Braugher was on vacation and unavailable for comment. Before leaving for vacation, though, he had said he was purposefully going to be in a place today where he would not know about the nominations.

"Having been touted for an Emmy so many times and having nothing materialize, I can't take it too seriously anymore," Braugher said. "It's gratifying to have the acclaim of one's peers, and if and when it comes, it will be nice. But the Emmy can't actually sustain me as a man."

Braugher's other nomination for his work in the HBO film about a group of African-American airmen in World War II was one of 66 earned by the cable channel. HBO's total put it in third place overall behind NBC and CBS, which had 67. ABC earned 55 nominations and Fox had 17.

One of the HBO nominations went to Bill Carter, former television critic for The Sun who now reports on television for the New York Times. Carter shared a nomination with George Armitage for outstanding writing in a miniseries or special for their script of "The Late Shift." The HBO film about the battle to succeed Johnny Carson was based on a book by Carter.

The awards will be handed out Sept. 8 at the Pasadena Civic Auditorium in a live ABC broadcast.

Select Emmy nominations

Drama series: "Chicago Hope," CBS; "ER," NBC; "Law & Order," NBC; "NYPD Blue," ABC; "The X-Files," Fox.

Comedy series: "Frasier," NBC; "Friends," NBC; "Larry Sanders Show," HBO; "Mad About You," NBC; "Seinfeld," NBC.

Miniseries: "Andersonville," TNT; "Gulliver's Travels," NBC; "Hiroshima," Showtime; "Moses," TNT; "Pride & Prejudice," A&E.

Variety, music or comedy series: "Dennis Miller Live," HBO; "Late Show With David Letterman," CBS; "Muppets Tonight," ABC; "Politically Incorrect With Bill Maher," HBO; "The Tonight Show With Jay Leno," NBC.

Variety, music or comedy special: "The 68th Annual Academy Awards," ABC; "The Best of Tracey Takes On . . .," HBO; "Dennis Miller: Citizen Arcane," HBO; "The Kennedy Center Honors," CBS; "Sinatra: 80 Years My Way," ABC.

President's award: "A&E Biography," A&E; "Blacklist: Hollywood on Trial," AMC; "The Celluloid Closet," HBO; "ER," NBC; "Survivors of the Holocaust," PBS.

fTC Actor, drama: Andre Braugher, "Homicide: Life on the Street," NBC; George Clooney, "ER," NBC; Anthony Edwards, "ER," NBC; Dennis Franz, "NYPD Blue," ABC; Jimmy Smits, "NYPD BLUE," ABC.

Actress, drama: Gillian Anderson, "The X-Files," Fox; Kathy Baker, "Picket Fences," CBS; Christine Lahti, "Chicago Hope," CBS; Angela Lansbury, "Murder, She Wrote," CBS; Sherry Stringfield, "ER," NBC.

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