`Corner' up for 4 Emmys

Television: The Baltimore-based miniseries will compete against `Homicide'

NBC leads networks for awards.

July 21, 2000|By David Zurawik | David Zurawik,SUN TELEVISION CRITIC

LOS ANGELES - NBC's "The West Wing" and HBO's "Sopranos" led their networks to first and second place overall in Emmy nominations yesterday.

But it was a good day, too, for Baltimore's local film industry with HBO's "The Corner," which was filmed in Baltimore, getting four prestigious nominations and finding itself competing for one of the top writing awards against "Homicide: The Movie," which was also filmed in the city last year.

"We're thrilled with all the nominations, and especially happy for all the people in Baltimore connected with `The Corner,' " said Katherine Pongracz, a spokeswoman for HBO in New York.

As they did last year, NBC and HBO dominated the field - NBC with 97 nominations, and HBO with 86. ABC was their nearest competitor with 64 nominations, followed by CBS with 41, PBS with 12, Showtime and Discovery with 11 and WB and A&E each with 5.

"The West Wing" and "Sopranos" led individual shows with 18 nominations each. The two dramas were honored with nominations in virtually every major category from Outstanding Drama Series to top dramatic actors and actresses.

They will be competing for best drama with ABC's "The Practice" and NBC's "ER" and "Law & Order."

For Best Actor in a Drama Series, James Gandolfini, who plays Tony Soprano in "Sopranos," and Martin Sheen, who plays President Josiah Bartlett in "The West Wing," will be up against Dennis Franz of ABC's "NYPD Blue" and Jerry Orbach and Sam Waterston of "Law & Order."

Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series finds Lorraine Bracco and Edie Falco, of the "Sopranos," up against Julianna Margulies, of "ER," Sela Ward, of ABC's "Once and Again" and Amy Brenneman, of ABC's "Judging Amy."

Nancy Marchand, who died last month, received a nomination as Best Supporting Actress in a Drama Series for her performance as Livia Soprano, Tony's mother.

The contenders for Outstanding Comedy Series are: CBS' "Everybody Loves Raymond," HBO's "Sex And The City," and "Friends," "Frasier" and "Will & Grace," all on NBC. "Will & Grace" had the most nominations of any sitcom with 11.

But for Baltimore, the big news was "The Corner," which told the story of a family trying to escape the world of drugs in a Baltimore neighborhood devastated by them. It is based on the non-fiction book of the same title by David Simon and Edward Burns.

Members of "The Corner" team receiving nominations were: David Simon and David Mills, Outstanding Writing for a Movie or Miniseries; Charles S. Dutton, Outstanding Directing for a Movie, Miniseries or Special; Pat Moran, Outstanding Casting in a Movie, Miniseries or Special. The show itself was nominated for Outstanding Miniseries. Simon, Moran and Dutton all live and work in the Baltimore area. Moran won an Emmy for her work on the NBC series ""Homicide: Life on the Street" in 1998.

"I'm so happy and glad," Simon said yesterday after hearing of the nominations. "But I also have to say I'm sad, too, that Khandi Alexander and T.K. Carter [who played the lead characters in the miniseries] didn't get recognized. Their work was so great; I just wish they would have been recognized."

Ironically, Simon and Mills are competing in the best writing category with Tom Fontana, James Yoshimura and Eric Overmyer and their screenplay for "Homicide: The Movie." Not only were both filmed in Baltimore, but the "Homicide" series was also based on a book by Simon, who also worked on the show as a writer-producer.

Simon said he called Fontana yesterday after the nominations were announced and said, "Let me get this straight: I have to root against a show I worked on for four years that was based on my book?"

The most-nominated program in the movies and miniseries category was HBO's "Introducing Dorothy Dandridge," with received 11 nominations including a best lead actress nomination for Halle Berry, who also served as executive producer.

Emmy nominations

Nominees in major categories for the 52nd annual Primetime Emmy awards.

Drama Series: "ER," NBC; "Law & Order," NBC; "The Practice," ABC; "The Sopranos," HBO; "The West Wing," NBC.

Miniseries: "Arabian Nights," ABC; "The Beach Boys: An American Family," ABC; "The Corner," HBO; "Jesus," CBS; "P.T. Barnum," A&E.

Television Movie: "Annie," ABC; "If These Walls Could Talk II," HBO; "Introducing Dorothy Dandridge," HBO; "Oprah Winfrey Presents: Tuesdays with Morrie," ABC; "RKO 281," HBO.

Variety, Music or Comedy Series: "The Chris Rock Show," HBO; "Dennis Miller Live," HBO; "Late Show With David Letterman," CBS; "Politically Incorrect with Bill Maher," ABC; "The Tonight Show With Jay Leno," NBC.

Variety, Music or Comedy Special: "72nd Annual Academy Awards," ABC; "Chris Rock: Bigger and Blacker," HBO; "Cirque du Soleil-Quidam," Bravo; "Eddie Izzard: Dress to Kill," HBO; "Saturday Night Live: The 25th Anniversary Special," NBC.

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