NBC, HBO are off and running at Emmys

By PAT NASON, UPI Hollywood Reporter

LOS ANGELES, Sept. 15 (UPI) -- Olympic pageantry, a family's routine encounters with mortality, and a saga of bravery in World War II staked NBC and HBO to commanding leads over the competition as the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences presented technical and creative prime time Emmy Awards in Los Angeles Saturday.

With the remainder of the 54th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards scheduled to be handed out next Sunday, Sept. 22, NBC's "Opening Ceremony Salt Lake 2002 Olympic Winter Games" has the most awards so far, six -- for art direction, choreography, costumes, lighting, music direction and sound mixing.


HBO's "Six Feet Under" won five Emmys Saturday -- for guest actress in a drama series (Patricia Clarkson), casting, main title design, makeup and composer Thomas Newman's eerily catchy main title theme music. Set in a family owned-and-operated mortuary, the show led the field this year with 23 nominations,


The highly-regarded HBO miniseries "Band of Brothers," based on historian Stephen Ambrose's best-selling book of the same name, took four Emmys -- for casting, picture editing, sound editing and sound mixing.

HBO has a total of 16 Emmys, followed by NBC with 15. ABC, A&E and Fox are tied for third with just five awards each.

"The Osbournes," one of the surprise TV hits of 2002, now has an Emmy to go with its commercial success on MTV. The show -- an intimate examination of the home life of rocker Ozzy Osbourne and his family -- won for outstanding non-fiction reality program.

Osbourne was not in attendance but his wife and manager Sharon -- who serves as a producer on the show -- accepted the award, accompanied by the couple's teenage daughter Kelly.

NBC's long-running comedy "Frasier" made history, winning three Emmys to run its total to a record-breaking 30 in nine seasons. The previous record holder, "The Mary Tyler Moore Show," is now second on the all-time list with 29, followed by "Cheers" with 28.

"Frasier," a spinoff from "Cheers," could pick up two more awards next Sunday. Series star Kelsey Grammer is up for best actor in a comedy series and co-star David Hyde Pierce is up for supporting actor.


In addition to two technical awards, "Frasier" also won for outstanding guest actor in a comedy series, for Anthony LaPaglia -- who said he fully expected to go home empty-handed, considering that the competition in his category included Adam Arkin ("Frasier"), Brian Cox ("Frasier"), Michael Douglas ("Will & Grace") and Brad Pitt ("Friends").

"If I was a bookmaker I would have lost a lot of money tonight," said LaPaglia. "I wouldn't have picked me."

Cloris Leachman -- who had won seven Emmys prior to this season -- won for outstanding guest actress in a comedy for her performance as Grandma Ida on the Fox comedy "Malcolm in the Middle." Leachman -- who also won the supporting actress Oscar for "The Last Picture Show" in 1971 -- attributed much of her Emmy success to good luck in finding well-written TV shows to perform on.

"I think it's harder to win an Emmy than it is to win an Oscar," said Leachman, "because you have to be in something (good)."

Charles S. Dutton won for guest actor in a drama series for the ABC legal drama "The Practice." It was Dutton's second Emmy, coming two years after he won a directing honor for an episode of "The Corner," an HBO miniseries about drug traffic in Baltimore.


"ER" took home a technical award, to run its eight-season total to 20. The NBC medical drama is now tied with "NYPD Blue" for eighth on the all-time list.

The White House drama "The West Wing," which had won 17 Emmys in its first two seasons on NBC -- including two straight trophies for best drama series -- took home just one Emmy Saturday, a special class award for a documentary based on interviews with three former presidents and dozens of former White House advisers and staffers.

When the rest of this season's prime time Emmys are handed out at the Shrine Auditorium next week, "The West Wing" will still be up for 13 awards, including best drama series. "Six Feet Under" is still up for eight Emmys -- including best drama series -- and needs four to tie the single-season record of nine, set by "The West Wing" in 2000.

The other best drama nominees are "C.S.I.: Crime Scene Investigation" (CBS), "Law & Order" (NBC), and the innovative Fox political thriller "24," which is up for four Emmys next week, including best actor in a drama for Kiefer Sutherland.

The hit CBS comedy "Everybody Loves Raymond" will also be up for eight Emmys, including best comedy series and best actor and actress in a comedy for Ray Romano and Patricia Heaton. Among the other best comedy nominees, "Sex and the City" is up for six Emmys, "Will & Grace" is up for five, and "Friends" is up for four.


At the creative and technical awards on Saturday, "Sex and the City" and "Will & Grace" took two awards each, as did the ABC drama "Alias" and the UPN sci-fi series "Enterprise."

Saturday's ceremonies, hosted by former "Saturday Night Live" regular Darrell Hammond, were taped for telecast next Saturday on E! Entertainment. Next Sunday's ceremonies, hosted by late night comedian Conan O'Brien, will be televised live by NBC-TV.

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