Monday, September 22, 2003

HBO, basic cable grab a mob of statues

55th annual Prime-Time Emmy Awards

By John Kiesewetter
The Cincinnati Enquirer

25 photos on the red carpet
The mob ruled. The mob from cable, that is. After a one-year absence, The Sopranos muscled their way to four major awards at the 55th Annual Prime-Time Emmys in which HBO and basic cable grabbed a large pile of the loot.

The Sopranos, HBO's mob family drama, won four Emmys - best actor (James Gandolfini) and actress (Edie Falco), their third each, plus supporting actor (Joe Pantoliano) and writing. HBO, which had the most nominations (109), won the most Emmys (eight).

With Tony Shalhoub from USA's Monk taking the comedy acting award, three of the four major performance categories went to cable, the opposite of last year's ratio.

Debra Messing of NBC's Will & Grace was the only broadcast star to win a lead actress award during the Fox telecast, which was one of the funniest in years, thanks to contributions from more than a dozen comedians. But the traditional networks had little to laugh about.

TNT hauled off four movie Emmys for William H. Macy's Door to Door portrayal of Oregon salesman Bill Porter. Macy won for best actor and movie writing; Door to Door was cited for best movie and movie direction.

In what could be a passing of the torch moment. Jon Stewart's The Daily Show on Comedy Central beat David Letterman's Late Show, Jay Leno's Tonight Show, Conan O'Brien's Late Show and Saturday Night Live as the outstanding variety, music or comedy series.

Stewart won a second Emmy for best variety, music or comedy program writing in a category that also included Letterman, O'Brien, SNL and Robin Williams' HBO special.

For the second year, Steven Spielberg won best miniseries with Sci Fi's Taken.

Among the broadcasters, CBS' Everybody Loves Raymond was tops with four Emmys - best comedy series, supporting actors (repeats for Doris Robert and Brad Garrett) and writing.

And NBC's The West Wing pulled a bit of an upset, winning a fourth consecutive best drama award over The Sopranos, which has never won the category.



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