Rookie series rock the Emmys

Fri Jul 9, 2010 12:51am EDT
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By Elizabeth Guider

LOS ANGELES (Hollywood Reporter) - It was a nod to the new and not much of a sendoff to the old that best describes the selection of 500-odd contenders for Emmy statuettes unveiled before dawn Thursday.

The spunky Fox comedy-musical "Glee" and ABC's off-kilter comedy "Modern Family" muscled their way into the key nomination categories, leading a number of fresh entrants into what in recent years had become a predictable parade of Emmy hopefuls.

Those two and several other mainstream newcomers to the fray also helped rebalance the scales between broadcast network fare and cable contenders, with the former contingent coming away with 247 total nominations to the cablers' 240.

HBO's unflinching World War II miniseries "The Pacific," racked up the most nominations for a single entry with 24, but its only competition is a well-mannered British period piece called "Return to Cranford" in what is a dwindling category of longform miniseries entries.

After sifting through the entirety of the 99 categories, the nominations suggest a wider pool of outlets in which the 16,000-odd Academy voters fished for creative excellence -- and a preference, be it subconscious or not, for shows with multigenerational appeal.

"I think voters did notice the amazing writing and creative talent that is coming into the business," Academy of Television Arts and Sciences chairman and CEO John Shaffner said. "You can feel it in the diversity of shows out there and the subject matter that is being tackled."

Like their counterparts at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, TV voters are responding to pressure to be less stodgy and/or esoteric in their tastes and a little braver and broader in their choices. There was no "Sons of Anarchy" or "Californication," mind you, but a noticeable degree of hipness and heterogeneity is in the panoply of players vying for trophies.

"Glee" and "Modern Family" each scored mentions in the best comedy category, and will be hoping to end the two-year reign of "30 Rock." In the case of "Glee," best comedy actor and actress nominations went to Matthew Morrison and Lea Michele. Both shows scored in the supporting categories as well, with "Glee" racking up 19 total nominations and "Modern Family" 14.   Continued...