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Friday, Nov 09, 2001

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Emmy for familiar names

THE PRIME Time Emmy Awards -- American television's equivalent of the movie world's Oscars -- announced on Sunday last (November 4) include quite a few serials that are familiar to Indian viewers.

`The West Wing', the fictional series set in the White House, that Zee English brings weekly to television drama fans here, took eight Emmy Awards in all, including ``Best Drama Series'', as well as the two Supporting Actor/Actress Awards that went to Bradley Whitford and Allison Janney. The series beat other drama products seen in India including the legal soap ``The Practice'' and the hospital serial ``E.R''. Martin Sheen who plays the President in ``The West Wing'', however lost the Lead Actor (drama) Emmy to James Gandolfini who plays the neurotic gangland boss in the Mafia drama ``The Sopranos", which is another Sunday afternoon attraction for Indian viewers from Zee English. Also from that serial, Edie Falco took the Lead Actress Emmy. For both, it was their second Emmy for the serial. When it came to comedy, regular viewers of the fare on STAR World satellite channel, were on familiar ground: Both Lead Actress and Supporting Actress awards for comedy series went to stars of ``Everybody Loves Raymond''— Patricia Heaton and Doris Roberts. Calista Flockhart the star of ``Ally McBeal'' lost out in the Lead Actress category, but her co-star Peter MacNicol made up by taking the Best Supporting Actor Emmy (comedy series).

The Cable-only channel HBO took six awards including the Best Comedy Series Emmy for its frothy serial about single women in New York --``Sex and the City'' -- making it the first time a cable channel won the top award for a series. However this has not been seen in HBO's transmissions for India. The Emmy Awards ceremony was twice postponed in the wake of the September 11 terrorist attacks -- and finally held in Los Angeles in a mood of patriotism and thanksgiving: the show opened with a stirring rendition of ``America, the Beautiful'' by college students and closed to the notes of Barbra Streisand singing ``You'll Never Walk Alone''-- an obvious reference to the people of New York.


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