Emmys drama: Basic cable joins the party


For the first time, a basic cable series has been nominated for the Best Drama Series Emmy – in fact, two of them: “Damages” on FX and “Mad Men” on AMC. They joined ABC’s “Boston Legal,” Showtime’s “Dexter” (which has also aired on sister CBS), Fox’s “House” and ABC’s “Lost.” That left some observers shocked that ABC’s “Grey’s Anatomy” and HBO’s “The Wire” were left out in the cold.

HBO had the most Primetime Emmys nominations announced yesterday, 85, with ABC at 76, CBS 51, NBC 50 and Fox 28. The winners will be announced when the 60th Primetime Emmy Awards airs live September 21st on ABC.

Newcomers in the drama and comedy series performer categories include Amy Poehler in “Saturday Night Live,” Anjelica Huston in “Medium,” Carrie Fisher in “30 Rock,” Shelley Berman in “Curb Your Enthusiasm,” Kristin Chenoweth and Lee Pace in “Pushing Daisies,” Gabriel Byrne in “In Treatment,” John Hamm and John Slattery in “Mad Men” and Željko Ivanek in “Damages.

Additional first-time nominees in other categories include Ralph Fiennes in “Bernard and Doris,” Paul Giamatti in “John Adams,” Catherine Keener in “An American Crime,” Howie Mandel for hosting “Deal Or No Deal,” and Kevin Spacey in “Recount.”

See the full list of nominees.

RBR/TVBR observation: Having two basic cable series in the running for one of the top Emmys may be a shocker to people in the biz, but we’d bet it’s a yawner for the average American. To them, TV is TV. Content is content. (The only differentiation they see is having to pay for premium channels like HBO and Showtime.) Whatever channel has the content they want is the channel they watch. That’s a challenge for broadcast television station owners, since there are so many competing channels available, but also an opportunity because TV viewers have no bias against watching new DTV multicast channels if you are programming something that interests them.