The 55th annual Primetime Emmy Awards will take over Hollywood this Sunday, when the best and brightest in television converge on the Shrine Auditorium for a night of celebrating Hollywood’s most recognized actors and actresses.
Airing Sept. 21 at 8 p.m. on FOX, the Awards are hosted this year by a slew of America’s hottest comedians, including Ellen DeGeneres, Brad Garrett, Conan O’Brien, Jon Stewart, and newcomer Wanda Sykes, fresh from her new fall comedy “Wanda at Large.” For this year’s telecast, each comedian will host one segment, and rotate throughout the night.
Presenters this year include many Emmy nominees, like NBC favorites, “Will and Grace” duo Eric McCormack and Debra Messing, “Alias” actress Jennifer Garner, real-life married couple Jane Kaczmarek and Bryan Cranston, and everyone’s favorite mobsters, James Gandolfini and Edie Falco, of “The Sopranos.”
Gandolfini and Falco are also among the nominees for Outstanding Drama Series for “The Sopranos.” Also in that category are fellow HBO show “Six Feet Under,” the psychological drama “24,” “CSI: Crime Scene Investigator,” and “The West Wing.”
Nominees in the Outstanding Comedy Series category have been making viewers laugh for as many as ten seasons, as is the case with NBC’s smash hit “Friends.” A favorite among the middle-aged crowd, “Everybody Loves Raymond,” may get a boost this year, when actor Brad Garrett takes a turn hosting the event.
“Will and Grace” stars Eric McCormack and Debra Messing are hoping for another time up at the podium aside from their presenting duties, as their comedy is up for an award this time around. Fairly new to the Primetime Emmy scene are nominees “Sex and the City” and “Curb Your Enthusiasm.”
The Emmy world will witness a new award given out Sunday, when reality television finally gets its due with the Outstanding Reality/Competition Program award. America’s guilty pleasures, “American Idol,” “The Amazing Race,” and “Survivor” are nominated for this award, which is sure to become a mainstay in coming years.
Competition is sure to heat up when the Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy statuette is presented. America will find out if everybody really does love Raymond when Ray Romano is nominated for his CBS comedy.
It’s a clash of NBC’s Thursday night titans when Matt LeBlanc of “Friends,” and “Will and Grace” lead Eric McCormack battle it out. The category is closed out with newcomer nominees Bernie Mac, of “The Bernie Mac Show,” Larry David from “Curb Your Enthusiasm,” and oddball Tony Shalhoub from “Monk.”
Many of the female counterparts of shows nominated for the Lead Actor category shine as they are nominated in the Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy category. Patricia Heaton (“Everybody Loves Raymond”), Jennifer Anniston (“Friends”) and Debra Messing (“Will and Grace”) will battle it out, as will “Malcolm in the Middle’s” Jane Kaczmarek and “Sex and the City’s” Sarah Jessica Parker.
Exchanging humor for drama are the Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama nominees. Repeat nominee and presenter James Gandolfini will join “Six Feet Under” star Peter Krause in hopes of bringing home another Emmy for the HBO network. “The Commish” alum Michael Chiklis got a nod for his latest effort, “The Shield,” as did “24” favorite Kiefer Sutherland. The legendary Martin Sheen rounds out the category, for his performance on “The West Wing.”
Viewers can tune in Sunday to see who walks away a winner at the annual awards ceremony, airing on FOX from 8 p.m. to 11 p.m.