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Sunday, 22 September, 2002, 14:41 GMT 15:41 UK
LA prepares to stage Emmys
Jennifer Aniston and Brad Pitt
Husband and wife Jennifer and Brad: Both nominated

US television's most prestigious awards will be handed out at the Emmy Awards in Los Angeles on Sunday.

Last year the awards were twice postponed in the wake of the 11 September attacks.

A low-key ceremony eventually went ahead without much of the traditional Hollywood hoopla.

It's not my most comfortable arena

Jennifer Aniston on the Emmys
Sunday's event is expected to see a return of the kind of Tinseltown glitz usually associated with the back-slapping extravaganza.

The Academy of Television Arts and Sciences will present American TV's equivalent of the Oscars at LA' s Shrine Auditorium. The funeral parlour drama series, Six Feet Under, leads the race for this year's awards.

In all, the 54th Emmys span some 86 categories with 434 separate nominations.

Most are for technical achievement and were awarded at a ceremony last weekend. Sunday's show will feature the remaining 27 categories.

Black comedy

Six Feet Under, which is shown on Channel 4 in the UK, has developed a loyal following since its debut in 2001.

The black comedy centres round a family-run funeral parlour in Pasadena.

Martin Sheen and his grandaughter Cassandra
Martin Sheen: Will he have West Wing success
Its 23 nominations fall just four short of the record 27 earned by the veteran cop drama, NYPD Blue, in 1994, as the most by any series in a single year.

Having already picked up five awards in the technical section, Six Feet Under is on course for an impressive tally.

In the most prestigious category, Outstanding Drama Series, the newcomer faces some heavyweight competition.

While NYPD Blue is not mentioned this year, last year's champion, The West Wing, has 21 nods, including one for best drama.

Best drama

The White House drama is joined by CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, long-running legal series Law and Order and the real-time drama, 24, starring Kiefer Sutherland.

You know the old saying - even a blind hog gets an acorn every now and then

Martin Sheen

Law and Order is competing for best drama for the 11th consecutive year.

Some old favourites line up in the race for best comedy.

Will and Grace, which is the most nominated comedy, with 13 nods, is up against Everybody Loves Raymond, Friends, Sex And The City and Curb Your Enthusiasm.

Elite group

Conspicuously missing from the best comedy contenders is the long running Seattle-based series, Frasier.

Albert Finney in The Gathering Storm
The Brits have a number of nominations
The show, about the pompous radio psychiatrist, Dr Frasier Crane, has featured in the elite group for the past eight years.

But with nine nominations in other categories - and three wins under its belt from the technical awards - the show's producers have plenty to celebrate.

It has also become the most Emmy honoured show ever having won 30 of the TV gongs since it first aired in 1994.

In the individual categories, Martin Sheen is playing down his chances of winning for his role as President Bartlett in The West Wing.

"I'm 62 years old and my feelings about these awards are they are wonderful when they happen. They are not so wonderful when they don't happen," he says.


The actor has been nominated for the best lead actor award for the past three years, failing to win each time.

"You know the old saying - even a blind hog gets an acorn every now and then," he explains. "I think they're setting me up for another disappointment."

Sheen faces tough competition from Kiefer Sutherland in 24, The Shield's Michael Chiklis and two stars of Six Feet Under - Peter Krause and Michael C Hall.

Hall who plays David Fisher, the uptight gay brother, says he was stunned to be nominated.

"All day I was pinching myself," he said on hearing the news.

Adding a touch of movie star glamour to the event will be the likes of Michael Douglas and Brad Pitt who are both nominated for their appearances as guest actors in a comedy series.


Douglas played a detective in an episode of Will & Grace while Pitt's much hyped appearance as Will on Friends earned him rave reviews.

With Jennifer Aniston also nominated for playing Rachel in Friends, the Hollywood couple can expect more than their share of attention of the paparazzi-lined red carpet ahead of the ceremony.

Looking ahead to the event, the actress has said she feels "nauseous".

"It's not my most comfortable arena," she added.


There is more than the usual amount of British interest in this year's awards with more than two dozen nominations going to UK talent.

The Gathering Storm, an HBO film for BBC One, received mentions in eight categories, including a nod for Albert Finney as Winston Churchill and another for Vanessa Redgrave who played Clementine Churchill.

Finney is up against Kenneth Branagh for Shackleton and Sir Michael Gambon as President Lyndon Johnson in Path To War, in the lead actor in a miniseries or movie category.

Shackleton received seven nominations in all. At the technical awards, the Channel 4 co-production won two Emmys - for cinematography and music composition.

See also:

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