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Last Updated: Thursday, 14 July, 2005, 16:35 GMT 17:35 UK
Brits shine in Emmy nominations
Hugh Laurie
Laurie has been nominated for his role in the medical drama House
Hugh Laurie, Kenneth Branagh and Ian McShane are among the British stars to be nominated for the 2005 US primetime Emmy Awards.

Ricky Gervais's The Office Special is nominated in the made-for-TV movie category.

Hit series Desperate Housewives has 15 nods, including best comedy series.

The show's stars Teri Hatcher, Marcia Cross and Felicity Huffman will go head to head for the best actress award but co-star Eva Longoria has been omitted.

Life and Death of Peter Sellers - 16
Warm Springs - 16
Desperate Housewives - 15
Will and Grace - 15
Everybody Loves Raymond - 13
Lost - 12

Other nominees in the best actress category were Patricia Heaton of Everybody Loves Raymond and Jane Kaczmarek of Malcolm in the Middle.

The Emmys are the most coveted television awards in America.

Desperate Housewives' nomination in the best comedy series category gives ABC a crack at its first comedy award since Home Improvement in 1994.

The show will go up against Will and Grace - which also got 15 nominations - along with Everybody Loves Raymond, Scrubs, and last year's winner, Arrested Development.

The cast of Desperate Housewives
Desperate Housewives has been a hit on both sides of the Atlantic

Laurie will battle it out for best actor in a drama series for his role in House against fellow Brit McShane for Deadwood, Kiefer Sutherland for 24, James Spader for Boston Legal, and Hank Azaria for Huff.

All the dramas have been bought up by UK channels, with House currently appearing on Five.

Irish actor Jonathan Rhys Meyers was nominated for his portrayal of Elvis Presley in the made-for-TV film Elvis, while Branagh received a nod in the same category for his role in Warm Springs as former US president Franklin D Roosevelt.

The other nominees for best lead actor in a mini-series or film are Ed Harris, Geoffrey Rush and William H Macy.

The Office Special - which is shown on BBC America - is up against Empire Falls, The 4400, Warm Springs and The Life and Death of Peter Sellers.

Ricky Gervais and MacKenzie Crook in The Office Christmas Special
The Office is broadcast on BBC America in the US

Despite predictions they would be overlooked this year, Six Feet Under and veteran White House drama The West Wing are contenders in the best drama series category.

They join the gritty Deadwood, 24, and Lost, a new drama about air crash survivors stranded on a mysterious island.

The West Wing will be hoping for its fifth successful year in a row.

London-based firm Voodoodog was nominated in the outstanding main title design category for its work on The Life and Death of Peter Sellers.

Nominations were announced in a morning ceremony at the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences' Leonard H Goldenson Theatre on Thursday.

The Emmy Awards ceremony will take place in Los Angeles on 18 September.

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