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Scene, Sunday, September 9, 2007

It’s rare that I have something nice to say about the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences nominations, but this year, I thought I would take a look at the bright side.

No, there is a bright side to the Emmys! Honestly!

First up, I’m glad to see that “24” was not nominated for best series. Thanks, voters, for noticing, for once, the slippage in quality of a TV show. I’m so used to you rubber stamping “The West Wing” over and over despite the downturn that series took season after season, that this blew me away. If only the voters would notice that “Grey’s Anatomy” isn’t that good.

Also, thanks for not nominating Lauren Graham for her role on the last season of “Gilmore Girls.” (No, I have not been taken over by aliens.) While Graham is an incredible talent, the show this season took a creative downturn. The dialogue was bumpy and the characters seemed forced into situations. As a fan, I felt like I was having plots and moments forced on me, unlike in previous seasons when events seemed to unfold naturally. Poor Graham seemed like she was having a tough time dealing with the departure of the show’s creators and writers, Amy Sherman- Palladino and Daniel Palladino. So was I. Lauren, it’s my hope to see you get another show worthy of your immense talents on a network that the Emmys are aware of. SOON.

Good job recognizing “Heroes” for best drama series. While I’m not a fan (I tried, really!), I am very impressed with the concept and execution of the show. I like that it looks like a comic book, but feels grounded in reality. The plots are solid, as is the acting. NBC took a risk on something different from other shows, and stuck with it through an entire season and was rewarded with great ratings, critical success and a Emmy nod. (Sorry, but it doesn’t stand a chance of winning the Emmy for best drama.)

There is something about this year’s Emmy’s that I can’t gloss over, however: Ryan Seacrest will be the host. I may get TiVo if only to be able to edit him out of my Emmy broadcast.

I would also like to see some more viewer-friendly categories. Such as:

Best show no one admits to watching, yet garners Emmy nods: “Two And A Half Men.”

Show with the best fans: Step back, “Veronica Mars” fans, you have been eclipsed by the “NUTS!” campaign to save “Jericho.” These crazy viewers (and I mean that in a good way, because I’m a fan of the show, too) sent more than 8 million peanuts to the executives at CBS after it was announced that the post-apocalyptic family drama had been canned. CBS relented and gave the show a seven-episode reprieve.

Best drama show still on the air, much to everyone’s surprise: After deliberating among “Law & Order,” “CSI: Crime Scene Investigation” and “ER,” I have to say “ER” is the clear winner. Thirteen seasons, and still going strong. I still come into work on Friday and talk over the show with a co-worker. I can’t remember the last time I tuned into the other two shows on their regular nights.

Danielle L. Kiracofe has been the entertainment editor at Stripes for nearly seven years. Among her TV guilty pleasures are “Girls Next Door” and “Wife Swap.” Let her know what you think of her picks by e-mailing her at kiracofed@stripes.osd.mil.

And the winners will be …

OUTSTANDING COMEDY SERIES “30 Rock” • “Entourage” • “The Office” • “Two And A Half Men” • “Ugly Betty”

What should have been nominated: “My Name Is Earl”What should win: “Ugly Betty”What will win: “30 Rock,” because it is a critical darling no one watches.

OUTSTANDING DRAMA SERIES “Boston Legal” • “Grey’s Anatomy” • “Heroes” • “House” • “The Sopranos”

What will win: “Boston Legal”Whatever happened to: That show with the island and the hatch and the polar bears?

OUTSTANDING LEAD ACTRESS IN A COMEDY SERIESTina Fey as Liz Lemon, “30 Rock” • Felicity Huffman as Lynette Scavo, “Desperate Housewives” • Julia Louis-Dreyfus as Christine Campbell, “The New Adventures Of Old Christine” • America Ferrera as Betty Suarez, “Ugly Betty” • Mary-Louise Parker as Nancy Botwin, “Weeds”

Who should win: America Ferrera. She just rocks on “Ugly Betty.” Without her believability as Betty, the show would never have succeeded.Who will win: Ferrera. There will be some guilt about giving “30 Rock” the Emmy for best comedy.

OUTSTANDING LEAD ACTOR IN A COMEDY SERIESAlec Baldwin as Jack Donaghy, “30 Rock” • Ricky Gervais as Andy Millman, “Extras” • Tony Shalhoub as Adrian Monk, “Monk” • Steve Carell as Michael Scott, “The Office” • Charlie Sheen as Charlie Harper, “Two And A Half Men”

Who will win: Nice guy Carell. (Sorry, Baldwin.)

OUTSTANDING LEAD ACTRESS IN A DRAMA SERIESSally Field as Nora Walker, “Brothers & Sisters” • Mariska Hargitay as Detective Olivia Benson, “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit” • Patricia Arquette as Allison Dubois, “Medium” • Kyra Sedgwick as Dep. Chief Brenda Leigh Johnson, “The Closer” • Minnie Driver as Dahlia Malloy, “The Riches” • Edie Falco as Carmela Soprano, “The Sopranos”

Scary bit about this category: There is so much talent here it’s a shame that there aren’t six Emmys to give away.Even scarier: Allison Janney not nominated! (I know she wasn’t on TV this season, but I wouldn’t put it past the Academy.) Who will win: Falco

OUTSTANDING LEAD ACTOR IN A DRAMA SERIESKiefer Sutherland as Jack Bauer, “24” • James Spader as Alan Shore, “Boston Legal” • Hugh Laurie as Dr. Gregory House, “House” • Denis Leary as Tommy Gavin, “Rescue Me” • James Gandolfini as Tony Soprano, “The Sopranos”

Who should win: Sutherland should be proud he was so much better than the material he was given.Who will win: Laurie, because it’s about time.

OUTSTANDING REALITY-COMPETITION PROGRAM “American Idol” • “Dancing With The Stars” • “Project Runway” • “The Amazing Race” • “Top Chef”

What should win: I love “Top Chef.” The challenges are so creative. What will win: “The Amazing Race”

— Danielle L. Kiracofe

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