The critics love "The Office," "My Name Is Earl," "The Sopranos" and "24." The two NBC comedies and the two drama series earned three nominations apiece Wednesday for the 22nd annual Television Critics Assn. Awards.
"The Office" earned TCA Award bids for program of the year, comedy series and an individual achievement in comedy for star Steve Carell. "Earl" snared noms for comedy series, new program of the year and individual achievement in comedy for star Jason Lee.
HBO's "Sopranos" and Fox's "24" earned program of the year and drama series bids. "Sopranos" star James Gandolfini was recognized for individual achievement in drama, as was "24's" Kiefer Sutherland.
Rounding out the program of the year category for the awards covering the 2005-06 season are ABC's medical drama "Grey's Anatomy" and last year's best drama series Emmy winner "Lost." Noms for new program of the year also went to HBO's "Big Love," Comedy Central's "The Colbert Report," UPN's "Everybody Hates Chris" and Fox's "Prison Break."
NBC's "Scrubs" earned a seat alongside "Earl" and "Office" at the comedy series nominees table, as did UPN's freshman "Everybody Hates Chris" and Comedy Central's "The Daily Show With Jon Stewart." Joining "24" and "Sopranos" in the hunt for drama series glory are "Grey's," "Lost" and Fox's "House."
In addition to Carell and Lee, noms for individual achievement in comedy were snared by "Colbert Report's" Stephen Colbert, "Gilmore Girls" veteran Lauren Graham and "Daily Show's" Jon Stewart. Gandolfini and Sutherland's competitors on the drama side are Alan Alda of NBC's "The West Wing," Hugh Laurie of "House" and Kyra Sedgwick of TNT's "The Closer."
In the longform field, PBS landed bids for the Martin Scorsese-directed "American Masters: Bob Dylan: No Direction Home" and "Masterpiece Theatre: Bleak House." HBO earned a spot for "Elizabeth I" alongside Showtime's "Sleeper Cell" and BBC America's "Viva Blackpool."
PBS also took four of the five slots in the news and information program category, including one for "Frontline" as a series overall and one for the "Frontline" episode "Country Boys." PBS' "American Masters" profile of comedian Bob Newhart and the retrospective "Broadway: The Golden Age" and CBS' newsmagazine "60 Minutes" round out the category.
Disney Channel's smash hit "High School Musical" scored a nom in the children's programming category, where it will compete alongside PBS' venerable "Sesame Street," Nickelodeon's "Dora the Explorer" and "Nick News" and Cartoon Network's "Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends."
The TCA's Heritage Award noms for programs that have made a lasting contribution to television went to a pair of NBC mainstays that ended their runs in May -- "West Wing" and "Will & Grace" -- and to the "Hallmark Hall of Fame" telefilm series, most of which have aired on CBS.
The TCA Awards, determined by the 200-plus members of the TCA, will be handed out July 23 as part of the summer edition of the twice-yearly Television Critics Assn. press tour.
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