Here's who deserves Emmy voters' attention...
The Emmy nominations will be announced on July 17, so it's time to get in some last-minute wishes, hopes, and pleas. What follows isn't the usual speculation about who or what will be nominated, but rather some impassioned suggestions about which perennially picked series or performers should sit this one out and which less heralded or overlooked ones should take their place.
Give Them a Rest ''NYPD Blue,'' ''ER,'' ''The Sopranos,'' ''Six Feet Under,'' and ''The West Wing'' are all much-lauded shows that have suffered from uneven seasons. Since they've all received their fair share of Emmys, this is the year to give others a chance.
Please Don't Forget ''The Wire,'' ''The Wire,'' ''Alias,'' and ''Alias.'' I know that ''24'' is most critics' fave-rave, but I'm putting all my credibility chips on these two racehorses. Why? Because they need it. ''The Wire'' draws fewer viewers and less press coverage than its HBO peers, and I'm tired of hearing how ''hard'' it is to follow. Who said TV has to be mindless pleasure all the time? Watch, listen, think. It pays off here, with the best ensemble cast on TV and the meatiest roles for black actors. ''Alias,'' on other hand, is perceived in the industry as fluffy escapism, with creator J.J. Abrams not given credit for streamlining the show to make it as sleekly sexy and entertaining as one of Jennifer Garner's spandex dresses.
Give Them a Rest ''Everybody Loves Raymond,'' ''Frasier,'' and ''Sex and the City'' have all been handsomely rewarded in prior years. Besides, last season they were all a bit off, either too hammy or too tired.
Please Don't Forget ''Andy Richter Controls the Universe,'' because Fox never promoted it properly or let it develop a following. ''The Simpsons,'' because voters seem to think a cartoon can't be what this is: a masterpiece. ''Curb Your Enthusiasm,'' because West Coast voters in particular seem to feel Larry David is betraying them by depicting their pampered lifestyle as something worthy of ridicule. And ''Gilmore Girls,'' because this superlatively written hour-long comedy tinged with drama always seems to fall between the category cracks.