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The TV Column

'Rock,' Fox Cut Emmy Records

Check out a few of this year's primetime players.
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By Lisa de Moraes
Friday, July 17, 2009

LOS ANGELES

Fox's "Family Guy" made Primetime Emmy history Thursday, becoming the first animated show in nearly a half-century to receive a nomination for best comedy series.

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"30 Rock" made history, too, copping a pack-leading 22 nominations -- the most ever in a single year for a comedy series, breaking the record the NBC sitcom set last year when it clocked 17.

And "Weeds" now enters the books as Showtime's first show nominated for best comedy series.

Now CBS has to figure out how to turn the TV academy's love letter to niche programming into a three-hour trophy show that can attract a broadcast-size audience.

Here's CBS's pickle: HBO's "Flight of the Conchords" bagged its first Emmy nomination for best comedy series, but "Two and a Half Men" -- the country's most watched comedy -- got shut out.

Likewise, HBO's "Big Love" and AMC's "Breaking Bad" copped nominations for best drama series. "Desperate Housewives" and "Grey's Anatomy": snubbed.

Those cable shows all averaged between 900,000 and 2 million viewers in their most recent seasons and in their premiere time slots. Meanwhile, the shut-out broadcast series averaged between 15 million and 16 million viewers.

Think Academy Awards -- if all the nominees were little indie flicks.

* * *

Justin Timberlake to the rescue! He's one of this year's most Emmy-nominated individuals -- including two nods for outstanding original music: "Motherlover," performed on "Saturday Night Live," and "I Love Sports" performed at the 2008 ESPY Awards. (Timberlake is also nominated for best guest actor in a comedy for his "SNL" gig.)


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