Friday, September 16, 2005

Many Emmy Roads Lead to Rome...Eventually

While watching ''Rome'' on Sunday, I thought back to the early '90s, specifically when ''Sunday Best'' premiered on NBC in 1991. (Don't remember ''Sunday Best?'' I'm not surprised. It's a Shorty. NBC aired three eps of the series in February 1991.) At that time, Sunday TV was pretty uninspiring. Just movies and Fox sitcoms. Yes, there were a number of excellent TV movies, but the creative drought for original series lasted for seven years.

At least that was true until March 15, 1998. ''The Larry Sanders Show'' moved to Sundays for its sixth season and HBO ushered in a new creative era. ''Sex and the City,'' ''The Sopranos,'' ''Curb Your Enthusiasm'' and ''Six Feet Under'' all premiered on HBO in the next 3+ years.

And this creative era peaked during the 2003-04 TV season when Sunday HBO series were nominated for 58 Emmy Awards. One network. One night. 58 nods. NBC holds the record with 97 Emmy nods for their series during the 1986-87 season. But NBC needed all seven nights. Not one.

Even though ''Rome'' is not drawing as large an audience as HBO might like, it will likely draw a number of Emmy nods next year.

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