Lithgow, Johnston, Hunt, and Franz? Ken Tucker says Emmy voters need to recognize new talent, not just rehash the past

By Ken Tucker
Updated September 13, 1999 at 04:00 AM EDT

The Emmys blow it again

Don’t even talk to me about the Emmys — I’m so disgusted. Dennis Franz, AGAIN? After what his costar did with a dying scene in ”NYPD Blue” and the staggering acting James Gandolfini did in ”The Sopranos”? And speaking of which: ”The Practice,” AGAIN? The voters gave this solid show its Emmy last season — this one should have gone to ”The Sopranos.” It’s a measure of just how few times the awards went to the people who deserved them that ”Soprano” Edie Falco’s win as best actress in a drama qualified as the night’s biggest surprise, not simply the year’s best performance by an actress.

And in the comedy category: What the *@!%# happened to ”Everybody Loves Raymond”? I say to you voters: WERE YOU DEAF AS WELL AS BLIND? Handing ”3rd Rock”’s John Lithgow and Kristen Johnston Emmys to add to their collection and giving Helen Hunt her fourth in a row… Look, it’s not personal; I even thought Lithgow made a charmingly funny, self-deprecating speech. It’s not the performers I blame, it’s the idiots who vote for the same people year after year, refusing to acknowledge that the quality of a series varies over time.

I’m so glad David Letterman’s talk show won, and if Nancy Marchand couldn’t be given the Emmy she was due for ”The Sopranos,” well Holland Taylor, who won in that category for her recurring role in ”The Practice,” was worthy, and made a witty, gracious speech that acknowledged Marchand.

I’ll keep up the praise in wrapping up: Cohosts Jenna Elfman and David Hyde Pierce were delightful, and I loved the way Pierce snuck in a nod to the omission of ”Will & Grace”’s Sean Hayes in the supporting-comedy-actor category. And I loved the ”Felicity” cast’s parodies of ”NYPD Blue,” ”The X-Files,” and ”ER” — bravo!

The rest of it: Stink-o!

3rd Rock From the Sun

  • Music