Voters should look beyond the most hyped and highest rated shows, says Ken Tucker

By Ken Tucker
Updated July 03, 2001 at 04:00 AM EDT
Buffy the Vampire Slayer: 20th Century Fox Television

Why ”Buffy” and ”C.S.I.” deserve Emmy nods

I’m shouting out this Hot Topic to any stray, qualified Emmy nominators who may be pondering shows and stars worthy of TV’s big prize — with the rest of you more than welcome to join in. Nominees won’t be announced until July 12, so here are a few ideas to mull over. Most of these suggestions have about as much of a chance of getting nominated as ”Jackass”’ Johnny Knoxville, but they’re still better choices than much of what’ll end up on the final list:

”Curb Your Enthusiasm” (HBO)
Larry David’s superlatively cranky, deliriously vindictive sitcom has been obscured on HBO by ”The Sopranos” juggernaut, but it deserves nominations for its star and the writing, even if much of the show is apparently improvised by the actors. Speaking of ”The Sopranos,” I was a ”West Wing” rooter last year, but the mob drama’s extraordinary season, combined with ”Wing”’s lesser one, convince me that Tony and the gang deserve many more nominations in every eligible category this year. And this time, they deserve to WIN them.

”CSI: Crime Scene Investigation” (CBS)
The crackerjack scripts, with their murder-mystery twists and forensic-science details, are worthy of writer nominations, as is the strong supporting character work by Marg Helgenberger.

”Once & Again” (ABC)
Speaking of supporting characters, how ’bout those kids, eh? Sela Ward may get the telephone commercials and Billy Campbell the heartthrob mail, but any one of the young actors who portray their thoughtful, troubled children is worthy of an Emmy.

”Boycott” (HBO)
This HBO TV movie probably WILL get nominated, but I just want to emphasize what an extraordinary job Clark Johnson (best known as porkpie-hatted Meldrick Lewis on ”Homicide: Life on the Street”) did in directing this galvanizing civil-rights drama.

”Buffy the Vampire Slayer” (the WB)
It’s an old wheeze from TV critics, but c’mon — If there was a better hour of TV than ”The Body,” the episode in which Buffy’s mother died, it probably occurred on ”The Sopranos.”

What are your picks for the year’s most deserving shows?


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