“ER” has boosted its tally to 23 nominations in the 47th annual Primetime Emmy Awards, based on bids in a half-dozen categories announced last Monday.

And NBC has emerged as the sole leader in total nominations, having been tied with CBS based on the categories released July 20.

Categories in which nominations were announced Monday include directing a drama series – with “ER” taking a pair of those bids, and “Chicago Hope,” “NYPD Blue” (which nearly swept the field last year) and “My So-Called Life” rounding out that area; and writing a comedy series, with two nods each going to “Frasier” and “The Larry Sanders Show,” with “Friends” snagging the last bid.

In addition, a half-dozen programs were selected in the informational series voting, which carries the possibility of zero, one or multiple awards based on merit. That field includes the Ken Burns documentary “Baseball,” TBS’ “A Century of Women,” the syndicated “History of Rock ‘n’ Roll” and “The Hermitage: A Russian Odyssey,” NBC’s “Unsolved Mysteries” and “TV Nation,” which received a nom for its run on NBC but has since moved Broadcasting Co. to Fox

Those nominations -as well as those in music composition for a series, sound editing for a series and costume design for a miniseries or special- were delayed almost three weeks due to a change in Academy of Television Arts & Sciences balloting procedures that resulted in an inordinate number of ties. The Academy was forced to hold run-off balloting to ascertain the fifth nominee in each of those categories.

In final tallies, the Big Three networks have amassed 229 of 385 overall nominations, or 59% of the total, with cable services accounting for 101 nominations and 26% of all Emmy bids – both records for that medium.

The previous high for cable services was 76 noms, in 1993, a total that dipped to 63 (and 18% of the total tally) last year.

The additional nominations add to “ER’s” tally, which still trails the 26 nabbed by “NYPD Blue” last year as the most for a first-year series. With the medical drama getting another nod for sound editing and the writing bid for “Friends,” Warner Bros. TV also expanded on its studio-leading 38 nominations, followed by Paramount Network TV with 26 and 23 for 20th Century Fox TV.

Peer-group judging panels will be held this weekend. Awards will be presented Sept. 9-10 in Pasadena, Calif., with the televised portion of the ceremony to air on Fox.

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