‘Never stops being thrill’ for Emmy nominees

Reactions to the announcements

HOLLYWOOD — Before hopping on an L.A.-bound jet in Gotham, Dick Wolf, head honcho of drama nominee “Law and Order,” told Daily Variety, “This never stops being a thrill. (The “Law and Order” team is) not kidding when we say it is an honor just to be nominated. Ten nominations, 10 years in a row, not only proves that miracles do happen, it shows they happen 10 years in a row!”

* * *

Linwood Boomer, executive producer of “Malcolm in the Middle” (comedy nominee), phoned in from his vacation in Maui to say, “It has been a long, grueling year. Needless to say, the nomination is extremely gratifying; 28 episodes in one year was a huge undertaking. So today I will relax and drink many mai tais — the ones with the paper umbrellas in them.”

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Sean Hayes (comedy supporting actor, “Will & Grace”), who learned of his nomination — from Academy of Television Arts & Sciences chairman Meryl Marshall-Daniels — as he was announcing the nominations early Thursday, said, “I was in complete shock. When … Meryl said she had news for me, I thought she had gotten me tickets to the Bowl. But I like this much better.”

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For first-time Emmy nominee Rob Lowe (drama actor, “West Wing”), learning about his nom was very much a family affair: “My two sons have been having nightmares recently, so they were in bed with my wife and I. I had to explain to my 5-year-old what a nomination was.”

* * *

David E. Kelley Prods. topper Pam Wisne said she was psyched at the performance of the company’s three dramas, which collectively garnered 16 noms– including a pair for newcomer “Boston Public.” A particular point of pride for Wisne: All three skeins snagged noms in the guest acting category. “(Kelley) writes roles for which Emmy takes note,” she said. “It invites actors to come do the shows.”

* * *

Thursday kicked off with a 5:45 a.m. phone call for “CSI: Crime Scene Investigation’s” Marg Helgenberger (drama actress): “I just got back yesterday from a vacation in Hawaii and my days are mixed up. I forgot the nominations were this morning, and when the phone rang, I assumed it was my mother-in-law calling from the East Coast, so I let the machine get it. But it was not her voice I heard. Instead, I heard my publicist Eddie Michaels’ voice screaming the news. I was astonished at the nomination. I had higher hopes for the show than for me, and it was a bit of a bummer — maybe next year.”

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Brad Grey, exec producer of “The Sopranos,” said it’s “always nice to be included and invited” to the Emmy party. “(But) we were all surprised and particularly delighted that in the third season, the show was as well-recieved by the Academy as it was,” he said.

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“Gideon’s Crossing” topliner Andre Braugher, who nabbed a drama actor nomination despite the show’s cancellation, told Daily Variety the nom proves the show deserved its acclaim. “I am confident we had a terrific show on our hands. Unfortunately, we were not able to reach enough of an audience.”

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“Bojangles” star Gregory Hines (movie actor) who called in after landing in N.Y., from a visit with his sweetheart in Toronto, told Daily Variety he actively searched for the news. “I got Internet-friendly and looked up the nominations this morning.” Reflecting on his nod, Hines said, “It took 12 years to get the film made, and we never gave up. This nomination made it worth the wait. The subject matter means a lot to me and I hope Bill ‘Bojangles’ Robinson is proud.”

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Fifteen-year-old “Malcolm in the Middle” nominee Frankie Muniz (comedy actor) joked, “I am keeping with tradition today. After I learned of my Golden Globe nomination, I went to the dentist, so today, let’s make it the orthodontist.” In reality, the moppet was not stopping by any doctors’ offices; he was flying to Toronto to begin work on the animated series “The Moville Mysteries.”

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Nominated “The West Wing” helmer (and “ER” thesp) Laura Innes, on vacation in Minnesota, said: “This feels surreal because here I am, in a cabin in (northern Minnesota), and my only tie to Hollywood was this morning’s call from my publicist.” And how will the frosh director celebrate her nomination? “My family and I are going water-skiing today and then (we’ll) have a barbecue.”

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Dana Delany (drama guest actress, “Family Law”) said she was in the middle of a bad dream when the phone rang at 6 a.m. alerting her of her nomination. “I was so wound up from the dream and the news that I rushed out to a 7 a.m. yoga class,” she said. Commenting on her nomination, thesp said, “I decided to do the ‘Family Law’ episode for personal reasons. I had been in heavy debate with a friend of mine about gun control and I decided to do the show to spite him. The irony is, he never saw the episode and I wound up with a nomination.”

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Robert Downey Jr. issued a statement about his “Ally McBeal” comedy supporting actor nod: “I am glad and honored to be in such good company.”

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