Macy's writing recognition rewarding


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Emmy nom summary

Noms, Part I
Noms, Part II
Noms, Part III

Full Coverage

Double “Door to Door” nominee William H. Macy could collect two trophies on Sept. 21 (lead actor and writing), but he told Daily Variety that, while both jobs were equally rewarding, penning the teleplay (with pic’s helmer Steven Schachter) was the principal challenge.

“Earning a nomination in the writing category is especially gratifying because one of the hardest tasks for a writer is having to tell the story of someone who is still alive,” he said. “There is no room for error. You must stick to facts but at the same time give the story its own punch.”

Macy, whose overall Emmy nom tally rose to five Thursday — “Door” being his first for writing — said the idea for the TNT project spawned from a “20/20″ piece he once saw on the pic’s central character, Bill Porter. “This all came to be because of that one segment,” Macy said. “His story inspired me, and we took off from there.”

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Robert Allan Ackerman, who received a nod for his direction of Tennessee Williams’ “The Roman Spring of Mrs. Stone” (Showtime), learned of the telepic’s five nominations from good friend Neil Meron.

Ackerman — who is on location in Montreal readying production on the CBS/Craig Zadan and Neil Meron mini “The Reagans,” which he will helm — said he was still sleeping when Meron called with the news, having worked until 2 a.m. the night before.

Ackerman, who also helmed the 2001 nominated pic “Life With Judy Garland: Me and My Shadows,” said this nomination is especially sweet.

“My roots are in the theater, and I have always had this incredible respect and admiration for Tennessee Williams,” he said. “However, in the past I had always been too intimidated to tackle one of his plays. And then one day I read in his autobiography that he had wanted me to direct one of his works; I almost dropped the book.

“To be nominated for a piece that I have so much regard for, and to be linked with a writer I have so much respect for; well it just does not get much better.”

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Jessica Lange, who nabbed her second Emmy nomination Thursday for HBO telepic “Normal,” based on the Jane Anderson play, said: “I’m so happy! ‘Normal’ was such a great project and I am fortunate to have been able to work with such talented people as Jane (Anderson) and Tom Wilkinson. I applaud HBO for their unique ability to bring such powerful, rich stories to the screen.”

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“For a show that has been No. 1 all over the world, to be recognized and nominated in five different categories by the Academy, in the country where the modern entertainment industry was invented, makes me very proud,” said “Idol” creator Simon Fuller.

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“I am so excited for my spy parents, how cool is that?” said an overjoyed Jennifer Garner, of the supporting acting nominations earned by her “Alias” mom and dad, Lena Olin and Victor Garber.

Garner, who grabbed her own nom for a second consecutive year in the leading actress category, reacted to the news as she waited to board a plane to L.A. from Gotham. “I can’t believe the category. I admire every woman in it,” she said.

Thesp, who has wrapped the feature “13 Going on 30,” told Daily Variety that she can’t wait to return to the “Alias” set next week, not only to “dive into the work” but to personally congratulate the entire team for their contributions to the show’s 11 nominations. “It’s a great boost for us as we prepare for our third season,” she said.

* * *

On vacation with his family in Vancouver, Eric McCormack, one fourth of the nominated “Will and Grace” comedy quartet, said, “What an irony; last year I announce the nominations, and nothing. And this year I am out of town — have not even checked email in a month — and I find out about my nomination hours after the fact.”

McCormack, who is keeping busy during the show’s hiatus by penning a screenplay for Disney, said the fellow nominations for his three cohorts, Debra Messing, Sean Hayes, and Megan Mullaly, was “how it should be.” “We are an ensemble show, and it feels strange when someone is left out.”

* * *

Living in London for the summer, where he is starring in David Mamet’s “Sexual Perversity in Chicago,” Matthew Perry was already well into his day when he was announced on the Left Coast as a contender for his guest turn on “The West Wing.”

This is the second year in a row for Perry and Emmy; he was nommed in 2002 as a leading actor for “Friends.”

But this “Friend” has no hard feelings about his absence this year from the comedy category. “I am thrilled for Matt (LeBlanc) and Jenn (Aniston). “I am so proud of them, and can’t wait to call them,” Perry said.

“I have spent the last 10 years of my life with some of the greatest people. We are nearing the end of our road, and it is time to move on, but I am still going to cry my eyes out on that last day.”

Commenting on his “Wing” nom, Perry said, “I have been a fan of the show since it first aired, and was thrilled to get the chance to be a part of it.”

* * *

“I am so happy for my friends at MTV,” Sharon Osbourne said of the alternative nonfiction program nom drawn by “The Osbournes.” “They’ve really become part of our family. I know the last season was not easy for them to shoot with all the Osbourne drama, but that’s what being a family is all about sometimes.”

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Frank Pierson, Academy of Motion Pictures Arts & Sciences prexy and director of double-nominated Showtime telepic “Soldier’s Girl,” had a lot to celebrate Thursday.

In addition to the “Soldier” nominations, the 75th Academy Awards production was feted with eight noms of its own.

“All of the credit there goes to Gil (Cates) and his crew,” Pierson said. “They worked under tremendous pressure, allotting for last minute adjustments because of the war, and they came through beautifully. The show went on, and it was tasteful and perfect in tone.”

Reacting to his own work, Pierson said, “You are only as good as your cast, and I have a nomination today because of mine.”

* * *

“West Wing”-er John Spencer — the 2002 supporting actor in a drama winner, and again a nominee — rejoiced with two eggs over easy, bacon and a glass of OJ at L.A.’s Jerry’s Deli.

“I am conducting my interviews here today,” said Spencer, who “could not be happier with the turnout.”

“Fifteen nominations — what a wonderful goodbye gift for Aaron (Sorkin) and Tommy (Schlamme),” he said.

Despite the departure of two of the “Wing’s” primary producers, Spencer said he is confident that remaining executive producer John Wells will keep “Wing” flying. “I read the first script of the season yesterday,” he revealed, “and it bodes well.”

* * *

“Six Feet Under” thesp Peter Krause took a moment out of his California road trip, a bit north of Napa, to revel in his two-year nomination streak. Krause, nominated as a leading actor in a drama series, told Daily Variety, “I am just happy people are still watching. We have seen some real dark times this year, and with a dark show you wonder if people would still want to tune in. But in this life you can be certain of only two things — death and taxes — so perhaps in some strange way we provide comfort.”

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