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Did voters divorce reality on ‘Wives’?

ABC skein garners most series noms despite lukewarm season-two reception from crix

Five noms last year for the ABC freshman hit “Desperate Housewives” led to Globes voters being labeled “hip” and “in touch.” For the series’ second season, however, the same number of nods isn’t generating the same reaction.

Despite howls of protest from TV crix — and even some fan circles — that this season’s “Desperate Housewives” has fallen off creatively, all four leading ladies from the show received Golden Globe actress nods, and the skein is up again for comedy.

“The Globes are completely star struck,” says TV Guide critic Matt Roush. “The material hasn’t been very good. For Teri Hatcher (who plays the skein’s wacky Susan Mayer) to be nominated this year is just silly. This season should be retitled ‘Desperately Seeking Susan,’ but she can’t overcome bad writing for her character. The HFPA is so enamored with ‘Housewives,’ as is most of America.”

Last year, the skein won in comedy/musical series, while Hatcher won out in a comedy actress category that also included castmates Marcia Cross and Felicity Huffman. Also, Nicollette Sheridan was nominated for her supporting role. Only Eva Longoria was left out of the mix. However, the HFPA made amends to Longoria this year, voting her in for 2006 — along with Cross, Huffman and Hatcher again.

“The phenomenon is hard to argue with,” says Jenny Cooney Carillo, one of three members of the HFPA’s TV committee. “We couldn’t see much out there besides them. If there had been more decent competition, it would have been easier to nominate someone else, but it was hard to find someone in the female comedy category.”

Certainly, the pool of comedy actresses isn’t as deep as years past, with stalwart ensemble series like “Sex and the City” and “Friends” — which garnered lots of thesp noms in their days — no longer in production

“There’s a relative dearth of options for female roles in comedy,” adds Roush.

While Cooney Carillo agrees that this season’s “Housewives” has been subpar, she notes that the eligibility period for the show is Jan. 1 through Dec. 31, so some voters may have been thinking back to last season’s post-January episodes when marking their ballots.

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