Talent react to TV Academy's announcement

This article was updated at 1:51 p.m.

Chuck Lorre, creator of “Two and a Half Men,” saw his show finally nommed after years as the top comedy on TV. “I don’t think vindication is the word,” he said. “I think gratitude is the word.”

Asked if he was disappointed that it took so long, Lorre said he was calm about it. “There’s some comic relief in bitterness and resentment, but beyond that it doesn’t really accomplish much. I exorcise the bitterness and the vindication stuff through the vanity card, hopefully for cheap laughs, and that’s the end of it.”

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Exec producer Howard Gordon joked that his reaction was, “thank God,” when he heard that “24” had grabbed more noms than any other series. “It’s good to feel relevant after all this time,” he said. “Something like this gives us a little faith in our imaginations and our ability to do the show. We’re never complacent.”

Howard said that he “took the reins” of the show last year, and the noms were a confirmation. “My fear (had been) that I was left holding the bag,” he said, “rather than given an opportunity.”

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Gregory Itzin, nommed for supporting actor in a drama for “24,” had a pragmatic perspective. “It means that I will continue to make a living as an actor,” he said.

Itzin admits that he was “sitting and waiting to find out if I was nominated.” After finding out, he faced a bigger question: “It’s either ‘you got it” — now what do I do with the rest of my day? Or, ‘you didn’t get it’ – now what do I do with the rest of my day?”

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Bill Lawrence, creator of “Scrubs,” said he’d forgotten the nominations were coming. “The phone rang this morning at 10 to 6, and we didn’t answer it,” he said. My wife and I — she’s pregnant — got in a giant fight about how my stupid friends call too early in the morning. Then we listened to the message and we both felt like idiots.”

Lawrence hopes the noms will let him keep working on the show. “The main thing about ‘Scrubs’ is it keeps us from killing ourselves cause we’re working in the Valley,” he said. “Today it’s not that bad — it’s only about 183 degrees.”

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Julia Louis-Dreyfus, nommed for lead actress in “The New Adventures of Old Christine,” had a “freakazoid morning.” Dreyfus found herself in the surreal position of announcing nominees when her own name was read by Brad Garrett.

“It was really bizarre, and I was trying to be cool and happy and appropriately excited without becoming hysterical and screaming obscenities, which is what I would have done if I’d been at my house.”

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Bertram van Munster, exec producer of “Amazing Race,” wasn’t modest about the show’s nom in the reality TV category:

“It is a phenomenal feat to get this four years in a row,” he said.

He did have a quick scare the morning of the noms, though: “I overslept, and I woke up in a panic because the phone was quiet, so I thought maybe we fell in the black hole. So I started frantically calling my agent and he said, ‘no, no, everything is good.”

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Candice Bergen, nommed in the supporting actress in a drama category for “Boston Legal,” said she was happy to be recognized for a drama. On her role as Shirley Schmidt, Bergen was glad to be playing a character with depth: “I love that under the stern exterior there beats the heart of a weird and lusty woman.”

Michael J. Fox, nommed for his perf as Daniel Post, called the nomination a “nice bonus.”

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Denis Leary was relaxed about his nom for lead actor in a drama for “Rescue Me.” “My son and I were driving to work,” he said, “trying to get sports scores, and the Emmy nominations came on.”

What does it all mean? “It guarantees us at least another season on the air,” Leary said.

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Craig Ferguson said he was “astonished” that he’d been nominated for individual performance in a variety or musical for his “Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson.” “I had forgotten that they were coming out today,” he said. “I really didn’t think I was part of this.”

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With “The Office” nominated for top comedy series, exec producer Ben Silverman said he felt validated: “There are so many times in the entertainment industry when you look at your belly-button and think “Holy God, do I know what I’m doing?”

Regarding his own reaction, Silverman didn’t mince words: “I am so psyched.

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James Woods, no stranger to the Emmy podium, got a nod for guest actor in a drama series in “E.R.” Woods said the role, in which he couldn’t speak, was challenging. “This might be my 10th nom or something. This one’s wonderful because the part was so hard for me to do.”

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Shonda Rhimes, who was nommed for her work on “Grey’s Anatomy,” said she never counted on a nomination. “I never expect anything,” she said. “We’re still at the place here where we’re excited to be on the air and people are watching.”

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While many proclaimed themselves shocked to be nominated, Will Arnett, nominated for supporting actor in a comedy series for “Arrested Development,” said he was “shocked that the nominations came out on a Thursday. You would think they would do it on a marquee day like a Monday or a Friday.”

Though the show was pulled, Arnett was grateful for the experience: “At the end of it all, to be nominated is sort of like icing on top of the icing on top of the icing on an already iced cake,” he said.

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Mitch Hurwitz, on the phone from Hawaii, said that “Arrested’s” nomination for comedy series hit him harder than he’d been expecting. “It was actually a fairly emotional experience,” he said. “The show was incredibly special to me.”

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Conrad Green, who exec produced “Dancing with the Stars,” thought the series lucked out with multiple noms. “It’s not like there are tons and tons of categories that we can get nominated for,” he said.

Green thinks the noms help bring validity to the show: “What most people thought was a funny old idea when it first appeared last summer has proven that it can really hold its own amongst the big boys of television.”

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“House” got a nod for best drama, but co-exec producer David Shore said he tries to keep a cool head about nominations. “I refuse to set my alarm,” he said. But it’s tough: “And then I wake up at 1:30, then at 3:30, then the phone rang at 6. I glanced at the clock, just to make sure it wasn’t 8. I knew if it was 8 it was bad news.”

Meanwhile, co-exec producer Katie Jacobs was at her house “lying in bed, half awake, pretending not to care.”

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Joanna Cassidy, finally nominated after years on “Six Feet Under,” thought it was a nice recognition of all her earlier effort. “It seems right to me — it may not have been the right year, but that’s OK.”

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Peter Krause was making pancakes when he heard that his role on “Six Feet Under” had garnered him a nom for lead actor in a drama. Even though the show is through, Krause appreciated the recognition. “It’s nice to feel like I’m gone but not forgotten — back from the dead,” he said.

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Tony Shalhoub snagged a nom for lead role in a drama for “Monk.” He doesn’t take these things lightly: “I was laying in bed,” he said, “wrestling with my demons. I woke up, looked at the clock, and it was way past the time it should have been. You go through various stages of self-doubt and self-loathing. I was trying to convince myself that it was OK — then my manager called, and I had to uncurse all the people who I had cursed.”

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John Wells said it was “wonderful to be recognized for all seven years” of “The West Wing,” and noted that the show had tied “Cheers” this year for most total nominations. The exec producer arrived home late last night with his family from Hawaii. “I said, don’t wake me unless something’s going on,” he said.

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