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‘ER,’ ‘Sanders’ top DGA noms; ‘Bastard’ honored

NBC and HBO topped the television nominations Tuesday for the Directors Guild of America Awards, boosted by multiple nods for “ER” and “The Larry Sanders Show.”

NBC earned eight nominations and HBO took six. ABC followed with three nominations.

Cablers once again swept the nominations for TV dramatic special, with nominations going to Uli Edel for “Rasputin,” John Frankenheimer for “Andersonville,” Robert Harmon for “Gotti,” Anjelica Huston for “Bastard Out of Carolina,” and Betty Thomas for “The Late Shift.”

“It comes as a complete shock, and I am totally delighted,” Huston said. “It is not as if I even consider these people my peers. These are my superiors.”

“Carolina,” the controversial Showtime movie that was dropped by TNT after Ted Turner refused to air it because of its content, repped Huston’s directing debut.

Said Huston of the nomination: “It sort of compounds a real interesting life history for this movie.”

It was Frankenheimer’s fifth nomination. His first came in 1962, when he was nominated for both “The Manchurian Candidate” and “Birdman of Alcatraz.” He won an Emmy last year for “Andersonville” and has continued to direct feature films. He said that the differences between TV and feature directing have blurred.

“It is just a question of where is the best material,” said Frankenheimer from the set of TNT’s “George Wallace,” his next project. “It is the quality of the film. And it is a very healthy sign that directors are going back and forth.”

Cablers have for several years dominated the list of nominees in the longform category.

“It is material that is ambitious, and it is not always aimed at the broadest possible audience,” said DGA President Gene Reynolds.

“ER” once again earned three nominations: Christopher Chulack, who won last year for “ER,” was nominated again for the episode “Fear of Flying.” Also nominated were Paris Barclay for the episode “Ask Me Know Questions, I’ll Tell You No Lies,” and Mimi Leder for directing the episode “The Healers.”

“I am stunned,” said Barclay, who received his first nomination for the first episode he has directed of “ER.” He also has directed features, but on TV “you come into this family for three weeks, meet these people, and become instantly bonded with these actors and writers.”

Rounding out the category was ABC’s “NYPD Blue,” earning two nominations for Donna Deitch and Mark Tinker.

‘Pressing the envelope’

“The format of (“ER”) lends itself to the virtuosity of directing,” Reynolds said. “And you also look at ‘NYPD Blue,’ which is often pressing the envelope. It is unconventional, but at least they are out there and experimenting and trying and making an effort to do something unique.”

“Sanders” earned nominations for Todd Holland and Alan Myerson. Holland received his third nomination in a row for the series. Also nominated in the comedy category were David Steinberg for “Mad About You,” Robert Berlinger for “3rd Rock From the Sun” and Andy Ackerman for “Seinfeld.”

In the musical variety category, Jeff Margolis earned his seventh straight nomination for directing the Academy Awards. Another recurring nominee was Don Mischer, who was nominated for the opening ceremonies of the Olympic Games. It was his 13th nomination.

DGA officials also noted that five women were among the nominees, including Huston, Thomas, Deitch, Leder and Ellen Brown for “The Tonight Show.” That compares to last year, when Leder and Brown were nominated.

All of the guild’s members are eligible to vote for the nominations.

The winners will be announced on March 8 at the Century Plaza Hotel in Los Angeles and the Sheraton Hotel in New York.

Symposium planned

Nominees in the category of dramatic specials will participate in a television nominees symposium on March 6.

The complete list of DGA television nominees follows:

Dramatic Specials

Uli Edel, “Rasputin” (HBO); Mark Egerton, first assistant director.

John Frankenheimer, “Andersonville” (TNT); Diane B. Smith, unit production manager; James Sbardellati and Peter Graupner, first assistant directors; Peter Merwin, second assistant director.

Robert Harmon, “Gotti” (HBO); David Coatsworth, unit production manager; Tony Lucibello, first assistant director.

Anjelica Huston, “Bastard Out of Carolina” (Showtime); Amanda Digiulo, unit production manager; Mary Ellen Woods, first assistant director; Lynn Wegenka, second assistant director.

Betty Thomas, “Late Shift” (HBO; Jake Jacobson, unit production manager; Richard Graves, first assistant director; Robert Lorenz, second assistant director.

Comedy

Andy Ackerman, “Seinfeld” (“The Rye”) (NBC); Jeffrey Stott, unit production manager; Randy Carter, first assistant director; Jim Lansbury, second assistant director.

Robert Berlinger, “3rd Rock From the Sun” (“See Dick Continue to Run”) (NBC); Chris Halle, UPM/first A.D.; Jessica Kreps-Norton, second A.D.

Todd Holland, “The Larry Sanders Show” (“Everybody Loves Larry”) (HBO); Brian J. Ellis, UPM/first A.D.; Ron Paul, second A.D.

Alan Myerson, “The Larry Sanders Show” (“Ellen, Or Isn’t She”) (HBO); Brian J. Ellis, UPM/first A.D.; Ron Paul, second A.D.

David Steinberg, “Mad About You” (“The Finale Part II and III”) (NBC); Robert Heath, UPM; William Cosentino, first A.D.; Laura Petticord, second A.D.

Drama Series

Paris Barclay, “ER” (“Ask Me Know Questions, I’ll Tell You No Lies”) (NBC); Michael Salamunovich, UPM; T.R. Subramaniam, first A.D.; Chris Salmunovich, second A.D.

Christopher Chulack, “ER” (“Fear of Flying”) (NBC); Michael Salamunovich, UPM; Tommy Burns, first A.D.; Robert Brooks Mendel, second A.D.

Donna Deitch, “NYPD Blue” (“These Old Bones”) (ABC); Robert Doherty, UPM; Karen Gaviola, first A.D.; John Isabeau, second A.D.

Mimi Leder, “ER” (“The Healers”) (NBC); Michael Salamunovich, UPM; Deborah Dell’amico, first A.D.; Michael J. Pendell, second A.D.

Mark Tinker, “NYPD Blue” (“A Death in the Family”) (ABC); Robert Doherty, UPM; Karen Gaviola, first A.D.; John Isabeau, second AD.

Musical Variety

Ellen Brown, “The Tonight Show With Jay Leno from Chicago”; Leslie Gates and Rick Stern, associate directors; Mike Schiff, Roberta Savold Kantola and Andy Kantola, stage managers.

Robert Fishman, “Sergei Grinkov, Celebration of a Life” (CBS); Rob Dustin, Jim Cornell and Kathleen Farrell, associate directors; James Wall, stage manager.

Jeff Margolis, “The 68th Annual Academy Awards” (ABC); Wendy Acey, Debbie Palacio, Marilyn Seabury and James Tanker, associate directors; Steve Burgess, Rita Cossette, Mervin Hawkins, Alissa Levisohn, Peter Margolis, Dency Nelson, Vince Poxon, Jason Seligman, Scott Schwartz, Ken Stein, David Wader and Debbie Williams, stage managers.

Don Mischer, “Opening Ceremonies, Atlanta Olympic Games” (NBC); Allan Kartun, James Tanker, associate directors; Garry Hood, Dency Nelson, Vince Poxon, Doug Smith, stage managers.

Thomas Schlamme, “Tracey Takes On … Romance” (HBO); Kevin Berg, UPM; Ian Woolf, first assistant director; William H. Connor, second assistant director.

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