‘West’ wings 6 crix noms

Awards to be given July 15

NBC’s frosh drama “The West Wing” has picked up a nice boost going into Emmy balloting season, snagging six nominations for the 16th annual Television Critics Assn. Awards.

Nation’s small screen journos gave the Warner Bros. Television-produced White House-set skein noms for best drama, best new program of the year and program of the year. Two cast members (Martin Sheen and Allison Janney) as well as exec producer Aaron Sorkin were nominated for individual achievement in drama.

Fox’s midseason hit “Malcolm In the Middle” also cleaned up, landing four noms, including best comedy and best new program. HBO’s critical darling “The Sopranos” earned three nods.

NBC led all webs in total nominations, picking up 12 mentions. Peacock’s now-canceled “Freaks and Geeks” scored two nominations.

Noms in major categories include:

PROGRAM OF THE YEAR: “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” (WB); “Sex in the City” (HBO); “The Sopranos” (HBO); “The West Wing” (NBC); “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire” (ABC)

COMEDY: “Everybody Loves Raymond” (CBS); “Frasier” (NBC); “Malcolm in the Middle” (Fox); “Sex and the City” (HBO); “Will & Grace” (NBC)

DRAMA: “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” (WB); “Freaks & Geeks” (NBC); “Once and Again” (ABC); “The Sopranos” (HBO); “The West Wing” (NBC); “The Practice” (ABC)

NEW PROGRAM: “Freaks & Geeks” (NBC); “Judging Amy” (CBS); “Malcolm in the Middle” (Fox); “Once and Again” (ABC); “The West Wing” (NBC)

MOVIE, MINI or SPECIAL: “Annie” (ABC); “Arabian Nights” (ABC); “The Corner” (HBO); “Fail Safe” (CBS); “Jesus” (CBS)

The TV Critics Assn. is made up of more than 220 print journos from the U.S. and Canada. Awards will be handed out Saturday, July 15 at the Ritz-Carlton Huntington Hotel & Spa in Pasadena, with Ben Stein set to host.

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