Famous faces with their eyes on the Emmy prize

Nominee reactions

This article was updated at 5:43 p.m.

The Emmy tribe has spoken: Mark Burnett has two big reasons to attend this year’s kudocast.

Burnett’s two competition-based skeins –“Survivor” and “The Apprentice” — combined to snag a total of nine nominations, including reality competition show.

“The truth is, I’m just really really happy for the crews on both shows. They work long hours and it’s great for them to be recognized,” Burnett said.

While he had hoped his NBC docusoap “The Restaurant” would snag a nom, Burnett said the caliber of shows nominated in the reality category demonstrate how far the genre has come.

“When done well, this shows unscripted TV is totally the equivalent to comedy and dramas,” he said. “It’s just good television.”

* * *

Although she has been a multiple Emmy, Oscar and Tony nominee, Thursday’s Emmy nom for her lead role in Showtime’s “Eleanor” still excited Glenn Close.

“I think to be recognized for work for a piece that you are very proud of is thrilling,” she said, “especially because I think this piece represents some of my best work.”

Close refuses to let the label of movie star restrict her from working on television projects. “When I first started doing television way, way back, I was told you can either do television or you can do movies and I thought what about the English, look what they do — they do everything,” Close said. “I have always believed that you go with good material and it doesn’t matter where it is as long as you have a great team behind you.”

* * *

“Joan of Arcadia” thesp Amber Tamblyn, who was nominated in the lead actress drama category, considered getting a wakeup call in order to watch the announcement of the nominations but opted to sleep instead — only to be awakened by her manager, who gave her the good news.

“I think more than anything, I was really excited that our show got nominated too,” Tamblyn said. “Just to see our show in the same category (drama) with “The Sopranos” and “The West Wing,” I was just screaming for us.”

Although the thesp was trying not to think about the announcement of the nominees, she found it hard to get it out of her mind.

“I would rather focus on my job than think about an award that you may or may not get,” Tamblyn said. “But it starts to get in your head and I was like, Great, now I am going to think about it no matter what.”

* * *

First-time Emmy nominee Kristin Davis was ready to join the supporting actress category with HBO “Sex and the City” co-stars Kim Cattrall and Cynthia Nixon.

“It’s always been all of them (nominated) so it’s great to put me in the mix, too,” Davis said. “To have three people from one show in that category kind of takes up that category. So it is a very strong, sweet vote of confidence from (ATAS) I think saying that they will miss us.”

Despite a successful run, Davis expressed concern that the skein’s recent cancellation might have had a negative effect on Academy of Television Arts & Sciences voters. “I have been very worried about the show in general because I mean we haven’t been around lately. I was just worried that we would be kind of forgotten — like old news. So I so happy overall to have 11 nominations — it’s a lot for us.”

* * *

Perennial Emmy contender Sarah Jessica Parker, who nabbed yet another nomination this year for her work in “Sex and the City,” couldn’t contain her excitement over co-star Kristin Davis’ nom.

“It was Michael Patrick (King)’s and mine fervent hope that it might happen this year,” Parker said. “It has been a long time in coming and is incredibly meaningful. I know what (Kim Cattrall’s, Cynthia Nixon’s and Davis’) contributions have been, and to see her not receive the acknowledgment when the show would be nominated was always hurtful. It was hard to somehow not feel it personally.”

Now with the nomination of Davis plus the 10 additional mentions the series received, Parker feels the television industry is giving the skein a really nice goodbye.

“I think in the beginning we didn’t feel a part of the community because we were so far away in New York and we were a single camera show and we weren’t on one of those major commercial broadcasting networks, but I do feel that we are a part of this community now,” Parker said. “And with the nomination of all four of us — there was something wonderfully deliberate about it and I am terrifically appreciative of it.”

* * *

Jennifer Garner was in the midst of doing her workout regime for her upcoming pic “Elektra” when she got word that she was an Emmy nominee for the third consecutive year in the lead actress category for “Alias.”

“All three years I have been surprised by my nomination because all three years I have felt like, ‘Oh, this year we have probably went too far,’ ” Garner said.

But Garner credits show creator J.J. Abrams and helmer Ken Olin for making her character Sydney Bristow a real person that audiences can relate to “no matter what happens (to her) on an emotional level.”

Despite her film success, Garner considers TV her first home. “Television is where I have gone back to again and again,” she explained. “Even though I have bounced around, ‘Alias’ is my home.”

* * *

“To be nominated with Stockard (Channing) is just really thrilling,” said Janel Moloney, who, along with Channing received a supporting actress nomination for her work on “The West Wing.”

“I think at this point in the series you start to expect to not get nominations,” Moloney explained. “It’s the first and second years that shows get nominated, but this year all over the Emmy (nominations) are these shows that have done great work consistently and for a long time like the ‘Sopranos.'”

Moloney credited the nom to the show’s writers. “I had such wonderful storylines this year, and I think I had a chance to do as much as I could with my roles,” she said. “So maybe that is what it has to do with more than anything is the writing and the storylines.”

* * *

Not surprisingly, globetrotter-Emmy winner Bert Van Munster, exec producer of “The Amazing Race,” was far from home when he got the news from his agents that his show was up for four Emmys.

“I can’t tell you where I am right now, except that it’s an undisclosed location and it would take me 24 hours to get back to the U.S.,” said Van Munster, who exec produces “Race” with Jerry Bruckheimer.

“Race” won an Emmy last year when various reality shows competed with entertainment specials in a catchall category in which multiple winners were possible. This year, “Race” is part of a new single-winner category for competition-based skeins.

Van Munster was just as proud of “Race’s” noms in categories like cinematography. “I’m glad people look at the craft and the storytelling and the ambitiousness of our project,” he said.

Noms come as “Race” is enjoying a strong fifth cycle marked by some of its best-ever ratings. “We’re in the pole position right now,” Van Munster said.

* * *

Peter Boyle needed some caffeine before he could fully soak in his supporting actor nom for his role on CBS’ “Everybody Loves Raymond.”

“My wife aroused me from a deep and dreamless sleep and said you have been nominated and I said, ‘Oh, my God, I need some coffee.’ ”

Feeling relieved that he had been nominated, Boyle expressed his “condolences” to co-star Ray Romano, who didn’t receive a nomination this year. “Ray certainly deserves to be nominated, but he will survive this blow because he is tough and he is used to being the underdog.”

* * *

Besieged with congratulatory phone calls, “Angels in America” co-star Justin Kirk kept a sense of humor about the tremendous success of the series and the supporting actor nomination he nabbed.

“Working with all the pedigree — the Nichols, the Streeps, the Pacinos and the Thompsons — it doesn’t come around very often,” Kirk said. “But I am certainly expecting it to come around a lot more now that I am an Emmy nominee.”

All joking aside, the 21 noms the series received made Kirk especially proud. “The best part about this is that everybody in the damn movie got nominated,” he said.

* * *

Mary-Louise Parker was in Winnipeg “in the middle of a field getting eaten by mosquitoes” when she found out via email that she had been nominated for her supporting role in “Angels in America.”

“It’s the only part I ever pined for that I actually got, and it’s the best part I have ever had,” Parker said. “I still really can’t believe I got it.”

* * *

Despite initially turning down the role of President Reagan, lead actor nominee James Brolin was grateful that producers Craig Zadan and Neil Meron “insisted that he sit down and read the script” before making any final decisions.

Initially, “I thought I am nothing like Reagan, and I am only going to end up with another foolish piece of film that, if I want to work, is only going to hinder me,” Brolin explained.

But after reading the screenplay, Brolin realized he had to do it.

* * *

Ian McShane informed Anthony LaPaglia while on vacation in Mexico that he had been nominated for his role of Jack Malone on “Without a Trace.”

“I didn’t know that I had been nominated twice,” LaPaglia said. “Then later another friend called me and said you also got nominated for your role in ‘Frasier’ as well, which was really a shock.”

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