Showing a preference for darker themes, Directors Guild of America members have tapped HBO’s “Curb Your Enthusiasm” and “The Sopranos,” plus ABC’s “Desperate Housewives” for two nominations each in primetime TV series awards categories.

The DGA noms, announced Wednesday, also included the final episode of HBO’s “Sex and the City” in the comedy category, while NBC’s “ER” and the pilots for HBO’s “Deadwood” and ABC’s “Lost — Part 1” took noms in the drama competition.

Winners will be announced Jan. 29 at the DGA’s 57th annual awards gala at the Beverly Hilton. Guild also announced noms for music variety, daytime and children’s programs, with HBO and ABC taking six each, followed by CBS with five; Disney Channel and Showtime with two each; and ABC Family, Comedy Central, NBC and PBS with one apiece.

Timothy Van Patten scored two nominations, for “The Sopranos” episode “Long Term Parking” and “Sex and the City” seg “An American Girl in Paris: Part Deux.” He won the comedy category in 2003 for “Sex and the City” and was nominated in drama in 2002 for “The Sopranos.”

Van Patten double play

Van Patten’s noms in both comedy and drama TV series categories marked only the third time a helmer has achieved that distinction. Thomas Schlamme won the 1999 comedy trophy for “Sports Night” and was nommed for “The West Wing”; Allen Coulter received noms in 2000 for “The Sopranos” and “Sex and the City.”

Other nominees announced Wednesday for the drama series trophy were J.J. Abrams for “Lost,” Christopher Chulack for the “Time of Death” episode of “ER,” Walter Hill for “Deadwood” and John Patterson for “The Sopranos.” DGA noms were the first for Abrams and Hill, who won the drama series directing Emmy in September for helming the “Deadwood” pilot.

Chulack won the DGA award in 1995 and 1996 for “ER” episodes and was nominated in 1997 for “ER.” Patterson won the category in 2002 for “The Sopranos” and was nominated in 2000 for the HBO series.

Besides Van Patten, other nominees in the comedy category were Bryan Gordon for “The 5 Wood” episode of “Curb Your Enthusiasm,” Charles McDougall for the “Desperate Housewives” pilot, Arlene Sanford for the “Pretty Little Picture” episode of “Housewives” and Robert B. Weide for “The Carpool Lane” episode of “Curb.”

Gordon won the category in 2002 for “Curb” while the noms were the first for McDougall, Sanford and Weide. “The Carpool Lane” episode became famous after a man arrested in a murder case was exonerated after being found in outtakes of crowd footage at Dodger Stadium during the time of the crime.

Can’t get ‘Arrested’

“Arrested Development,” which won the Emmy for comedy series direction in September, was overlooked in the nominations.

Musical variety nominations went to Ron de Moraes for PBS’ “Great Performances — Eric Clapton: Crossroads Guitar Festival,” Jerry Foley for CBS’ “Late Show With David Letterman,” Bruce Gowers for CBS’ “Genius: A Night for Ray Charles,” Louis J. Horvitz for ABC’s “The 76th Annual Academy Awards” and Chuck O’Neil for Comedy Central’s “The Daily Show With Jon Stewart.”

De Moraes was the lone rookie nominee in the category. Horvitz scored his 12th nom and his sixth for the Oscarcast; he won the trophy in 1997 for “The Kennedy Center Honors.” Foley’s been nominated five times previously, all for “Late Show” segments, while Gowers and O’Neil have been nommed once previously for “Fleetwood Mac Reunion Special” in 1997 and “The Daily Show” in 2003, respectively.

‘Light’ tops soaps

CBS’ “Guiding Light” took two noms in daytime with nods to Bruce Barry and the team of Brian Mertes & Matt Lagle. Other nominations went to Joseph Behar for ABC’s “General Hospital,” Christopher Goutman for CBS’ “As the World Turns” and Conal O’Brien for ABC’s “All My Children.”

Behar won a pre-category DGA Award in 1961 for “Ernie Kovacs Special” and has received three other noms for “General Hospital.” Barry’s nom was his fifth, while Goutman and Lagle received their second DGA nominations.

Nominees for children’s programs were Duwayne Dunham for Disney Channel’s “Tiger Cruise,” Stuart Gillard for Disney Channel’s “Going to the Mat,” Paul Hoen for ABC Family’s “Searching for David’s Heart,” Jeremy Kagan for Showtime’s “Crown Heights” and Lee Rose for Showtime’s “Jack.” All are first-time nominees except Hoen, who was tapped in 2000 for “Even Stevens.”