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‘Sopranos’ scores big at Emmys

HBO show nabs 15 nominations

HBO’s “The Sopranos” didn’t go out with a bang, but the show sure did.

Tony, Carmela and company scored 15 nominations Thursday morning — the most of any series this year. That tally is not be the show’s best (it earned 22 noms in 2001) — but it’s quite a feat for a show that was in its seventh season, and had weathered several long hiatuses.

As a matter of fact, “The Sopranos” is the only drama or comedy born in the 1990s to earn any major nomination this year.

But voters didn’t stop thinking’ about “The Sopranos” this year. The show roared back to Emmy life this year on the heels of its final season – particularly following the still-hotly debated last episode.

Last year, “The Sopranos” earned just seven noms, its smallest-ever tally, and neither of its top stars — James Gandolfini and Edie Falco — were recognized. This year’s 15 noms brings its overall series total to 111.

This time around, “The Sopranos” is once again up for drama series — a category it has been nominated for every year it’s been eligible. It won in 2004.

And its leading thesps are back in the mix as well: Gandolfini will again compete in the drama actor competish, having won the award in 2000, 2001 and 2003. And in the drama actress field, Falco is once again up for the top prize, an honor she won in 1999, 2001 and 2003.

The finale that everyone’s still talking about, “Made in America,” earned writer/exec producer David Chase a nomination for drama writing. He’ll compete with himself and Matthew Weiner for their episode “Kennedy and Heidi,” and Terence Winter, who penned the episode “The Second Coming.”

But perhaps Emmy voters, frustrated over the final scene in “Made in America,” exacted their revenge in the drama directing category: That episode wasn’t nominated, although “Kennedy and Heidi” (helmed by Alan Taylor) was.

Don’t bet against “The Sopranos” this year. Although many shows have faded by the time the curtain is drawn — leading to Emmy snubs — “The Sopranos” ended on a loud note as one of the most critically-acclaimed shows in TV history. That will likely spur Emmy voters to honor the show and its key players while they have the chance one last time.

The buzz surrounding the show’s season finale, and its famous fade-to-black-screen, has also kept the show front-and-center in the minds of many, even several weeks after its showing.

In other words, expect “The Sopranos'” key players should make room among their 18 existing Emmys for a few new ones this September.

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