Edie Falco (Frankie and Johnny..."The Sopranos") and Tony Shalhoub (The Heidi Chronicles, "Monk") announced (and were among) the nominees for the 56th annual honors to be hosted by Garry Shandling at the ceremony set for Sept. 19 at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles.
"Angels in America" garnered nominations for its leading actors Al Pacino, Meryl Streep and Emma Thompson and supporting cast Mary-Louise Parker (Proof), Patrick Wilson (The Full Monty), Justin Kirk (Love! Valour! Compassion!), Ben Shenkman (Sight Unseen) and Jeffrey Wright (Angels in America) as well as for Outstanding Miniseries.
Nichols earned an Emmy for his direction and playwright Kushner— who provided the screenplay — also earned a nod for writing. Other categories include art direction, casting, cinematography, hairstyling, main title design, picture editing, makeup (non prosthetic), sound mixing and visual effects.
The previous record for most nominations in the miniseries category was held by HBO's "Band of Brothers" which earned 19 in 2002. "Angels in America" is poised to topple the long-standing record of most wins in the miniseries category which was set by "Roots" in 1977. "Angels in America" earned the most noms this year, beating out "The Sopranos" which took 20 nods.
Among the other nominees of note to theatre folk this year are Antonio Banderas (Nine) for "And Starring Pancho Villa as Himself" (penned by the also nominated Larry Gelbart of Sly Fox and ..Forum fame), Alan Rickman (Private Lives) and Mos Def (Topdog/ Underdog) for HBO's "Something The Lord Made" heading up against Pacino (Salome) for "Angels" and James Brolin for "The Reagans." Sarah Jessica Parker (Once Upon a Mattress, Annie) is again nominated for her work on "Sex and the City." Falco (the upcoming 'Night Mother star) is honored in the lead actress in a drama series with Allison Janney (A View from the Bridge) in "The West Wing". Janney's A View from the Bridge co-star Anthony LaPaglia is recognized in the lead actor in a drama category ("Without a Trace") as well as guest actor in a comedy ("Frasier"). Laura Linney (Sight Unseen) is also nommed for her guest turn on "Frasier" opposite upcoming Sweet Charity star Christina Applegate for her guest spot on "Friends."
Thompson and Streep of "Angels" fill out the lead actress in a miniseries category with Glenn Close (Sunset Boulevard) for "The Lion in Winter," Helen Mirren (Dance of Death) for "Prime Suspect 6: The Last Witness" and Judy Davis ("Life With Judy Garland") for her work on "The Reagans."
Upcoming Spamelot star David Hyde Pierce earns his final nomination for his supporting role on "Frasier." Original Assassins star Victor Garber does the same for the supporting actor in a drama category for "Alias" opposite John Spencer (Glimmer, Glimmer & Shine) and Steve Buscemi (The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui) for "The Sopranos."
Atlantic Theatre Company co-founder William H. Macy (American Buffalo, Oleanna) will go up against the "Angels in America" male quartet of Wilson, Shenkman, Kirk and Wright for the supporting actor in a miniseries or a movie honor, while "Angels"' Mary-Louise Parker (the upcoming Reckless) heads up against Angela Lansbury (Sweeney Todd), Julie Andrews (My Fair Lady), Anjelica Huston (Hamlet) and recent Twentieth Century starlet Anne Heche.
The supporting actress in a comedy series lineup includes "Sex and the City" gals Cynthia Nixon (The Women, Hurlyburly), Kristin Davis (The Exonerated) and Kim Cattrall as well as How To Succeed in Business... star Megan Mullaly for "Will & Grace" and recent Encores! Bye Bye Birdie Star Doris Roberts for "Everybody Loves Raymond."
Elaine Stritch: At Liberty (nommed for Variety, Music or Comedy Special) and Bill Maher: Victory Begins At Home — both of which ran on Broadway prior to their HBO debuts — will vie for Directing for a Variety, Music or Comedy Program. Stritch herself is nominated for individual performance in a variety or music program against upcoming 700 Sundays star Billy Crystal for the 76th Annual Academy Awards. Hairspray's Marc Shaiman and Harold Wheeler earn a nod for their music direction of the 76th Annual Academy Awards.
The 56th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards will air live on ABC, Sept. 19. For more information, visit www.emmys.com.