ABC's red-hot Desperate Housewives, from openly gay creator and executive producer Marc Cherry, picked up a leading five nominations for the 21st annual Television Critics Assn. Awards, while stablemate Lost and Comedy Central's The Daily Show With Jon Stewart earned four nods apiece. Housewives and Lost both earned mentions in the categories of best new program, program of the year, and in their respective comedy and drama program categories. Fox's House, UPN's Veronica Mars, and FX's Rescue Me rounded out the competition in the best new program heat. The TCA Awards will be presented July 23 at the Beverly Hilton in conjunction with the summer TCA press tour presented by the major broadcast and cable networks.
Daily Show earned a berth in the program of the year category, as did HBO's Deadwood and Fox's Arrested Development. Daily Show and Arrested Development also are competing against Housewives in the comedy series category along with CBS's Everybody Loves Raymond and the WB Network's Gilmore Girls. Vying against Lost in the drama series race are Fox's 24 and House, Deadwood, and Rescue Me.
HBO nearly swept the longform/specials category with nominations for Lackawanna Blues, (from out director George C. Wolfe), The Life and Death of Peter Sellers, Something the Lord Made, and Sometimes in April. BBC America's The Office Special also made the cut. In the category of individual achievement in comedy, Housewives stars Teri Hatcher and Marcia Cross earned mentions and will compete against Arrested Development's Jason Bateman, Raymond's Ray Romano, and Daily Show's Jon Stewart. On the drama side, nominations went to Kristen Bell of Veronica Mars, Matthew Fox of Lost, Hugh Laurie of House, Ian McShane of Deadwood, and 24 star Kiefer Sutherland.
Nickelodeon's Dora the Explorer, SpongeBob SquarePants, and Nick News are nominated in the children's programing category alongside PBS's Postcards From Buster--which took heat from conservatives over an episode featuring lesbian moms--and The N's gay-inclusive Degrassi: The Next Generation. In the news and information field, PBS's Frontline and NewsHour With Jim Lehrer are contenders against Daily Show, CBS's 60 Minutes, NBC's Meet the Press, and ABC's Nightline. The TCA's Heritage Award recognizes programs that have had long-standing cultural or social impact. This year's nominees are PBS's Frontline, CBS's M*A*S*H, ABC's Nightline, NBC's Saturday Night Live, and PBS's Sesame Street. (Cynthia Littleton, via Reuters; additional reporting by Advocate.com)