<i>Will & Grace</i> an early Emmy winner (9860)

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Will & Grace an early Emmy winner

NBC's Emmy-winning comedy Will & Grace and HBO's original movie Live From Baghdad took an early lead in the Emmy derby, nabbing three trophies each Saturday during the creative arts portion of the 55th annual Primetime Emmy Awards. The gay-themed comedy and the film about CNN's coverage of the Gulf War tied the broadcast of The 75th Anniversary Academy Awards for the most victories during the ceremony at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles. Winners in the remaining 28 categories will be revealed September 21 in a ceremony televised on Fox.

Will & Grace was honored for guest actor Gene Wilder in addition to kudos for cinematography and art direction. Life From Baghdad's haul included casting, editing, and sound mixing for a miniseries, movie, or special, while The 75th Academy Awards was acknowledged for music direction as well as for art direction and lighting direction for a variety or music program. The leader in the Emmy nominations race for a second consecutive year with 16 bids, HBO's drama Six Feet Under scored one win in the creative arts categories, for best casting for a drama series.

The most nominated long-form entry, TNT's Door to Door, notched two victories on its tally of 12 noms with honors for makeup and hairstyling for a movie, miniseries, or special. The Simpsons scored another win for best animated program, bringing its Emmy total to eight. Meanwhile, Ron Volk won his fourth consecutive Emmy for editing NBC's Frasier, his seventh statuette for his work on the veteran comedy. Charles Dutton was a rare repeat winner in the guest actor in a drama series category, winning for his role on CBS's Without a Trace after taking home an Emmy last year for ABC's The Practice.

The Practice kept its winning streak alive with a nod to Alfre Woodard in the guest actress in a drama series category. David E. Kelley has now won at least one guest-star Emmy every year since 1998. On the comedy side, Wilder's rare TV appearance on NBC's Will & Grace earned him his first Emmy. The guest actress in a comedy series award also went to a first-time winner, Christina Applegate, for her role on another NBC Thursday sitcom, Friends. She is set to reprise her role as the rude sister of Rachel (Jennifer Aniston) this season.

Winning the main title theme music Emmy for USA's Monk came as a sweet vindication for composer Jeff Beal, whose theme music was replaced in the show's second season by a song by Randy Newman. Overall, it was a close race between the main networks, with NBC pulling ahead with 11 awards, followed by HBO--which entered the fray with 109 nominations--with 10, CBS (nine), ABC (eight), and Fox and PBS (seven each). The show will be broadcast September 19 on E!


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