Fox's struggling freshman comedy Arrested Development reaffirmed its status as the critical darling of the 2003-04 season with a leading five nominations for the 2004 Television Critics Association's awards. Perennial favorites HBO's The Sopranos and Comedy Central's The Daily Show snagged four nominations each, with another freshman series, HBO's Deadwood, and the HBO miniseries Angels in America next on the list, raking in three mentions each. HBO led the network pack with a total of 14 nominations, followed by Fox with nine and NBC with five.
Joining Arrested Development, The Sopranos, The Daily Show, and Angels in America in the top category of Program of the Year was NBC's hit reality show The Apprentice. Arrested Development and The Daily Show were also up for Best Comedy Series, along with HBO's Sex and the City and Curb Your Enthusiasm and BBC America's The Office. It's a dark drama series field, with The Sopranos and Deadwood facing off against FX's The Shield, HBO's The Wire, and Fox's 24.
In the acting categories, the critics will choose among Larry David (Curb Your Enthusiasm), Ricky Gervais (The Office), Jon Stewart (The Daily Show), and Jason Bateman and Jeffrey Tambor (Arrested Development) on the comedy side, and among Kiefer Sutherland (24), Ian McShane (Deadwood), Al Pacino (Angels in America), and Edie Falco and James Gandolfini (The Sopranos) on the drama side.
Arrested Development's fifth citation is in the Best New Program category, where it will compete with Deadwood, CBS's Joan of Arcadia, and Fox's The O.C. and Wonderfalls, which is by out creators Bryan Fuller and Todd Holland. Angels in America led the Movies, Miniseries, and Specials category, which also includes Showtime's Lion in Winter and Soldier's Girl, PBS's Prime Suspect 6: The Last Witness, and BBC America's State of Play. Nickelodeon dominated the Children's Programming category with Dora the Explorer, The Fairly OddParents, and Nick News, with PBS's Sesame Street and Disney Channel's The Proud Family rounding out the field. The Daily Show also was in the running for Outstanding Achievement in News and Information, along with NBC's Meet the Press, CBS's 60 Minutes, ABC's Nightline, and PBS's Frontline. Veteran newsmagazines 60 Minutes and Frontline also have been nominated for the Heritage Award, which recognizes programs that have made "a lasting cultural or social impact." Also nominated for the award were NBC's departing comedies Friends and Frasier and its late-night sketch comedy series Saturday Night Live. The winners, selected by TCA's 200 members, will be announced July 17 at the Century Plaza Hotel in Los Angeles's Century City district, with Bill Maher tapped to open the ceremony.