The 2005-06 TV season was one of big dramas and promising new comedies -- at least that's what the critics think.
The Television Critics Association (of which several Zap2it.com staffers are members) announced the nominees for its 2006 awards Wednesday, and four of the five shows up for program of the year are dramas: ABC's "Grey's Anatomy" and "Lost," FOX's "24" and HBO's "The Sopranos." The only comedy in the group is NBC's cult favorite "The Office."
However, three of the five shows nominated for best new series -- "My Name Is Earl," "Everybody Hates Chris" and "The Colbert Report" -- are comedies, indicating that maybe TV comedy isn't quite dead after all. (The other nominees are HBO's "Big Love" and FOX's "Prison Break".)
It's worth noting, though, that none of the comedies nominated in the overall categories or for outstanding comedy -- "Earl," "Chris," "The Office," "The Daily Show" and "Scrubs" -- are traditional, multi-camera sitcoms.
Somewhat surprisingly given its fourth-place standing in the ratings, NBC led all networks with eight nominations for current shows ("The West Wing" and "Will & Grace" were also nominated for the Heritage Award, which honors lasting contributions to TV), led by "Earl" and "The Office" with three each. PBS, which dominates the news category, earned seven nominations. FOX is next with six, followed by HBO (five) and ABC (four).
Missing from this year's nominees is "Desperate Housewives," the ABC hit that won the program of the year award last year. It earned four nods last year but was shut out this time.
The TCA Awards will be handed out July 23. Here's the complete list of nominees:
PROGRAM OF THE YEAR