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July 17, 2008
Emmy Announces Music Noms
2007-2008 Scores, Themes, Songs cited by Jon Burlingame

NORTH HOLLYWOOD, Calif.—Music nominations in the 2008 Primetime Emmy Awards, announced today by the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences, were the usual mixed bag of first-timers, veterans and head-scratching omissions.

The most intriguing category in this year's race is that for miniseries, TV-movie or special. Alex Wurman (March of the Penguins) received one of the 10 nods that went to HBO's Bernard and Doris. He faces off against two-time Emmy winner Jeff Beal (Monk, Nightmares & Dreamscapes) for his work on TNT's The Company.

Veteran British composer Rob Lane (The Last King) received his fourth nomination for the much talked-about HBO mini John Adams (although co-composer Joseph Vitarelli was shut out), while four-time Emmy winner Laura Karpman scored another nod for an installment of ABC's Masters of Science Fiction.

Lennie Niehaus, perhaps best-known as Clint Eastwood's house composer (Unforgiven, The Bridges of Madison County) and an Emmy winner 15 years ago for his jazz score for Lush Life, was nominated for the Oprah Winfrey-Mitch Albom TV-movie For One More Day. British composer Martin Phipps also scored a nomination for Sense & Sensibility on PBS's Masterpiece Theatre.

Missing from the nominees were film veteran Dave Grusin, who wrote only his second score in the last seven years for HBO's acclaimed Recount; and five-time Grammy winner (and ex-Quincy Jones arranger) Mervyn Warren, whose soulful effort for ABC's A Raisin in the Sun had been expected to score a nomination.

In the series-score category, Ron Jones received his second-ever nomination for a Family Guy, while Emmy veteran Alf Clausen (two wins and another 25 nominations previously) returned to the competition with another Halloween episode of The Simpsons. Past winner Michael Giacchino has a chance for a second Emmy win for the music of Lost.

First-time nominees in this category are Jim Dooley for the fun new ABC series Pushing Daisies, and Joey Newman – grandson of Oscar winner Lionel Newman and the third generation of the Newman dynasty of composers to join the Hollywood awards elite – for the TLC series Little People, Big World. Jon Ehrlich scored his third nomination and co-composer Jason Derlatka his second for an episode of House.

Missing from the series-score nominees were Bear McCreary's innovative music for Battlestar Galactica, Beal's quirky Ugly Betty music, Daniel Licht's sly work on Dexter and David Carbonara's intriguing music for the critically praised Mad Men.

Veteran music director Ian Fraser remains tied with Clausen for the most music nominations by scoring his 28th nod, this year for music direction on TNT's Christmas in Washington special. Bill Conti scored his 13th nomination for his work on the 80th annual Academy Awards telecast; 11 of his previous 12 nods were also for Oscarcasts, and he has won for three of them. Joining them in this category: Ron Walters Jr. for a PBS Barry Manilow special, Rickey Minor for CBS's Grammy Awards telecast and Mark Watters and Steve Jordan for the CBS special Movies Rock.

The main-title theme category is populated mostly by newcomers: Tree Adams for Canterbury's Law, Eric "Everlast" Schrody for Saving Grace, Jeff Lippencott and Mark T. Williams (nominated last year for On the Lot) for Kid Nation, Russ Landau (Survivor) for Pirate Master, and the trio of Carl Hill Williams, Michael Walker and Michael Culross Jr. for Disney's animated Phineas and Ferb.

In the original-song category, the Emmys again display a serious lack of taste – after last year's nomination and win for the Saturday Night Live ditty "Dick in a Box" – with a nomination for "I'm F***ing Matt Damon" (co-written by comedian Sarah Silverman) from Jimmy Kimmel Live. Two songs from HBO\'s Flight of the Conchords were nominated, along with tunes from MADtv and Phineas and Ferb.

The music awards will be presented during the Emmy Creative Arts ceremony on Sept. 13 (airing Sept. 20 on the E! network). The major awards for performers and programs will be distributed during a live ABC telecast on Sept. 21.

The complete rundown:

Outstanding Music Composition for a Series (Original Dramatic Score)
  • Alf Clausen — The Simpsons (Fox)
  • Jim Dooley — Pushing Daisies (ABC)
  • Jon Ehrlich and Jason Derlatka — House (Fox)
  • Michael Giacchino — Lost (ABC)
  • Ronald Neal Jones — Family Guy (Fox)
  • Joey Newman — Little People, Big World (TLC)
Outstanding Music Composition for a Miniseries, Movie or Special (Original Dramatic Score)
  • Jeff Beal — The Company (TNT)
  • Laura Karpman — Masters of Science Fiction (ABC)
  • Rob Lane — John Adams (HBO)
  • Lennie Niehaus — Oprah Winfrey Presents: Mitch Albom's For One More Day (ABC)
  • Martin Phipps — Sense & Sensibility (Masterpiece Theatre) (PBS)
  • Alex Wurman — Bernard and Doris (HBO)
Outstanding Music Direction
  • Bill Conti — 80th Annual Academy Awards (ABC)
  • Ian Fraser — Christmas in Washington (TNT)
  • Steve Jordan and Mark Watters — Movies Rock (CBS)
  • Rickey Minor — 50th Annual Grammy Awards (CBS)
  • Ron Walters, Jr. — Barry Manilow: Songs from the Seventies (PBS)
Outstanding Original Music and Lyrics
  • "I Ain't Got No Rhythm" from Phineas and Ferb (Disney Channel)
    Music by Danny Jacob
    Written by Jeff "Swampy" Marsh, Robert F. Hughes, Martin Olson and Dan Povenmire
  • "I'm F***ing Matt Damon" from Jimmy Kimmel Live (ABC)
    Composed and written by Sarah Silverman, Tony Baubirei, Wayne McClaucey, Sal Lacono and Dan Warner
  • "Inner City Pressure" from Flight of the Conchords (HBO)
    Music and lyrics by Bret McKenzie and Jemaine Clement
    Lyrics by James Bobin
  • "The Most Beautiful Girl (in the Room)" from Flight of the Conchords (HBO)
    Music and lyrics by Bret McKenzie and Jemaine Clement
  • "Sad Fitty Cent" from MADtv (Fox)
    Music and lyrics by Greg O'Connor, Jordan Peele and Jim Wise
Outstanding Original Main Title Theme Music
  • Tree Adams — Canterbury's Law (Fox)
  • Russ Landau — Pirate Master (CBS)
  • Jeff Lippencott and Mark T. Williams — Kid Nation (CBS)
  • Eric "Everlast" Schrody — Saving Grace (TNT)
  • Carl Hill Williams, Michael Walker and Michael Culross, Jr. — Phineas and Ferb (Disney Channel)

©2008 Jon Burlingame
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