July 20, 2007
Music Emmy Noms Announced
Many First-Time Nominees Cited by Jon Burlingame
NORTH HOLLYWOOD, Calif. —Emmy spread the wealth again this year, as multiple first-time nominees dominated the music categories for the 59th annual Emmy Awards, announced on Thursday by the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences.
The only category to be dominated by previous winners is that of Outstanding Music Composition for a Series (Original Dramatic Score). Sean Callery received his sixth consecutive nomination for 24; West Wing theme composer W.G. Snuffy Walden was nominated for the pilot of the short-lived NBC series Kidnapped; Monk theme winner Jeff Beal was nominated for an episode of Rome; and previous Blue Planet score winner George Fenton was nominated for his latest BBC documentary Planet Earth.
Also nominated in the series category were first-timer John Keane, for an episode of CSI: Crime Scene Investigation; and Mark Snow, nominated for an episode of The Ghost Whisperer. Snow is fast becoming the Susan Lucci of the music Emmys, as this is his 14th nomination without – so far – a win.
Emmy voters ignored the widely publicized work of Bear McCreary on Battlestar Galactica, although that series that received four other nominations in other categories including writing and direction.
The race for Outstanding Music Composition for a Miniseries, Movie or Special (Original Dramatic Score) would appear to be wide-open, with a mix of mostly familiar names from both the TV and film worlds.
Veteran film composers David Mansfield (Heaven's Gate) and Van Dyke Parks (Goin' South) were jointly nominated for the acclaimed AMC western Broken Trail; George S. Clinton (the Austin Powers movies) was nominated for HBO's Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee; and John Cameron (A Touch of Class) was acknowledged for ABC's The Path to 9/11.
Also in that category, Beal received a nod for the "Battleground" episode of TNT's Nightmares & Dreamscapes; former Xena and Hercules composer Joseph LoDuca was nominated for TNT's The Librarian: Return to King Solomon's Mines; and Todd Boekelheide received a nod for the HBO special Boffo! Tinseltown's Bombs and Blockbusters.
The surprise omission in this category was Terence Blanchard's elegiac work on the Spike Lee multipart documentary about the New Orleans disaster, When the Levees Broke.
There were only four nominees in the Outstanding Music Direction category: William Ross for the 79th Annual Academy Awards; Elliot Lawrence for the 60th Annual Tony Awards; Harold Wheeler for the immensely popular Dancing With the Stars; and Jan Stevens for "My Musical" on Scrubs. A widely expected nod for NBC's Tony Bennett special did not materialize because the acclaimed hour had no credited "music director," but rather a producer and arranger who may not have qualified under Emmy's stringent rules.
All six nominees in the Outstanding Original Main Title Theme Music category are first-timers: Rolfe Kent for Showtime's Dexter; Simon Rogers for AMC's Hu$tle; Trevor Morris for Showtime's The Tudors; Jeff Richmond for NBC's 30 Rock; and Mark T. Williams and Jeff Lippencott for Fox's On the Lot.
The song category, formally known as Outstanding Original Music and Lyrics, again contains mostly newcomers. Most of the tunes are either rude or politically incorrect. Last year's winners, MadTV songwriters Greg O'Connor and Jim Wise, are nominated again (along with fellow lyricist Bruce McCoy) for a MadTV song called "Merry Ex-Mas"; and past winner Walter Murphy was nominated (along with lyricist Danny Smith) for a Family Guy song, "My Drunken Irish Dad."
Two tunes from the Scrubs musical were also nominated ("Everything Comes Down to Poo" by Jeff Marx, Robert Lopez and Debra Fordham; "Guy Love" by Paul F. Perry and Fordham).
The most curious nominee was a song that Justin Timberlake penned for the Dec. 17 Saturday Night Live which he guest-hosted, and that became a much talked-about commodity on the internet. Credited as co-writers on "Dick in a Box" are Jorma Taccone, Katreese Barnes, Asa Taccone, Akiva Schaffer and Andy Samberg. This marks the first time that a song written for SNL has been Emmy-nominated.
All the music statuettes will be awarded at the Primetime Creative Arts Awards on Sept. 8 at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles. E! will air edited excerpts of that show at 8 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 15.
©2007 Jon Burlingame