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'The Practice,' 'Ally McBeal' a double win for producer Kelley

By The Associated Press
Arizona Daily Wildcat,
September 13, 1999

Associated Press

LOS ANGELES - The Emmy jurors spoke last night: "The Practice" and "Ally McBeal," creator David E. Kelley's shows about the courtroom and bedroom antics of attorneys, are television's best series.

"I think you can see from the looks on our faces we're a little surprised, but we'll take it," said Kelley, who produces both shows. The awards came quickly one after the other last night in the best comedy and drama categories.

It was the second consecutive win for ABC's "The Practice." The show's Holland Taylor and Michael Badalucco also swept the supporting actress and actor awards for a dramatic series.

The victory for Fox's "Ally McBeal" was unprecedented: It is an hour-long show competing in a category typically given over to half-hour sitcoms. It also broke the five-year winning streak of NBC's "Frasier" in this category.

No single producer has ever been responsible for best drama and comedy Emmys in the same year.

Helen Hunt won her fourth straight best comedy actress Emmy for the sentimental finale of NBC's "Mad About You" and John Lithgow was honored as top comedy actor for NBC's "3rd Rock From the Sun." It was the third award he has accepted for the sitcom. Hunt's award tied a record for consecutive wins by a performer set in 1988 by John Larroquette for "Night Court."

Another Emmy veteran, Dennis Franz of ABC's "NYPD Blue," won his fourth trophy for best actor in a drama. He said he thought his co-star, Jimmy Smits, would win the award for the episode where Smits' character died.

Edie Falco, the long-suffering Mafia wife on HBO's "The Sopranos," won the award for best actress in a drama series in the show's first season.

"This is about the most surreal experience I could have imagined," said Falco, who plays a soccer mom married to the mob.

"The Sopranos" entered the night with the most nominations (16) but collected only one other Emmy yesterday, for best drama series writing. It won two technical awards earlier.

HBO claimed the most number of Emmys, 23, a sign of the growing prominence and power of cable television. NBC was the leading broadcast network with 17 trophies, followed by ABC with 13, CBS with 11 and Fox with seven.

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