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What Emmy records can be broken this Sunday?

August 23, 2006 | 12:28 am


When "The West Wing" won an Emmy last weekend for best muti-camera sound mixing, that brought its series tally to 25, which is just 1 shy of tying the record for most Emmy victories by a drama series ("Hill Street Blues"). Three comedy series have won more trophies over all — "Cheers" (28), "The Mary Tyler Moore Show" (29) and "Frasier" (37) — but, hey, we're only talking drama skeins here, OK?!

"West Wing" has several chances to break through, even in the top contest: best drama series. Not only did the show rally creatively this year, but Emmy voters seem especially fond of it. Indeed, they seem to think it's real and that its dramatic resolutions decide the fate of the whole Free World. Therefore, voters may find it hard to vote against. Already it's tied with "Hill Street Blues" and "L.A. Law" for winning the most times as best drama series (4), so one more victory doesn't seem preposterous. However, it would be unprecedented in another way, too. Our forums moderator "Boomer" (Chris Beachum) points out, "Never in the history of the Emmys has a departing drama series won that category. Of course, 'Everybody Loves Raymond' won for comedy series last year, but it had been 25 years since 'Barney Miller' had won in its final season."

One Emmy that "The West Wing" is favored to win this Sunday is best drama actress, thus putting Allison Janney in a select group of actors who won 5 Emmys for portraying one role: also Candice Bergen, Art Carney, Don Knotts, Peter Falk and Ed Asner in two series ("Lou Grant" and "The Mary Tyler Moore Show"). Her episode entry, "Institutional Memory" is that much of a doozy.

I think Alan Alda has the best chance to win in the supporting race. "West Wing" is also nominated for best direction and actor (Martin Sheen).

Other Emmy records that could be broken this weekend:

Cloris Leachman could win again and thus even surpass her previous record as the all-time biggest winner among performers (currently 9).

Ellen Burstyn could win for the shortest performance in the history of showbiz awards (14 or 9 seconds, depending on how you count her face time in "Mrs. Harris"). That's tough. She's up against Cloris Leachman.

Other records could also be broken. CLICK HERE to read the input of our forum posters.

Photo: In Allison Janney's Emmy reel, she has several poignant heart-to-heart chats with lover Danny (Timothy Busfield) about the burden that her political career puts on their relationship. Since "The West Wing" debuted in 1999, Janney has won best supporting actress twice (2000, 2001), then promoted herself to the lead race, which she won two times, too ( 2002, 2004). Again, she's competing in the best-actress race, facing stiff competition from Kyra Sedgwick ("The Closer"), Geena Davis ("Commander in Chief"), Mariska Hargitay ("Law & Order: Special Victims Unit") and Frances Conroy ("Six Feet Under").