"Grey's Anatomy" is waaaaaaaaay ahead in our forums poll (CLICK HERE) asking The Envelope's astute posters which program really has the best chance to whack "The Sopranos" in the Emmy matchup for best drama series.
In the blog item below, I dish how "Heroes" might do it by tapping the same factors that boosted "Lost" to a recent victory under the new voting process. (Both = hot, new, sexy, ensemble shows with fantasy elements, huge TV Nielsens and major industry buzz.)
But "Grey's" really does best fit the classic pattern of Emmy champs in the series races. Voters love medical shows, yes ("E.R." won best drama series; "Chicago Hope" and "St. Elsewhere" won top acting kudos). But medicine really isn't the key ingredient in a prescription for victory.
This is: ensemble workplace programs that feel important and have snob appeal.
Elitist voters will sometimes, egads, embrace lowly dees-and-dems cops if their shows have cache ("NYPD Blue," "Hill Street Blues"). Of course, attorneys get winning Emmy verdicts all the time ("The Practice," "L.A. Law"). Cops and lawyers together, too ("Law & Order"). Snooty liberal politics ("The West Wing"). Even upscale mafiosos ("The Sopranos").
This year's nominee "House" is about medicine, but it may be too one-character-centric. Programs largely focused on one role win acting trophies all the time ("The Shield," "Columbo," "Medium"), but seldom prevail in the series races. "24" triumphed in both categories last year, but I don't know if that qualifies as a series exception because I'm not a regular viewer. (What do you think? Click "Comments" link below and pipe in.)
"Boston Legal" fits this formula, and would've had a good chance under the voting process in place before 2000, but it can probably be discounted now. See explanation in blog item below.
"Heroes" fits the formula even though it's not, like "Lost," in a "workplace," technically speaking. However, it spotlights a team working together. That's really what counts.
"Grey's Anatomy" fits the formula perfectly, of course, and it has a few other pluses. This stylish show about life and death feels all the more urgent because it's been in the headlines recently (thank you, Isaiah Washington). And it can benefit from the Emmy phenom of delayed recognition. On rare occasions, voters jump on a bandwagon right away ("Lost," "West Wing"), but they usually make programs wait a year, two or three. With "Sopranos" off the air and recent champs "Lost" and "24" out of this category, a good, logical case can be made for "Grey's" being the next winner of best drama series.