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'Family Guy,' 'The Wire,' 'Pushing Daisies,' 'Mad Men' make Emmy lists of top 10 finalists

June 26, 2008 |  3:37 pm

The Emmys have released the lists of top 10 finalists for best comedy and drama series one day early. Big surprise: the inclusion of "Family Guy," which made the brave move to the comedy category when the academy ruled that the series could submit its special, one-hour season opener ("Blue Harvest," a parody of "Star Trek") in the regular animation program category that permits the side-by-side inclusion of specials and series. Also surprising among the Top 10 finalists: "The Wire", which was snubbed in the past despite being exalted by TV critics.

Missing from the lists are these comedy series that made the top 10 run-off last year and are still on TV: "Desperate Housewives," "My Name Is Earl" and "Scrubs." "Heroes" is the only drama show that's still on TV that appeared on last year's top 10 lists, but is now snubbed.

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No non-HBO cable series has ever been nominated for best drama or comedy, but this year it's possible that four could make the list of final five up for best drama: "Damages" (FX), "Mad Men" (AMC) and Showtime's "Dexter" and "The Tudors." In the comedy list there's one non-HBO cable entry: Showtime's "Weeds." Last year the only non-HBO cable series to make the top 10s were Showtime's "Dexter" and "Weeds."

Originally, the TV academy planned to release the top 10 lists in the acting races too, but that idea is temporarily on hold while Academy of Television Arts & Sciences chiefs survey the industry response to this unprecedented release of the program top 10s. In the past, Gold Derby divulged the lists after Emmy judges gave us inside info.

This weekend judging panels will convene at the academy's headquarters in North Hollywood plus the Beverly Hilton Hotel to screen sample episodes submitted by contenders as examples of their best work from the past TV season. Judges will rank the entries 1 (best) to 10, then accountants will combine their scores on an equal 50/50 basis with results of the orginal popular vote to determine the five nominees, which will be announced on July 17. Below, in parens, are the episodes that will be screened this weekend.

What to think of the episode selections? Snoop on what our forum posters are saying — CLICK HERE!

TOP 10 COMEDY SERIES FINALISTS
"Curb Your Enthusiasm" ("The Bat Mitzvah")
"Entourage" ("The Day F***ers")
"Family Guy" ("Padre de Famila")
"Flight of the Conchords" ("Sally Returns")
"The Office" ("Local Ad")
"Pushing Daisies" ("Pie-lette")
"30 Rock" ("Cooter")
"Two and a Half Men" ("Rough Night in Hump Junction")
"Ugly Betty" ("Something Wicked This Way Comes")
"Weeds" ("Go").

TOP 10 DRAMA SERIES FINALISTS
"Boston Legal" ("The Court Supreme")
"Damages" (Pilot)
"Dexter" ("The Dark Defender")
"Friday Night Lights" ("Leave No One Behind")
"Grey’s Anatomy" ("Freedom, Parts 1 and 2")
"House" ("Frozen")
"Lost" ("The Constant")
"Mad Men" (Pilot, "Smoke Gets in Your Eyes")
"The Tudors" (#205)
"The Wire" (Series finale, "30")


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