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The Emmys pretend they never skunked 'Star Trek,' 'Dynasty' and 'Buffy the Vampire Slayer'

August 22, 2008 |  7:17 pm

Hey, who the heck was on the Emmy "blue ribbon panel" that selected the 20 choices of TV's most memorable dramatic moments that the public is invited to vote upon HERE? Voters will pick 10 to be featured on the Sept. 21 Emmycast, but beware: This drama list (just like the comedy roster HERE) largely snubs the shows the Emmys picked in the past.

Don't these Emmy panelists have any clue about the Emmys? Or do they just not care?

Of the 16 TV series on the list, the vast majority (10) never won best drama series ("Buffy the Vampire Slayer," "Dallas," "Dynasty," "Grey's Anatomy," "Little House on the Prairie," "Miami Vice," "Moonlighting," "Star Trek," "The Twilight Zone," "The X-Files").


It's an outrage to include such lightweight fluff on this list as "Little House on the Prairie" while snubbing, say, two shows that won best drama series four years in a row: "Hill Street Blues" (1981 - 84) and "The West Wing" (2000 – 03).

Even more shocking is the inclusion of pop hits the Emmys skunked, such as "Star Trek," "Dynasty" and "Buffy." "Star Trek" never won any Emmy, not even in a tech category. Despite 26 nominations, "Dynasty" only won half of an Emmy. Poor Nolan Miller, who draped his classy cast in the most glam fashions on the tube, had to share the costume award in 1984 with the folks who dressed the trashy yokels on "Mama's Family."

America's TV critics once cried and cried for the Emmys to acknowledge "Buffy," but to no avail. When the show ended, the TV academy tried to make things up to the cast and crew by throwing them a tribute fete, but Sarah Michelle Gellar was (justifiably) outraged and refused to attend. The fete went on anyway, but Gellar ended up driving a stake into its heart.

Why, oh, why would the Emmys do such a bizarre thing? Why would they disavow the decisions they made in the past when declaring the best TV now? The answer is obvious. Gee, what do these current "greatest moments" have in common? Answer: they're blatantly Nielsens-friendly. Shame, shame, shame.

The 20 items include nothing from the golden age of live TV drama, like "Requiem for a Heavyweight," which won the old Emmy Award for program of year in 1956. It's nice that Rod Serling is represented by the excellent "The Twilight Zone," but that quirky classic lost its only bid for best drama series.

No westerns made the cut even though they once dominated prime-time TV. And "Upstairs, Downstairs," which owned the Emmys in the early 1970s with three series wins as well as one for limited series, was also deemed to lack any memorable moments.

"ER" (1996 series winner) is a worthy entry, but inclusion of two-time series loser "Grey's Anatomy" is perplexing considering what it bumped.

The only lawyers on the list are the ones from four-time series winner "L.A. Law" (1987, 1989-91) while three-in-a-row champ "The Defenders" (1962-64) was left off the docket. And the prolific producer David E. Kelly, who began in TV as a writer for "L.A. Law," is not included despite creating a pair of two-time series champs — "Picket Fences" (1993, 1994) and "The Practice" (1998, 1999).

While the criminal element is represented by two-time series champ "The Sopranos" (2004, 2007), the good guys are also there with the climatic 1967 conclusion of the previous year's winner "The Fugitive." Among the Emmy-winning crime shows missing from the lineup are "Mission: Impossible" (1967, 1968) "NYPD Blue" (1995) and the seemingly unstoppable 1997 victor "Law & Order."

While "The X-Files" never won best drama series, at least it was nominated four times and Gillian Anderson won best actress. Two other series on the Emmycast rundown did win best drama: "The Waltons" (1973) and "Lost" (2005).