Picks and Pans Review: Television Travesty: the Emmy Whammy

UPDATED 08/26/1991 at 01:00 AM EDT Originally published 08/26/1991 at 01:00 AM EDT

>THE ONE TV AWARDS SHOW I NEVER make predictions about is the Emmys (Fox., Sun., Aug. 25, 8 P.M. ET). That's because the choices always seem to be by a purblind steering committee made up of Eenie, Meenie, Minie and Shemp.

Northern Exposure nominated as a drama series? Do the Emmy voters consider Benny Hill a documentary? Worse, Simpsons is ineligible in the comedy category because it's animated. Forget the fact (and wouldn't Bill Cosby like to) that, week after week, it also happens to be the funniest, best-written series in prime time.

There are also perplexing choices in the acting categories. Peter Falk, up for lead actor in a drama series for Columbo? Just because the Academy overlooked Falk all those years when Columbo really was a series, that's no reason to fawn over him now that it's a biannual special.

Let's see if I have this straight: Patricia Wettig is a lead actress nominee for thirtysomething, but Timothy Bus-field, whose role as her husband was at least as substantial, is a supporting actor? And I'm convinced that The Golden Girls nominations are rotated like a volleyball team. That would explain why Betty White is a lead actress candidate this year and Estelle Getty is a supporting nominee.

As for Delta Burke's being lead actress in a comedy series—in the best of years she had the smallest part of Designing Women's four principals. But this season, battling with the producers, all her lines could have fit in a tersely worded telegram.

Meanwhile, Roseanne Barr Arnold, the most original sitcom star of the last decade, still can't buy a nomination. She should simply announce that she'll be making only occasional cameos on the show from now on. That strategy would make her a shoo-in next year for lead actress. And, needless to say, Roseanne will qualify as a drama series.

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