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The Cadet Awards

Television 2000


Here are my annual awards that I like to call “The Cadet Awards”, which I come up with every year to honour those programs and performances I thought were the best of the past US TV season. Winners will be announced soon. If there is anything at all you have to say about these choices, please email me. However, if you strongly disagree with them, please keep in mind this is my personal opinion for which I reserve the right to have.

Drama Series

Buffy The Vampire Slayer (WB)
Once and Again (ABC)
The Practice (ABC)
The Sopranos (HBO)
The West Wing (NBC)

Like last year, there were more than five drama series that I would count as excellent. I narrowed it down because these five dramas not only had quality writing, directing and acting, but were the most consistent, gripping and engaging. Besides my top five who make up my official nominees, five other shows deserve mention: Roswell, The X-Files, and last year’s nominees Law & Order, Oz and Felicity.
Many believe that Buffy The Vampire Slayer dipped in quality last season. I tend to disagree. The college environment gave the show a fresh feel, and the ongoing separation of the main characters allowed them to develop in very interesting ways. For me, the stand-out episode “Hush” was an absolute masterpiece, the show’s best so far.
Once and Again was a total surprise to me, not falling into the rut of being too treacly and sentimental, but remaining sharp and true to life. The two leads are knockouts, but I am also really impressed with the supporting players, especially Susanna Thompson, Evan Rachel Wood and Shane West. Even though The Sopranos is possibly the best American television series in a long time, Once and Again actually moved me a whole lot more. Go figure. This show overtook Felicity this year as my girly-guilty pleasure, which was not as great in its sophomore year, trying too hard to tackle politically correct issues at the expense of story. Don’t get me wrong though, I still loved the show, which began to improve towards the end of the season. Ditto for Law & Order, and Oz, which simply didn’t make the cut because there wasn’t enough room.
Throughout the season, I was disheartened to see how much The Practice had become way too formulaic and tacky. I was eventually happy with its outcome, and without the much improved second half of the season, it would not be in my top five. It turned out the same sort of killer plot lines that distinguished its last Emmy-winning season, and left me dieing to see more next season.
What can one say about The Sopranos that hasn’t already been said? Don’t believe the bullsh*t that the show lost its lustre last season. It was just as good, if not better than its first season. Lorraine Bracco didn’t shine as much, but Edie Falco got more screen time (always a plus), as did Dominic Chianese and Vincent Pastore, who both blew me away. I think this is some of the best television ever made in America. Period.
I was so surprised by The West Wing. The likeability of its characters, the engrossing plot lines, the lack of partisan politics ruining the entertainment value of the show, and the quality of the acting. A great show, with every actor shining and virtually every episode a winner (funnily, the ones I didn’t enjoy as much were the two that were submitted for Emmy consideration).
A few years ago, it would have been unheard of to not nominate The X-Files. My message to Chris Carter is, you’ve stuffed up! Not only have you irrevocably lost credibility for your show by making nearly every episode “tongue-in-cheek”, but you won’t ever get it back unless you (a) tie up the ridiculous arc and (b) make some more scary stories and enough with the humour. There, nuff said. Still, some episodes were zingers: “Theef”, “Millennium”, “All Things”, "Closure" and even a funny one, “Hollywood AD”.


Comedy Series

Everybody Loves Raymond (CBS)
Friends (NBC)
Malcolm in The Middle (Fox)
Sex and The City (HBO)
Will & Grace (NBC)

Like last year, I want to start off with my Ally McBeal opinion. Didn’t it suck last season?! I thought it was terrible, and still can’t believe that I didn’t watch most of it because it was unbearable. I remember a time when the show was must-see viewing for me. Anyway, while Ally was faltering, so too was much of TV comedy. Besides the five listed, I can only think of a few more that are worthy of praise: Frasier (a nominee last year), Beggars and Choosers, Spin City, Titus, Sports Night(also nominated last year) and Becker. I don’t watch any others, so maybe I’m wrong.
Everybody Loves Raymond killed me last season. Nearly every epsiode I saw was brilliantly funny, thanks to its top notch actors and writers. Similarly for Friends, week after week, it never failed to make me chuckle. All six regulars really shined this year, especially Matt LeBlanc, who has been ignored by Emmy for way too long now. Will & Grace kept up its brilliance, but I must admit, without Karen and Jack, I am not so sure it would be in my top five. It certainly was a toss up between it and Showtimes riotous Beggars and Choosers which had my sides splitting over the antics of the slimy agents, the clueless network execs, and Lori Volpone, the most fascinating “bitch” ever portrayed on TV.
Sex and The City was a knockout last season, improving on its first year exponentially, with Sarah Jessica Parker consistently brilliant. My favourite line: after Samantha complains about her new beau being too well endowed (after having similar problems with a man, except vicas versa), Carrie, perturbed, asks, “Who are You? Goldicocks?” Sheer brilliance I think. Just as good, if not better at times was Fox’s breakout hit Malcolm in The Middle. I love every character, but Dewey, Hal, Lois and Reese kill me the most, providing great support to Frankie Muniz in the title role. Every epiosde was a winner here, and I can’t wait for season two.


Variety, Music, or Comedy Series

The Chris Rock Show (HBO)
Dennis Miller Live (HBO)
Late Night With Conan O’Brien (NBC)
Politically Incorrect With Bill Maher (ABC)
Saturday Night Live (NBC)


Variety, Music, or Comedy Special

The 72nd Annual Academy Awards (ABC)
Chris Rock: Bigger & Blacker (HBO)
1999 MTV Movie Awards (MTV)
1999 MTV Video Music Awards (MTV)
SNL 25 (NBC)


Mini-Series / TV Movie

Annie (ABC)
The Corner (HBO)
Cheaters (HBO)
RKO 281 (HBO)
Strange Justice (Showtime)


Debut Series

Beggars and Choosers (Showtime)
Malcolm in The Middle (Fox)
Once and Again (ABC)
Roswell (WB)
The West Wing (NBC)


Reality/Informational Program

Frontline (PBS)
Inside The Actor’s Studio (Bravo)
Michael Moore’s The Awful Truth (Bravo)
Raising The Mammoth (Discovery Channel)
Walking With Dinosaurs (Discovery Channel)


Animated Series

Batman Beyond (WB)
Family Guy (Fox)
Futurama (Fox)
King of The Hill (Fox)
The Simpsons (Fox)


Lead Actor, Drama Series

Billy Campbell as Rick Sammler - Once and Again (ABC)
Eric Close as Michael Wiseman - Now and Again (CBS)
David Duchovny as Special Agent Fox Mulder - The X-Files (Fox)
James Gandolfini as Tony Soprano - The Sopranos (HBO)
Martin Sheen as President Josiah Bartlet - The West Wing (ABC)


Lead Actress, Drama Series

Gillian Anderson as Special Agent Dana Scully - The X-Files (Fox)
Edie Falco as Carmela Soprano - The Sopranos (HBO)
Sarah Michelle Gellar as Buffy Summers - Buffy The Vampire Slayer (WB)
Keri Russell as Felicity Porter - Felicity (WB)
Sela Ward as Lily Manning - Once and Again (ABC)


Lead Actor, Comedy Series

Ted Danson as Dr John Becker - Becker (CBS)
Michael J. Fox as Mike Flaherty - Spin City (ABC)
Brian Kerwin as Rob Malone - Beggars and Choosers (Showtime)
Eric McCormack as Will Truman - Will & Grace (NBC)
Ray Romano as Ray Barone - Everybody Loves Raymond (CBS)


Lead Actress, Comedy Series

Patricia Heaton as Debra Barone - Everybody Loves Raymond (CBS)
Felicity Huffman as Dana Whittaker - Sports Night (ABC)
Jane Kaczmarek as Lois - Malcolm in The Middle (Fox)
Debra Messing as Grace Adler - Will & Grace (NBC)
Sarah Jessica Parker as Carrie Bradshaw - Sex and The City (HBO)


Supporting Actor, Drama Series

Dominic Chianese as Corrado Soprano - The Sopranos (HBO)
Steve Harris as Eugene Young - The Practice (ABC)
Christopher Meloni as Chris Keller - Oz (HBO)
Vincent Pastore as Big Pussy Bompensiero - The Sopranos (HBO)
Bradley Whitford as Josh Lyman - The West Wing (HBO)


Supporting Actress, Drama Series

Alyson Hannigan as Willow Rosenberg - Buffy The Vampire Slayer (WB)
Allison Janney as CJ Cregg - The West Wing (NBC)
Camryn Manheim as Elenor Frutt - The Practice (ABC)
Susanna Thompson as Karen Sammler - Once and Again (ABC)
Aida Turturro Janice Soprano - The Sopranos (HBO)


Supporting Actor, Comedy Series

Bryan Cranston as Hal - Malcolm in The Middle (Fox)
Sean Hayes as Jack McFarland - Will & Grace (NBC)
Matt LeBlanc as Joey Tribbiani - Friends (NBC)
David Hyde Pierce as Dr Niles Crane - Frasier (NBC)
Alan Ruck as Stuart Bondek - Spin City (ABC)


Supporting Actress, Comedy Series

Lisa Kudrow as Pheobe Buffay - Friends (NBC)
Tammy Lynn Michaels as Nicole Julian - Popular (WB)
Megan Mullally as Karen Walker - Will & Grace (NBC)
Doris Roberts as Marie Barone - Everybody Loves Raymond (CBS)
Charlotte Ross as Lori Volpone - Beggars and Choosers (Showtime)


Guest Actor, Drama Series

John Goodman as Michael Wiseman - Now and Again, recurring (CBS)
Patrick Dempsey as Aaron Brooks - Once and Again, “Brothers and Other Strangers” (ABC)
Fred Koehler as Andrew Schillinger - Oz, “US Male” (HBO)
Robert Patrick as David Scatino - The Sopranos, recurring (HBO)
Edward James Olmos as Roberto Mendoza - The West Wing, recurring (NBC)


Guest Actress, Drama Series

Amy Aquino as Dr Toni Pavone - Felicity, recurring (WB)
Bonnie Bartlett as Barbara Brooks - Once and Again, recurring (ABC)
Stockard Channing as Abigail Bartlet - The West Wing, recurring (NBC)
Marlee Matlin as Sally Burg - The Practice, “Life Sentence” (ABC)
Beah Richards as Gertrude Turner - The Practice, “Till Death Do Us Part” (ABC)


Guest Actor, Comedy Series

Steve Eigenberg as Steve Brady - Sex and The City, recurring (HBO)
William H. Macy as Sam Donovan - Sports Night, recurring (ABC)
Sydney Pollack as George Truman - Will & Grace, “Oh Dad, Poor Dad…”(NBC)
Carl Reiner as Sid Barry - Beggars and Choosers, “Always Leave ‘Em Laughing” (Showtime)
Paul Reubens as Russell - Everybody Loves Raymond, “Hackidu” (CBS)


Guest Actress, Comedy Series

Bea Arthur as Mrs White - Malcolm in The Middle, “Water Park” (Fox)
Valerie Harper as Wallis - Sex and The City, “Shortcomings” (HBO)
Monica Horan as Amy - Everybody Loves Raymond, recurring (CBS)
Debbie Reynolds as Bobbi Adler - Will & Grace, “Who’s Mom is it Anyway?” (NBC)
Betty White as Dr Shirley Flott - Ally McBeal, “Seeing Green” (Fox)


Variety Performance

Billy Crystal - The 72nd Annual Academy Awards (ABC)
Dennis Miller - Dennis Miller Live (HBO)
Cheri Oteri - Saturday Night Live (NBC)
Molly Shannon - Saturday Night Live (NBC)
Chris Rock - Chris Rock: Bigger & Blacker (HBO)


Lead Actor, TV Movie/Mini-Series

Andre Braugher - Homicide: The Movie (NBC)
T.K. Carter - The Corner (HBO)
Jeff Daniels - Cheaters (HBO)
William H. Macy - A Slight Case of Murder (TNT)
Live Schrieber - RKO 281 (HBO)


Lead Actress, TV Movie/Mini-Series

Khandi Alexander - The Corner (HBO)
Judy Davis - A Cooler Climate (Showtime)
Holly Hunter - Harlan County War (Showtime)
Natasha Little - Vanity Fair (PBS)
Regina Taylor - Strange Justice (Showtime)


Supporting Actor, TV Movie/Mini-Series

James Cromwell - RKO 281 (HBO)
Shawn Hatosy - Witness Protection (HBO)
John Malkovich - RKO 281 (HBO)
Sean Nelson - The Corner (HBO)
Stellan Skarsgard - Harlan County War (Showtime)


Supporting Actress, TV Movie-Mini-Series

Kathy Bates - Annie (ABC)
Melanie Griffith - RKO 281 (HBO)
Felicity Huffman - A Slight Case of Murder (TNT)
Jenna Malone - Cheaters (HBO)
Chloe Sevigny - If These Walls Could Talk 2 (HBO)


Writing, Drama Series

Joss Whedon - Buffy The Vampire Slayer, “Hush” (WB)
Ed Zwick & Marshall Herskovitz - Once and Again, Pilot (ABC)
Robin Green & Mitchell Burgess - The Sopranos, “The Knight in White Satin Armor” (HBO)
Aaron Sorkin - The West Wing, “Lies, Damn Lies & Statistics” (NBC)
Vince Gilligan - The X-Files, “Millennium” (Fox)


Writing, Comedy Series

Peter Lefcourt - Beggars and Choosers, “Death in Malibu” (Showtime)
Paul Feig - Freaks and Geeks, Pilot (NBC)
Linwood Boomer - Malcolm in The Middle, Pilot (Fox)
Michael Patrick King - Sex and The City, “Ex and The City” (HBO)
Alex Herschlag - Will & Grace, “Homo For The Holidays” (NBC)


Directing, Drama Series

Joss Whedon - Buffy The Vampire Slayer, “Hush” (WB)
Lamont Johnson - Felicity, “Help For The Lovelorn” (WB)
Glenn Gordon Caron - Now and Again, “Origins” (CBS)
Dan Lerner - Once and Again, “A Door, About To Open” (ABC)
Allen Coulter - The Sopranos, “The Knight in White Satin Armour” (HBO)


Directing, Comedy Series

Richard J. Lewis - Beggars and Choosers, “Death in Malibu” (Showtime)
David Lee - Everybody Loves Raymond, “Bad Moon Rising” (CBS)
Todd Holland - Malcolm in The Middle, “Krelboyne Picnic” (Fox)
Ken Kwapis - Malcolm in The Middle, “Water Park” (Fox)
Pam Thomas - Sex and The City, “Evolution” (HBO)


Writing, Mini-Series/TV Movie

John Stockwell - Cheaters (HBO)
David Simon & David Mills - The Corner (HBO)
Tom Fontana & Eric Overmyer - Homicide: The Movie (NBC)
John Logan - RKO 281 (HBO)
Jacob Epstein - Strange Justice (Showtime)


Directing, Mini-Series/TV Movie

Rob Marshall - Annie (ABC)
Charles S. Dutton - The Corner (HBO)
Martha Coolidge - If These Walls Could Talk 2 (HBO)
Benjamin Ross - RKO 281 (HBO)
Mick Jackson - Tuesdays With Morrie (ABC)


Cinematography

Buffy The Vampire Slayer, “Hush” (WB)
Felicity, “Help For The Lovelorn” (WB)
Harsh Realm, Pilot (Fox)
Roswell, “Heat Wave” (WB)
The X-Files, “Theef” (Fox)


Sound

ER, “All in The Family” (NBC)
Roswell, “The White Room” (WB)
The Sopranos, “Big Girls Don’t Cry” (HBO)
Star Trek: Voyager, “The Haunting of Deck 12” (UPN)
The X-Files, “Millennium” (Fox)


Editing

Law & Order, “Gunshow” (NBC)
Malcolm in The Middle, Pilot (Fox)
Oz, “Secret Identities” (HBO)
The Sopranos, “Full Leather Jacket” (HBO)
The West Wing, “What Kind of Day Has It Been” (NBC)


Casting

Law & Order (NBC)
Once and Again (ABC)
Oz (HBO)
The Sopranos (HBO)
The West Wing (ABC)


Main Title Design

Harsh Realm (Fox)
Malcolm in The Middle (Fox)
Now and Again (CBS)
The Others (NBC)
Roswell (WB)


Main Title Theme Music

Angel (WB)
Falcone (CBS)
Freaks and Geeks (NBC)
Harsh Realm (Fox)
Now and Again (CBS)


Music Composition

Buffy The Vampire Slayer , “Hush” (WB)
Felicity, “Help For The Lovelorn” (WB)
Harsh Realm, Pilot (Fox)
Once and Again, "A Door About To Open" (ABC)
The X-Files, “Closure” (Fox)


Production Design

Felicity, “Help For The Lovelorn” (WB)
Farscape, Pilot (Sci-Fi)
Harsh Realm, Pilot (Fox)
Malcolm in The Middle, “Home Alone 4” (Fox)
Stargate SG-1, “Nemesis” (Showtime)


Costumes

Angel, “The Prodigal” (Fox)
Cleopatra 2525, “Quest For Firepower” (Syndication)
Farscape, “Thank God It’s Friday, Again” (Sci-Fi)
Freaks and Geeks, Pilot (NBC)
Sex and The City, “La Douleur Exquise!” (HBO)


Makeup/Hairstyling

Buffy The Vampire Slayer, “Hush” (WB)
Buffy The Vampire Slayer, “Living Conditions” (WB)
Farscape, Pilot (Sci-Fi)
Star Trek: Voyager, “Dragon’s Teeth” (UPN)
The X-Files, “Theef” (Fox)


Visual Effects

Cleopatra 2525, “Quest For Firepower” (Syndication)
Farscape, Pilot (Sci-Fi)
Star Trek: Voyager, “Unimatrix Zero” (UPN)
Walking With Dinosaurs (Discovery Channel)
The X-Files, “Rush” (Fox)


Network Win Totals

HBO 15, ABC 6, WB 5, CBS 4, Fox 4, NBC 2, Sci-Fi 2, Showtime 2.


Multiple Winners Tally

The Sopranos 5, Buffy The Vampire Slayer 4, Everybody Loves Raymond 4, The Practice 3, Cheaters 2, Farscape 2, Harsh Realm 2, Once and Again 2, Sex and the City 2, Walking With Dinosaurs 2.


Network Nomination Totals(compared with last year)

HBO 48 (up 9), NBC 36 (up 5), Fox 29 (up 1), ABC 27 (up 2), WB 23 (up 10), CBS 14 (up 8), Showtime 13 (down 3), Sci-Fi 4 (up 4), Discovery 3 (up 3), UPN 3 (down 1), Bravo 2 (up 2), MTV 2 (even), PBS 2 (even), Syndication 2 (down 2), TNT 2 (down 4), A&E 0 (down 1), Comedy Central 0 (down 1), USA 0 (down 3).


Nominations Tally

The Sopranos 12 (even) * Malcolm in The Middle 11 * Once and Again 11 * The West Wing 10 * Buffy The Vampire Slayer 9 (up 5) * Will & Grace 8 (down 1) * The X-Files 8 (up 1) * Everybody Loves Raymond 7 (up 6) * RKO 281 7 * Sex and The City 7 (up 5) * Beggars and Choosers 6 * The Corner 6 * Felicity 6 (down 1) * Harsh Realm 5 * Now and Again 5 * The Practice 5 (down 7) * Cheaters 4 * Farscape 4 * Oz 4 (down 3) * Roswell 4 * Annie 3 * Freaks and Geeks 3 * Friends 3 (down 3) * Saturday Night Live 3 (up 2) * Strange Justice 3 * Star Trek: Voyager 3 (even) * and the following had two each: Angel, Dennis Miller Live (up 1), The 72nd Annual Academy Awards, Chris Rock: Bigger & Blacker, Law & Order (down 7), Spin City (up 1), Sports Night (down 7), Walking With Dinosaurs, Cleopatra 2525, Homicide: The Movie, A Slight Case of Murder, Harlan County War & If These Walls Could Talk 2.