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EMMY NOMINATIONS AREN’T ALL BAD

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Gee, if the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences just announced its Emmy nominations, then it must be time for television critics to start complaining about them.

Not wishing to abrogate this responsibility, here are a few of my own disagreements with those nominations. As well as a few agreements:- "Northern Exposure" got 16 nominations? That might lead one to believe that the series had a good year - which is not the case.

As a matter of fact, this was by far the series' weakest season (although it's still better than a lot of what's out there).

And, once again, this show really doesn't belong in the drama category. But, of course, it would never win in the comedy category up against all those sitcoms.

- Hmmm, three of the five most-nominated shows were HBO movies - No. 2 "Citizen Cohn" with 11, No. 4 "Stalin" with 10 and (tied) No. 5 "Barbarians at the Gate" with nine. But only "Barbarians" really deserves that much praise. The other two were fine, but flawed, films.

- I still think it's just dumb to nominate another awards show for awards. And the 65th Annual Academy Awards got nine nominations.

And the Tony Awards also received a nomination.

- I'd be more comfortable with Roseanne Arnold being nominated for best actress in a comedy if the woman could actually act. (But Sara Gilbert really deserved her nomination.)

At the same time, it's hard to believe that the show "Roseanne" wasn't at least nominated for best comedy.

- Worse still, "The Simpsons" wasn't nominated as best comedy, either. And it's consistently the best-written and funniest half hour on television.

- Both "Homefront" and "I'll Fly Away" deserve their nominations as best drama series. What they didn't deserve was to be canceled.

- What a pleasant surprise that Tracey Ullman was nominated as best guest actress on a comedy for her portrayal of a wild Israeli ballerina on "Love & War." She was the funniest thing to hit that series last season.

- It would bother me more that the awful "The Jacksons: An American Dream" got nominated as best miniseries, but I keep remembering that the dreadful "A Woman Named Jackie" actually won in this category last year.

- One category to watch: Both "Late Night with David Letterman" and "The Tonight Show with Jay Leno" are nominated as best variety, music or comedy series.

- I've heard grumbling in some quarters, but I think both "Home Improvement" and its star, Tim Allen, deserved nominations.

It's too bad Patricia Richardson didn't get a nomination of her own.

MORE HOPE: NBC has signed Bob Hope for another year, which wouldn't be much of a story except that it was widely reported earlier this year that such a contract would not be forthcoming.

According to Littlefield, Hope will appear in at least three special in his 55th year with the network. And Littlefield said he never considered not bringing Hope back.