Christina Applegate, Samantha Who


As far as the Academy is concerned, Christina Applegate is right up there with America Ferrera. And so is Sarah Silverman, give or take a little polarizing ethnic humor.

Along with Ferrera, last year's winner, Silverman and Applegate have landed on the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences' shortlist of thesps in the running for the 2008 Emmy for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series, according to the Los Angeles Times' Gold Derby blog.

While the writers' strike threw a wrench in the second-season schedule for Silverman's eponymous Comedy Central sitcom and shortened the first season of Applegate's return to TV in ABC's Samantha Who?, both arrived to winning reviews and will be returning to their respective networks next season.

Joining the trio on the list of semifinalists are everyone who was nominated for the Emmy last year—Felicity Huffman, Tina Fey, Mary Louise-Parker and Julia Louis-Dreyfus—as well as Marcia Cross, first-timer Anna Friel, from Pushing Daisies, and Eva Longoria Parker, who's become well-acquainted with snubbery from watching her fellow Desperate Housewives collect nod after nod.

Instead, it was onetime Emmy nominee and Golden Globe winner Teri Hatcher who didn't make the cut this year.

Also getting the short end of the stick, not to mention only two mourners at his small-screen wake, was the 2007 winner for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama, Lost's Terry O'Quinn.

Picking up the dramatic slack when Locke lost the ball, according to the TV Academy, were future partners in crime Sayid and Ben, meaning Naveen Andrews and Michael Emerson are in fact in the top 11. (Yes, 11, meaning there's some neck-and-neck action going on.)

Not remembered this year, either, was '07 nominee Masi Oka, who likely suffered from the utterly joy-killing storyline he was given last season on Heroes. Michael Imperioli is missing, too, if only because neither Christopher Moltisanti nor The Sopranos exists anymore.

Otherwise, kudos are out again for William Shatner and T.R. Knight, who apparently was fine with what the Grey's Anatomy writers provided for his character in season four.

Joining the pack are Damages' Ted Danson (that Arthur Frobisher was baa-aad) and Zeljko Ivanek (who literally provided one of the series' biggest bangs), Big Love's Bruce Dern, Boston Legal's Christian Clemenson, In Treatment's Blair Underwood, Mad Men's John Slattery and Medium's Jake Weber (so you can score a dramatic Emmy nod for playing a purely nice, wanna-have-a-beer-with-him guy).

The Academy announced its shortlists for Outstanding Comedy and Drama Series last week. The final nominees in each Emmy category will be announced July 17.

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