For all of you who heard Dana Delany clearly announce Friends as one of the Emmy nominees for best comedy this morning--well, forget about it. The Academy of Television Arts & Sciences goofed (for the first time in 49 years of nomination announcements, it swears) and had poor Dana read last year's nominees in the category, which were all the same except for one big difference--3rd Rock From the Sun got the honor this year, not Friends. A display of the Friends show title seen behind her and Academy President Rich Frank perpetuated the mistake.

As soon as the broadcast announcement ceremony was over, Academy officials rushed around the auditorium at their headquarters in North Hollywood, telling the assembled reporters about the switcheroo. Frank went on camera to explain that the Academy was so concerned about secrecy that it used last year's noms for he and Delany to read in the rehearsal--and then failed to update for the real thing.

But that wasn't quite right, either. Later, the Academy issued a statement that John Leverence, awards director for the organization, had forgot to hit the save button after updating that one part of last year's list on his computer. Leverence might have caught the mistake if he'd gone to the rehearsal--but he was too busy preparing the press release (which was correct).

The Academy has apologized to the producers of Friends, Warner Bros., the show's studio, and NBC, its network.

Delany, a two-time Emmy winner, took it all philosophically. "It shows you how actors are puppets," she said, speaking the words every director longs to hear.

Not so Bron Galleran, the TelePrompter operator at the ceremony this morning. He called our office in high dudgeon, saying an early version of our story, which cited Frank's explanation, made it seem that he was somehow at fault. So we just want to say to all of his friends, relatives and future employers: BRON DIDN'T DO IT!

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