Ally McBeal, Fox's kooky, quirky comedy-drama has crashed the typically predictable Emmy party, notching 10 nominations for TV's top honor this morning.
The first-year show beat out usual suspects Mad About You and Friends to land a nomination for Best Comedy, while its miniskirted star Calista Flockhart earned a nod for Best Actress in a Comedy Series.
Flockhart will be competing against another hot newcomer, Dharma & Greg's Jenna Elfman, in that category. The two TV rookies are up against the likes of Mad About You's Helen Hunt (trying to win both the Oscar and Emmy in the same year), Kirstie Alley (Veronica's Closet), the departed Ellen DeGeneres (Ellen) and Patricia Richardson (Home Improvement).
Ally wasn't the only news at the Emmy announcement Thursday. Several shows in their swan-song season scored, with Seinfeld, The Larry Sanders Show, Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman and Ellen racking up noms in glamour categories. Shut out of the sayonara sweepstakes: Family Matters and Murphy Brown.
While Garry Shandling picked up a nod for Best Actor in a Comedy Series for Larry Sanders, Jerry Seinfeld did not make the cut. Shandling will square off against Michael J. Fox (Spin City), Kelsey Grammer (Frasier), John Lithgow (3rd Rock from the Sun) and Paul Reiser (Mad About You).
Some other highlights: Phil Hartman earned a posthumous nod for Best Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series for his smarmy anchor on NewsRadio. Late character actor J.T. Walsh snagged a supporting nod for the TNT movie Hope and Lloyd Bridges captured one for his Seinfeld guest spot.
The David Kelley factor: TV's hitmaker du jour not only landed his Ally McBeal in key comedy categories but also scored a nod with his low-rated, but critically adored The Practice, which bumped the oft-nominated Homicide and his own Chicago Hope from the drama category.
Rounding out the drama category are ER, NYPD Blue, The X-Files and last year's surprise winner, Law & Order.
Competing for dramatic series actor: André Braugher (in his final season of Homicide), Jimmy Smits (in his final season of NYPD Blue), Smits' costar Dennis Franz, David Duchovny (The X-Files) and Anthony Edwards (ER).
Up for actress in a drama series: Gillian Anderson (The X-Files), Roma Downey (Touched by an Angel), Christine Lahti (Chicago Hope), Julianna Margulies (ER) and Jane Seymour (from the axed Dr. Quinn).
The HBO-Tom Hanks take on the space race, From the Earth to the Moon, received a field-best 17 nods, including one for top miniseries. ER and The X-Files followed with 16 chances, while NBC's Merlin movie garnered 15.
NBC led the nomination tally with 86, followed by HBO with 72, ABC with 54, CBS with 36, Fox with 35 bids and TNT with 18.
In the news Emmy race, PBS edged CBS, 27-26, for most bids. NBC was third with 21 nominations, followed by ABC with 20. Those trophies are divvied up September 6. This year's golden edition of the Emmys will, for the first time, run host-less. Instead, celeb presenters will handle the segue work for the four-hour presentation.
The 50th Emmy Awards ceremony goes down September 13 on NBC.
Complete list of Emmy nominees