Close makes case for her law partner

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Glenn Close was driving with her dogs when she heard the news of her best actress nomination for "Damages." She said she's proud that a basic cable show like hers was able to garner six noms. Even with her excitement, she said she was sorry that co-star Rose Byrne's work wasn't recognized. "I think she is absolutely superb, and I want to share my nomination with her," Close said.

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"Mad Men" star Jon Hamm was on a flight from New York to Los Angeles when the nominations were announced. "I found out I was nominated after we landed at 8 a.m., and my phone started going crazy," he said. "Just looking at the nominee lists, what happened this morning seems tremendously good for television. All of this nontraditional programming like our show, 'Breaking Bad,' 'Dexter.' It's just excellent to see it recognized and rewarded."

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Hamm's co-star John Slattery was nowhere near a TV when the announcements were named. "I was about two feet from the water, ready to paddle out and go surfing, when my publicist called me," said the first-time nominee, who was in Malibu when he got the call. He said he hopes the show's 16 noms will translate into more viewers for the widely praised but modestly rated drama. "It couldn't hurt, but I don't know what more can be done. The show has word-of-mouth and buzz. I don't see how it can go anywhere but up."

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Kevin Spacey was "blown away" by the combined 21 noms that "Recount" and "Bernard and Doris" — both produced by his Trigger Street Prods. — received, including one for his starring role in "Recount." "There is some bizarre irony that 21 is the number of nominations for those films and that was (the title of) our movie a couple of months ago," Spacey said from his home in London, where he is director of the Old Vic. But even with all the joy, Spacey said that for everyone involved in "Recount" it's time to remember the late Sydney Pollack, who had signed on to direct it before his health deteriorated. "He was the first person who called me about the project," Spacey said, "and even when he got ill, he was with us and giving notes right up to were he got very ill, right toward the very end."

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Jay Roach was standing in front of the Louvre in Paris with his children when he got the call about his directing nom for "Recount." Roach, who is accompanying his wife, Susanna Hoffs, on a Bangles tour, said he had "very mixed emotions" about the honor because he was brought in after Sydney Pollack fell ill. Pollack, who died of cancer the day after "Recount" premiered on HBO, was able to see the final cut. "He liked it very much," Roach said. "This is a tribute to his vision."

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Best actress nominee Kyra Sedgwick loves the fact that three of the five actresses in her category come from cable shows and that the majority are older than 35. "The myth that after 35 women are over in Hollywood is disappearing," she said. "Women want to see women their age that look like them and act like them. I think that feels best of all."

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Mary Steenburgen had been up since 5 a.m. waiting for a call as to whether husband Ted Danson had been nominated for his supporting role on "Damages." Not realizing that the announcements didn't start until 5:40, she was disappointed when no call came. "She was thinking, 'Oh my poor husband,' and then someone called at 6," Danson said. Danson, who hadn't been nommed since 1993 for "Cheers," said he's just as in the dark as the viewers as to the fate of his "Damages" character, who was shot in the season finale. "I'm back in some form, but the truth is I have no idea."

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Zeljko Ivanek also is up for supporting actor for "Damages" but said there won't be any rivalry with Danson on the set — friendly or otherwise. "It's out of my hands," he said. "It was nice getting to this point, but the rest will play out the way it plays out." On second thought, "maybe it'll be uglier by September but not now," he quipped.

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"We're in the midst of making the show, so there's a bit more of a lightness in everybody's step today," Michael C. Hall said after being nominated for his role on "Dexter." "Nominations aren't the be all, end all, but when they do come, it suggests that more than just a couple of people are responding to your work." More than a couple is right, as Hall will see firsthand next week at the mecca of super-fandom, San Diego's Comic-Con, where he said he'll be "ducking and weaving" fans' questions about what to expect in the serial killer drama's third season.

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"This is just an amazing feeling. Amazing," said "Mad Men" creator/executive producer Matthew Weiner. "I was talking to (co-writer and producer) Robin Veith this morning, asking if she remembered typing the title page of the 'Mad Men' pilot eight years ago. And I said to her, 'Wow, it's nice to have something like this happen overnight, isn't it?' " Weiner will stick to his original plans for the day: taking his kids to a table read of "The Simpsons." "I can't think of a better way to rejoice," he said.

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After being awakened at "5-something in the morning" by well-wishers, Christina Applegate — up for leading actress in a comedy series for "Samantha Who?" — was hoping to get a little shut-eye before going out to dinner with friends to celebrate. Asked for hints about her show's upcoming second season, she said, "It will be bigger, bolder and juicier."

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"I was in a deep sleep, and Peter Roth woke me up," said Julia Louis-Dreyfus, nominated for "The New Adventures of Old Christine." It must feel good to get a call from the president of Warner Bros. TV about an Emmy nom, no? "Actually, he came into my bedroom and woke me up," she joked. Louis-Dreyfus, who recently returned from a four-week trip to Africa, where she's working on a documentary, said "Christine" will have another adventure of her own next season: "Barb (Wanda Sykes) and I are going to enter a different kind of relationship. She needs to become an American citizen, and we live in California, so you can imagine the high jinks that ensue."

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Jean Smart's cell phone kept ringing in her hotel room, and she kept wishing she had put it on vibrate. "I'm out of town and completely forgot. I thought the calls were emergencies," she said. Luckily, it was just the news of her supporting actress nomination for "Samantha Who?" Smart has been nominated several times before, and while she said it's not the same as the first time — "It's like your first kiss" — she is honored. "You try not to dwell on it and make it super-important, but when it happens, you are really flattered and happy about it," she said.

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Thursday brought a two-fer for Tom Wilkinson, who scored nominations for his roles as James Baker in "Recount" and Benjamin Franklin in "John Adams." Wilkinson heard the news at home in London, where he has just finished the feature "44-Inch Chest" with John Hurt, Ray Winstone and Ian McShane. Wilkinson, being English, also didn't have the same feelings that others in the cast might have had in doing something so controversial based on the recent past. "I wasn't burdened down by any sense of responsibility of how I was going to do Jim Baker in regard to my own political inclinations," he said. "I don't vote in American elections."

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"Ugly Betty" star America Ferrera celebrated her second consecutive Emmy nom by heading to work. The dramedy is in its second week of shooting on its third season, which for the first time is in production in New York. Ferrera found out about the nominations just before leaving for work, sitting on the couch with her boyfriend and her dog. "It was fun to see Kristin Chenoweth read it out because she's such a good friend," she said. Ferrera, who won for best actress in a comedy last year, said that experience will make it easier at the ceremony this year. "I was a little nervous the first time," she said.

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It took several phone calls from well-wishers for Bob Balaban to realize that he had received multiple noms, including supporting actor in a miniseries/movie for "Recount" and directing for a mini/movie/dramatic special for "Bernard and Doris." He also executive produced the latter, which is nominated in the made-for-TV movie category. Initially, a friend alerted him to the "Bernard" noms, but "eight phone calls later, somebody congratulated me on my acting nomination, and I told them they must have read the list and made a mistake."

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Seth Green had a rough Wednesday night, taking a red-eye flight, but the news that his Adult Swim show "Robot Chicken" was nominated for an animated program Emmy made his morning a lot better. "I was pretty much asleep and reacted in a disproportionately grumpy way," he joked. "I didn't have my head about me yet." Once he processed the information, Green said he was "baffled and excited." The show was nominated for its "Star Wars" parody, which is being released Tuesday on DVD. Green said he's hoping to have another big episode for the show's upcoming fourth season.

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"This is our third straight year of being nominated (for best comedy series), and let me tell ya, it never gets old at all," said Chuck Lorre, creator/ executive producer of the multi-camera comedy "Two and a Half Men." "The number of cameras you have on your show should matter less than how well you make people laugh. That should be the goal of a comedy series. It certainly is for us."

Compiled by Kimberly Nordyke, Karen Nicoletti and Stephanie Robbins
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