Fox, Nick, Disney Vie for Emmy

The National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences this morning announced nominations for the 55th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards, placing five shows in the in the running for Best Animated Program (less than one hour). Among them are a couple of veteran contenders from Fox’s primetime lineup and a few new faces from Disney and Nickelodeon.

Nickelodeon’s As Told By Ginger, produced by Klasky Csupo, was recognized for the episode “And She Was Gone.” Also representing Nick is SpongeBob SquarePants. The episode “New Student Starfish/Clams” garnered a nod for exec. producer Stephen Hillenburg and crew. In May, Nickelodeon’s and Klasky Csupo’s Rugrats picked up the Daytime Emmy for Outstanding Children’s Animated Program.

Also sneaking in is Disney’s teen spy comedy Kim Possible for the episode “Crush.” The series, produced by Walt Disney Television Animation in association with Disney Channel, is set to kick off its second season this Friday. Exec. producers Bob Schooley and Mark McCorkle have a possible Arnold Schwarzenegger feature vehicle in the works at New Line.

No surprises over on Fox as the network’s iconic animated comedy The Simpsons earned another nom, this time for the installment “Three Gays Of The Condo.” In the episode, a temporary separation from Marge leads Homer to move in with two men who turn out to be gay. Matt Groening, David X. Cohen and Ken Keeler serve as executive producers for the show.

Groening’s other creation, Futurama, may not return to the Fox primetime lineup next season, but it’s still a hit with critics and apparently the Academy. The episode Jurassic Bark earned a second Emmy nomination for co-exec. producer David A. Goodman and producers Eric Horsted, Mike Rowe, Brian J. Cowan and Claudia Katz. Last year, Futurama won the Emmy for the episode Roswell that Ends Well. Another win would be further vindication for the series, which has not been renewed for the 2004-2005 season.

Notably absent from the list of nominees is the hit animated comedy King of the Hill, which Fox has renewed for two more years. The series is created by Mike Judge and Greg Daniels.

The Discovery Channel special Chased By Dinosaurs is a shoe-in to win Best Animated Program (one hour or more). Produced by Impossiblepictures Ltd for BBC and Discovery Channel, the CG prehistoric beast fest is the only entry in the category. Gaynelle Evans and Adam Kemp serve as exec. producers, with Tim Haines and Jasper James taking producer/director/writer credits. Mike Milne directed the computer animation.

UPN leads the pack in the category Special Visual Effects for a Series. The network’s Buffy the Vampire Slayer (“Chosen”) and Enterprise (“Dead Stop,” “The Crossing,” “The Expanse”) will go up against Fox’s short-lived sci-fi/action series Firefly (“Serenity”).

The race for Special Visual Effects for a Miniseries, Movie or Special includes Discovery Channel’s Building the Great Pyramid, Sci Fi Channel’s Frank Herbert’s Children of Dune: Night 1, A&E’s The Lost World: Part 2, HBO’s Point of Origin and Sci Fi’s Steven Spielberg Presents Taken: Episode 2 – “Jacob and Jesse.”

The Primetime Emmy Awards will be broadcast on Fox on the evening of Sept. 21. The Creative arts awards, which includes the animated categories, will take place on Sept. 13.