Emmy drama, comedy finalists whittled down

The nominees to be an Emmy nominee are in! The Academy of Television Arts & Sciences yesterday released the shortlists for its top drama and comedy shows for this year's Emmy awards, which will be hacked down to an Emmy-friendly five nominees and announced on July 17.

The drama category welcomes four new entrants into competition--all from cable networks. FX's Damages, AMC's Mad Men, Showtime's The Tudors, and HBO's The Wire are all one step closer to earning their first Best Drama Emmy. Special attention is being thrown toward The Wire, the critically acclaimed drama which concluded its five-season run this spring.

Those four will be joined by six shows that appeared on last year's Emmy shortlist: ABC's Boston Legal, Showtime's Dexter, NBC's Friday Night Lights, ABC's Grey's Anatomy, Fox's House, and ABC's Lost. Heroes, which was a final nominee last year, failed to make the shortlist (the strike-shortened season probably didn't help its cause).

It's a similar scenario on the funny side, with four newcomers to the shortlist. Curb Your Enthusiasm, Family Guy, Flight of the Conchords, and Pushing Daisies will go up against last year's Emmy shortlist finalists The Office, Entourage, 30 Rock, Weeds, Ugly Betty, and Two and a Half Men.

Family Guy will try to be the first animated series to win Best Comedy honors, as it found a workaround to get it recognized in both the comedy and animation categories. The show itself is up for comedy honors, whereas the Family Guy: Blue Harvest special was put in contention in the animation category.

The shortlist nominees will be screened before blue ribbon panels, which will cast more votes to narrow down the list to five in each category. The Sopranos and 30 Rock won Emmys last year for Best Drama and Best Comedy, respectively.

Below are the Emmy shortlist finalists in easy-to-read list form:

Boston Legal
Friday Night Lights
Grey's Anatomy
Mad Men
The Tudors
The Wire

Curb Your Enthusiasm
Family Guy
Flight of the Conchords
The Office
Pushing Daisies
30 Rock
Two and a Half Men
Ugly Betty

Which show do you think was left off this list that should have made it? Desperate Housewives? How I Met Your Mother? Battlestar Galactica? Breaking Bad? Cavemen? State your case below!

Like TV.com on Facebook