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Baseball, Emmys offer respite from war



By David Williams
CNN

(CNN) -- Let us pause from the war, if only for an evening.

Four weeks after the U.S.-led coalition began its military campaign in Afghanistan, people wanting a break from the conflict Sunday night can tune in to the best baseball has to offer, flip channels to an awards show or choose from an array of movies and specials guaranteed to suit nearly any taste.

The New York Yankees, whose stadium is about 12 miles from the rubble of what once was the World Trade Center complex, are the guests of the Arizona Diamondbacks in Game 7 of the World Series.

Also, Hollywood is honoring the best in television with the 53rd Annual Emmy Awards. The award show was originally scheduled for September 16, but was postponed twice following the September 11 attacks.

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First, the Emmys.

"The Sopranos" has 22 nominations going into the telecast. Its nemesis, NBC's "West Wing," is second with 18 nods.

Both are considered the front-runners for best drama; "West Wing" beat out "The Sopranos" last year. "ER," "Law & Order" and "The Practice" round out the best drama category.

The NBC comedy "Frasier," whose creator and executive producer David Angle was one of 56 passengers on board one of the planes that crashed into the World Trade Center, was nominated 11 times this year. It could tie "The Mary Tyler Moore Show" for the most Emmys ever awarded to one show if it picks up five more Emmys. "Mary Tyler Moore" currently holds the record with 29.

Ellen DeGeneres will host the show, which starts at 8 p.m. EST on CBS.

Game 7 showdown

Over on Fox, entertainment of a different stripe -- in this case, the Yankees' pinstripes -- is unfolding in Arizona, where the Bronx bombers hope to win their fourth consecutive World Series title. Gametime is 7:30 p.m. EST.

The final game caps a series that has been a true fall classic, filled with comebacks and letdowns, moments of glee and despair.

The Yankees rallied after losing the first two games in Arizona, winning Game 3 in Yankee Stadium and then coming from behind in Games 4 and 5, taking both in extra innings. Arizona bounced back Saturday, hammering the Yanks 15-2 and forcing Game 7.

The stage is set for a fine finale, too. Game 7 features a matchup between two 20-game winning pitchers, with Roger "the Rocket" Clemens pitching for the Yankees against Diamondbacks ace Curt Schilling. It is only the sixth time in Major League Baseball history that two 20-game winners have faced each other in a decisive Game 7 of the World Series.

Ratings battle

The two telecasts could also spark a ratings battle.

The World Series has attracted an average of 14.3 million viewers to Fox over the first six games, and last year's Emmy Awards were watched by more than 21 million people, according to The Associated Press.

But that's not all, non-sports fans. ABC showed the animated blockbuster "Toy Story 2," and NBC is showing part 1 of the World War II miniseries "Uprising." HBO is armed with the final episode of its wartime drama, "Band of Brothers." HBO is owned by CNN's parent company, AOL Time Warner.

Potter-mania in England

Nor are the distractions limited to North America. In England, thousands of people attended Sunday's premier of "Harry Potter and The Philosopher's Stone" ("U.S. title: Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone") at London's Leicester Square.

About 2,000 people watched the screening, including Sting, Cliff Richard, Cher and the Duchess of York. Even some children managed to squeeze in -- the duchess' two daughters, the Princesses Eugenie and Beatrice, witnessed Harry's exploits, too.

Shot in England, the film was based on the wildly popular "Harry Potter" series of children's books about a young wizard. The Warner Bros. film is already a hit in England, selling at least 340,000 advanced tickets before the film had even opened. AOL Time Warner is the parent company of both Warner Bros. and CNN.



 
 
 
 



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