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Gilmore Girls Top Rookie, 07.22.01 ...

Though snubbed by this year's Emmys, ``Gilmore Girls'' nevertheless made an impression on TV scribes, who named the WB series outstanding new program at the 17th annual Television Critics Assn. Awards on Saturday.

Opting not to pick a side in the kudos battle between ``The West Wing'' and ``The Sopranos,'' the group called it a tie between the shows in the drama category. ``The Sopranos'' did edge ``West Wing'' for show of the year, however. HBO's mob drama raised its tally as James Gandolfini three-peated as the top individual achiever in a drama.

Other big winners at the kudofest, held at the Ritz Carlton Huntington Hotel & Spa in Pasadena, were the Fox series ``Malcolm in the Middle,'' honored for the second consecutive year for achievement in comedy; the show's star Jane Kaczmarek also repeated last year's win in the individual achievement in comedy category.

The ABC miniseries ``Life With Judy Garland: Me & My Shadows'' nabbed the award for achievement in movies, miniseries and specials.

In another tie, ``Between the Lion'' and ``Sesame Street'' won for children's programming.

Other highlights included the presentation of a career achievement award upon Sid Caesar and an honor for Ken Burns for the PBS documentary series ``Jazz.''

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