Emmy noms get broad strokes right, as Mad Men, Modern Family and Boardwalk Empire dominate
With so much good television clogging the dial these days, the Emmy academy would have to fill out ballots blindfolded to miss all the quality series out there.
Which is my way of saying the nominations announced this morning got the broad strokes right, handing the most honors to top drawer shows such as HBO's Mildred Pierce (21 noms), AMC's Mad Men (19 noms), HBO's Boardwalk Empire (18 noms), ABC's Modern Family (17 noms), HBO's Game of Thrones (13 noms) and Fox's Glee (12 noms).
There was even a bit of local flavor: Freedom Riders, the PBS documentary made from USF-St. Petersburg professor Ray Arsenault's 2006 book was nominated for excellence in non-fiction programming.
There was the expected: nominations for Steve Carell's final season on The Office as a best comedy actor; nomination for Empire's Steve Buscemi and Mad Men's Jon Hamm in best drama actor; nominations for Juliana Margulies amazing season on CBS' The Good Wife.
And there were pleasant surprises: Timothy Olyphant for laconic backwoods lawman Raylan Givens in Justified; Kathy Bates from NBC's Harry's Law and Mad Men's Elizabeth Moss as best drama actresses; groundbreaking comic Louis C.K. as best comedy actor along with Matt LeBlanc (yes, he deserves it!) for Showtimes Episodes.
I even did pretty well: after talking up Justified's Margo Martindale and Game of Thrones' Peter Dinklage here and on NPR, both got nods in supporting actress and actor drama categories, respectively (Parks and Rec's Nick Offerman and Treme's Wendell Pierce, not so much).
You had to look close to see the snubs this time around, with the biggest surprise going to perpetually-nominated The Closer star Kyra Sedgwick, who went without this year, just days after starting her series final season (fear not fans, the show's last goodbye is long enough that she's eligible for next year's contest, too). She probably got aced out by new arrivals Moss and Bates.
Community's Joel McHale also got overlooked, along with Men of a Certain Age's Ray Romano. The snub hurts particularly for Men -- though supporting actor Andre Braugher did get a nod again this year -- which is trying to win renewal from TNT after a low-rated season. AMC's brilliant The Walking Dead didn't get any major nominations either, despite much critical love.
The other big snubs happen so often, they feel like Emmy's bad habits. Once again, a brilliant David Simon series on HBO gets overlooked, with no nominations for his New Orleans-set drama Treme; once again, up and coming NBC comedies Parks and Recreation and Community got shut out acting categories, in part because Modern Family and Glee sucked up all the oxygen in the supporting categories.
In late night, TBS host Conan O'Brien tied with Comedy Central's The Daily Show for the most nominations in late night (4 each), beating ABC's Jimmy Kimmel, Comedy Central's Stephen Colbert, CBS' David Letterman and NBC's Jimmy Fallon. Left out completely: the host who pushed O'Brien from NBC, Tonight Show's Jay Leno -- another satisfying showbiz victory for the ousted comic.
Awkward moments: Sex and the City alum Chris Noth was the only adult star on The Good Wife to not get a nomination; Closer guest star Mary McDonnell, who will star in TNT's spin-off Major Crimes next year, got a nomination while star Sedgwick did not.
As this may be the most diverse slate of acting nominations yet (even though my personal fave, Southland's Regina King, went without again this year). Including miniseries categories, there were 10 nominations for people of color in the acting nominations, including Braugher, Good Wife's Archie Panjabi, Modern Family's Sofia Vergara and two nominations for Idris Elba (The Big C and Luther).
Best of all, Mike and Molly star Melissa McCarthy, now heating up movie theater's with a great supporting turn in Bridemaids, got a nomination while reading other actors' nominations on live television.
Good sign, for a pack of Emmy nominations which nod to new innovation while making sure the old favorites get some time in the sun.
Outstanding Comedy Series
The Big Bang Theory • CBS • Chuck Lorre Productions, Inc. in association with Warner Bros. Television
Glee • FOX • Ryan Murphy Productions in association with Twentieth Century Fox Television
Modern Family • ABC • Twentieth Century Fox Television
The Office • NBC • Produced by Deedle-Dee Productions and Reveille LLC in association with Universal Media Studios
Parks And Recreation • NBC • Produced by Deedle-Dee Productions, Fremulon, 3 Arts and Universal Media Studios
30 Rock • NBC • Broadway Video, Little Stranger, Inc. in association with Universal Media Studios
Outstanding Drama Series
Boardwalk Empire • HBO • Leverage, Closest to the Hole Productions, Sikelia Productions and Cold Front Productions in association with HBO Entertainment
Dexter • Showtime • Showtime Presents, John Goldwyn Productions, The Colleton Company, Chip Johannessen Productions
Friday Night Lights • DirecTV • Imagine Entertainment in association with Universal Media Studios and Film 44
Game Of Thrones • HBO • Bighead, Littlehead, 360 Television, Grok and
Generator Productions in association with HBO Entertainment
The Good Wife • CBS • CBS Productions
Mad Men • AMC • Lionsgate Television
Outstanding Miniseries Or Movie
Cinema Verite • HBO • A Pariah Production in association with HBO Films
Downton Abbey (Masterpiece) • PBS • A co-production of Carnival and Masterpiece
The Kennedys • ReelzChannel • A Muse Entertainment Production in association with Asylum Entertainment
Mildred Pierce • HBO • A Killer Films/John Wells Production in association with Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer and HBO Miniseries
The Pillars Of The Earth • Starz • Tandem Communications and Muse Entertainment in association with Scott Free Films
Too Big To Fail • HBO • A Spring Creek and A Deuce Three Production in association with HBO Films