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Thursday, July 06, 2006

The Emmy Breakdown

To paraphrase Jack Nicholson in Batman, what kind of a world do we live in where a group of interns steals all of Jack Bauer’s press?

For the record, 24, NOT Grey’s Anatomy received the most nominations for an individual series, though you wouldn’t know it from most of the press reports about the nominations (The story that ran on the Herald-Dispatch website did get it right, however.). Of course, this means that as the show with the most nominations, 24 will probably win squat come awards night. That’s why it’s important it gets the attention now.

I’ve just finished watching Entertainment Tonight and Access Hollywood for some of the Emmy reaction and there are a lot of people in shock—and that includes me—but for the most part I’m fairly pleased with how things turned out.

Apparently, I’m the only one.

Critics everywhere are blasting the new system saying it didn’t improve things, citing all of the people who were shut out. And I guess I would be upset too if 24 had not done so well. It’s interesting how the show I thought would be hurt the most by the new system actually benefited the most.

Here’s a breakdown of the major nominees…

Outstanding Drama Series
Grey’s Anatomy
The Sopranos
The West Wing

The big exclusion here is of course, Lost. According to Emmy expert Tom O’Neill, Lost submitted confusing episodes filled with the show’s mythology that may have confused voters. The West Wing submitted the powerful Election Day (Part II), so it’s no wonder that it made the cut. As I said before, I think Wing is definitely the favorite for nostalgic reasons.

Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series
Peter Krause, Six Feet Under
Denis Leary, Rescue Me
Christopher Meloni, Law & Order: SVU
Martin Sheen, The West Wing
Kiefer Sutherland, 24

The exclusion of James Gandolfini (The Sopranos) is big, but the omission of Hugh Laurie (House) is huge, because he was considered by many to be the favorite after winning the Golden Globe. I watched this category live on my computer and when I heard Christopher Meloni, I was sure that Kiefer didn’t get nominated. When I heard Martin Sheen, I was positive he didn’t get nominated; but then he snuck in there. I wonder if this is based more on Kiefer’s new found Hollywood clout than on his episode (He didn’t rank #68 on the Forbes Celebrity Power 100 list for nothing.). Sheen is a big surprise too considering he was barely in this season. I’m curious to see what episode he submitted. Meloni is a surprise, but a welcome one. He did have some powerful episodes and he obviously picked one of them.

Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series
Kyra Sedgwick, The Closer
Geena Davis, Commander In Chief
Mariska Hargitay, Law & Order
Frances Conroy, Six Feet Under
Allison Janney, The West Wing

One story I read said it would take an act of God for Edie Falco to lose (The Sopranos) the Emmy. Who knew she wouldn’t even get nominated? Did she just pick the wrong episode or was it something else? I’m not surprised to see Allison Janney on the list since Emmy loves her, but like Martin Sheen, I think she probably had difficulty picking an episode. I would've liked Emmy to show some nostalgia love for Alias and nominated Jennifer Garner as well.

Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series
William Shatner, Boston Legal
Oliver Platt, Huff
Michael Imperioli, The Sopranos
Gregory Itzin, 24
Alan Alda, The West Wing

Emmy did well here, although I thought there may still be a chance for Donald Sutherland to make the cut (He received a Lead Actor in a Movie or Miniseries nod instead.). Since Emmy was feeling nostalgic for Wing, I would’ve liked to have seen Bradley Whitford get a nod. And I’m afraid I may have been right about Locke’s lack of story hurting Terry O’Quinn’s (Lost) chances.

Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series
Candice Bergen, Boston Legal
Sandra Oh, Grey’s Anatomy
Chandra Wilson, Grey’s Anatomy
Blythe Danner, Huff
Jean Smart, 24

Emmy did well here too, even without Mary Lynn Rajskub (24).

Outstanding Comedy Series
Arrested Development
Curb Your Enthusiasm
The Office
Two and a Half Men

Once again a favorite in the category was excluded as Entourage didn’t make the cut. My Name is Earl was also thought to have a good shot. The surprise is Arrested Development. It’s not going to win, but at least it was recognized.

Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series
Larry David, Curb Your Enthusiasm
Kevin James, The King of Queens
Tony Shalhoub, Monk
Steve Carell, The Office
Charlie Sheen, Two and a Half Men

Eric McCormack (Will & Grace) and Jason Lee (My Name is Earl) are the biggest exclusions here with James being the biggest surprise. I was also hoping that Jason Bateman (Arrested Development) might make the cut as well.

Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series
Lisa Kudrow, The Comeback
Jame Kaczmarek, Malcolm in the Middle
Julia Louis-Dreyfus, The New Adventures of Old Christine
Stockard Channing, Out of Practice
Debra Messing, Will & Grace

Do I even have to say what the biggest exclusions here are? I’m sure we’ll hear all kinds of stories as to why the Desperate Housewives weren’t nominated, but I think it boils down to one simple thing—they just weren’t funny this year. And unfortunately they have a bad habit of picking the wrong episodes (Felicity Huffman was able to win last year because Marcia Cross submitted Felicity’s best episode as her own.) Golden Globe winner Mary Louise-Parker (Weeds) is also a major omission. And I don’t think I have to tell you what the biggest surprise is here. I guess since Emmy couldn’t reward Channing for The West Wing they decided to reward her for a show hardly anyone remembers. The other big story here is Emmy’s continued snub of Lauren Graham (Gilmore Girls), who many cite as the poster child for why the Emmy rules were changed.

Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series
Will Arnett, Arrested Development
Jeremy Piven, Entourage
Bryan Cranston, Malcolm in the Middle
Jon Cryer, Two and a Half Men
Sean Hayes, Will & Grace

Emmy did well in this category—especially with the choice of Will Arnett, who was my favorite from Arrested. However, they once again excluded John C. McGinley (Scrubs).

Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series
Cheryl Hines, Curb Your Enthusiasm
Alfre Woodard, Desperate Housewives
Jaime Pressley, My Name Is Earl
Elizabeth Perkins, Weeds
Megan Mullally, Will & Grace

Emmy loves Alfre Woodard, but nominating her for a role I’m sure she’d rather forget?

By the way, one Lost cast member did receive an acting nomination: Henry Ian Cusick (Desmond) for Outstanding Guest Actor in a Drama Series.

The Emmys are August 27th at 8 p.m. on NBC. I’ll have MUCH more before then so…

Stay tuned…