Stay Tuned
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Sunday, July 06, 2008

The Emmy Semi-Finalists Revealed!

Last week, the enterprising Tom O’Neill of tracked down the semifinalists for each of the major Emmy acting categories.

Judges are now reviewing tapes of the semifinalists and ranking them from one to ten. That ranking will be combined with the popular vote that produced the semifinalists to determine the five nominees.

Here are the semifinalists in each category (according to with my comments…

Supporting Actress, Drama
Jane Alexander, “Tell Me You Love Me”
Candice Bergen, ‘Boston Legal”
Rose Byrne, “Damages”
Jill Clayburgh, “Dirty Sexy Money”
Sharon Gless, “Burn Notice”
Rachel Griffiths, “Brothers & Sisters”
Christina Hendricks, “Mad Men”
S. Epatha Merkerson, ‘Law & Order”
Sandra Oh, “Grey’s Anatomy”
Dianne Wiest, “In Treatment”
Chandra Wilson, “Grey’s Anatomy”

This category is full of Emmy heavy hitters, so whittling it down will be difficult. Notice that there are 11 semifinalists, which means the popular vote was close. I’m disappointed that Natalie Zea (“Dirty Sexy Money”) didn’t get a look, but she doesn’t have as much Emmy esteem as her co-star Jill Clayburgh.

Supporting Actor, Drama
Naveen Andrews, “Lost”
Bruce Dern, “Big Love”
Christian Clemenson, “Boston Legal”
Ted Danson, “Damages”
Michael Emerson, “Lost”
Zeljko Ivanek, “Damages”
T.R. Knight, “Grey’s Anatomy”
William Shatner, “Boston Legal”
John Slattery, “Mad Men”
Blair Underwood, “In Treatment”
Jake Weber, “Medium”

Another close vote. The biggest no-show according to all of the entertainment websites is last year’s winner Terry O’Quinn (“Lost”), but I’m not sure he had enough hard-hitting material to make it. However, I don’t really think Naveen Andrews did either, especially compared to co-star Henry Ian Cusick’s tour de force performance in “The Constant” (Desmond’s time-traveling episode). My biggest disappointment in this category is the absence of Donald Sutherland (“Dirty Sexy Money”), especially since his co-star Clayburgh was nominated. It’s good to see Jake Weber get a little Emmy love, though.

Actor, Drama
Gabriel Byrne, “In Treatment”
Kyle Chandler, “Friday Night Lights”
Bryan Cranston, “Breaking Bad”
Patrick Dempsey, “Grey’s Anatomy”
Michael C. Hall, “Dexter”
Jon Hamm, “Mad Men”
Eddie Izzard, “The Riches”
Hugh Laurie, “House”
Denis Leary, “Rescue Me”
James Spader, “Boston Legal”

Look for the cable guys to totally dominate this category.

Actress, Drama
Patricia Arquette, “Medium”
Glenn Close, “Damages”
Minnie Driver, “The Riches”
Sally Field, “Brothers & Sisters”
Mariska Hargitay, “Law & Order: SVU”
Holly Hunter, “Saving Grace”
Elisabeth Moss, “Mad Men”
Mary McDonnell, “Battlestar Galactica”
Kyra Sedgwick, “The Closer”
Jeanne Tripplehorn, “Big Love”

Look for the cable gals to totally dominate this category too. And McDonnell’s inclusion on this list is a big step for sci-fi TV. A nomination would be HUGE.

Actor, Comedy
(This is a partial list that O’Neill is still working on.)
Alec Baldwin, “30 Rock”
Steve Carell, “The Office”
Larry David, “Curb Your Enthusiasm”
David Duchovny, “Californication”
Brad Garrett, “’Til Death”
Lee Pace, “Pushing Daisies”
Tony Shalhoub, “Monk”
Charlie Sheen, “Two and a Half Men”

I am SO rooting for Jim Parsons of “The Big Bang Theory” to at least make the list, whether he gets a nomination or not.

Actress, Comedy
Christina Applegate, “Samantha Who?”
Marcia Cross, “Desperate Housewives”
America Ferrera, “Ugly Betty”
Tina Fey, “30 Rock”
Anna Friel, “Pushing Daisies”
Felicity Huffman, “Desperate Housewives”
Eva Longoria-Parker, “Desperate Housewives”
Julia Louis-Dreyfus, “New Adventures of Old Christine”
Mary-Louise Parker, “Weeds”
Sarah Silverman, “The Sarah Silverman Program”

So the omission everyone is buzzing about is Teri Hatcher, but for me, the bigger omission is Dana Delaney. Sarah Silverman is an interesting one since hers is more of a variety show.

Supporting Actor, Comedy Series
Jon Cryer, “Two and a Half Men”
Kevin Dillon, “Entourage”
Justin Kirk, “Weeds”
Neil Patrick Harris, “How I Met Your Mother”
John Krasinski, “The Office”
Jack McBrayer, “30 Rock”
Tracy Morgan, “30 Rock”
Jeremy Piven, “Entourage”
Fred Willard, “Back to You”
Rainn Wilson, “The Office”

It’s interesting that Fred Willard made the list but his co-stars, Emmy faves Kelsey Grammer and Patricia Heaton didn’t. Could that be because Willard was the funniest thing about “Back to You.”

Supporting Actress, Comedy
Kristin Chenoweth, “Pushing Daisies”
Conchata Ferrell, “Two and a Half Men”
Jenna Fischer, “The Office”
Jane Krakowski, “30 Rock”
Judith Light, “Ugly Betty”
Elizabeth Perkins, “Weeds”
Amy Poehler, “Saturday Night Live”
Jean Smart, “Samantha Who?”
Holland Taylor, “Two and a Half Men”
Vanessa Williams, “Ugly Betty”

Amy Poehler is an interesting person on the list since “SNL” is a variety show, but I’m rooting for her. And if you’re wondering about Kathryn Joosten (Mrs. McCluskey) from “Desperate Housewives,” she made the top 10 list for Guest Actress. And no, I don’t really get that either since Mrs. McCluskey was in nearly every episode.

And, since I know you all are wondering, Britney Spears did not make the top 10 list for Guest Actress for her stint on “How I Met Your Mother.” Unfortunately, however, neither did Sarah Chalke, who totally deserved it.

So what do you think of the top 10 lists? Who do you think will receive nominations?

Remember, the nominations will be announced July 17th by Neil Patrick Harris and Kristin Chenoweth, which pretty much guarantees they’ll be nominated…