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Thursday, July 16, 2009

And the Nominees Are...

As I alluded to earlier, there is a lot to be perplexed about when it comes to this year’s Emmy nominations.

There was some concern that eliminating the blue ribbon nomination panels would cause the more popular shows to receive more nods than the lower-rated, but critically acclaimed shows. Clearly that didn’t happen…

Here’s a look at the major nominees, along with my analysis of each category…

Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series
Jim Parsons (Sheldon, “The Big Bang Theory)
Jemaine Clement (Jemaine, “Flight of the Concords”)
Tony Shalhoub (“Monk”)
Steve Carell (Michael, “The Office”)
Alec Baldwin (Jack, “30 Rock”)
Charlie Sheen (Charlie, “Two and a Half Men”)

This is one of the few categories I have nothing to say about. I am thrilled for Parsons, who I think is the funniest guy on TV.

Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series
Bryan Cranston (Walter, “Breaking Bad”)
Michael C. Hall (“Dexter”)
Hugh Laurie, (“House”)
Gabriel Byrne (Paul, “In Treatment”)
Jon Hamm (Don, “Mad Men”)
Simon Baker (Patrick, “The Mentalist”)

I knew this one would be tough, but I still thought that Kiefer Sutherland would break through. My only guess is that “24” lost some support after season six, and not as many people saw his work this year. I’m also surprised not to see Michael Chiklis since this was the last chance to honor “The Shield.” And as much as the critics hate to see his name, James Spader (“Boston Legal”) got ripped as well. Baker is the surprise here, but TV critics were pushing him hard. I think his nod is a reward for starring in last season’s only new hit show.

Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series
Julia Louis-Dreyfus (Christine, “The New Adventures of Old Christine”)
Christina Applegate (Samantha, “Samantha Who?”)
Sarah Silverman (“The Sarah Silverman Program”)
Tina Fey (Liz, “30 Rock”)
Toni Collette (Tara, “United States of Tara”)
Mary-Louise Parker (Nancy, “Weeds”)

I’m glad to see Applegate and Louis-Dreyfus both here.

Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama
Sally Field (Nora, “Brothers & Sisters”)
Kyra Sedgwick (Brenda, “The Closer”)
Glenn Close (Patty, “Damages”)
Mariska Hargitay (Olivia, “Law & Order: SVU”)
Elisabeth Moss (Peggy, “Mad Men”)
Holly Hunter (Grace, “Saving Grace”)

I’m surprised to not see Golden Globe winner Anna Paquin (“True Blood”) here.

Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series
Kevin Dillon (Johnny, “Entourage”)
Neil Patrick Harris (Barney, “How I Met Your Mother”)
Rainn Wilson (Dwight, “The Office”)
Tracy Morgan (Tracy, “30 Rock”)
Jack McBrayer (Kenneth, “30 Rock”)
Jon Cryer (Alan, “Two and a Half Men”)

The big surprise here is the absence of Jeremy Piven (“Entourage”). I think his whole sushi controversy hurt him. I really hope this clears the way for an NPH win.

Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series
William Shatner, (Denny, “Boston Legal”)
Christian Clemenson (Jerry, “Boston Legal”)
Aaron Paul (Jesse, “Breaking Bad”)
William Hurt (Daniel, “Damages”)
Michael Emerson (Ben, “Lost”)
John Slattery (Roger, “Mad Men”)

I know many critics are sick of seeing Shatner’s name on this list, but he totally deserves it after the heartbreaking and hilarious Thanksgiving episode. I’m glad to see Emerson, but I think some other “Lost” men deserved some love as well. And I’m sad to not see Jon Voight (“24”).

Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series
Kristin Chenoweth (Olive, “Pushing Daisies”)
Amy Poehler (“Saturday Night Live”)
Kristin Wiig (“Saturday Night Live”)
Jane Krakowski (Jenna, “30 Rock”)
Vanessa Williams (Wilhelmina, “Ugly Betty”)
Elizabeth Perkins (Celia, “Weeds”)

Poehler and Wiig will be an interesting dilemma for voters.

Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series
Rose Byrne (Ellen, “Damages”)
Sandra Oh (Christina, “Grey’s Anatomy”)
Chandra Wilson (Miranda, “Grey’s Anatomy”)
Dianne Wiest (Gina, “In Treatment”)
Hope Davis (Mia, “In Treatment”)
Cherry Jones (President Taylor, “24”)

Notice the absence of Katherine Heigl (“Grey’s Anatomy”).

Outstanding Host For a Reality or Reality-Competition Program
Phil Keoghan (“The Amazing Race”)
Ryan Seacrest (“American Idol”)
Tom Bergeron (“Dancing With the Stars”)
Heidi Klum (“Project Runway”)
Jeff Probst (“Survivor”)
Padma Lakshmi and Tom Colicchio (“Top Chef”)

I’m happy that Keoghan got the nomination he deserved last year, but I still don’t get Klum getting nominated. And even though I don’t completely agree with calling Colicchio a co-host, I’m thrilled to see him get a nod.

Outstanding Comedy Series
“Family Guy”
“Flight of the Conchords”
“How I Met Your Mother”
“The Office”
“30 Rock”

Considering the history of “Family” and the fact that an animated series hasn’t been nominated in this category since “The Flintstones,” I should be happy. But my happiness is tempered by my disappointment over the absence of “The Big Bang Theory.” So how did “How I Make Your Mother” make the cut? Three words: Neil Patrick Harris. NPH is on such a hot streak, I believe he single-handedly got the show a nod. Not that I don’t think “Mother” is good, I just think “Bang” is better. And for the record, I think the nomination of “Family” is a bit of an “in your face” for the Academy and the networks. Notice that there are seven nominees which means there was a tie somewhere.

Outstanding Drama Series
“Big Love”
“Breaking Bad”
“Mad Men”

Again, another tough one. I’m not all that disappointed about the absence of “24” since I’m not entirely sure it deserved a nomination. But I am disappointed it didn’t get one and “House” did. I’m also surprised by the absence of “The Shield” and “Rescue Me.” And it looks like ghost Denny hurt “Grey’s” chances. Again, there are seven nominees instead of six.

Outstanding Reality-Competition Program
“The Amazing Race”
“American Idol”
“Dancing With the Stars”
“Project Runway”
“Top Chef”

As I feared, “Runway” got a nomination it didn’t deserve. I don’t watch “So You Think You Can Dance,” but surely it deserved a nod more than “Runway.” And what about “Survivor”?

So what do you think? Did someone very important get left off the list or did the Emmys finally get it right?

And I’ll have more on the nominations coming up…

Photo Credit: Randy Tepper/CBS, Vivian Zink/ABC, Sonja Flemming/CBS, Virginia Sherwood/Bravo