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The Emmy nominations

Posted by Matthew Gilbert  July 8, 2010 07:35 AM

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And the headlines are:







The nominations were announced this morning, and there were a few nice changes (lots of love for "Modern Family," above), a few over-reactions (19 nominations for "Glee"?), some due recognition ("Nurse Jackie"), and the usual silliness (Tony Shalhoub, again, for "Monk," Jon Cryer for "Two and a Half Men"). HBO once again received the most nominations of all the networks -- 101, to be exact -- primarily for its movies and miniseries.

The most controversial nomination may be the variety nod for "The Tonight Show With Conan O'Brien," which was cancelled amid loud controversy. By not nominating Jay Leno, the Emmy voters appear to suggest that NBC may have made a mistake by driving O'Brien out and moving Leno back to "The Tonight Show." Or maybe the voters just wanted to get some attention for being a little dishy, and get Conan to show up for the show itself, which will air on NBC on August 29.

Some of the best Emmy news has to do with the extremely overdue recognition for the two "Friday Night Lights" leads, Kyle Chandler and Connie Britton. The show, now in its fifth season, finally got some acknowledgement, although it failed to make the best drama category, which is crowded with quality. Working together with utterly believable chemistry, Britton and Chandler have brought an extraordinarily realistic portrait of marriage to network TV. Of course, I can no longer think of "FNL" as one of the famously ignored, like "The Wire"; no more martyr status! But it's worth it to see performers from this series finally in the running.

Looks like '30 Rock" will have stiff competition in the best comedy category, as it goes up against the new favorites "Glee" and "Modern Family," both of which did nicely in the acting categories, too. I'm so happy to see all the "Modern Family" actors filling up the supporting slots -- they make a great ensemble -- although I'm quite surprised to see Jesse Tyler Ferguson there, and not Ed O'Neill. With Ty Burrell, Eric Stonestreet, and Chris Colfer from "Glee," the supporting actor race will be most interesting.

By the way, former local guy Mike O'Malley scored a much deserved nomination in the comedy guest actor category, for his strong work as Burt Hummel in "Glee." O'Malley brought surprising dramatic heft to his role as the supportive widower father of a gay son. And worry not, "Dexter" fans: John Lithgow got a nod for dramatic guest actor for his creepy turn as a suburban dad serial killer.

The good news continues with "The Good Wife," which got plenty of nominations, including one for Archie Panjabi as the efficient, mysterious, and seductive Kalinda. She's like Kato to Julianna Margulies' Green Hornet! Also good news: No "Entourage." The show has lost it's mojo, for sure, and I'm glad the voters didn't go on automatic pilot and bestow it with nominations.

I do have a few MAJOR DISAPPOINTMENTS, of course -- it wouldn't truly be Emmy season without them. Where is "Treme," the gorgeously acted and written HBO series about post-Katrina New Orleans? The cast of that show is top-notch, particularly Melissa Leo, Steve Zahn, and Khandi Alexander, who was similarly ignored for her devastating performance in "The Corner" in 2000. And FX's "Justified"? It was one of the revelations of the season, not least of all thanks to the rich work done by lead Tim Olyphant and supporting actor Walton Goggins.

Also seriously disappointing: No Anna Gunn. I'm pleased that the Emmy have gotten on the "Breaking Bad" train -- it's one of the best shows on TV, for sure. But how can you not feel the power of Gunn's work? It would be like watching "The Sopranos" without realizing just how critical Edie Falco was to its dramatic success. Come on, voters. With all due respect to Mariska Hargitay, that slot belongs to Gunn.

Fortunately, Falco was recognized for her extraordinary work as a pill addict in "Nurse Jackie," but none of the outstanding supporting actors from that series were acknowledged. Merritt Wever and Eve Best, in particular, deserve some love. Of course, the supporting actress in a comedy prize will undoubtedly (and deservedly) go to Jane Lynch, so...

The snubs continue with Ray Romano from "Men of a Certain Age," who turned in a moving performance as a guy falling apart and pulling himself together all at once. It's nice that costar Andre Braugher got a nod as supporting actor, but if the voters were looking closely enough to see Braugher's fine work, how could they have missed Romano?

Re: "Lost." Whatever. I continue to receive much reader hateration for my negative feelings toward the sixth and final season. I thought the sideways time material slipped into pointlessness, I felt that the actors and the characters were no longer developing so much as treading water until the end, and I was disappointed with the failings of the last episode. The series as a whole deserves huge respect; it changed serial TV, there's no question about that. It was as original as anything I've seen. But I can't say that season 6 was among its best moments.

Here's a list of the major nominations. (Click here for a complete list.) Your thoughts?????

Drama Series

  • "Breaking Bad"
  • "Dexter"
  • "The Good Wife"
  • "Lost"
  • "Mad Men"
  • "True Blood"

Lead Actor, Drama

  • Bryan Cranston, "Breaking Bad"
  • Michael C. Hall, "Dexter"
  • Kyle Chandler, "Friday Night Lights"
  • Hugh Laurie, "House"
  • Matthew Fox, "Lost"
  • Jon Hamm, "Mad Men"

Lead Actress, Drama

  • Kyra Sedgwick, "The Closer"
  • Glenn Close, "Damages"
  • Connie Britton, "Friday Night Lights"
  • Julianna Margulies, "The Good Wife"
  • Mariska Hargitay, "Law & Order: SVU"
  • January Jones, "Mad Men"

Comedy Series

  • "Curb Your Enthusiasm"
  • "Glee"
  • "Modern Family"
  • "Nurse Jackie"
  • "The Office"
  • "30 Rock"

Lead Actor, Comedy

  • Jim Parsons, "Big Bang Theory"
  • Alec Baldwin, "30 Rock"
  • Larry David, "Curb Your Enthusiasm"
  • Matthew Morrison, "Glee"
  • Tony Shalhoub, "Monk"
  • Steve Carell, "The Office"

Lead Actress, Comedy

  • Lea Michele, "Glee"
  • Julia Louis-Dreyfus, "The New Adventures of Old Christine"
  • Edie Falco, "Nurse Jackie"
  • Amy Poehler, "Parks and Recreation"
  • Tina Fey, "30 Rock"
  • Toni Collette, "United States of Tara"

Variety, Music or Comedy Series

  • "The Colbert Report"
  • "The Daily Show With Jon Stewart"
  • "Saturday Night Live"
  • "Real Time WIth Bill Maher"
  • "The Tonight Show With Conan O'Brien"
Supporting Actor, Comedy
  • Chris Colfer, "Glee"
  • Neil Patrick Harris, "How I Met Your Mother"
  • Jesse Tyler Ferguson, "Modern Family"
  • Ty Burrell, "Modern Family"
  • Eric Stonestreet, "Modern Family"
  • Jon Cryer, "Two and a Half Men"

Supporting Actress, Comedy

  • Jane Lynch, "Glee"
  • Julie Bowen, "Modern Family"
  • Sofia Vergara, "Modern Family"
  • Kristen Wiig, "Saturday Night Live"
  • Jane Krakowski, "30 Rock"
  • Holland Taylor, "Two and a Half Men"

Supporting Actor, Drama

  • Aaron Paul, "Breaking Bad"
  • Martin Short, "Damages"
  • Terry O'Quinn, "Lost"
  • Michael Emerson, "Lost"
  • Andre Braugher, "Men of a Certain Age"
  • John Slattery, "Mad Men"

Supporting Actress, Drama

  • Sharon Gless, "Burn Notice"
  • Rose Byrne, "Damages"
  • Archie Punjabi, "The Good Wife"
  • Christine Baranski, "The Good Wife"
  • Christina Hendricks, "Mad Men"
  • Elisabeth Moss, "Mad Men"

Reality Program

  • "Antiques Roadshow"
  • "Dirty Jobs"
  • "Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution"
  • "Kathy Griffin: My Life on the D-List"
  • "MythBusters"
  • "Undercover Boss"

Reality Competition

  • "The Amazing Race"
  • "American Idol"
  • "Dancing With the Stars"
  • "Project Runway"
  • "Top Chef"


  • "The Pacific"
  • "Return To Cranford"

Made For Television Movie

  • "Endgame"
  • "Georgia O'Keeffe"
  • "Moonshot"
  • "The Special Relationship"
  • "Temple Grandin"
  • "You Don't Know Jack"

Nonfiction Series

  • "American Experience"
  • "American Masters"
  • "Deadliest Catch"
  • "Life"
  • "The National Parks: America's Best Idea"

Reality Host

  • Phil Keoghan, "The Amazing Race"
  • Ryan Seacrest, "American Idol"
  • Tom Bergeron, "Dancing With the Stars"
  • Heidi Klum, "Project Runway"
  • Jeff Probst, "Survivor"  

Lead Actor In A Miniseries Or A Movie

  • Jeff Bridges, "A Dog Year"
  • Ian McKellen, "The Prisoner"
  • Michael Sheen, "The Special Relationship"
  • Dennis Quaid, "The Special Relationship"
  • Al Pacino, "You Don't Know Jack"

Lead Actress In A Miniseries Or A Movie

  • Maggie Smith, "Capturing Mary"
  • Joan Allen, "Georgia O'Keeffe"
  • Dame Judi Dench, "Return To Cranford"
  • Hope Davis, "The Special Relationship"
  • Claire Danes, "Temple Grandin"

Supporting Actor In A Miniseries Or A Movie

  • Michael Gambon, "Emma"
  • Patrick Stewart , "Hamlet"
  • Jonathan Pryce , "Return To Cranford"
  • David Strathairn, "Temple Grandin"
  • John Goodman, "You Don't Know Jack"

Supporting Actress in a Miniseries or Movie

  • Kathy Bates, "Alice"
  • Julia Ormond, "Temple Grandin"
  • Catherine O'Hara, "Temple Grandin"
  • Brenda Vaccaro, "You Don't Know Jack"
  • Susan Sarandon, "You Don't Know Jack"


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