Editor's Note: For a look at all of this year's nominees, check out TVWW's complete — and we mean complete! — list of nominees. And for a different spin on the Emmy hype, read Tom Brinkmoeller's Raised on MTM.
Louis C.K.’s sad-sack comic persona on FX’s Louie is used to being treated shabbily — but Louie shouldn’t be. Nor should another FX series, the brilliant drama Justified, yet both were snubbed by Thursday’s Emmy nominations. What the FX is going on here?
The Outstanding Drama Series category, this year, made room for only one show from broadcast TV — PBS’s Masterpiece Classic offering Downton Abbey — and even that was a miscalculation of sorts.
Downton Abbey, by most reasonable estimations, belongs in the miniseries category, not in series. Arguably, it’s the same sort of offering as another PBS import, the Masterpiece Mystery! show Sherlock, which does appear in the Outstanding Miniseries or Movie category — along with FX’s American Horror Story, which presented a 13-week narrative that was packaged and presented as a weekly series.
But back to the Outstanding Drama Series category. Other than Downton Abbey, it was all cable. Not even CBS’s excellent The Good Wife made the cut — but HBO’s Boardwalk Empire and Game of Thrones did, along with three superb series that all had outstanding years: AMC’s Breaking Bad and Mad Men, and Showtime’s Homeland.
But where the hell is Justified?
That show had a stellar year, with Timothy Olyphant doing his best work yet as deputy marshal Raylan Givens, and Walton Goggins and season-long guest star Neal McDonough providing phenomenal support. Yet only Jeremy Davies, another recurring guest star, got an Emmy nomination from the show’s cast, and it was snubbed in all major categories.
On the comedy side, Louis C.K., at least, was nominated as Outstanding Actor — and his performance truly is a marvel of subtlety and originality. Yet Louie didn’t make the cut as one of the Outstanding Comedy Series, while HBO’s Veep did. No excuse for that whatsoever.
The rest of the comedy pack, at least, is defensible: ABC’s Modern Family, NBC’s 30 Rock, CBS’s The Big Bang Theory, HBO’s Curb Your Enthusiasm and the newcomer, Girls, whose Lena Dunham also got a nod as Outstanding Lead Actress.
But there are other glaring omissions, besides Louie. Where in the world is Showtime’s Episodes? It should not only be nominated as one of TV’s best comedies from last season, but lead actress Tamsin Greig gave the season’s best comedy performance, period. And Matt LeBlanc, as an exaggerated version of himself, wasn’t far behind. Both, like the show, were ignored.
So were ABC’s The Middle and NBC’s Community, all of which deserved a nomination ahead of Veep.
Other categories included other snubs, led by Fox’s American Idol in the Reality Competition Program, and Jeff Probst of Survivor as reality host. But this year, the biggest crimes were against Justified and Louie, two of television’s best shows that deserved Emmy recognition.