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Emmy Nominations Are Out, "Mad Men" Is In, and "Friday Night Lights" Was Robbed
July 17, 2008  | By David Bianculli

Nominations for the 2008 Primetime Emmy Awards were announced this morning, and the verdicts are clear. AMC is latest cable-network darling to catch the eye of the voters, with Mad Men getting more than twice as many nominations as any other drama series, and with Breaking Bad being noticed, too.

Meanwhile, NBC's Friday Night Lights was, in a word, robbed.


The family drama series, in its second season, was given just a single nomination, for Outstanding Casting for a Drama Series. Yet if the cast is so outstanding -- and it is -- how in the world do you ignore the work of the show's brilliant stars, Kyle Chandler and Connie Britton? You shouldn't. But the Emmy voters did.

Why? I suspect, in part, because of a long-standing, simmering, but wholly unnecessary inferiority complex. When Emmy voters are confronted with too many talented actors or actresses in a given category, movie stars always seem to be favored over stars from TV itself.

In the Lead Actress in a Drama Series category, for example, Glenn Close from Damages and Kyra Sedgwick from The Closer ae movie stars who deserved their nomination, but did Holly Hunter of Saving Grace, or even Sally Field of Brothers & Sisters, given the other possibilities? Especially since Connie Britton was overlooked?


And while the Lead Actor in a Drama category is loaded with perhaps the strongest field in the race this year -- Michael C. Hall from Dexter, Hugh Laurie from House, James Spader from Boston Legal, and category newcomers Jon Hamm from Mad Men, Bryan Cranston from Breaking Bad and Gabriel Byrne from In Treatment -- Kyle Chandler really, really deserved to be in there.

Other shifts, spurns and surprises?

The Wire, in its final year, was dismissed again, given only one nomination, for the script for the finale. Rescue Me got nods only for cinematography and guest actor Charles Durning -- even though Denis Leary is another actor deserving of a best-actor nod. And David Duchovny from Californication didn't get a comedy Lead Actor nod, even though Charlie Sheen from Two and a Half Men did.

Where are Minnie Driver and Eddie Izzard from The Riches? How in the world did Ken Burns' The War fall through the cracks, nominated as neither Outstanding Nonfiction Special nor Outstanding Nonfiction Series. Clearly, it was one or the other, so where is it? And how and why did Desperate Housewives fall so far out of favor? It had a very strong year, yet drew performing-category nominations only for guest actresses Polly Bergen and Kathryn Joosten.


The same category, though, did make room for Edie Falco, Elaine Stritch and Carrie Fisher, all from 30 Rock. And while Alec Baldwin has been nominated before for that show, as he was again this year, this year he absolutely deserves to win.

Then again, so does Kyle Chandler, and he's not even in the running...




4 Comment


Les said:

I don't watch Friday Night Lights, so I can't comment on that, but I'm very happy to see that Michael C. Hall was nominated for Dexter. I love the show and he just does the creepy, insane serial killer part so well. MCH is a great actor and totally deserves the Emmy, not just the nomination.

Comment posted on July 17, 2008 4:05 PM

Monty49 said:

I agree with you completely regarding the many oversights in the Emmy nominations. While some nominations pleased me -- I love Mad Men, Dexter, The Office and 30 Rock -- I was disappointed by snubbing of Kyle Chandler, Connie Britton, Eddie Izzard, Minnie Driver, any of the amazingly talented actors from The Wire, and David Duchovny (who imparts such pathos into a character I would generally loathe). I was also disappointed that Amy Ryan wasn't recognized for her guest starring spot in the season finale of The Office. I thought her character and performance fit in flawlessly with the ensemble cast.

Comment posted on July 17, 2008 4:46 PM

Eileen said:

I'm delighted that the wonderful Alec Baldwin was again recognized for his brilliant work on 30 Rock, and I truly hope this is his year to win.

More importantly (to me, that is) is the terrific Bryan Cranston getting a nod for Breaking Bad. It's almost ironic he gets nominated for Drama when year in and year out on Malcolm in the Middle he was hilarious, yet never took home an Emmy. That always bothered me, but now there is justice for the delightful Mr. Cranston. As much as I love Mad Men, I'd love to see Bryan win.

Comment posted on July 18, 2008 11:30 AM

Chris J. said:

The emmy's became irrelevant to me when the snubbed Friday Night Lights last year. Their choices for nominations and as a result, who wins the awards, mean absolutely nothing to me anymore. The voters continuously choose the actors with the biggest names and the same nominees year after year.

Comment posted on July 21, 2008 8:43 AM
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