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Emmy Nominations 2011: Nods and Snubs for 'Justified,' 'Episodes,' Others
July 14, 2011  | By David Bianculli

Many of the nominations I most wanted to see this year, acknowledging such superb work as Margo Martindale's sinister Mags in FX's Justified and Kelly Macdonald in HBO's Boardwalk Empire, ended up making the cut. But others, as usual, did not, starting with egregious snubs in the Outstanding Drama category for FX's Rescue Me and Justified, and HBO's Treme and True Blood...


In some ways, it's an embarrassment of riches. In the Outstanding Drama category, the shows that were nominated include some of TV's inarguable best: Showtime's Dexter, CBS's The Good Wife and AMC's Mad Men. Friday Night Lights, even with a shrunken-budget final season, can defend its spot there, too, as can most hours of HBO's Boardwalk Empire. The same network's new Game of Thrones, which got much stronger at the end, may be the weakest link here, but it's a fairly strong chain.

The absence of AMC's Breaking Bad, like that of Damages, is explained away by the fact that it televised no fresh episodes during the period of eligibility. This means Bryan Cranston, who beat all fellow nominees for Best Actor since his series premiered, is not in the running -- so someone else will win there.

Jon Hamm of Mad Men deserves to -- but Timothy Olyphant, nominated for Justified, also deserves a shot. And Kyle Chandler of Friday Night Lights has been great throughout, as has Michael C. Hall of Dexter. Steve Buscemi of Boardwalk Empire may have the cinematic street cred to steal this category this year -- but any contest that makes Hugh Laurie of Fox's House the least likely winner in a field of six, well, that's some field.

Some random complaints and questions about this year's nominees... and non-nominees:


Other drama series that deserved a shot: HBO's Treme (is the Academy allergic to David Simon, or what?). NBC's Parenthood. FX's Lights Out and, most of all, Justified and Rescue Me. AMC's Rubicon. TNT's Men of a Certain Age. Fox's Fringe.

Comedy series that were snubbed, absurdly, as Outstanding Comedy Series: Showtime's Episodes and United States of Tara. (HBO's Curb Your Enthusiasm, by the way, was not eligible.)

Drama actresses that should be crying foul: Kyra Sedgwick, a previous winner in drama, not even nominated for TNT's The Closer. Anna Torv, snubbed for her tricky double role in Fringe. Anna Paquin for True Blood. Kim Dickens, Melissa Leo and Khandi Alexander for Treme.


Comedy actresses that should be crying foul: Patricia Heaton for ABC's The Middle should have been noticed. The same goes for previous winner Toni Collette for Showtime's United States of Tara, Mary Louise Parker of the same network's Weeds, Lea Michele of Fox's Glee, and the woman I though gave the season's best comedy performance of all: Tamsin Greig (right), as the transplanted comedy writer of Episodes.

Snubbed drama actors? Holt McCallany of Lights Out. Peter Krause from Parenthood, Wendell Pierce and David Morse from Treme, and -- unforgivably -- Denis Leary from Rescue Me.

Snubbed comedy actors? I'm so happy Louis C.K. made the cut in this category that I can forgive almost anything else. And I'm not upset at all that Charlie Sheen was ignored for Two and a Half Men, obliterating the possibility that he could hold an Emmy statuette aloft this fall and say, "Winning!"


Supporting players, male and female: The voters noticed Margo Martindale, so they should be allowed to live. But here is where Mad Men and True Blood and Treme and Justified and Dexter and House, among others, all shine in drama. And where the hell, I ask you, is Callie Thorne of Rescue Me?

In comedy, four of the six nominations went to cast members of ABC's Modern Family. Seems a bit greedy -- but it is a great show, and each of those performances, too, is wonderful.

Other notes:

Why the multiple Emmy nominations for the miniseries The Kennedys? I watched it. Apparently the voters didn't. And speaking of movies and miniseries, why no nods for PBS's Sherlock? That's a real mystery, my dear Watson.

How is Cloris Leachman, who appears every week as Maw Maw on Raising Hope, nominated as a Guest Actress rather than a Supporting Actress?


Notice that TBS's Conan got a nomination in the variety/comedy category, as did Comedy Central's Daily Show with Jon Stewart and The Colbert Report, and NBC's Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, and NBC's Saturday Night Live and HBO's Real Time with Bill Maher.

But not the shows fronted by David Letterman, or Craig Ferguson, or Jimmy Kimmel, or Jay Leno.

What else did I miss? What else, more pointedly, did the Emmy voters miss?





Erin said:

Re: Cloris Leachman. I was under the impression that if the actor wasn't a series regular, he or she could opt to be considered either a guest actor or a supporting actor. Cloris Leachman was in the majority of the episodes of Raising Hope, but she wasn't a series regular (pretty sure that she is for next year, though). Julia Stiles for Dexter is kinda in the same boat. She was in the majority of last season's episodes and took up a large amount of screen time, but she's nominated for guest, not supporting.

Interesting how the guest category has boomed in the past 10 years or so. I remember in the early 1990s when there wasn't a guest category one year for some reason and Christopher Lloyd won Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama for one (one!) episode of Avonlea that aired on the Disney Channel!!

Comment posted on July 14, 2011 12:38 PM

Tausif Khan said:

RE: Sherlock. Steven Moffat was nominated in the writing category for study in Pink. I personally disliked the Sherlock series because it borrows so much from modern crime procedurals and moved away from what makes Masterpiece so interesting the attention to plot and character.

The biggest travesty for me was Community's (I guess Cougar Town as well) complete snub at the Emmy's. Cougar Town and Community have now take the space in my mind where Scrubs used to be. Community has so many well done characters, their interplay is amazing and stories are just so much fun but always leave you with a bit to think about. Cougar Town understands family dynamic so well. To me its the comedic equivalent of Friday Night Lights.

Comment posted on July 14, 2011 11:02 PM

Eileen said:

My only reaction is that Elisabeth Moss more than deserves to win this year. She carried last year's season of Mad Men with her multi-faceted Peggy; the female equivalent of Don Draper.

Couldn't agree more with your observations on The Kennedys. I only watched it because it was rerun on TWC's Prime Time on Demand, and I was fascinated as to what all the hubbub was about regarding its bounce from History to Reelz(!!). It was actually laughably campy. I couldn't even look directly at Katie Holmes -- Jackie must be spinning in her grave. It was the worst character assassination since Jennifer Love-Hewitt defamed Audrey Hepburn -- and that's saying something.

[Perfect character -assassination examples on your part. Both of them. --DB]

Comment posted on July 15, 2011 11:40 AM
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