I'm going to be completely honest here: I'm a bit disappointed by this year's Emmy nominations. Sure, some usual faves who deserve nominations got them, such as Alec Baldwin (30 Rock), Neil Patrick Harris (How I Met Your Mother), and Hugh Laurie (House). And some names I was really hoping would be included, such as a trio of Lost actors (Matthew Fox, Terry O'Quinn, and Michael Emerson) and Betty White for her episode of Saturday Night Live (even though I still think Joseph Gordon-Levitt was the best host of last season). There were even a few pleasant surprises, like Andre Braugher getting a nomination for TNT's Men of a Certain Age and NBC/DirecTV's Friday Night Lights finally receiving nominations for leads Kyle Chandler and Connie Britton.
But what about Community? Star Joel McHale was co-announcing the Emmy nominations with Modern Family's Sofia Vergara, and while it could be argued that Modern Family is the best sitcom on TV (I wouldn't be making that argument myself), did it really deserve its 400 actor nominations, while hilarious shows like Community, Parks & Recreation, Chuck, Psych, Cougar Town, and the now-cancelled Better Off Ted received a grand total of ONE major nomination (previous Emmy nominee Amy Poehler)? And what about the outstanding performance of John Noble on Fringe going completely unrecognized? Maybe I just wish the love was spread around a bit, instead of the Emmy voters picking a few shows and handing every nomination (including multiple nominations in many categories) to those same shows.
We get it: Mad Men, Breaking Bad, Glee, Modern Family, and 30 Rock are great shows. We agree (in some cases more than others). But this is a golden age of television, with more great work being made on network and cable TV than ever before, and it'd be nice if more of that was recognized, instead of just the same stuff year after year.
To counter that little negative rant of mine, there was one other nice little surprise amongst the nominees: The Tonight Show with Conan O'Brien. The show NBC probably didn't really want to happen in the first place and which lasted a whole 7 months on the air (a fiasco which was covered thoroughly here on ShowbizMonkeys.com) received FOUR nominations. The show, which hasn't be on the air since its highly-rated farewell in February, was submitted for Emmy contention by Conan, and the Emmy campaign was promoted by cable channel TBS, home to his new late night talk show beginning in November. NBC -- who, by the way, are airing this year's Emmys -- didn't submit Conan's Tonight Show for contention, but did submit Jay Leno's version, along with Emmy host Jimmy Fallon's Late Night, neither of which received any nominations. Should we take bets on whether NBC will completely ignore the Variety, Music or Comedy categories on this year's main telecast? Or do you think we will still get to see the traditional (and always hilarious) videos submitted by the nominees for the Writing for a Variety, Music or Comedy Series?
A list of the nominees in the major categories can be found below, or you can visit Emmys.tv for the complete list -- yes, even the much-talked-about Cinematography for Reality Programming category!
Paul Little is the founder and Managing Editor of ShowbizMonkeys.com. When not interviewing his favourite musicians and comedians, he can also be found putting on and promoting music and comedy events with The Purple Room in Winnipeg, or co-producing the live comedy game show Pants on Fire. (@comedygeek)
Now you got me thinking.... are we in a golden age?
I truly believe we are. When you compare the best shows today to the best shows of 10 years ago, 20 years ago, 30 years ago, I think it's pretty clear. Quantity-wise, there are far more great shows (that mostly has to do with the amount of channels out there, but it's true none-the-less). But I think the writing and acting on TV is stronger than ever.
TV used to be the place where you got your start, until you could get into movies, and if you were a successful film actor, you never looked back. Now, you have phenomenal film actors having no problem accepting regular television gigs.