Ineligible because of their late debut dates, past winners Game of Thrones and Orphan Black were nowhere to be found today among the nominees for the 69th annual Primetime Emmy Awards, but neither were the final seasons of The Leftovers and Girls nor The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon.
As Hollywood woke up this morning to hear Veep’s Anna Chlumsky and Criminal Minds alum and S.W.A.T. star Shemar Moore announce this year’s nominations along with TV Academy boss Hayma Washington, there were raised hopes and bitter pills all over town. Moore also had the honor of announcing that his co-host Chlumsky garnered a nomination this year.
For This Is Us, the latest installment of Fargo, House of Cards and Grace and Frankie‘s Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin getting nominations today well positions them for a big win at the September 17 shindig hosted by Stephen Colbert and broadcast on CBS. However, for those who were snubbed today, a certain amount of heat has been taken off their summer.
Check out some of those we believed got the harsh medicine today and saw their Emmy aspirations end before they really even started — and tell us who we missed.
The Leftovers – Some of the best television of this era of Peak TV, the third and final season of the Damon Lindelof-Tom Perrotta series had the end of the world, presidential assassinations, love lost and, in a fulfilling finale, love found again. Snubbed before, and even with a nom for star Carrie Coon for her Fargo performance and Ann Dowd’s guest actress nom, the Peabody-winning show itself once again was not even an afterthought for Best Drama Series, even with that big campaign HBO put behind it.
The Americans – Keri Russell and Matthew Rhys individually received nominations, but FX’s acclaimed Cold War drama was left out of the Best Drama category — again. Was this Hollywood flexing an anti-Russian backlash?
Billy Bob Thornton – Earlier this year the Oscar winner took home the Golden Globe for Best Actor for his performance in Amazon’s Goliath, but there was no repeat today.
The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon – In a tight battle with CBS’ The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, some have said the NBC late-night host’s shtick just isn’t jiving in Donald Trump’s America. Looks like it fell flat with the TV Academy too.
Issa Rae – How could Emmy voters overlook the distinct talent and voice of HBO’s Insecure star and co-creator? That is not very confidence building Hollywood, not at all.
The Walking Dead – Some might have found that the most recent season of AMC’s zombie apocalypse blockbuster lagged a bit after the brutal and fatal beating of Glenn (Steve Yeun) and Abraham (Michael Cudlitz) by Jeffrey Dean Morgan’s villainous Negan in the opening episode. However, with fine acting (especially by The Good Wife alum) and maintaining its hold as the biggest show on TV, TWD deserved this year to break through the genre prejudice that has denied the show significant Emmy recognition. But this was obviously not the year for that bold move.
Asia Kate Dillon – A breakout on the second season of Billions as the brilliant gender-nonbinary analyst and then CIO at the Damian Lewis-run Axe Capital, Dillion pushed the envelope and the right of equality and decided to enter the Supporting Actor category this year. That stance for a striking performance did not get an Emmy nomination this year, but Dillion surely will be back.
Homeland – An Outstanding Supporting Actor nomination for Mandy Patinkin, a directing nom for Lesli Linka Glatter and Outstanding Sound Editing is not exactly nothing for the Showtime spy drama today. Yet, to see past winner Claire Danes not even in the race, Rupert Friend ignored and the 2012 winning show itself left off the list of Outstanding Drama Series contenders, that was a hand grenade tossed into the drama categories.
Rami Malek – Last year, the star of USA’s Mr. Robot won the Emmy for the Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series. This year, the TV Academy pulled the plug on the actor and the show and left it in the dark.
American Gods – Even with Game of Thrones off the field, there was no divine Best Drama intervention or big acting category today for Starz’s spectacularly sprawling and genre-busting series based on Neil Gaimans’ best seller. Even with noms for title sequence and visual effects this time round, pray harder for next year, I guess
Oprah Winfrey – The OWN owner saw nothing for her and Ava DuVernay’s Queen Sugar, which was not very sweet. Even more sour for the media mogul and former Oscar nominee had to be getting left out for her startling lead performance in the HBO TV movie The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, which itself got a nom.
Girls – The end of Lena Dunham’s groundbreaking HBO series went out with an Emmy whimper when it deserved at least a firework or two beyond Guest Actor & Actress categories and Music Supervision.
Empire – The biggest drama on the Big 4 got some real competition in its third season from NBC’s This Is Us. What the Lee Daniels- and Danny Strong-created Fox drama and its lead Taraji P. Henson did not get, yet again, was a chance to bring its game to the Emmy race – which is a bum note all round.
Rashida Jones – Over the three seasons since Angie Tribeca’s debut in January 2016, the Parks and Recreation alumna has proved comic gold on TBS’ guest-star-rich mock cop show. A past nominee for her work on the now-shuttered NBC comedy, this year should have seen a repeat of sorts.
The Daily Show with Trevor Noah – Its been almost two years since the South African comedian took over Comedy Central’s flagship show from Jon Stewart. After an uneven start, Noah has really found his footing in recent months but seems to be too little too late for Emmy voters, who have handed The Daily Show 23 Emmys and 60 nominations in the past.
Transparent – Two-time past Emmy winner Jeffrey Tambor is rightly nominated again this year, but the Jill Soloway-created Amazon show itself saw no love from the Comedy category.
Desus & Mero – Broadcasting straight out of Brooklyn, Viceland’s late-night duo commonly went where their cable and Big 4 rivals feared to tread with Donald Trump and more – with hilarious, often insightful and fresh results. Since their debut in October, getting a personalized rainbow from the Bodega Boys of podcast fame has become an essential stop for the likes of MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow, Black-ish’s Anthony Anderson and hip-hop superstars like Big Boi – but not Emmy voters, who stuck with a lot of the same old format.
The Good Fight – The Good Wife was an Emmy favorite for years, flying the flag for the Big 4 against the cable and streaming onslaught, but CBS All Access’ sequel of sorts did not receive the same verdict, except for a nomination for its theme music. While that is the first nomination for Les Moonves’ streaming service, it is even more surprisingly amidst the otherwise overall Good Fight shutout that lead and past Emmy winner Christine Baranski was left out; that is not a fair fight at all.
The CW – We’ve been here before with the home of Arrow and Riverdale and the now-ended The Vampire Diaries hitting the wall at Emmy time. Hulu broke through today thanks to The Handmaid’s Tale, and the Mark Pedowitz-run net will get its time in the TV Academy sun, but today the snub clouds hung heavy