Kathy Bates, Kyra Sedgwick
After pulling an upset last year over Julianna Margulies, Kyra Sedgwick won't be back to defend her Emmy win this year as The Closer leading lady was nowhere to be found on the drama actress shortlist. But her snub isn't the only shocker on Emmy nominations morning.
Mad Men, Modern Family, Boardwalk Empire dominate Emmy nominations
The Kennedys: Cast aside by History and lambasted by critics, The Kennedys nabbed a whopping 10 nominations, including miniseries and acting nominations for Greg Kinnear, Barry Pepper and Tom Wilkinson. And to think it almost never made it on air. Katie Holmes was overlooked though, but how cool would it have been had her former Dawson's Creek love interest Joshua Jackson read her name?
So You Think You Can Dance: Emmy voters finally got on the Hot Tamale Train, bestowing inaugural nods to the Fox hit for reality competition series and reality host for Cat Deeley, who's the most charming, fast-thinking, witty host this side of Tom Bergeron. Even fellow nominee Jesse Tyler Ferguson wished for her to be shortlisted. Now that she is, can she take down three-time defending champ Jeff Probst?
Comedy Newbies: The Comedy Class of 2011 features a lot of deserving first-timers: Louis C.K., whose tiny, cynical FX show caught the academy's attention; TV vet Ed O'Neill, who received his first career nomination for Modern Family; Mike & Molly star/co-announcer (and Bridesmaids stand-out) Melissa McCarthy, and The Big Bang Theory's Johnny Galecki. Extra kudos for singling out Raising Hope's Martha Plimpton — the coolest grandma on TV.
Game of Thrones: A series nod for fellow HBO newcomer Boardwalk Empire was a given — a Martin Scorsese-backed prestige piece, hello! Less certain was Thrones' chances, since the academy has never been too big on genre shows, especially fantasy. Nevertheless, the eye-popping spectacle eked out a spot in the drama series category and Peter Dinklage scored a supporting acting nomination as well.
Kathy Bates: Never underestimate the power of David E. Kelley. The prolific producer — who in 1999 became the first person to win Emmys for drama series (The Practice) and comedy series (Ally McBeal) in the same year — didn't get Harry's Law on the drama series shortlist this time, but star Bates grabbed a drama actress nomination — her ninth overall. But did she really deserve one over, say, Katey Sagal?
Kyra Sedgwick: Nominated every year since The Closer's first season, Sedgwick was unceremoniously dropped from the drama actress race — a year after winning it all. It makes you wonder if her victory was a "make-good" to clear the way for newcomers. On the other hand, Mariska Hargitay, who won in 2006, received her eighth straight nomination.
Fringe: We optimistically thought having Jackson co-announce the nominations was a sign of good news for his Fox series, but alas, it was overlooked in all major categories. How many different versions of their characters do John Noble and Anna Torv have to play to get recognized?
Community: While the rest of NBC's Thursday comedy lineup received nods, Community — so innovative and smart — was snubbed once again. No series nomination, no acting nominations, no writing nominations. Is it too niche? Is there too much paintball?
Cougar Town: It looks like we may need to accept the fact that the academy will never visit Cougar Town. Or nominate Courteney Cox. (Adding insult to injury: Her former Friends co-star Matt LeBlanc earned a nomination for Episodes.) The kooky sitcom hit its stride this past season, completing its hilarious transition from a one-woman vehicle to stellar ensemble. At least the critics know what's up.
Justified: OK, this isn't too big of a snub, since Timothy Olyphant, Walton Goggins, Jeremy Davies and Margo Martindale (can we just give it to her now?) all garnered nominations, despite the academy's weird FX bias. But we would've loved for the show to land a series nod for its riveting second season. Baby steps, right?
AMC Newbies: HBO's freshmen series Boardwalk Empire and Game of Thrones won the battle of the new cable series, as The Killing and The Walking Dead failed to score series nods in Breaking Bad's absence. (The Killing's Mireille Enos and Michelle Forbes were both nominated though.) Perhaps The Killing's divisive finale played a part in this outcome. The Walking Dead, however, was rather lavished in critical praise. Still, we of all people know that that doesn't always translate to nominations.
What were you most surprised by? Who do you wish had been nominated?