It was great to see The Good Wife, Modern Family and Glee get so much Emmys love, but let's face it, we kind of expected it. On the other hand, there were some genuine surprises in the mix — and, as always, some disappointing omissions. Read our take on the nominations, and then post your favorite surprise or most painful snub in the comments section.
Friday Night Lights: TV critics everywhere (and more than a handful of viewers, it must be said) just exhaled. Both Kyle Chandler and Connie Britton, for whom Emmy-snubs stories like this one were invented, finally received lead-acting nominations for Friday Night Lights. Go Panthers, er, Lions!
The thespians of Glee: Glee had to be nominated for best comedy series. There's simply no other show on the air as consistently original, entertaining, and yes, funny. Nevertheless, it's still a pleasant surprise that three of the cast's ludicrously talented multihyphenates — Matthew Morrison, Lea Michele and Chris Colfer — are all among this year's acting nominees. (Jane Lynch, on the other hand, was a lock. And that's how we ... C it.)
The Best Supporting Actress in a Drama category: Two Emmys vets crashed the party most recently dominated by actresses from Grey's Anatomy and In Treatment. Christine Baranski nabbed her eighth Emmy nomination (she won for Cybill in 1995) for The Good Wife. Sharon Gless, who has now been nominated 10 times (she won in '86 and '87 for Cagney & Lacey), received a nod for Burn Notice, a show that so perplexes Saturday Night Live they recently did a skit about it. Rounding out the field is The Good Wife's Archie Panjabi, who plays fan favorite Kalinda. (For the record, they'll face off against Damages' Rose Byrne and Mad Men women Elisabeth Moss and Christina Hendricks.)
True Blood: The academy snubbed HBO's Southern Gothic vampire fable last year almost entirely, so seeing it show up alongside Breaking Bad, Dexter, The Good Wife, Lost and Mad Men in the best drama series category was definitely not expected.
Matthew Fox: After six seasons on Lost (not to mention six on Party of Five), the artist formerly known as the savior of Funhouse Island received his first Emmy nomination. Even before his tear-jerking death in the series finale, Fox's understated performance was the glue of the ensemble.
A Married...with Children curse? We expected Modern Family to rake in a few acting nominations, but failing to recognize the show's patriarch, Ed O'Neill, seems to be the unfortunate result of a very crowded category (one that also had no room for the men of 30 Rock, but includes O'Neill's co-stars Ty Burrell, Jesse Tyler Ferguson and Eric Stonestreet). Call us paranoid, but Katey Sagal, who played O'Neill's Married wife, also got no love for her stunning turn as rape-victim-turned-murderer Gemma on FX's Sons of Anarchy.
Team Coco FTW: The Tonight Show with Conan O'Brien, which the comedian submitted himself, was nominated in the variety-music-or-comedy-series category. Pointedly (and almost certainly not coincidentally), Jay Leno's Tonight Show did not receive a nod in the same category.
Cougar Town: Courteney Cox is the only Friend never to have been nominated for an Emmy. We thought that maybe Bill Lawrence's tight-knit ABC sitcom might be Cox's good-luck charm. But no, neither the show nor any of its talented comedians made the cut.
Weeds: Perennial favorites Mary-Louise Parker and Elizabeth Perkins were left out this year, as was the show itself. Perhaps it was time to make way for a new generation of Showtime talent: Nurse Jackie, which got nominations for both the show and its star Edie Falco.
Does a personal scandal matter? Ask Charlie Sheen, who was dropped this year after four consecutive best-actor nominations for Two and a Half Men — just seven months after a disagreement with his wife that led to a slew of court dates, contract disputes, rehab and just plain odd incidents.
Or ask Entourage's Jeremy Piven, who saw a four-year nomination streak (and a three-year winning streak), stop dead in its tracks in 2009 after Sushi-gate. The show didn't receive a single major nomination this year either.
What were your biggest Emmy surprises and snubs?