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Emmy Snubs and Surprises: No Leftovers or Gilmore Girls, but SNL Makes a Big Splash

Rory and Jess are going to the Emmys though... sort of

Joyce Eng

Emmy nominations were announced Thursday and once again there were a few unexpected and missing faces. Here are the biggest snubs and surprises. See the list of nominees here.
The Leftovers: Sigh. It was always a long shot, but many of us were hope-dicting that the final season, which aired a the perfect time right before voting, could break in. Alas, it didn't make it into drama series, and Carrie Coon and Justin Theroux will never be recognized for their tremendous work on the series. At least Ann Dowd got a guest actress nod. Does this mean we get to see Theroux's junk?


Michael McKean: This may hurt more than The Leftovers, since we know the Emmys watch Better Call Saul. McKean was utterly impeccable this season and had a standout, winning episode, "Chicanery," but couldn't crack the drama supporting actor race, where his co-star Jonathan Banks is nominated again.
The Americans: After breaking into the major categories last year, the FX drama retained acting slots for stars Keri Russell and Matthew Rhys, but lost its drama series spot. It did grab a guest acting nod for Alison Wright though.
The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon: Jimmy Fallon rubs Donald Trump's head. Jimmy Fallon eschews political jokes. Jimmy Fallon does not get nominated. Who did get nominated for variety talk series? Two fiery, politically inclined series, Full Frontal with Samantha Bee and The Late Show with Stephen Colbert for the first time.
Gilmore Girls: Netflix's limited series strategy for the show did not work. But, as I predicted on Gold Derby, Alexis Bledel did get a drama guest actress nod for The Handmaid's Tale. Bonus: Milo Ventimiglia got a drama actor one for This Is Us. Rory and Jess are going to the Emmys!
The CW: Speaking of Gilmore Girls, still no major nods for The CW. Like I said last week, it will have a breakthrough one day. It just needs to find that one show. Hulu found it this year with The Handmaid's Tale and finally got a boatload of nods, including drama series.
Oprah: Her Immortal Life of Henriette Lacks co-stars may love her, but Emmy voters didn't.
Rami Malek: The reigning drama lead actor winner was dropped after a subpar Season 2 of Mr. Robot, which means there will be no repeat winners in any of the four drama acting categories. Tatiana Maslany (Orphan Black) is ineligible, Maggie Smith's show Downton Abbey is over, and Bloodline's Ben Mendelsohn is nominated over in guest.
Westworld: The robot drama made a huge splash with 22 nominations (tying Saturday Night Live for the most nods), including lead drama nods for Anthony Hopkins and Evan Rachel Wood. With two-time defending champ Game of Thrones out of the running, Westworld's drama series nod ensures that HBO maintains a slot in the category. It's only missed once since 1999, in 2008.
Saturday Night Live: After a resurgent season, SNL made a huge splash with 22 nods, including three in comedy supporting actress, for defending champ Kate McKinnon, Leslie Jones and Vanessa Bayer, who left at the end of last season. The show hasn't won variety series (now called variety sketch series) since 1993, but it's definitely the frontrunner now.
Milo Ventimiglia: Everyone and their mother knew Sterling K. Brown was getting nominated for This Is Us. Ventimiglia's nod was unexpected, but never underestimate the power of a super dad. Voters went gaga for This Is Us, which received 11 nods, including drama series -- marking the first time since 2011 a broadcast drama made the cut for the top prize. It's NBC's first drama series nod since Heroes in 2007 and would be the first broadcast show to win drama series since 24 in 2006. The show, however, did not get any writing or directing nominations -- likely a symptom of its over-submissions -- you historically cannot win series without at least one of them.

FX's comedy stars: Better Things' Pamela Adlon and Baskets' Zach Galifianakis cracked the lead acting races, along with the widely expected Donald Glover (Atlanta), pairing nicely with defending comedy supporting actor champ Louie Anderson's second straight nod for Baskets.
Mandy Patinkin: The Homeland star came out of nowhere to score a drama supporting nod in an expanded seven-person field after missing out for the past two years. What's weirder: The show and two-time champ Claire Danes were dropped, and they -- and Rupert Friend -- were arguably more worthy of nods.

Martha Stewart and Snoop Dogg: These two are nominated for reality host for Martha & Snoop's Potluck Dinner Party and should obviously win.
The 69th Primetime Emmy Awards airs Sunday, Sept. 17 at 8 p.m. ET / 5 p.m. PT on CBS.
(Full disclosure: TVGuide.com is owned by CBS.)