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Emmys Snubs and Surprises: Orange Is the New Black (Nearly) Shut Out, But Yay Americans!

The Good Wife got a slap in the face

Joyce Eng

After three straight years of nominating Margo Martindale, Emmy voters finally branched out and gave The Americans the broader recognition it deserves. But the show's presence in the drama series field means someone had to go. Check out the biggest snubs and surprises from Thursday's nominations.

The Americans, Mr. Robot score Emmy nominations

Orange Is the New Black: Orange was always going to have a tough time reaping nods after being forced to switch over to drama, but it still made the drama series cut last year and snagged a supporting win for Uzo Aduba. This year? It only got one nomination for casting. Its weakest season, Season 3, was eligible for this cycle, but its stellar fourth season was airing during the nomination voting period. Good to see that voters weren't swayed by it.

The Good Wife: Still the last broadcast series to be nominated for drama series (way back in 2011), The Good Wife was a long shot to make it back in the big race in its final season. But voters gave its stars a huge slap in the face. Two-time winner Julianna Margulies, who was snubbed last year, is MIA, as is Christine Baranski, who was until now the only Good Wifeactor to have been nominated every season. The show did score guest acting mentions for perennial nominee Michael J. Fox and former winner Carrie Preston. (Fun fact: The Good Wife had won an acting Emmy every year until last year.)

Downton Abbey stars: Unlike The Good Wife, fellow departing series Downton Abbey retained its spot in the drama series race, but its stars -- mainstays in the acting races for years (ahem, Jim Carter) -- did not fare as well. Maggie Smith, who was snubbed last year, was the only main cast member to earn a nod.

UnREAL: We are guessing/hoping the scathing drama just missed the series cut, since it managed to score nods for Constance Zimmer in supporting actress, as well as in writing ("Return"). A drama series nod would've been a first for Lifetime.

The CW: And the Emmys' bias continues. No performer on a WB/CW show has ever been nominated for an Emmy. It would've been perfect for former WB/CW queen Lauren Graham, who co-announced the nominations with Anthony Anderson, to read off a CW lady's name (i.e. Crazy Ex-Girlfriend star and Golden Globe winner Rachel Bloom or Jane the Virgin's Gina Rodriguez), but that sadly did not come to be. It's the second straight year that the Globe's comedy actress champ was snubbed. CXG did score four minor nominations, including choreography and music and lyrics for "I'm Going on a Date with Josh's Friend." And considering all the new faces the Emmys atypically welcomed in (more on that below), it's a shame they still won't open that door for The CW.
End of a variety series era: Either The Daily Show with Jon Stewart or The Colbert Reporthas won variety series (now variety talk series) since 2003. No one was really expecting The Daily Show with Trevor Noah to get in this year, but there was a chance Stephen Colbert's underwhelming Late Show could sneak in just because he's Stephen Colbert. Alas, it didn't. This marks the first time since 2000 that an incarnation of The Daily Show has not been nominated, and this also means we'll get a non-Daily Show, non-Colbert winner for the first time since, ironically, David Letterman's Late Showwon in 2002.

The Americans: Just when we thought The Americans was going to get Wire-d by the Emmys, voters come through with five nominations, including drama series and lead actor and actress for Matthew Rhys and Keri Russell, respectively. The show's breakthrough is all the more impressive because it's historically a lot harder for shows to crack the Emmy ceiling after three years.

So much new blood: The Emmys are the opposite of the Globes, which loves shiny new toys. Emmy voters are notorious creatures of habit. They have their favorites and stick with them, so it's great to see so many new faces in the big races. I don't mean "new" purely as first-year fare, like Mr. RobotandMaster of None, but shows and people that had never been nominated before, like The Americans, Black-ish, Silicon Valley's Thomas Middleditch, Veep's Matt Walsh, The Affair's Maura Tierney and Getting On's Laurie Metcalf (who is also up in guest acting for The Big Bang Theoryand Horace and Pete). One that did not make it? Globe comedy series winner Mozart in the Jungle. It's the third straight year a Globe series winner was snubbed in the corresponding Emmys series race (Brooklyn Nine-Nine, The Affair).

Game of Thronesactors: You get a nod! And you get a nod! Game of Thrones leads the field with 23 nominations, six of which are for acting. Kit Harington joins Peter Dinklage for the first time in the supporting actor race (remember the days when the Dink was the sole face of the show?), while three Thrones ladies take up half the supporting drama actress shortlist (Lena Headey, Emillia Clarke and for the first time, Maisie Williams). Max von Sydow is also nominated in guest actor. Ironically, the show did not submit Diana Rigg, who was nominated in guest actress the past three years, for consideration. Remember: Game of Thrones is going to dominate the Emmys forever (or until it ends).

Tracee Ellis Ross: With three open slots in comedy lead actress, it's not a complete shocker that the Black-ish star earned a nod. The shocking part? She is the first black actress to be nominated in the category since Phylicia Rashad 30 years ago.

Cuba Gooding Jr.: O.J. turned out to be a supporting player in his own drama on The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story, and Gooding's performance, while good, was pretty much an afterthought compared to those of Courtney B. Vance, Sarah Paulson et al. He seems to have gotten swept up in the Juice ride, making the TV movie/limited series actor field. But hey, if he somehow manages to win, he'll be halfway to an EGOT.