By Joyce Eng,
Could Downton Abbey be the one to dethrone four-time defending drama series champ Mad Men at the Emmys? The upstairs/downstairs crew nabbed a whopping 16 nominations, but its haul wasn't the only shocker Thursday morning.
Risks pay off: Downton Abbey and American Horror Story made waves when the former announced it would submit in the drama series category (after winning TV movie/miniseries last year) and the latter in the TV movie/miniseries race. While no one predicted either to be shut out completely, it was nuts to see both being embraced as much as they were. Horror Story tied Mad Men to lead all programs with 17 nominations, while Downton nipped at its heels with 16. We always thought that Breaking Bad would end Mad Men's reign, but now it's looking like Downton could be the one to crash the party.
New faces: Emmy voters are notorious creatures of habit, so it's refreshing to see so many fresh faces in the mix. The nods for Homeland and Veep's Julia Louis-Dreyfus (now a 13-time nominee and two-time winner) were perhaps expected, but less so were nods for Veep and Girls in comedy series. Girls mastermind Lena Dunham received a lead actress nod, while New Girl's Zooey Deschanel and scene-stealer Max Greenfield also landed nods. House of Lies' Don Cheadle, meanwhile, snuck in to lead comedy actor.
The Voice: In the neverending battle of the singing competition shows, The Voice came out on top, landing its first reality-competition series nod, while American Idol was left out in the cold for the first time since the category was created in 2003. And The X Factor? Zero nods.
Supporting funny ladies: Speaking of new faces, The Big Bang Theory's Mayim Bialik and Nurse Jackie's Merritt Wever scored very deserving supporting comedy actress nods after years of getting overlooked. Even more impressive? The took spots from Emmy champs Jane Lynch, Betty White and three-time nominee Jane Krakowski. The last spot went to two-time Emmy winner Kathryn Joosten (Desperate Housewives), who died in June. (Kudos also to Saturday Night Live's Bill Hader for garnering a supporting comedy actor nod.)
Betty White: White was dropped from the supporting comedy actress race, but she managed to break in to reality host for Off Their Rockers -- knocking out four-time defending champ Jeff Probst (Survivor). Look, we love White as much as anyone else, but between this, her equally head-scratching SAG nomination for a Hallmark Hall of Fame movie and her second SAG win for Hot in Cleveland, it may be time to chill out on the Rose Nylund lovefest a bit.
No network love: For the first time in history, there are no network series nominated for Best Drama Series. As recently as 2007, four of the five drama series nominees were network shows (though they all lost to HBO's The Sopranos). But it wasn't a complete win for cable. Worthy series like Louie, Justified and Sons of Anarchy missed the cut. Maybe FX should submit them in TV movie/miniseries too? (Kidding!)
Parks and Recreation: It's official: The Emmys just do not like Parks and Rec. Last year, it only got three nominations last year; this year a piddling four, not including comedy series. Good thing Nick Offerman couldn't make it to L.A. to announce the nods then, huh?
Out with the old: In the biggest changing of the guard in recent years, multiple Emmy stalwarts are MIA this year. Besides the aforementioned Idol and Probst, The Office failed to get any nominations, Mariska Hargitay (Law & Order: SVU) is out after eight straight nods and Mad Men's John Slattery, who had been nominated since the beginning of the series, was bumped in favor of co-star Jared Harris.
Glee: How the mighty have fallen. It was just two years ago that Glee led all nominees with 19 nominations. This year? Three in minor categories. At least Ryan Murphy can comfort himself with Horror Story's nods.
Hugh Laurie: The House star's absence isn't completely shocking -- the lead drama actor category is loaded this year -- but it still hurts to know that the six-time nominee will be yet another performer to go Emmy-less for an iconic role. (See: Angela Lansbury, Bob Newhart, Andy Griffith and Steve Carell last year, among many more.) Also missing out on a farewell bid: Desperate Housewives, though it hadn't been nominated for comedy series since its first season. Housewives received just two nominations, including a posthumous one for Joosten.
Which of your favorites were overlooked?
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