2013 EMMY Nominations–A Few Thoughts


The 2013 EMMY Awards Nominations are out and it is a decent enough list – with some brilliant calls and a few egregious Ù(and I do mean egregious!) errors in judgement – but it could have been a great list. Follow the jump for a list of the major nominees and one or two (!) comments on better and worse calls.

Outstanding Lead Actor In A Drama Series

Bryan Cranston as Walter White – Breaking Bad (AMC)

Hugh Bonneville as Robert, Earl of Grantham – Downton Abbey (PBS)

Damian Lewis as Nicholas Brody – Homeland (Showtime)

Kevin Spacey as Francis Underwood – House Of Cards (Netflix)

Jon Hamm as Don Draper – Mad Men (AMC)

Jeff Daniels as Will McAvoy – The Newsroom (HBO)

No arguments from me.


Outstanding Lead Actress In A Drama Series

Vera Farmiga as Norma Bates – Bates Motel (A&E)

Michelle Dockery as Lady Mary Crawley – Downton Abbey • PBS

Claire Danes as Carrie Mathison – Homeland (Showtime)

Robin Wright as Claire Underwood – House Of Cards (Netflix)

Elisabeth Moss as Peggy Olson – Mad Men (AMC)

Connie Britton as Rayna James – Nashville (ABC)

Kerry Washington as Olivia Pope – Scandal (ABC)

Tatiana Maslany was more brilliant than anyone on this list as she played seven (!) different characters. Sure, they were clones – but they each had different looks, accents, walks, and so forth. For Maslany be snubbed for Connie Britton and Kerry Washington – who were superb but not as amazing as she – is a sad commentary on the Academy’s awareness of the new and wonderful.


Outstanding Lead Actor In A Miniseries Or A Movie

Michael Douglas as Liberace – Behind The Candelabra (HBO)

Matt Damon as Scott Thorson – Behind The Candelabra (HBO)

Toby Jones as Alfred Hitchcock – The Girl (HBO)

Benedict Cumberbatch as Christopher Tietjens – Parade’s End (HBO)

Al Pacino as Phil Spector – Phil Spector (HBO)

Pickings were slim in this category, but even so, Al Pacino does not belong on this list. Nor for that matter, does anyone who had anything to do with the production of Phil Spector (with the possible exception of costuming…).

Outstanding Lead Actress In A Miniseries Or A Movie

Jessica Lange as Sister Jude Martin – American Horror Story: Asylum (FX)

Laura Linney as Cathy Jamison – The Big C: Hereafter (Showtime)

Helen Mirren as Linda Kenney-Baden– Phil Spector (HBO)

Sigourney Weaver as Elaine Barrish Hammond – Political Animals (USA)

Elisabeth Moss as Robin – Top Of The Lake (Sundance Channel)


Outstanding Host For A Reality Or Reality-Competition Program

Ryan Seacrest, Host – American Idol (FOX)

Betty White, Host – Betty White’s Off Their Rockers (NBC)

Tom Bergeron, Host – Dancing With The Stars (ABC)

Heidi Klum, Host; Tim Gunn, Host – Project Runway (Lifetime)

Cat Deeley, Host –So You Think You Can Dance (FOX)

Anthony Bourdain, Host – The Taste (ABC)


Outstanding Lead Actor In A Comedy Series

Jason Bateman as Michael Bluth – Arrested Development (Netflix)

Jim Parsons as Sheldon Cooper – The Big Bang Theory (CBS)

Matt LeBlanc as Matt LeBlanc – Episodes (Showtime)

Don Cheadle as Marty Kaan – House Of Lies (Showtime)

Louis C.K. as Louie Louie (FX)

Alec Baldwin as Jack Donaghy – 30 Rock (NBC)


Outstanding Lead Actress In A Comedy Series

Laura Dern as Amy – Enlightened (HBO)

Lena Dunham as Hannah Horvath – Girls (HBO)

Edie Falco as Jackie Peyton – Nurse Jackie (Showtime)

Amy Poehler as Leslie Knope – Parks And Recreation (NBC)

Tina Fey as Liz Lemon – 30 Rock (NBC)

Julia Louis-Dreyfus as Selina Meyer – Veep (HBO)

Edie Falco’s Nurse Jackie is the least comedic character on the show – it’s a 95% dramatic role. Sorry, but she simply does not belong in a comedy category.


Outstanding Reality-Competition Program

The Amazing Race (CBS)

Dancing With The Stars (ABC)

Project Runway (Lifetime)

So You Think You Can Dance (FOX)

Top Chef (Bravo)

The Voice (NBC)

Outstanding Variety Series

The Colbert Report (Comedy Central)

The Daily Show With Jon Stewart (Comedy Central)

Jimmy Kimmel Live (ABC)

Late Night With Jimmy Fallon (NBC)

Real Time With Bill Maher (HBO)

Saturday Night Live (NBC)

And Bill Maher will just keep on losing (and milking it for gags…).


Outstanding Miniseries Or Movie

American Horror Story: Asylum (FX)

Behind The Candelabra (HBO)

The Bible (HISTORY)

Phil Spector (HBO)

Political Animals (USA)

Top Of The Lake (Sundance Channel)

Again, Phil Spector does not belong on this list – it may be David Mamet’s biggest misfire…


Outstanding Comedy Series

The Big Bang Theory (CBS)

Girls (HBO)

Louie (FX)

Modern Family (ABC)

30 Rock (NBC)

Veep (HBO)

Outstanding Drama Series

Breaking Bad (AMC)

Downton Abbey (PBS)

Game Of Thrones (HBO)

Homeland (Showtime)

House Of Cards (Netflix)

Mad Men (AMC)

Despite John Hamm continuing to be amazing as he charts Don Draper’s journey, Mad Men had at least three eps where the storytelling was weak and/or self-indulgent. Orphan Black, on the other hand, was amazing throughout. It’s bad enough that Tatiana Maslany was snubbed for her brilliant performance in seven (!) roles, but for what was the single best new series of the year to snubbed as well? That’s contemptible.

Outstanding Supporting Actor In A Drama Series

Bobby Cannavale as Gyp Rosetti – Boardwalk Empire (HBO)

Jonathan Banks as Mike Ehrmantraut – Breaking Bad (AMC)

Aaron Paul as Jesse Pinkman – Breaking Bad (AMC)

Jim Carter as Mr. Carson – Downton Abbey (PBS)

Peter Dinklage as Tyrion Lannister – Game Of Thrones (HBO)

Mandy Patinkin as Saul Berenson – Homeland (Showtime)

JOHN NOBLE, BITCHES! Er.. what I meant to say was… Once again the incredible John Noble’s heartbreaking work as Fringe’s Walter Bishop goes unrecognized. Almost as big a shame as Tatiana Maslany being ignored…


Outstanding Supporting Actress In A Drama Series

Anna Gunn as Skyler White – Breaking Bad (AMC)

Maggie Smith as Violet, Dowager Countess of Grantham – Downton Abbey (PBS)

Emilia Clarke as Daenerys Targaryen – Game Of Thrones (HBO)

Christine Baranski as Diane Lockhart – The Good Wife (CBS)

Morena Baccarin as Jessica Brody – Homeland (Showtime)

Christina Hendricks as Joan Harris – Mad Men (AMC)


Outstanding Guest Actor In A Drama Series

Nathan Lane as Clarke Hayden – The Good Wife (CBS)

Michael J. Fox as Louis Canning – The Good Wife (CBS)

Rupert Friend as Peter Quinn – Homeland (Showtime)

Robert Morse as Bertram Cooper – Mad Men (AMC)

Harry Hamlin as Jim Cutler – Mad Men (AMC)

Dan Bucatinsky as James Novack – Scandal (ABC)


Outstanding Guest Actress In A Drama Series

Margo Martindale as Claudia – The Americans (FX)

Diana Rigg as Olenna Tyrell – Game Of Thrones (HBO)

Carrie Preston as Elsbeth Tascioni – The Good Wife (CBS)

Linda Cardellini as Sylvia Rosen – Mad Men (AMC)

Jane Fonda as Leona Lansing – The Newsroom (HBO)

Joan Cusack as Sheila Jackson – Shameless (Showtime)

As brilliant as she’s been on The Americans, the fabulous Margo Martindale may well lose out to Dame Diana Rigg’s terririfc-beyond-hyperbole work on Game of Thrones. If anyone else on this list wins, something is very wrong!


Outstanding Writing For A Drama Series

Breaking Bad (AMC) Dead Freight – written by George Mastras

Breaking Bad (AMC) Say My Name – written by Thomas Schnauz

Downton Abbey (PBS) Episode 4 – written by Julian Fellowes

Game Of Thrones (HBO) The Rains Of Castamere – written by David Benioff and D.B. Weiss

Homeland (Showtime) Q&A – written by Henry Bromell


Outstanding Directing For A Drama Series

Boardwalk Empire (HBO) Margate Sands – directed by Tim Van Patten

Breaking Bad (AMC) Gliding Over All – directed by Michelle MacLaren

Downton Abbey (PBS) Episode 4 – directed by Jeremy Webb

Homeland (Showtime) Q&A – directed by Lesli Linka Glatter

House Of Cards (Netflix) Chapter 1 – driected by David Fincher

Any of several eps of Orphan Black where three or more of the clones appeared onscreen together would have been preferable to any ep of the increasingly boring Boardwalk Empire.


Outstanding Supporting Actor In A Comedy Series

Adam Driver as Adam Sackler – Girls (HBO)

Jesse Tyler Ferguson as Mitchell Pritchett – Modern Family (ABC)

Ed O’Neill as Jay Pritchett – Modern Family (ABC)

Ty Burrell as Phil Dunphy – Modern Family (ABC)

Bill Hader as Various characters – Saturday Night Live (NBC)

Tony Hale as Gary Walsh – Veep (HBO)


Outstanding Supporting Actress In A Comedy Series

Mayim Bialik as Amy Farrah Fowler – The Big Bang Theory (CBS)

Jane Lynch as Sue Sylvester – Glee (FOX)

Sofia Vergara as Gloria Pritchett – Modern Family (ABC)

Julie Bowen as Claire Dunphy – Modern Family (ABC)

Merritt Wever as Zoey Barkow – Nurse Jackie (Showtime)

Jane Krakowski as Jenna Maroney – 30 Rock (NBC)

Anna Chlumsky as Amy Brookheimer – Veep (HBO)


Outstanding Guest Actor In A Comedy Series

Bob Newhart as Arthur Jeffries/Professor Proton – The Big Bang Theory (CBS)

Nathan Lane as Pepper Saltzman – Modern Family (ABC)

Bobby Cannavale as Dr. Mike Cruz Nurse Jackie (Showtime)

Louis C.K., Host – Saturday Night Live (NBC)

Justin Timberlake, Host – Saturday Night Live (NBC)

Will Forte as Paul – 30 Rock (NBC)


Outstanding Guest Actress In A Comedy Series

Molly Shannon as Eileen Foliente – Enlightened (HBO)

Dot-Marie Jones as Shannon Beiste – Glee (FOX)

Melissa Leo as Laurie – Louie (FX)

Melissa McCarthy, Host – Saturday Night Live (NBC)

Kristen Wiig, Host – Saturday Night Live (NBC)

Elaine Stritch as Colleen Donaghy – 30 Rock (NBC)

Really? Melissa Leo over Parker Posey for a Louie guest star? Well, at least Louie is getting some well deserved recognition.


Outstanding Writing For A Comedy Series

Episodes (Showtime) Episode 209 – written by David Crane and Jeffrey Klarik

Louie (FX) Daddy’s Girlfriend (Part 1) – Louis C.K., Story & Teleplay, Pamela Adlon, Story

The Office (NBC) Finale – Greg Daniels, Written by

30 Rock (NBC) Hogcock! – written by Jack Burditt and Robert Carlock

30 Rock (NBC) Last Lunch – written by Tina Fey and Tracey Wigfield

The Office finale was barely okay. Another ep from Louie (like, maybe, the one that actually guest starred nominee Melissa Leo?) might have been preferable.


Outstanding Directing For A Comedy Series

Girls (HBO) On All Fours – directed by Lena Dunham

Glee (FOX) Diva – directed by Paris Barclay

Louie (FX) New Year’s Eve – directed by Louis C.K.

Modern Family (ABC) Arrested – directed by Gail Mancuso

30 Rock (NBC) Last Lunch directed by Beth McCarthy-Miller


Outstanding Supporting Actor In A Miniseries Or A Movie

James Cromwell as Dr. Arthur Arden – American Horror Story: Asylum (FX)

Zachary Quinto as Dr. Oliver Thredson – American Horror Story: Asylum (FX)

Scott Bakula as Bob Black – Behind The Candelabra (HBO)

John Benjamin Hickey as Sean – The Big C: Hereafter (Showtime)

Peter Mullan as Matt – Top Of The Lake (Sundance Channel)

Where’s James Wolk? His performance on Political Animals was outstanding! As much as I like Scott Bakula, his work on Behind the Candelabra was no match…


Outstanding Supporting Actress In A Miniseries Or A Movie

Sarah Paulson as Lana Winters – American Horror Story: Asylum (FX)

Imelda Staunton as Alma Hitchcock – The Girl (HBO)

Ellen Burstyn as Margaret Barrish Worthington – Political Animals (USA)

Charlotte Rampling as Sally Gilmartin – Restless (Sundance Channel)

Alfre Woodard as Ouiser – Steel Magnolias (Lifetime)

I would have selected Carla Gugino over Ellen Burstyn as the supporting actress to go with for Political Animals but it would have been a close call – Burstyn was also excellent in it.


Outstanding Writing For A Miniseries, Movie Or A Dramatic Special

Behind The Candelabra (HBO) – written by Richard LaGravenese

The Hour • BBC America – written by Abi Morgan,

Parade’s End (HBO) – written by Tom Stoppard

Phil Spector (HBO) – written by David Mamet

Top Of The Lake (Sundance Channel) – written by Jane Campion and Gerard Lee

Just because it’s by David Mamet doesn’t automatically mean it should be nominated. Political Animals was a far better production.


Outstanding Directing For A Miniseries, Movie Or A Dramatic Special

Behind The Candelabra (HBO) – directed by Steven Soderbergh

The Girl (HBO) – directed by Julian Jarrold

Phil Spector (HBO) – directed by David Mamet

Ring Of Fire (Lifetime) – directed by Allison Anders

Top Of The Lake (Sundance Channel) Part 5 – directed by Jane Campion and Garth Davis

Phil Spector! Just no! Any ep of Political Animals would have been a better choice.