2012 Emmy Nominations (and Snubs!)

This morning, nominations for the 64th Primetime Emmy Awards were announced. As usual, for any TV fan, it was a mixed bag, with expected nods, some welcome (and unwelcome) surprises, and frustrating snubs. A rundown of the big categories, plus my thoughts.


  • Curb Your Enthusiasm
  • Girls
  • 30 Rock
  • Veep
  • Modern Family
  • The Big Bang Theory

What is normally a category where the network shows prevail, this year finds half of the nominees being cable shows, and I don’t watch a single one of those cable shows. I do however watch Parks and Recreation, Happy Endings, and Community (among other shows), all of which are smart, funny, creative, and downright incredible, which makes their snubs so wrong. Not to mention, P&R was nominated last year, so how did it get bumped out this year, when it was even funnier than last?


  • Boardwalk Empire
  • Breaking Bad
  • Downton Abbey
  • Game of Thrones
  • Homeland
  • Mad Men

Not one single network show is nominated here. Really, it is times like this that I wish there were separate categories for cable and network shows because it’s not that network shows aren’t up to par with the cables (hello, The Good Wife and Fringe! And I don’t care what you think but Nikita deserves some recognition too!), but cable has more flexibility in what they can air. I’ll admit the only show nominated that I’ve watched is Game of Thrones, but I am determined to watch Homeland and catching up on Breaking Bad before the award show. I am surprised that some of the big network hits from this past season – Revenge, Once Upon A Time – didn’t sneak in there somehow (I suppose one is considered too soap-y, and the other is a fantasy, which obviously means you get no recognition unless you’re on HBO and you are GoT.)


  • Zooey Deschanel, New Girl
  • Lena Dunham, Girls
  • Edie Falco, Nurse Jackie
  • Tina Fey, 30 Rock
  • Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Veep
  • Melissa McCarthy, Mike & Molly
  • Amy Poehler, Parks and Recreation

I’m sure I’m in the minority when it comes to not liking New Girl, so please forgive me for saying that I don’t get all the love for Zooey Deschanel. As far as I’m concerned, Amy Poehler needs to win this! Though it would’ve been nice if Kaley Cuoco got nominated for The Big Bang Theory. Also, again, where is the love for Courtney Cox?!


  • Alec Baldwin, 30 Rock
  • Don Cheadle, House of Lies
  • Louis C.K., Louie
  • Jon Cryer, Two and a Half Men
  • Larry David, Curb Your Enthusiasm
  • Jim Parsons, The Big Bang Theory

It was a pleasant surprise to see Don Cheadle get in here for House of Lies. I admit to trying to watch the show when it debuted, but eventually felt that it just wasn’t for me. I, however, don’t understand how Jon Cryer keeps getting nominated. Really? Two and Half Men isn’t even that funny (to me anyways, and I am easily amused). Biggest snub here is that the ALWAYS funny Joel McHale isn’t nominated for Community. Unless Louis C.K. can pull out the win (which he has been getting rave reviews for), I seriously think Jim Parsons is going to earn his 3rd Emmy.


  • Mayim Bialik, The Big Bang Theory
  • Kathryn Joosten, Desperate Housewives
  • Julie Bowen, Modern Family
  • Sofia Vergara, Modern Family
  • Merritt Wever, Nurse Jackie
  • Kristen Wiig, Saturday Night Live

I must say a big congrats to Mayim Bialik for being the first female castmember from Big Bang Theory to get a nod. However, it is a damn shame that the ladies from Happy Endings and Community did not get any recognition. And what’s this, Desperate Housewives was considered a comedy? Shows you how long it’s been since I paid attention to DH.


  • Ed O’Neill, Modern Family
  • Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Modern Family
  • Ty Burrell, Modern Family
  • Eric Stonestreet, Modern Family
  • Max Greenfield, New Girl
  • Bill Hader, Saturday Night Live

Arguably the most competitive category at the Emmys. It makes it all the more difficult when one show has a stranglehold on 4 of the nomination slots. Don’t get me wrong, as much as I love Modern Family and all the actors, I hardly think that ALL four of the MF men were funnier than all the actors that got snubbed. I’m talking the likes of Nick Offerman (he’s Ron freakin’ Swanson!), Danny Pudi, and Damon Wayans Jr., not to mention their other respective castmembers. And how about Neil Patrick Harris or even Jason Segel from How I Met Your Mother?


  • Kathy Bates, Harry’s Law
  • Glenn Close, Damages
  • Claire Danes, Homeland
  • Julianna Margulies, The Good Wife
  • Michelle Dockery, Downton Abbey
  • Elisabeth Moss, Mad Men

Claire Danes was the absolute lock for a nomination here, and probably the favourite to win. That doesn’t mean it hurts any less to not see Anna Torv nominated for Fringe or even a longer shot, Maggie Q for Nikita (I dare you to watch 2×19 Wrath and not say that Maggie wasn’t absolutely incredible in that episode).


  • Hugh Bonneville, Downton Abbey
  • Steve Buscemi, Boardwalk Empire
  • Bryan Cranston, Breaking Bad
  • Jon Hamm, Mad Men
  • Damian Lewis, Homeland
  • Michael C. Hall, Dexter

So now that Breaking Bad is back in the running this year, can we just assume that Bryan Cranston will probably win again? Although this year, he does have some major competition from Damian Lewis, who has been getting rave reviews for his role in Homeland. Surprising omission would have to be no Hugh Laurie for the final season on House. And would you look at that? All the actors nominated are for cable shows…


  • Anna Gunn, Breaking Bad
  • Maggie Smith, Downton Abbey
  • Joanne Froggatt, Downton Abbey
  • Archie Panjabi, The Good Wife
  • Christine Baranski, The Good Wife
  • Christina Hendricks, Mad Men

How is it that every year, once I get to this category, I have nothing to say? Maybe because I don’t/haven’t watched any of the shows these talented actresses are being nominated for. I have however, watched a few episodes of The Good Wife, while it’s been on re-runs this summer, and from what I’ve seen, it completely deserves all the accolades it gets. One actress who was snubbed in this category is, without a doubt, Madeleine Stowe for Revenge, who showed so many nuances to her character, not to mention she had some of the best passive-aggressive lines in the show.


  • Aaron Paul, Breaking Bad
  • Giancarlo Esposito, Breaking Bad
  • Brendan Coyle, Downton Abbey
  • Jim Carter, Downton Abbey
  • Peter Dinklage, Game of Thrones
  • Jared Harris, Mad Men

Let me get this out of the way first: HOW IS JOHN NOBLE NOT NOMINATED???!!!! I don’t understand how the Emmys continue to not recognize the amazing work that John Noble does on Fringe. I don’t get it! Moving on…I can only comment on Peter Dinklage’s nomination because that’s the only show I watch. But from what I’ve heard, Giancarlo Esposito was a great baddie on Breaking Bad.


  • The Amazing Race
  • Dancing with the Stars
  • Project Runway
  • So You Think You Can Dance
  • The Voice
  • Top Chef

Well, would you look at that? American Idol gets bumped out, making room for The Voice to get in on the competition. Will it have what it takes to beat out The Amazing Race? I’m not sure. TAR is coming off of 2 back-to-back ‘meh’ seasons so there’s a chance we might have a new winner (my hope is for SYTYCD after its amazing 8th season). But no one can do what TAR does, traveling around the world at such a quick pace and capturing it all, which is why it’s won 8 out of 9 times in the category.


  • Phil Keoghan, The Amazing Race
  • Ryan Seacrest, American Idol
  • Betty White, Betty White’s Off Their Rockers
  • Tom Bergeron, Dancing With The Stars
  • Cat Deeley, So You Think You Can Dance

Here’s the real shocker: after winning all 4 Emmys in the category since its inception, Jeff Probst isn’t even nominated this year! I love Probst and what he does on Survivor, which makes me a little sad that he didn’t get nominated. But I kind of quickly got over it, when I realized that means someone else gets to win…GO CAT DEELEY!!


  • Stacey Tookey, SYTYCD: In This Shirt / Turning Tables / Heart Asks For Pleasure First
  • Christopher Scott, SYTYCD: Misty Blue/ Velocity
  • Spencer Liff, SYTYCD: Whatever Lola Wants / Please Mr. Jailor / Where Do I Begin
  • Joshua Bergasse, Smash: National Pastime / Let’s Be Bad / Never Met A Wolf
  • Travis Wall & Teddy Forance, DWTS: Without You

I knew Travis was going to be nominated again this year, but I honestly had my bets on it being for SYTYCD (can we just marvel at the awesomeness that was “Turn to Stone”?), not DWTS for the Shaping Sound performance. Regardless, it was well deserved. Add to that however, I am little surprised it wasn’t an actual ballroom routine that was nominated for DWTS. I was kind of hoping that Derek Hough and Allison Holker’s flamenco/jazz/fusion routine from last fall would’ve been nominated, because that was just breathtakingly incredible. All the routines nominated are so great it’s hard to pick who should win, but I think I’m going to have to give the edge to Stacey Tookey.

Other notables:

  • Jason Ritter is nominated for Best Guest Actor in a Drama for Parenthood! Yay Parenthood!
  • Uma Thurman nominated for Best Guest Actress in a Drama for Smash? Ermm…
  • Community wasn’t completely shut out, as writer Chris McKenna received a nod for Outstanding Writing for a Comedy for the episode, Remedial Chaos Theory.
  • Can we also note how only one of the nominees in the Writing for a Comedy category is actually nominated for Best Comedy (Girls)? Not even Modern Family got nominated here! While Parks and Recreation (2x), Community, and Louie did.  How does that make sense?
  • Oh Glee…so promising in your first season, and now nominated for only 3 awards – Cinematography, Makeup, and Guest Actress (Dot-Marie Jones)
  • Ashley Judd got nominated in the Best Lead Actress in a Miniseries for Missing?
  • Once Upon A Time did get nods in a few technical categories – Costumes, Prosthetic Makeup, and Visual Effects. If it doesn’t win for at least Costumes, that’s a travesty.
  • Even Pan Am got nominated for a few technicals. What the heck?

That’s all folks. Overall, I’m a little disappointed in the nominees, if only because more of my favourites didn’t get nominated.  Such is the TV addict’s life.

This year’s Emmy Awards airs Sunday, September 23rd on ABC, and will be hosted by Jimmy Kimmel.

For a complete list of all the nominees, head on over to the official Emmy website.