2011 Emmy Nominations Announced

It's that time of year again -- time to start thinking about next season on television, and that means the Emmy nominations have arrived. Announced by Melissa McCarthy (Mike & Molly, nominated)) and Joshua Jackson (Fringe) in Hollywood this morning, there weren't all that many snubs or surprised in this year's set of nominations, but definitely a few eye-turning choices.
For starters, let's get the negatives out of the way and focus on the snubs. The Walking Dead, last year's hit Zombie show, was left off the list of nominees in all major categories, but two freshman cable shows cleaned house, with Boardwalk Empire receiving 18 nominations and Game of Thrones receiving 13.
Family Guy was also snubbed after making a plee earlier in the summer for a best comedy nod. It didn't even get an animated series nomination, while its sister show, The Cleveland Show, did.
Mad Men was in usual form, picking up 18 nominations, and Modern Family (16) and the Good Wife (9) are all over most of the major acting categories in comedy and drama, respectively.
HBO was the big winner among the networks, doubling CBS's 50 noms with 104. NBC was the next closest broadcaster with 46, while Fox (42) and ABC (40) trailed. Cable has really emerged this year, dominating most of the drama categories, while network is still the top dog for comedy, although cable is starting to creep up a bit there.
For me, the biggest surprise nomination was in the best actor, comedy category, with comedian Louis CK picking up a nomination for his FX show, Louie. He definitely deserves it, don't get me wrong, but I'm surprised the academy would consider him. That said, his category belongs to the outgoing Steve Carell this year, and it seems as if it's definitely been set up that way, with two former winners and three surprise newbies to compete with.
You can view my thoughts on all the major categories below. The 63rd annual Emmy Awards will air Sunday, September 18th, at 8PM, and will be hosted by Jane Lynch.
Best Drama Series:
  • Boardwalk Empire
  • Friday Night Lights
  • Dexter
  • Game of Thrones
  • The Good Wife
  • Mad Men

There really aren't many surprises here other than the snub of The Walking Dead, which received a Golden Globe nomination for its first season. Cable is really starting to dominate the Emmys, and its clear as day here, with only one of these shows airing on network TV next season (Friday Night Lights aired its final season this past spring, and the Academy has seemingly taken notice of that). While FNL ends its run with a lot of Emmy nods, Game of Thrones and Boardwalk Empire begin theirs with recognition. The other three are no strangers to this category, although Dexter wasn't exactly at its peak in season 5.

Snubs: The Walking Dead, True Blood, Justified, The Killing

Prax's Pick: Game of Thrones


Best Comedy Series:
  • Modern Family
  • 30 Rock
  • Glee
  • The Office
  • The Big Bang Theory
  • Parks & Recreation
Every show in this category has been nominated in the past, except for Parks & Recreation. The NBC comedy probably won't have the biggest chance of winning, but it was my favorite among these shows last season. The Office had a lot of peaks and valleys, Glee, Big Bang Theory and 30 Rock had their worst seasons ever and Modern Family was, well, Modern Family. I would love for a really refreshing comedy that's just starting to hit their stride to get the win here. If not for them, then for their buddies at 8PM who were snubbed.
Snubs: Community, Raising Hope, How I Met Your Mother, Louie (how do you nominate the guy who writes, produces and directs the show for acting as himself, but not for anything else?)

Prax's Pick: Parks & Recreation

Best Actress, Drama:
  • Juliana Margulies, The Good Wife
  • Elisabeth Moss, Mad Men
  • Mariska Hargitay, Law & Order: SVU
  • Kathy Bates, Harry's Law
  • Connie Britton, Friday Night Lights
  • Mireille Enos, The Killing

It's hard to pick because I'm not the biggest fan of several of these shows, but I'll go with Juliana Margulies, who won the Golden Globe back in January.

Snubs: Kyra Sedgwick (The Closer), Anna Paquin (True Blood), Katey Sagal (Sons of Anarchy)

Prax's Pick: Juliana Margulies



Best Actor, Drama:
  • Jon Hamm, Mad Men
  • Steve Buscemi, Boardwalk Empire
  • Kyle Chandler, Friday Night Lights
  • Michael C. Hall, Dexter
  • Hugh Laurie, House
  • Timothy Olyphant, Justified

A good, varied crop this year, from "pretty boy" Jon Hamm all the way to grizzled veteran Steve Buscemi. The Boardwalk Empire star has been twice nominated for Emmys thanks to guest work, but up to last year, he was arguably the most underrated and underappreciated actor in Hollywood, something which his role on HBO has changed, a role which has already earned him a Golden Globe. But Jon Hamm and Michael C. Hall have played second fiddle to Bryan Cranston for three years straight, and this will be Hugh Laurie's SIXTH loss since 2005 if he doesn't win, not to mention Olyphant and Chandler could very well be dark horses, so it's really anyone's guess. But I'll still go with my gut and pick Buscemi, he's earned it.

Snubs: Sean Bean (Game of Thrones), Chris Meloni (L&A: SVU), Bryan Cranston (Breaking Bad; and I know it wasn't on last year, but he should get one automatically for being awesome and a three time winner)

Prax's Pick: Steve Buscemi



Best Actor, Comedy:
  • Steve Carell, The Office
  • Alex Baldwin, 30 Rock
  • Jim Parson, The Big Bang Theory
  • Matt LeBlanc, Episodes
  • Louis CK, Louie
  • Johnny Galecki, The Big Bang Theory

Probably the most surprising category of the year. Everyone expected Steve Carell to get nominated in his last year on the Office, and he's probably the favorite. Last year's winner, Jim Parsons, and two-time winner Alec Baldwin are no surprises, but after that it gets a little "WTF". Johnny Galecki has been the glue that's held the Big Bang Theory together for four years, keeping it from being total nonsense, so it makes sense, but it's a little surprising that the academy would nominate him. Matt LeBlanc was the silver lining of an otherwise average show in "Episodes", and he's been nominated for Emmys before, but this was sort of out of left field. And Louis CK? Nominated for an Emmy? Wut? My heart says Louis CK, but it says Steve Carell a little more, who won't get snubbed in his last chance, for creating one of the most iconic characters in television history, and finally putting the curtain on his two months ago.

Snubs: Matthew Morrison (Glee), Neil Patrick Harris (How I Met Your Mother), Charlie Sheen (WINNING!), Joel McHale (Community)

Prax's Pick: Steve Carell


Best Actress, Comedy:
  • Tina Fey, 30 Rock
  • Edie Falco, Nurse Jackie
  • Amy Poehler, Parks & Recreation
  • Laura Linney, The Big C
  • Martha Plimpton, Raising Hope
  • Melissa McCarthy, Mike & Molly

The only big surprise here is Martha Plimpton, who gets a nom for the surprise hit Raising Hope. And Melissa McCarthy receives her first nomination for Mike & Molly. I don't watch that show out of spite, but Melissa McCarthy was hilarious in Bridesmaids and I'm sure she deserves the nomination. I'm going to have to go with my heart again here and pick Amy Poehler, who really came into her own on Parks & Rec this year.

Snubs: Lea Michelle (Glee)

Prax's Pick: Amy Poehler



Best Supporting Actor, Drama:
  • Andre Braugher, Men of a Certain Age
  • John Slattery, Mad Men
  • Alan Cumming, The Good Wife
  • Peter Dinklage, Game of Thrones
  • Josh Charles, The Good Wife
  • Walton Goggins, Justified

It almost seems as if for the first time in a decade, the award won't go to someone from the West Wing, Sopranoes, or Lost. That's a lie though because Aaron Paul won the award for Breaking Bad last year. Still, I'm going to go with John Slattery, who was also nominated last year, and who's always been one of my favorite characters on Mad Men. For the record, I ALMOST picked the midget from Game of Thrones. ALMOST.

Prax's Pick: John Slattery



Best Supporting Actress, Drama:
  • Archie Panjabi, The Good Wife 
  • Kelly McDonald, Boardwalk Empire
  • Christine Baranski, The Good Wife
  • Michelle Forbes, The Killing
  • Margo Martindale, Justified
  • Christina Hendricks, Mad Men

Once again the Good Wife shows that the strength of its show is its acting, but otherwise, it's the cable show once again in this category. Archie Panjabi won last year for the show, and Christina Hendricks and Christine Baranski return after being nominated last year. I'm going to go with Hendricks, but I'll let you figure out why.

Snubs: Paz De La Huerta (Boardwalk Empire)

Prax's Pick: Christina Hendricks

Best Supporting Actor, Comedy:
  • Ty Burnell, Modern Family
  • Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Modern Family
  • Ed O'Neil, Modern Family
  • Eric Stonestreet, Modern Family
  • Jon Cryer, Two and a Half Men
  • Chris Colfer, Glee

You like Modern Family? Modern Family Modern Family Modern Family! Seriously, if they don't win, then they should probably stay away from the craps tables the next little while. That said, Chris Colfer beat out comedy AND drama actors at the Golden Globes, and Jon Cryer might get a pitty win after everything that happened with his show this past year, so don't go to your odsmakers just yet. That said, Modern Family is probably going to win, and I won't go with Eric Stonestreet since he won last year. Ed O'Neil's the new entry here, after the other three were nominated last year, and Ed O'Neil's always been awesome (see: Married With Children), so he gets my ficticious vote.

Snubs: Chevy Chase and Danny Pudi (Community), Nick Offerman (Parks & Rec), Rain Wilson (The Office), Tracy Morgan (30 Rock; not surprising), Jason Segel (How I Met Your Mother)

Prax's Pick: Ed O'Neil


Best Supporting Actress, Comedy:
  • Julie Bowen, Modern Family
  • Sofia Vergara, Modern Family
  • Jane Lynch, Glee
  • Betty White, Hot in Cleveland
  • Kristen Wiig, Saturday Night Live
  • Jane Krakowski, 30 Rock

You really couldn't go wrong with anyone in this category. Jane Lynch continues to be a bright spot in a general trainwreck of a show in Glee, but she cleaned house last year with both Emmy and Golden Globe wins. Sofia Vergara and Julie Bowen are good on Modern Family but Vergara was really bitter after losing to Lynch last year, and I don't think Bowen's good enough for an Emmy, and the same can be said of Jane Krakowski. Betty White is awesome, but Hot in Cleveland absolutely sucks. Again, I'm going to go with my heart and pick Kristen Wiig, who owns SNL every year and who should finally win one for the Saturday Night variety show.

Prax's Pick: Kristen Wiig



Best Reality Competition:
  • So You Think You Can Dance
  • Top Chef
  • The Amazing Race
  • American Idol
  • Dancing With the Stars
  • Project Runway

Last year, Top Chef ended a seven-year streak by The Amazing Race, and considering I think most of these shows are shit and this category is really a crapshoot, I'm going to say they repeat.

Snubs: The Voice, Survivor

Prax's Pick: Top Chef



Best Variety, Music, or Comedy Series:
  • The Colbert Report 
  • Late Night With Jimmy Fallon
  • Saturday Night Live
  • Conan
  • Real Time with Bill Maher
  • The Daily Show With Jon Stewart

You all know what I'm going to pick here. I'm not sure whether he can pull out a sympathy win over what happened last year, but he'll definitely have a shot thanks to polarizing views in Hollywood that mostly went his way, and the recent documentary that will likely be on everyone's minds. That said, Conan wasn't the best show in the category, and if I had to pick with my head I'd go with Jon Stewart, but I'll be rooting for Conan.

Snubs: Jimmy Kimmel Live, The Tonight Show with Jay Leno (lul), The Late Show with David Letterman, The Late Late Show with Craig Fergurson (if for nothing more than Geoff, his dead robot sidekick)

Prax's Pick: Conan



Best Animated Series:

  • The Cleveland Show
  • Futurama
  • Robot Chicken
  • The Simpsons
  • South Park
Epic snub for Family Guy here, especially considering the Cleveland Show is somehow up there. Hard to pick these most years, but I'll go with Futurama, which makes a return after winning three years in a row last decade.
Snubs: Family Guy

Prax's Pick: Futurama


Best Movie or Miniseries: Cinema Verité (HBO), Downton Abbey (PBS), The Kennedys (Reelz), Mildred Pierce (HBO), Pillars of the Earth (Starz), Too Big To Fail (HBO).



You can view the rest of the nominations over at Deadline Hollywood.