62nd Primetime Emmy Nominations Analysis

By Jordan Walker

If you’re an avid follower of the Emmy Awards, you can usually predict which actors, actresses, and shows will be nominated. Many of the nominations are extremely predictable. However, usually there will be one or two surprise nominations thrown in the mix. Although these truths apply this year, this year’s nominations are different than most years. Among the shows that always get Emmy love (“30 Rock, “Mad Men”) and were expected to have repeat nominations this year, there are some fresh faces and shows that have entered the race this year with multiple nominations and a strong chance. But remember: just because new people and shows are getting recognized doesn’t mean they will win in September.

The big shot newbie for the 2010 Emmys is Fox’s freshman hit Glee, which was nominated for a whopping 19 awards. The show is the only comedy to receive nominations in each major acting category, including a Best Actor nod for Matthew Morrison (I don’t know why), a no-surprise nomination for Lea Michele in the Best Actress category, a no-brainer nomination for Jane Lynch in the Best Supporting Actress category, and a very stunning, yet deserving nomination for Chris Colfer. Not to mention the show was nominated for Best comedy series.

“Glee” wasn’t the only freshman comedy to burst into the Emmy race this year. “Modern Family” snagged an impressive 14 nominations. In April, “Modern Family” cast member Ed O’Neill told Zap2it.com that the whole cast unanimously agreed to submit themselves in the Best Supporting Actor category because O’Neill felt “nobody is bigger than anybody else in a show that is evolving into a true ensemble hit.” That philosophy didn’t quite work in O’Neill’s favor, as he was the only adult cast member not to be nominated. Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Eric Stonestreet and Ty Burrell will compete against each other, while breakout actresses Sofia Vergara and Julie Bowen will duke it in the Supporting Actress category. “Modern Family” has also been nominated for Best Comedy.

Either “Glee” or “Modern Family” will likely steal the Best Comedy reign from “30 Rock,” as this season of “30 Rock” has been its weakest so far, and the new shows are phenomenal. However, Rock’s weak season didn’t stop the Emmy board from nominating the show for 15 awards, including the usual lead acting nominations for Tina Fey and Alec Baldwin. Jane Krakowski surprisingly still made the cut in the Supporting Actress category, despite the incoming competition from the women of “Glee” and “Modern Family.”

There were many surprises on the drama side too, but more welcoming than anything else. “Lost” grabbed 12 nominations for its final season, including the first lead acting nomination for star Matthew Fox, two nominations in the Supporting Actor category, one for Terry O’Quinn, and one for Micheal Emerson, and Best Drama. Fighting “Lost” for Best Drama will be last year’s winner “Mad Men,” AMC’s “Breaking Bad,” Showtime’s “Dexter” and first-time nominee “True Blood.” The only broadcast drama joining the Best Drama race this year is “The Good Wife,” which earned an impressive nine nominations for its first season. Every one of “The Good Wife’s” nominations is much deserved. “The Good Wife” star Julianna Marguiles is no stranger to the Emmy’s (she won in 1994 her supporting role on “ER”), and she will likely take the trophy this year after winning both the Golden Globe and Screen Actors Guild Awards for her role.
Betty White is still on her hot streak with her nomination in the Best Guest Actress in a Comedy Series category for her hugely successful hosting gig on “Saturday Night Live.” Tina Fey was also nominated again in that category. Fey won the category last year with her impersonation of Sarah Palin. With Betty White being a shoe-in to win in that category, Fey, Krisitn Chenoweth (“Glee”), 
Jane Lynch (“Two and a Half Men”), Kathryn Joosten (“Desperate Housewives”), and Christine Baranski (“The Big Bang Theory”) will have no chance against America’s favorite grandmother.

By far the most rewarding news about the Emmy Awards is the long deserved nominations of “Friday Night Lights’” Kyle Chandler and Connie Britton. They finally get their time to shine after four years of being on the air and giving some of the best and most realistic performances on television. The odds are against Chandler and Britton, with so many other big names in the running, but one can home. ”Friday Night Lights” will air one more season starting this fall.

It’s great to talk about the shows that have been nominated, but it’s also a must to talk about the noticeable snubs. This year, most people are talking about the snubbed comedies. While “Glee” and “Modern Family” scored big, some didn’t score at all. The most shocking omission from the Best Comedy category is “The Big Bang Theory.” Although its star Jim Parsons is getting his second nomination as Lead Actor, when will this show get its much-deserved Best Comedy award? Also missing is “30 Rock,” the second half of NBC’s Thursday night lineup. This is understandable because “30 Rock” and “The Office” are great shows – and some of my favorites – but they aren’t what they used to be on a comedic level. It’s dissapointingg that “Community” and “Parks and Recreation” didn’t get their deserved love (even though Amy Poehler did get nominated as Best Lead Actress in a Comedy for her role on “Parks and Recreation”). Additional snubs for 2010 include NBC’s Supporting Actor trio. Rainn Wilson from “The Office” and Tracy Morgan and Jack McBrayer from “30 Rock” lost their nominations this year to the men of “Glee” and “Modern Family.”

Another disappointing snub was for Courtney Cox. Being the only one out of all her “Friends” never to be nominated during their 10 year run, Cox was expected to be nominated for her lead role in “Cougar Town” after her surprise nomination at the Golden Globes. Lastly, one of the biggest disappointments this year was for FX’s motorcycle drama “Sons of Anarchy,” which got completely shut out, not even a nomination for Katey Sagal’s stellar performance.
This year’s Emmy’s will air on NBC. A lot of people are going to be tuning it to see the battle of “Glee” vs. “Modern Family,” which both have their fair share of nominations. The Emmys have never gotten as big as of an audience as other award shows such as the Academy Awards. However, with some series that are both popular in the ratings as well as with critics, its very likely that this year’s turn out will be much more significant. For the full list of nominees, visit thefutoncritic.com.

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