The Emmy nominations for 2012 were a little less predictable than they’ve been in the past, with some perennial nominees getting bumped out in favor of new blood. Which means that the list of snubs and surprise nominations is a little longer than usual.
So let’s get to it:
“The Good Wife” and its male actors: The CBS series, a best drama nominee in each of its first two seasons, was seen as the commercial broadcast networks’ best chance to keep a toehold in the category. It missed the cut, however, as did two of its male stars who were nominees in 2011, Josh Charles and Alan Cumming. You can probably thank (or blame) “Downton Abbey” for that: The PBS show switched from miniseries to drama series this year and snagged both a series nod and two supporting actor nominations, for Jim Carter and Brendan Coyle.
Hugh Laurie: The “House” star had been nominated for his work in six of the show’s first seven seasons, and it was widely thought he’d get a seventh nod for the final season. It was widely thought wrong, as it turns out, and that’s a shame.
“Parks and Recreation” and Nick Offerman: The NBC comedy’s fourth season was, to our eyes, easily one of the six funniest shows on television, yet it didn’t crack the field for outstanding comedy series. Yet it earned two of the five spots for comedy writing. Hmm … As for Offerman, well, we take comfort in the fact that “trophies” isn’t on the Ron Swanson Pyramid of Greatness.
Mandy Patinkin: “Homeland” stars Claire Danes and Damian Lewis each scored well-deserved acting nominations — but Patinkin was every bit their equal as the cerebral Saul Berenson.
Jeff Probst: The “Survivor” host has won the award for outstanding reality host in each of the four years the category has existed, but he wasn’t even nominated this year. Because there is apparently a secret TV academy rule that Betty White has to be nominated for something, she took Probst’s spot this time (the other four nominees are repeats from 2011).
“Sons of Anarchy”: Look, it’s clear by now that the academy doesn’t like “Sons,” so not many people were expecting a best drama nomination. But another shutout, with all the quality technical work done on the show, boggles the mind.
Madeleine Stowe: Her performance on “Revenge” brought an evil fairy-tale ice queen to contemporary New York — and made it look easy. Given how critically beloved the show is, its complete shutout is unexpected.
John Noble: It’s not really a surprise that the “Fringe” star’s performance was overlooked again — the Emmys have a long history of not taking sci-fi seriously. It is, however, really unfortunate.
“Justified”: So, OK, Margo Martindale couldn’t get nominated again, since she didn’t appear on Season 3 of the FX drama. But while Jeremy Davies is a repeat nominee for his guest performance as Dickie Bennett, Timothy Olyphant and Walton Goggins were shut out this year.
Jane Lynch: Sue Sylvester operated at the margins of “Glee” for most of last season, but it’s still kind of a shock to see Lynch’s name left off the list for supporting actress in a comedy.
“Girls” and “Veep”: Zap2it predicted the TV academy wouldn’t find the provocative “Girls” to its liking, but the show did score a best comedy nomination. So did “Veep,” the far-less-hyped half of HBO’s new comedy duo of the spring.
Max Greenfield: Though he was seen as serious contender for a nomination for playing Schmidt on “New Girl,” we’re still happy to see it actually happen.
“Glee” not getting nominated: The show tailed off in its third season, so it’s hard to call the fact it wasn’t nominated for best comedy a “snub.” But given Emmy voters’ habit of nominating series over and over again, we kind of expected to see it here.
“Community’s” writing nomination: Sadly, it’s the wildly inventive show’s only nomination this year. But “Remedial Chaos Theory” (written by Chris McKenna) is a masterfully constructed episode.
Mark Margolis for “Breaking Bad”: Margolis played a character, Hector “Tio” Salamanca, whose only means of communication was ringing a bell attached to his wheelchair. He did wondrous things with his eyes and facial expressions, though, and it’s an extremely pleasant surprise to see him among the nominees for guest actor in a drama.
Betty White as best reality host: For “Off Their Rockers.” See “Jeff Probst” above.
Jon Hamm: Not for his “Mad Men” nomination — that was totally expected. But his guest appearance on “30 Rock’s” live episode amounted to, what, two or three minutes of screen time?
The “Downton Abbey” servants: The nominations for Maggie Smith (who won an Emmy last year) and Hugh Bonneville were widely predicted. The fact that the TV academy also recognized three actors who play staff members of the Abbey (Jim Carson, Brendan Coyle and Joanne Froggatt) — along with Michelle Dockery’s Lady Mary — has a nice, egalitarian feel to it.
Ashley Judd: If “Missing” hadn’t been canceled, would it still be considered a “miniseries”?
Michael C. Hall: On the one hand, he’s a perennial nominee for “Dexter,” so seeing him once again in the field for best actor in a drama isn’t a big deal. On the other hand, a lot of people thought “Dexter” had a down year last season and Hall might lose out as a result.
Don Cheadle: His pe
rformance in “House of Lies” could be electric, without a doubt — but neither Cheadle nor the show had any perceivable buzz going into the nominations.
What do you think of the Emmy nominations? What snubs or surprises stood out for you?