The TV Academy announced the 2015 Emmy Awards nominees on Thursday (July 16), and as with every crop of nominations there were a handful of exciting surprises, but what felt like a deluge of disappointing snubs.
With so much good TV, it’s hard for any awards show to recognize all the greatness on the medium. Still, there were a lot of people and series well-deserving of Emmy love. Here’s Zap2it‘s breakdown of the announcements that were unexpected delights and the missing names that will have fans griping for another year.
Snub: All the love for ‘Kimmy Schmidt,’ no love for Ellie Kemper
“Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt” earned the top honor of an Outstanding Comedy Series nom, and the TV Academy recognized pretty much every actor in the show — except for its leading lady, Ellie Kemper. Jane Krakowski and Tituss Burgess as Supporting Actors make sense, but even Jon Hamm and Tina Fey getting nominations for Guest Actor spots? That’s a pretty egregious slight against Kemper, who grounded the show with a great performance.
Snub: No ‘Empire’ nomination, even with Taraji P. Henson getting a nod
Outstanding Drama Series is a tough field to break into, and “Empire” didn’t do so in its freshman year. Its biggest Emmy nomination is Taraji P. Henson’s Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama nod, but beyond that it only got two Outstanding Costume nominations.
Surprise: Tatiana Maslany and her many clones get their first nom
It’s about time, TV Academy. “Orphan Black” Season 3 might not have been many fans’ favorite of the BBC America show, but no one will deny that Tatiana Maslany receiving her first Emmy nomination for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama is too long coming. She’s in good company new: Fellow newbies Taraji P. Henson (“Empire”) and Viola Davis (“How To Get Away With Murder”) join returning faces Elisabeth Moss, Claire Danes and Robin Wright.
Snub: Only one #EmmysforOutlander
Starz and “Outlander” fans pushed hard with their #EmmysforOutlander campaign to get some recognition for the show’s three main stars: Sam Heughan, Caitriona Balfe and Tobias Menzies. While the TV Academy didn’t grant any of them nominations, Bear McCreary did get the show’s only nod in the Outstanding Music Composition category for the song “Sassenach.”
Snub: Diversity didn’t extend to ‘Fresh Off the Boat,’ Tracee Ellis Ross
The only recognition the TV Academy gave to ABC’s”Blackish” was Anthony Anderson, which means ABC struck out with Anderson’s well-deserving costar Tracee Ellis Ross and the critical darling “Fresh Off the Boat.” This falls into the “too much good TV to honor it all” category, but “Fresh Off the Boat” striking out across the board and Ross not getting a nomination are both big disappointments.
Surprise: ‘Game of Thrones’ gets three Supporting Actor nods
By the time “Game of Thrones” completes its run, it will have probably completely taken over the Emmys judging by the rate it’s at now. The series received 24 Emmy nominations, including three for Outstanding Supporting Actor. (All of the “Thrones” cast submit as supporting actors, so this isn’t a slight to the show’s leads.) Emilia Clarke will go head-to-head with Lena Heady in Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series, while Peter Dinklage landed a nomination for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series.
Snub: FX gets little ‘The Americans’ or ‘Justified’ love
Another year, another disappointing lack of nominations for two of TV’s best dramas: “The Americans” and “Justified.” Considering “Justified” recently aired its last season, that means the TV Academy will never get to recognize Timothy Olyphant and Walton Goggins for the great work they’ve done. (The only time the Emmys even nominated them was in 2011.)
As for “The Americans,” it struck out with its lead actors Keri Russell and Matthew Rhys, but the TV Academy again showered love on guest actress Margo Martindale, who only had a brief appearance in Season 3. The series also earned an Outstanding Writing for a Drama Series nod for Joshua Brand’s “Do Mail Robots Dream of Electric Sheep” script.
Snub: Kerry Washington gets passed over for Leading Actress in a Drama
Many new faces entered the pool of Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama, and that meant Kerry Washington got the boot. While few will argue that Taraji P. Henson, Viola Davis and Tatiana Maslany aren’t completely deserving for their nominations, fans are still disappointed that Washington wasn’t recognized, especially since she did her nominated the past two years.
Surprise: ‘Inside Amy Schumer’ earns 8 nominations
2015 is the year of Amy Schumer, and the Emmy voting committee clearly knows it. The Comedy Central series earned eight nominations total, including Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series for Schumer and Outstanding Variety Sketch Series nominations. Schumer’s appropriately celebrating in style.
Snub: No Gina Rodriguez or ‘Jane the Virgin’ recognition
Considering Gina Rodriguez is coming off an emotional Golden Globes win for Lead Actress in a Comedy Series, it’s surprising that neither she nor “Jane the Virgin” were recognized in any major capacity at the 2015 Emmys. The CW show’s only nomination is for Anthony Mendez as an Outstanding Narrator which, will well-deserved, is hardly the only thing “Jane” does outstanding.
Snub: ‘The Affair’ comes up empty-handed after Golden Globes wins
The lack of love for Golden Globes winners was catching, because “The Affair” is another series that walked away from the Emmy nominations ceremony empty-handed. The Showtime drama took home Best Television Series – Drama and Best Performance in a Television Series – Drama awards from the 2014 Globes ceremony — both prestigious honors — but didn’t get a single nomination in the 2015 Emmy Awards.
Surprise: Keegan-Michael Key gets an acting nod for ‘Key & Peele’
Like “Inside Amy Schumer,” this is the first year the TV Academy recognized any of the acting talent behind “Key & Peele.” It too got eight nominations, including an Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series nod for Keegan-Michael Key and its first Outstanding Variety Sketch Series nomination (likely due to Variety Series being split into Variety Talk and Variety Sketch). Next year will be your turn, Jordan Peele.
Snub: Maggie Smith’s one missing nom is for her best ‘Downton’ season
Some people, like Dame Maggie Smith, feel like the TV Academy nominates them out of habit year after year. But in this case, 2015 is the one year Smith really should have been nominated, and the only year since “Downton Abbey” premiered that she hasn’t been. Season 5 was her best season yet on the show, so it’s surprising that this is the only time the Emmys chose to pass her over.
Snub: ‘The Flash’ didn’t break out into the main Emmy pool
“The Flash” was always going to be a long shot for Emmy nominations, but it was a critical darling and fan favorite that many were hoping would get some recognition in some of main awards. Sadly it struck out, though The CW hit did get a nod in the Outstanding Visual Effects category for “Grodd Lives.”
Snub: ‘Parenthood’ ends its run without a single nomination
After six season, NBC’s “Parenthood” went out with a whimper, as far as the Emmys are concerned. The series only earned one nomination during its run, Outstanding Guest in a Drama Series for Jason Ritter in 2012, which seems like a travesty. After a final season that managed to wrap everything up, not leave a dry eye in the house and promise a hopeful future, it deserved a bit of Emmy love on its way out the door.