10 Biggest Emmy Award Snubs
by Julian Spivey
The Emmy Nominations seem to get more boring and boring with each passing year with the same old actors and shows receiving the same old nominations and many of the nominees coming from pay networks like HBO and Showtime that much of the nation frankly still doesn’t have. There is also so much quality television on these days that there simply are not enough nomination slots for the many actors and shows truly deserving the accolade.
Here are my 10 biggest Emmy nomination snubs this year:
10. Hugh Dancy
Bryan Fuller’s NBC horror/thriller series “Hannibal” is one of the best acted drama series on network television featuring a cast of Hugh Dancy, Mads Mikkelsen and Laurence Fishburne, all of whom are capable and worthy of Emmy nominations. It is Dancy, however, who put forth the best performance in the show’s first season as our hero Will Graham, a special FBI agent who is able to get into the minds of serial killers and essentially recreate their murders. Not everything is right with Graham – who struggles from mental abnormalities and this is where Dancy makes his terrific performance click in the way he’s able to portray this strained man.
NBC’s “Parenthood” is the best drama currently on network television, but the Emmy Awards stopped caring about great network dramas years ago. Basically if you’re not on HBO, Showtime or AMC you’re out of luck. There have only been four network dramas nominated for best drama series in the last five years – “Friday Night Lights” (NBC), “The Good Wife” (CBS), “Lost” (ABC) and “House” (Fox). Not only have the Emmy Awards seemingly snubbed “Parenthood” yearly from the outstanding drama series category, but they’ve snubbed them completely from every drama category, with the exception of Jason Ritter’s nomination last year for guest actor in a drama series.
8. Rainn Wilson
It’s probably not all that surprising, but NBC’s “The Office” didn’t get any Emmy love for its final season – considered by many to be after its prime. However, Rainn Wilson, who played office nerd Dwight Schrute on the series, did some of his best work on the show this season and certainly deserved a parting gift of being nominated for best supporting actor in a comedy series. But, hell, it’s hard to get a nomination in this category these days with almost the entire cast of “Modern Family” (wrongfully) taking up the majority of the nominations.
7. Aaron Sorkin
I don’t understand how the Emmy Awards can have a category for outstanding writing in a drama series and not hand at least one nomination to Aaron Sorkin, creator and writer of HBO’s drama “The Newsroom.” There’s simply not a better writer currently working in television and few, if any, have ever been better than Sorkin. Sorkin should’ve been nominated for the pilot episode of “The Newsroom,” which was easily the best episode of television I’ve seen in the last year and a half.
6. Mindy Kaling
Mindy Kaling is simply a breath of fresh air. It’s very fitting that Kaling debuted her career-boosting sitcom “The Mindy Project” the same year that Tina Fey’s iconic and instant classic “30 Rock” aired its final season. I say it’s fitting because it’s almost as if Fey is handing the torch to Kaling as the best female character on network television. Fey received her yearly Emmy nomination for outstanding actress in a comedy series, but unfortunately Kaling did not receive the same honor. Oh well, now that Fey has retired Liz Lemon surely Kaling will have a slot for her own in the category next year.
5. “Late Show with David Letterman”
The “Late Show with David Letterman” has received 16 Emmy nominations for outstanding variety, music or comedy series, and has won the award six times, second only to Jon Stewart’s “The Daily Show.” However, the Emmy Awards must feel that Letterman is old news, because they have failed to nominate his show for the award every year since 2009. The only problem is … Letterman’s show is still the very best of its kind on television. I would argue that there are more laughs yearly via Letterman than almost every other comedian (Jon Stewart, Stephen Colbert, Jimmy Fallon and Bill Maher) who was nominated in this category. Though, I don’t have an issue with those guys’ shows being nominated. However, “Saturday Night Live” being nominated over Letterman … well, that’s funnier than anything I saw on ‘SNL’ all year.
4. Jake Johnson
Those who rave about Fox’s “New Girl” often rave about Zooey Deschanel and Max Greenfield, both of whom were also snubbed by the Emmy Awards, but the absolute most entertaining aspect of the show, at least during its second season, has been Jake Johnson’s Nick Miller. Johnson’s Nick is one of the most hysterically nuanced and wacky characters on television and greatly deserved a nomination for outstanding lead actor in a comedy series, which for some reason I feel he’ll never get. One of the most puzzling Emmy nominations this year was Jason Bateman’s nomination for Netflix’s revival of “Arrested Development,” which some believe is simply a mix of nostalgia and Bateman’s name recognition. Johnson would’ve been a much better suited selection.
3. Ray Romano
The Emmys always loved Ray Romano when he was the star of his own sitcom “Everybody Loves Raymond,” but have remained indifferent toward him after he turned to more dramatic roles. Romano has shown just how talented of an actor he truly is in both his previous TNT drama series “Men of a Certain Age” and his guest role on the most recent season of NBC’s “Parenthood,” which should have garnered him a nomination for outstanding guest actor in a drama series. Romano is a true feel good story when it comes to his terrific naturalistic acting. He’s gone from a stand-up comedian who couldn’t act much in the first seasons of his sitcom, to a guy who should be receiving accolades from the highest television honors in the land.
2. Matt Smith
I said in a recent article I wrote about Matt Smith’s impending departure from BBC America’s “Doctor Who” that his show isn’t one that award shows take seriously, basically because sci-fi shows never seem to be taken seriously. However, it’s incredibly disheartening that the Emmys haven’t once taken note of Smith’s fantastic performance as the Eleventh Doctor on the long-running British series. Smith can do everything – he can be incredibly dramatic and insanely hilarious often in a short span of time and there isn’t a single episode of “Doctor Who” that goes by in which he doesn’t at least once do something so uniquely talented that it makes your jaw drop. I know this isn’t the type of performance that receives Emmy attention, but why? Do you have to be a troubled anti-hero these days to get appreciated? Why can’t you just be a troubled hero? That’s what Smith’s Doctor is.
1. Monica Potter
Monica Potter’s lack of a Emmy Award nomination for outstanding supporting actress in a drama series is maybe the most egregious Emmy snub that I’ve ever seen in my many years of following and writing about the Emmys. I just knew Potter had to receive a nomination for her breathtaking and career performance as Kristina Braverman in the fourth season of NBC’s “Parenthood” as a character struggling to deal with life and her busy family while battling cancer. But, alas that nomination did not come as the Emmys, for some reason, continue to ignore “Parenthood” despite all the love bestowed upon it by critics everywhere. Is there not enough violence and sex in there for you, Emmy voters? Oh well, I guess real-to-life family dramas won’t get you very far these days. Maybe, “Parenthood” should add some dragons to the fifth season?