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Snap Judgment: The Emmy Drama Nominations

As usual, this year's Emmy nominations are something of a mixed bag. A bunch made me cheer. A bunch more made me boo. And several more are just baffling in their very existence. Over the next few days, I'll be sharing my first thoughts on the nominations. I'm looking first at the drama nominees, because that's where some of my favorite nominations came from — but also some of the harshest snubs.

  • I know people like Boston Legal. It's a fine show. But better than Friday Night Lights or The Wire? No. I'm glad it only has one more season left in it, because I'm starting to see it as just the series that consistently takes an Emmy spot away from a more deserving show. I pretty much hate it on principle.
  • At least for The Wire, I can be satisfied with the writing nomination David Simon and Ed Burns got for the series finale, "-30-." Not the case for FNL. A casting nomination? Don't insult me, Emmy.

  • On the positive side, hooray for Damages and Mad Men, which are making history as the first basic cable series ever nominated in the Outstanding Drama Series category. The love for Mad Men was overwhelming (16 nominations overall!); Damages was a little more restrained, with seven nominations, but that includes three acting nods in addition to the series honor.
  • But what's with the women of Mad Men getting shut out? Elisabeth Moss and Christina Hendricks were both on the semifinalist lists, but neither actually made the finals.

Some more griping — and some positive thoughts, too! — if you


  • Even more than FNL and The Wire, here's the snub that actually upsets me most: Anne Dudek missing out on the Outstanding Guest Actress category. Her performance still haunts me. To be fair, I haven't seen all of the other performances in the category — but as great as Diahann Carroll was as Mama Burke on Grey's, I'd absolutely leave her off the list in favor of Dudek.
  • OK, some happy thoughts. One of the people I'm truly happy for this morning: Michael Emerson. I thought he could have won the Emmy last year, and this year was just as good (if not better) for Ben. I'll be rooting for him.
  • The Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama category is fascinating: Michael C. Hall, Jon Hamm, Gabriel Byrne, and Bryan Cranston are all newcomers, while Hugh Laurie has been nominated two previous times but never won. And then there's James Spader: Two previous nominations for Boston Legal. Two wins. Might as well just give him the Emmy now.
  • Nice to see two of the three Grey's Anatomy ladies who were nominated last year (Chandra Wilson and Sandra Oh) back in the Best Supporting Actress in a Drama category. Wonder if Heigl could have made it a three-peat if she'd only deigned to submit her name.
  • More proof that this is the Year of the Cable Show, at least where dramas are concerned: All five episodes nominated in the writing category for dramatic series came from cable. Two episodes of Mad Men were nominated, along with one Battlestar Galactica, one The Wire, and one Damages.

Photos copyright 2008 ABC, Inc.

felicityporter felicityporter 9 years
I just started watching The Wire and I am incredulous that it has never been nominated but then again I have been a fan of FNL since the beginning so I should be surprised. For shame Emmy voters, for shame.
californiagirlx7 californiagirlx7 9 years
I don't understand how Boston Legal gets nominated for so many awards. I don't know one single person who watches that show, and James Spader and William Shatner annoy the hell out of me.
stellina429 stellina429 9 years
No question, some of the nominees are more than deserving, like Jon Hamm and Hugh Laurie. But doesn't anyone else think that Eddie Izzard and/or Minnie Driver deserved nominations for The Riches? The show is fantastic, if underrated, and they're both wonderful on it.
CaterpillarGirl CaterpillarGirl 9 years
Who do i root for? Jon Hamm or Michael C. Hall? I am so conflicted!!!!!!!
LuvLeoDiCaprio LuvLeoDiCaprio 9 years
I wonder why everyone is surprised by The Wire's snub , it's a show that features minorities not just one or two. The Emmy voters aren't ready for all that, how sad :( just my opinion.
alethe16 alethe16 9 years
I absolutely agree that the biggest drama snub was Anne Dudek's incredible performance as Cutthroat Bitch on House. I'm happy about Mad Men noms, Hugh Laurie, and especially Michael Emerson from Lost. He really deserves not only the nom, but the win!
Lady-Boleyn Lady-Boleyn 9 years
I am excited about Neil Patrick Harris and his nomination. I end up in stitches every time I watch "How I Met Your Mother". I was really hesitant to watch the show. However, he steals the show and makes it WELL worth watching.
Linda-McP Linda-McP 9 years
Snubs for The Wire AND Friday Night Lights make me so angry. But yay for Damages and Mad Men; both are well deserving of the praise. And then there's Boston Legal and James Spader. Oh please, don't even get me started!
Entertainment Entertainment 9 years
Kaysnowboarder — Yup, Kathy Griffin was nominated! She actually earned two nominations: one for My Life on the D-List in the Outstanding Reality Program category, and one for her comedy special Straight to Hell. :) The full rundown of nominees is here.
nomerz nomerz 9 years
I meant to say "I hate that FNL doesn't get the recognition it deserves" ... I wish there was an edit button
nomerz nomerz 9 years
I hate that FNL doesn't get the recognition that it doesn't. I'm so sick of all the Grey's Anatomy praise. It hasn't been good in a long time.
Kaysnowboarder Kaysnowboarder 9 years
Hey did Kathy Griffin get nominated - "My life on the D List"? I just think it is hysterical if she wins again. The rest is a yawner.
gitsie123 gitsie123 9 years
I have decided not to watch the emmy's after seeing The Wire snubbed for 5 years in a row. I can't believe it! That show has some of the best writing/acting on television.
em113 em113 9 years
I can't be happy. Yeah, the Emmys got somethings right (30 rock for example) but per usual the snubs are just too much to handle. These days its the obligatory FNL, the Wire snubs and Boston Legal, Two and a Half Men nominations. Before that Kristen Bell was snubbed for two years and Lauren Graham was snubbed for seven years etc. etc. I can't ever be anything but depressed about the whole thing.
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