I was actually excited for today to come, even though I knew it would mean a return to work after a blissful five days off. Why? Because the Emmy nominations were due this morning, and a change in the way they were chosen meant there was sure to be some crazy shit going on.
Sure enough, Emmy has sent a message that those tired of the same old nominees will get new ones, and that shows whose star wanes will be replaced with shows that wax. Desperate Housewives? The name is almost nowhere to be found among the major nods, with only Alfre Woodard rewarded for spending a year on Wisteria Lane and only getting about twenty minutes of screen time to shine. The Sopranos? It's up for best drama, yes, but Tony and Carmela would be having quite an angry conference in the kitchen over their mutual lack of nomination in categories that found room for Denis Leary (Rescue Me) and Kyra Sedgwick (The Closer).
Indeed, the new system denied many past winners even a nomination this time around, among them the aforementioned trio of Gandolfini, Falco, and Huffman; Boston Legal's James Spader, whose portrayal of Alan Shore had been honored both on this show and The Practice; and Will & Grace's Eric McCormack (Will) and Bobby Cannavale, who won a Guest Actor award as Will's boyfriend, Vince. Indeed, the eight main acting categories (best lead and supporting actor and actress in a comedy or drama) feature only three defending champions: Blythe Danner for Huff, Tony Shaloub for Monk, and William Shatner for his delicious portrayal of Denny Crane on Boston Legal. And chances are not all of them will defend their trophies successfully.
A few other tidbits:
- Last year, House wasn't nominated but House was. This year, it's the other way around. What does Hugh Laurie have to do?
- Star Trek fans should be pleased. In addition to Shatner's nod for Boston Legal, Patrick Stewart was nominated for best guest actor in a comedy for his one-episode turn on HBO's Extras. And a program called "How William Shatner Changed the World" is up for best non-fiction program!
- While HBO's Big Love and Rome were shut out of the series and acting categories, they were both honored elsewhere. Rome is up for visual effects, art direction, hair, costumes, makeup, music, and title design, while Big Love is up for directing, casting, and, again, title design. (I hope Big Love wins this one; the credits make me hear "God Only Knows" in a whole new way!)
- Bill Maher gets a combined four nominations for his HBO show and HBO special!
- Will, Vince, Rosario, and Leo are apparently the only regulars on Will & Grace who weren't punching in their weight class the final season. Debra Messing (Grace), Sean Hayes (Jack), Megan Mullally (Karen), Leslie Jordan (Beverly Leslie), Alec Baldwin (Malcolm), and Blythe Danner (Will's mother) all got nominations for their roles.
- Vinick may have lost the battle, but he won the war: Alan Alda and Martin Sheen are both up for Emmys for their roles on The West Wing, but Jimmy Smits was left out in the cold.
- Tony and Carmela may be crying in their coffee, but Six Feet Under fans can rejoice: Peter Krause (Nate) and Frances Conroy (Ruth) both got nods for the show's final season. Without Edie Falco in the race, Ruth's bravura performance in the finale may just have a chance! (The finale is also up for writing, directing, art direction, prosthetic makeup, and hairstyling, while Ruth's sister [Patricia Clarkson] and Brenda's mom [Joanna Cassidy] will vie for guest actress.)
- Murphy Brown is back: James Spader may be out, but Candice Bergen is in as the backbone of Boston Legal's fictional Crane, Poole, and Schmidt. Don't be surprised if she bests her two competitors from Grey's Anatomy to take home the best supporting actress trophy!