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2015 Emmy Award Nominations Announced

"After Years of the Same, Finally a Hint of Change"

The day Emmy nominations are announced each year is like Christmas for television critics. Well, Christmas if you were really hoping to get that awesome new bike with all the bells and whistles, only to wake up early and find out that you got socks. Again. Because every year we get our hopes up that this will be the year Emmy voters realize there were some truly remarkable shows and actors out there that they should recognize, only to once again endure the crushing realization that the mystical group of voters still think Downton Abbey is one of the best seven dramas on television (spoiler alert: it’s not even in the top ten).

But this year, you know what? I’m actually pleasantly surprised. Sure, there were some sad omissions (Jane the Virgin and The Americans, I’m looking at you both with a tear in my eye). But on the whole, wow. I don’t actually have a lot to complain about, and I have a great deal to praise. I’m not even mad that the Emmys still think Downton Abbey and Modern Family are Emmy worthy (although I would have liked to see some of their actor spots filled by more worthy people), because so much about these nominations is right. And, let me tell you, it’s really weird to not feel mad and disappointed by the Emmy nominations.


The major knock on the Emmys (after we all take into account that all Hollywood award shows are pretty darn stupid to begin with) is that it eschews the new and rewards old stalwarts that are way past their sell-by dates. But this year? Lots of new and worthy nominees that will, hopefully, bring some new viewers to shows that deserve them- like Tatiana Maslany getting a nomination for her amazing work on Orphan Black. Very few people have likely heard of that show (outside of the dedicated community of genre fans that, while growing, isn’t as large as the viewership of a NCIS spin-off), but perhaps the deluge of articles today talking about how wonderful that particular nomination is will convince people to check it out. Or Transparent snagging a host of nominations. Or Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt killing it. While those shows might not win (although, one has to think Jeffrey Tambor is the odds-on favorite for Best Actor in a Comedy), the nomination will bring some serious exposure to those delightful shows.

So, for the first time in awhile, I will be tuning into the Emmys (airing September 20, on Fox) genuinely excited for the results. I actually have faith that a new comedy will swoop in and still the Best Comedy mantle from Modern Family (my money is on either Veep or Transparent). That, perhaps, Jon Hamm might finally take home an Emmy for playing Don Draper (yes, that is correct, Jon Hamm has never won an Emmy for his work on Mad Men– I’ll give that a moment to sink in). And maybe, just maybe, the hardest working actress on television might get some real recognition for the tour de force work she does playing over seven different clones (although, I’m not holding my breath on this one). Good work, Emmy voters. Now, let’s see you actually make the right picks come September. This year, it looks like we might have actually gotten that bike.

Nominees in major categories:

Comedy Series
Modern Family
Parks & Recreation
Silicon Valley
Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt

Drama Series
Better Call Saul
Downton Abbey
Game of Thrones
House of Cards
Mad Men
Orange Is The New Black

Limited Series
American Crime
American Horror Story: Freak Show
Olive Kitteridge
The Honorable Woman

Wolf Hall

Lead Actor in a Comedy
Anthony Anderson –Blackish
Louis C.K. – Louie
Don Cheadle – House of Lies
Will Forte – Last Man on Earth
Matt LeBlanc – Episodes
William H. Macy – Shameless
Jeffrey Tambor – Transparent

Lead Actress in a Comedy Series
Edie Falco – Nurse Jackie
Lisa Kudrow – The Comeback
Julia Louis Dreyfuss – VEEP
Amy Poehler – Parks and Recreation
Amy Schumer –Inside Amy Schumer
Lily Tomlin – Grace and Frankie

Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series
Mayim Bialik – The Big Bang Theory
Niecy Nash – Getting On
Julie Bowen – Modern Family
Allison Janney – Mom
Kate McKinnon – Saturday Night Live
Gaby Hoffmann – Transparent
Jane Krakowski –  Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt
Anna Chlumsky – Veep

Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series
Andre Braugher – Brooklyn Nine-Nine
Adam Driver – Girls
Ty Burrell – Modern Family
Tituss Burgess – Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt
Tony Hale – Veep

Lead Actor in a Drama Series
Kyle Chandler – Bloodline
Jeff Daniels – The Newsroom
Jon Hamm- Mad Men
Bob Odenkirk – Better Call Saul
Liev Schreiber – Ray Donovan
Kevin Spacey – House of Cards

Lead Actress in a Drama Series
Claire Danes – Homeland
Viola Davis – How to Get Away with Murder
Taraji P. Henson – Empire
Tatania Maslany – Orphan Black
Elisabeth Moss – Mad Men
Robin Wright – House of Cards

Supporting Actress in a Drama Series
Joanne Froggatt – Downton Abbey
Lena Headey- Game of Thrones
Christine Baranski- The Good Wife
Christina Hendricks- Mad Men
Uzo Aduba- Orange is the New Black

Supporting Actor in a Drama Series
Jonathan Banks – Better Call Saul
Ben Mendelsohn – Bloodline
Jim Carter – Downton Abbey
Alan Cumming – The Good Wife
Michael Kelly – House of Cards


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About / Bio
TV critic based in Chicago. When not watching and writing about awesome television shows, I can be found lamenting over the latest disappointing performance by any of the various Chicago sports teams or my beloved Notre Dame Fighting Irish. Follow me @JeanHenegan on Twitter.

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