And the Nominees are:

It’s ten to nine this Thursday morning, which means that the nominations for this year’s Primetime Emmys have just been announced live.  Fortunately, I’m on the east coast so I didn’t have to worry about dragging myself out of bed at five-thirty a.m like presenters Chandra Wilson (Grey’s Anatomy) and Jim Parsons (The Big Bang Theory). The list of nominations offered many of the same programs that have been recognized before but there were a few surprises as well.  Overall I’m extremely happy with the nominations and hope that the ceremony will prove as interesting. Here are my thoughts on the nomination ceremony and a complete list of the nominees:

Drama Series

Big Love
Breaking Bad
Damages
Dexter
House m.d.
Lost
Mad Men

The only surprise in this category is perhaps the inclusion of Big Love.  House m.d. and Lost are the only network dramas in the bunch.

Actress, Drama Series

Sally Field, Brothers and Sisters
Kyra Sedgwick, The Closer
Glenn Close, Damages
Mariska Hargitay, Law and Order: Special Victims Unit
Elizabeth Moss, Mad Men
Holly Hunter, Saving Grace

Another predictable category where the only surprise might be Elizabeth Moss over her Mad Men co-star January Jones.

Actors, Drama Series

Bryan Cranston, Breaking Bad
Michael C. Hall, Dexter
Hugh Laurie, House
Gabriel Byrne, In Treatment
Jon Hamm, Mad Men
Simon Baker, The Mentalist

The big surprise here is, of course, a nomination for Simon Baker. Some have also noticed the absence of Kiefer Sutherland, who has been nominated every year that he has been eligible for his work in 24.

Supporting Actress, Drama Series

Rose Byrne, Damages
Sandra Oh, Grey’s Anatomy
Chandra Wilson, Grey’s Anatomy
Dianne Wiest, In Treatment
Hope Davis, In Treatment
Cherry Jones, 24

I’m certainly pleased to see both Chandra Wilson and Sandra Oh here for Grey’s instead of the expected Katherine Heigl. It was especially nice to see a spokesperson for CBS tell Wilson that she had received a nomination in this category as well as the one announced live for her work in a miniseries. I don’t think anyone had even considered Cherry Jones in 24 so this nomination is certainly a surprise. I’m just sorry there isn’t a nomination for the fabulous Elizabeth Mitchell’s work as Juliet in Lost.

Supporting Actor, Drama Series

William Shatner, Boston Legal
Christian Clemenson, Boston Legal
Aaron Paul, Breaking Bad
William Hurt, Damages
Michael Emerson, Lost
John Slattery, Mad Men

Although reporters did think that the departing Boston Legal would probably snag a few nominations, I think they expected Best Drama Series or Actor for James Spader. I’m a little disappointed to see Shatner here, but I have to admit that I’m glad Christian Clemenson gets a nomination. He was nominated for Guest Actor in 2007 but has never been recognized in the Supporting category. I’m also glad to see two-time nominee Michael Emerson here again.

Guest Actress in a Drama Series

Sharon Lawrence, Grey’s Anatomy
Ellen Burstyn, Law & Order: Special Victims Unit
Brenda Blethyn, Law & Order: Special Victims Unit
Carol Burnett, Law & Order: Special Victims Unit
CCH Pounder, The No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency

Guest Actor in a Drama Series

Edward Asner, CSI: NY
Ted Danson, Damages
Jimmy Smits, Dexter
Ernest Borgnine, ER
Michael J. Fox, Rescue Me

Comedy Series

Entourage
Family Guy
Flight of the Conchords
How I Met Your Mother
The Office
30 Rock
Weeds

This is the big news category with four of the seven nominees new to the category. Family Guy‘s nomination makes it the first animated series to be nominated since The Flinestones in 1961! Weeds, Flight of the Conchords, and How I Met Your Mother are also first-time nominees. I’m just happy How I Met Your Mother received some much deserved attention. Unfortunately there just wasn’t room forThe Big Bang Theory among those newcomers. Still, no nomination for Two and a Half Men and that’s something.

Actress, Comedy Series

Julia Louis Dreyfus, The New Adventures of Old Christine
Christina Applegate, Samantha Who?
Sarah Silverman, The Sarah Silverman Program
Tina Fey, 30 Rock
Toni Collette, United States of Tara
Mary Louise Parker, Weeds

Actor, Comedy Series

Charlie Sheen, Two and a Half Men
Jemaine Clement, Flight of the Conchords
Tony Shalhoub, Monk
Steve Carell, The Office
Alec Baldwin, 30 Rock
Jim Parsons, The Big Bang Theory

While returning nominees Charlie Sheen and Tony Shalhoub surprise no one, a nomination for Flight of the Conchords star Jemaine Clement is less predictable. The best news of this category is a well-deserved nomination for Jim Parsons though. As Chandra read the nominations for this category aloud, Parsons was visibly surprised, saying “that wasn’t there”, presumably because another name had been substituted in order to surprise him when the presenters received the list ahead of time.

Supporting Actress, Comedy Series

Kristin Chenoweth, Pushing Daisies
Amy Poehler, Saturday Night Live
Kristin Wiig, Saturday Night Live
Jane Krakowski, 30 Rock
Vanessa Williams, Ugly Betty
Elizabeth Perkins, Weeds

I’m extremely happy to see Kristin Chenoweth included in this category, especially since the cancellation of Pushing Daisies means that she won’t be eligible next year for playing Olive Snook.

Supporting Actor, Comedy Series

Kevin Dillon, Entourage
Neil Patrick Harris, How I Met Your Mother
Rainn Wilson, The Office
Tracy Morgan, 30 Rock
Jack McBrayer, 30 Rock
Jon Cryer, Two And A Half Men

With How I Met Your Mother breaking into the comedy category this year and a deserved nomination for Neil Patrick Harris could it be his year?  A snub for Entourage actor Jeremy Piven, who Harris even thanked for not being nominated during his acceptance speech for ‘A-List Actor’ in Bravo’s A-List Awards, clears the way.

Guest Actress in a Comedy Series

Christine Baranski, The Big Bang Theory
Gena Rowlands, Monk
Betty White, My Name Is Earl
Tina Fey, Saturday Night Live
Jennifer Aniston, 30 Rock
Elaine Stritch, 30 Rock

Guest Actor in a Comedy Series

Beau Bridges, Desperate Housewives
Justin Timberlake, Saturday Night Live
Steve Martin, 30 Rock
Jon Hamm, 30 Rock
Alan Alda, 30 Rock

Variety, Music, or Comedy Special

The Colbert Report
The Daily Show
The Late Show with David Letterman
Real Time with Bill Maher
Saturday Night Live

Best Reality Competition

The Amazing Race
American Idol
Dancing With the Stars
Project Runway
Top Chef

Best Reality Show Host

Phil Keoghan, The Amazing Race
Ryan Seacrest, American Idol
Tom Bergeron, Dancing With The Stars
Heidi Klum, Project Runway
Jeff Probst, Survivor
Padma Lakshmi and Tom Colicchio, Top Chef

After last’s disastrous Emmys, hosted by the five nominees from this category, it’s perhaps surprising that four of the five are nominated again. The only snub is Howie Mandel, who has been replaced by the far more deserving ‘Amazing Phil’ Keoghan, and Padma and Tom of Top Chef. I’m sorry to see that sweetheart Cat Deeley isn’t here but maybe next year, with So You Think You Can Dance currently having its strongest season to date, both the show and the host will be recognized.

Best Miniseries

Generation Kill
Little Dorritt

Lead Actress in a Miniseries or Movie

Chandra Wilson, Accidental Friendship
Shirley MacLaine, Coco Chanel
Drew Barrymore, Grey Gardens
Jessica Lange, Grey Gardens
Sigourney Weaver, Prayers For Bobby

Lead Actor in a Miniseries or Movie

Kevin Kline, Cyrano de Bergerac
Brendan Gleeson, Into The Storm
Sir Ian McKellen, King Lear
Kevin Bacon, Taking Chance
Kiefer Sutherland, 24: Redemption
Kenneth Branagh, Wallander: One Step Behind

I’m not going to go through all the behind the scenes categories but here are a few more nominations that interested me and that I hope might interest fellow TV enthusiasts:

Outstanding Choreography

81st Annual Academy Awards – “Musicals Are Back” – by Rob Ashford
Dancing With the Stars – “Jive/Great Balls of Fire” – by Derek and Julianne Hough
So You Think You Can Dance – “Bleeding Love” – by Tabitha and Napoleon D’Umo
So You Think You Can Dance – “Mercy” by Mia Michaels
So You Think You Can Dance – “Adam and Eve” by Tyce Diorio
So You Think You Can Dance – “A Los Amigos” by Dmitry Chaplin

Outstanding Special Class – Short-format Live-Action Entertainment Programs

Battlestar Galactica: The Face Of The Enemy
The Daily Show: The Daily Show Correspondents On Jon Stewart
Bruce Springsteen Super Bowl Halftime Show
Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog
30 Rock’s Kenneth the Web Page

I just had to include that one because I’m so excited that Dr. Horrible is up for an Emmy!

For a complete list of all the nominations click here

The 61st Annual Emmy Awards airs September 20th on CBS.

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