2011 Emmy Nominations Announced

Early this morning, the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences announced this year’s nominations for the Primetime Emmy Awards. While there aren’t too many surprises on the list (there never are), let’s take a look at some of the highlights.

Keep in mind that I am terrible at predicting award winners. I also have trouble keeping track of which shows have won which categories how many times in the past. Honestly, I find it bothersome that one show can continue to be nominated for and win the same awards year after year after year. (I have this problem with the Tonys as well.) If I had my way, once a series has won an award, it should be retired from that category going forward.

But I digress… Here’s what some of the major categories look like this year:

Drama Series
  • ‘Boardwalk Empire’
  • ‘Dexter’
  • ‘Friday Night Lights’
  • ‘Game of Thrones’
  • ‘The Good Wife’
  • ‘Mad Men’

Doesn’t ‘Mad Men’ always take this category? It won last year. It’ll probably win again.

It’s nice to see ‘Game of Thrones’ in there, but it’ll never win. It seems that this is replacing ‘True Blood’ as HBO’s main contender this year. I’d say that’s pretty reasonable since the last season of ‘True Blood’ was really uneven and ‘Game of Thrones’ was fantastic.

These all seem like worthy choices. Mrs. Z is a huge fan of both ‘Friday Night Lights’ and ‘The Good Wife’, and what I’ve seen of both has been very good. I don’t know why, exactly, but I missed the first season of ‘Boardwalk Empire’ entirely. Bad timing, I guess. I’ll have to try to catch up on that before Season 2 starts this September.

Comedy Series
  • ’30 Rock’
  • ‘The Big Bang Theory’
  • ‘Glee’
  • ‘The Office’
  • ‘Modern Family’
  • ‘Parks and Recreation’

‘Modern Family’ won last year, and I’m guessing will take it again. I’m personally rooting for ‘Parks and Rec’, but not holding my breath. I’m very disappointed that ‘Community’ got no love at all.

’30 Rock’ was a mess this year and shouldn’t have even been nominated. Same for ‘The Office’. Frankly, ‘Glee’ too.

Lead Actor in a Drama Series
  • Steve Buscemi, ‘Boardwalk Empire’
  • Kyle Chandler, ‘Friday Night Lights’
  • Michael C. Hall, ‘Dexter’
  • Jon Hamm, ‘Mad Men’
  • Hugh Laurie, ‘House’
  • Timothy Olyphant, ‘Justified’

I find it very strange that last year’s winner (Bryan Cranston for ‘Breaking Bad’) wasn’t even nominated this year. Nor was the show nominated for Drama Series. I don’t follow this one. Did it have a bad year or something?

Also notably missing is Sean Bean for ‘Game of Thrones’. It’s not like he’s going to get a second chance next year.

I’m thrilled to see Timothy Olyphant in here, but doubt he will win. Kyle Chandler is perpetually a bridesmaid, never a bride at these things. However, now that he’s an actual movie star with a blockbuster hit (‘Super 8’) under his belt, maybe he’ll get some much-deserved attention.

I’m taking a shot in the dark here and guessing that Steve Buscemi will win, mainly because the Academy likes it when respected feature film character actors come to TV.

Lead Actor in a Comedy Series
  • Alec Baldwin, ’30 Rock’
  • Steve Carell, ‘The Office’
  • Louis C.K., ‘Louie’
  • Johnny Galecki, ‘The Big Bang Theory’
  • Matt LeBlanc, ‘Episodes’
  • Jim Parsons, ‘The Big Bang Theory’

Jim Parsons won this last year, but I’m thinking that the Academy will reward Steve Carell since this was his final season on ‘The Office’. (Not that he deserves the award, mind you.)

Alec Baldwin is great on ’30 Rock’, but hasn’t he been nominated enough? He didn’t do anything special this year that he hasn’t done in the past four.

Out of these options, I don’t really have a preference. Honestly, none of these performances stand out to me as being outstanding.

Lead Actress in a Drama Series
  • Kathy Bates, ‘Harry’s Law’
  • Connie Britton, ‘Friday Night Lights’
  • Mireille Enos, ‘The Killing’
  • Mariska Hargitay, ‘Law & Order: Special Victims Unit’
  • Julianna Margulies, ‘The Good Wife’
  • Elisabeth Moss, ‘Mad Men’

Again we have a case where last year’s winner (Kyra Sedgwick for ‘The Closer’) wasn’t even nominated. Mireille Enos had a breakout role in ‘The Killing’, but I suspect that lingering resentment for the season finale will probably torpedo her chances of getting a trophy. The two most deserving candidates seem to be Julianna Margulies and Connie Britton. I’d be happy for either of them to win.

‘Harry’s Law’ is not a very good show, and Kathy Bates should not have been nominated for it.

Lead Actress in a Comedy Series
  • Edie Falco, ‘Nurse Jackie’
  • Tina Fey, ’30 Rock’
  • Laura Linney, ‘The Big C’
  • Melissa McCarthy, ‘Mike & Molly’
  • Martha Plimpton, ‘Raising Hope’
  • Amy Poehler, ‘Parks and Recreation’

How much does Amy Poehler deserve this award? She’s simply awesome in ‘Parks and Rec’. She lost last year to Edie Falco, but somehow I don’t think that ‘Nurse Jackie’ is the type of show that the Academy will keep giving awards to over and over. I’m probably completely off base here, but my feeling is that Laura Linney is going to take the trophy this year. I don’t get Showtime, but I’ve caught a couple episodes of ‘The Big C’ and she’s excellent in it.

I’m so happy to see ‘Raising Hope’ nominated for something. That show is hilarious, and Martha Plimpton is great in it.

As I mentioned above, I’m terrible at making awards predictions. Nonetheless, I feel confident that the only sure-fire winner this year will be Peter Dinklage as Supporting Actor in a Drama Series for ‘Game of Thrones’. He’s been buzzed about since the pilot episode, and he’s amazing in that show. Everything else may be up for grabs, but Dinklage owns this category.

You can find the full list of nominations at Emmys.com.


  1. TJ Kats

    I believe Season 3 of Breaking bad is what won for Bryan Cranston last year. Season 4 was pushed back to take Mad Men’s spot so there was no new season to be nominated. As good as the show is I am sure that both he and the show will be nominated again next year.

  2. Alex

    I know I’m going to catch crap for this, but I’m thrilled to see “The Big Bang Theory” so well represented.

    Alright, go ahead. I can take it…

  3. Alex

    I am a little disappointed that Katey Sagal didn’t get a nomination for “Sons of Anarchy” this year. She still blows me away every time I watch that show, and she definitely deserved it over Mariska Hargitay and Julianna Margulies.

  4. i love award talk. i love when people say this person deserved this and that person didnt deserve that. no one ever gets robbed at these ceremoneys. they were nominated by a large group of people. now if they present best drama and they say and the award goes to pawn wars , now that would be a great. not because pawn wars is a great show ( i dont care for it), but because it wasnt even nominated and had no chance , now thats robery. and lets not let the fans vote. i dont want to see jersey shore win for anything. 🙂

  5. Watch.



    Such a good show. Especially when the phantom arrives. Also, I can’t stress enough how happy I am that Margot Martondale, Tim Olyphant, and Walton Goggins are all nominated for Justified. Exceptional performances this year on an exceptional season of an exceptional show

  6. As lackluster as 30 Rock was this season, as painfully melodramatic and trite as Glee is, and as pandering and outdated as Big Bang Theory is, why were these shows nominated over the incredibly solid, consistently funny Community? As much as I love The Office, I would have rather seen Community nominated over it. Not even a member of their exceptional cast got a nod.

  7. 30 Rock was nearly unwatchable this season. Culminating in the unbelievably bad plotline of Avery becoming Kim-Jong-Il’s wife.

    So, so terrible. I wonder if they had new writers on the show, or if they were just so thrown off from losing Tracy Morgan for half the season that they didn’t know what to do. Just a terrible, terrible season.

    Community and Parks & Rec were amazing this year, Parks better win the award.

  8. Josh, I love that you love ‘Raising Hope’. Wish more people watched it.

    BTW, I hope we’re planning on a Live-Blog for this TV event. Should be good.

  9. ‘Louie’ is the best comedy series on at the moment by so far it’s, well, very funny.

    How it can get recognised for acting but not the show overall is totally bizarre.