Emmy Nods: The Surprises & the Snubs

Where's Big Bang Theory? How about Sons of Anarchy?

It's Emmy Award nomination day, which means that we all get insanely frustrated when quality programs get snubbed, while some old standbys get put on the list out of habit. While there were quite a few welcome surprises this year, and some truly deserving television spotlighted, it's pretty clear that the Emmy voters did not take heed and follow our wish list very closely. On the plus side, while watching the nomination announcements this morning, we got to see Grey's Anatomy's Chandra Wilson and Big Bang Theory's Jim Parsons read off the main categories, and we love both of them. So that was something. Let's break it down category by category, shall we?

Outstanding Comedy Series
Family Guy
Flight of the Conchords
How I Met Your Mother
The Office
30 Rock
Where's The Big Bang Theory? Some people were speculating that it could be a contender to win this category, and now it's not even in the running. We're also bummed that Chuck and Pushing Daisies didn't get a spot and instead we've got freaking Entourage (again) and the bizarre inclusion of Family Guy seasons after its subversive prime. Do people not realize that it's become the same lame jokes every week? Did Seth MacFarlane have some dirt on some Emmy voters? Good for Flight of the Conchords, but we're picking 30 Rock for the win.

Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series
Jim Parsons (The Big Bang Theory)
Jemaine Clement (Flight of the Conchords)
Tony Shalhoub (Monk)
Steve Carell (The Office)
Alec Baldwin (30 Rock)
Charlie Sheen (Two and a Half Men)
We wouldn't have pegged Jim Parsons for a lead actor, though we do adore Sheldon, so good for him. And Jemaine Clement was actually a welcome surprise. Steve Carell and Alec Baldwin deserve their spots, even though they are frequently nominated, but really? Charlie Sheen and Tony Shalhoub? We'd have rather seen Eastbound and Down's Danny McBride, Chuck's Zachary Levi or Pushing Daisies' Lee Pace, who did some fresh and original material, snag a spot on this list instead.

Outstanding Lead Actress in a 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)
We would have subbed in Anna Friel from Pushing Daisies instead of Toni Collette and her multiple personalities, but otherwise, this category is pretty strong. We're pretty shocked that the Emmys like brassy Sarah Silverman as much as we do, and we're happy to have her in the running, mostly because we'd love to hear her bleeped out acceptance speech. But will it be a surprise to anyone at all when Tina Fey takes home the trophy? Not really.

Outstanding Supporting Actor in a 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)
We agree with three of these people -- NPH, Tracy Morgan and Jack McBrayer -- but the voters totally lost us here with Kevin Dillon and Jon Cryer. And while we used to adore Rainn Wilson, his Dwight schtick is wearing very thin lately. We were hoping to see some fresher faces in the mix, like Aziz Ansari from Parks & Recreation. Kevin Dillon, really? We're still baffled at the continued Entourage adoration.

Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series
Kristin Chenoweth (Pushing Daisies)
Amy Poehler (Saturday Night Live)
Kristen Wiig (Saturday Night Live)
Jane Krakowski (30 Rock)
Vanessa Williams (Ugly Betty)
Elizabeth Perkins (Celia Hodes)
We're delighted to see SNL's Kristen Wiig get a nod -- she deserves it for the way she embodies her oddball characters. Same goes for Jane Krakowski, who brings the wackadoo Jenna to life so very well. While we love Amy Poehler, we're surprised that she's nominated for SNL since she was only on for part of the season. And while Elizabeth Perkins wasn't on our short-list, she's a perfectly fine choice, though we'd have liked to have seen Alyson Hannigan get recognized for her work on How I Met You Mother, because her absence during her maternity leave was palpable. We're super psyched that petite songbird Kristin Chenoweth got nominated for Pushing Daisies though. We love that show, and we sincerely miss Olive Snook. We'll be hard pressed to pick just one of these talented ladies.

Outstanding Drama Series
Big Love
Breaking Bad
Mad Men
Excuse us, but where the hell is the riveting biker gang series Sons of Anarchy? That the freshman drama didn't get a nomination is a glaring oversight. We're also pretty shocked that Golden Globe nominee True Blood is nowhere to be found on any of the major nominations, and that a lackluster season of House found a place in this heavy-hitting drama category. If they were able to add a seventh nominee to this field, they should have gone Oscars style and extended it to ten picks to make room for the snubbed SoA, True Blood and the inexplicably absent Friday Night Lights. We'd say that Battlestar Galactica should have had a spot too, but we've stopped believing in miracles when it comes to the Emmys.

Outstanding Lead Actor in a 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)
We're not entirely unhappy with this category, though it is a true shame that The Shield's Michael Chiklis and Battlestar Galactica's Edward James Olmos didn't get rewarded for their work on the final seasons of their programs. But Simon Baker was an unexpected, yet pleasant addition. We just hope that Hugh Laurie doesn't take the prize this year, because this was a mediocre season of House.

Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series
Sally Field (Brothers & Sisters)
Kyra Sedgwick (The Closer)
Glenn Close (Damages)
Mariska Hargitay (Law & Order: SVU)
Elisabeth Moss (Mad Men)
Holly Hunter (Saving Grace)
No Mary McDonnell? That's an outrage. Seriously. Her intense work on the final season of Battlestar Galactica as a dying president was some of the finest acting on TV this season. These other ladies surely held their own, and are all great actresses in their own right, but really, McDonnell deserved to at least be among them. While we're not her biggest fan, we're pretty surprised that Golden Globe winner Anna Paquin was overlooked for her role on True Blood. And, one has to wonder if Emmy voters actually watch the melodramatic Brothers & Sisters, or if they just nominate Sally Field by rote at this point.

Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series
William Shatner (Boston Legal)
Christian Clemenson (Boston Legal)
Aaron Paul (Breaking Bad)
William Hurt (Damages)
Michael Emerson (Lost)
John Slattery (Mad Men)
Wow, we only had one of these folks on our wish list, and that was Michael Emerson for his performance as the creepy Ben Linus. Jon Slattery is great on Mad Men, but it is Vincent Kartheiser who makes our skin really crawl. Aaron Paul is a wonderful addition to the category, and William Hurt is naturally deserving, but we're surprised that True Blood's breakout star Nelsan Ellis didn't get a nod. We're also flummoxed that not one, but two people got nominations for Boston Legal. One we can understand, but two? That's baffling.

Outstanding Supporting Actress in a 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)
We've made it pretty clear before that Rose Byrne is by far the weak acting link on Damages, so she really doesn't seem like Emmy nominee material to us. And while Cherry Jones is generally awesome, this season's 24 standout was Annie Werschling. Do voters actually watch, or just pick the big names? The In Treatment ladies are deserving stars, and if two people had to be nominated for Grey's Anatomy, we're glad it's these two. They, and Kevin McKidd, are pretty much the only reason for our continued viewing of that medical soap.

Outstanding Reality-Competition Program
The Amazing Race
American Idol
Dancing With the Stars
Project Runway
Top Chef
Will this be Idol's year? Who knows, who cares. If we had our druthers, So You Think You Can Dance would have taken the Dancing With the Stars spot, as it is a far superior dancing program. Just look at the Creative Arts nominations for choreography where SYTYCD dominates with multiple nominations, while DWtS only has one. Doesn't really matter though, since The Amazing Race will probably win again anyway.

Outstanding Host for a Reality or Reality-Competition Program
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)
No Cat Deeley for So You Think You Can Dance? That's unforgivable. She's the most adorable and gorgeous host on television -- no offense, Seacrest. Speaking of Seacrest, perhaps this nod will make the Idol producers feel better about shelling over a forkload of cash to keep him around. We naturally love the amazing Phil, Survivor wouldn't be the same if we couldn't yell at Probst, and Runway needs Heidi to do their auf'ing. And though we didn't expect it, we're glad to see Padma and Tom co-nominated for Top Chef, because they really work best as a team. Just please, Emmy Awards producers, spare us from the awfulness that was last year's unscripted hosting nightmare with these nominees.

Outstanding Reality Program
Antiques Roadshow
Dirty Jobs
Dog Whisperer
Kathy Griffin: My Life on the D-List
Bo-ring. We have to wonder if they just cut and paste these noms from previous years. Not that these shows aren't okay in their own right, but we'd have liked to have seen Real Housewives of New York City or even something wildly unreal, like The Hills, included on this list. At least there's no Extreme Makeover: Home Edition on here. That's something to be happy about.

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