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The Snubs & Surprises Of The 2012 Emmy Nominations

by Oliver Lyttelton
July 20, 2012 11:14 AM
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You can't please everyone. And award ceremonies, in particular, never please everybody. Voted for by a small group, who are more often than not much older than those in the media, or who watch the shows, awards nominations and the eventual winners are generally frustrating, whether it's in the music, movie or television world. And this year's batch of Emmy nods are no exception.

Topped by "Downton Abbey," "American Horror Story" and "Modern Family," among others, the Emmys mostly showed a general love for established names (there's no easier way to get an Emmy nod than by having one the year before, and your show still being on the air). But even so, there were a few big snubs, and a few major surprises (some pleasant, some less so). Below, we've run down the major ones; if there were those you were surprised by yourself, or feel are undeserved, let us know in the comments section.

TV Movies/Miniseries
Of the three distinct fiction categories, this is the one we were most on top of in our predictions; some commentators had dismissed "American Horror Story" and "Hatfields & McCoys," but they, along with HBO's "Game Change" and "Hemingway & Gellhorn," were the big winners. At their expense, the big casualty was "Page Eight." David Hare's spy drama starring Bill Nighy, Ralph Fiennes, Rachel Weisz and Felicity Jones picked up BAFTA and Golden Globe nods, but could only manage a nomination for supporting actress Judy Davis.

The BBC's other great hope, the superb adaptation of "Great Expectations," also missed out entirely, as did Lifetime's all-star "Five," although the BBC's "Luther" and "Sherlock" both did extremely well, and deservedly so. Less successful was "The Hour," which only got a nomination for Abi Morgan's writing, and the excellent true-life serial killer tale "Appropriate Adult," which had performances from Dominic West and Emily Watson far more worthy of awards than most of those nominated. But clearly, it didn't connect with voters, and it's not too hard to see why.

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  • Todd | July 20, 2012 1:05 PMReply

    That Hugh Laurie was not nominated for his incredible work on House is nothing less than stunning. However, what destroys any credibility of these awards is that the finest actress of our time, Ms. Emily Watson, was not nominated. This is not an outrage, it is a tragedy of epic proportions.

  • Leni | July 20, 2012 1:02 PMReply

    I loved Veep too, so I don't mind the nominations, but it's the Parks snubs that bother me the most! It should have been in there for best show, and Nick Offerman should have been nominated hands down. In fact, they could fill the supporting actor list at least as well as Modern Family. Offerman, Chris Pratt, Rob Lowe and Aziz Ansari are at least as good as the MF guys (and I do like MF). Just a baffling, disappointing day for Parks fans.

  • Ken | July 20, 2012 12:47 PMReply

    I don't care what you guys say, I loved every single episode of Veep. I wish I knew more people who felt that way.

    Congrats to Louie, I'm glad we can all get behind that one at least. Now let's see if he actually wins any of the awards. C'mon Academy, give it to the man.

  • justin | July 20, 2012 3:21 PM

    i agree with you ken. i adored the first season of veep. i thought the writing and acting were always on point. all in all i'm pleasantly surprised by how the nominations went. i'm a little sad for morena baccarin and mandy patinkin but i am equally happy that merrit weaver, jared harris, anna gunn, joanne froggatt and michael c hall got nominations (it may not have been a strong overall season for dexter, but to deny hall's acting ability in this category would just be unfitting for someone who is able to shine above the material he is working with). overall, with so many great surprises shaking up the usually very predictable emmys, i think it's a year to celebrate the diversity, instead of griping over shows that weren't nominated. i am also very interested to see how the bset series comedy/drama actually turn out with such a great group of contenders in both.

  • Arch | July 20, 2012 12:13 PMReply

    I won't talk about Girls ... but American horror story ? I mean that was terrible, even considering how low the mainstream horror genre went the last few years.

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