Nominations for the 2012 Primetime Emmy Awards came out this morning. On first glance, there’s lots of snubs (Huge Laurie Mandy Patinkin), surprises (yay Schmidt from New Girl and Sarah Paulson from Game Change), and same ole shit as usual (another nomination for Larry David, Jim Parsons, Jon Cryer, and Alec Baldwin. Yay?). But I looked a little closer for you. Here’s 25 facts about the 2012 Emmy Nominations you may not know. (You can check the full list of nominees here.)
1. Nominations for network television dramas have long been on the decline, but this was the first year they’ve been shut out entirely. Boardwalk Empire, Breaking Bad, Downton Abbey, Game of Thrones, Homeland, and Mad Men took the Outstanding Drama Series nominations this year.
2. Outstanding Comedy Series seems to be making the cable turn too. For the first time ever, the network vs. cable shows nominated were dead even. On the network side? The Big Bang Theory, Modern Family, and 30 Rock. On the cable side? Curb Your Enthusiasm, Girls, and Veep. That’s a pretty big change from last year, when all six nominees were network programs.
3. Downton Abbey took home six Primetime Emmy Awards last year, including Outstanding Writing for a Miniseries or Movie, Directing for a Miniseries or Movie, Supporting Actress in a Miniseries or Movie (Maggie Smith), and the big prize: Outstanding Miniseries or Movie. This year, it entered the race as a Drama Series, and cleaned house. 16 total nominations, including Outstanding Drama Series, and a slew of acting nominations. Nice move.
4. Still, Downton Abbey’s 16 nominations doesn’t make it the most nominated drama out there. That would be Mad Men, which edged them out with 17 nominations.
5. And while moving Downton Abbey from Miniseries or Movie to Drama Series helped its chances greatly, moving Missing and American Horror Story from Drama Series to Miniseries or Movie did the same. Missing nabbed an Outstanding Lead Actress in a Miniseries or Movie nod for Ashley Judd. American Horror Story, meanwhile, picked up 17 nominations, including Outstanding Miniseries or Movie.
6. There was no love for Ryan Murphy’s other show, Glee. Dot Marie-Jones nabbed the only acting nomination (Outstanding Guest Actress in a Comedy Series). The other two nominations went for cinematography and makeup. Ouch.
7. If the Emmy nomination committee liked a show this year, chances are they nominated most of its cast. Here are the shows with the most characters representation among the nominees:
- Breaking Bad: Walter White (Bryan Cranston), Skyler White (Anna Gunn), Jesse Pinkman (Aaron Paul), Gustavo Fring (Giancarlo Esposito), and Hector Salamanca (Mark Margolis).
- Mad Men: Don Draper (Jon Hamm), Peggy Olson (Elisabeth Moss), Joan Holloway (Christina Hendricks), Lane Pryce (Jared Harris), Marie Calvet (Julia Ormond), and Michael Ginsberg (Ben Feldman).
- Downton Abbey: Lady Mary (Michelle Dockery), Master Gratham (Hugh Bonneville), Dowager Countess of Grantham (Maggie Smith), Anna (Joanne Froggatt), John Bates (Brendan Coyle), and Jim Carter (Mr. Carson).
- Modern Family: Claire and Phil Dunphy (Julie Bowen and Ty Burrell), Jay and Gloria (Ed O’Neill and Sofia Vergara), Cameron and Mitchell (Eric Stonestreet and Jesse Tyler Ferguson), and Tad (Greg Kinnear).
- The Good Wife: Alicia Florrick (Juliana Margulies), Kalinda Sharma (Archie Panjabi), Diane Lockhart (Christine Baranski), Patty Nyholm (Martha Plimpton), Colin Sweeny (Dylan Baker), and Louis Canning (Michael J. Fox).
- American Horror Story: Viven (Connie Britton), Constance (Jessica Lange), Moira (Frances Conroy), and Larry (Denis O’Hare).
8. Four of the five nominees for Outstanding Writing for a Comedy Series went to Parks and Recreation (which got two writing nominations), Community, and Louie. Yet neither of those shows were nominated for Outstanding Comedy Series (the fifth Writing nomination, Girls, was). So… they’re written funny but just not… funny?
9. Although snubbed from Outstanding Comedy Series, Louis C. K. picked up seven personal Emmy nominations – more than any other performer:
- Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series (Louie)
- Outstanding Directing for a Comedy Series (Louie)
- Outstanding Writing for a Comedy Series (Louie)
- Outstanding Special Class Program (Louie C.K. – Love At The Beacon Theatre)
- Outstanding Directing For a Variety Special (Louie C.K. – Love At The Beacon Theatre)
- Outstanding Writing For a Variety Special (Louie C.K. – Love At The Beacon Theatre)
- Outstanding Picture Editing for Short-Form Segments And Variety Specials (Louie C.K. – Love At The Beacon Theatre)
10. Louie C. K wasn’t the only one grabbing multiple nominations. While no one came close to him, many other nominees got dual nominations for their work this year – four sharing the Lead Actress in a Comedy Series category and everything. Some notables:
- Amy Poehler: Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series (Parks and Recreation) and Outstanding Writing for a Comedy Series (Parks and Recreation).
- Lena Dunham: Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series (Girls) and Outstanding Writing for a Comedy Series (Girls).
- Melissa McCarthy: Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series (Mike and Molly) and Outstanding Guest Actress in a Comedy Series (Saturday Night Live)
- Tina Fey: Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series (30 Rock) and Outstanding Special Class short-format Nonfiction Program (30 Rock: Ask Tina)
- Jon Hamm: Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series (Mad Men) and Outstanding Guest Actor in a Comedy Series (30 Rock)
- Michael J. Fox: Outstanding Guest Actor in a Comedy Series (Curb Your Enthusiasm) and Outstanding Guest Actor in a Drama Series (The Good Wife)
- Kathy Bates: Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series (Harry’s Law) and Outstanding Guest Actress in a Comedy Series (Two and a Half Men).
- Kristin Wigg: Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series (Saturday Night Live) and Outstanding Voice-Over Performance (The Looney Tunes Show).
- Lisa Kudrow: Outstanding Special Class Short-format Live-Action Entertainment Program (Web Therapy) and Outstanding Reality Program (Who Do You Think You Are?)
- Ryan Seacrest: Outstanding Hot for a Reality or Reality-Competition Program (American Idol), and Outstanding Reality Program (Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution)
- Seth Meyers and John Mulaney: Outstanding Writing for a Variety Series (Saturday Night Live) and Original Music and Lyrics (“I Can’t Believe I’m Hosting,” SNL)
11. Even though Martha Plimpton, Will Arnett, and Maya Rudolph didn’t pick up nominations for their baby-centric series (Raising Hope and Up All Night, respectively), they did all snag Outstanding Guest Actor/Actress in a Comedy/Drama Series Nominations. Plimpton for her stint in The Good Wife, Arnett for his turn as Devon Banks on 30 Rock, and Maya Rudolph for guest hosting SNL. In fact, that’s Arnett’s fifth nomination for playing Devon Banks on 30 Rock. Still no win though.
12. Maya Rudolph’s not the only one thanking SNL for her Emmy nomination (her first ever, in fact – yay!). It’s good to be at SNL this year. Despite a lackluster season, the show picked up 14 nominations total – tying Modern Family as the comedy with the most nominations this year. Those included Outstanding Variety Series, a slew of writing nominations, and the Outstanding Guest work for hosting gigs by Jimmy Fallon and the aforementioned McCartney and Rudolph. Kristen Wiig and Bill Hader also both grabbed nominations for Outstanding Supporting Actress/Actor in a Comedy Series. I demand Penelope and Stefan present at this year’s awards!
13. Mayim Bialik received her first ever Emmy nomination, nominated for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series for playing Amy Farrah Fowler in The Big Bang Theory. Five seasons of Blossom and 25 years in the biz, it’s good to see she finally she gets some recognition.
14. Mark Margolis, nominated for Outstanding Guest Star in a Drama Series for playing Hector Salamanca on Breaking Bad, may be the only actor nominated in the history of the Emmys for ringing a bell.
15. Since its introduction in 2003, the category of Outstanding Reality-Competition Program has always included a nomination for American Idol. Until this year. NBC’s The Voice took its place.
16. Since its introduction in 2008, the award for Outstanding Host for a Reality or Reality-Competition Program has always gone to Jeff Probst for Survivor. That won’t happen this year, as Probst didn’t score a nomination. His replacement? Betty White, host of Betty White’s Off Their Rockers. Eek.
17. Top among the biggest snubs this year sits House’s Hugh Laurie. Despite six pervious nominations for his role as Dr. Gregory House in the Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series category, Laurie didn’t get a final nomination (the show ended this year). Laurie’s never won an Emmy for playing Dr. House, but did pick up two Golden Globes and two Screen Actors Guild Awards for his title role on the show. So… at least that’s something?
Other snubs this year? Mandy Patinkin (Homeland), Katey Sagal (Sons of Anarchy), Regina King (Southland), Emmy Rossum (Shameless), John Slattery (Mad Men), and various cast members from Parks and Recreation, Happy Endings, and Cougar Town.
18. Top among the biggest “WTF” nominees this year sits Uma Thurman, nominated for Outstanding Guest Actress in a Drama Series for her awful portrayal of Rebecca Duvall in SMASH. SMASH wasn’t the best show of last season, but the five-episodes Uma appeared in were by far the worst of the bunch thanks to Uma’s terribly character. She can’t sing. She can’t act. Let’s nominate her for an Emmy!
Other “WTF” nominees? Veep in the Outstanding Comedy Series spot (funny, but not that funny), Zooey Deschanel in Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series (like her, but where does Zooey end and her New Girl character begin?), Don Cheadle in Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series (did anyone find House of Lies funny?), and Kathy Bates in Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series (Harry’s Law? Really?).
19. Speaking of SMASH, it did pick up three non-Uma nominations. One for Outstanding Choreography (Joshua Bergasse, for the “National Pastime,” “Let’s Be Bad,” and “Never Met a Wolf” routines), one for Original Dramatic Score (Marc Shaiman and Christian Bacon), and my favorite of them all – Outstanding Original Music and Lyrics for Shaiman and Scott Wittman’s “Let Me Be Your Star.” Does this mean we get a performance at the Emmys? Pretty please!?!?
20. As always, movie-star names flooded the Miniseries or Movie categories, including Julianne Moore (Game Change), Nicole Kidman (Hemingway & Gellhorn), Emma Thompson (The Song of Lunch), Woody Harrelson (Game Change), Kevin Costner (Hatfields & McCoys), Bill Paxton (Hatfields & McCoys), Clive Owen (Hemingway & Gellhorn), and Ed Harris (Game Change). I’d bet that 20% of them actually show up to the awards.
21. Did you know there was an award for Outstanding Main Title Design? This year, American Horror Story, Great Expectations, Magic City, New Girl, and Strike Back were all nominated. A singing Zooey Deschanel is cute and all, but that American Horror Story opening still gives me nightmares.
22. Brenda Strong received her second consecutive nomination for Outstanding Voice-Over Performance for her work as Mary-Alice Young on Desperate Housewives. In a category that usually always goes to people who play animated characters, it’s nice to see Strong recognized. Plus, it’s the last year she’s eligible for this. Let’s give it to her for 180 episodes over eight seasons of solid work.
23. Degrassi was nominated for Outstanding Children’s Program. This is notable because apparently, Degrassi is a children’s program. The 30-year-old me is really ashamed of his season pass now…
24. Every year, there are always some famous folks who snag writing/producing nominations (see Lisa Kudrow, Seth Meyers, and John Mulaney’s nominations this year, up in point 10). My favorites this year:
- Dan Savage, Executive Producer: Outstanding Children’s Nonfiction Reality or Reality-Competition Program (It Gets Better).
- Fred Armisen and Carrie Brownstein, Writers: Outstanding Writing for a Variety Series (Portlandia)
- Billy Crystal and Carol Leifer, Writers: Outstanding Writing for a Variety Special (The 84th Annual Academy Awards).
- Jamie Oliver, Executive Producer: Outstanding Reality Program (Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution).
- Heidi Klum, Executive Producer: Outstanding Reality Competition Program (Project Runway)
- Tom Colicchio, Co-Executive Producer: Outstanding Reality Competition Program (Top Chef)
- Andy Cohen, Executive Producer: Outstanding Reality Competition Program (Top Chef)
- Carson Daly, Producer: Outstanding Reality Competition Program (The Voice)
- Martine Scorsese, Director: Outstanding Directing for Nonfiction Programming (George Harrison: Living in the Material World)
25. Two of our favorite fowl-mouthed funny ladies picked up nominations this year. Kathy Griffin for her Outstanding Variety Special (Tired Hooker), and Margaret Cho, who will go on record as my favorite nomination of all time. Outstanding Guest Actress in a Comedy Series – Margert Cho as Kim Jong-Il, 30 Rock. <Drops mic>