Nora Dominick ’17/ Emertainment Monthly Co-Executive Stage Editor
The 68th Annual Emmy Award nominees were unveiled this morning in a ceremony hosted by Gilmore Girls star Lauren Graham and black-ish star Anthony Anderson. With a monumental year in TV featuring groundbreaking dramas, limited series and comedies, this year’s Emmy Award competition seemed to be the toughest yet.
Game of Thrones once again tallied the most nominations with 23 overall, limited series The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story and Fargo received 22 nominations and 18 nominations respectively. Meanwhile Veep and Transparent continued to reign supreme over the comedy categories.
This year’s Drama and Comedy Series nominees include first-timers as well as returning programs to the Emmy competition: black-ish and Master of None are new in the Outstanding Comedy Series category, and Mr. Robot and The Americans in the Outstanding Drama Series competition. Additionally, both Veep and Game of Thrones return to vie for their second Emmy in Outstanding Comedy Series and Outstanding Drama Series respectively. Numerous first time acting nominations were also awarded.
Now that the list of Emmy Award nominees is out, the next big discussion top is who got snubbed? Which actor, actress or show didn’t get nominated? Emertainment Monthly editor Nora Dominick breaks down this year’s biggest snubs and shows she’s extra excited about below!
Also check out the full list of nominees here!
Outstanding Drama Series
You’ll see it a lot as I go through the list of nominees, but the biggest snub for me this year was Outlander. The Starz drama soared in its sophomore season through incredible acting, costume design, directing and writing. Everything came together to make the second season larger than life and it not being recognized was a genuine surprise. Outlander did receive two nominations for Outstanding Costume Design For A Period/Fantasy Series, Limited Series Or Movie and Outstanding Production Design For A Narrative Period Program (One Hour Or More).
The other big snub for me in this category was UnREAL. A true breakout star in its first season, UnREAL changed the way we look at reality TV and became a fan-favorite across the board. Similar to Outlander, everything came together for UnREAL: the writing, the acting, the directing. I was surprised the show overall didn’t get a nod.
Another slight surprise for me was Orange is the New Black not receiving a nomination here. Although season 3 was not my favorite, I still think it had all the makings of a great drama. It was actually more surprising that it only received one nomination overall for Outstanding Casting for a Drama Series.
Doing a Happy Dance For: The Americans…. It’s about time!
Outstanding Comedy Series
In its first few seasons, Modern Family was a hilarious, new comedy. Now in its seventh season, I find myself paying less attention to the show and continuing to watch re-runs. That being said, Modern Family’s slot in the Outstanding Comedy Series category could have been filled by numerous other comedies this past year. Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, Jane the Virgin, You’re the Worst to name a few.
For me, Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, Jane the Virgin and You’re the Worst exemplified TV comedies this season. Any of these three shows should’ve been nominated in this category. All three comedies brought something new and exciting to the TV comedy realm and it’s a shame they are not recognized. Crazy Ex-Girlfriend did score nods for Outstanding Choreography and Outstanding Music and Lyrics.
Doing a Happy Dance For: black-ish and Veep (as always)
Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series
Alright, I warned you above so this shouldn’t come as surprise. The big snub for me in this category is Sam Heughan for his portrayal of Jamie Fraser in Outlander. He continues to grow as an actor and it surprises me every single time an award show comes around that he is the one not nominated. From last seasons brutal rape storyline to this seasons Battle of Culloden, Heughan has transformed into a leading male actor and hopefully one day he will be recognized with an Emmy Award nomination.
Two other actors that deserved nods in this category for me were Damian Lewis and Paul Giamatti for the first season of Billions. A show not many people watch, both actors dominated. Giamatti was a force to be reckoned with in season one and Lewis continues to astound.
Doing a Happy Dance For: Matthew Rhys, The Americans and Rami Malek, Mr. Robot
Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series
Another category that shocked me to some degree. There were several major snubs for me within this acting category. For starts Michelle Dockery for her portrayal of Mary in the final season of Downton Abbey. Over the past few seasons, she became a stand-out amongst an ensemble filled with extremely talented actors. Her work this last season was extremely touching and she helped push Downton Abbey to a beautiful final season.
Another actress on the final season front was Julianna Margulies, who previously won twice for her lead role on The Good Wife. She failed to score an Emmy Award nomination this year. A beloved actress, especially in her role on The Good Wife, it shocked me that she didn’t pick up a final nod for a career-defining role.
Krysten Ritter being passed over for Jessica Jones is another sore subject for me. In her first season in the Netflix drama, Ritter proved herself as she brought a strong, female Marvel superhero to life. Her work opposite David Tennant specifically is still something I think about daily. Another beloved acting performance passed over this year.
Caitriona Balfe not scoring a nod for season two of Outlander is another heartbreaking one. She leads the entire drama with such fierceness week after week and it’s a shame she has not be recognized. I could go into detail about why Balfe deserved an Emmy Award nomination this year, but I won’t go on. I will simply say watch the Outlander episode “Faith.” That’s all the proof you need.
Doing a Happy Dance For: Tatiana Maslany, Orphan Black (the number character’s she plays could make up the entire category and I would be fine with that)
Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series
Similar to Modern Family, The Big Bang Theory has lost some of its charm. In the earlier seasons the show thrived and although it continues to be the most watched comedy on TV, it doesn’t have the same charisma it once did. That being said, Jim Parsons continues to be the epi-center for the comedy and it’s surprising he wasn’t recognized. He has won this Emmy Award in the past and it’s a shock he isn’t nominated again.
Doing a Happy Dance For: Anthony Anderson, black-ish
Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series
The biggest snub in this category for me is Rachel Bloom for Crazy Ex-Girlfriend. This past award season, she walked away with a Golden Globe and SAG Award for her work as Rebecca Bunch, so it was shocking she didn’t receive the Emmy nomination as well. She has changed the comedy game this season on Crazy Ex-Girlfriend. Between her musical talent and sheer physical comedy and dry humor, Bloom soars week after week. Her not being nominated here is a big snub for me.
Another snub in the category for me is Gina Rodriguez for Jane the Virgin. In its second season, Rodriguez continues to guide Jane the Virgin with heart and charisma. She has picked up a Golden Globe award for her work on the show, so like Bloom, its surprises me she hasn’t be recognized here. Although the first season of Jane the Virgin was arguably better, this season still thrived on Rodriguez’s talent.
One last snub for me is Constance Wu for her work on Fresh Off the Boat. She is simply hilarious on the hit comedy and if anyone were to get nominated from the show, it should be Wu. She has amazed audiences with her sheer comedic timing and I was sure it would be recognized.
Doing a Happy Dance For: Ellie Kemper, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt and Tracee Ellis Ross, black-ish
Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series
For this category, there is one major snub that comes to mind: Christian Slater for Mr. Robot. Slater won the Golden Globe for his work on the show and it came as a surprise that he didn’t pick up a nomination here. Alongside Rami Malek, Slater has defied expectations with his work on the critically acclaimed drama and I’m surprised it wasn’t recognized with an Emmy nomination.
Two other snubs that come to mind for this category are Alan Cumming for the final season of The Good Wife and Tobias Menzies for season two of Outlander. Both actors played tremendous roles in the success of both shows this past season and their work could’ve easily been recognized with an Emmy Award nomination.
Doing a Happy Dance For: Kit Harington, Game of Thrones
Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series
Similar to lead actress in a drama, this category seems to be filled with snubs for me. One of the first one’s is Uzo Aduba for her work as Crazy Eyes on Orange is the New Black. Aduba picked up the Emmy Award in this category last year and it surprised me she wasn’t nominated. Although last season of Orange is the New Black had its ups and downs for me, Aduba’s breathtaking performance remained constant.
Next up, Shiri Appleby for her work as Rachel on UnREAL. Alongside Constance Zimmer, who scored a nomination, Appleby is the driving force behind the hit drama. Zimmer and Appleby basically share the leading female role and it’s a shame one got recognized over the other. Both gave tremendous performances in season one of UnREAL and I’m surprised Appleby didn’t get an Emmy Award nomination.
Another nomination snub for me is Melissa McBride as Carol in The Walking Dead. Over six seasons of The Walking Dead, McBride has undergone one of the biggest character development on TV and it’s a shame she has never been nominated for an Emmy Award. Although The Walking Dead is continuously snubbed at the Emmy Awards, McBride should be the one to score a nomination from this hit drama.
Last up, Sophie Turner for her portrayal of Sansa Stark in this latest season of Game of Thrones. Overall, this season of Game of Thrones was one of the strongest in the shows history. Everything came together perfectly, especially the performances. Turner’s portrayal of Sansa this season blew me away as she transformed her into a completely different character. Similar to Appleby and Zimmer, it’s a shame the other actress on Game of Thrones were recognized over her.
Doing a Happy Dance For: Constance Zimmer, UnREAL and Maisie Williams, Game of Thrones
Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series
The main snub for me in the category was Jaime Camil as Rogelio de la Vega in Jane the Virgin. Over the past two seasons, he has remained a constant on the show in terms of comedy. Episode after episode he manages to bring heart and humor to the character and it’s impressive to watch. Jane the Virgin wouldn’t be the same without Camil and his work deserves an Emmy nomination.
Another snub for me in the category is Eric Stonestreet. He has picked up this Emmy Award in the past and I was certain he would be nominated yet again. Although Modern Family wasn’t at its peak, for me, this last season, Stonestreet’s role as Cam is a constant within the show. Whatever episode you watch, he is guaranteed to make you laugh even in this current season.
Doing a Happy Dance For: Tony Hale, Veep
Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series
This category has a few snubs for me, but none of them is as great as Jane Krakowski for her work on Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt. Over the past two seasons, Krakowski has continued to prove her comedic skills especially alongside this formidable cast of comedic actors. Her work as Jacqueline White rivals her work on 30 Rock as Jenna Maroney and it’s a shame it has not been recognized.
Another snub in this category for me was Mayim Bialik for her work on The Big Bang Theory. Similar to Jim Parsons, Bialik is a driving force on the hit comedy. Since joining the show, she never misses a beat and is guaranteed to make you laugh. She has been nominated for this Emmy Award in the past and it’s surprising she isn’t again this year.
Doing a Happy Dance For: Anna Chlumsky, Veep
Outstanding Variety Talk Series
There are a few major snubs in this category for me. The first one is hands down Full Frontal With Samantha Bee. She has taken the variety series genre and added new, insightful humor to it. Every time she constantly astounds audiences with her comedic and sometimes blunt take on social issues. It’s a shame it wasn’t recognized.
Stephen Colbert, who has won in the past for The Colbert Report, failed to score a nomination for The Late Show With Stephen Colbert. Personally, it’s the late show I most often skip, however Colbert’s star power and charisma alone could’ve propelled him to a nomination.
Another surprise, The Daily Show, which notable swept this category for years under Jon Stewart, failed to secure an Emmy Award nomination.
Doing a Happy Dance For: Last Week Tonight with John Oliver and The Late Late Show with James Corden