Photo Credit: Fox; NBC; HBO
Last year's Emmy Award winners for outstanding drama and comedy, Mad Men and Modern Family, leading this year's crop of Emmy nominees with 19 and 17 nods, respectively? Not surprising. HBO execs breaking out the champagne today to celebrate Game of Thrones' 13 nods, as well as the 21 the network earned for the Kate Winslet-starring miniseries Mildred Pierce and the 18 it racked up for Steve Buscemi's exemplary Boardwalk Empire? Also, not suprising.
So what was surprising when Melissa McCarthy and Joshua Jackson announced the list of nominees for the 2011 Emmy Awards this morning in Los Angeles? For one thing, there were lots of newbies in both the outstanding actor and actress categories -- like Louis C.K. from FX's Louie, Matt LeBlanc from Showtime's Episodes, Laura Linney from Showtime's The Big C, and McCarthy herself from CBS's Mike & Molly. ("OK, keep it together," McCarthy told herself when she realized she was a nominee.)
For the first time, NBC's Parks and Recreation has a chance at outstanding comedy series, while Friday Nights Lights finally(!) got an outstanding drama series nod for its final season. In both cases, fans will tell you it's been a long time coming!
Perhaps the biggest surprise was the slew of nods that went to the controversial miniseries, The Kennedys. That JFK biopic -- which had been dropped in the 11th hour by the History Channel and picked up by the lesser-known ReelzChannel -- got recognition in 10 categories, including the outstanding miniseries or movie category and nods for actors Greg Kinnear, Tom Wilkinson, and Barry Pepper (though not for Katie Holmes).
Of course, there were plenty of snubs, too. Gleeks might be disappointed by today's Emmy news. The show got recognized with 12 nominations, including outstanding comedy series, and Chris Colfer and Jane Lynch got outstanding supporting nods. But neither Lea Michele nor Matthew Morrison got nominated in the outstanding comedy actor and actress categories.
Despite all the publicity and hype around AMC's new mystery thriller, The Killing, that show didn't earn an outstanding drama nomination. Nor did HBO's True Blood, whose fan-favorite stars -- such as Anna Paquin, Stephen Moyer and Alexander Skarsgard -- all came up empty in the acting categories. Remember how Blood's fans rejoiced when the show got its first outstanding drama nomination last year? That was short-lived, huh?
Overall, though, the two top categories are still ruled by the two top contenders. And both Mad Men and Modern Family certainly deserve all the love they got!
Click here for the list of nominees in major categories.