The Latest: Ricky Gervais Expects to Be Star-Struck at Emmys

16 Jul 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Amy Schumer on her Emmy noms: ‘I feel like I just had the best orgasm’.

The elaborate fantasy saga “Game of Thrones” received a leading 24 Emmy Awards nominations Thursday, its stature apparently untouched by backlash over a female character’s rape scene.

Among the categories the epic programme featured in were outstanding drama series – which Game of Thrones has been nominated for every year since 2011 but has so far failed to win.As celebrities responded to the nominations on social media, it became clear that whether they’re taking the day to drink, getting back to work, or doing both at once, they’ve all got one thing in common: They’re big fans of each other. Meanwhile, it seems history could be made after Taraji P Henson and Viola Davis both received nominations for lead actress in a drama series for their roles in Empire and How to Get Away with Murder respectively.

The nominations for television’s most prestigious awards were announced Thursday, and the voters from the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences were quite clear on one point: Big ratings would have to be their own reward. If either actress won the award, they would get a place in the history books for being the first African-American actress to take home the top drama honour.

TV’s most popular shows, especially those on the big broadcast networks ABC, CBS, Fox and NBC, earned few nominations in the most prestigious categories. The TV academy took a modest step toward recognizing TV’s increasing embrace of diverse TV talent, giving best actress nods to black stars Taraji P. However, they have some tough competition, as the category is rounded out by Claire Danes, up for Homeland, Orphan Black’s Tatiana Maslany, Mad Men’s Elisabeth Moss and Robin Wright for House of Cards.

The fact of the matter is that there is just far too much good TV these days that, even if the lazy fools who still nominate Downton Abbey for Best Drama Series actually wised up and stopped some of its tired rubberstamping and recognized fresher, more adventurous talent, there simply isn’t room to acknowledge all of the fantastic work and shows we cherish. Instead, the academy gave its stamp of approval to the likes of “Transparent” from Amazon, “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt” from Netflix, Canadian actress Tatiana Maslany and “The Honorable Woman,” a British-made miniseries that aired on the Sundance channel.

If we’re in a better mood than usual on Emmy nomination morning, it’s because presumed long shots like Lisa Kudrow, Amy Schumer, and Tatiana Maslany reaped the awards bids they so richly deserved but many thought they would never get. The Emmy voters have been polishing their image for years, and 2015 makes the strongest statement yet that academy members are embracing television’s “new golden age” and rewarding artistic merit over populsim. Henson’s best actress nod prevented a shutout in the major awards. “The Good Wife” on CBS is widely considered broadcast’s best drama, but no commercial broadcast drama was nominated. It’s because Parks and Recreation, network TV’s best and most consistently delightful sitcom, was nominated in Best Comedy and The Big Bang Theory, TV’s most overrated and grating one, did not. For all the talk of the progress broadcast TV has made in showcasing diversity, neither Jane the Virgin, Black-ish, or Empire—the latter the biggest hit broadcast TV has had in a decade—annoyingly didn’t reap Best Series nods.

Instead, voters gave nods to favorites such as “Mad Men” star Jon Hamm, Kevin Spacey of “House of Cards” and newcomer Bob Odenkirk for “Better Call Saul.” The prequel to the now-concluded “Breaking Bad” earned a best drama bid in its first season out. And, naturally, some of the best shows and most talented performers on television failed to get their due. (Sorry, The Americans.) I mean, why would anyone expect an awards organization meant to celebrate the best television has to offer to actually nominate, you know, the best television has to offer?

The relatively expansive ethnic diversity that TV offers – compared to movies, which honored only white actors this year – also is in play when it comes to sexuality. “Transparent” and Jeffrey Tambor’s portrayal of a transsexual’s life received best comedy series and acting bids. Broadcast seems to be held in such low esteem that it’s worth posing the question: Would “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt” have been nominated if NBC had kept it? Lisa Kudrow returned to the role of Valerie Cherish in the HBO comedy The Comeback nearly a decade after the series was canceled after just one season, eventually becoming a cult classic. Critics lavished praise on the former Friends star, arguing that she gave the best acting performance on television this past year, but worried that the show’s muted buzz would mean that Kudrow would be snubbed. David Letterman, who retired from “Late Show,” and Stephen Colbert, who left “The Colbert Report” to succeed Letterman this fall, both received variety talk show nominations for their former shows.

It was tough competition—Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt’s Ellie Kemper, Jane the Virgin’s Gina Rodriguez, and Grace and Frankie’s Jane Fonda all were shut out—but few performers were more deserving than Kudrow. It’s become tradition to gripe about that fact that Orphan Black star Tatiana Maslany, who is spellbinding while playing over a dozen different characters on the BBC America sci-fi drama, hasn’t been recognized by the Emmys despite delivering the most challenging and impressive acting performance by any star on TV. Henson’s scenery-inhaling work as Cookie Lyon has made her the favorite to take the category, with Elisabeth Moss of “Mad Men” as the main competition. “The Sopranos” and “Breaking Bad” both won the best drama awards in their final seasons, and “Mad Men” will be the heavy favorite to do the same. But will the show’s position as sentimental favorite extend to the actors? “Mad Men” has never won a single acting Emmy, despite eight years of fine performances from the excellent cast.

Not only was the show left off in favor of tired, irritating nominees Downton Abbey and Homeland, Terrence Howard didn’t make into the Best Actor category either, as many had predicted he would. If there was one comedy performance that I thought was most deserving of Emmy recognition, but which I thought stood absolutely zero chance of getting nominated, it’s the quietly stirring, subtly hilarious, and absolutely revelatory work by Niecey Nash on Getting On, HBO’s teeny-tiny comedy about the employees of an extended care wing of a hospital. This was the toughest category to winnow down even without counting on a surprise nominee like Nash—which probably explains why there’s a whopping eight contenders this year, including fresh bids for Jane Krakowski (Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt) and Gaby Hoffman, who made it in over her Transparent co-star Judith Light. Plus, after winning last year’s Best Actress award, it’s a bummer that Julianna Margulies isn’t back to defend her title again this year—though that category is so stacked it’s hard to choose which performer to bump to make room for her.

Proving just how little use the Golden Globes are at predicting Emmy nominees, The Affair, which won Best Drama and Best Actress (Ruth Wilson) at the Globes and scored a nominee for Dominic West there, too, failed to score any major nominations at the Emmys. Critics raved about the pilot of Last Man on Earth, a Fox comedy that most thought belonged on cable and would never catch on with audiences, but subsequently abandoned the series as the season went on and its titular last man became quite an aggravating one.

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