Tube Talk: Emmy nominees pleasing and annoying

StoryImage( ‘/Images/Story//Auto-img-118539017917361.jpg’, ‘Photo courtesy of‘, ‘Boston Legal’s James Spader (left) and William Shatner on the cover the DVD of season three.‘);

I’m at once pleased and annoyed with this year’s Emmy nominations. I’m happy to see plenty of new nominees—mostly in supporting categories, like Masi Oka (Hiro, Heroes), T.R. Knight (George, Grey’s Anatomy), Jenna Fischer (Pam, The Office), Minnie Driver (Dahlia, The Riches) and Vanessa Williams (Wilhelmina, Ugly Betty)—alongside actors nominated for previous roles, most notably Sally Field (Nora, Brothers & Sisters).

As for series, NBC’s Heroes was the only new drama to make the cut, while new comedies Ugly Betty and 30 Rock were both nominated for Comedy Series, racking up an impressive 11 and 10 nominations per show, respectively.

30 Rock’s Tina Fey is a past Emmy winner as head writer of Saturday Night Live, but this year marks her first nomination as an actress. She’s also nominated for writing the episode, “Tracy Does Conan.”

This year has some tough categories, including Supporting Actor in a Comedy, which pits last year’s winner, Jeremy Piven (Ari, Entourage), against his co-star, Kevin Dillon (Johnny Drama), plus Rainn Wilson (Dwight, The Office), Neil Patrick Harris (Barney, How I Met Your Mother) and Jon Cryer (Alan, Two and a Half Men). Supporting Actor in a Drama is just as fierce with repeat nominees Michael Imperioli (Christopher, The Sopranos) and Terry O’Quinn (Locke, Lost) competing with O’Quinn’s co-star Michael Emerson (Ben) and the aforementioned Knight and Oka.

Some nominees for Supporting Actress in a Drama might cancel each other out in voters’ minds. Grey’s Anatomy has three nominees, repeat noms Chandra Wilson (Dr. Bailey) and Sandra Oh (Cristina) plus first-timer Katherine Heigl (Izzie), and The Sopranos has two, Aida Turturro (Janice) and Lorraine Bracco (Dr. Melfi). Rachel Griffiths (Sarah, Brothers & Sisters) rounds out the category. In comedy, supporting noms Fischer and Williams are joined by Jaime Pressly (Joy, My Name is Earl), Elizabeth Perkins (Celia, Weeds), and Two and a Half Men’s Holland Taylor (Evelyn) and Conchata Ferrell (Berta).

So what am I annoyed with? Shows and actors that seem to be nominated (and sometimes win) when it’s time to let in some new blood. I love James Spader, and have enjoyed many an episode of Boston Legal—I sometimes even like William Shatner as Denny Crane —but haven’t they won enough Emmys already? Aren’t there some other actors who deserve a little recognition, too?

The same goes for Boston Legal itself. I tend to view it more as a comedy than a drama, but it’s nominated as Outstanding Drama Series. It’s up against more, well, dramatic dramas: Grey’s Anatomy, Heroes, House and The Sopranos. Love them or hate them, Lost, Rescue Me, Battlestar Galactica, The Closer, Brothers & Sisters, Deadwood and Friday Night Lights are all solid dramas. Why not give one of them—or some other worthy show—the nod?

Speaking of 24, could Jean Smart’s nomination as a guest actress in a drama be the Academy’s way of admitting she should have won the Outstanding Supporting Actress last year? Eh, probably not.

Major nominees

&t-bull Drama Series: Boston Legal, Grey’s Anatomy, Heroes, House, The Sopranos

&t-bull Comedy Series: Entourage, The Office, 30 Rock, Two and a Half Men, Ugly Betty

&t-bull Lead Actor, Drama: James Gandolfini, Hugh Laurie, Denis Leary, James Spader, Kiefer Sutherland

&t-bull Lead Actress, Drama: Patricia Arquette, Minnie Driver, Edie Falco, Mariska Hargitay, Sally Field, Kyra Sedgwick

&t-bull Lead Actor, Comedy: Alec Baldwin, Steve Carell, Ricky Gervais, Tony Shalhoub, Charlie Sheen

&t-bull Lead Actress, Comedy: American Ferrera, Tina Fey, Felicity Huffman, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Mary-Louise Parker

For a complete list of this year’s Emmy nominees, go to

Paula Hendrickson is a regular contributor to Emmy magazine and Variety, and has been published in numerous national publications, including American Bungalow, SatelliteORBIT, and TVGuide. Send in your suggestions to

from the July 25-31, 2007, issue

Enjoy The Rock River Times? Help spread the word!

  • RSS
  • Follow by Email
  • Facebook
  • Google+
  • Twitter