Monday, June 08, 2009

If I had an Emmy ballot

I want to thank the fine people of Throwing Things for pointing out that the big Emmy ballot of submitted performances is out, and therefore derailing my work for the last hour as I pored over the list and tried, as I did last year, to come up with five six nominees per category , based on where the actors submitted themselves. It's not as easy as you'd think. In some categories, the six picks were obvious, while in many others I either struggled to come up with six or struggled to pare it down to six.

As Tom O'Neill points out, the most obvious omission is Terry O'Quinn from "Lost," who won a couple of years ago and either forgot to submit himself again or decided he didn't care.

After the jump, my own picks, plus the toughest names I had to leave out of each category. Feel free to offer up your own, or simply heckle my choices.

Lead actor in a comedy

Alec Baldwin, "30 Rock"
Steve Carell, "The Office"
Zachary Levi, "Chuck"
Ken Marino, "Party Down"
Jim Parsons, "The Big Bang Theory"
Adam Scott, "Party Down"

Tough omissions:
Bret & Jemaine from "Flight of the Conchords," maybe Zach Braff

Lead actor in a drama

Gabriel Byrne, "In Treatment"
Kyle Chandler, "Friday Night Lights"
Michael Chiklis, "The Shield"
Bryan Cranston, "Breaking Bad"
Jon Hamm, "Mad Men"
Edward James Olmos, "Battlestar Galactica"

Tough omissions: Hugh Laurie, Michael C. Hall, Damian Lewis, Jeffrey Donovan

Lead actress in a comedy

Toni Collette, "United States of Tara"
Tina Fey, "30 Rock"
Anna Friel, "Pushing Daisies"
Yvonne Strahovski, "Chuck"

Tough omissions:
None. I couldn't come up with four from shows I watch where I like the performance enough. Amy Poehler was very good in a few eps of Parks and Recreation, but too broad in others, as they tried to find that character.

Lead actress in a drama

January Jones, "Mad Men"
Mary McDonnell, "Battlestar Galactica"
Elisabeth Moss, "Mad Men"
Jill Scott, "No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency"
Jeanne Tripplehorn, "Big Love"

Tough omissions: I would say Holly Hunter, except I stopped watching Saving Grace even though I like her performance. So I only have five, I think.

Supporting actor in a comedy

Donald Faison, "Scrubs"
Neil Patrick Harris, "How I Met Your Mother"
Chi McBride, "Pushing Daisies"
Tracy Morgan, "30 Rock"
Ray Wise, "Reaper"
Rhys Darby, "Flight of the Conchords"

Tough omissions: Scott Krinsky and Vik Sahay (if only I could nominate Jeffster! as a single entity), John C. McGinley, Brian Baumgartner (for the spilled chili scene alone), Martin Starr, John Krasinski (for the "send in the subs" scene alone), Ed Helms, Jim Gaffigan


Supporting actor in a drama

Justin Chambers, "Grey's Anatomy"
Jeremy Davies, "Lost"
Walton Goggins, "The Shield"
Michael Hogan, "Battlestar Galactica"
John Mahoney, "In Treatment"
Michael Emerson, "Lost"

Tough omissions: Josh Holloway, Aaron Paul, Vincent Kartheiser, Aaron Shaw, Bruce Campbell, Kevin McKidd, Taylor Kitsch, John Slattery

Supporting actress in a comedy

Lizzy Caplan, "Party Down"
Portia de Rossi, "Better Off Ted"
Rosemarie Dewitt, "United States of Tara"
Jenna Fischer, "The Office"
Cobie Smulders, "How I Met Your Mother"
Jane Lynch, "Party Down"

Tough omissions: Kristen Schaal

Supporting actress in a drama

Connie Britton, "Friday Night Lights"
Hope Davis, "In Treatment"
Alison Pill, "In Treatment"
CCH Pounder, "The Shield"
Dianne Wiest, "In Treatment"
Christina Hendricks, "Mad Men"

Tough omissions: Anna Gunn, Ginnifer Goodwin, Tricia Helfer, Adrianne Palicki, Katee Sackhoff, Chloe Sevigny, Amanda Seyfried, Chandra Wilson

107 comments:

digamma said...

I'm surprised that Anna Gunn isn't at least a tough omission.

Alan Sepinwall said...

Couple of other notable non-submissions, at least around these parts: Adam Baldwin and Jason Segel.

Also, I wonder if Brooke Smith might get a nomination just to spite ABC.

Alan Sepinwall said...

I'm surprised that Anna Gunn isn't at least a tough omission.

She probably was, too. The "In Treatment" ladies really wreaked havoc in that category. Not that all three will get nominated, but for my purposes, it's almost unfair to have to compare what Alison Pill got to do with, say, what Christina Hendricks got to do.

justine said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Andrew said...

You've got Dianne Wiest listed as both a nominee and a tough omission.

Omagus said...

1) Wow, we could have a "Supporting actor in a comedy" category entirely made up of cast members from The Office.

2) Why is Connie Britton a supporting actress instead of a lead actress? If there has to be one main character in Friday Night Lights, I know that it's Eric Taylor. But isn't Tammy Taylor the main female character?

Alan Sepinwall said...

You've got Dianne Wiest listed as both a nominee and a tough omission.

Not anymore, I don't. :)

Alan Sepinwall said...

Why is Connie Britton a supporting actress instead of a lead actress?

Because that's where she chose to submit herself, thinking she might have a better shot in that category than as a lead.

Actors can submit themselves wherever they want, provided it's in the genre where the show has been submitted. So Rob Lowe always submits himself as a lead on any show he's on, regardless of how much screen time he actually has, while the cast of "Friends" mostly submitted themselves as supporting actors to show solidarity with one another.

Anonymous said...

How you can leave off Kiefer Sutherland is unfathomable to me, but whatever.

Alan Sepinwall said...

How you can leave off Kiefer Sutherland is unfathomable to me, but whatever.

"TELL ME WHERE MY NOMINATION IS!!!! WHO ARE YOU VOTING FOR?!?!?!?!"

Janet said...

Thank you! Thank you! Thank you for putting Walton Goggins on your list for Best Supporting Drama. He is a superb actor and too often overlooked. Tough competition though.

MadFan said...

What about John Slattery for "Mad Men"? He was nominated last year and proved just as great in season two, especially in that bar scene with Jon Hamm and then when he had to admit he was leaving his wife...

Hal Incandenza said...

Very cool. Tough to disagree with any of your choices (save for (1) Parsons over either of the FotC boys, and (2) Rhys Darby being an honourable mention instead of a nominee proper).

Alan, how come the ballot you linked to through twitter says you can select six nominees (except in the mini-series categories, where it's five), but you're being told to only pick five?

Daniel said...

Do you really think Segel had no chance at a nomination? Quasi-movie star on an increasingly popular show certainly seems like a possible formula for a nod. Or is the whole process that ossified?

Dionne said...

Word is Terry O'Quinn decided that after having won, he would no longer submit his name. He's classy like that.

The non-submissions of Jason Segel and Adam Baldwin are kind of a surprise. Both had a good chance of making it on the ballot.

Alan Sepinwall said...

Alan, how come the ballot you linked to through twitter says you can select six nominees (except in the mini-series categories, where it's five), but you're being told to only pick five?

Because my reading comprehension skills suck, that's why. You can pick six.

Sigh... Gotta go make a few changes. Give me a minute.

Matt said...

Segel knew it would be an uphill battle to win, and may have wanted to/been asked to clear the field for NPH, who will again get hosed by Piven. (Similarly, did Aly Hannigan submit?)

Alan Sepinwall said...

Okay, reload if you want. All the new people are the last on their respective lists.

Hal Incandenza said...

sorry...I'm apparently that guy. On the plus side: yay for Adam Scott!

Marc said...

Alan,

I know this is based on your opinions, so therefore I should just not ask quesitons like these. But honestly what does Jenna Fisher do that's so amazing on THE OFFICE. You really think she deserves a nomination over Kristen Chenowith? Also I take it you don't watch/like UGLY BETTY, but Jenna over Vanessa Williams (or for me even Becki Newton who makes me laugh whenever she opens her mouth)?

Alan Sepinwall said...

Do you really think Segel had no chance at a nomination? Quasi-movie star on an increasingly popular show certainly seems like a possible formula for a nod. Or is the whole process that ossified?

Yes, it's that ossified. Assume Piven's a shoe-in. Assume the same for Jon Cryer and NPH. Kevin Dillon also has a shot, and you should never count out some kind of Emmy old favorite (Hector Elizondo) to get a What The Hell? kind of nomination. And then there's Tracy Morgan, Krasinski or Rainn Wilson from The Office, maybe someone from SNL, etc.

I'm not saying he had no shot, but I assume it was minimal at best, and he had absolutely no prayer of winning.

Hal Incandenza said...

...and Rhys Darby.

Alan Sepinwall said...

But honestly what does Jenna Fisher do that's so amazing on THE OFFICE. You really think she deserves a nomination over Kristen Chenowith?

Yes. She delivers a very multi-layered performance in which she has to show many emotions, often at the same time, all very subtly within the show's mockumentary framework, while often getting laughs while doing it. I'm not knocking Chenoweth, but I think Fischer is wonderful and I'm irked she doesn't have an Emmy already.

Will said...

Yvonne performance in chuck isn't comediac it's the drama in the dramedy.That's why I don't see her getting the nomination.

Andrew said...

Word is Terry O'Quinn decided that after having won, he would no longer submit his name. He's classy like that.

He still submitted last year, though, didn't he?

7s Tim said...

Why does Zachary Levi's picture make him look like Bryce Larkin more than Chuck? Too smooth man, you gotta look the underdog to get the underdog vote! (with thanks to my girlfriend for the bryce connection)

Alan Sepinwall said...

Yvonne performance in chuck isn't comediac it's the drama in the dramedy.That's why I don't see her getting the nomination.

Oh, she has no chance at a nomination. I'd say the majority of the people on my own non-binding ballot (I'm not an Academy member, remember?) have no shot at being nominated. This is just who I would pick if given the opportunity.

Will said...

I know Alan, just sayin.

Michael said...

So the actors nominate themselves? I always thought someone else did the nominating.

And of all the actors on TV shows, only this many thought they could win? With self-nominations, I figured everyone would nominate themselves, just so they could say they were on the ballot.

ED said...

Can anyone remember a year where a category was as stacked as Lead Actor in a Drama? I mean, wow! I feel like you could say, "I don't how anyone could have been better than __________" and insert 4 or 5 names in that blank. Cranston, Hamm, Chiklis, Olmos. Plus other guys who were great, if not mind blowing like Laurie, Hall, Chandler. I just can't believe how stacked that category is. If James Spader wins again the academy should be disbanded. Seriously

Also, Alan, I noticed in a couple of your comments you mentioned unevenness over the season (like with Amy Poehler). I'm not disagreeing with you, but the way the nominations and awards go, that really doesn't matter, does it? Don't they just submit 1 or 2 episodes, and they base the award on those episodes? So consistency isn't really a criteria (even though it should be). Do I have that right?

Alan Sepinwall said...

So consistency isn't really a criteria (even though it should be). Do I have that right?

Pretty much. At the nominations stage, they aren't submitting episodes (though they did last year, when there was a two-tiered nominations process, where the second tier involved people watching the top 10 nominees in each category in "blue-ribbon panels").

My take is that TV awards should be based on how people actually watch TV, which is over multiple episodes in a season, not whether James Spader got to deliver a really good speech in one episode.

Alan Sepinwall said...

Also...

Can anyone remember a year where a category was as stacked as Lead Actor in a Drama?

Yeah, it's kind of insane. If my six guys are somehow the six nominees (and they won't be, because Chandler and Olmos have minimal shots, at best), I wouldn't really be unhappy with any of them winning. I guess, in a "share the wealth" frame of mind, I'd like to see Hamm or Byrne get it, as Chiklis and Cranston already have theirs, but all were insanely good.

Anonymous said...

NOBODY from Southland??? Regina King? Michael Cudlitz? C'mon.

Alan Sepinwall said...

I like Cudlitz just fine, but he wouldn't crack my top ten in either lead or supporting category, let alone top 5 or 6.

Stacy said...

Thank you for including Justin Chambers! I have long said that he was one of the best things about Grey's. Its too bad that he getting some long overdue attention for the season where he was cuckolded by a ghost/hallucination/guardian angel.

I assume he has absolutely no shot at a real nomination, right?

Anonymous said...

Good list, but I think Edward James Olmos has made a career of playing the same notes he hit in the premier of Miami Vice, a hundred years ago.
Minimalism is its own reward and doesn't rate an Emmy.

Cindy said...

Yvonne Strahovski and Jenna Fischer are unfortunate to be in their respective comedies; yet, the comedies are very fortunate to have them.

Now I really want to see who (not just from your list, but the whole list) you think actually have a shot, or you would expect to be nominated.

Zap Wangdango said...

Grey's Anatomy dude over Aaron Paul? Seriously?

Hyde said...

When you look at the long list of tough omissions in the Supporting Actor in a Drama category, keep in mind that one nomination is almost certain to go to Jon Voight for 24 (the TV academy can't resist film actors who slum). Voight was pretty good--he seemed to be the only person in the cast who understood that the show is ridiculous--but you can't compare him with someone like Michael Hogan or Aaron Paul.

Alex said...

I'm surprised that you included Edward James Olmos, but it was about time that someone did. But now I wonder about Mary McDonnell, shouldn't she deserve a nomination too? Just asking.

Did you pick up your best drama series yet?

Alex said...

Sorry forget what I said, I was looking for Mary McDonnell in the best supporting actress category :) let's hope the nominations match your emmy ballot

MichaelG said...

Alan, I love your blog and am a faithful reader. But your list seems very biased toward the shows you like and blog about: Friday Night Lights, Battlestar Galactica, Breaking Bad, etc.
I wonder if you're ignoring fine acting in the shows you don't cover. Maybe even shows you don't like? I think S. Epatha Merkerson can pack more acting into 90 seconds a week than most series leads. Ditto Robert Sean Leonard in House.
Can you,as a critic, separate the performer from the show?

Ariadne said...

I'm glad you're including the cast from Battlestar Galactic. Too many people disregard cult shows as real acting.

I think Sandra Oh deserves a nomination too. She did a lot with very little dialogue this season.

Speaking of being overlooked, I think Mark Harmon deserves some kind of award for strongly anchoring his show for 6 seasons. People look at the pyrotechnics of someone like Hugh Laurie or Jeremy Piven and say "wow, that's good acting" but the understated anchoring of a show gets disregarded. I've been watching old Stargate SG1 episodes and am impressed at the timing and level of Richard Dean Anderson over 8 seasons and yet he was never considered for an award because he supported the show, not drew attention to himself.

Alan Sepinwall said...

Can you,as a critic, separate the performer from the show?

Of course I can. That's why I would have Justin Chambers on my hypothetical ballot, even though I don't like Grey's Anatomy half the time and think that even when it's at its best it pales in comparison to a show like Breaking Bad. He's just that good.

But to answer your larger question, the shows I cover are pretty much the shows I watch, and while I'll check in on other series on occasion, it's never frequent enough for me to feel qualified to judge the acting.

RSR said...

I was just wondering if there was a reason you decided to exclude John Noble for "Fringe" (even as a tough decision) as he did a wonderful job throughout the entire season. What's your take?

Anonymous said...

Walton Goggins was nominated for Best Actor by the Television Critics Association. I hope that may encourage Emmy nominators to consider him, as I think he was so very, very good in The Shield.

Ben said...

Jeremy Davies and Micahel Emerson are great choices for supporting actor and so well deserved. However...if one person from Lost this season gets a nomination I say it should be Josh Holloway. He was also great as Sawyer the bad boy, but his turn as "Lafleur" was spectacular. I hope/assume they submitted that self-titled episode for nomination because he should get it just for the scene where he is waiting for Juliet to come out of the operating room.

- not so much speaking about this year, but it is a crime that John C. McGinley never got a nom for Dr. Cox.. Scrubs as a hole was overlooked, but the "Big Cheese" in particular.

- I never understood the love over Charlie Sheen's acting. I mean, we all like him, but come on, he is playing himself!

26maria26 said...

I'm surprised you didn't choose Sandra Oh, this was her best season so far in Grey's Anatomy.
She was much better than Justin Chambers and you chose him. :S

Anonymous said...

I am so happy that you mentioned Kevin McKidd! He is one amazing Actor!!! I know he is new to the Emmy race but he had many emmy caliber performances all season.

Also where is Sandra Oh! She would be on the top of my Emmy picks!!!

Alan Sepinwall said...

I was just wondering if there was a reason you decided to exclude John Noble for "Fringe" (even as a tough decision) as he did a wonderful job throughout the entire season. What's your take?

Noble was great, but as you can see in the number of tough omissions in that category, there were a lot of people who I thought were better.

Anonymous said...

Considering that your favorites shows are (written by Alan in a post last year):

1. "The Shield"
2. "The Wire"
3. "Mad Men"
4. "Chuck"
5. "Lost"
6. "The Office"
7. "Battlestar Galactica"
8. "In Treatment"
9. "Breaking Bad"
10. "Burn Notice" & "The Middleman" (tie)

Well, your nominations are quite biased, don't you think? It even looks like you chose certain actors from other shows so it wouldn't be so obvios how biased the list is... but at the same time they are actors who didn't really do such a good job so they wouldn't be competition for your favorite ones.

Alan Sepinwall said...

Well, your nominations are quite biased, don't you think?

Of course they're biased. They're my opinion! If I like those shows enough to put 'em on a top 10 list, don't you think there's a pretty good chance I think they feature some of the best performances on television?

Wow. Never would've thought a hypothetical Emmy ballot post would bring out the conspiracy theorists.

Sarah said...

And you don't think that the Emmy voters aren't biased to?

filmcricket said...

I had heard that Pace and Friel didn't submit themselves for consideration this year; I'm glad that's not the case.

Pace and Chenoweth would definitely be on my lists, and Krasinski would be this year, too, for the fantastic look he gives the camera right before going back into the exam room in the finale. Hugh Laurie would be there - not because this year was so great (I pretty much stopped watching House as soon as it conflicted with Chuck) but because he shouldn't join the ranks of Martin Sheen and Ian McShane: people who should have got one and never did.

Outside the main categories, I'm thrilled to see Amy Ryan on the list, as well as Matthew Macfadyen and Claire Foy for "Little Dorrit." That was a lovely production and they were two big reasons why.

Alyssa said...

+1 for Josh Holloway - he was fabulous this year.

It cracks me up that people are accusing Alan of bias...it only makes sense that his favorite performances would come from his favorite shows.

Rachel said...

Or that part of the reason his favorite shows are his favorite shows is because of the amazing acting?

(Piven now being the laughingstock of the theater world for the "mercury poisoning" isn't going to have any effect on his chances of winning the Emmy, is it? I really want NPH to win...)

Anonymous said...

Hahahahaha at thinking that Jeffrey Donovan is a better actor than Kiefer Sutherland! Why not put Spencer Pratt on there for this Celebrity crap if you were considering Donovan.

Hatfield said...

My favorite part is the supposition that he included some dogs in his picks to hide his part in the conspiracy.

Abort! Abort! They're onto you, Sepinwall!

To respond to the post...I know how much you raved about Katey Sagal in Sons of Anarchy; she didn't make the cut, or submit?

Anonymous said...

"And you don't think that the Emmy voters aren't biased to?"

Of course they are biased, that's why awards are unfair 95% of the time. They are based on things like fame, beauty, promotion, channels... instead of the real acting.

What I was talking about it's different. I think one thing is to have an opinion and other thing is to be biased. To be biased is when you know some people deserve it but you don't include them because you don't like them.

Hatfield said...

Oh, and this was hilarious:

"TELL ME WHERE MY NOMINATION IS!!!! WHO ARE YOU VOTING FOR?!?!?!?!"


Kiefer's good, but with all his legal troubles I'm not convinced he isn't playing himself. Donovan, meanwhile, is hugely underrated, with his chameleon-like ability to slip into all sorts of accents and personalities. Don't hold his bizarre performance in Changeling against his work on Burn Notice.

Mr. Peel said...

No Lisa Edelstein? Really, no mention of Lisa Edelstein. Fine, I'll do it.

Lisa Edelstein.

I do like that you included Jeremy Davies, though.

Anna said...

I am so happy that you included Justin Chambers. He's the person I'm pulling for the absolute most, because I think he's been doing fantastic work on that show for years, but he's only really getting the recognition now. It's overdue, and he really deserves it.

I'm actually extremely unqualified to choose noms and wins this year, seeing as the only shows I watched this past season were Battlestar Galactica, Chuck, Lost, and Grey's Anatomy... But it's funny to me that everyone that I'm pulling for the most from those shows (completely disregarding the BSG cast because they have pretty much zero chance of even being nominated for some idiotic reason) are all in the Best Supporting Actor in a Drama category - Justin Chambers, Kevin McKidd, Michael Emerson, Jeremy Davies, and Josh Holloway (and Terry O'Quinn if he had submitted himself).

new faces said...

so nice to see some new faces on here... Jim Parsens for one. and Walton Goggins has been overlooked for far to long. he's never recieved a nomination. i do like FLIGHT OF THE CHONCORDS

Mike said...

Perhaps this quote from the late, lamented David Foster Wallace will aid certain commenters:

"May I assume that some readers are as tired as I am of 'bias' as a kneejerk derogative? Or, rather, tired of the legerdemain of collapsing the word's neutral meaning — 'preference, inclination' — into the pejorative one of 'unfairness stemming from prejudice'? It's the same thing that's happened with 'discrimination,' which started as a good and valuable word, but now no one can even hear it without seeming to lose their mind."

This is from a particularly brilliant introduction he wrote about serving as the editor for a collection of the "best" American essays. To continue:

"The immediate point, on the other hand, is obvious. Unless you are both a shut-in and independently wealthy, there is no way you can sit there and read all the contents of all the 2006 issues of all the hundreds of U.S. periodicals that publish literary nonfiction. So you subcontract this job — not to me directly, but to a publishing company whom you trust (for whatever reasons) to then subsubcontract the job to someone whom they trust (or more like believe you'll trust [for whatever reasons]) not to be insane or capricious or overtly 'biased' in his Decidering.

'Biased' is, of course, the really front-loaded term here, the one that I expect Houghton Mifflin winces at and would prefer not to see uttered in the editor's intro even in the most reassuring context, since the rhetoric of such reassurances can be self-nullifying (as in, say, running a classified ad for oneself as a babysitter and putting 'don't worry — not a pedophile!' at the bottom of the ad). I suspect that part of why 'bias' is so loaded and dicey a word just now — and why it's so much-invoked and potent in cultural disputes — is that we are starting to become more aware of just how much subcontracting and outsourcing and submitting to other Deciders we're all now forced to do, which is threatening (the inchoate awareness is) to our sense of ourselves as intelligent free agents. And yet there is no clear alternative to this outsourcing and submission. It may possibly be that acuity and taste in choosing which Deciders one submits to is now the real measure of informed adulthood. Since I was raised with more traditional, Enlightenment-era criteria, this possibility strikes me as consumerist and scary . . . to which the counterargument would be, again, that the alternatives are literally abysmal."

Pale Writer said...

Excuse me, Alan, but I noticed that all of your choices are biased towards television shows. Do you really mean to say that Edward James Olmos is better than Humphrey Bogart in Casablanca? You know, it's one thing for you to watch certain shows over another, but it's something completely different when you are putting actors from comedies like Chuck and The Big Bang Theory ahead of the 1929 Yankees and Heisenberg's Indeterminacy Principle. Really, Alan? I expected so much more out of you.

s'all good man! said...

Geez. The person who was ranting about bias has got to be one of the biggest maroons I've seen on this blog. Come on man, what gives? It's his OPINION. Not only that, of course someone is going to think that the best performances come from the best shows. DUR! Not exactly much more for award winning performances in crap shows and writing. Yes, an actor can give a good performance in something crappy. But without the show itself being good, the equation is half complete. And not only that dude. You got a stick up for butt for absolutely no reason at all. I'm glad I don't have to be around you when actual injustices in the world take place. Good luck with the bitterness. Seems to really be working out for you. lol.

Aaron Paul deserves to be nominated!!!!

Hatfield said...

This post has inadvertently become one of the most entertaining since I've started reading this blog...though the Just One of the Guys one from a few weeks ago is up there too. Thank you, Pale Writer, for saying what we're all thinking, and in a genius way.

Oh yeah, I forgot to advocate for Ian McShane, but I get the sense no one even remembers Kings at this point.

Tim Masterson said...

Alan is biased towards the shows he likes. FOR SHAME!!!

Blair Waldorf said...

I agreed completely except:

I'd include Josh Holloway.

And I'd pick Leighton Meester as Outstanding Lead Actress In A Drama Series.

It's not because I'm biased.

Anonymous said...

LOL at Pale Writer!

Alan, I really like your choices and agree with most of your them. In particular, I was pleasantly surprised to see Justin Chambers on your dream Emmy ballot. He would definitely be on my ballot too and I think it's such a shame that he doesn't get more credit. The writing on Grey's Anatomy this season may not have always been that good (Denny anyone?) but Justin's performance throughout the season was truly remarkable.

fldks said...

The list shows one thing. Hardly any good female roles for actresses. Best "female" show right now: Mad Men.

Anonymous said...

Vik Sahay' as lester, without a friggin doubt! What he's done with that character...amazing work!

Lisa Holton said...

I actually applaud your decision to make Hugh Laurie a tough call. I suspect even Hugh's getting sick of the thin scripts he's been given the last two seasons.

Would have loved to have seen Damien Lewis and Adam Arkin of "Life" make the list, but those two are the darkest of dark horses in the darkest of dark horse series. (Arkin was wonderful, particularly in that never-quite-got-going affair with Christina Hendricks, which was extraordinary.)

Love that you gave Yvonne a nod (you think she's great, I think she's great, but you're right, NOBODY is going to nominate her). Zach is beyond wonderful, and if those Emmy fossils nominate him, I will be over the moon. But I would particularly love to see more love for Adam Baldwin. He's the Rock of Gibraltar on that show, drawing the most inventive performances of what would otherwise be fill-in gags.

You rock, Alan. After all, you helped save "Chuck!"

ryanpimentel said...

I like the choices, but Aaron Paul definitely deserves a nomination. Cranston was great last season, but Paul was simply better this year and may have had the best performance on television I've seen in years. What a treat that kid is to watch.

TVCasualties said...

Really pleased to see Ken Marino and Party Down get some love.

Nicole said...

I love how there is supposed to be some expectation of neutrality when it's an exercise in picking a subjective best acting performance from shows that are written by different creative minds. It's literally not rocket science so it would be impossible for an objective assessment.

I may not agree with all your choices, but somehow I can find the will to live despite the fact we don't agree 100%.

SJ said...

Paul was great indeed...but sorry Cranston definitely steals the show. God his acting is so amazing on that show. It's right up there with James Gandolfini and Ian McShane in my opinion. The way he conveys emotion and his thoughts through his expressions is amazing.

SJ said...

Btw is it just me or did Michael Hogan have not much to do on BSG this season? I would have preferred Alessandro Juliani this year for his tortured and ultimately heartbreaking performance as Felix Gaeta. That's the one character I sympathized with the most.

(It would be nice to see anyone from BSG get some recognition though).

J-rod said...

If the Emmies had any of my respect, I'd have to put down Aaron Paul definitely, but considering what they did to The Wire, they've proven to be worthless.

Wendy said...

I don't think Justin Chambers deserves a nom as much as Kevin McKidd.

And where is Sandra Oh?

Anonymous said...

Chuck's supporting actors are great. Loved that you mentioned them, Alan. But I also like to add that Chuck is an ensemble show. It may sounds like it's Zac Levi's show since he's playing Chuck, but the show without them to help carry the load will not be quite entertaining. With that being said, I think Baldwin, Sahay and Krinsky are funnier than Chuck himself. They always bring something new into their scenes. Levi haven't impressed me all that much with his overused animated/exaggerated expressions.

I'm glad Jim Parsons is getting the recognitions (TCA). I'm hoping the Emmy voters will see the same.

Anonymous said...

The perfect list. I actually agree with 99% of it.
I just want Goggins to win. Chiklis or Byrne would make me happy as well.

Andy M said...

To round out your best actress in a comedy, I would suggest Christina Applegate on Samantha Who? It may not be brilliant TV, but it's downright bad without her charisma.

Anonymous said...

My first thought was, hey, isn't Anna Gunn a lead actress? But then, when I think about it, she probably didn't carry as much screentime as a lead would.

Then, my second thought was, if only they let two people share a nomination spot, because the Jeffster is only awesome as a tag team, and I can't imagine Bret without Jemaine and vice versa. These people only really work as a two people team.

Now, how many of these picks does everyone wager have any kind of a chance at getting the real nom?

Andrew said...

Now, how many of these picks does everyone wager have any kind of a chance at getting the real nom?

Looking over Alan's picks, I'd say these are the ones who are either locks or have healthy chances:

Comedy Actor - Baldwin, Carell, Parsons

Drama Actor - Byrne, Hamm, Cranston, maybe Chiklis.

Comedy Actress - Fey, Collette

Drama Actress - maybe Jones or Moss but not both.

Comedy Supp Actor - NPH and maybe Morgan.

Drama Supp Actor - Emerson, Mahoney, maybe Davies.

Comedy Supp Actress - Fischer, DeWitt

Drama Supp Actress - Pill, Wiest, maybe CCH, maybe Davis.

So, if the stars aligh absolutely perfectly, 21 of Alan's 45 picks might happen.

vicmackey187 said...

Your Drama picks are rock solid (can't really say much about the Comedy ones because I only watch THE OFFICE and 30 ROCK) and insanely difficult to pick from. Those are the Emmy's I'd love to watch. Sadly, they'll never happen (Hello Kyra Sedgwick/Holy Hunter, goodbye Jeanne and Mary).

Out of your picks I'd like:

• Steve Carrell for THE OFFICE (spread the wealth, plus Baldwin was just ok this season)

• Gabriel Byrne for IN TREATMENT (second hardest category to choose, I loved all these actors' work this year)

• Anna Friel for PUSHING DAISIES

• Mary McDonnell for BSG

• Walton Goggins for THE SHIELD

• Jenna Fischer for THE OFFICE

• Alison Pill for IN TREATMENT (this was THE most difficult category to pick from, and I would have booted Hendricks for Sevigny). And I too consider Connie Britton as a lead actress.

Craig Ranapia said...

I know there's precisely ZERO chance of it happening, but Dean Stockwell deserves an Emmy for his increasingly disgusting (in a good way) turn on BSG.

And a not very tough omission, was I the only person who thought 30 Rock was seriously uneven this season, and the crap count was a little to high for comfort?

belinda said...

It's interesting to note that while there weren't a lot of lead actresses to choose in the LEAD comedy category, there are more than enough SUPPORTING actresses in the same category. And then I look at someone like Connie Britton and Anna Gunn, who're both technically the main female character but aren't leads. And in the drama category, there were plenty of female omissions in the supporting category and just one (and I happen to not even agree with that one, :)) in the lead.

Seems like there should be some way of making these categories more suited for this particular somehow.

TheSplenda said...

How can Robert Sean Leonard not even make it as a tough omission?

Bryan said...

Good list overall I think except for 2 or 3 I strongly disagree with (but unlike Detective Munch from earlier I do not consider you part of the vast emmy conspiracy - maybe you're just a pawn)

How can Josh Holloway not be on that list - incredible performance this year.

And maybe I missed a couple incredible performances this year but in the half a dozen Tara shows I saw this year I don't know how anyone could be nominated from that drivel. I am one of those that can find something good in almost everything I watch - that show, I think, is terrible.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for that, I was wondering how the "Big Love" women would line up. (Contrary to the poster above, I think this show has the best women roles).

Probably a smart move to leave the Best Actress field to Jeanne Tripplehorn. Her work in the "Road Trip" and "Temple" episodes was stunning.

On the other hand, that leaves five of the show's actresses competing for a BSAD nomination (Chloe Sevigny, Ginnifer Goodwin, Mireille Enos, Amanda Seyfried, and Grace Zabriskie).

Plus, Mary Kay Place is nominated for outstanding guest actress in a drama even though she's on a majority of the episodes.

Alan Sepinwall said...

I know how much you raved about Katey Sagal in Sons of Anarchy; she didn't make the cut, or submit?

She submitted herself. That was just an oversight on my part. (I spent about a half hour combing over the list, which is less time than I would if I had a real ballot, but probably a lot more than the average Emmy voter spends on it.)

Sagal probably still wouldn't make my top 6 in that category, but I'd have thought about it.

Evie Garland said...

If Walton Goggins gets nominated, I might actually have enough faith in the Emmys to watch this year.

Anonymous said...

I know Walton Goggins is the consensus for Shield supporting actor, but I must mention David Marciano for his performance as Steve. I freely admit to bias, since I've been a fan of his since Due South, but I really think that he did a lot with what could have been a throwaway part.

shara says said...

Glad to see Lizzie Caplan getting some love for Party Down - I don't have Showtime so I haven't seen the whole season, but from what was available online I thought she was awesome, and I've been a fan of hers since her Smallville days.

I would go out on a limb and also nominate her for supporting actress in a drama for True Blood. I recently watched Season 1, and was completely blown away by Amy Burley. At first, when she was all "I studied philosophy to anger my establishment parents", I was about to start rolling my eyes - but by the time her withdrawal kicked in and she started getting desperate for some V, I was totally adoring the performance. She pulled off a seriously difficult role (humanizing a character who did despicable things, and fully embracing the myriad internal contradictions of the character), and totally owned the part.

Anonymous said...

Plus, she looked great naked

Kathie said...

Aaron Paul for his role in Breaking Bad.......the scene in the crack house where he broke down was just heartbreaking. He was consistently good all season.

Kent said...

As per the gentleman "ribbing" Alan on his choice of Jeffery Donovan over Kiefer, I like Sutherland and his show to be sure, but Donovan is even better on Burn Notice. You have Sutherland's performance which is basically consistent intensity... which granted is a hard thing to do as well as he does... and then you've got Donovan that has to not only be himself, but himself playing convincing versions of other characters as part of his undercover work.

I'm mostly commenting because I'm glad you showed Ray Wise some love. I'm so disappointed that he's been overlooked for his fantastic performance because of the show it's on.

dez said...

Don't hold his bizarre performance in Changeling against his work on Burn Notice.


"Bizarre"? Are you talking about that weird accent, Hatfield? I liked him in "Changeling"--he made a good dickweed :-)

But to answer your larger question, the shows I cover are pretty much the shows I watch, and while I'll check in on other series on occasion, it's never frequent enough for me to feel qualified to judge the acting.


That doesn't seem to stop the Emmy voters.

Heather said...

YESSS. I thought Lee Pace forgot to submit himself, but I prove wrong! Suprised to see people from Gossip Girl and Legend of the Seeker submitted themselves... Why did Miley Cyrus submit herself in Best Actress? I have no idea... interseting list. As for another problem I see is the lack of Misha Collins on the guest star submissions.

Pamela Jaye said...

well, boy am I late here, so I have one thing to say:

Go, Justin! (Chambers)
and ooh! about Brooke Smith. (no one cared when that other one left, did they? Sadie? I was happy)

I haven't seen Anna Gunn since The Practice...

Bix said...

Looks like Michelle Hicks didn't submit for The Shield. I figure she would've at least tried...

Anna said...

Oh, I just realized! How fantastic would it be if the winners of Best Guest Actor in a Comedy, and in a Drama, respectively, were that old Quantum Leap duo, Scott Bakula and Dean Stockwell? They both completely deserve it. I would be ecstatic.

Pamela Jaye said...

ooh!

Baylink said...

"Maroon"

Someone used "maroon" as an insult.

I love it... :-)

Anonymous said...

I think you gave a very well rounded ballot.

I just wish I saw Elizabeth Perkins as Celia Hodes on Weeds there. Weeds has kinda gone downhill, but Perkins just gets better and funnier.

Also Becki Newton from Ugly Betty. Pretty awful nowadays, with her as the only saving grace, and a damn good one at that.

Gabe said...

... so... not even a passing mention of Denis Leary?