‘True Detective’ & ‘Game of Thrones’ Rock the 66th Primetime Emmy Award Nominations

By July 10, 2014

It’s that time of the year again, when The Academy of Television Arts & Sciences reveals who will be vying for the coveted Emmy late this summer. The nominations of the 66th Primetime Emmy Awards have been announced, and it’s a big year for cable series, with network dramas being shut out completely of the Outstanding Drama Series category. However, there don’t seem to be many snubs on that side of TV.

On the other hand, there’s plenty of discrepancies to be found in the comedy category (at least in my mind), though the number of snubs in the nominations is rather low with all things considered. However, there’s one big historical snub that might get fans of animated series’ into a tizzy. Check out the full list of our nominations below along with an analysis of some of the snubs and nominees.

Outstanding Drama Series
“Breaking Bad”
“Downton Abbey”
“Game of Thrones”
“House of Cards”
“Mad Men”
“True Detective”

Outstanding Comedy Series
“The Big Bang Theory”
“Modern Family”
“Orange Is the New Black”
“Silicon Valley”

Outstanding Miniseries
“American Horror Story: Coven”
“Bonnie & Clyde”
“The White Queen”

Outstanding Television Movie
“Killing Kennedy”
“Muhammad Ali’s Greatest Fight”
“The Normal Heart”
“Sherlock: His Last Vow”
“The Trip to Bountiful”

Lead Actor in a Drama Series
Bryan Cranston, “Breaking Bad”
Kevin Spacey, “House of Cards”
Jon Hamm, “Mad Men”
Jeff Daniels, “The Newsroom”
Matthew McConaughey, “True Detective”
Woody Harrelson, “True Detective”

Lead Actress in a Drama Series
Michelle Dockery, “Downton Abbey”
Julianna Margulies, “The Good Wife”
Claire Danes, “Homeland”
Robin Wright, “House of Cards”
Lizzie Caplan, “Masters of Sex”
Kerry Washington, “Scandal”

Lead Actor in a Miniseries or Movie
Chiwetel Ejiofor, “Dancing on the Edge”
Billy Bob Thornton, “Fargo”
Martin Freeman, “Fargo”
Idris Elba, “Luther”
Mark Ruffalo, “The Normal Heart”
Benedict Cumberbatch, “Sherlock”

Lead Actress in a Miniseries or Movie
Jessica Lange, “American Horror Story: Coven”
Sarah Paulson, “American Horror Story: Coven”
Helena Bonham Carter, “Burton and Taylor”
Minnie Driver, “Return to Zero”
Kristen Wiig, “The Spoils of Babylon”
Cicely Tyson, “The Trip to Bountiful”

Lead Actor in a Comedy Series
Jim Parsons, “The Big Bang Theory”
Ricky Gervais, “Derek”
Matt LeBlanc, “Episodes”
Don Cheadle, “House of Lies”
Louis CK, “Louie”
William H. Macy, “Shameless”

Lead Actress in a Comedy Series
Lena Dunham, “Girls”
Melissa McCarthy, “Mike & Molly”
Edie Falco, “Nurse Jackie”
Taylor Schilling, “Orange Is the New Black”
Amy Poehler, “Parks and Recreation”
Julia Louis-Dreyfus, “Veep”

Supporting Actor in a Drama Series
Aaron Paul, “Breaking Bad”
Jim Carter, “Downton Abbey”
Peter Dinklage, “Game of Thrones”
Josh Charles, “The Good Wife”
Mandy Patinkin, “Homeland”
Jon Voight, “Ray Donovan”

Supporting Actress in a Drama Series
Anna Gunn, “Breaking Bad”
Joanne Froggatt, “Downton Abbey”
Maggie Smith, “Downton Abbey”
Lena Headey, “Game of Thrones”
Christine Baranski, “The Good Wife”
Christina Hendricks, “Mad Men”

Supporting Actor in a Miniseries or Movie
Colin Hanks, “Fargo”
Alfred Molina, “The Normal Heart”
Jim Parsons, “The Normal Heart”
Joe Mantello, “The Normal Heart”
Matt Bomer, “The Normal Heart”
Martin Freeman, “Sherlock”

Supporting Actress in a Miniseries or Movie
Angela Bassett, “American Horror Story: Coven”
Frances Conroy, “American Horror Story: Coven”
Kathy Bates, “American Horror Story: Coven”
Allison Tolman, “Fargo”
Ellen Burstyn, “Flowers in the Attic”
Julia Roberts, “The Normal Heart”

Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series
Andre Braugher, “Brooklyn Nine-Nine”
Adam Driver, “Girls”
Jesse Tyler Ferguson, “Modern Family”
Ty Burrell, “Modern Family”
Fred Armisen, “Portlandia”
Tony Hale, “Veep”

Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series
Mayim Bialik, “The Big Bang Theory”
Julie Bowen, “Modern Family”
Allison Janney, “Mom”
Kate Mulgrew, “Orange Is the New Black”
Kate McKinnon, “Saturday Night Live”
Anna Chlumsky, “Veep”

Outstanding Guest Actor in Drama
Paul Giamatti as Harold Levinson in “Downton Abbey”
Dylan Baker as Colin Sweeney in “The Good Wife”
Reg E. Cathey as Freddy in “House Of Cards”
Robert Morse as Bertram Cooper in “Mad Men”
Beau Bridges as Barton Scully in “Masters of Sex”
Joe Morton as Rowan Pope in “Scandal”

Outstanding Guest Actress In A Drama Series
Margo Martindale as Claudia in “The Americans”
Diana Rigg as Lady Olenna Tyrell in “Game of Thrones”
Kate Mara as Zoe Barnes in “House of Cards”
Allison Janney as Margaret Scully in “Masters of Sex”
Jane Fonda as Leona Lansing in “The Newsroom”
Kate Burton as Sally Langston in “Scandal”

Outstanding Guest Actor In A Comedy Series
Bob Newhart as Arthur in “The Big Bang Theory”
Nathan Lane as Pepper Saltzman in “Modern Family”
Steve Buscemi as Marty in “Portlandia”
Jimmy Fallon as Host in “SNL”
Louis C.K. as Host in “SNL”
Gary Cole as Kent Davison in “Veep”

Outstanding Guest Actress In A Comedy Series
Natasha Lyonne as Nicky Nichols in “Orange is the New Black”
Uzo Aduba as Suzanne “Crazy Eyes” Warren in “Orange is the New Black”
Laverne Cox as Sophia Burset in “Orange is the New Black”
Tina Fey as Host in “SNL”
Melissa McCarthy as Host in “SNL”
Joan Cusack as Sheila Jackson in “Shameless”

Outstanding Animated Program
“Archer” – Archer Vice: The Rules Of Extraction
“Bob’s Burgers” – Mazel Tina
“Futurama” – Meanwhile
“South Park” – Black Friday
“Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Manhattan Project”

Outstanding Variety Series
“The Colbert Report”
“The Daily Show with Jon Stewart”
“Jimmy Kimmel Live!”
“Real Time with Bill Maher”
“Saturday Night Live”
“The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon”

Outstanding Reality Competition Program
“The Amazing Race”
“Dancing With the Stars”
“Project Runway”
“So You Think You Can Dance”
“Top Chef”
“The Voice”

As you can see, network dramas really took a hit this year with cable shows taking all the Outstanding Drama Series nominations, including HBO getting recognition for “True Detective” and “Game of Thrones.” Even the acting categories were barely cracked by network television with Julianna Margulies and Kerry Washington landing Lead Actress in a Drama Series nominations for “The Good Wife” and “Scandal” respectively.

On the Lead Actor side of things, no network performances were recognized (and I would have liked to see James Spader get some love for “The Blacklist”), while both Woody Harrelson and Matthew McConaughey landed worthy nods for “True Detective.”

True Detective 3

And while cable certainly dominated drama, there are several series that only received acting nods in the major categories like “The Americans” and “Homeland.” Meanwhile, shows like “Justified” and “Sons of Anarchy” got shut out. That means Timothy Olyphant didn’t land a deserved nomination.

Fans will be happy to see that “Sherlock: His Final Vow” was nominated for Outstanding Television Movie, along with stars Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman getting nominated for their performances (the latter also was nominated for his lead role in “Fargo”).

As we said, the comedy side of things has the most frustrating snubs with “The Big Bang Theory” inexplicably getting an Outstanding Comedy Series nomination. It’s the only show that still has the archaic multi-camera sitcom format with a laughtrack, and it doesn’t even shake a stick to the other nominees. There are plenty of other shows that deserved to take that spot. Freshman series “The Goldbergs” or Golden Globe winning series “Brooklyn Nine-Nine” should have been nominated, or even the longer running “Parks & Recreation” would have been a better choice.

The Simpsons - LEGO Episode

But perhaps the biggest snub comes from the fact that this marks the first time in 20 years that “The Simpsons” didn’t get nominated for Outstanding Animated Program. Vulture points out that technically, this is the only time the show wasn’t legitimately nominated for an award, though it wasn’t nominated in this category in 1993 and 1994. However, those absent years are only because the show was submitted for Outstanding Comedy Series, and a show cannot be submitted to both for some reason. Before that, “The Simpsons” was nominated in the animated category in 1990, 1991 and 1992. So that’s quite a streak to lose.

While “The Simpsons” has certainly fallen in quality since its glory years in the ’90s, this is quite a wild year for them to miss out on a nomination, especially with their incredible “Brick Like Me” LEGO episode that felt like a classic episode that just sat on the shelf for years. It was really a perfect episode, and undoubtedly deserves to be recognized. Though I suppose we should just be happy that “Futurama” landed a nod for its final season, and you really can’t go wrong with “Archer.” We’re not sure about that “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” series, but that’s the way the cookie crumbles.

Anyway, we’ll find out who takes home the actual prize later this summer with the 66th Primetime Emmy Awards, hosted by Seth Meyers, air live on Monday, August 25th at 8pm ET on NBC. For those interested, a longer list of nominees, including directors, writers, etc., can be found right here.

What do you think of the Emmy nominations this year? Did your favorite shows make the cut?

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Ethan Anderton
Some of his favorite films include Ghostbusters, The Empire Strikes Back and Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, while his favorite TV series include LOST, Mad Men, 30 Rock, Parks & Recreation, Arrested Development and Saturday Night Live.
  • Lizzie Caplan over Tatiana Maslany? I call bull.

    • If only more people (myself included) watched Orphan Black. I’ve heard it’s amazing, and I bet a lot of voters have too, but because it’s on the BBC, I think for some reason that means a lot of people won’t watch it.

      • And that’s the sad state of affairs. Everyone loves Dr Who and Sherlock but you then get a mind blowing performance (actually performances) by Maslany as she is literally playing something like 8 different people. She’s amazing and it’s a damn shame they go with ugly cryface from Homeland and boring stoneface from Masters Of Sex.