Emmy nominations are out, and it looks as if voters are thinking outside the box.
In finally nominating Tatiana Maslany of BBC America’s “Orphan Black” in the best actress category,the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences caught up with viewers in recognizing a marvelous performance in a genre series that isn’t on a major network.
Voters also showed an increased love for fantasy, showering HBO’s “Game of Thrones” with 24 nominations. Even though “Thrones” has earned noms in the past, its domination of the 67th Primetime Emmy Award nominations Thursday is an amazing feat for a fantasy series. FX’s “American Horror Story: Freak Show” had the second highest number of nods with 19.
The honor for Maslany is well-deserved. The Canadian actress plays multiple roles in the series about a sisterhood of clones, giving each character such a distinct personality and traits viewers often forget its the same actress in the roles.
Maslany likely will have to settle for being nominated for the first time. The Lead Actress-Drama category is one of the toughest this year. Viola Davis (“How to Get Away with Murder”) and Taraji P. Henson (“Empire”) gave the most buzz-worthy performances of the year. Besides Maslany, others nominated in the category are past winner Claire Danes (“Homeland”) and past nominees Elisabeth Moss (“Mad Men”) and Robin Wright (“House of Cards”).
With “Thrones” leading its charge, HBO ruled the nominations with 126. ABC earned 42 nods, the second highest number, while CBS and NBC each earned 41.
In another apparent sign voters are looking beyond traditional TV, streaming services made a strong showing Thursday. Netflix earned 34 nominations, seventh overall. Amazon Instant Video received 12 nominations, 11 of those coming from its wonderful comedy “Transparent.”
For all its nominations worthy of applause this time around—Lisa Kudrow, Amy Schumer and “Parks and Recreation” also earned nods—the Academy did miss a few no-brainers.
“The Americans” and its fine lead actors Keri Russell and Matthew Rhys were shut out. Speaking of FX shows, “Justified” and “Sons of Anarchy” were shunned in their final seasons. Boo-HISS.
Vincent D’Onofrio was spooky fabulous as big bad Wilson Fisk in “Marvel’s Daredevil” on Netflix, but failed to earn a nomination.
Starz’s romantic epic and fan favorite “Outlander” was shut out. The real crime here is the brave work by actors Sam Heughan and Tobias Menzes, who were fearless in depicting male rape and its repercussions. leading lady Caitrione Balfe also did wonderful work.
“Jane the Virgin” and its Golden Globe-winning leading lady, Gina Rodriguez, saw no love Thursday. Julianna Margulies and “The Good Wife” also were overlooked. Another CBS show and personal favorite of mine, “Madam Secretary,” and its star Tea Leoni, were shut out.
And while the final movie in the “Agatha Christie’s Poirot” series, titled “Curtain: Poirot’s Last Case,” was nominated through its Acorn TV premiere, the final season of “Foyle’s War” was not. David Suchet, who played famous detective Hercule Poirot in 70 productions over 25 years, and Michael Kitchen, as retired cop Christopher Foyle, also missed out.
How much can we complain, though? The Emmys become ever more competitive each year with so many programs on traditional TV and streaming services. It’s impossible to see, let alone recognize, all the good work. The best thing viewers can do is support their favorites by watching and showing love through social media. For many creating great TV, that’s reward enough.
The 67th Primetime Emmy Awards ceremony will air live Sept. 20 on Fox from the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles. “Brooklyn Nine-Nine” star Andy Samberg will host.