Thursday, July 14, 2011

2011 Emmy nominations: First impressions

The Emmys are seen as the award show that changes the least from year to year. Generally the same shows are nominated until they go off the air. However, a surge in quality and some scheduling changes have led to a new crop of shows being nominated this year.

Among those new shows is "Game of Thrones," which was nominated for 13 awards, including Peter Dinklage for supporting actor in a drama. "Thrones" was also nominated for outstanding writing for the episode "Baelor," costuming, casting, makeup, prosthetic makeup, hairstyling, main titles, stunts, sound editing, stunt coordinating, visual effects and directing.

It's nice to see the Emmys recognizing a high concept fantasy drama, as it's the kind of show they usually ignore.

Another great drama finally getting nominated is "Justified." Timothy Olyphant, Walton Goggins, Jeremy Davies and Margo Martindale are all contenders in the acting categories. Though it wasn't nominated in the oustanding drama series category, this is still a big step for "Justified."

Olyphant will be competing for lead actor in a drama against Kyle Chandler from "Friday Night Lights." His co-star Connie Britton is also nominated, as is the show, which has been exceptional in its final season. Perhaps if the Emmys had recognized the show sooner, it would have gotten higher ratings and stayed on the air.

In the reality/competiton program categories "So You Think You Can Dance" was finally nominated against "American Idol," "Dancing With the Stars," "Top Chef," "Project Runway" and perennial winner "The Amazing Race." The dance competiton's charming host Cat Deeley was also finally nominated for reality/competition host alongside Tom Bergeron, Jeff Probst, Phil Keoghan and Ryan Seacrest.

Outstanding miniseries/movie is always a competitive category and this year is no different. HBO has three nominees with "Cinema Verite," "Mildred Pierce," and "Too Big to Fail," up against "The Pillars of the Earth" and PBS' "Downton Abbey." Dame Maggie Smith and Elizabeth McGovern are also nominated for supporting and lead actress in a miniseries/movie respectively. Viewers who haven't yet seen this gorgeously produced British drama about the goings on among a wealthy family and its staff should Netflix it right now.

Though the comedy categories didn't see much change from last year, "Parks and Recreation" and its star Amy Poheler were both recognized.

It was also a nice surprise to see "Late Night with Jimmy Fallon" get nominated for variety, music or comedy series. This show has consistently gotten better since it premiered, so it's great that it was recognized. Late night hashtags, thank you notes, pros & cons and Jimmy's unique interviews are some of the funniest bits on TV.

Check us out later in the week for a special episode of "Inscaped" with complete Emmy coverage.

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