It is easier to find a parking space at Canalside on Thursday’s concert nights than it is to pick what shows and actors deserve Emmy Award nominations.
I feel for the people who chose the shows and actors nominated this morning and have to endure criticism about the people and shows that are left out.
That’s because there simply are too many good programs for even a television critic to keep up with.
So you won’t hear too many complaints from me about the lack of support for quality programs like “Boardwalk Empire,” “The Americans,” “The Blacklist,” “Sons of Anarchy” and many others.
Without further ado, here are my quick takeaways from the announcement this morning of the nominees in a TV world changed by Netflix and Amazon Prime that finds it difficult for broadcast network series to compete. I may have more to say after I have more time to read the list.
Christine Baranski Rules: The Western New York-born actress was nominated twice. She was nominated for her regular gig in “The Good Wife” as best supporting actress, which is a very tough category. It includes two actresses from HBO's "Game of Thrones," which has an Emmy-high 24 nominations. Baranski also was nominated in the guest actress category for her appearances on “The Big Bang Theory.” She wasn’t the only WNYer to be nominated. Billy Hopkins earned a nomination as casting director for Queen Latifah’s HBO film “Bessie.”
No “Empire”: The Fox megahit wasn’t one of seven nominees as best drama, which illustrates how hard it is for broadcast network series to get their due. All the spots were taken by PBS, cable or streaming series, with Showtime’s “Homeland” and PBS’ “Downton Abbey” grabbing nominations despite having down seasons.
No “Parenthood”: It would have been nice if the NBC series had gotten a best drama nod in a terrific final season, but it didn’t get the love that AMC’s “Mad Men” and NBC’s “Parks and Recreation” received by being nominated for their swan songs. Besides “Mad Men,” none of my favorite dramas – “Parenthood,” HBO’s “Newsroom” and CBS’ “Blue Bloods” were nominated. But at least my favorite comedy – HBO’s “Silicon Valley” made the list. Surprisingly, the most popular comedy series on TV, “The Big Bang Theory,” wasn’t nominated this time around and neither was usual sure thing Jim Parsons.
“Orphan” Scores in New Category: After being pushed out of the comedy category into the drama category, the Netflix series “Orange is the New Black” earned a nomination in the category it belonged in last season.
“American Crime” Has “Limited” Appeal: The ABC drama, which was a lot like a cable series, was given the most love of any network series. It earned a nomination as best limited series and stars Timothy Hutton and Felicity Huffman -- who played a divorced couple dealing with the murder of their son --and supporting actors Richard Cabral and Regina King also earned nominations.
Diversity Is on Display: Unlike the Oscars, the TV awards do a much better job rewarding deserving minority nominees. Viola Davis of “How to Get Away with Murder,” Anthony Anderson of “black-ish,” Taraji P. Henson of “Empire,” Uzo Aduba of “Orange is the New Black,” Don Cheadle of “House of Lies,” Andre Braugher of “Brooklyn Nine-Nine” and Queen Latifah of “Bessie” were among the nominees and there were many more minority nominees.
John Oliver Competes with his Past: Oliver’s terrific HBO series “Last Week Tonight” is in the same category as the show where he got first noticed, “The Daily Show with Jon Stewart,” as well as “The Colbert Report.” If Oliver had just stayed around Comedy Central a little longer, he probably could have replaced either Stewart or Colbert on their programs.
Jon Hamm Rules: He was nominated as best actor for “Mad Men” and undoubtedly will be a sentimental favorite when Fox carries the Emmy Awards on Sept. 20. He also got a nomination for his work on the Netflix comedy, “The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt.”
Surprise Omissions: Juliana Margulies of “The Good Wife,” James Spader of “The Blacklist” and Kerry Washington of “Scandal” were notable absences that made you wonder if any of them just failed to file the paperwork to be nominated. But if they did, their absences just prove that not every good show or good actor was going to get nominated with so much talent on display now.