“Orange is the New Black”
Not only was the (former) awards favorite from Netflix bumped out of the Outstanding Drama Series race (in favor of “The Americans,” which is important to remember during this mourning period), but even its back-to-back supporting actress winner — in comedy and drama — Uzo Aduba didn’t make the cut. “Orange” only snagged a nod for Outstanding Casting, which makes the exclusion of the cast members themselves all the more questionable.
“The Good Wife”
One of the more aggressive series in terms of campaigning these last few years, CBS’ beloved drama couldn’t break into the big categories for broadcast in 2016. It had the best shot of any offered by the big four as an overall series, but love was lost for the twice-nominated series. After all, it hasn’t been a competitor in the series race since 2011, and the final season didn’t wow even the most faithful fans. It will have to settle for a writing nod (which is impressive), two guest acting nominations (Carrie Preston & Michael J. Fox) and one more for costumes. Yes, not even Julianna Margulies made the cut! Wow!
“The Late Show with Stephen Colbert”
Apparently mainstream America and the Emmys agree on one thing: Stephen Colbert isn’t cutting it on CBS. The low-rated replacement for David Letterman has still been connecting with critics and his established fandom from “The Colbert Report,” but broadening his appeal has been a struggle. While the TV Academy does occasionally boost creatively daring series, their love for the Emmy-winning Colbert apparently reached its limit this year.
“Full Frontal With Samantha Bee”
No, Samantha Bee’s killer new late night show did not break into the Variety – Talk category, but it did snag a writing nod for all variety series, including the Variety – Sketch shows like “Inside Amy Schumer” and “Portlandia.” So it wasn’t a total loss, even if she definitely deserved a series nod over “Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee.” (We love you, Jerry, but one of these is a bit more challenging than the other.)
“The Daily Show”
Most saw this cut coming, but “The Daily Show” — in the hands of Jon Stewart — dominated this category for years. Seeing the list without it feels wrong (kind of like seeing someone else behind the desk still feels funny).
A long-shot to be sure, “The Leftovers” nevertheless had the faintest of hope in the drama race, and earning zero total nominations seems pretty ridiculous by any standard. Damon Lindelof’s inventive and eye-opening series certainly was good enough — and sported a bevy of actors pitching peak performances — but the material simply seems too challenging for a majority to embrace. How it could be kept out of the writing race and acting races seems impossible, but “The Leftovers” now takes up the mantle left by “The Americans” as the best show on television not to get Emmys love.
Showtime’s highly-touted drama — with its two big name leads — couldn’t sustain the heavy promotional push it got back in January, nor could it recreate the necessary buzz during its heavy FYC campaign. On the critical side, mixed early reviews were too much to overcome, even if some noted the season’s ending was better than the beginning. Also a factor: Showtime knew it had a better chance of getting “Homeland” nominated than “Billions,” so emphasis had to be placed on the prior nominee.
Christian Slater, “Mr. Robot”
He won the Golden Globe. He had the comeback story on his side. He gave a helluva performance on a series that won over critics big time. Plus, he was the key to a puzzle deftly put together over the course of Season 1. Yet somehow voters didn’t spark to Slater’s performance, despite throwing major love toward “Mr. Robot.” Slater was the face of the show during its early stages, and he helped legitimize it as a pillar of USA’s new brand. This exclusion was a shocker.
Eva Green, “Penny Dreadful”
Technically, she’s got one more year of eligibility left, but it’s hard to imagine Showtime mounting that much of a campaign for a show that will have been off the air for nearly a year by summer 2017. So realistically, this was her last shot, and it hurts all the more knowing she still didn’t make the cut. Green was a towering presence on “Penny Dreadful,” elevating every scene she was in and making the show must-see TV for her turn alone. Sure, the rest was pretty great, too, but Green was essential viewing.
Hugh Dancy, “The Path”
Submitted in the wrong category, Dancy would’ve stood a better chance in the supporting category (rather than split votes with Academy-favorite Aaron Paul as co-leads). Still, he was the standpoint of “The Path,” and if anyone had a shot at landing a nod, it was him. Hulu gave him a good push, but it just wasn’t enough.
Michelle Dockery, “Downton Abbey”
What with the Academy’s consistent love for the Masterpiece classic, it seemed likely they would honor as much of the cast as possible for their final season. This did not include Dockery, though, as the three-time nominee was blanked for the second straight year. Dockery has a bright future in front of her, but it would’ve been nice to see her honored here one more time.
Miranda Otto, “Homeland”
Few supporting turns from new cast members are given as much screen time as Otto’s, and boy, did she ever make the most of it. Playing the de facto villain of Season 5, Otto provided an empathetic turn grounded in the anxiety of a long undercover double agent. Did viewers turn on her when her character turned on Saul, everyone’s favorite father figure? Perhaps, but odds are the Academy is just a bit tepid on “Homeland” in general these days (even if it did get four total nominations).