Two new series lead the way for the 2015 TCA Award nominations, with Lee Daniels’ FOX soap “Empire” and Jill Soloway’s Amazon dramedy “Transparent” nabbing five and four nominations, respectively. Both freshman series sparked quite a discussion, albeit in different realms of the entertainment world. “Empire” became a much-needed ratings juggernaut for FOX, while “Transparent” helped put Amazon’s young originals department on the map after earning rave reviews (especially for star Jeffrey Tambor). (Note: Both I and TV Editor Liz Shannon Miller are members of the Television Critics Association, and participated in the nominating process.)
Other heavy hitters among this year’s nominees include “Mad Men” — a needed show of support for its Emmys campaign — “The Americans” — which snagged nods for Drama Series and Program of the Year — and “Jane the Virgin,” another freshman program nabbing a Best Comedy Series nod.
This year saw a lot of turnover in the nominees. Last year’s winners for Program of the Year (“Breaking Bad”), Outstanding Achievement in Drama (“The Good Wife”) and Outstanding Achievement in Comedy (“Veep” and “Louie”) all missed the cut in favor of new blood (though Vince Gilligan’s drama was ineligible). Both comedy and drama acting honors were dominated by freshman programs, too, with three of the five nominees in each category representing new shows.
That left no room for series like “Parks and Recreation,” a critically-beloved comedy on its way out. Amy Poehler’s touching tale tied for Outstanding Achievement in Comedy two years back (and Nick Offerman tied with Ty Burrell at the 2011 ceremony), but couldn’t find its way in for its final season, even for even a nostalgic final bid. “Mad Men” and “Justified” fared better in that vein, both of which grabbed a Drama Series nod. “Late Night with David Letterman” also entered the race for the Heritage Award, but he’ll be up against “Twin Peaks” — which earned its sixth consecutive nomination — among other past nominees.
Between all the old and new blood, many veteran series somewhere in between suffered. “Veep” earned only one nomination for Julia Louis-Dreyfus, and “Homeland” was shut out despite critical lauding for its fourth season. “The Affair” wasn’t able to break in, either, despite lots of love from the Golden Globes. Despite a formidable lineup likely to bring in plenty of Emmy nominations, Showtime was shut out of the TCA nominations. Not even the much-loved “Masters of Sex” made the cut.
The 31st Annual TCA Awards will be presented at the Beverly Hilton Hotel on August 8. Take a look at the full list of nominees below.
INDIVIDUAL ACHIEVEMENT IN COMEDY
Julia Louis-Dreyfus, “Veep,” HBO – (2014 Winner in Category)
Gina Rodriguez, “Jane The Virgin,” The CW
Amy Schumer, “Inside Amy Schumer,” Comedy Central
Jeffrey Tambor, “Transparent,” Amazon
Constance Wu, “Fresh Off the Boat,” ABC