Rarely has an Emmy host had as much at stake at the ceremony as this year’s man at the mic, Neil Patrick Harris.
Harris is nominated for supporting actor in a comedy, thanks to his turn as Barney on “How I Met Your Mother” — and the skein is also celebrating its first-ever comedy series bid.
Then there’s his starring role in Joss Whedon’s “Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog,” which earned a special class nomination in the shortform live-action entertainment program category.
The “Dr. Horrible” nom was leading to talk on the Internet Thursday that a performance from the Web musical could wind up on the Emmycast.
Among the other notable items coming out of Thursday’s Emmy nomination announcement:
- Speaking of dot-com entities, the Peacock’s NBC.com scored five nominations — more than several full-fledged TV networks.
NBC.com’s haul included a second consecutive nomination for “Jay Leno’s Garage” (the only nomination at all for Leno, despite his departure from “The Tonight Show”), as well as the websites for “Late Night With Jimmy Fallon,” “Saturday Night Live,” “The Office” and “30 Rock.”
- Justin Timberlake became the first-ever “Saturday Night Live” host to earn an Emmy nomination for those duties.
The multihyphenate Timberlake’s turn as host scored him a mention in the comedy guest actor category. That was one of three bids for the singer, who is also nominated twice in the music and lyrics category — one for the “Motherlover” short he helped write (and perform) on “SNL,” and another for helping to write a tune for the 2008 ESPYs.
- “SNL” kingpin Lorne Michaels had much reason to celebrate, and not just because “30 Rock,” which he exec produces, scored a whopping 22 noms.
The 13 nominations for “Saturday Night Live” rep the most ever in the show’s 34 years of eligibility. (Its previous record was eight, in both 1977 and 1978). Dramatic increase in noms was helped by last year’s decision to open the acting categories to “SNL” performers, leading to this year’s bids for Amy Poehler and Kristen Wiig in the supporting comedy actress categories, as well as for guest stars Timberlake and Tina Fey.
- The late Farrah Fawcett earned an Emmy nom for her NBC special “Farrah’s Story,” which chronicled her battle with cancer.
Fawcett is up in the nonfiction special category, which also features Michael J. Fox’s ABC special, which touches on his battle with Parkinson’s disease, as well as Maria Shriver’s HBO doc on Alzheimer’s.
- Should it win the reality-competition Emmy, “Project Runway” could also receive the award for Most Awkward Stage Assembly. Bravo execs will have to wrestle for the microphone alongside Weinstein Co. toppers, whose decision last year to move the show to Lifetime triggered lawsuits and plenty of bad blood.
The legal matters have been settled, but the Weinsteins’ criticism of how Bravo handled “Runway” would likely keep execs from the two entities on separate sides of the Nokia.
- Emmy viewers can always count on a cameo from the kudofest’s director, who always seems to be nominated for helming another special. That’ll be the case again this year, as Emmy director Glenn Weiss cuts to himself as a nominee in the variety/music/comedy special director category (for “The Neighborhood Ball: An Inauguration Celebration”).
- Married couple Kevin Bacon and Kyra Sedgwick scored his and hers noms — his for “Taking Chance,” hers for “The Closer.”