Anatomy of a snub: How ‘Breaking Bad’ got shut out of the writing noms

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How has “Breaking Bad,” which is no secret to TV Academy voters — having earned seven Emmy noms this year, including top drama and lead and supporting actor — never received a writing nomination?

The “Mad Men” effect is substantial — last year, for example, the Matthew Weiner series took four of the final slots, before settling for two this year. Academy voters also save at least one spot for “Lost,” which was nominated in the category today for the fifth time in six years.

After that, it gets more complicated — with the simplest explanation being that “Bad” got caught in the switches (like a drug deal gone awry, if you will). Emmy did acknowledge a critically acclaimed, little-seen show waiting its turn for its first drama writing nod, but that was “Friday Night Lights.” And Emmy did get on board with a show whose quality transcended expectations, but that was “The Good Wife.”

Still, for those of us whose jaws drop with almost every episode of “Breaking Bad,” it’s a little shocking to see that the Academy has never once recognized the skein’s scribes — especially with “Bad” receiving its second series nomination in a row. In a writing-driven medium like television, it’s analogous to a film getting noms for best picture but not director.

Someone has to get left out, and “Bad,” of course, was hardly the only series to feel shot down this year. For example, “The Big Bang Theory” was once again a surprise comedy series and writing omission, while “Sons of Anarchy” got a big fat zero in every category, a circumstance that showrunner Kurt Sutter reacted to with his typically testy grace.

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  1. Nick says:

    Are we really shocked when The Shield, The Wire, and many other excellent dramas are passed over every year for garbage like True Blood? Sons of Anarchy getting nothing is equally egregious. The Emmys exists for two reasons:
    1. Industry can pat itself on the back
    2. Ratings
    This is true for every awards show. They don’t care about who did the best. They want ratings for their show by rewarding the most popular shows (see: Glee’s 19 noms over Community’s astounding ZERO, noms for the abysmal Mariska Hargitay and Kyra Sedgwick playing the cliche TOUGH WOMAN COP over Katey Segal), and in turn they get to smack the “Emmy award winner” label on their garbage. It’s a sham.

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