For the record, I think the whole “Let’s announce the Emmys at 5:37 a.m. West Coast time in order to get two minutes on the network morning shows” is cruel and barbaric, so don’t expect anything here to make a lick of sense. Besides, I’m still steamed about the two women who talked all the way through a screening of the new “Harry Potter” movie last night.
With that disclaimer — and congratulations to all 509 nominees — here are 10 rapid-fire thoughts about this year’s Emmy nominations:
— “Big Love” was very deserving of a best drama bid, but inasmuch as that was the only nomination for the third-year series, are we to assume that it wrote, directed and performed itself?
— The longer it goes, the less likely “Friday Night Lights” will ever gain the recognition that it deserves at the Emmys, but take consolation in knowing that it hasn’t gone unnoticed by bodies such as the AFI’s annual TV honor roll.
— Four writing nominations each for “Mad Men” and “30 Rock.” I realize individual writers deserve credit, but inasmuch as programs are the product of writing staffs, I sort of wish that the wealth had been spread around better.
— Everybody has a favorite category. Mine might be supporting actor in a drama series: Christian Clemenson, Michael Emerson, William Hurt, Aaron Paul, William Shatner, John Slattery. That said, I’m mystified that John Mahoney isn’t on that list for his tremendous work on “In Treatment.” (Dianne Wiest and Hope Davis were acknowledged on the supporting actress side.)
— Yes, “Ugly Betty” had a subpar year, but no America Ferrera? And while we’re at it, no Anna Paquin for “True Blood,” which is taking off in season two?
— With only two nominees and seven submissions, the argument for keeping “outstanding miniseries” as a separate category has gotten considerably weaker. On the other hand, I’m sympathetic to the assertion that letting something like “Little Dorrit” or “John Adams” compete with a regular old movie is apples and oranges.
— It’s not quite the Oscars’ expansion to 10 best picture nominees, but with ties, there will be seven bids for both comedy and drama series. Theoretically that will help expand the rooting-interest factor, but the competition from NBC’s “Sunday Night Football” is still a major challenge in terms of jump-starting the ratings.
— Not sure what to make of “The Tonight Show With Jay Leno” being left out of variety series, but I suspect some will attribute that to hostility from the creative community toward Leno’s move to 10 p.m., eating up slots for scripted programming.
— Small comeback for multicamera comedies, but not a full-fledged one. Fortunately, “Two and a Half Men”/”The Big Bang Theory” producer Chuck Lorre can take some comfort (not that he will) in how well those programs are doing this summer paired in the 9 o’clock hour. In the meantime, I look forward to next year’s vanity card where he shares his thoughts with the academy.
— Should be in the back of everyone at the academy’s mind that 2010 marks the final year of the eight-year “wheel” deal in which the show rotates among the four major networks. So the Emmycast needs to put its best foot forward these next two years as organizers prep to negotiate a new deal.