Emmys: The Biggest Snubs and Surprises

Emmy Rule Changes Bring Overdue Order to Awards
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Predicting the Emmys is always a crapshoot, but this year’s ceremony was as confusing as ever. On one hand, most of the trophies went to the nominees who were winners from previous years—from “Breaking Bad” to Allison Janney (who reminded the audience she had six Emmys, after picking up her prize for “Mom”), “Modern Family,” Jim Parsons (“The Big Bang Theory”) and Julia Louis-Dreyfus (“Veep”). On the other hand, many of the night’s frontrunners, including recent Oscar-winner Matthew McConaughey, went home empty-handed.

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Here are the biggest snubs and surprises from Monday night.

SNUB: Matthew McConaughey, “True Detective.” “Even I thought about voting for Matthew,” says winner Bryan Cranston who picked up his fourth acting Emmy for his already iconic performance as Walter White in “Breaking Bad.” But McConaughey — who was widely considered the favorite for his gritty turn in the HBO series — went home empty-handed after his first Oscar win earlier this year. And there goes his chances of inching closer to becoming an EGOT.

SNUB: Netflix. Even with its record 31 Emmy nominations, the streaming service lost the big categories on Monday night for its comedy series “Orange Is the New Black” (which couldn’t beat “Modern Family”) and “House of Cards” for best drama (which went to “Breaking Bad”). Netflix made a stronger show a week ago at the Creative Arts Emmys, with seven wins.

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SNUB: “True Detective.” The HBO series lost lead actor and best series, mostly because of the decision to enter the show in the dramatic series category (where “Breaking Bad” dominated) instead of miniseries, which went to “Fargo.”

SNUB: “The Normal Heart” cast. The HBO TV movie based on the Larry Kramer play was considered a front-runner in several categories, especially Matt Bomer for supporting actor in a TV movie. But not only did Bomer lose the award, so also did his three other co-stars in the category (Joe Mantello, Alfred Molina and Parsons) in favor of Martin Freeman (“Sherlock”). Mark Ruffalo and Julia Roberts also stayed seated.

SNUB: Billy Bob Thornton. “Fargo.” He was the front-runner for actor in a miniseries, but lost to Benedict Cumberbatch for “Sherlock.”

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SURPRISE: The “Sherlock” sweep. After choosing only Emmy winners who had already won Emmys — from Parsons in “The Big Bang Theory” to Janney in “Mom” — the Emmys finally went hip by giving Internet fan favorite Cumberbatch an Emmy for his breakout role as Sherlock Holmes. Sadly, Cumberbatch like his co-star Freeman (also a surprise winner) wasn’t in attendance to accept the award.

SURPRISE: Kathy Bates for “American Horror Story: Coven.” Almost every pundit predicted Allison Tolman would take the gold for “Fargo,” though a few thought Julia Roberts’ star power might help her take the win. But in the end, it was Kathy Bates — one of three “American Horror Story: Coven” actresses nominated in the category — who walked away with the award. Of course, Tolman has gone from an unknown to being nominated opposite three Oscar winners (Roberts, Bates and Ellen Burstyn), so she’s probably not shedding any tears.

SURPRISE: “Sarah Silverman: We Are Miracles.” After winning the red carpet with her hilarious red carpet interview where she revealed she’d brought “liquid pot” to the ceremony, Sarah Silverman won again when “Sarah Silverman: We Are Miracles” took the award for writing for a variety special. Besting Billy Crystal’s Tony-winning “700 Sundays” and the Tony Awards themselves, Silverman was an surprisingly edgy choice for a category that also included a Beatles special and this year’s Tina Fey/Amy Poehler-hosted Golden Globes.