The race for the Emmys has officially begun. Voting for the TV Academy’s top honors is now open until June 26 — exclusively online for the first time ever — and ballots for all categories are available for viewing.
Variety perused some of the top categories to check out the inevitable oddities, including series left out of consideration (wherefore art thou, “Cougar Town”?) and key performers guaranteed not to get nominated because they’re not on the ballot (sorry, Max Greenfield).
– It was news when the TV Academy’s new attempt to define half-hours as comedies and hourlong series as dramas resulted in “Orange Is the New Black” moving to drama series contention this year. (Meanwhile “Glee” and “Shameless” stayed in comedy, along with newcomer “Jane the Virgin.”) But somehow hourlongs “Devious Maids” (Lifetime) and “Hart of Dixie” (the CW) wound up in the comedy category too, with no fanfare.
– “NCIS: LA” appears to be the only returning skein on the big four’s fall schedule not submitted for consideration in the drama and comedy series categories. A few other canceled broadcast series — including CW’s “The Messengers,” CBS’ “Reckless,” Fox’s “Red Band Society” and “Mulaney” and NBC’s “Bad Judge” — were also left off the otherwise very inclusive ballot.
– Over on cable, USA’s “Satisfaction” is MIA from the Emmy drama series ballot despite being renewed for season two. The cabler’s “Benched,” “Covert Affairs” and “Rush” were also left off for series consideration, along with TNT’s “Perception” and “Franklin & Bash,” FX’s “Anger Management” and MTV’s “Eye Candy.” Perhaps the strangest omission is the final season of “Cougar Town” on TBS — left off the long list for outstanding comedy series.
– Nine of the season’s “Saturday Night Live” hosts are submitted for guest star consideration and all nine are men. None of the seven female hosts from “SNL’s” 40th anniversary season (Sarah Silverman, Cameron Diaz, Amy Adams, Dakota Johnson, Taraji P. Henson, Scarlett Johansson and Reese Witherspoon) were submitted for Emmy consideration either by the show, or by personal reps.
– Maybe the brand new outstanding variety sketch series category should be renamed “Comedy Central’s outstanding sketch series.” Nearly 60% (or 10 out of 17) of the entrants come from the cabler, including “Inside Amy Schumer” and “Key & Peele.” IFC (“Comedy Bang! Bang!” and “Portlandia”) and E! (“The Grace Helbig Show” and “The Soup”) submitted two each, while TruTV (“Friends of the People”), NBC (“Saturday Night Live”) and Adult Swim (“Tim and Eric’s Bedtime Stories”) round out the submissions.
– Another change in the variety categories allows sketch series performers to finally choose whether to submit in lead or supporting categories (previously, they had to submit in supporting). That means Amy Schumer and “Nathan for You” star Nathan Fielder are on the lead ballot this year, while the “Saturday Night Live” cast understandably remain in supporting. The stars of “Portlandia” and “Key & Peele” retain the somewhat dubious supporting placement — are they supporting each other?
– Departing talkshow hosts David Letterman and Stephen Colbert are expected to be Emmy players this year, but two other yakkers that bowed out this past season are not up for Emmy consideration: E!’s “Chelsea Lately,” hosted by Chelsea Handler, and CBS’ “The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson.”
– Beau Bridges is on the ballot for outstanding supporting actor in a comedy series for CBS’ dead and gone “The Millers,” even though the show aired only five episodes during the eligibility period (and needs at least six to qualify for series consideration).
– Although he was nominated in 2012 for supporting actor, “New Girl” co-star Max Greenfield is not on this year’s Emmy ballot. Ditto co-star Jake Johnson. Zooey Deschanel, Lamorne Morris and Hannah Simone still are.
– In the limited series race, CBS’ ratings-underperformer “The Dovekeepers” was left off the ballot. BBC America’s acclaimed “A Poet in New York” is MIA from the telepic race.
– Despite entering as comedy series last year, the finales of Hulu’s “The Wrong Mans” with James Corden, Netflix’s “Derek” with Ricky Gervais and HBO’s “Hello Ladies” with Stephen Merchant are now eligible in the longform categories. “Wrong” vies as a limited series for its four episode mini-season, while “Derek” and “Ladies” compete as TV movies for their feature-length sendoffs.