The 2008 Emmy Nominations are out! While many are typical suspects, some surprises were added. Cable television shoved forward with hot shows and performances. A few, however, were fresh faces.
Outstanding Drama Series saw most nominations for Mad Men, the smash hit about advertising. Legal and medical themes were evident, as Boston Legal, Damages, Dexter, and House got nods. Lost rounded out the pack.
The Outstanding Comedy Series category saw 30 Rock as having most votes. Two and a Half Men and The Office led primetime shows, with Entourage and Curb Your Enthusiasm finishing the group.
Bryan Cranston garnered his first Emmy nod as Oustanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series for Breaking Bad, a story of a meth maker. However, Hugh Laurie of House, James Spader of Boston Legal, and Michael C. Hall from Dexter will make him sweat. Not to mention two more. Gabriel Bryne of In Treatment and Jon Hamm of Mad Men.
Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series Tony Shaloub from Monk challenges Charlie Sheen Two and a Half Men, Alec Baldwin 30 Rock, and Steve Carell The Office. Lee Pace in Pushing Daisies was also nominated.
Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series Glenn Close Damages steps up, but Sally Field of Brothers and Sisters, Mariska Hargitay of Law and Order:Special Victims Unit, Holly Hunter from Saving Grace, and Kyra Sedgwick of The Closer will make things tough.
Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series has prior winners. Tina Fey of 30 Rock battles with Julia Louis-Dreyfuss in The New Adventures of Old Christine, Christina Applegate of Samantha Who?, America Ferrera of Ugly Betty, and Mary-Louise Parker from Weeds.
Ted Danson shares his race for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series with Zeljko Ivanek,for Damages. William Shatner tries again for Boston Legal, while John Slattery of Mad Men and Michael Emerson of Lost hope he loses.
Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series contender Jon Cryer Two and a Half Men has double trouble since Kevin Dillion and Jeremy Piven are nominated from Entourage. Rainn Wilson The Office gets to challenge Barney, played by Neil Patrick Harris in How I Met Your Mother.
Sandra Oh will go after Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series along with Chandra Wilson are nominated for Gray's Anatomy. Candice Bergen continues the Boston Legal run. Rachel Griffiths Brothers and Sisters and Dianne Wiest In Treatment round out the women.
Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series might be better known as "The Battle of The Blondes". Amy Poehler from Saturday Night Live, Jean Smart in Samantha Who?, and Kristin Chenoweth for Pushing Daisies have competition as Holland Taylor Two and a Half Men and Vanessa Williams in Ugly Betty want the top honor.
Outstanding Reality Competition Program is the usual fare.The Amazing Race, Dancing With The Stars, American Idol, Top Chef, Project Runway already know people watch. But winning is nice.
Outstanding Reality Competition Program Host is a new category. Ryan Seacrest from American Idol goes against Tom Bergeron of Dancing With The Stars, Heidi Klum with Project Runway, Howie Mandel in Deal Or No Deal. Jeff Probst for Survivor is a no-brainer.
Outstanding Reality Program goes to: Antiques Roadshow, Dirty Jobs, Extreme Makeover, Intervention, or Kathy Griffin: My Life on the D-List.
Big Name Guest Stars are numerous, even if shows are not. Outstanding Guest Actor in a Comedy Series puts Steve Buscemi, Will Arnett, Tim Conway, plus Rip Torn as nominees for 30 Rock. Shelley Berman is from Curb Your Enthusiasm.
Outstanding Guest Actress n a Comedy Series brings forth Kathryn Joosten as well as Polly Bergen working on Desperate Housewives. Elaine Stritch, Carrie Fisher, and Edie Falco want the statuette after appearing in 30 Rock. Sarah Silverman is nominated for Monk.
The Outstanding Guest Actor in a Drama Series competitors don't need the award since they are already household names. Robin Williams for Law and Order:Special Victims Unit is up against Robert Morse in Mad Men, Glynn Thurman hopes In Treatment will better Stanley Tucci ER or Oliver Platt Nip/Tuck. Charles Durning rounds out the list with Rescue Me.
Outstanding Guest Actress in a Drama Series include Ellen Burstyn for Big Love, with Diahann Carroll portraying Burke's mom in Gray's Anatomy. Sharon Gless was chosen for Nip/Tuck. Anjelica Huston played a psychic in Medium. Cynthia Nixon took a dramatic turn during Law and Order:Special Victims Unit.
What's the difference this year? One word: cable. I'm not talking about standard channels, although House is a contender. Showtime has both programs and lead actors nominated. HBO could potentially take home Emmys, but only for one show. The acting nods are for supporting cast members. Controversy also helped send forth nods. Think about it: a drug dealer, a serial killer, interracial dating, therapy for those with screwed up lives. Even sex crimes made the list. With categories spread out a bit, the chances increase for a more even handed distribution.
Who's takes home gold? Tune in Sept. 21st on ABC to find out!
Also printed on Blogcritics.