The Emmy nomination ballot submissions were revealed today, shortly after online voting became available to television academy members. As per usual, the submissions were filled with some shocking omissions and some surprising category placements.
On the drama side, The Good Wife, for example, submitted ‘A Weird Year,’ ‘Dramatics, Your Honor’ and ‘The Decision Tree’ in Directing and only ‘The Last Call’ in Writing, leaving out its most lauded episode of the year, ‘Hitting the Fan.’ Perennial nominee Michael J. Fox was also not submitted and for a show that was being heralded as ripe for an Emmy comeback just weeks ago looks hobbled at best now. True Detective only submitted single episodes in Directing and Writing (‘Who Goes There’ and “The Secret Fate of All Life,’ respectively), but since the entire season was written and directed by the same people (Nic Pizzolatto and Cary Fukunaga, respectively) they’re only allowed to submit one apiece. More strategically, Downton Abbey continued its very successful pattern of submitting single episodes in both categories to ensure nominations, a scheme that’s worked both times so far. The Americans, on the opposite end of the spectrum, submitted nearly every episode in both writing and directing. For the sophomore season of the FX show it is likely going to be a costly mistake. It only netted nominations last year for it’s Main Title Design and for Guest Actress and previous Emmy winner, Margo Martindale, who was submitted again this year. Newbie Masters of Sex submitted four episodes in Directing and three in Writing, possibly a smart strategy for the Showtime program. Former Emmy champ and four-time Best Drama Series winner Mad Men submitted all seven episodes for Writing and five in Directing. For a show that saw a downturn in praise this year and a brutal 17-0 shutout at the Emmys last year, it doesn’t seem like the best plan for them. Conversely, last year’s Drama Series winner, Breaking Bad, submitted most everything from their final season but that will likely do very well for the extremely popular show.
Over in Comedy, recent Golden Globe winner Brooklyn Nine-Nine heavily submitted in Directing and Writing but first season pilots tend to do well at the Emmys (see Malcolm in the Middle, Ugly Betty, Glee). Speaking of Glee, that ratings-crippled show submitted its Paris Barclay-directed 100th episode and stands a chance at being a spoiler in this category even though most everyone has written off the former awards champ. The other high profile newcomer, Orange is the New Black, is expected to make a huge dent in the Emmy nominations with eligibility in multiple categories and coming from Emmy winner Jenji Kohan. With nominations likely in Comedy Series, Directing, Writing and Lead Actress and chances in Supporting Actress and Guest Actress, the Netflix original show could end up putting out some of the fire from HBO’s Girls this year. Louis C.K., however, should still reap multiple nominations for his show, Louie and himself, most notably for the most talked about episode of comedy last season, ‘So Did the Fat Lady.’ That episode should also see a very likely nomination in guest actress Sarah Baker. After being snubbed in the Writing category last year, HBO’s Veep chose to submit just a single episode in Writing, ‘The Special Relationship.’ Even in a tight category it should be able to see that strategy pay off.
For full submission lists head over the Emmy website. Join the Emmy nomination prediction conversation in the forums, follow the Awardwatch Emmy Experts and their predictions and keep your ears open for a new Emmy podcast next weekend.