The 10 Biggest Emmy Snubs of 2010

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CHICAGO – The 62nd-annual Emmy Award nominations took our advice and openly embraced several of the best new shows and performances of the last year. This resulted in what could be considered the best list of choices that the often-criticized group has yet produced. Of course, no one’s perfect.

Before we get to who missed out, it seems appropriate to acknowledge a few of the more inspired, unexpected choices (nominees like Bryan Cranston and Steve Carell are, of course, deserving, but also predictable) — Kyle Chandler and Connie Britton for “Friday Night Lights,” Matthew Fox’s first nomination for “Lost,” January Jones’ first nomination for “Mad Men,” Juliana Margulies for “The Good Wife,” Edie Falco for “Nurse Jackie,” and five-sixths of the adult cast of “Modern Family” (sorry Ed O’Neill).

Now that doesn’t mean that a few people weren’t totally screwed. Good choices for WINNERS weren’t even nominated. They missed some biggies. And it’s time to name names.

10. Courteney Cox for “Cougar Town”

Courteney Cox
Courteney Cox
Photo credit: ABC

We’re no huge fans of “Cougar Town,” but Courteney Cox had definitely become one of the stronger Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy candidates by the end of the improving first season and this ABC show could use some love (and probably a title change) if it hopes to find an audience in its sophomore outing. Cox is certainly more deserving than Julia Louis-Dreyfus of the tired-and-thankfully-canceled “The New Adventures of Old Christine” and probably an even better choice than Lea Michele or Amy Poehler (although we’re not complaining about honoring those two talented ladies). The reason we include Cox is that it feels like the Academy has something against Mrs. David Arquette and that’s just not cool. Impress your friends with this sad piece of trivia — Cox was the only lead cast member on “Friends” NOT to ever score an Emmy or Golden Globe nomination. Not even once. When the HFPA gave her a nod for “Cougar Town,” it felt like the Academy might follow suit. Maybe next year.

9. “Survivor”

Photo credit: CBS

The last two seasons of “Survivor” were among the series best and the last installment — “Heroes vs. Villains” — brought the show back to a pop culture status that it hadn’t enjoyed in years. As “Survivor” was proving that it has enough life in it to air successfully for at least another decade, some other reality TV icons were fading, most notably “Project Runway” and “American Idol,” neither of which are anywhere near their peak but both of which were chosen for Outstanding Reality Competition Program over “Survivor.” We get that “Dancing With the Stars” is inexplicably huge and “The Amazing Race” and “Top Chef” are arguably the two best reality shows on television, but it’s baffling that anyone thinks “AI” or “Runway” had better seasons than one of the best of “Survivor.” Heck, even “Big Brother” would have been a better choice.

8. Tate Donovan for “Damages”

Tate Donovan
Tate Donovan
Photo credit: FX

“Damages” had a hit-and-miss season and the Academy wisely recognized that there were at least six better shows on television, excluding it from Best Outstanding Dramatic Series for the first time in its history. But they still spread the wealth a bit among the cast, nominating Glenn Close, Martin Short, Rose Byrne, and Ted Danson for individual acting awards. The sad thing is that one of the most consistent actors on the show has never been nominated and, SPOILER ALERT, now will never hear his name on Emmy morning. In many ways, the entire third season was about Tate Donovan’s character, a man who got personally caught up in the biggest case of his life and paid the price. Donovan didn’t give nearly as flashy a performance as those who were nominated but it was just as good and, in some cases, better.

7. “Treme”

Photo credit: HBO

Does anyone else have that deja vu feeling? For years, critics proclaimed “The Wire” the best thing in the history of television and the Academy treated it without about as much respect as “According to Jim.” Now, Creator David Simon is back with a show that’s earned nearly the same level of critical acclaim and the Academy ignored the writing, acting, and technical achievements of the show, citing it only two categories for Aginezka Holland’s direction of the premiere and Steve Earle’s theme song. Why was “Treme” as nominated as “Stargate Universe” (another dual nominee)? Part of the problem is probably due to the fact that the first season of this excellent drama straddles the line of Emmy eligibility. Emmys are given for TV years that run from June to May, so only just over half of the first season of “Treme” was eligible. But that should have been enough for one nomination in the writing categories or for one of the very strong supporting players like Khandi Alexander, Steve Zahn, or Melissa Leo to garner attention. HBO — next year, put the whole season in one Emmy eligibility season. David Simon shows need all the help they can get.

6. Ginnifer Goodwin for “Big Love”

Ginnifer Goodwin
Ginnifer Goodwin
Photo credit: HBO

“Big Love” peaked with its third season, which scored nominations in multiple categories, including Outstanding Dramatic Series. Season four was something of a disaster as scheduling conflicts forced the writers to cram an entire season into a truncated episode count. It made for an almost laughable pace in which every scene was a revelation or a conflict. Through all of that, Ginnifer Goodwin had her best season to date. She completely sold the arc of a young woman spreading her wings for the first time as her character became one of the most financially successful of her unusual clan. And the honesty with which she performed a very subtle arc involving affection she felt for what is essentially her stepson was remarkable. To be honest, without Goodwin, this season would have been sometimes unbearable. She was the bright light that made it merely forgettable.

Mick's picture

At least Steve Carell is in...

Steve Carell is on fire! His movies are making money and are consistently good. Is there any other comedy actor that can say that right now? Hit TV show, two major movies in July, and it keeps going and going.

Top 4 Steve Carell movies:—top…

How can you argue with his track record?

Lilienne's picture

Where is Nestor Carbonell

Where is Nestor Carbonell (Richard Alpert in Lost)???
Wasn’t he one of the Biggest Emmy Snubs of 2010???

Anonymous's picture

Characters from Lost

… can get lost. I stopped watching when they started bringing all the weirdos on board. I watched to see what happened to the characters from the original plane crash, when they stopped focussing on them I lost interest, Maybe they should have nominated Nestor’s eyes for outstanding character in a _____. They took over every scene he was in.

Lilienne's picture

It was so much more than his

It was so much more than his eyes, I forgot all about his eyes (and they’re not easy to forget! :D) Carbonell gave a brilliant, heartbreaking performace in Richard-centric “Ab aeterno”, worthy of a win, not just a nomination.

Anonymous's picture

Not "Justified"

…. and Raylan Givens would be Justified in kicking ***. After becoming a fan of TO this season I have watched almost everything he has done from unknown appearances like Sarah Jessica Parker’s pickup in Sex and the City to Live Free Die Hard. He has grown as an actor and has the ability to totally pull you into the storyline. The last scene in Justified episode 13 where he points the gun at Walton Goggins and makes the noise of it shooting gives so much insight the relationship. At the start of the series we thought the marshall was trigger happy, turns out he only shoots when necessary.
Love the show, love Timothy!!

Anonymous's picture

What about parenthood?! that

What about parenthood?! that entire cast is great and yet, no nominations?! seriously?! urgh

Jessica's picture

Justified - best new show of 2010

DH and I rarely love the same show because we have differing tastes, but we have watched every single episode of Justified and we considered it the best show this year. The colorful characters, the spicy yet insightful dialogue, the deceptively simple plot, the ensemble cast, in this Elmore Leonardesque saga, everything was top notch and delectable like sipping a tall cool southern drink with a hot side of chicken wings. There was humor, there was sex, there was love, blood and gore, there was human frailty and family betrayal and blood loyalty, there was falling and redemption, Boo to the Emmy for snubbing this show!

Anonymous's picture

The fall 2009 and spring

The fall 2009 and spring 2010 seasons of “The Amazing Race” were two of the worst seasons.

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