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Emmys 2015 Snubs and Surprises: No Empire, But Tatiana Maslany Finally Gets Her Due!

Emmy snubs and surprises
From Empire's lack of recognition to Orphan Black's Tatiana Maslany finally getting her due, the biggest snubs and surprises of the 2015 Emmy nominations.

New faces! The list of nominees for the 67th Emmy Awards has been released, and — surprisingly! — it’s full of many new names. Typically, the Television Academy sticks to the familiar and nominates plenty of the same shows and actors that were recognized the year prior, leaving just a few slots open for newcomers. But 2015’s list of Emmy nominees, however, actually excluded several perennial favorites (no The Big Bang Theory?!).

But despite the fact that the Academy finally recognized the brilliance of Tatiana Maslany playing 10 different roles on Orphan Black, some of the year’s biggest new shows barely got recognized. Here, a list of some of the biggest snubs — and the surprises — of the 2015 Emmy nominations.

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Snub: Empire and How to Get Away With Murder

Two of the buzziest, highest-rated shows of the TV season earned nominations for their leading ladies, but nothing in the Outstanding Drama Series category. It’s a victory that both Viola Davis (HTGAWM) and Taraji P. Henson (Empire) lead a talented field of women in the Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series category, but come on: Empire didn’t even get a nod for its original songs — tunes that are so catchy they’re played on contemporary radio and have been performed on multiple award shows this year? Big mistake. Huge.

Surprise: Fresh Meat

Finally. That sound you may have heard as the Emmy nominations were being announced on July 16 was the Internet roaring with excitement over Maslany’s long-overdue nomination for her role on the BBC America sci-fi drama. What role, you ask? Oh, you know, just the eight-plus different clones she plays on a regular basis. Take that, Meryl Streep! But Maslany wasn’t the only newcomer to the nominations list. Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt star Tituss Burgess (“PEENO NOIRRRR!”) earned a nod for his role as Titus Andromedon. Comedienne of the hour Amy Schumer finally got noticed for her Comedy Central series, Inside Amy Schumer, after three seasons. Plus, Keegan-Michael Key and Niecy Nash got recognized for their work on Key & Peele and Getting On, respectively.

Gina Rodriguez in Jane The Virgin
Gina Rodriguez in Jane The Virgin.

Snub: Gina Rodriguez and Jane the Virgin

Ay dios mio! After the critically acclaimed, telenovela-inspired comedy earned both a Golden Globe nomination for the series and a win for star Gina Rodriguez back in January, the CW hit didn’t land a single Emmy nom. If accidental insemination of a virgin is possible, why isn’t the appreciation of the Television Academy?

Surprise: No Girls

After multiple nominations for Lena Dunham and Girls in years past, the show was recognized in just two categories in 2015: Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series (Adam Driver) and Outstanding Guest Actress in a Comedy Series (Gaby Hoffmann). Nothing for writing, directing, or anything else. Is Girls‘ heyday over?

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Snub: The Americans

Soviet spy drama The Americans is one of the most tense, well-acted dramas on television, yet another year has gone by with no recognition for the series as a whole, or either superb lead (Keri Russell and Matthew Rhys). At least the fantastic Margo Martindale was recognized for her guest turn, along with a writing nomination for a particularly excellent episode.

Surprise: So Much American Horror Story: Freak Show

Ryan Murphy‘s FX horror anthology is a beautifully creepy show with an outstanding cast — but not many would consider the most recent season to be its best. Why, then, did it earn the series’ most Emmy nominations yet?

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Snub: Jim Parsons and The Big Bang Theory

Not that we don’t love breaking the monotony of tradition, but Leonard Hofstadter and his group of nerdy pals would all agree that The Big Bang Theory and its star Parsons were destined for some Emmy recognition this year. After all, the ratings hit has taken home seven total Emmys over the years, including four for Parsons’ Sheldon Cooper. Belated Bazinga.

Surprise: Downton Abbey, Again?!

Downton Abbey is still a fine drama, but is it better than breakout hits Empire or How to Get Away With Murder? With the amount of truly excellent television out there, it’s a shame to stick with an old standby that’s still trucking along though not outstanding anymore, rather than recognize something that’s new and refreshing.

Downton Abbey
Allen Leech as Tom Branson, Tom Cullen as Lord Gillingham, and Michelle Dockery as Lady Mary in Downton Abbey.

Snub: Scandal and The Good Wife

Two dramas that have been up for awards in the past weren’t recognized in the Outstanding Drama Series category at all — and their leading ladies were shut out too. Legal drama The Good Wife landed supporting nods for Alan Cumming and Christine Baranski and a guest nod for Michael J. Fox, while political soap Scandal‘s lone nomination in 2015 is for guest star Khandi Alexander. Sure, both shows suffered creatively in the 2014-2015 season, but are Scandal and TGW in a bad year worse than what feels like Season 8 million of Downton Abbey?

Surprise: Glee‘s Decline

With six Emmy wins and a total of 34 previous nominations, Glee proved to be extremely underwhelming in its final season. The beloved Fox musical series ended its run with a solitary nomination for the song “This Time,” which was written by star Darren Criss for lead actress Lea Michele. Granted the show’s storylines and ratings definitely fizzled in the last few seasons, but it was still a shock to see how far it fell.

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Snub: Emmy Rossum

Shameless, the hour-long Showtime dramedy about a poor Chicago family struggling to make ends meet, had better luck with the Emmys once it moved to the comedy category in 2014. But while William H. Macy got a second nod (and Joan Cusack landed another for her guest role), stunning star Rossum was shut out once again.

Surprise: Grace of Monaco

This Nicole Kidman-starring Grace Kelly biopic was so bad that people booed it at Cannes and it wound up making its U.S. debut as a Lifetime movie — but sure, give it an Outstanding Television Movie nomination anyway. A movie star was in it!

Snub: Parenthood and Sons of Anarchy

These two totally opposite shows celebrated their acclaimed final seasons this year. Parenthood had previously only scored one minor Emmy nomination in 2012 for Jason Ritter’s performance as Mark Cyr (umm, clearly they didn’t watch the season where Kristina battled cancer, ‘cause damn). And the FX biker series had two nominations, in 2014 and 2009, both involving the show’s music. You’d think the Academy could throw them a bone, at last commemorating their six and seven seasons (respectively) of hard work.

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Surprise: Nothing for The Leftovers

HBO’s drama, based on the novel by Tom Perrotta about life after a worldwide event that saw millions of people simply disappear, seemed tailor-made for awards season. Yet the show took such a sharp turn that it’s being completely creatively revamped for Season 2. Still, no recognition for any of the amazing acting?

Snub: Broad City

The Television Academy got so much right as far as recognizing new voices in comedy — Amy Schumer and Inside Amy Schumer, Keegan Michael-Key and Key & Peele, Drunk History — that its oversight of one of the best new comedies of recent years (that only got better in Season 2!) is disappointing.

Tell Us: What nomination were you most surprised by? Which was the most egregious snub?

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