2014 Primetime Emmy Nominations: Drama

emmy Yesterday, the nominations for the 66th Primetime Emmys were announced. It should come as no surprise that I love television and watch an embarrassing number of TV shows every week. I also love the glitz and glam of a televised awards show. So an awards show honoring the best in primetime television seems tailor made for my interests.

Lately, however, I have been perpetually frustrated by the Emmys, the highest American award for excellence in television. The awards show itself is still fun to watch, but there is almost something stagnant and, perhaps, even short-cited, about the nominations. To a certain extent, this is understandable. It simply isn’t possible to recognize all of the talented individuals who create, write, direct and act in television shows. But there do seem to be some definite biases in the Emmy nominations each year.

Cable television shows, which have fewer restrictions in terms of content, are far more likely to receive nominations than network shows, particularly in the drama categories. This year, of the six shows nominated for Outstanding Drama Series, only one, Downton Abbey, airs on network television. This is a complete change from just ten years ago, when four of the five shows nominated for Outstanding Drama Series were on network channels. Now, with online streaming companies like Netflix producing their own shows, the competition is even fiercer for network and cable staples looking for accolades.

And what about TV shows with roots in the science fiction or fantasy genres? Game of Thrones, the highly popular epic fantasy airing on HBO, remains the lone anomaly here, but despite its popularity, it is unlikely to ever win the statue for Outstanding Drama Series. Arguably one of the most shocking omissions in this year’s nominees is Tatiana Maslany, the star of the popular BBCA show Orphan Black. In this show, Maslany plays multiple clones so well, that it is easy to forget all the characters are brought to life by one woman. When she was left off the nominees list last year, there was a modest uproar. This year, her continued absence from the list has brought about an Internet revolt.

Despite my issues, I am still excited to see how the Emmys play out this year. Will television newcomer Matthew McConaughey, fresh from an Academy Award win, beat Bryan Cranston, nominated for his final season on Breaking Bad, in the Lead Actor category? Will Peter Dinklage, who gave some of his best performances on this season of Game of Thrones, take home the statue, or will there be a Breaking Bad sweep?

Below, I have listed all the nominees in the Drama categories. Let me know your thoughts in the comments!

Outstanding Drama Series:

Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series

Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series:

Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series

Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series

The 66th Primetime Emmy Awards air Monday, August 25 at 7pm on NBC. Keep your fingers crossed for your favorites!

Stay tuned for a discussion of the nominees in the comedy categories!

Flickr CC: Emmy Award Photo by: Hans Splinter