The 2010 Emmy Nominations: Who's In, Who's Out?

  • Publish Date: July 8, 2010
  • Comments: ↓ 28 user comments

The second-most important announcement today

Shows with Most Nominations
1 The Pacific (HBO) 24 noms
2 Glee (Fox) 19 noms
3 Mad Men (AMC) 17 noms
4 30 Rock (NBC) 15 noms
  Temple Grandin (HBO) 15 noms
  You Don't Know Jack (HBO) 15 noms

Well, it's not the name of LeBron James' next team, but it's something. Early Thursday morning, the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences announced the nominees for the 62nd Primetime Emmy Awards. Leading the pack -- again -- was HBO, with a total of 101 nominations, thanks in large part to its WWII miniseries The Pacific, which topped all programming with a whopping 24 nominations. ABC placed first among the broadcast networks with 63 total nominations; last year, NBC was the leading nominee with 67.

Fox's freshman musical series Glee led all regular series with 19 nominations, followed by AMC's third-year drama Mad Men, which actually added one nomination to its already impressive total from last year. In 2009, by comparison, 30 Rock led all programs with 22 nominations, followed by HBO's Grey Gardens (17) and AMC's Mad Men (16). Each of those programs ultimately won multiple awards.

Glee was not the only first-year series to impress Academy voters; ABC's hit new comedy Modern Family also collected 14 nominations -- including many in various acting categories -- while the CBS drama The Good Wife added another nine and Showtime's Nurse Jackie was nominated eight times. (Yes, the latter program just aired its second season, but the nominations were for last year's first season.) However, some critically-acclaimed first-year shows weren't so lucky: HBO's Treme (2 nominations), FX's Justified (1 nomination), and NBC's Community (0 nominations) were virtually ignored by Academy voters.

Listed below are this year's nominees in every major category.

The nominations: Best series and specials

Outstanding Comedy Series
Nominee Network   Nominee Network
30 Rock NBC   Modern Family * ABC
Curb Your Enthusiasm HBO   Nurse Jackie * Showtime
Glee * FOX   The Office NBC

* First-time nominee

Many experts correctly predicted that first-year series Modern Family and Glee would break into this club, to which 30 Rock (the winner in three consecutive years), Curb Your Enthusiasm, and The Office are no strangers. The one surprise is Showtime's Edie Falco dramedy Nurse Jackie, which earned a nod ahead of shows like Parks and Recreation, The Big Bang Theory, How I Met Your Mother, and fellow Showtime comedy Weeds, which was nominated last year.

Outstanding Drama Series
Nominee Network   Nominee Network
Breaking Bad AMC   Lost ABC
Dexter Showtime   Mad Men AMC
The Good Wife * CBS   True Blood * HBO

* First-time nominee

For the second consecutive year, cable network AMC placed two shows (Breaking Bad and Mad Men) in this category; the latter won the Outstanding Drama Series Emmy in each of the last two years, and has now earned a total of 49 nominations over its three seasons. The final season of Lost netted the drama a dozen nominations, matching its high-water mark established in its debut season, when it won this category. Dexter was also anticipated to be here -- as was CBS's freshman drama The Good Wife -- but HBO's second-year vampire drama True Blood is the closest this group has to a surprise. Shut out here was Fox's House (nominated in each of the four previous seasons) and the likely final season of FX's legal drama Damages, which could not secure its third consecutive nomination in this category.

Outstanding Variety, Music or Comedy Series
Nominee Network   Nominee Network
The Colbert Report Comedy Central   Saturday Night Live NBC
The Daily Show with Jon Stewart Comedy Central   The Tonight Show with Conan O'Brien NBC
Real Time with Bill Maher HBO      

Yes, that nomination for NBC's late-night talk show does say "... with Conan O'Brien," and wouldn't the comedian love to have that trophy sitting on the set of his new TBS show when it debuts this fall. Comedy Central's late-night twin bill has been here before: it is The Colbert Report's fifth consecutive nomination, and The Daily Show's 10th, and the latter program will be going for its eighth straight victory. However, Saturday Night Live seems to win here every 17 years; the sketch program took home Emmys in 1976 and 1993, so perhaps another win in 2010 is possible. (Well, maybe not, but with this year's nominations, SNL has passed medical drama ER to become the most nominated show in television history with 126.)

Outstanding Variety, Music or Comedy Special
Nominee Network   Nominee Network
Bill Maher "...But I'm Not Wrong" HBO   Robin Williams: Weapons Of Self Destruction HBO
Hope For Haiti Now Various   The 25th Anniversary Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame Concert HBO
The Kennedy Center Honors CBS   Wanda Sykes: I'ma Be Me HBO
Outstanding Made For Television Movie
Nominee Network   Nominee Network
Endgame PBS   The Special Relationship HBO
Georgia O'Keeffe Lifetime   Temple Grandin HBO
Moonshot History Channel   You Don't Know Jack HBO
Outstanding Miniseries
Nominee Network   Nominee Network
The Pacific HBO   Return to Cranford PBS

HBO typically dominates these categories -- especially since the major networks all but abandoned the miniseries and movie formats -- and this year was no exception. This is only the second time there have been just two nominees in the miniseries category; the previous such occurrence was last year, when PBS's Little Dorrit defeated HBO's Generation Kill. Don't expect a repeat of that triumph for PBS this year. A win in the movie category for HBO is also likely; the last time the cable network failed to win the made-for-TV movie Emmy was 2003.

Outstanding Reality Program
Nominee Network   Nominee Network
Antiques Roadshow PBS   Kathy Griffin: My Life On The D-List Bravo
Dirty Jobs Discovery   MythBusters Discovery
Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution ABC   Undercover Boss CBS

CBS' surprise first-year hit Undercover Boss and Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution are the two newcomers here, while last year's winner, Intervention, was not nominated. Kathy Griffin's show has won twice before (in 2007 and 2008).

Outstanding Reality Competition Program
Nominee Network   Nominee Network
The Amazing Race CBS   Project Runway Lifetime
American Idol FOX   Top Chef Bravo
Dancing With The Stars ABC      

Sure, The Amazing Race has won this category in each of the past seven years, but maybe this year will be different. Then again, maybe not: all five nominees are identical to last year's group. And 2008's. And 2007's.

Outstanding Animated Program
Nominee Network   Nominee Network
Alien Earths NGC   The Simpsons FOX
Disney Prep & Landing ABC   South Park Comedy Central
The Ricky Gervais Show HBO      

Since 2005, South Park and The Simpsons have traded off winning this award; if the pattern holds, it will be The Simpsons this year. Note that the Academy also gives out an award for short-form animation; the nominees this year include Robot Chicken and several children's shows.

The nominations: Acting and hosting

Lead Actor in a Comedy Series
Nominee Show   Nominee Show
Alec Baldwin 30 Rock   Matthew Morrison Glee
Steve Carell The Office   Jim Parsons The Big Bang Theory
Larry David Curb Your Enthusiasm   Tony Shalhoub Monk

There is just one newcomer here -- Matthew Morrison, from Fox's Glee -- though his inclusion is not a surprise. Baldwin, of course, has won this award in each of the past two years, and the remaining actors have each appeared here many times over the past decade, with the exception of Parsons, still a relative newcomer who earned his first nomination just last year. David's nomination is his 21st overall, but just his 4th as an actor. Who is out this year? Two and a Half Men's Charlie Sheen, who was nominated in each of the past four seasons.

Lead Actress in a Comedy Series
Nominee Show   Nominee Show
Toni Collette United States of Tara   Julia Louis-Dreyfus The New Adventures of Old Christine
Edie Falco Nurse Jackie   Lea Michele Glee
Tina Fey 30 Rock   Amy Poehler Parks and Recreation

It might be Falco's first nomination as a lead in a comedy series, but it certainly isn't her first chance at an Emmy; the versatile actress was nominated six times (and won three times) for her work on The Sopranos, and also received a nomination in 2008 for a guest appearance on 30 Rock. Also new to this category are Amy Poehler (nominated twice before as a supporting actress for SNL) and Lea Michele (her very first nomination), while the other three nominees are returning. Collette won last year, Fey, the year before, and Louis-Dreyfus, in 2006, so expect this to be one of the most competitive categories this year. Left out were Mary-Louise Parker of Weeds (who was nominated each of the previous three years) and Golden Globe nominee Courtney Cox of Cougar Town (who also failed to earn any nominations while on Friends).

Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series
Nominee Show   Nominee Show
Ty Burrell Modern Family   Jesse Tyler Ferguson Modern Family
Chris Colfer Glee   Neil Patrick Harris How I Met Your Mother
Jon Cryer Two and a Half Men   Eric Stonestreet Modern Family

The only Modern Family adult cast member not to earn a nomination this year? Ed O’Neill. Still, the first-year sitcom accounts for half of this category, with Glee's Chris Colfer adding yet another fresh face to the group as the most unexpected nominee. Who is missing? Unlike in recent years, there's no Jeremy Piven or Kevin Dillon from Entourage, no Rainn Wilson from The Office, and nobody from 30 Rock. Out of the two returning actors, Cryer won last year, and Harris has now been nominated in four consecutive seasons.

Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series
Nominee Show   Nominee Show
Julie Bowen Modern Family   Holland Taylor Two and a Half Men
Jane Lynch Glee   Sofia Vergara Modern Family
Jane Krakowski 30 Rock   Kristen Wiig Saturday Night Live

Two more Modern Family regulars join fan favorite Jane Lynch as first-time nominees in this group. The remaining actresses have each been here before at least once, but none of them have won before -- meaning that this category is up for grabs.

Lead Actor in a Drama Series
Nominee Show   Nominee Show
Kyle Chandler Friday Night Lights   Michael C. Hall Dexter
Bryan Cranston Breaking Bad   Jon Hamm Mad Men
Matthew Fox Lost   Hugh Laurie House

Cranston won this award in each of the past two seasons, and with Breaking Bad growing in acclaim and ratings this year, he could collect the trophy again. Hall, Hamm, and Laurie are also regulars in this category, but Matthew Fox had never been nominated before; in fact, no actor from Lost was ever nominated in this category until this final season. Chandler's nomination is also his first. Out is The Mentalist's Simon Baker, who was nominated last year.

Lead Actress in a Drama Series
Nominee Show   Nominee Show
Connie Britton Friday Night Lights   January Jones Mad Men
Glenn Close Damages   Julianna Margulies The Good Wife
Mariska Hargitay Law & Order: SVU   Kyra Sedgwick The Closer

Close -- a winner in each of the past two years -- was widely expected to repeat as a nominee, while Golden Globe winner Margulies was also considered a lock for her oft-praised performance in the freshman series The Good Wife. While there weren't many surprises among the other nominees (especially Hargitay and Sedgwick, who are here every year), the first-time nomination for Friday Night Lights' Britton counts as one. She's replacing Sally Field, who was nominated in the previous two years for Brothers & Sisters.

Supporting Actor in a Drama Series
Nominee Show   Nominee Show
Andre Braugher Men of a Certain Age   Aaron Paul Breaking Bad
Michael Emerson Lost   Martin Short Damages
Terry O'Quinn Lost   John Slattery Mad Men

Any Emmy nomination for Andre Braugher is a good thing, but consider him a longshot against the sentimental favorites from Lost's final season. Emerson won the award last year, but had much less screen time this season, perhaps allowing an opening for the Academy to recognize the best performance of the bunch in Aaron Paul's work on Breaking Bad. O'Quinn won in 2007; Slattery was also nominated in Mad Men's first two seasons. Martin Short actually turned in a fine, against-type performance as a shady lawyer on Damages, but, like Paul, needs to overcome the fact that fewer people have seen his show.

Supporting Actress in a Drama Series
Nominee Show   Nominee Show
Christine Baranski The Good Wife   Christina Hendricks Mad Men
Rose Byrne Damages   Elisabeth Moss Mad Men
Sharon Gless Burn Notice   Archie Panjabi The Good Wife

Of the group, only Byrne was also nominated last year (oft-nominated Grey's Anatomy co-stars Sandra Oh and Chandra Wilson are among the omissions this year), though both Baranski and Gless have multiple nominations from prior TV work. It's the first nomination for Baranski's Good Wife co-star Panjabi and Mad Men's Hendricks, while fellow Mad woman Moss was nominated as a lead actress last year.

Lead Actor in a Miniseries or Movie
Nominee Show   Nominee Show
Jeff Bridges A Dog Year   Dennis Quaid The Special Relationship
Ian McKellen The Prisoner   Michael Sheen The Special Relationship
Al Pacino You Don't Know Jack      

There's no shortage of star power here, but three of the actors are actually first-time Emmy nominees; only McKellen (5 total nominations) and Pacino (2 nominations, 1 win for Angels in America) had prior recognition for their TV work.

Lead Actress in a Miniseries or Movie
Nominee Show   Nominee Show
Joan Allen Georgia O'Keeffe   Judi Dench Return to Cranford
Claire Danes Temple Grandin   Maggie Smith Capturing Mary
Hope Davis The Special Relationship      

All five actresses here are returning nominees, but only Maggie Smith has ever won an Emmy.

Supporting Actor in a Miniseries or Movie
Nominee Show   Nominee Show
Michael Gambon Emma   Patrick Stewart Hamlet
John Goodman You Don't Know Jack   David Strathairn Temple Grandin
Jonathan Pryce Return to Cranford      
Supporting Actress in a Miniseries or Movie
Nominee Show   Nominee Show
Kathy Bates Alice   Susan Sarandon You Don't Know Jack
Catherine O'Hara Temple Grandin   Brenda Vaccaro You Don't Know Jack
Julia Ormond Temple Grandin      
Guest Actor in a Comedy Series
Nominee Show   Nominee Show
Will Arnett 30 Rock   Mike O'Malley Glee
Jon Hamm 30 Rock   Eli Wallach Nurse Jackie
Neil Patrick Harris Glee   Fred Willard Modern Family

Both Harris and Hamm are two-time nominees this year.

Guest Actress in a Comedy Series
Nominee Show   Nominee Show
Christine Baranski The Big Bang Theory   Jane Lynch Two and a Half Men
Kristin Chenoweth Glee   Elaine Stritch 30 Rock
Tina Fey Saturday Night Live   Betty White Saturday Night Live
Kathryn Joosten Desperate Housewives      

Perhaps the Academy is hoping that some of that Betty White magic will boost its ratings for this year's Emmy ceremony, but it certainly isn't her first time being nominated; her recent SNL hosting gig earned White her 16th career nomination. Baranski, Lynch, and Fey are also two-time nominees this year.

Guest Actor in a Drama Series
Nominee Show   Nominee Show
Dylan Baker The Good Wife   Gregory Itzin 24
Beau Bridges The Closer   John Lithgow Dexter
Alan Cumming The Good Wife   Robert Morse Mad Men
Ted Danson Damages      

Though he was as close to a sure thing as any nominee in any category, it seems almost unfair to have Lithgow here rather than in the supporting actor category; his character was an integral part of the past season of Dexter, and he had far more screen time than any of his fellow nominees.

Guest Actress in a Drama Series
Nominee Show   Nominee Show
Shirley Jones The Cleaner   Mary Kay Place Big Love
Ann-Margret Law & Order: SVU   Sissy Spacek Big Love
Elizabeth Mitchell Lost   Lily Tomlin Damages

While the HBO drama Big Love is often heralded for its talented actors, the show has never received a single Emmy acting nomination outside of this category.

Outstanding Host for a Reality or Reality-Competition Program
Nominee Show   Nominee Show
Tom Bergeron Dancing with the Stars   Jeff Probst Survivor
Phil Keoghan The Amazing Race   Ryan Seacrest American Idol
Heidi Klum Project Runway      

It's just the third year that the Academy has recognized reality show hosts; Probst is the only person to ever win the award (though his show, Survivor, is not itself nominated this year).

More Emmy coverage

The Emmy Awards have no shortage of categories and nominations -- so much so that we can't list them all here. To get a full list of the 2010 nominees, visit the official Emmy website. Over the next few months, we'll determine the expected winners in the major categories by sampling a variety of experts -- but not before we ask you to offer your own predictions. And then, next month, the big night arrives: the 62nd Primetime Emmy Awards ceremony, hosted by Jimmy Fallon, will air live (including on the West Coast for the first time in over three decades) on NBC on Sunday, August 29th at 8:00p (5:00p PT).

What are TV critics saying about the nominations? Here is some early analysis:

What do you think of the nominations? Let us know in the comments section below.

We're sorry, but comments are closed for this article.

Comments (28)

  • Gabro  

    The Big Bang Theory for best comedy??? american idiots!!! Jim Parsons!!!
    Julian Margulales really deserve win!
    LOST deserve win all!!!!!!!! LOST the best ever!!!

  • Deb  

    Unbelievable... no nomination for Holly Hunter (Saving Grace)

  • Bob  

    Lost will definitely win the best score, and I think it has a good chance to beat out mad men which is just not nearly as good. I also think Matthew Fox really deserves a nod for absolute amazing performance. I actually felt that his acting made the redemption of Jack so much more powerful. Being Lost's last season, we may see that show getting a lot more nods. Chances are that Emerson or Quinn will take home the supporting actor. I honestly do not know about best writing for an episode though. Josh Holloway should have deserved a nod also. Maybe putting 3 actors into one category from the same show would be unfair, but his acting was phenomenal this season.

  • Chad S.  

    I think you have to give Lauren Graham an Emmy nod("Parenthood" as an apology for inexplicably being shut out year after year as the cool mom on "Gilmore Girls". A mom who loves XTC. I like "Community" better than "Glee". I also think that Best Animated Program is too restricting for the brilliant "South Park", although the show offended me for the first time ever when they cruelly attacked Sarah Jessica Parker.

  • Daniel Landon  

    Am I the only one that's thinking of "GREEK"?

  • Patrick  

    Also, I still fail to understand the Mad Men praise. I watch it, and watch it, but it is just mostly a boring, overrated snooze-fest, sorry to anyone who loves the show. It has it's good parts, but for about 85% of the time it is quite a bore.

  • Patrick  

    So many actors and shows got snubbed this year. Hate the Emmys sometimes! They can seem so biased!

  • Giovanni  

    My full support to Bryan Cranston and Aaron Paul, for once I'd like to see Aaron win, not only does he deserve the nomination, he deserves the win. screw 30 Rock

  • Kyle T.  

    I just want to point out that I am pretty sure The Ricky Gervais Show is not animated, that may be one of your only mistakes. I loved The Pacific and glad everyone else enjoyed it also.

  • Anthony  

    Can't believe Chuck isn't on this list. At the very least it deserves a nomination for one of it's many great supporting actors.

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