Snubs and Surprises at the 2023 Emmy Nominations

From a New York Times story by Mike Hale headlined “Emmy Snubs and Surprises: ‘Jury Duty’ in. ‘Yellowstone Still Out”:

With minor exceptions, the major categories were filled in the expected ways when the 2023 Primetime Emmys nominations were announced on Wednesday. Some surprises cropped up further down the page, where the members of the Television Academy apparently started checking off every name they saw from favored shows like “Ted Lasso” and “The White Lotus.”

Snub: Taylor Sheridan

He may be the most successful maker of television currently working, but Sheridan gets no respect at the Emmys. His monster hit “Yellowstone” continued to be shut out (it has received one Primetime Emmy nomination, for production design in 2021), and his other series “1923,” “Tulsa King” and “The Mayor of Kingstown” received one nod among them, for stunt coordination in “Tulsa King.” Especially galling: no nomination for Helen Mirren as the matriarch in the period western “1923.”

Surprise: ‘Obi-Wan Kenobi’

A greater acceptance of genre shows fueled by existing intellectual property had been anticipated, and “Andor” and “The Last of Us” fulfilled expectations with their nominations for best drama. But it was a mild shock to see a second Disney+ “Star Wars” show (along with “Andor”) break through in the limited-series category. Ewan McGregor, who reprised his Obi-Wan role from the prequel films, apparently draws a lot of good will. The nomination for “Obi-Wan” came at the expense of more weighty series like “Black Bird” or “A Small Light.”

Snub: Comedy

The long, slow fade of traditional norms of TV humor was apparent during the announcement of the best comedy nominees, during which the clips for “Abbott Elementary,” “Barry,” “The Bear,” “Jury Duty,” “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel,” “Only Murders in the Building,” “Ted Lasso” and “Wednesday” contained no jokes and barely any laughs. The merger of TV comedy into satirical drama is just about complete.

Surprise: ‘Jury Duty’

Freevee’s mash-up of sitcom and reality mind game drew a lot of attention, but that wasn’t expected to translate into nominations for comedy series, writing and supporting actor (James Marsden, playing himself).

Snub: ‘What We Do in the Shadows’

FX’s rollicking vampire comedy received four nominations in technical categories, but failed to get a nod for comedy series, an honor it had garnered in two of its first three seasons.

Surprise: Kumail Nanjiani

Nanjiani’s performance as the Indian immigrant and male-stripping entrepreneur Steve Banerjee in Hulu’s “Welcome to Chippendales” was well reviewed, but Steve Carell (for FX on Hulu’s “The Patient”) and Jesse Eisenberg (for FX on Hulu’s “Fleishman Is in Trouble”) were considered stronger contenders for best actor in a limited series.

Snubs: Harrison Ford, Steve Martin, Fiona Shaw, Imelda Staunton

You can’t feel too bad for people with careers as long and successful as these four have had, but all were expected to hear their names called: Ford for comedy supporting actor in “Shrinking” (and, possibly, drama lead actor in “1923”); Martin for comedy lead actor in “Only Murders in the Building” (where his castmate Martin Short was nominated); Shaw for drama guest actress in “Andor”; and — probably the most notable omission — Staunton for drama lead actress in “The Crown.”

Surprise: ‘The White Lotus’ supporting cast

Sabrina Impacciatore, Theo James, Will Sharpe and Simona Tabasco all received unexpected supporting actress and actor nominations, in categories where more well-known and quite worthy performers like Giancarlo Esposito (“Better Call Saul”), John Lithgow (“The Old Man”) and, particularly, Carol Burnett (“Better Call Saul”) were expected to be on the list.

Surprise: ‘Last Week Tonight With John Oliver’

OK, no one was actually surprised that Oliver’s top-flight topicomic series was nominated in the scripted variety series category. But there was at least a little more room than usual for doubt, after the show was moved out of the talk category that it had dominated for the past seven years. (The move opened up room in talk series for Oliver’s old boss, the host of “The Problem With Jon Stewart.”)

Mike Hale is a television critic. He also writes about online video, film and media. He came to The Times in 1995 and worked as an editor in Sports, Arts & Leisure and Weekend Arts before becoming a critic in 2009.

Speak Your Mind