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2019 Emmy Nomination Snubs & Surprises: Game of Thrones Makes History, Schitt's Creek Pops

Gwendoline Christie scores as Brienne of Tarth in HBO's fantasy series, but the network's Succession loses out in acting categories. Plus, When They See Us and comedy dominates the Tomatometer.

by | July 16, 2019 | Comments

The Television Academy announced nominations in its 71st Emmy Awards on Tuesday. (See the full list here.) Among those nominations was crazy love for the final season of Game of Thrones — no matter what critics said about the series’ last episodes — but none for Homecoming, and massive Schitt’s Creek enthusiasm, but little for Succession.

Read on to find out who got snubbed and who was a surprise in this year’s nominations. Have a snub or surprise you want to add yourself? Tell us in the comments!


Surprise: Game of Thrones Supporting and Guest Actor Nominations

Gwendoline Christie as Brienne in Game of Thrones season 8 (Helen Sloan/HBO)
(Photo by Helen Sloan/HBO)

The Television Academy has rewarded Alfie Allen, Gwendoline Christie, and Carice van Houten for their dedicated work on HBO’s Game of Thrones; the former two scored supporting nominations, and the latter received a guest nomination. While the names of Kit Harington, Emilia Clarke, Lena Headey, Sophie Turner, Maisie Williams, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, and Peter Dinklage were all floating high on prediction lists, few expected the drama nominations sweep that the eight-season fantasy series pulled off on Tuesday. With its 32 nominations this year, the most for any program in a single season (beating NYPD Blue’s 25-year standing record), Game of Thrones now has the most Emmy nominations for a drama program in history with 161 and the most Emmys won with 47.


Snub: Homecoming Snubbed in All Categories

Julia Roberts in Homecoming Photo Credit: Amazon Prime Video
(Photo by Amazon Prime Video)

One of the most acclaimed TV series of last year, and the winner of our own Golden Tomato Award for Best Drama, Homecoming was snubbed in a number of major categories Tuesday morning. Sam Esmail’s twisty, Hitchcockian Amazon series missed out on a slot for Outstanding Drama, as well as for Outstanding Lead Actress for Julia Roberts and Outstanding Lead Actor for the excellent Stephan James. Its loss in the Outstanding Drama Series category did make room for kinda-surprises like Pose and Bodyguard, which were not considered absolute locks going into nominations morning.


Surprise: Comedy Rules (the Tomatometer)

Fleabag season 2 Phoebe Waller-Bridge and Andrew Scott (Steve Schofield/Amazon Prime Video)

The average Tomatometer for Best Comedy Series is 97.86% on the Tomatometer, while the average for Best Drama Series is 87.13%. Even if Game of Thrones‘ eighth season 54% is removed, the drama category still only averages 91.29%. Both seasons of Fleabag, for one, are Certified Fresh at 100%, contributing to comedy’s dominance.


Snub: Richard Madden for Outstanding Lead Actor In A Drama Series for Bodyguard

Bodyguard SEASON Season 1 EPISODE 3 PICTURED Richard Madden, Keeley HawesPHOTO CREDIT Sophie Mutevelian/World Productions/Netflix

While Netflix’s U.K. terrorist thriller Bodyguard may have scored an Outstanding Drama Series nomination, star Richard Madden – who had been considered a lock in the drama actor category – was left in the cold. It was one of the biggest snubs of the morning, considering the critical praise heaped on Madden for his dedicated, physically and emotionally demanding performance as war vet David Budd, not to mention his Golden Globe win for the role. Madden’s loss might have been Milo Ventimiglia’s gain, though; the This Is Us star was a semi-surprise, sneaking into the category.


Surprise: When They See Us Women Dominate Limited Series Category

WHEN THEY SEE US SEASON Limited Series EPISODE 3 PHOTO CREDIT Atsushi Nishijima/Netflix PICTURED Niecy Nash
(Photo by Atsushi Nishijima/Netflix)

Pundits were predicting that Jharrel Jerome, who plays one of the five wrongly accused men, Korey Wise, in Ava DuVernay’s When They See Us, might nab a spot in the limited series lead actor category – and he did. The big surprise today was that Niecy Nash, who plays Wise’s mom Delores, and Anjanue Ellis, who plays Sharon Salaam, were both nominated for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Limited Series or TV Movie. The two women beat out big names like Emma Stone for Maniac and Julianna Margulies for The Hot Zone. A surprise to prognosticators, sure, but anyone who saw their work as desperate mothers fighting the system in the acclaimed Certified Fresh Netflix miniseries might have seen this kind of upset coming. Vera Farmiga also got a nod in the Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Limited Series or Movie category, a nomination that some saw as a snub of Carmen Ejogo, who was considered a favorite for her role in True Detective.


Snubs: Allison Janney for Mom and Pamela Adlon for Better Things for Comedy Lead Actress

"Lumbar Support and Old Pork" -- Bonnie has an unexpected reaction when she learns that Adam's bar is doing well. Also, Christy and Tammy go on a double date, on MOM, Thursday, April 18 (9:01-9:30 PM, ET/PT) on the CBS Television Network. Pictured L to R: Anna Faris as Christy and Allison Janney as Bonnie. Photo: Sonja Flemming/CBS ©2019 CBS Broadcasting, Inc. All Rights Reserved
(Photo by Sonja Flemming/CBS)

Seven-time Emmy winner Janney won in this category in 2016 and has been nominated in the role of Bonnie Plunkett five times, and Adlon has one win and seven nominations overall, two for her role as Sam Fox. Both were seen by experts as likely nominees, but those spots went instead to…


Surprise: Christina Applegate for Dead to Me and Catherine O’Hara for Schitt’s Creek

Dead to Me season 1 key art (Netflix)
(Photo by Netflix)

Where there are snubs, there are also surprises. Applegate and O’Hara give Netflix and Pop, respectively, reason to cheer with their nominations in the Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series.


Surprise: Speaking of Schitt’s Creek…

Schitt's Creek stars Eugene Levy (Pop)
(Photo by Pop)

Eugene Levy was a surprise nomination in the comedy actor category, taking a spot that experts anticipated would go to Jim Carrey for Kidding, and the title itself surprised in the comedy series category, beating out expected nominee The Kominsky Method, which won a Golden Globe earlier this year.


Snub: Succession in the Acting Categories

Succession - Episode 6 (debut 7/8/18): Kieran Culkin, Jeremy Strong. photo: Peter Kramer/HBO
(Photo by Peter Kramer/HBO)

The HBO title grabbed a best drama nomination — good luck against Game of Thrones! — but was shut out of the acting categories, despite favored performances from James Cromwell for guest actor, Kieran Culkin and Matthew Macfadyen for supporting actor, and Brian Cox for lead actor. Sarah Snook and Jeremy Strong were also in the conversation.


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