Here we go: It's officially Emmy season! Yours truly was up at the crack of dawn (actually, before dawn...more like middle of the night) to be at the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences for the unveiling of this year's nominees.
As always, there were surprises, cheers, and unexpected guests:
Best Sport: Neil Patrick Harris
The host of the 65th Primetime Emmy Awards filled in for previously announced co-host, Kate Mara, who couldn't attend due to transportation issues (Her plane had mechanical issues in Santa Fe, New Mexico). Harris joked at the top of the announcement, "Thank you to Kate Mara for getting me out of the house this morning before my kids wake up."
Biggest Applause: Kerry Washington
Yay, Kerry! Washington's nomination for Lead Actress in a Drama Series on Scandal scored the loudest cheers of the morning for her role as fast-talking, quick-thinking, relationship-challenged Olivia Pope. Which brings me to...
Most Difficult Category to Predict: Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series
Claire Danes, who is nominated once again (and won previously) for Homeland, is joined by Vera Farmiga (Bates Motel), Michelle Dockery (Downton Abbey), Robin Wright (House of Cards), Elisabeth Moss (Mad Men), Connie Britton (Nashville), and Kerry Washington (Scandal). This is Farmiga's, Washington's, and Wright's first Emmy nomination. From what we can tell, this is the hardest category to predict. So many talented women!
Biggest Snub: Monica Potter, Tatiana Maslany, and Shonda Rhimes
My Twitter feed was congested this morning with disappointed fans of Potter's and Maslany's, myself included. Potter, who gave a commanding performance as a cancer-stricken Kristina Braverman on Parenthood this year, and Maslany (who plays like 100 complex roles on Orphan Black) got no love from the Academy, even though both actresses won at the Critics Choice Television Awards last month. The one bright spot for Maslany? At least she's getting honored at the Young Hollywood Awards for Breakthrough performance next month. On the writing side, talk backstage was confusion over the absence of Shonda Rhimes for Outstanding Writing in a Drama Series for the critically acclaimed and much buzzed-about Scandal. I mean, does the Academy watch that show? How does she come up with half that stuff? I need to have a talk with my fellow Television Academy members.
Biggest Shocker: Betty White's nomination for Host of Off Their Rockers and House of Cards' nine nominations
Even Neil Patrick Harris quipped, "Yes! Betty White jokes [now]!" when the 91-year-old's name was announced. I don't know about you guys, but I sense a future skit in the works. For House of Cards, the media was pleasantly surprised when the Netflix drama series nabbed nine nominations (Lead Actor, Lead Actress, Drama Series, etc.).
Biggest Surprise: No New Girl or Mindy Kaling love
Aside from the fact that Modern Family's two-time Emmy winner Eric Stonestreet wasn't nominated for his role as Cameron (and all the other Modern Family adults were this year), the biggest surprise was the lack of love for New Girl in the Comedy Series category—and Zooey Deschanel and Mindy Kaling in the Lead Actress category, along with funny man Max Greenfield in the Supporting Actor category. After all, New Girl and The Mindy Project practically stole the show in our TV Awards that you guys voted on.
Most Interesting Tidbit: Netflix has two shows nominated: House of Cards and Arrested Development. It's the first time a series distributed online has been nominated for an Emmy.
Before I turn the voting over to you guys in our Emmy polls below, here's how the morning unfolded behind-the-scenes at the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences.
3:45 A.M.: Outside the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences. Getting to North Hollywood has never been so easy. Love this no-traffic thing.
4:30 A.M.: Breakfast done right! Belgian waffles, turkey bacon, lox, fruit, lots of coffee, and more. If only this could be at my house every day.
5 A.M.: After a private rehearsal for Neil and Aaron, the media is allowed to re-enter the auditorium. Might I add that the seats are very comfortable for a midmorning nap too.
5:50 A.M.: Our Emmy packets with every list imaginable to aid the press in their coverage. Kudos to the PR team of PMK*BNC for working all night putting this impressive packet together.
6 A.M.: Neil Patrick Harris doing post-media press. Afterward I overheard him asking where he could pick up a complete list of nominees. Impressive. He's starting his Emmy-hosting homework early.
OK, guys, I know you've been waiting for this...it's your turn to vote and tell us who you think should win at this year's Emmy awards (to be broadcast Sunday, September 22, live on CBS) and who was the biggest snub.
Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series
Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series
Outstanding Host for a Reality Program
Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series
Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series
Outstanding Reality-Competition Program
Outstanding Variety Series
Outstanding Miniseries or Movie
Outstanding Comedy Series
Outstanding Drama Series
Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series
Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series
Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series
Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series
Biggest Snub (Not an Emmy Category...Obvs)
What are you guys most outraged about this Emmy nomination day?