When the 65th Primetime Emmy Awards nominations were announced on Thursday morning, there weren't a lot of surprises (as has been the trend). But there were a few interesting, and perhaps even groundbreaking developments. Here are my initial thoughts on the nominees:
• SCANDAL star Kerry Washington became the fifth black actress to be nominated for Lead Actress in a Drama Series and the first in the category since Cicely Tyson in 1995 (for her work in the NBC legal drama series SWEET JUSTICE). The other nominees in this category have included Debbie Allen (FAME), Alfre Woodard (ST. ELSEWHERE), and Regina Taylor (I'LL FLY AWAY). A black actress has never won in this category in the 65 year history of the Primetime Emmy Awards.
• The amazing Connie Britton has now been nominated four years in a row as Lead Actress in a Drama with this year's nod for her work as Rayna James in ABC's NASHVILLE. She received nominations in 2010 and 2011 for FRIDAY NIGHT LIGHTS, then last year for AMERICAN HORROR STORY. She deserved nominations for all five seasons of FNL but I'm thankful Emmy voters have finally seen the light in regards to Britton. I wasn't expecting a nod for Hayden Panettiere but she certainly turned in some of the best performances of her career on NASHVILLE last season.
• AMC's THE WALKING DEAD was the top-rated show on television in the adults 18-49 demo for the season but got no love from the Emmys. The drama about a group of survivors living in a world overrun by zombies received only one nod: prosthetic makeup.
• Actress Robin Wright picked up her first Primetime Emmy nomination for her portrayal of Claire Underwood in HOUSE OF CARDS. She received three Daytime Emmy nominations (1986, 1987, 1988) for her work in the daytime soap opera SANTA BARBARA.
• Streaming service Netflix cemented its place as a big-time producer with the nominations of Jason Bateman for ARRESTED DEVELOPMENT and Kevin Spacey and Robin Wright from HOUSE OF CARDS in the actor categories, and HOUSE OF CARDS for Outstanding Drama series (a first for an internet series in this category). A six-year-old TV academy rules change allows online entries to compete with cable and broadcast programs, although so far Internet shows have popped up only in lower-profile categories. That changed with the 65th Primetime Emmys.
• PARENTHOOD star Monica Potter played an emotional breast cancer storyline last season and turned in Emmy-worth scenes regularly. If ever there was a year that was "her" year, it was this.
• It's not surprising but none of the dramas on the broadcast networks were nominated in the Outstanding Drama series category again this year. In fact the nominees are mostly the same except HOUSE OF CARDS replaced BOARDWALK EMPIRE.
• Once again many of my favorite shows were not recognized. The Emmys obviously don't appreciate the best family show on TV, SWITCHED AT BIRTH. I wasn't expecting any nominations for the ABC Family soaps or DALLAS (no actors made me as emotional as Linda Gray and Patrick Duffy after JR died) or REVENGE (which had an off year storywise but Madeleine Stowe was magnificent) but I wish I could believe Emmy voters would even consider shows like those: family and soapy dramas that don't have the critical "cool" factor. It's no different than in the '80s primetime soap heyday when DALLAS, DYNASTY, KNOTS LANDING and FALCON CREST seemed to be considered second-class shows, despite Top 10 Nielsen ratings.
• The "it" TV actors get nominated again and again and it takes a lot to bump these Emmy darlings. That doesn't leave much room for performances from actors not on the multi-nominated dramas.
Those are some of my first thoughts. Now share yours in our Comments section below. Any big surprises for you? Snubs?