2008 Emmy Award Summary

by Paul William Tenny

60th Emmy Awards

For the first time in history, the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences (AKA the Emmy Awards) released a "short list" of programs that garnered the most votes, from which the nominations are plucked. Today the actual nomination list has been published, and the big surprise is a very strong showing for original cable series against network programming.

I've got the summary list here which organizes every nominated program by the total number of nods. Later I'll post the actual nomination list.
Here's a quick giant summary of who got the most nominations.

23: John Adams (mini-series?)
17: 30 Rock
16: Mad Men
12: Pushing Daisies
11: Recount (movie)
10: Bernard and Doris
09: 80th Oscars, Tin Man (movie?)
07: Cranford (Masterpiece Theatre), Dancing With The Stars (WTF?), The Office

: The Amazing Race (WTF?), The Company, Extras: The Extra Special Series Final, Saturday Night Live, Ugly Betty, The War

: American Idol (*sigh*), Autism: The Musical (WTF?), Battlestar Galactica, Comanche Moon, Dexter, Entourage, 50th Grammys, Grey's Anatomy, Late Show With David Letterman, Project Runway, This American Life

: Breaking Bad, The Colbert Report, Curb Your Enthusiasm, Deadliest Catch (WIN!), Desperate Housewives, Flight Of The Conchords, House, In Treatment, Jimmy Kimmel Live, Late Night With Conan O'Brien, So You Think You Can Dance

: American Masters, Brothers & Sisters, The Daily Show With Jon Stewart, Heroes, Law & Order: SVU, Life After People, MADTv, A Raisin In The Sun, Survivor, Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles, Top Chef, Tracey Ulman's State Of The Union, Weeds

: AFI's 100 Years...100 Movies, Alive Day Memories: Home From Iraq, Californication, Chuck, Company (Great Performances), CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, Disney Phineas And Ferb, E.R., Extreme Makeover Home Edition, High School Musical 2, How I Met Your Mother, Intervention, Justin Timberlake: FutureSex/Loveshow, Monk, Movies Rock, Mr. Warmth: The Don Rickles Project, The New Adventures Of Old Christine, Nip/Tuck, Rescue Me, Samantha Who?, Saving Grace, Sense & Sensibility (Masterpiece Theatre), The Simpsons, The Tudors, Walt Whitman (American Experience)

: According To Jim, The AFI Life Achievement Award, An American Crime, Antiques Roadshow, Barry Manilow: Songs From The Seventies, Battlestar Galactica - Razor Featurette #4, Big Love, Bill Mahre: The Decider, Biography, Blue Harvest (Family Guy), The Bronx Is Burning, Brother Of The Bride - Hallmark, Burn Notice, Camp Lazlo, Canterbury's Law, Carrier, Carrier Pigeons - FexEx, Chowder, Christmas In Washington, Classical Baby (I'm Grown Up Now): The Poetry Show, The Closer, Creature Comforts America, Criminal Minds, CSI: NY, Deadliest Catch: The Real Dutch, Deal Or No Deal, Delivery - Travelers, Dirty Jobs, Dirty Sexy Money, Eric Clapton Crossroads Guitar Festival Chicago, Family Guy, Friday Night Lights, Friday Night Lights: Spotlight On Austin, George Carlin: It's Bad For Ya!, Great Moments From The Campaign Trail, Hannah Montana, Hansel And Gretel (Great Performances At The Met), Hell's Kitchen, Human Body: Pushing The Limits, Ice Road Truckers, Imaginationland (South Park), Inside The Actors Studio, It's Mine - Coca Cola, James Taylor: One Man Band (Great Performance), Jay Leno's Garage, Jericho, Justice League: The New Frontier, Kathy Griffin: My Life On The D-List, Kath Griffin: Straight To Hell, The Kennedy Center Honors, Kid Nation, King Of The Hill, Little People Big World, Lost: Missing Pieces, Masters Of Science Fiction, Medium, Meerkat Minor, The Memory Keeper's Daughter, 2008 MTV VMAs, My Name Is Earl, NCIS, New Amsterdam, New York City Opera: Madama Butterfly, Nick News With Linda Ellerbee: The Untouchable Kids Of India, Oprah Winfrey Presents: Mitch Albom's For One More Day, Oswald's Ghost (American Experience), Pictures Of Hollis Woods (Hallmark Hall Of Fame Presentation), Pioneers Of Television - Late Night: Johnny, Jack, Steve, And Merv, Pirate Master, The Pixar Story, Real Time With Bill Maher, Robot Chicken, Sarah Silverman Program Nugget, Scrubs, Smallville, SpongeBob SquarePants, Stargate Atlantis, The Suite Of Zack And Cody, Super Bowl XLII Halftime Show Staring Tom Petty, Supernatural, Swear Jar - Bud Light, 30 Rock: Kenneth The Web Page, The 61st Annual Tony Awards, We Love Ella! A Tribute To The First Lady Of Song (Great Performances), White Light/Black Rain, The Wire.

Wow, that's a big list. It's pretty shocking to see 30 Rock, a show that not very many people watch, end up with second most nominations. It brings back the debate over who really defines "quality", academy members going on their idea of what quality is regardless of popularity, or the 100 million households that have declared unmistakably that 30 Rock isn't worth watching.


House only got 4 nods and Heroes just 3. Lost still showed up to play with 7+1. Grey's Anatomy landed five nods, even though star Katherine Heigl thought the writing was so unworthy that she withdrew her own name from consideration from the category which she won last year. Rumor is the produers are going to give her character a brain tumor this year and even Heigl won't know if her character will survive or not. Petty? Yes. Also richly deserved.

There are two big stories here, one being original cable programming being up for the "Best.." category, and also Mad Men scoring 16 nominations -- third most of any program. There are also a ton of reality shows on this list which turns my stomache, but oh well, people love that stuff. Here's the full nomination list (PDF) which I'll write a post about shortly.
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