It's last call for Mad Men's Emmy run.
As the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences announced the nominations for the 67th Emmy Awards, it made room for Jon Hamm's acclaimed series, which will try to go out on top with a best drama Emmy win, just like its AMC counterpart, Breaking Bad, did last year.
But AMC wasn't the only network celebrating—or stewing—at the news of this year's nominations. (You can find the complete list of nominees here.) Emmy voters came up with the usual mixture of surprises and snubs as they attempted to spotlight the very best of television at a time when there is far too much quality TV, on more outlets than ever before, to possibly recognize everything worthy.
Here are the big takeaways from the nominations for this year's Emmys, which will air Sept. 20 on Fox with host Andy Samberg:
One last chance to recognize Mad Men—and Hamm
After winning the outstanding drama Emmy four years in a row, Mad Men—with 11 nominations for its final season, bringing its total to 116 nominations, and 15 wins—has the chance to take one last bow on the Emmy stage. The same goes for Hamm, who stunningly has gone 0-for-7 at the Emmys as lead drama actor. In fact, none of the show's stellar actors has won an Emmy for work on the show (Elisabeth Moss and Christina Hendricks are also nominated this year). Hamm, who is up for his eighth time for Mad Men, is a double nominee this year; he also nabbed a comedy guest actor nomination for Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt.
Joining Mad Men in taking a final Emmy laps this year: Parks & Recreation; The Newsroom (for which Jeff Daniels grabbed another acting nominee); and a trio of late-night shows, The Colbert Report, Late Show with David Letterman and The Daily Show with Jon Stewart.
A huge day for streaming services, and HBO
After trying, and failing, to crack the Emmys in 2014 with Alpha House, Amazon roared into the field this year with 12 nominations, including 11 for Transparent (recognized for comedy series and lead comedy actor Jeffrey Tambor, who is the front runner in that category). Amazon Studios head Roy Price told me last year that Emmy validation was important for the streaming network as it tries to earn its place at the table alongside Netflix, HBO and the other networks. Now it officially has an Emmy invite.
Netflix, meanwhile, increased its nomination tally to 34 from 31 last year. That number would likely have been even greater had new Academy rules not forced Orange Is the New Black to compete as a drama instead of a comedy (it landed only four nominations this year, down from 12 in 2014). Hulu was shut out, much like Amazon last year, but it will look to enter the field in 2016 with new original series like 11/22/63, starring James Franco.
HBO increased its Emmy nomination tally to 126 this year, up from 99 in 2014, with 24 of those nominations going to Game of Thrones. On the broadcast side, Fox made the biggest leap, from 18 nominations to 35, thanks to shows like Empire and The Last Man on Earth. ABC also jumped from 37 to 42, while CBS declined slightly from 47 to 41, and NBC went down from 46 to 41. The CW, with only a single nomination for Emmy hopeful Jane the Virgin, was steady with two nominations.
First time's the charm
The Emmys are often reticent to embrace new series, with Modern Family and The West Wing being rare exceptions. But this year, voters nominated several first-year shows and performances. How to Get Away With Murder's Viola Davis and Empire's Taraji P. Henson scored drama lead actress nominations, while Blackish's Anthony Anderson and The Last Man on Earth's Will Forte were pleasant surprises in the comedy actor category. First-year shows Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt and Better Call Saul broke into the comedy and drama races. And a pair of longtime Emmy favorites, Lisa Kudrow and Lily Tomlin, landed nominations for The Comeback and Grace & Frankie, respectively.
In addition to finding room for the freshman class, voters also recognized perpetually overlooked Tatiana Maslany, for her clone-tastic turn on Orphan Black.
Downton Abbey will never die
Even with the infusion of new blood, the year's crop featured far too many returning nominees that Emmy voters reflexively vote for year after year, regardless of the show's declining quality. This year's stale crop includes Downton Abbey (eight nominations), House of Cards (11) and Episodes (two).
So. Many. Snubs.
Even with the comedy and drama series categories expanded from six to seven nominees this year, several worthy shows and performances were overlooked. For the third year running, The Americans, one of TV's best shows, was shut out of the major categories (including best drama, lead actor for Matthew Rhys and lead actress for Keri Russell), with only two nominations for writing and guest actress Margo Martindale (who appeared in a single scene this year).
Jane the Virgin, one of this year's best new shows and a big winner at the Golden Globes, failed to score a nomination for best drama or its effervescent lead actress, Gina Rodriguez. Despite its acting nomination for Henson, Fox's megahit Empire couldn't crack the best drama category, while Terrence Howard was shut out as lead drama actor. And Justified, overlooked throughout much of its run, was denied any recognition for its final, superb season. Even HBO, with its 126 nominations, had hoped that new drama The Leftovers would get some Emmy love, but not even the most worthy performer from that show, Carrie Coon, could grab a nomination.
Emmy voters also snubbed two of last year's acting winners, The Big Bang Theory's Jim Parsons and The Good Wife's Julianna Marguiles, who didn't make the cut this year.