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Emmy nominations 2015 snubs and surprises

It's that time of year again: The 67th Primetime Emmy Award Nominations for 2015 were unveiled Thursday morning.

Streaming television came up in a big way, with young streaming-native shows like "Transparent" making a big splash with viewers, but the familiar favorites like "Downton Abbey" continue to dominate.

Some things we expected, others we didn't - so here's your list of major surprises and snubs.



Actress Taraji P. Henson accepts the Best Actress in a Drama Series award for "Empire" onstage at the 5th annual Critics' Choice Television Awards at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on May 31, 2015, in Beverly Hills, California. Kevin Winter/Getty Images
Everyone expected this Fox freshman series to wipe the Emmys. After all, the premiere was the highest-rated debut in three years. The series is the first in 23 years to have viewership continually increase between episodes. "Empire" surpassed "The Big Bang Theory" as the highest rated scripted program in the 2014-2015 television season. Fox is going totally nuts over it. And yet, "Empire" only has one measly nomination: best actress for Taraji P. Henson. Perhaps this is a teachable moment - the love of the critics isn't directly tied to a program's commercial success.

Gina Rodriguez and "Jane the Virgin"

"Jane the Virgin" Greg Gayne/The CW

People can't quit raving about Gina Rodriguez in "Jane the Virgin." The show's ridiculous premise comes to life with excellent writing and standout performances. This show is built around Gina Rodriguez, yet not even a mythical 100 percent and "certified fresh" ranking on Rotten Tomatoes can get her an Emmy Nomination. At least it won her a Golden Globe for best actress. We'll just wait for the upcoming season two to conquer the world.

"The Affair"

Ruth Wilson as Alison and Dominic West as Noah in "The Affair." Showtime

Please. This hot and steamy Showtime original reminds people why they watch the network in the first place, and critics have responded, The first season won the Golden Globe for best television series in drama, and main actress Ruth Wilson won another for best actress in drama. Maybe the academy is spreading the love? Maybe they don't want to copy the Golden Globes? Either way, it makes no sense why this emotive exploration into love, desire and truth got snubbed without a single nomination. A crime of passion, maybe?


Monica Potter as Kristina Braverman and Max on "Parenthood." Vivian Zink/NBC

You laughed. You cried. It's everything you loved and hated about actual parenthood, which is what makes "Parenthood" such a hit with critics. Fighting its way up from an average first season to a critically-acclaimed final one, we hoped "Parenthood" could walk away with an Emmy nomination as it retires. Nope.

"The Americans"


This show has everything you need from primetime TV: love, sex, political intrigue, a bomb '80s soundtrack, and yet again it goes unheralded. People have called this "the best American drama on television." We're deep into the third season, and this FX original can't pull an Emmy, even after passionately committed performances from Keri Russell and Matthew Rhys. Being a married spy couple is hard, but apparently winning an Emmy is harder.


David Letterman and "The Late Show"

Bill Murray and David Letterman on the "Late Show," May 19, 2015. John Paul Filo/CBS

In some kind of odd going-away present, both David Letterman and Steven Colbert received nominations for best variety series. It's Letterman's swan song as host of the "Late Show," which hasn't won an Emmy since 2002. Colbert and "The Colbert Report" walked away with the Emmy in 2014. Letterman winning would leave behind big shoes for Colbert, who will take over the show in September. Regardless what happens, both of the eccentric personalities get to take a bow.

Amy Schumer

Amy Schumer visits "The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon" on July 15, 2015, in New York. Theo Wargo/NBC

Is this foul-mouthed comedian poised to take over American comedy? Already she chips at Louis C.K.'s dominance as Crude Comedy King of America (a title we totally just made up) with her nominated Comedy Central series "Inside Amy Schumer" up for best variety sketch series. Schumer also stars in her first feature film, "Trainwreck," which premieres this weekend. Schumer is ready for America - but is the country ready for her no-holds-barred humor? This nomination says yes.

"Downton Abbey" and PBS

The cast of "Downton Abbey." Nick Briggs/Carnival Film & Television Limited

"Downton Abbey" is like that one feisty grandma who always brings alcohol to your birthday party: everybody loves her, she's always there and she always delivers. This TV show has won so many awards it has a separate Wikipedia page for them. The sun is finally setting on the upcoming final season of this drama, and it's good to see "Downton" honored with yet another Emmy nomination.

Tatiana Maslany and "Orphan Black"

Tatiana Maslany as Sarah from "Orphan Black." BBC America

While critics might say "Orphan Black" isn't Emmy material, the show's core actress Tatiana Maslany deserves her nomination for best lead actress in a drama series. By sheer force of will and raw talent she brought at least 10 different clones of the same character to life, and each is instantly recognizable. This powerful nuance can sometimes be lost in the show's writing, but the academy noticed and gave Maslany the recognition she deserves.


Jeffrey Tambor in a scene from "Transparent." Amazon Studios

Stop us if this sounds impossible: Jeffery Tambor plays a political science professor who opens up to her family about always identifying as a woman for a TV series that will air on Amazon Instant Video. The impossible is true - Tambor and "Transparent" conquered the Golden Globes, winning best television series for musical or comedy (it never touched cable TV) and best actor for Tambor. The show is smart, funny and poignant, but given the repeated snubs of Golden Globe winners from the Emmys, it's good to see a show with depth and storytelling like "Transparent" to find a nomination. Is this the beginning of critical awards for streamed shows?

See the full list of nominees here and view the 2015 Emmy winners.

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