What Emmy voters got right

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Bob Odenkirk plays Bill Oswalt and Allison Tolman is Molly Solverson in "Fargo," a 10-episode series set in Bemidji, Minn.

"Quality television is now platform-agnostic," declared Television Academy Bruce Rosenblum early Thursday morning and what he meant is that Netflix is kicking Emmy ass, with 31 nominations in its second year of eligibility and major nominations for "House of Cards," "Orange Is the New Black" and "Derek."

That's enough to put it ahead not only of Fox -- which had just 18 -- but ahead of Emmy-magnet AMC, which received 26. Probably didn't hurt that this was the first year academy voters cast their ballots online.

HBO's "Game of Thrones" led the nominees, with 19, and HBO as a network picked up 99, down a little from last year's 108.

FX's "Fargo," competing as a miniseries, was second with 18. Category shopping also paid off for FX's "American Horror Story: Coven," an anthology show that competes in the miniseries category and scored 17. (HBO's "Treme," which wrapped up its run with a shortened season, also scored an outstanding miniseries nod.)

Meanwhile, HBO's "True Detective," another anthology series with a closed-ended first season, was among the best drama series nominees and stars Wooody Harrelson and Matthew McConaughey will be competing against one another for lead actor in a drama.

"Fargo" stars Billy Bob Thornton and Martin Freeman are going head to head as lead actors in a miniseries and "AHS: Coven" stars Sarah Paulson and Jessica Lange will also compete against one another as lead actresses.

There'll be grumbling over who got snubbed -- FX's "The Americans" and BBC America "Orphan Black" star Tatiana Maslany so far ead in this category -- but for now let's consider a few things academy voters got right this year:

-- Nominations for "Orange Is the New Black" actresses Uzo Aduba and Laverne Cox, not just lead actress Taylor Schilling. The two supporting players are nominated as guest actresses in a comedy, a strange category that this year also included Upper Darby's Tina Fey, for her hosting of NBC's "Saturday Night Live." (Fey was also nominated for writing on the Golden Globes, along with co-host Amy Poehler, who's also nominated as lead actress in a comedy for NBC's "Parks and Recreation.")

-- The lead actress nomination for "Masters of Sex" star Lizzy Caplan (her co-star, Michael Sheen, may have been squeezed out by "True Detectives," which didn't offer women nearly as much to do).

-- An outstanding comedy nomination for HBO's "Silicon Valley" (and none for HBO's "Girls," though star/creator Lena Dunham was nominated as lead actress, comedy).

-- All those nominations for "Fargo," but particularly the one for Allison Tolman, who made the role of Deputy Sheriff Molly Solverson  indelible without attempting to compete with our memories of Frances McDormand's pregnant sheriff in the original movie.

-- Recognition of "Twelve Years a Slave" star Chiwetel Ejiofor's work in the Starz miniseries "Dancing on the Edge," and, really, all the choices in that lead actor in a miniseries or movie: Ejiofor, Benedict Cumberbatch (PBS' "Sherlock HIs Last Vow"), Idris Elba (BBC America's "Luther"),  Freeman and Thornton for "Fargo" and Mark Ruffalo for HBO's "The Normal Heart."

-- Acting nominations for "The Good Wife" stars Julianna Margulies, Christine Baranski and Josh Charles. Would I like to have seen the CBS drama in the outstanding drama category? Sure.

If you want to see how all this turns out, the 66th annual Primetime Emmy Awards will air at 8 p.m. Aug. 25 on NBC, whose "Late Night" host Seth Meyers will host.

A more complete list of winners can be found here.

 

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