The 64th Primetime Emmy Awards came and went with little fanfare. The ceremony attracted an average viewership of 11.6 million viewers, which is down from last year’s show.
It’s no surprise given the fact that it appeared voters only seemed to watch three programs in the last year: ABC comedy “Modern Family,” Showtime drama “Homeland” and HBO made for television movie “Game Change.”
“Modern Family” impressively won its third Emmy in a row for Outstanding Comedy Series. Meanwhile two of the show’s actors, Julie Bowen and Eric Stonestreet, received their second Emmy awards for their performances as Claire Dunphy and Cameron Tucker. Despite not receiving a nomination for writing (an award Louis C.K. won for FX’s “Louie”), the show won its second Emmy in a row for directing.
Claire Danes won her first Emmy for “Homeland,” which marks her second career Emmy win after previously winning two years ago for her performance as Temple Grandin in the HBO made for television movie of the same name. Danes received her first nomination at 16 for the ABC series “My So-Called Life.”
“Homeland” also picked up an Emmy for Damian Lewis, writing, as well as Outstanding Drama Series. Those are the first Emmy wins for a regular Showtime series. The win for series and victories for the show’s lead actors marks the first time a show achieved that feat since 1993 when “Picket Fences” won the top three categories.
Julianne Moore became the second actor to win an Emmy for her portrayal of former Republican Vice Presidential nominee Sarah Palin in “Game Change.”
“I feel so validated because Sarah Palin gave me a big thumbs down,” Moore said upon accepting her Emmy.
“Game Change” also reaped wins for Outstanding Miniseries or Movie, as well as writing and directing.
There is no getting past the excellence of those three winning programs, in addition to “The Amazing Race” and “The Daily Show with Jon Stewart,” which also won several more Emmys on Sunday.
However, there is so much excellent television that has not been recognized by the Television Academy.
For example, the non-nominated “Happy Endings” on ABC is probably one of the funniest shows no one is watching.
NBC’s “Parks and Recreation” is consistently terrific with a remarkable performance from Amy Poehler every week, yet the show cannot catch on with Emmy voters. It would be shameful if Poehler never won for her performance as Leslie Knope, just as it’s frightening Steve Carell never won for Michael Scott on “The Office.”
At the same time, Jon Cryer now has two Emmys for acting on “Two and a Half Men.” There is something not quite right about that fact, but the Emmys are one of the few awards organizations with little to no sentiment. For the record, Angela Lansbury has struck out 18 times at the Emmys without a single win.
Despite the lack of variety in winners (and nominees), the Emmys still managed to reward well-produced programs, as well as performers from shows with not as much love on the night, including Aaron Paul from “Breaking Bad” and Julia Louis-Dreyfus from “Veep.”
Here’s hoping the Emmys can mix it up next year between the drama and comedy categories.
Matt Busekroos is a graduate student studying interactive media. He is an awards show aficionado yet managed to predict less than half of the winners correctly.