Every year Emmy voters know how to shock with their nominations and 2016 did not disappoint. A lot of the collected clutter from throughout the years was thrown out and voters shockingly included some of their best choices in years, including a totally revamped Supporting Actress in a Drama Series race. This year Emmy voters gave us a huge amount of surprises to celebrate, including:
Supporting Actress in a Drama Known for incremental change in the acting categories, the acting branch shockingly decided to do a complete upheaval of the Supporting Actress in a Drama Series race and cut out three actresses that were starting to become perennial nominees. Instead Emmy voters listened to the Golden Globes and Critics’ Choice Awards for once and nominated Maura Tierney and Constance Zimmer. Maisie Williams also earned her first nomination and at 19 is the youngest person since 2001 to be nominated.
The Americans After four seasons of critics relentlessly reminding the world that The Americans is the best show we aren’t watching, the Television Academy finally nominated The Americans not only in Outstanding Drama Series but also nominated the Matthew Rhys and Kerri Russell for the first time.
Laurie Metcalf With three nominations this year Emmy voters clearly really really like Laurie Metcalf. The biggest surprise was beating out more high-profile competition for a Lead Actress in a Comedy nomination for her work on Getting On, a comedy HBO cancelled nearly a year ago.
Thomas Middleditch After three seasons of critics championing the cast of Silicon Valley, Emmy voters decided to listen but not in the way most were expecting. The acting branch continued to ignore the supporting cast and instead throw their weight behind the star of the show, Thomas Middleditch.
Melora Hardin In the guest categories voters tend to rely on big names so it was a shock when voters skipped over Transparent’s Anjelica Huston in favor of Melora Hardin. Hardin’s Tammy kicked off the season with a drunken meltdown that climaxed with stale wedding cake in the pool (and those years on The Office probably helped too).
Matt Walsh Most Emmy prognosticators had a feeling that Veep was going to have their biggest year and a lot of us thought Timothy Simons would join the Supporting Actor race. Instead voters rallied behind Matt Walsh who had a season full of Chinese adoption problems and a stint as possibly the worst press secretary in the history of the White House.
Ray Donovan The Showtime crime drama popped up over the years at the Emmys but never as strongly as it did today. The show exceeded expectations with three acting nominations as well as one in directing. It really makes you wonder if the show is on its way to a surprise series nomination next year.
UnReal As a show on Lifetime, UnReal was looked at by critics as a dream nominee rather than a viable Emmy threat. In the end UnReal was deservingly pushed through to a writing and supporting actress nomination off of immense critical support and an industry obsession with shows that reflect their industry.
Catastrophe The writing branch is known for championing small shows other branches have never even heard of, but Catastrophe might be the most surprising nomination in the history of the category. The Amazon comedy beat out three of the Outstanding Comedy nominees for a writing nomination, and it makes you wonder if this is the beginning of much bigger things for the show.
Bokeem Woodbine By the time Emmy voting started no one seemed to be talking about the second season of Fargo, and the massive supporting cast risked being shut out entirely. Bokeem Woodbine snuck into the race as a relative unknown over big names and Emmy favorites like Ted Danson, Nathan Lane, and Forrest Whitaker.
RuPaul After seven years of crushing snubs, fans of RuPaul’s Drag Race had given up on the show receiving any sort of mainstream recognition.
A Very Murray Christmas Everyone knew that voters would be scraping the bottom of the barrel to list five TV movies this year, but they ended up being so desperate that the Bill Murray Christmas special made the cut.