Last night The Academy of Television Arts & Sciences shook up Primetime Emmy history by crowning new winners in otherwise locked down categories. Neil Patrick Harris said it best during the telecast when he declared, “No one in America is winning their Emmy office pool.”
Winners were equally stunned and likewise unprepared when they stepped up to the podium, like Merritt Wever’s sweet and succinct acceptance for her award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy on Nurse Jackie, “Thanks so much. Thank you so much. I gotta go. Bye.” That’s a speech any director of a three hour plus award show would covet.
Below SSN counts down the top 5 biggest shake-ups to Emmy history last night:
The Newsroom has some stellar credentials packing its ranks with veteran Aaron Sorkin at the helm beside Scott Rudin and Alan Poul and talent such as Jane Fonda, Olivia Munn, Emily Mortimer and of course Jeff Daniels. More and more movie actors are making the move to the small screen(s) and with good cause, the amount of quality television programs continue to rise as the amount of standalone films is on the decline. In the course of its two seasons, The Newsroom was only nominated for two Primetime Emmys this year, Jane Fonda as a Guest Actress and Jeff Daniels as Lead Actor. Considering this category contained three time winner Bryan Cranston on buzz-worthy Breaking Bad, he was predicted to win. Last year’s winner Damian Lewis for Homeland was also in the running along with always a bridesmaid, never a bride Jon Hamm whose nomination this year was his sixth. Nominated but never winning a SAG award or Golden Globe, it’s about time that Jeff Daniels can finally put a statue on the shelf, even if it was one of the big surprises of the night. How’s this for whiplash? Daniels told the press he’s getting on a plane to go shoot Dumb and Dumber 2 next.
Tony Hale took home the Emmy last night for his role in HBO’s Veep. This category tends to award shows in waves with the last three statues going to Modern Family, then one to 2 and a Half Men, then three to Entourage. Actors from stalwarts Everybody Loves Raymond and Frasier have also won multiple times. Although there were three multiple noms this year for Modern Family, this isn’t uncommon for Modern Family as multiple contenders have been in the running the last three years. So it was surprising, albeit deserving that Tony Hale who was up against three Modern Family actors along with Bill Hader from SNL and Adam Driver from Girls, took home the statue for his work on HBO’s Veep.
A very flummoxed and sweet Merritt Wever took the podium last night and made producer’s nights with her under 30 second acceptance speech. She was up against previous two time winner Julie Bowen nominated for Modern Family alongside her co-star Sofia Vergara. Although this category mixes it up every once and awhile with winners from shows like Glee and Pushing Daisies, Emmy voters like to award actresses from traditional sitcoms like Modern Family, Will & Grace, and Emmy favorite Everybody Loves Raymond rather that mixed genres like the dramedy Nurse Jackie. Nurse Jackie has so far won three Primetime Emmys from Showtime in the space of twenty nominations since 2010. Considering that’s only three years, that’s a tremendous feat in and of itself. But it was still to everyone’s astoundment last night including the winner’s when Wever took home the trophy.
The Voice took home the Emmy for Outstanding Reality-Competition Program and was the first singing competition show to do so, proving again that there’s room for more than one singing competition show on television. American Idol may have been the first and the ratings emperor for years, but in recent seasons, its’ rating have dwindled not only due to audience fatigue, but because of a glut of choices, and controversial judge hires. This category is a relative youngster as it’s only been around since 2003 and only two other shows have won, The Amazing Race for a record nine times and Top Chef once in 2010. It was shocking then that The Voice blasted past The Amazing Race and made its way to the top of the podium in a photo finish. Even more surprising: who ever thought Carson Daly would win an Emmy?
This was by far the biggest upset of the night. The Daily Show with Jon Stewart has won for the past ten years in this category with a total of eighteen Emmys since its premiere in 2006, an astounding amount of statues and a true triumph. This category is known for its long reigns as The Late Show with David Letterman held the title from 1998-2002. The Daily Show with Jon Stewart has developed topnotch talent and is still a breeding ground for great comedy talent, so it’s not surprising that when Stephen Colbert started his own show, The Colbert Report, it was equally a riotous affair. It’s only fitting that Jon Stewart, the former monarch of this category, was usurped by one of his own. We admired how Stephen Colbert paid verbal homage to Stewart in his acceptance speeches, acknowledging that this powerhouse duo of shows is ruled over by a truly benevolent leader.
More from SSN’s Emmy Stats Series:
Which Host is the Ratings Winner?
Will ’30 Rock’ and ‘Breaking Bad’ Win for their Farewell Season?
Jane Campion & Steven Soderbergh Among Oscar/Emmy Double Threats
Who’s the Odds-on Favorite to Win Lead Actress, Comedy?
Will Elisabeth Moss’ Double Nominations Affect Her Odds of Winning?
African-Americans Make Emmy History
The Outstanding Drama Actor Race