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Posted at 01:53 PM ET, 07/14/2011

‘Friday Night Lights,’ Timothy Olyphant and more Emmy surprises


Hooray for Coach Taylor: “Friday Night Lights” finally scores the extra point with a best drama nomination. (BILL RECORDS/ASSOCIATED PRESS)

Friday Night Lights” finally got its well-deserved Emmy Award nomination for best drama.

That was the best Emmy nomination news of the day, as far as I was concerned. (As previously noted, I was almost certain “Friday Night Lights” would get snubbed in that category again.) But it was hardly the only pleasant surprise found among this year’s nods, announced early this morning in L.A..

So put your celebratory, morale-boosting Texas barbecue on pause for just one moment (there is a “Friday Night Lights” finale tomorrow to save some energy for, after all) and let’s consider these eight other unexpected TV-award victories. Afterwards, feel free to applaud your favorite Emmy nomination surprises by posting a comment.

Related links:

Worst Emmy snubs?

Gallery: Photos of the nominees

Full list of nominations

Video: Nomination announcement

TV Column: Controversial ‘Kennedys’ miniseries snags multiple nods

Timothy Olyphant got a best actor nomination for “Justified.” This is a triumph for all those who have long known how convincing (and hot) that dude is in a cowboy hat. Several of the fine actors on “Justified” — including Walton Goggins, Margo Martindale and Jeremy Davies — also picked up well-deserved recognition this year.

Melissa McCarthy gets a best actress nomination for “Mike & Molly.” As previously established, the “Bridesmaids” star was pleasantly surprised, too.

“The Pee-Wee Herman Show on Broadway” earns a spot in the outstanding variety, music or comedy category. His Melissa Leo-inspired for your consideration ads worked!

Ed O’Neill receives his first Emmy Award nomination for “Modern Family.” After all those years on “Married With Children,” no one ever gave Al Bundy props. Finally, that oversight has been rectified courtesy of a role that doesn’t require O’Neill to have his hand down his pants in every episode.

Randee Heller nominated for outstanding guest actress in a drama series. Miss Blankenship from “Mad Men” finally has her day in the sun, cementing the fact that no one has dropped dead at work with more panache.

Andy Samberg dominates the outstanding original music and lyrics category.

Four of the songs he co-wrote for “Saturday Night Live” — “I Just Had Sex,” “Justin Timberlake Monologue,” “Jack Sparrow” and “3-way” — were nominated for that Emmy. Which makes me think the Emmy should really feature live performances of their nominated songs.

Zach Galifianakis is up for outstanding guest actor in a comedy series.

This is thanks to his brilliant turn on “Saturday Night Live.” But guess who he’s up against? Timberlake.

Walking Dead” is recognized for its prosthetic make-up.

It also got nominated in the sound editing and special visual effects categories. But given its nasty-looking zombies, make-up looks like its best shot at a win.

By  |  01:53 PM ET, 07/14/2011

Tags:  TV; Emmys

 
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