Emmys 2011: ‘Modern Family’ and ‘Mad Men’ big winners, Carrell snubbed again

September 19, 2011

The 2011 Emmy Awards hosted by Jane Lynch brought out A-list celebrities, comedians and actors, but, for some, failed to create a unique experience from previous years. As Hank Steuver reported:

Watch enough awards shows (we all have) and you can tell almost from the first minute when one of these things is not going to achieve much lift and will instead turn into a three-hour watching chore. Like Sunday night’s Emmys on Fox, hosted through no lasting fault of her own by “Glee” star Jane Lynch.

Apparently constructed from loose scraps of somebody else’s Emmy shows, the year’s “biggest night in television” fell flat in writing, performance and imagination, except in the most fleeting moments. It’s bizarre how much effort goes into something that can seem so phoned-in: predictable awards, tongue-tied acceptance speeches, wan comedy bits. Is everybody jazzed about the new fall season yet?

“Mad Men” won its fourth Emmy in a row for outstanding drama series. Against all that other great stuff — “Friday Night Lights,” “Game of Thrones,” etc. That’s how boring this year’s Emmys were. Even Matthew Weiner, “Mad Men’s” usually prideful creator, had to fake his excitement. “Oh my goodness, I did not think that was going to happen,” he said, which is what every Emmy winner said. It’s like nobody wanted an Emmy.

The big winner of the night was “Modern Family,” ABC’s universally beloved comedy, which took outstanding comedy for the second year in a row, plus another four Emmys — for its writing and directing and also for supporting actor and actress Ty Burrell and Julie Bowen, who, as the frequently frantic Phil and Claire Dunphy, are arguably the best players in one of television’s strongest and funniest ensembles. But all the awards and baseline acclaim can mean only one thing to TV’s most discerning (and finicky) viewers: We’re about half a season away from wondering whether “Modern Family” is still funny. Success is like that.

There were several surprises with the selection of the 2011 Emmy winners, with many shows failing to get what many thought were deserved awards. Jen Chaney highlighted some Emmy snubs:

No Emmy for Steve Carell

As previously noted in this blog, Carell has more than proven that he deserved at least one Emmy for his portrayal of Michael Scott. In this, his final season of “The Office,” he was passed over for Jim Parsons, who won for the second consecutive year, leaving Carell Emmy-less for the sixth year in a row. Emmy-less — that’s so not what she said.

No Emmy for Connie Britton

It was wonderful to see Coach Eric Taylor, otherwise known as Kyle Chandler, finally win an Emmy for his work on “Friday Night Lights.” But the actress known as Tami Taylor, or Mrs. Coach, got nada. And week after week, she was just so good. Emmy voters clearly did not appreciate that, y’all.

No Emmy for Jon Hamm

Barring a tie, Hamm and Chandler couldn’t both win lead actor in a drama category. So the man who brilliantly brings Don Draper to life on “Mad Men” went home empty-handed for the fourth year in a row.

No Emmy for Michael C. Hall

Another dramatic actor who has repeatedly lost, the star of “Dexter” missed the mark for the fourth consecutive time. This marks his fifth Emmy loss if you factor in his non-victory for “Six Feet Under.”

Not every joke made at the Emmy Awards made it into the Fox telecast Sunday night, with a politically sensitive joke about News Corp., Fox’s parent company from Alec Baldwin failing to make the cut. As Jen Chaney explained:

Alec Baldwin was omitted from the clip that opened tonight’s Emmy Awards.

Deadline reported that the “30 Rock” star made a joke about Rupert Murdoch and the News Corp. phone-hacking scandal in the original pre-taped bit. But Fox, a subsidiary of News Corp., opted to cut the joke because the network “did not want to be seen as making light of” the scandal. After Baldwin opted out, Leonard Nimoy was called in to replace him and was seen in the video opposite Jane Lynch.

Several outlets are reporting that Baldwin, who is nominated tonight in the lead actor in a comedy category, decided to boycott the ceremony because of the edit. But Deadline’s piece says Baldwin had already committed to be in New York for Tony Bennett’s birthday soiree.

More from The Washington Post

Actors try to stand out on the red carpet

Melissa McCarthy’s memorable pageant moment

The best and worst fashion from the Emmy red carpet

Complete list of 2011 Emmy winners

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