The Wise Guise Emmy Nominations Round Table

Welcome to the first ever Wise Guise Round Table! First things first, we’ve listed all the major categories Entertainment Weekly felt were worth mentioning below, along with Clayton and mine’s votes if we were respected enough to get one. So if you’re not as nerdy as some of us are, check out what TV shows, movies, and mini-series were nominated… and which one’s were not! Then, below the list of nominees, is a discussion of sorts amongst many friends of The Wise Guise concerning the nominations… who is deserving, who isn’t, who should win, and who is missing… amongst much hilarity and general discussion about what is the good, the bad, and the ugly of television in the past year! Enjoy!

2012 Emmy Nominations

Best comedy
The Big Bang Theory
Curb Your Enthusiasm
Girls (Clayton)
Modern Family
30 Rock
Veep (Joseph & Palmer)

Best drama
Boardwalk Empire
Breaking Bad (Clayton)
Downton Abbey
Game of Thrones
Homeland (Palmer)
Mad Men (Joseph)

Lead actress in drama
Kathy Bates, Harry’s Law
Glenn Close, Damages
Claire Danes, Homeland (Palmer, Clayton & Joseph)
Julianna Margulies, The Good Wife
Michelle Dockery, Downton Abbey
Elisabeth Moss, Mad Men

Lead actor in a drama
Hugh Bonneville, Downton Abbey
Steve Buscemi, Boardwalk Empire
Bryan Cranston, Breaking Bad (Clayton & Joseph)
Jon Hamm, Mad Men (Palmer)
Damian Lewis, Homeland
Michael C. Hall, Dexter

Best competition reality show
The Amazing Race (Palmer, Clayton & Joseph)
Dancing with the Stars
Project Runway
So You Think You Can Dance
The Voice
Top Chef

Lead actress in a comedy
Zooey Deschanel, New Girl
Lena Dunham, Girls
Edie Falco, Nurse Jackie
Tina Fey, 30 Rock
Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Veep
Melissa McCarthy, Mike & Molly
Amy Poehler, Parks and Recreation  (Palmer, Clayton & Joseph)

Lead actor in a comedy
Alec Baldwin, 30 Rock (Clayton & Palmer)
Don Cheadle, House of Lies
Louis C.K., Louie (Joseph)
Jon Cryer, Two and a Half Men
Larry David, Curb Your Enthusiasm
Jim Parsons, The Big Bang Theory

Best supporting actress, comedy
Mayim Bialik, The Big Bang Theory
Kathryn Joosten, Desperate Housewives
Julie Bowen, Modern Family
Sofia Vergara, Modern Family (Joseph & Palmer)
Merritt Wever, Nurse Jackie
Kristen Wiig, Saturday Night Live (Clayton)

Best supporting actor, comedy

Ed O’Neill, Modern Family (Clayton & Joseph)
Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Modern Family
Ty Burrell, Modern Family (Palmer)
Eric Stonestreet, Modern Family
Max Greenfield, New Girl
Bill Hader, Saturday Night Live

Best supporting actress, drama
Anna Gunn, Breaking Bad
Maggie Smith, Downton Abbey (Palmer)
Joanne Froggatt, Downton Abbey
Archie Panjabi, The Good Wife
Christine Baranski, The Good Wife
Christina Hendricks, Mad Men (Clayton & Joseph)

Best supporting actor, drama
Aaron Paul, Breaking Bad
Giancarlo Esposito, Breaking Bad (Clayton & Joseph)
Brendan Coyle, Downton Abbey
Jim Carter, Downton Abbey
Peter Dinklage, Game of Thrones (Palmer)
Jared Harris, Mad Men 

Best miniseries or movie
Game Change
American Horror Story
Hatfield & McCoys
Hemingway & Gellhorn
Sherlock: A Scandal in Belgravia (Palmer, Clayton & Joseph)

Best variety series
The Colbert Report 
The Daily Show With Jon Stewart
Jimmy Kimmel Live
Late Night With Jimmy Fallon (Palmer, Clayton & Joseph)
Real Time With Bill Maher 
Saturday Night Live 

Best animated program
American Dad
Bob’s Burgers (Clayton & Joseph)
The Penguins Of Madagascar: The Return Of The Revenge Of Dr. Blowhole (Palmer, saying “THIS ONE’S FOR APHIWE!!”)
The Simpsons

Best non-competition reality program
Antiques Roadshow (Clayton & Joseph)
Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution
Shark Tank
Undercover Boss
Who Do You Think You Are? (Palmer)

Best reality show host
Phil Keoghan, The Amazing Race
Ryan Seacrest, American Idol (Palmer, Clayton & Joseph)
Betty White, Betty White’s Off Their Rockers
Tom Bergeron, Dancing With The Stars
Cat Deeley, So You Think You Can Dance

Best guest actress in a comedy
Dot-Marie Jones, Glee
Maya Rudolph, Saturday Night Live  (Joseph)
Melissa McCarthy, Saturday Night Live (Palmer)
Elizabeth Banks, 30 Rock (Clayton)
Margaret Cho, 30 Rock
Kathy Bates, Two and a Half Men

Best guest actor in a comedy
Michael J. Fox, Curb Your Enthusiasm  (Joseph)
Greg Kinnear, Modern Family
Bobby Cannavale, Nurse Jackie
Jimmy Fallon, Saturday Night Live (Palmer)
Will Arnett, 30 Rock
Jon Hamm, 30 Rock (Clayton)

Best guest actress in a drama
Martha Plimpton, The Good Wife
Loretta Devine, Grey’s Anatomy
Jean Smart, Harry’s Law
Julia Ormond, Mad Men (Palmer, Clayton & Joseph)
Joan Cusack, Shameless
Uma Thurman, Smash

Best guest actor in a drama series
Mark Margolis, Breaking Bad (Clayton)
Dylan Baker, The Good Wife
Michael J. Fox, The Good Wife (Joseph & Palmer)
Jeremy Davies, Justified
Ben Feldman, Mad Men
Jason Ritter, Parenthood

Best lead actress in a miniseries or movie
Connie Britton, American Horror Story (Joseph)
Julianne Moore, Game Change
Nicole Kidman, Hemingway & Gellhorn
Ashley Judd, Missing (Clayton & Palmer)
Emma Thompson, The Song Of Lunch (Masterpiece)

Best lead actor in a miniseries or movie
Woody Harrelson, Game Change
Kevin Costner, Hatfields & McCoys (Joseph)
Bill Paxton, Hatfields & McCoys (Palmer)
Clive Owen, Hemingway & Gellhorn
Idris Elba, Luther (Clayton)
Benedict Cumberbatch, Sherlock: A Scandal In Belgravia

Best supporting actress in a miniseries or movie
Frances Conroy, American Horror Story
Jessica Lange, American Horror Story (Joseph)
Sarah Paulson, Game Change
Mare Winningham, Hatfields & McCoys (Clayton & Palmer)
Judy Davis, Page Eight (Masterpiece)

Best supporting actor in a miniseries or movie
Denis O’Hare, American Horror Story
Ed Harris, Game Change
Tom Berenger, Hatfields & McCoys
David Strathairn, Hemingway & Gellhorn
Martin Freeman, Sherlock: A Scandal In Belgravia (Masterpiece) (Palmer, Clayton & Joseph)

Best writing for a comedy
Chris McKenna, Community (Joseph)
Lena Dunham, Girls
Louis C.K., Louie
Amy Poehler, Parks and Recreation (Palmer & Clayton)
Michael Schur, Parks and Recreation

Best writing for a drama
Julian Fellowes, Downton Abbey
Alex Gansa, Gideon Raff, Howard Gordon, Homeland (Palmer, Clayton & Joseph)
Semi Chellas, Matthew Weiner, Mad Men
Andre and Maria Jacquemetton, Mad Men
Erin Levy, Matthew Weiner, Mad Men

THE ROUND TABLE DISCUSSION (Adapted from an e-mail thread with the people I think of when I think… People who watch and love television)

Joseph Williams

Just so you know, my initial thoughts go something like this…

– If I were voting, the two categories I’d agonize for hours over would be Best Drama and Best Leading Actor in a Drama. First, simply to give thanks for the top-notch performances and top-notch series gracing our screens today. Not a weak link in either category. Some of the best ever, in fact.  But then, the decisions about whether Mad Men (I would argue still the best show on TV) should win yet again or whether Breaking Bad should… or whether Homeland’s fresh first season should be rewarded… or whether Boardwalk Empire’s operatic finale that radically altered the show should be paid off.  It’s a blessing that this many shows are this good… that this many performances are this good. But the voting… goodness!

– As much as I love Cousin Mary in Downton Abbey; Peggy’s tour de force performance of random sexual encounters in matinee movies and finally leaving Sterling, Cooper, Draper, Pryce… er… Sterling, Cooper, Draper; and Julianna Marguiles in anything she’s in ever… how can Best Actress in a Drama go to anyone BUT Claire Danes in Homeland? It can’t… and it shouldn’t.

– Not only did Survivor not get nominated again… but Jeff Probst, a.k.a. THE ONLY PERSON EVER TO WIN BEST REALITY SHOW HOST, WAS NOT EVEN NOMINATED?!?!? #OccupyEmmys

– The Best Comedy nominees are a joke. Glad Veep got some love, but the first two nominees should have been Community and Parks & Recreation. And neither of them are there!

– The Best Actress in a Comedy category is fun. Love all of those ladies!

– Rooting so hard for Ed O’Neill to pick up much-deserved win in Best Supporting Actor in a Comedy…. although if Max Greenfield a.k.a. Deputy Leo a.k.a. Schmidt from New Girl were to pull the upset, I’d be ecstatic.

– Maggie Smith from Downton Abbey vs. Joan’s powerhouse season from Mad Men. Flip a coin. Then cry because they both can’t win.

– Ah, yes, Best Supporting Actor in a Drama is once again a reminder of how lucky we are… and how difficult voting would be.  Dinklage, Esposito, Paul, and then our boys from Downton!

– Interesting dynamic with lots of popular movies and mini-series choices.  For the first time in a while, most casual fans of television know most of the nominees. We’ve got classic mini-series options like Hatfields & McCoys, British imports that count as mini-series because of how few episodes there are (Luther & Sherlock), the unique Ryan Murphy basic cable anthology horror series, and HBO Films hits.  For the first time… ever, I’m actually excited to watch this portion of the Emmys! I think there should be precedent set that if a British show wins big (like Downton last year), they must upgrade to the big leagues with the Best Drama Series categories. So Luther and Sherlock… if you win, be mature about it, and move on up.

– My boy Michael J. Fox with TWO nominations… guest starring in a comedy (Curb) and a drama (The Good Wife)! Marty McFly… all grown up and being AWESOME!

– Then, looking at the acting categories for movies and mini-series… yikes! It was a great year for TV. Still going strong in the second golden age…

Your thoughts, team?

Oh yeah… and NO RON SWANSON? WHAAAAAT?!?!?

Ben Stratton

The biggest problem I have is that too much Downton has been nominated. It’s good, but it REALLY didn’t deserve two supporting actor nominations. Would much rather have seen Walton Goggins and John Slattery get nominated.

Also, sad-face for no Parks and Rec best comedy nomination.

I may be speaking to the wrong group here, but Modern Family is not good anymore. But it will win all of the Emmys. Seriously, all four men do not deserve to be there, and we seriously need some Nick Offerman and Adam Scott somewhere.

I think that Homeland and Breaking Bad probably were the best two dramas, but Mad Men will win (95%), and if not it, then Downton (4%) will. Oh well.

Also, Maggie Smith is winning best supporting actress, and no Mad Men actors will win, cause apparently the show is only about how awesome Matt Weiner is at writing.

Joseph Williams

Here, here on Modern Family being stale and past its prime. Although I still wouldn’t mind seeing Ed O’Neill win. I still think he’s strong on the show. I wouldn’t vote for him, but I’d be happy for him.

Not as deserving as Adam Scott and Nick Offerman… and Rob Lowe… and really every male cast member on Parks & Rec AND Community.

Also, well said re: Mad Men actors and Weiner’s writing. Well said.

Palmer Williams

AGREE WHOLEHEARTEDLY, Ben.  Modern Family is miserable these days- it has fallen so so far- get it out of here!

Ben Stratton

Also, I really hope Sherlock sweeps the miniseries groups, even though it isn’t a miniseries, but whatever.

Mike Burns

I hope that the cast of the Office and Modern Family get on Oceanic Flight 815 and Desmond forgets to reset the countdown.

Matt Grimes

This is all I have to add at the moment…

Jon Cryer? Really?

Robert Funke

Parks and Rec is the best sitcom since The Office in its prime. And Curb is over. And 30 Rock is still great (unpopular opinion) but getting stale.

Boardwalk Empire?! Seriously, that show is mad boring.

Breaking Bad and Mad Men have equal claim in my mind, edge to BB.

Shows I have never seen: Harry’s Law, Damages, Homeland, The Good Wife, Downton Abbey.  Take it away, Elizabeth Moss!

Cranston deserves every Emmy.  Love ya Hamm.

Best compewhatever

Give it to Amy Poehler, not because she deserves it, she doesn’t, but you ignorant voters owe her a really dumb consolation prize.

The fact that Louis CK is up for this made me realize that not only is the best sitcom in recent history snubbed, but also the most creative and groundbreaking and only other arguable “best” imo (I Mean Objectively).

Sofia Vergara is boobs and yelling. Julie Bowen is 80% neck vein.

What am I looking at right now. “Who is the best actor on Modern Family?” “Ty Burrell.” “Are the next 3 better than any other actors on any other show?” “DEFINITELY NOT”


Xtina Hendricks is boobs and amazing acting.

Less than halfway through and I hate everything so much.

Give it to Giancarlo. Nobody did what he did.

Give it to Fallon. That guy is building something awesome.

Man, if this doesn’t go to Bob’s Burgers (WHICH IT WON’T), it’s stupid.


I hope they don’t give Melissa McCarthy an EmmyI hop for an hour and a half of lazy fat clumsy lesbian jokes. I really hated that SNL, and I love MM to death. Maya Rudolph, though.

Who is Julia Ormond? Doesn’t matter, give it to her.

one, two skip a few.


Whichever episode hung Lane, give it to that one.  I cried and was miserable for 2 days after.


Mike Burns

Give it to Giancarlo. Nobody did what he did.

To be more precise, give it to the blue check blazer Giancarlo wears to his death:

Matt Grimes

The Funke fellow so perfectly encapsulates everything I am feeling (aside from sucking from the teat of Fallon, but I’ll admit I’ve never cared for him, so perhaps I’m biased). I feel the Emmys pulled a huge ass bazinga on quality TV. And need I reiterate – why the hell does Duckie have a nomination?

Palmer Williams

You all have officially gone over my TV head – all I know is modern family sucks, Claire Danes should win, Maggie Smith is the best…. now back to procrastinating for the bar with Tori Spelling and Craft Wars

Ben Stratton

Yeah. The comedy writing nominees are insane. Poehler, Schur, Louie, Mckenna (‘Remedial Chaos Theory’ “Rooooooooooxxxxxxaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaannnnnnnneeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee”), and Dunham. Just stupid.

And I still don’t understand how the miniseries are separated out from full series (seriously, why is Sherlock a miniseries. I honestly think its in my top 6 drama things. oh well)

So much of the Emmys is stupid, but I knew that, so its nice to at least see all of those comedy people nominated for actually good things.

John “Papa” Nesbitt

Dearest Mike burns,

I understand your frustration with the Office, it has mostly sucked for 4 years minus the occasional decent and funny episode, most notably the final Will Ferrell episode.

But to throw modern family into death (by plane which is arguably in the top 4 for worst deaths behind cobra attack, fire, AIDS and hanging) is a terrible, terrible call.

Look, has modern family been phenomenal this year?  No! But has it been better than community, Bing bang theory and every other comedy, yes! Making it a T – 4 with 30 Rock (behind Parks, Louis and Veep).

Dearest Funke- I love you.

Dearest email thread.

Cranston and Hammy are the best there ever were.  When it comes to drama I don’t know if we will ever see another pair of A-Level/Michelangelo/Einstein/Tiger and Fed early 2000’s esque geniuses go toe-to-toe ever again in this fantastic world that we live in.  And let’s be thankful that we have two more years of this amazing rivalry.  Sit down right now and pray to God, Vrishnu, Tom Cruise, Russell Crowe or Wes Anderson that we have been witnessing art in the making the last 5 years with these two stalwart actors and shows…

And who are these idiots who do the nominating?!?!?! Parks n rec snub is enough for me to stop ever caring about this award system and cease using “He won the Emmy” as a sentence in my lexicon.

This is terrible and I won’t be watching and will only read up with Sepinwall afterwards for mad men and BB, the two best shows since the greatest show of all time, the Wire (which not surprisingly was never nominated, which is paragraph three of my thesis for why the Emmys can suck it).

And while we are on this thread, which do you think is better, MM vs BB?? In my opinion BB is better now, but I think MM will end up as the second best show of all time, pending Roger’s LSD trips of season 6.  Discuss.


Clayton Martin

And that ladies and gentlemen is why Papa Nes is both my boy and the man! Well played good sir.


Ben Stratton

Very very very strong disagreement on Modern Family. It’s not even the best comedy on Wednesday night on ABC. Maybe not the second best.

I was not as big of a fan of Mad Men this year as others. Liked Breaking Bad more. Also liked Homeland more. Still think The Sopranos will be up there as the #2 show. (I have not watched Deadwood, the other normal “Best Show Ever” contender).

Joseph Williams

Well, team… good talk! I’m sure we’ll keep it up as we prepare for a new TV season and get ready for the Emmys! Ultimately, more so than many of you, I think the Emmys (minus the Best Comedy category) got most of the nominations largely right. They botched that one category in a big way (although tried to make up for it with Best Comedy Writing), but recognized much of the great television from the past year. Although I still can’t believe Michael Pitt didn’t get any love for Jimmy Darmody. Unbelievable.

Good talk, team. Good talk.



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One Response to The Wise Guise Emmy Nominations Round Table

  1. Tom Williams

    While I think that Joe has nailed it with the embarrassment of great shows and actors I got some thoughts and issues. Mad Men and breaking bad are good maybe even great at times but to blaspheme and call anything but the Wire the best show of all time is beyond the pale. I mean I would run through 15 performances on that show that were better than either Cranston or Hamm but I digress. Breaking bad was definitely better than mad men this year but I’m surprised not to see more love for the two HBO entries. I suppose this is proof positive that the line between good TV and uncomfortable guilty pleasure is incest based story arcs

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