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2008 Emmy nominations: EW critics react

Hooray for Julia Louis-Dreyfus and Kristin Chenoweth! But still no love for Tracy Morgan or ”The Wire”? Ken Tucker and Gillian Flynn dissect the nominee list

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Kristin Chenoweth, Pushing Daisies
Scott Garfield

Take a step inside the mysterious mind of a TV critic with this email back-and-forth between EW’s Ken Tucker and Gillian Flynn, which reveals what the duo love (Bryan Cranston!) and loathe (no Friday Night Lights?!) about this morning’s 2008 Emmy nomination announcement. And be sure to share your own take on the Emmy noms over in PopWatch.

KEN TUCKER: So, Gillian, were you as happy as I was to see Gabriel Byrne [In Treatment] and Bryan Cranston [Breaking Bad] get best-actor nominations? Clearly something has shifted in the TV universe when guys playing a dolorous shrink in a low-rated HBO show and a meth-manufacturing high-school teacher get recognized by their peers. And as much as I don?t care about Pushing Daisies, I loved that Kristin Chenoweth — the best thing about that show — was nominated, along with male star Lee Pace; I think the bright and shiny colors of Daisies appeals far more to Academy voters than the gray matter of our beloved The Wire, which was shut out of the major categories.

GILLIAN FLYNN: I kinda thought the Academy might toss The Wire something — a ”thank you for going away so we don’t have to feel guilty not watching you anymore” parting gift. Alas. Very pleasantly surprised to see Byrne and Cranston get nods. You and I disagree on Daisies — I smile just thinking of the show — but I was thrilled to see Chenoweth recognized. Less thrilled to see Damages so widely lauded — to think that overwrought drama gets a nod over the truly genuine Friday Night Lights!

KEN: Yeah, FNL was really robbed yet again. That James Spader [Boston Legal] and Michael C. Hall [Dexter] get to be lauded again while Kyle Chandler [Friday Night Lights] is again ignored, and Mariska Hargitay [Law & Order: Special Victims Unit] in the slot Connie Britton would occupy — I?m genuinely baffled. I get it that The Wire is too downbeat/complex for Academy members? patience, but an All-Amuurican, high-school show about a couple of responsible parents can?t score nominations? Even on a slow week it does better numbers than, say, Dexter. Oh, well, Julia Louis-Dreyfus [The New Adventures of Old Christine] was re-acknowledged, and Lost?s Michael Emerson rewarded — he just has to beat ”Denny Crane!”

GILLIAN: Hargitay! (Me shaking fist at sky!) We get it, Academy, she’s super, super awesome. I would have been so much happier seeing an actress like Big Love‘s Jeanne Tripplehorn land a nod — or anyone from Big Love, an excellent HBO drama that never gets the credit it deserves. In the comedy category, glad to see 30 Rock once again getting its due, but I’m unclear how anyone can consider 30 Rock brilliant and still not give that key player Tracy Morgan a nod. Thanks, at least, for the Julia Louis-Dreyfus love — I hope she wins the whole thing.

KEN: Why is it that, in the midst of all the re-loving of so many (Monk‘s Tony Shaloub AGAIN??), the nominators didn?t pick up on the resurgence in quality of Desperate Housewives? It was easily more funny than the last edition of Entourage, and they could have given Eva Longoria or Dana Delaney a nod. Oh, well, all in all, not awful, given the Emmys? usual out-of-tune list. I?m rooting for Bryan Cranston, and Heidi Klum in the new reality-host category!