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Emmys 2017
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Emmys 2015: Surprise nominations

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Eric Liebowitz/Netflix

There were plenty of predictable nominations (of course, Modern Family and Newsroom’s Jeff Daniels got the nods!) — but Emmy can still deliver a few delicious surprises, especially for actors in freshman shows. Here are some of our favorites.

The entire Outstanding Drama Actor category. All we can say is, wow. Emmy really delivered the welcome surprises by including industry fave Kyle Chandler for Bloodline, as well as a nom for Bob Odenkirk for AMC’s freshman series Better Call Saul. And bravo for Liev Schreiber for grabbing one for Showtime’s Ray Donovan.

The entire Outstanding Drama Actress category. Ditto for the gals: Viola Davis and Taraji P. Henson earned high-fives for the first seasons on How to Get Away with Murder and Empire, while Tatiana Maslany finally got her due for Orphan Black. This will be the category to watch, as those three women face the equally powerful trio of Claire Danes (Homeland), Elisabeth Moss (Mad Men), and Robin Wright (House of Cards).

Freshman comedy stars. Sometimes, it takes Emmy years to notice outstanding performances. This year, she didn’t disappoint. Besides giving much-deserved nods in the drama categories, nominations also went to Anthony Anderson (Black-ish), Will Forte (The Last Man on Earth), Jeffrey Tambor (Transparent), Amy Schumer (Inside Amy Schumer), and Lily Tomlin (Grace and Frankie).

Does Netflix know how to campaign or what? Besides earning the kudos for Chandler on Bloodline and Tomlin in Grace and Frankie, the streaming service’s Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, which was originally developed by NBC, earned a place in the Best Comedy category. 

We love you, too, Key & Peele. The Comedy Central sketch show earned nods in outstanding sketch show, variety special, short-format and writing categories, while Keegan-Michael Key got one for supporting actor in a comedy.

Niecy Nash. You’ve probably never watched HBO’s Getting On but plenty of voters have, apparently. She earned a supporting actress in a comedy nomination!

Do they have two Emmys ready for Sarah Paulson? She earned a nomination for playing conjoined twins on American Horror Story.

Appearing nude may be smart, after all. Discovery’s Naked and Afraid will compete in the Outstanding Unstructured Reality Program opposite Alaska: The Last Frontier, Deadliest Catch, Intervention, Million Dollar Listing, and Wahlburgers. Wahlburgers!

Competition for Outstanding Children’s Program is FIERCE. How cute is it that Girl Meets World will fight for the gold against Dog with A Blog

EW.com got a nomination! Okay, we didn’t really produce Transparent: This is Me featuring Transparent creator Jill Soloway, but we happily streamed it! It is vying for a prize in the Outstanding Short-Format Nonfiction Program category.

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