July 16, 2009 at 05:17 PM EDT

The Emmy nominations yielded a few major surprises. The biggest: Family Guy got nominated in the Best Comedy category, the first prime-time animated show to do so since The Flinstones back in 1961. I’ve said a lotta critical things about Family Guy in the past, but I have to congratulate the show for this, because it helps all animated shows to reach equal status with live-action comedies. And maybe The Simpsons will finally get a nomination in this category next year.

Other pleasant surprises: the mighty Jim Parsons of The Big Bang Theory got nominated for best actor in a comedy, and Simon Baker was nominated in the drama category. It’s unusual for a young, mass-audience hit show like Baker’s The Mentalist to get a nomination this early on in its run, and suggests a new democracy among Emmy voters.

If the Best Comedy Actor nominees had a couple of the usual suspects (Charlie Sheen and Tony Shalhoub again? Really?), the surprise here was Jemaine Clement from Flight of the Conchords — yes, the Emmys are finally catching up to Flight of the Conchords.

Another great bit of news: Elisabeth Moss was nominated for Mad Men, the first woman in the cast to get a Best Drama Actress nod. And keeping up the quality, no fewer than three In Treatment stars were nominated: Gabriel Byrne, Hope Davis, and Dianne Wiest.

The piece I wrote yesterday about Emmy snubs proved all too true in many cases: Among the shows shut out of the running in major categories: True Blood, The Shield, Friday Night LightsBattlestar Galactica and Southland. Where was Lost in the Best Actor or Best Actress category? I correctly predicted a Toni Collette (United States of Tara) nom, but why no more daring choice, such as Chuck‘s Yvonne Strahovski?

In general, though, I have to say this year’s Emmy nominations were a bit more adventurous than usual, and with Parsons and Family Guy nominated, you know the Emmy broadcast, hosted by Neil Patrick Harris, is going to be a lot more surprising and fun to watch on Sept. 20.

So what do you think? What nominations make you glad? What snubs make you sad? Or mad?

A list of nominees: Emmy Awards: The 2009 nominees

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