Emmys Upset! The 19 Shows That Could Shake the Status Quo


With a glut of good television on the air, THR's TV critic imagines (pessimistically) that the academy will reverse its rubber-stamping.



Again, using 2011 as a guide for the usual suspects is handy, because this category gets a lot of rubber-stamping (though most of the shows are deserving). Modern Family, Parks and Recreation, The Big Bang Theory and 30 Rock are all but assured a nomination. Choosing Glee would just be compounding a mistake, and the recent season of The Office was a creative disaster. That leaves two slots -- unless voters decide to drop 30 Rock because it's been in this category (and won) so many times. Possibilities:

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Louie (FX) and Girls (HBO): Here's the thing -- there are no shows like Louie or Girls on television. Louie should have been nominated last year; it's the funniest show on TV. The freshman Girls is the most original, audacious series since Louie, so these two are an absolute must -- which means that if they get in, by Emmy standards, that's a double upset.

Veep (HBO): A great political satire and, like Girls, a more easily accessible series than Enlightened -- but worthy of a nomination no matter what. Wonderfully spot-on.

House of Lies (Showtime): It might be that this comedy is too crass for Emmy voters and they will only give a much-deserved nomination to Don Cheadle. But hey, you can hope.

Archer (FX): Yes, really. It's animated, and there's a special category for that, but there's a sophisticated sense of humor that places Archer above standard animated fare. This hilarious and ridiculous series could easily battle standard sitcoms.

Raising Hope (Fox): Most of the best sitcoms are on broadcast, and this is no exception. Maybe the funniest show you're not watching.

Suburgatory (ABC): More proof that we are absolutely loaded with great comedies, and this is a freshman.

Don't Trust the B---- in Apt 23 (ABC): See above. And it might just be better. Congrats to ABC.

Community (NBC): The word you're looking for here is overdue. One of the most original network sitcoms, it has been sorely missing from this category.

It looks as if 2012 could shape up as the Year of the Upset when it comes to nominees. The potential is there. Or maybe these deserving series don't deserve to be called upsets at all, but simply the most worthy and laudable.

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  • JUNE 11: Nominating ballots posted on the Television Academy's website
  • JUNE 28, 5 P.M.: Deadline for returning nominating ballots to Ernst & Young
  • JULY 19, 5:35 A.M.: Nominations announced from the Leonard H. Goldenson Theatre
  • WEEK OF AUG. 6: At-home judging DVDs for Creative Arts Awards categories are mailed
  • WEEK OF AUG. 13: At-home judging DVDs for Telecast Awards categories are mailed
  • AUG. 24, 5 P.M.: Deadline for returning at-home judging ballots for Creative Arts Awards categories to Ernst & Young
  • AUG. 31, 5 P.M.: Deadline for returning at-home judging ballots for Telecast Awards categories to Ernst & Young
  • SEPT. 15: Creative Arts Awards and Ball
  • SEPT. 23: ABC telecast of the 64th annual Primetime Emmy Awards, followed by the Governors Ball

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