It's time to survey, and protest, Emmy nominations

That sound drowning out the applause for this year's Emmy nominees announced Thursday morning is the grinding of teeth over worthy shows and stars Emmy ignored.

For instance, Jeff Probst already has four Emmys for hosting CBS' "Survivor." But did he deserve to get voted off the Emmy island when this year's nominations were handed out?

What about "The Killing"? Viewers were disgruntled by the mystery underlying this AMC drama, but you didn't have to care who killed Rosie Larsen to realize that co-stars Mireille Enos and Joel Kinnaman gave two of the year's best performances.

Sure, Fox's "American Idol" has slipped in the ratings, and two of its judges are jumping ship. But does that explain why this TV juggernaut has been snubbed for a nomination as best reality-competition program — for the first time ever?

Meanwhile, Fox's "House," which recently ended its eight-year run, goes empty-handed into Emmy annals deprived of one last chance for a best drama trophy, or a best actor nod for its star, Hugh Laurie.

Other lame-duck series are getting a similar Emmy cold shoulder.

FX's firefighter drama "Rescue Me" has now concluded its seven-year run with routine Emmy neglect for this outstanding series and its gifted star-writer-producer.

And ABC's much-honored "Desperate Housewives" will be remembered in its eighth and last season only with a nomination for the late Kathryn Joosten in the category of supporting actress in a comedy.

FX scored big with its splendid comedy "Louie" and its creepy "American Horror Story." But why not some Emmy love for "Sons of Anarchy," the network's riotous motorcycle-gang drama that boasts a gang of wonderful actors, including 2011 Golden Globe winner Katey Sagal?

Emmy continues to shrink from vampire and zombies. Again this year, both wildly popular "True Blood" on HBO and "The Walking Dead" on AMC were shut out of major drama awards.

HBO's mystical comedy-drama "Enlightened" was spurned, as was its co-creator and star, Laura Dern, whose Golden Globe-winning performance as its scrambled heroine is among the best of her career.

And while all six regulars on "Modern Family" snagged nominations, a fellow ABC comedy, "Happy Endings," went unnoticed by Emmy, as did its six excellent co-stars.

Not one, but two freshman drama series on the Starz network were overlooked: "Boss," starring Kelsey Grammer as the tyrannical mayor of Chicago, and "Magic City," set in the sordid glamour of 1960s Miami Beach. But both series will be courting Emmy with second seasons.

With the broadcast networks continuing to cede Emmy glory to cable, Emmy seemed suitably unimpressed with last season's new crop of broadcast shows.

Only nine freshman series on the five broadcast networks got so much as a lone minor nomination, and only one, Fox's comedy "New Girl," scored a major acting nod. In fact, it got two of them: for lead actress Zooey Deschanel and supporting actor Max Greenfield.

But what about two other breakout hits from last season: CBS' sitcom "2 Broke Girls" and ABC's fairy-tale drama "Once Upon a Time"?

Couldn't Emmy have made room for at least one of the funny "Broke" co-stars, Kat Dennings and Beth Behrs? And why was Emmy blind to the spell cast by any of the "Once Upon a Time" ensemble?

When it comes to Emmys, AMC's "Mad Men" has nothing to complain about. The advertising drama continues its reign this year by picking up a leading 17 Emmy nominations. But, oddly, none of those was for costumes. Even though the series has never won in this category, it has landed a best costume nomination every year since "Mad Men" began. Why none this year? Viewers who savor the characters' eye-popping '60s sartorial style have to be wondering.

If Emmy's annual bumper crop for "Mad Men" has become ritual, another of this year's big scorers is, by contrast, a big surprise. "Hatfields & McCoys," a three-night miniseries that aired at the end of May, made history on — fittingly — History channel by averaging 13.8 million viewers as the most-watched miniseries ever on cable.

Following on that ratings triumph, the program (recounting the famous interfamily feud) collected 16 nominations. Nothing to argue about there: This is the sort of out-of-nowhere surprise that Emmy watchers thrive on.


EDITOR'S NOTE — Frazier Moore is a national television columnist for The Associated Press. He can be reached at fmoore(at) and at