Surprises, shockers from Emmy nominations

Story highlights

  • "Game of Thrones," "Mad Men" and "Orange Is the New Black" among best drama nominees
  • But "Empire," the breakout hit of the season, gets overlooked for drama
  • "Inside Amy Schumer" scores with seven nominations, including actress in a comedy

(CNN)Well, you can't criticize the Emmy nominations for putting forth the usual suspects this year.

Or can you?
On the one hand, for example, four-time winner Jim Parsons ("The Big Bang Theory") was overlooked for best actor in a comedy -- the first time that's happened since 2008. In his place were such performers as Will Forte ("The Last Man on Earth") and Anthony Anderson ("Black-ish").
    On the other, "Downton Abbey" received a nomination for best drama -- and "Empire," the breakout hit of last season, did not.
    Emmy nomination snubs past and present
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    Emmy nomination snubs past and present 02:17
    Here are some of the surprises and shockers the nominations for the 67th Emmy Awards sent our way:

    Where's 'Empire'?

    Few shows had the immediate impact of Fox's "Empire," which debuted in January. The show's ratings increased each week as viewers raptly followed the machinations of a family-run record company.
    Despite the popularity of the prime-time soap, "Empire" came up short in the nomination column, nabbing just three overall -- and two of those were for costumes. Taraji P. Henson did get a nomination for actress in a drama.
    The word "snub" came up a lot on social media.
    Maybe Emmy voters thought the show was too over-the-top soapy. However, another show that's been criticized for its soap-opera tendencies -- "Downton Abbey" -- was in a familiar place, up for best drama among its eight nominations.
    Meanwhile, the other "Empire" -- "Boardwalk Empire," which had its final season on HBO -- received 10 nominations

    Schumer rising

    This really is the year of Amy Schumer. The comic actress' show, "Inside Amy Schumer," received seven nominations, and Schumer is up for actress in a comedy.
    Emmy voters even paid attention to other performers on the show. Paul Giamatti, who's been a brilliant sketch presence, was nominated for his performance as Juror #10 in the "12 Angry Men" parody that rated Schumer's, uh, sexual desirability.
    Schumer may be in for a triumphant weekend. Her comedy movie "Trainwreck" opens Friday.

    Finally, Maslany

    For two years, social media have wondered why Tatiana Maslany, who plays several clones on "Orphan Black," didn't receive any nominations. Wonder no more: The Canadian actress has finally nabbed a nod.
    However, fans might still have a bone to pick with the Emmy voters. Maslany's was "Orphan's" only nomination.

    'Transparent' love

    The Golden Globes loved Amazon's "Transparent," giving the show about a father transitioning to a woman honors for best comedy series and actor Jeffrey Tambor.
    The Emmys have followed suit. The show picked up 11 nominations, including nods for comedy series, Tambor, supporting actress Gaby Hoffmann and guest actor Bradley Whitford, among others.

    The 'Mad' gang

    Jon Hamm earned a nomination for "Mad Men's" final hurrah, which was no surprise -- he's been nominated seven times before. But he's never won.
    In fact, none of the show's regulars has ever won. This year both Elisabeth Moss and Christina Hendricks each have their sixth "Mad" nominations. Neither has taken home a trophy. (And for people rooting for Kiernan Shipka, whose Sally Draper became one of the show's most fascinating characters ... sorry.)
    Yahoo! TV critic Ken Tucker told ABC News he thinks this is Hamm's year.
    "It will be a shock if Jon Hamm doesn't finally win an Emmy," he said.
    The show was nominated for 11 Emmys.

    The power of 'Thrones'

    "Game of Thrones" continues to dominate when it comes to Emmy nominations. The HBO program led all series with 24.
    However, those nominations have seldom paid off outside the technical categories -- costumes, styling, sound, visual effects and the like. Among the performers, this year Peter Dinklage, Lena Headey, Emilia Clarke and Diana Rigg received acting nominations, and the show is once again up for drama series. Given the competition, it's probably got another uphill battle -- against admen, not dragons.

    What about ...

    "Breaking Bad" may be gone, but Saul Goodman lives on. "Better Call Saul" received seven nominations, including drama series and actor in a drama (Bob Odenkirk).
    The Emmys also welcomed "Silicon Valley" and "Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt," both of which received comedy series nominations. Surprisingly, however, "Schmidt's" Ellie Kemper was overlooked for comedy actress.
    CNN received five nominations -- one for "The Sixties" and four for "Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown."
    "Masters of Sex" earned just three nominations, none for lead performers Michael Sheen and Lizzy Caplan.
    And "Broad City"? Nada.
    Looks like it will have to step up its game.
    The 67th Emmy Awards are scheduled to air on September 20 on Fox, with Andy Samberg as host.