Love it or hate it, Lost's series finale served a purpose: It delivered star Matthew Fox to his first-ever Emmy nomination.
Fox, who bled, battled and, after all that, died in the farewell, is up for Lead Actor in a Drama Series. He'll face off against a mix of old Emmy favorites—and one unexpected category newcomer.
Breaking Bad's Bryan Cranston, who won last year, Dexter's Michael C. Hall, Mad Men's Jon Hamm and House's Hugh Laurie—aka, the old Emmy favorites—round out the category along with Kyle Chandler, new to the race for the much-acclaimed, but under-watched Friday Night Lights.
Overall, it was a remarkable day for FNL, which also notched a Lead Actress nod for Chandler's on-screen wife, Connie Britton.
In her race, Britton will battle a collection of Emmy experts: Damage's Glenn Close, the reigning champ; Law & Order: SVU's Mariska Hargitay; The Closer's Kyra Sedgwick; and, The Good Wife's Julianna Margulies, who knows her way around from her ER days. Besides Britton, the other first-time nominee is Mad Men's January Jones, who proved Mr. Draper isn't the only tortured suburban married worthy of Emmy love.
Falling off the roster from last year: Brothers & Sister's Sally Field; Saving Grace's Holly Hunter and Mad Men's Elisabeth Moss, who got bumped down, as it were, to the Supporting Actress category.
Unlike Fox, who finally found redemption, Evangeline Lilly ends her Lost run without ever having been nominated for all her bleeding and battling.
Lost figured elsewhere, with Michael Emerson and Terry O'Quinn up again for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series. (Emerson won last year.) The series also brought Elizabeth Mitchell her first career Emmy nod—her return as Juliet was considered guest-actress work.
Going up against Moss in the Supporting Actress race is Mad Men costar Christina Hendricks. Overall, the category looks completely different from last year, save for returning hopeful Rose Byrne of Damages. Last year's winner, 24's Cherry Jones, helped spur the turnover by declining to submit her name for nomination.
Grey's Anatomy and 24, two shows that used to be strong in the acting categories, looked weak. Grey's, with two Emmy nominations overall, didn't pick up a nod for any of its stars, meaning, no, there'll be no final victory lap awaits Katherine Heigl. The expired 24, with five noms, nabbed a guest-actor slot for Gregory Itzkin, and that's it.
On an otherwise big day for True Blood, the vampire saga failed to generate sufficient heat—and zero acting nominations—for star Anna Paquin and the rest of the cast. The show is the only Drama Series contender (or Comedy Series contender, for that matter) so shunned.