Friday Night Lights and Parks & Rec Are Our Favorite Emmy Surprises–What Are Yours?

Our list of everything we learned, and things we're still questioning, from today's 2011 Emmy announcements

By Jenna Mullins Jul 14, 2011 5:03 PMTags
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You've read the complete list of 2011 Emmy nominations. You've gone over and fumed about the biggest snubs. (Really? No Sons of Anarchy?) And now it's time to celebrate and discuss the nominations that took us by surprise, but in a really good way.

More importantly, this will be the space where you can jump in and vote for the nominations that happily shocked you the most. We picked our favorite surprise in every category, so let's get started...

Drama Series: Friday Night Lights. It's awfully sad that we're still surprised when FNL gets Emmy love. Not only was it nominated for Outstanding Drama Series, but Outstanding Writing as well. What more is there to say? Oh, yeah. Clear eyes, full hearts, give them lots of Emmys!

Comedy Series: Parks and Recreation. It was no secret that this NBC Thursday night gem was one of our favorites this past season, and to see it in the same category as Modern Family, 30 Rock, and The Big Bang Theory...well, we're just so excited we're throwing everyone a party at the Snake Hole Lounge! Somebody grab DJ Roomba!

Actress, Drama Series: Connie Britton, Friday Night Lights. Yes, we're going to keep writing about FNL's Emmy nods until you take the keyboard away from us. This is the last year FNL can be nominated, and we're so happy that voters are giving it the recognition it deserves, acting-wise. Coach and Mrs. Coach forever!

Prashant Gupta / FX

Actor, Drama Series: Timothy Olyphant, Justified. The FX hit comes roaring up in the Emmy race with nominations in almost all major acting categories. But mostly, we're positively giddy that the hunky and talented Timothy Olyphant got a nomination. Unfortunately, he'll be going up against FNL's Kyle Chandler, which means two certain people here at WWK will be fighting until the show on September 18.

Supporting Actor, Drama: Andre Braugher, Men of a Certain Age. We had our fingers crossed for his work on TNT's drama, but that usually doesn't work for us. Imagine our elation when Braugher got his nod. There might have been some fist-pumping.

Supporting Actress, Drama: Michelle Forbes, The Killing. So many fans were left with such a bad taste in their mouths after the season one finale that we thought the show had lost all its steam in the Emmy race. Not so, folks! The Killing picked up six nominations, including one for Forbes in her role as grieving mother Mitch Larsen—just like we told you would happen back when the show premiered. We're also thrilled for the lovely Mireille Enos, who was nominated in the Best Actress category!

Actor, Comedy Series: Johnny Galecki, The Big Bang Theory. Usually, it's Jim Parsons getting all the recognition for Big Bang Theory, so we were very happy to hear Johnny's name being called as well in the Lead Actor in a Comedy Series category. Rightly so, because Galecki playing the geeky straight man to Parson's eccentric Sheldon is one of the reasons the show is consistently funny. How are we ever going to choose between the two? That's a decision that we just can't fathom right now.

Ray Mickshaw/FOX

Supporting Actor, Comedy: Ed O'Neil, Modern Family. After the clusterfudge that was last year's Modern Family Emmy race that left O'Neil snubbed, we were excited to see some justice this year.

Actress, Comedy Series: Martha Plimpton, Raising Hope. RH was our favorite underdog this year, staying beneath the radar while still maintaining quality writing and acting. But shows that lay low sometimes get completely overlooked come Emmy time, so imagine our raised eyebrows when Martha Plimpton got a nod for her role as Virginia Chance! It's not the fact that she isn't talented enough to get a nom, she definitely is. It was just unexpected to see the Emmy powers-that-be recognize her. Way to go, voters!

Supporting Actress, Comedy Series: Betty White, Hot in Cleveland. All these wonderful women deserve to be in this category. In fact, we weren't surprised by any of the noms. But if we had to pick one, it would be the great Betty White. Hot in Cleveland isn't exactly lighting up the Emmy nominations, but if anyone should get recognition for the show, it's White. Good luck all you funny ladies!

Guess what? It's voting time! We picked our favorite surprises for main categories, and now it's your job to help us decide which one was the most welcome surprise. And if you think we left a certain actor, actress, or show off the list unfairly, know where to go to yell at us. Happy voting!


2011 Emmys: Favorite Surprises!

Which nomination happily surprised you the most?
Friday Night Lights (Outstanding Drama Series)
Parks and Recreation (Outstanding Comedy Series)
Timothy Olyphant, Justified (Lead Actor in a Drama Series)
Connie Britton, Friday Night Lights (Lead Actress in a Drama Series)
Andre Braugher, Men of a Certain Age (Supporting Actor in a Drama Series)
Michelle Forbes, The Killing (Supporting Actress in a Drama Series)
Johnny Galecki, The Big Bang Theory (Lead Actor in a Comedy Series)
Martha Plimpton, Raising Hope (Lead Actress in a Comedy Series)
Ed O'Neil, Modern Family (Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series)
Betty White, Hot in Cleveland (Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series)