Emmys 2011: The Forgotten Categories

We now know where the chips fell in the major categories, but the Emmys award a slew of other trophies, many of them lumped under the umbrella of “Creative Arts” and given out at a second, less-glamorous ceremony. But these are important categories, too! So here's a quick look at some of the nominees from The Island of Misfit Emmys.

Outstanding Voice-Over Performance

This category began in 1992 (prior to that, a voice-over artist could be nominated in the regular acting categories), and fittingly, the award went to the cast of The Simpsons. This year, Desperate Housewives’ dead narrator Mary-Alice Young—a.k.a. Brenda Strong—won a nomination. Also nominated: Maurice LaMarche as Lrr and Orson Welles’ head in a jar on Futurama, B-b-b-b-ob “Porky Pig” Bergen on The Looney Tunes Show, Christopher Plummer as the narrator of TCM’s Moguls & Movie Stars, Seth Green as everything on Robot Chicken, and Dan Castellaneta for his work as Homer, Krusty, Barney, and Louie on The Simpsons. Fun category! Where else would you see Plummer going head-to-head with Seth Green?

Outstanding Art Direction For A Single-Camera Series

You wanna talk snubs? Here’s a snub: Where’s Game of Thrones in this category? The scenes set on The Wall alone were enough to earn it a place here. Instead, Showtime’s The Borgias makes its first showing, alongside the no-brainers Mad Men and Boardwalk Empire, and the one “Huh?” selection of Modern Family. Yup, Modern Family—for the Halloween episode, which wasn’t particularly good, but there you have it.

Outstanding Commercial

Yes, the Emmys have a category for TV commercials. None from our recent list of corny ones seem to have made it, surprisingly. But here are the ones that did:

"Baby" • McDonald's • TBWAChiatDay New York, Ad Agency

"Baby Driver" • Subaru • Carmichael Lynch, Ad Agency

"Born Of Fire" • Chrysler 200 • Wieden+Kennedy, Ad Agency

"Conan" • American Express • Ogilvy New York, Ad Agency

"Polar Bear" • Nissan LEAF • TBWAChiatDay, Ad Agency

"Questions" • Old Spice Body Wash • Wieden+Kennedy, Ad Agency

Hm, how to handicap this one? For starters, that dad didn’t even pay for his Egg McMuffin, so he’s out. The Subaru ad, well, meh. Conan has gotten enough attention this year. And the polar bear ad is too sad. So it’s down to the Chrysler ad and the Old Spice guy. I call it for Chrysler!

Outstanding Short-Form Picture Editing

Ha ha ha! They actually give an Emmy for montages. I’d love to hear the petty squabbling in this category: “Damn 'In Memoriam' guys win it every year...grumble grumble....” Maybe next year the guy who edits together these nominees will be nominated. Montage-ception! Anyway, the nominees are:

... The Oscars' opening film
... The Oscars' “Unintentional Musical” bit
... American Idol's “Scotty’s Home Story” (the one where he cried)
... The ESPY Awards' “Images Piece”
... Jimmy Kimmel Live's “After the Academy Awards — The President’s Speech.”

We give this one to Scotty. He cried, gosh darn it!

Outstanding Original Main Title Theme Music

The nominees: PBS’s Any Human Heart, The Borgias, Camelot, Episodes, The Kennedys, and Mildred Pierce.

Now wait just a cotton-pickin’ second. Game of Thrones didn’t get a nomination for main title theme? How is that even possible? That song is the greatest thing ever! It’s inspired countless tributes and covers, including this 8-bit version:

Well, at least the entire Game of Thrones title sequence with its little clockwork map was nominated—but it’s all about the theme music. Travesty!

Outstanding Original Music And Lyrics

This was the category that “Dick in a Box” won, so don’t be too surprised that Justin Timberlake and Andy Samberg’s more recent collaborations, “I Just Had Sex” and “3-Way (The Golden Rule)," along with another Lonely Island offering, “Jack Sparrow (feat. Michael Bolton)” all earned nods. And JT’s opening monologue number—the one about how he wasn’t going to sing—was nominated, too. Finally, Family Guy’s “Road to the North Pole” and a song from the Robert Klein HBO special snuck in to round things out. There’s one clear winner here, and it's “Jack Sparrow.” Hilarious.

+ Emmys 2011: The Biggest Disappointments and Most Pleasant Surprises
+ Modern Family Leads the 2011 Emmy Nominations