Emmy nods: Conan O'Brien gets his day as TV landscape evolves
Emmy Award nominations released Thursday tapped Conan O'Brien's short-lived stint on NBC's Tonight Show, as well as a handful of shows from non-broadcast networks.
The nods are in. This morning, the 62nd Annual Primetime Emmy Awards nominations showed once more that the ongoing slow-motion revolution all over the television landscape continues, with an evolving mix of broadcast network, basic, and premium cable shows – not to mention a satellite drama – in the blend.Skip to next paragraph
The handful of new series with the most buzz came from traditional broadcasters – “Glee” (Fox), “The Good Wife" (CBS) and “Modern Family” (ABC), while returning dramas such as Showtime’s “Dexter” and AMC’s “Breaking Bad,” and “Mad Men” make it clear that the universe for TV entertainment continues to expand.
“We are in the middle of a revolution,” says Robert Thompson, founder of the The Bleier Center for Television and Popular Culture at Syracuse University. At the same time, he adds, “ we are also in the midst of high orthodoxy.” Such conventional TV dramas as “The Good Wife” persist, despite innovations such as “Lost” or even “24” – a critical and stylistically groundbreaking hit that ended this year and is surprisingly absent from the nomination list, he adds. “The Good Wife’ is such old-school TV,” he says, adding, “but just like ‘CSI,’ ‘Law and Order,’ and ‘Jag’, it shows that network television can still get good results.”
While there were few big surprises, Conan O’Brien’s presence in the late-night comedy show category, alongside Bill Maher, Stephen Colbert, and Jon Stewart – and most notably not David Letterman or Jay Leno – suggests that NBC, home to this past year’s Leno-O’Brien soap opera, “has egg on its face,” says Yahoo! TV expert Matt Whitfield.
The red-haired comic’s abbreviated show ran on NBC, but the peacock network did not mount the highly visible campaign in support of its nomination. Rather, TBS, Mr. O’Brien’s new home this fall, pushed for his place on the list. “This just proves that NBC has wrecked its late-night schedule,” says Mr. Whitfield. “TBS must be pretty happy, and Conan must be giggling at home right now.”