Network TV and the Emmys: Going, Going, Gone

The nominations for the 70th annual Emmy Awards were announced July 12 in Los Angeles. And, as legendary 1960s TV character Gomer Pyle might say: surprise, surprise, surprise! Not.

Yes, millennials, while there is still something called network TV, the once dominant networks again took a backseat to the new “cool kids on the block” – with content streaming powerhouse (check out the company’s stock price) Netflix and HBO combining for a whopping 220 nominations.

The one big winner among CBS, NBC and ABC programming was NBC’s Saturday Night Live (SNL), garnering 21 nominations – undoubtedly given new life by tapping into the anti-Trump sentiment of its fan base. In fact, virtually the only late-night talk show not nominated was the one perceived to be “easiest” on Trump – The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon. Note: Seth Meyers had an even rougher day. While his former pals at SNL were popping the champagne, Meyers’ NBC talk show following Fallon was again snubbed by Emmy despite his credentials as a smirking, snarky Trump basher. Hey Seth, who did you tick off?

Meanwhile, two long-running high-quality CBS fan favorites – Mark Harmon’s NCIS, entering its 16th season this fall, and Tom Selleck’s Blue Bloods, renewed for Season Nine — continue to go virtually ignored by Emmy, unless you count the occasional nomination for “outstanding stunt coordination.” No kidding. Bottom line: NCIS might just as well stand for “No Chance In Sight.”

Modern Family of ABC, once an Emmy fave, failed to earn even a single nomination this year as it enters its 10th and perhaps final season.

While certainly showing some signs of “comedic fatigue,” the show still had its delightful moments but when you’ve set the bar so high … well, you know the rest. It was also good to see Mira Sorvino having some fun guest starring as a new-age lifestyle guru. Her company, Nerp, was not to be confused, of course (LOL), with Gwyneth Paltrow’s site. Sorvino hired Sarah Hyland’s character Haley, whose brief romantic interlude with Nathan Fillion of Castle fame can best be described as “creepy.” Fillion has a new ABC show this fall but he’ll miss the incredibly underrated Stana Katic.

And let’s bid a fond farewell to ABC’s The Middle, basically ignored despite its solid nine-year run with the terrific (just ask Raymond) Patricia Heaton. Fans of the hit NBC drama This is Us tell me that Mandy Moore deserved an Emmy nod. I’ll give Mandy a big thumbs-up for her candid radio interview with the self-described “King of All Media” Howard Stern.

Finally, in a case of a dubious network win, the wrong Matt LeBlanc show was renewed – Man With a Plan on CBS comes back while Showtime’s very underrated Episodes ends after Season Five. Having turned The Big 5-0 last year, LeBlanc’s not afraid to poke fun at his “Joey from Friends” image. Smart move. The beloved show signed off in 2004.

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