Emmys: Hooray for 'Mad Men' and '30 Rock,' but how many repeat winners is too many?

30-Rock-Emmys_lWell thank goodness Neil Patrick Harris and John Hodgman were a kick, huh? Because the list of Emmy winners themselves did nothing to shake up the ceremony this year. While the smooth host won praise and the telecast did seem fresher overall — loved the way they broke it into comedy, reality, miniseries/movie, and drama, all the better to clean the kitchen during the miniseries/movie segment — the actual choices were a bit of a yawn. That’s not to say they weren’t absolutely right in most major cases: 30 Rock (cast pictured) and Mad Men are truly worthy of praise, and furthermore, they still don’t get ratings worthy of their greatness. But for the second year in a row, the pair took the top prizes. (It was 30 Rock‘s third consecutive best comedy win, putting it in the rare company of Taxi, The Mary Tyler Moore Show, All in the Family, and Frasier.) Also repeating from last year: Glenn Close as best actress in a drama for Damages, Bryan Cranston as best actor in a drama for Breaking Bad, Alec Baldwin as best actor in a comedy for 30 Rock, Jeff Probst for best reality host for Survivor. And The Amazing Race and The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, again? Both for the seventh time? Even producer Bert Van Munster said, “I don’t know what to say anymore.”

The only big surprises, really, were Kristin Chenoweth for the now-dead Pushing Daisies and Jon Cryer for Two and a Half Men. And I gotta admit: I was kind-of pulling for the 30 Rockers in both those categories. But at least they spiced things up. Particularly Chenoweth, who used her teary acceptance speech to campaign for work: “I’m unemployed now, so I’d like to be on Mad Men.” Especially if it wins again next year.

What did you think, PopWatchers? Do you wish there were more surprise winners, or did the Emmys get it just right?

Photo credit: Mark J. Terrill/ AP Images

Comments (85 total) Add your comment
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  • Mary

    They got it right re: Bryan Cranston, IMO. He is absolutely incredible on “Breaking Bad” and I’m so glad to see him (and the show) get recognition.

  • Doug

    While I support shows receiving the “Best” awards year after year since they can be very different from year to year based on the writers and actors employed, I’ve long held the belief that an actor should only win an Emmy (or Golden Globe, etc.) once for the same role. I appreciate that characters mature and take new directions, but it doesn’t make sense to keep handing them the same awards year in and year out for basically the same work. (If I recall, Candice Bergan finally pulled out of the Best Actress Comedy race after 5 wins almost out of embarassment). A one-win-only policy clears the way for exceptionally gifted but overlooked performances (Michael C. Hall! Elisabeth Moss!) to be recognized with a little hardware.

    • Michael

      I agree completely. Plus, I don’t know if you can judge accurately from an episode or two who the best actor/actress was. It ignores completely the entire seasonal body of work. Alec B is brilliant as Jack D, but one emmy per person per character seems fair to me.

      • EricDallas

        The award is for the best actor for that year. If the best actor this year is same as the best actor for last year, then they should win it again.

      • Mira

        Well said EricDallas!

      • kim in kentucky

        I agree with Eric – if you’ve given the best performance – you should win!

    • chris

      I totally agree. It would leave room for others who are virtually ignored (basically anyone on Friday Night Lights). Of course, they might still be ignored, but it’s worth a shot.

  • Jack

    I love 30 Rock I really do but Alec Baldwin winning for it again, Jim Parsons deserved it. There is a lot of love for Parsons on this site and around the net so that is a good thing. Who knows next year could be a good year for him.

    • Jim

      Agreed Jack. Jim Parsons is an incredible force on Big Bang Theory. Hopefully, next year, he nabs it. As well as the much under-appreciated Neil Patrick Harris.

    • kate

      I agree. I love Alec, but I was pulling for Jim. The Big Bang Theory is hilarious, and it would be nice to see someone knew win.

    • Jami

      Yep. Everyone nominated deserved to win, but I was hoping this was Parsons’ year.

    • Mary

      I agree…the Emmy belonged to Jim Parsons. I love Alec Baldwin and he’s funny on “30 Rock,” but he’s won plenty of awards already. Geez, he’s about to become the new Tony Shalhoub!!

    • PJ

      This is only Alec Baldwin’s second Emmy for 30 Rock. He didn’t win for the first season, so to say he’s won this award too much is ridiculous.

    • ImStillToni

      I disagree with you guys: Alec Baldwin was hysterical last season on 30 Rock and it was probably one of his strongest seasons to date. Generalissamo anyone?

      I have never been a fan of BBT and I’m 31, even I realize that younger shows (catering to 20somethings) often don’t win Best Comedy..if anything HIMYM is way overdue. Too many old fogies in the Acadmey to appreciate varying good humor IMO

  • vince michaels

    i thought the same, there are so many other shows that could of been at least nominated and the same old song and dance wins again. it was a very boring awards ceremony that lacked in every major category. thumbs down, booo and a 2 out of 10.

  • Ryan

    Yeah, the Amazing Race and Daily show thing is getting ridiculous. There is no way they have been consistently the best for 7 years. I was hoping Wiig and Rainn Wilson to win (or maybe Morgan or McBrayer of 30 Rock) for supporting. I think Steve Carrell and really anyone else in the Best Actor-Drama should have won. Alec Baldwin is great and 30 Rock is my favorite show, but Steve deserves it!

    • Chris Parris

      The Amazing Race winning is ridiculous when the show sucks. There were shows way better than it in the same category. On the other hand Jon Stewart is hilarious. He should keep on winning. And my own personal input, Family Guy is way funnier than 30 Rock, it deserved to win.

  • pai

    Can you spell Bryan Cranston right? Sheesh, the guy is a two-time Emmy winner.

  • Jeff Frasier

    Here’s an idea, how about proofreading your title before posting it? ‘Man Men’ sounds like something on LOGO. Way to go EW.

    • Mary

      Notice how they haven’t changed it yet? Aye-yi-yi, what is happening to our basic spelling skills? These people are supposed to be “journalists”? Ugh.

  • Ashley Palmer

    ummm its called MAD MEN not MAN MEN…whoops

  • Sara

    I definitely think there should be a limit on how many times a show/actor can win – or at least, a limit on the consecutive wins. Like, if you’ve won twice in a row, you’re out of the running next year. I feel like at this point, it’s the accepted wisdom that 30 Rock is the best sitcom, so nothing else has a chance. Also, the Daily Show? Really? Colbert deserves the award so much more!

    • Kristine

      I agree…. especially after Colbert’s heartfelt and hilarious trip to Iraq.

      • Dee

        The Iraq shows were not eligible this year, actually.

    • Dee

      I agree completely! I think the Emmy committee isn’t smart enough to ” get” the humor of Colbert!

  • orville

    You didn’t think Cherry Jones’s win was a surprise? Everyone was predicting Chandra Wilson or Hope Davis. Or Toni Collette? Tina Fey was the favorite. Both were certainly deserving (as were the rest of the nominees) but not expected.

  • Rahul

    Yes, I hate this trend of repeat winners. I fast forwarded through most of the show on my DVR.

  • Michelle

    I was so frustrated with all the repeats! When the Emmys get in a rut, they really get in a rut. If Lost doesn’t win next year I’m gonna be really ticked off. Thank goodness Michael Emerson won!

    • kim in kentucky

      uh, repeat – Lost won a couple of years ago for the first season

  • C

    I am not going to be happy with the Emmy’s until NPH, Jim Parsons, Rainn Wilson, and Michael C. Hall all have Emmy’s. They deserve them and it is getting old that the same ol people keep winnig.

  • Mira

    I don’t think we should be admonishing the voters for awarding quality, quite the contrary. Why the hate for the repeat winners? So we should IGNORE quality? So the solution is to make mediocre television, because one day, you’ll get the consolation prize. Um, NO!

    Maybe shows should keep upping their games like Mad Men and 30 Rock. And Cranston, btw.

    There should NOT be a limit, quality and talent should always win in the end.

  • ks

    It is always the same shows-so many other shows and actors need to be regonized

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