Rob Lowe submits name for lead, not supporting Emmy: Smart move? Poll!


Image Credit: Byron Cohen/NBC

Rob Lowe has taken to Twitter to explain his decision to enter the lead actor Emmy race instead of supporting for his work on Parks and Recreation: “Re: Emmy category. Having 3 guys from the same show all submit in ‘supporting’ didn’t seem like a good idea in Pawnee. #spreadthewealth.” Perhaps Lowe is thinking back to last year’s Modern Family debate: The adult cast decided to all submit as supporting because they are a true ensemble comedy, and Ed O’Neill got snubbed. Many in the industry thought O’Neill could have gotten away with calling himself a lead actor because of his position as the show’s patriarch and his years on Married… With Children (which, by the way, netted him zero Emmy nominations). With Lowe’s character Chris Traeger at the top of the government ladder in Pawnee, the actor receiving the all-important “and Rob Lowe” billing on the show’s opening credits, and his previous lead actor Emmy nod for The West Wing, does it make sense for him to step up if someone from the show has to — even though it feels like the only male he tops in screentime is Jim O’Heir (Jerry)? Well… yes. Nick Offerman is the only other logical choice, but somehow that just feels so anti-Ron Swanson, the man who never wants to lead anything (other than a movement to keep hamburgers on the menu). 

The question is: Will Lowe’s move pay off? I could definitely see voters wanting to reward his bold, surprising move to join a comedy and the fact that he’s so brilliant at making Chris optimistic enough to frighten a goth while not making him into a caricature. If he were to go supporting, he could split votes with his castmates, and none of them could end up in the crowded category. (If at least Offerman doesn’t crack it this year, we will not be happy.) Will Lowe make the lead category? Looking at last year’s nominees, two of them (Larry David and Tony Shalhoub) definitely won’t be back, so there are openings. Still, Chris Traeger isn’t as indispensable as Jack Donaghy, so it’s a tough call. Let’s take it to a vote!

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Comments (69 total) Add your comment
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  • chancey


    • Fog cue

      First to enter your wh0re mother’s kooch – Eeeeew!!

    • LOL

      Ron Effin Swanson! Nick O just gets better and better.

      • Mandi

        Pyramid of Greatness – nuff said

  • chancey

    I think one of the males on parks and recreation submitting for lead is a good idea. But I do not think it should be Rob his character is great but is clearly secondary in screen time and story wise to Aziz, Nick and Adam. One of those guys should submit their names for lead not Rob.

    • Snsetblaze

      Agreed. It should be Nick though, then Aziz. But in reality, the only one period from that show that should be submitted for a lead is Amy Poehler. Everyone else is supporting. Yes, it would hurt chances … assuming that the performances were all good enough to be in consideration anyway. Rob Lowe is, even though he’s in the credit, still more of a guest actor anyway and probably should be considered in that category.

    • JaySin420

      Yea I love Rob’s character on that show, but he’s expendable.

      It’s got to be Offerman.

    • LOL

      Aziz is quickly falling into the Tracy Morgan trap of delivering all of his lines exactly the same way.

    • kate middleton

      I agree – I think at least one of them needed to submit as Lead. I would think it would have been Nick Offerman. But I can understand why Rob did it.

  • Mr. Holloway

    Although I don’t consider Lowe to be a “leading” actor on “Parks and Rec” by any stretch of the imagination…I actually think it’s a brilliant move on his part.

    Supporting actor in a comedy is RIDICULOUSLY stuffed: for better or worse, Chris Colfer is a shoo-in for nom…then you have approximately 8 or 9 actors from “Parks and Rec” and “Modern Family” vying for the rest of the spots. Lowe is the one male cast member on “Parks and Rec” that can actually get away with submitting himself for lead given his status.

    I’m most curious about which “3 guys” he was talking about submitting themselves for “Parks.” I think Nick Offerman, Chris Pratt, Aziz Ansiri AND Adam Scott have all turned in award-worthy work, so I wonder which of those guys isn’t being pushed? (If I had to pick just one, it’d be Offerman.)

    • FLGRL

      Wait, Glee is a comedy? It hasn’t been very funny this season.

      • Mr. Holloway


        (And also, don’t get me started…that’s another rant for another day.)

      • Dash

        Glee was never very funny. I can’t believe Chris Colfer won comedy awards. I really hope Parks and Rec gets some emmy love this year.

      • Stephanie

        In movies, musicals tend to be lumped with comedies for awards purposes regardless of subject matter. Maybe that’s what’s happening with Glee.

    • JKL

      This is where an Emmy for an Ensemble cast would be helpful. I always hope that for excellent, small shows like this Emmys can really make a difference.

      • kate middleton

        I agree – they really should add that category. Parks & Rec, Office, 30 Rock, Modern Family, Cougar Town….so many shows work so well because of the entire cast.

  • Marie

    Honestly, I think both Nick Offerman and Adam Scott have a better case for being the lead actor than Rob Lowe does. They have substantially more screen time than he does but out of the two of them, I would say that Offerman should be the lead.

    Ron is the counterbalance to Leslie on the show. Without him, the show would be thrown way off kilter and I can’t say the same if Lowe’s Chris or Scott’s Ben disappeared.

    • Snsetblaze

      Good point! Offerman’s character has a reason to be around too … it seems like the powers that be are stretching the reason for Low and Scott to remain in Pawnee (though I do like the characters).

    • lagitha

      “I can’t say the same of Lowe’s Chris or Scott’s Ben disappeared.” The fact that the first few years were successful without them proves that. I second the previous post that there needs to be a Best Ensemble Cast” category, but without, Ron Swanson is much more of a leader than Chris is.

  • Andy

    Oh man. I really hope Chris Pratt gets nominated.

  • Aprilcot26

    They all deserve noms, but if I had to choose, I’d probably say Nick Offerman. Parks and Rec has a brilliant cast!

  • The Dude

    When I think “lead,” I don’t necessarily think of screen time, but instead I think of how important the character is to the central story. Unfortunately, Lowe’s character is really just a device to help of hinder Leslie Knope. I understand why he submitted for lead, but for me, only Amy Phoeler’s character can be considered a true lead.

    In a perfect world, though, the entire cast of “Parks and Rec” AND “Community” would be shoo-ins for nominations.

    • The Dude

      help *or* hinder

    • Mr. Holloway

      Agree that Poehler is the show’s only true lead. That being said, trying to grabe a Lead Actor in a Comedy slot is really smart: it makes Lowe look like a good guy because he’s trying to “spread the wealth” and, more importantly, Lead Actor is a hell of a lot thinner than the jam-packed supporting characters. (I stupidly forgot to consider the great “Community” cast in my previous comment.)

      • Karate Pants

        Though I’m perfectly content with Poehler being the sole lead, I would also consider Offerman to possibly be a lead as well.

      • @Mr. Holloway

        You’re also a big fan of The Office and Cougar Town, two more shows that could put at least a couple of men onto the Best Supporting Actor Comedy ballot.

      • Mr. Holloway

        I still have a lotta love for “The Office”, but based on this year alone the only person I’d nominate for a Supporting slot is Ed Helms. (Along with Carell in the Lead for his final season.)

        As for “Cougar Town”…I think all the guys are really funny, but I wouldn’t take them over the guys on “Modern Family”, “Parks and Rec” and “Community. (And if I had to pick one, it’d probably be Brian Van Holt.)

      • adam

        But how does it make him look like a good guy by going for lead when, aside from Jerry, he’s the least important male character on the show? To me, it doesn’t make him look like a good guy. It makes him look very egotistical, thinking he can get away with it because he’s the biggest name in the cast.

      • Mr. Holloway

        @ adam

        Because no one in their right mind would ccnsider Lowe a lead on “Parks and Rec”…and that includes Lowe. I still think it’s his way of getting out of his more established (within this show, at least) castmates’ way.

        Sure, he could NOT submit his name at all and accomplish the same thing, but I personally think he’s been great on the show, so that would be a shame. Given Lowe’s history, I can see how some people might see it as an ego move, but I’m just not getting the vibe that Lowe actually thinks he’s a lead actor and is somehow above some of the supporting players.

      • adam

        Yeah, I guess I see what you mean. You could be right.

  • Erin

    I can understand Lowe’s reasoning, but I think it will backfire on him. Of all of the guys in the cast (and they’re all great), the one that most deserves an Emmy nod is Nick Offerman.

  • K

    I get the sense that Rob felt like he had to submit himself but doesn’t think he deserves a nomination, so he just submitted himself in the category he can’t possibly get one in and won’t take any votes away from any of his castmates. Or that’s what I’m going to choose to believe.

    • Mr. Holloway

      I agree with your reasoning: by getting out of the way of actors who’ve been there longer he looks like a team player…and if he somehow ends up with a nom, all the better for him!

    • ChristineOH


  • Brian

    Seems strangely in character.

    However, Lowe is no stranger to overestimating his value (see the West Wing and his exit there) so I hope this isn’t a portent of rocky things to come.

  • commentor

    I think Lowe is the most annoying P&R character. Love the addition of Adam Scott though. Ron, Andy, and Tom are brilliant.

  • Bill

    Steve Carrell is going to win, so it doesn’t matter anyway.

  • Jamie

    Well someone was going to have to go lead actor, because its such a weak category compared to supporting category. Supporting Actor has the 4 Modern Family guys, the 3 Community guys, 4 Parks guys. That’s 11 possible nomiantions right there from just 3 shows and it doesn’t include Colfer or NPH. Actor has Carrel, Parsons, Baldwin, Morrison, McHale. After that, the 6th spot can be given to anyone (I’m hopiong for Danny McBride). So someone from Parks was gonna have to go lead to have a shot at a nomination. Honestly, Lowe won’t get nominated this year, but after Carrel leaves and Baldwin leaves, then Lowe will get nominated. Thus his move to lead will benefit him in the long run, when other NBC vets leave their shows.

    • Babs

      I think you’re mostly right on lead actor, but I would hope instead of McHale (even though I like him) they would nom one of the guys from “Men of a Certain Age”. Premium work being done there.

  • Nee Nee

    I like Rob Lowe on the show, but it’s clearly a supporting role. Ron is genius to me. He should win for his facial expressions alone!

  • Rick

    The Emmys need to get with the times and create Best Ensemble categories in comedy and drama.

    • Sara

      Great point. I think the Screen Actors Guild does, and it’s a great way to recognize shows like Parks & Rec and Community, which are really ensemble-driven.

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