The 10 Most Shocking Emmy Snubs

The Shield
By far, 2009's most gobsmacking oversight. The final season of The Shield featured some of the most compelling performances we've seen all year, and the series finale was among the best ever. And yet ... no acting nominations, no writing nominations, no directing nominations. No nothing. Given Emmy's usual soft spot for outgoing shows, I can make neither heads nor tails of this one.

Kyle Chandler and Connie Britton, Friday Night Lights
I hate to even mention the injustice of leaving out television's most complex and credible marriage and the actors who bring it to life. Friday Night Lights is snubbed every year for some reason, and while I didn't expect a best-drama nomination for the show, I always hope that either one or both of the pair will get a nod. No such luck.

In Treatment
HBO's über-talky therapy drama winds up in the classic Emmy conundrum. It's highly serialized, and nearly impossible to sum up in just a few episodes for Emmy voters who haven't been watching on their own. As a result, the show made a good showing in the acting categories, including nods for Gabriel Byrne, Hope Davis, and Dianne Wiest, but the series, which was just as excellent in its second season as in its first, pulled up short.

Jill Scott, The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency
This one I thought might be a long shot, and I have nary a complaint with any of the women nominated for best actress in a drama series. Still, I would have loved to see Jill Scott's performance as the unsinkable Precious Ramotswe in the category. The most irritating thing about Emmy voters is their tendency to latch onto nominees and hold them with a bulldog's grip. Nothing against Holly Hunter, whom I love, but a new face in the category would have been a treat, especially one as joyful as Scott's.

Josh Holloway, Lost
It's always good to see network television's most demanding (and arguably rewarding) drama among the series nominees, but this season of Lost belonged to Holloway. After being relegated for the bulk of season four, Holloway commanded this season as Sawyer, showing that he has much more to offer than a perpetually bare chest. It's a shame Emmy didn't agree.

Vincent Kartheiser, Mad Men
Everyone hates his character, the sniveling careerist Pete Campbell. So why isn't there a consensus on the actor who plays him? Kartheiser brings a desperation and longing to the least-endearing character at Sterling Cooper, and he should have been recognized for it.

Annie Wersching, 24
As a series, 24 hasn't been on top of its game from some time now. But of the complaints I could make about the show's seventh season, Annie Wersching is not among them. She was stellar as Jack Bauer's partner Renee Walker, showing how easily it is for a moral absolutist to slide further and faster toward relativism.

Eva Longoria-Parker, Desperate Housewives
I'm just about tired of complaining about this one. That Longoria-Parker is still a bridesmaid after five seasons of this show is simply a travesty, especially considering that Desperate Housewives is included in the comedy categories, and she's the most talented comedic actress of the bunch. This one may never happen.

Katey Sagal, Sons of Anarchy
I would have been most pleasantly surprised by a nomination for Sagal, who brilliantly played against character in the underappreciated FX biker series. Sagal's performance was sad and ferocious, and with the show's increased profile for its upcoming second season, don't be surprised to see her break into next year's list of nominees.

Better Off Ted
For a show with such an awful name, Better Off Ted is one of the most reliably funny comedies of the midseason, if not network television as a whole. The goings-on at Veridian Dynamics are always clever, and I wouldn't be surprised to see this show nipping at 30 Rock by next year.

Editor's note: Wait. Isn't Josh forgetting something? Oh, yeah: True Blood getting shut out in the best-drama and best-acting (no Anna Paquin?) categories. Come back tomorrow to for his essay on why he can't sink his teeth into the HBO vampire show.