AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:
The 2015 Emmy Awards are two months away, but today we got a look at who's in the running for TV's biggest honor. HBO's hit, "Game Of Thrones," leads the way with 24 nominations. Here to talk about who else got nominated and who got snubbed, we're joined by NPR's TV critic Eric Deggans. Hey there, Eric.
ERIC DEGGANS, BYLINE: Hey.
CORNISH: So you and I had been chatting about, like, how shows always seem to get nominated year after year. Certain shows get repeat nominations. And then this year, that didn't happen, right? There were some surprises.
DEGGANS: Right. Well, the Emmy Academy increased the number of slots that they give for nominees. So instead of nominating six shows for best comedy, they're nominating seven shows for best comedy, and seven shows for best drama. So we saw new shows, like Amazon's "Transparent" and Netflix's "Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt" join this roster of shows that always get nominated as best comedy series. And in drama series, we saw "Better Call Saul" from AMC, also nominated in its first season. So that was great. And I'm doing a little happy dance for Tatiana Maslany, the star of the BBC America show "Orphan Black." She got her first Emmy nomination. Now, she got snubbed last year, and she is on this science fiction show where she plays seven different clones, and she got snubbed. We - you know, fans couldn't believe it, and now she's gotten an Emmy nomination, so we're very happy here in TV central.
CORNISH: Speaking of snubs, who got snubbed this year?
DEGGANS: Well, I would say Jim Parsons from "Big Bang Theory." He's been nominated as best comedy actor since 2009, and he's won this award four times. He didn't get nominated, and his show, "Big Bang Theory," didn't get nominated and it has also been nominated a lot. Julianna Margulies, who won as best drama actress on "The Good Wife" last year, she didn't get nominated. And her show, "The Good Wife," didn't get nominated either. Lena Dunham from "Girls" and Melissa McCarthy from CBS's "Mike And Molly," those are both people who have been nominated in the past. They did get nominated either. Lots of snubs out there.
CORNISH: All right. So I know we're a few months away, but people are going to be speculating about who might actually win these awards, and I want to know from you as a pro what are the big contests that you're going to be watching - the things that we should be looking for on that night?
DEGGANS: Sure. Well, "Modern Family" has been nominated again as best comedy. It's already won five times as best TV comedy. If it wins a sixth time, that will be a record. So we want to see if that's going to happen. Taraji P. Henson has been nominated as best actress in a drama, along with Viola Davis, for "How To Get Away With Murder." For the first time, two black women will be vying for this honor, and if either one of them wins, it will be the first time a black woman has been named best drama actress by the Emmys. So this is something to look for. David Letterman has been nominated for his final season on the "Late Show With David Letterman," but he's up against "The Colbert Report" with Stephen Colbert - Stephen Colbert's already left that show to replace him - and Jon Stewart on "The Daily Show." Jon is going to be leaving "The Daily Show" in August. So these are three titans of talk who will be leaving their shows soon, and they're going to be competing against each other in the Emmys. And finally, we've got Jon Hamm from "Mad Men." This guy has been nominated 15 times over the years with no wins.
CORNISH: Oh, my gosh.
DEGGANS: He is running the risk of becoming the Susan Lucci of the primetime Emmy Awards. So if he wins, particularly for his last season on "Mad Men," that will be a wonderful victory. If he doesn't, that will be quite a bitter defeat.
CORNISH: That's NPR's TV critic Eric Deggans.
Eric, thanks so much.
DEGGANS: Always a pleasure.
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