NEW YORK — That cliche about awards says it's an honor just to be nominated. But what about all the worthies Emmy overlooks each year? Are they being dishonored by Emmy's neglect?
It was a question raised by Emmy's latest round of snubs as this year's nominees were announced Thursday.
HBO's magnificent "Treme"? Jilted yet again.
Same for AMC's "The Walking Dead" and HBO's "True Blood." They just seem to freak out Emmy judges.
Showtime's "Dexter" was shut out, too, with no Emmy love lost on Michael C. Hall (a past best-actor nominee five years in a row) or for Jennifer Carpenter, who, as Dexter's foul-mouthed sister, has never been nominated for one of TV's most vivid portrayals.
Anyone who saw Tatiana Maslany in BBC America's "Orphan Black" was floored by her multiple roles as identical women who were revealed to be clones. But Emmy shut its eyes to a salute for her.
FX's motorcycle drama "Sons of Anarchy" continues to get Emmy's cold shoulder, despite riveting performances from an impressive gang of actors (including Katey Sagal, who won a 2011 Golden Globe for her role as the motorcycle club's firey matriarch but, in her long career, has never snagged an Emmy nomination).
And what about "The Americans," FX's splendid Cold War-era thriller? Sure, it scored a guest-actress nod for Margo Martindale. But how to explain zero recognition for terrific performances by stars Keri Russell and Matthew Rhys (not to mention the sly supporting-actor turn by Noah Emmerich)?
Speaking of indelible supporting actors: Christopher Heyerdahl as The Swede on AMC's "Hell on Wheels," which, like Heyerdahl, was spurned by the Emmys.
And is there any point in lamenting a second year that Mireille Enos and Joel Kinnaman were forgotten along with their great work for AMC's "The Killing"?
Kevin Bacon's entry into series TV was received with excitement when Fox's serial-killer drama "The Following" debuted earlier this year, but it was "hold the Bacon" at the Emmys as he and his series was ignored.
What a difference a year makes: Fox's comedy "New Girl" landed two Emmy nominations last season — for lead actress Zooey Deschanel and supporting actor Max Greenfield. They and the show got nada on Thursday.
Jon Cryer, last year's best-actor winner for the CBS comedy "Two and a Half Men," was shut out of a nomination this year.
And "Modern Family" star Eric Stonestreet, last year's winner as comedy supporting actor, failed to make the cut this year. Three of Stonestreet's cast mates on the ABC hit were named instead.
On Thursday the broadcast networks were crowing about their nominations, with ABC reaping 45 and CBS and NBC both claiming 53.
But none came close to HBO's 108, and Emmy continued to be unimpressed with the crop of new series the broadcast networks introduced the past year, in what might suggest a distressing trend.
During the 2011-12 season, only nine freshman series on the five broadcast networks got so much as a single nomination. During the 2012-13 season, that number shrank to these two major nominations for a pair of new series: Connie Britton as best actress on ABC's "Nashville," and Anthony Bourdain on ABC's "The Taste" as outstanding host of a reality-competition show.
Meanwhile, Internet TV network Netflix scored four major nominations (out of 14 in all) as it entered the Emmy fray with its new online originals: a trifecta for "House of Cards" (outstanding drama series, lead actor and lead actress) as well as outstanding lead actor for the comedy "Arrested Development."
So far in its first Emmys race, Netflix clearly feels honored.