The Only 10 Differences Between This Year’s Emmys And Last Year’s

Modern Family cast Primetime Emmys press room August 2014

Oh please, not you guys again. (Photo: Nikki Nelson/

If I could describe last night’s Emmys in one word, it would be “predictable.” That’s not because of Seth Meyers as host. If anything, I thought it was actually refreshing to have a host who stuck to telling really good jokes instead of desperately trying to pull off wacky stunts that people would talk about the next day. No, the reason they were predictable is that the same shows won again. There was a moment there where I suspected the voters just looked at last year’s ballot and copied it out of laziness.

Instead of outlining all the winners who were the same as last year, we thought we’d take a different approach and tell you all the major categories that were different, if only to convince ourselves that we did not, in fact, mistakenly watch a DVRed version of last year’s show. What we discovered is that even when there were differences from last year, most of them had still won in years past. Hence why we all felt like we were having deja vu. Just because you’re different from last year doesn’t mean you’re not predictable.

1. Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series

Last Year: Jeff Daniels, The Newsroom

This Year: Bryan Cranston, Breaking Bad

You might have forgotten that Jeff Daniels took the award home last year, probably because Bryan Cranston had won the three years before that. So this hardly counts as a difference unless you were referencing last year’s ballot specifically while you watched.

2. Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series

Last Year: Claire Danes, Homeland

This Year: Julianna Margulies, The Good Wife

Okay, so Julianna replaced Claire this year. But has Julianna already won this award for The Good Wife? You bet she has, in 2011.

3. Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series

Last Year: Bobby Cannavale, Boardwalk Empire

This Year: Aaron Paul, Breaking Bad

And yet Aaron has still won this award twice before.

4. Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series

Last Year: Tony Hale, Veep

This Year: Ty Burrell, Modern Family

Ty won before in 2011, but on top of that, if we leave last year out, a Modern Family actor has won this award every year since 2010. So we can’t really be blamed for thinking this was still a predictable win.

5. Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series

Last Year: Merritt Wever, Nurse Jackie

This Year: Allison Janney, Mom

This one really came out of nowhere, just like last year’s. Allison Janney is fabulous and everything, but I forgot Mom was even a show on the air. I guess I really have to give the Emmys credit for this one. It was the only time all night that I actually went “Whaaat?” out loud.

6. Outstanding Reality-Competition Program

Last Year: The Voice

This Year: The Amazing Race

Even though The Voice won last year, The Amazing Race has won this award nine other years. So yeah, still pretty damn predictable.

7. The Miniseries/Movie Categories

I’m not putting these in separate places on the list, because for the most part, except for shows like American Horror Story, the nominees in these categories are different every year, because they’re one-time TV events. So we can’t really give much credit for those differences, although it’s the one section of the show that doesn’t feel like a rerun.

8. The Guest Actor/Actress Categories

Another one that’s different every year, because the whole point of a “guest” is that they often don’t repeat from season to season. And anyway, they won before the show and were announced in a rushed presentation without acceptance speeches.

9. The Writing Awards

I guess I do have to give credit for different shows winning this, but I can’t bring myself to outline each one separately, because most viewers unfortunately aren’t watching the show for these categories in the first place.

10. The Directing Awards (Except Modern Family)

Same as above, except ugh, more Modern Family?! Really?

As you can see, even when winners were different from 2013, they still weren’t any less predictable, considering they were actors and shows that had won multiple times in the past. When Modern Family gets canceled (ha, as if that’ll ever happen), I’m convinced the Emmy voters will still give the Outstanding Comedy award to them anyway. And they’ll accept it like, “Oh my goodness, what a surprise!”

You can reach this post's author, Jill O’Rourke, on twitter.
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    • Alexis Rhiannon

      Oh my god, I didn’t even realize it was this bad. Rough.

    • capoupascap

      Idk I still found it pretty predictable that AHS:Coven won so many awards in the miniseries/ movie category. And I personally didn’t find Coven that good….and does anybody know why Sherlock was allowed to be in the movie category? It was in miniseries/movie but then it was very specificly in the movie category. I found that very odd.

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    • .

      Atleast some predictable things can be explained- the actors on Breaking Bad, and the show itself, is/was REALLY good, and the show has ended, so this was their last chance to win. MODERN FAMILY though?! This was their worst season, they haven’t been that great for a few years now, and literally every. other. show. in the category was better. If it wasn’t already obvious by the Maslany snub, the Emmys are officially a joke.

      • Jill O’Rourke

        Oh no don’t mention Tatiana. I’m still hurting.

    • zach

      I don’t want to be too pedantic because this is an excellent recap that I very much agree with. But prior to Jeff Daniels winning, Damien Lewis won for Homeland. And the year prior to that Kyle Chandler won for Friday Night Lights. Cranston won the three years prior to that (2008 – 2010).

      But you’re right – too much same old, same old – especially Modern Family. Frankly, I think Veep is the funniest show on TV right now.

    • Mollie Goldstein

      I am totally okay with Breaking Bad winning. I think that the last eight episodes of the show were the best the show has ever been! All the acting was fantastic & I 100% understand why those actors took home trophies!
      The one that annoys me the most is Jim Parsons winning for Big Bang Theory. I don’t find the show or him funny and yet he always seems to win! CBS just doesn’t know how to stop a show before it kills itself!

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