There was an interesting bit of history in American TV this year. The Simpsons surpassed Gunsmoke as the longest running scripted American series of all time. That might explain why animation is getting a little more respect in this year’s Emmy’s.
This year the prime time Emmy’s will have three different award categories in animation. There once was a time they only showed up on the Daytime Emmy awards, and usually only in the kid’s entertainment segment, if at all.
The Simpsons and the advent of cable changed all that. Together they made it possible for the likes of South Park, Futurama, Family Guy and the Adult Swim block. Adults, still primarily male, aren’t looked at like basement-dwelling misanthropes, or at least not as much so. Advertisers and manufacturers of billions of dollar of licensed products love them. So does the home entertainment industry.
That said, here’s the list of nominees:
Outstanding Animated Program
Alien Earths • NGC • SkyWorks Digital, Inc.
Prep & Landing • ABC • Walt Disney Animation Studios
The Ricky Gervais Show • Knob At Night • HBO • W!LDBRAIN and Media Rights Capital
The Simpsons • Once Upon A Time In Springfield • FOX • Gracie Films
South Park • 200/201 • Comedy Central • Central Productions
Honestly, this has got to be one of the strangest list ever compiled. It include one documentary, a holiday special, and what can only be called a backwards complement to Ricky Gervais for the original The Office. They could all easily be pulled out for the likes of something/anything by Seth McFarlane, Futurama, Robot Chicken, the Venture Brothers, and the greatest omissions of all, The Boondocks and Monster. How the industry could ignore those last two series at all is plainly mystifying.
Outstanding Short-format Animated Program
Adventure Time • My Two Favorite People • Cartoon Network • Frederator Studios
Chowder • The Toots • Cartoon Network • Cartoon Network Studios
Kick Buttowski: Suburban Daredevil • Racing The Schoolbus • Disney Channel • Walt Disney
Marvelous Misadventures Of Flapjack • Tee Hee Tummy Tums • Cartoon Network • Cartoon Network Studios
Robot Chicken • Full-Assed Christmas Special • Cartoon Network • ShadowMachine
Uncle Grandpa • cartoonnetwork.com • Cartoon Network Studios
Cartoon Network must be jumping with joy over this list. They got five out of six on this list. Personally, I would have pulled the one Cartoonstitute entry, Uncle Grandpa, for Disney XD’s Adventures of Phineas and Ferb. Also, what about a nod towards Spongebob Squarepants? That said, I’ll give a nod towards CH Greenblatt’s Chowder. Even though CN made the mistake of cancelling the series, the only real competition it has here is Robot Chicken, but Seth Green and company had better episodes.
Outstanding Voice-Over Performance
Hank Azaria as Moe Syzlak, Apu Nahasapeemapetilon; The Simpsons • Moe Letter Blues
H. Jon Benjamin as Sterling Archer; Archer • Mole Hunt
Dan Castellaneta as Homer Simpson, Grampa Simpson; The Simpsons • Thursdays With Abie
Dave Foley as Wayne; Prep & Landing
Seth Green as Robot Chicken Nerd, Cobra Commander, Movie Narrator; Robot Chicken
Anne Hathaway as Princess Penelope; The Simpsons • Once Upon A Time In Springfield
First and foremost, let’s get rid of the guest appearances. Foley and Hathaway have their moments, but when it comes to the world of voice over don’t hold a candle to the remaining four on this list. Azaria and Castellaneta have already gotten their Emmy’s in this category and Benjamin has done better (like in Lucy, The Daughter of the Devil). That leaves Seth Green, and the amazing range of voices he manages to conjure on Robot Chicken is truly outstanding.