Introducing 8 Things We Learned From the Emmy Ballots

You can peruse almost every category to see who submitted what and where, and who didn’t even both putting their name in the ring. Plus, when plebes gripe about a snub after nominations are announced, you can sound smart and be like, “They weren’t snubbed because they didn’t submit themselves to begin with.” Booyah! Emmy voting started Monday, which means the submission ballots are online. These are easily the best parts of the Emmys (thanks for the transparency, TV Academy!).

Obviously we took a look through them. He are eight things we learned.

Ian McShane won’t win an Emmy for Tits and Dragons: Of the handful of things gleaned from Game of Thrones‘ submissions — including its opaque-as-ever descriptions for the final two episodes of Season 6 — it’s who they didn’t submit that stands out. McShane is not on the ballot for guest actor for his much-hyped turn as a Elder Brother and Septon Meribald hybrid Ray. (Networks typically submit performers, but performers/their reps can submit themselves/their clients as well.) Similarily, Diana Rigg, who was been nominated the past three years for guest actress, was not submitted this year.

Timothy Olyphant won’t grind to the Emmys: But by far the most egregious absence is Olyphant for his delightfully obtuse turn as himself on the dearly departed The Grinder. Look, I totally get Fox not shelling out dough for FYCs for a canceled show (you also have to pay an Emmy submission fee), so this is on his peeps. Dude won the Critics’ Choice Award for his guest spot. This oversight is not

Amy Poehler might finally win an Emmy: She’s 0-15. Her Losers Party cohort Jon Hamm shed his bridesmaid status last year, so she could follow suit. Poehler is submitted in comedy supporting actress for Wet Hot American Summer: First Day of Camp, but her best shot is in guest actress for Saturday Night Live, where she’s co-submitted with Tina Fey. The category has never featured co-nominees before, but joint nods are not unprecedented: Project Runway‘s Heidi Klum and Tim Gunn have shared nods — and a win — for reality host. Helping her cause? NBC did not submit Julia Louis-Dreyfus for her stellar SNL stint. (Don’t feel too sorry for JLD — she’ll probably win her record fifth straight Emmy for Veep.)

Ariana Grande submitted herself: SNL also didn’t submit the pint-sized singer for her hosting stint, so Team Grande took matters into her own hands. How can you tell? The headshots for all the other SNL guest submissions are the hosts’ bumper shots; Grande’s is of her lying on a bed.

Over-submitters: While there is no limit for how many episodes you can submit for writing and directing, you should err on the side of fewer (like one or two, maybe three) — especially in the age of #PeakTV. Gone are the days where The Sopranos — or even Mad Men — take four of the five slots (there will be six nominees the writing and directing races this year). Don’t give voters an option to split the vote. AMC is the poster child for over-submitting, dating back to its Mad Men and Breaking Bad days. This year, the network submitted seven Better Call Saul episodes or writing and nine for directing. The series had an excellent sophomore season and it’s things like this that might cost it spots on the shortlists. But nine is not even the most it submitted for one of its shows: Fear the Walking tossed in 11 (ELEVEN) episodes for writing. Other over-submitters: House of Cards (seven for writing, four for directing) and Homeland (nine for writing, six for directing).

Less is more: Smart submitters for writing and/or directing — those who went all-in on one episode (ideally your best or what you consider your best one) — include The Leftovers for “International Assassin”; Master of None for “Parents” (although they should’ve gone with “Mornings” if you ask us”); The Good Wife for its series finale “End”; and Black-ish for its police brutality episode “Hope.”

Fred Armisen hopes the Emmys don’t get six, er, sick of him: He is submitted six times in three categories: comedy lead actor for Portlandia; comedy supporting actor for Documentary Now!; and comedy guest actor for Difficult People, Man Seeking Woman, SNL and Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt.

Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt is the best: Networks have to submit character descriptions/plot summaries for their guest performer submissions, and Kimmy Schmidt deserves an Emmy for theirs. Even if you’ve never seen an episode of the show, it’s impossible not to be won over by their blurbs. Because, would you rather vote for this rote description of Joseph Gordon-Levitt on The Mindy Project — “Matt Sherman is the perfect, rich, reality show-producing boyfriend whom Mindy is engaged to in her dreams” — or one of these?

Emmy nominations will be announced Thursday, July 14.

GIF via Giphy