The writers branch continued its tradition of rewarding scribes from new shows that received little other Emmy love. They nominated Showtime's "Episodes" and FX's "Louie" for Best Comedy Writing, even though neither show was considered a major contender for Best Comedy Series. Both shows also managed to break into the Best Comedy Actor race (Matt LeBlanc for "Episodes" and Louis C.K. for "Louie").
The longform writing race yielded an even bigger surprise. Alongside the expected nominees "Downton Abbey," "Mildred Pierce," and "Too Big to Fail" was the mystery "Sherlock: A Study in Pink," which reaped just three other bids, all in craft categories. Neither of its stars, Benedict Cumberbatch or Martin Freeman, was nominated and the program failed to crack the top six for Best Movie/Miniseries. The modern-day "Sherlock" was penned by its executive producer Steven Moffat, whose other major claim to fame, the venerable sci-fi series "Doctor Who," is ineligible at the Emmys because of its foreign production credits. Perhaps many of the writers are closet Whovians who checked off "Sherlock" as a way to honor the "Doctor Who" maestro.
While the television academy has been notoriously biased against sci-fi and fantasy programming, the writers have been accepting of this genre. Of the four fields – performing, producing, writing, and directing – the writers were the only group to recognize the perennially ignored "Buffy the Vampire Slayer." In 2000, they nominated the episode "Hush," penned by series creator Joss Whedon, against two episodes of "The Sopranos" and two episodes of "The West Wing." (Aaron Sorkin and Rick Cleveland prevailed for the "West Wing" episode "In Excelsis Deo.") The writers also bestowed two nominations on "Battlestar Galactica," another series notoriously snubbed for acting and series nods.