Daytime Emmys 2011: Good, bad & ugly of preliminary nominees

The Daytime Emmy Awards have a unique and often confusing way of determining nominees. Potential contenders must first be selected by their cast to represent the series. Only those so chosen can then submit an episode for consideration by the Daytime Emmy judges. Nelson Branco (TV Guide Canada) tracked down these preliminary lists which contain many surprises about who did and did not enter the race as well as the categories in which they want to contend.

The Good
The best thing about this list is the variety of ages represented. Several industry veterans have submitted their names including Peggy McCay (Caroline Brady, “Days Of Our Lives,”)  who won a Primetime Emmy in 1991 (Guest Drama Actress, “The Trials Of Rosie O’Neill”) but lost both her Daytime bids back in 1986 and 1987.

I love that Julia Barr submitted her name for her publicized return to “All My Children” for a rematch with longtime sparring partner David Canary (Adam Chandler). Though her return was short-lived, it was much discussed and pleased the fans. Barr has two wins (1990 and 1998) out of eight nominations. Both of those victories came in the supporting race despite numerous lead bids. And Canary — who has five wins out of 15 nominations — is among the most celebrated performers in the industry. His retirement left fans stunned and it would be wonderful if he was rewarded with another win.  

Most people submitted in the right categories for a change. Alicia Minshew (Kendall Hart, “All My Children”) put herself in supporting a few years ago despite her overwhelming screen presence. Performers often choose to go supporting rather than face a slew of industry veterans in the lead races. However, this year both Minshew and her and co-star Rebecca Budig (Greenlee Smythe) are trying their luck with lead.

I am also encouraged by those veterans who swallowed their pride and went supporting: Robin Strasser (Dorian Lord, “One Life To Live”), Nancy Lee Grahn (Alexis Davis, “General Hospital”), Doug Davidson (Paul Williams, “The Young & The Restless”), Melissa Clair Eagan (Annie Chandler, “All My Children”) and Hillary B. Smith (Nora Buchanan, “One Life To Live”).    

The Bad
As always there are too many people submitting their names despite not having enough material to warrant a nomination. This year, that long list includes three of “The Young and the Restless” vets — Christian Le Blanc (Michael Baldwin), Tricia Cast (ina Webster McNiell) and Jeanne Cooper (Katherine Chancellor) — as well as newcomer Tristan Rogers who only began on the show in December. Susan Lucci, the one-time queen of daytime TV, has seen a dramatic decrease in airtime over the last few years that was mae even more so in 2010 when the series shifted from New York to Los Angeles. By continually submitting in lead, she could be keeping a more deserving cast mate from contending. And Susan Haskell of “One Life to Live” should also have gone supporting.

The Ugly
Three “As the World Turns” actors missed their last chance to submit. Kathryn Hays played the role of Kim on the show since 1972 and her work during the last week of the series was stellar. I am also sad to see that neither Van Hansis nor Jake Silberman (Luke Snyder and Noah Mayer) is in the running; their on-again/off-again romance was the sole reason to watch “ATWT” in the last few years.

Among the other glaring omissions are Vanessa Marcil-Giovinazzo  (Brenda Barrett, “General Hospital”) who returned in August and has definitely become the lead of the show. And Bobbie Eakes (“All My Children”) is also MIA while Cady McClain, who appeared a handful of times as a ghost, is in contention.

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