Emmy ballot shockers: Chelsea Handler and Craig Ferguson out

With today’s release of the Television Academy’s 2015 Emmy Awards ballots, many shocking omissions and changes are among the entries. 

Where is “Chelsea Lately” or “Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson” in the race for Best Variety Talk Series? Having departed television months ago, neither is even making an attempt on the Emmy ballot this time. However, there’s an interesting addition to the category, which we’ve reported on the past. Jerry Seinfeld has entered his web series “Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee.”

In the comedy categories:

Saturday Night Live” makes the very surprising move of submitting none of their female guests hosts this year. Since the Best Comedy Guest Actress category started allowing variety contenders in 2009, “SNL” has had at least one nod every time (including wins for Tina Fey and Betty White). While several male guests are on the 2015 ballot, they left off Amy Adams, Taraji P. Henson, Scarlett Johansson, Sarah Silverman, and Reese Witherspoon from this past season.

Variety performers had been relegated to competing in the supporting categories in recent years. A new rule allows them to choose between lead or supporting, but Amy Schumer (“Inside Amy Schumer“) is almost alone in making the leap into lead. Keegan Michael Key and Jordan Peele (Key and Peele“) along with Fred Armisen and Carrie Brownstein (“Portlandia“) remain in supporting.

Randall Park is unexpectedly going for supporting rather than lead for freshman hit “Fresh Off the Boat.”

Jake Johnson (lead) and Max Greenfield (supporting) from “New Girl” are giving up on their Emmy chances after failing to receive bids before.

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In the drama categories:

Joelle Carter stays in supporting for “Justified” even though original plans had her moving into lead.

Departing star Nina Dobrev from “The Vampire Diaries” is no longer on the ballot.

Expected guest stars that were not submitted include Ann Dowd (“Masters of Sex“), Marla Gibbs (“Scandal“), and Emmy queen Cloris Leachman (“Hawaii 5-0”).

For the movies and limited series:

We expected entries that did not happen for “Away and Back,” “The Dovekeepers,” “One Child,” and “A Poet in New York.” The limited series “Secrets and Lies” winds up being a drama instead.

For “24 Live Another Day,” both Michelle Fairley and Kim Raver are not on the ballot.

People we thought to be supporting but are actually leads are Benito Martinez (“American Crime“) and Jeffrey Dean Morgan (“Texas Rising“).

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Note: Omissions from the ballot are not the fault of the Emmys. TV networks, production companies or individuals may choose not to enter because they don’t believe they have a chance of being nominated or else they don’t want to pay the entry fees — or both.

Gold Derby had already uncovered many of the following interesting ballot items weeks ago based on new Emmy rule changes:

Comedy series are now defined as half-hour shows while drama series are one-hour programs. That means the move by “Orange is the New Black” into drama, but an academy committee ruled that “Jane the Virgin,” “Glee,” and “Shameless” can be comedies.

A performer appearing in at least half of a season’s episodes can no longer compete as a guest star. That new rule is pushing last year’s guest champs Uzo Aduba (“Orange is the New Black”) and Joe Morton (“Scandal“) into supporting along with some other notables: Geena Davis (“Grey’s Anatomy“), Sam Elliott and Mary Steenburgen (“Justified“), Jane Fonda (“The Newsroom“), Bruce Greenwood (“Mad Men“), Dot-Marie Jones (“Glee”), Frank Langella (“The Americans“), Hugh Laurie (“Veep“), and Andrew Rannells and Peter Scolari (“Girls“).

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