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Sternbergh on the Emmy Voters: What Did David Simon Ever Do to You?

Emmy voters, you have disappointed these downtrodden children.Courtesy of HBO

Look, we won't go on and on about whether The Wire is now officially the best show on TV, given the death of The Sopranos. Nor will we chronicle its long, bizarre history of Emmy neglect. We won't bemoan the fact that Boston Legal was once again nominated for the Best Drama Emmy even though we don't know a single person who thinks it the best show on TV — because we don't know anyone who watches it. We won't belabor the fact that the mercifully euthanized Studio 60 got five nominations or that Dane Cook's Vicious Circle and According to Jim got one each. Instead, we'll simply point out that every one of the aforementioned shows — along with Meerkat Manor, Mad TV, and even freaking On the Lot — received more Emmy nominations this morning than did The Wire, which received zero.

You might think, Yeah, well, lots of things get snubbed at every award show every year. But this isn't just the usual award-show oversight; this is the kind of inexplicable recurring boner that calls the integrity/intelligence/collective sanity of the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences into question. This is as if the American Film Institute made a list of the top 100 American films of all time and left off The Godfather, then shrugged and said, "Not our cup of tea."

That said, there are a couple of possible explanations. Could it be that Emmy voters have somehow never heard of The Wire? Unlikely, given the full-court press we in the media gave it last fall. Maybe Emmy voters are allergic to excellence? Not all the time! After all, The Office and 30 Rock received Best Comedy Series nominations. Most likely, notoriously prickly Wire creator David Simon personally visited every Emmy voter, urinated in their cereal, and strangled their house pet to death. If so, they all deserved it. —Adam Sternbergh