Nominations for the 32nd Annual Daytime Emmys were announced live on Wednesday, March 2nd from the set of the longest running daytime drama, CBS's Guiding Light.
Mild controversy aside, this year's Daytime Emmy nominations again showed that past changes to the nomination process has created more of a level playing field. Eight of the nine current daytime dramas received nominations in the acting categories.
While there were familiar faces among the nominees - 12 of the 26 nominees in the main categories were previous winners - there were also a handful of first-time nominees. Among those being honored with their first nominations were All My Children's Jeff Branson (Jonathan Lavery), Greg Rikaart (Kevin Fisher, The Young and the Restless), Natalia Livingston (Emily Quartermaine, General Hospital), Kassie DePaiva (Blair Cramer, One Life to Live) and Juliet Mills (Tabitha Lenox, Passions).
The three ABC soaps - All My Children, General Hospital and One Life to Live - and CBS's The Young and the Restless were the only soaps to have both of their pre-screening nominees in a category place on the final ballot. In fact, AMC, GH and OLTL pulled off the feat twice. AMC snagged two of the Younger Actress nominations while two of Y&R's young men scored Younger Actor nominations, AMC and GH placed two performers in the Supporting Actor field, GH and OLTL double-dipped in the Supporting Actress category, OLTL earned two nominations in the Lead Actress category.
Juliet Mills' (Tabitha Lenox, Passions) nomination had more significance that just being her first Daytime Emmy nomination. Her nomination marked the first time that Passions has received a nomination in a Lead acting category. Coming into this year's nominations, Passions had scored just one previous acting nomination. In 2001, Josh Ryan Evans (ex-Timmy, Passions) was nominated for Outstanding Younger Actor. Passions has never won Emmy gold in any acting category.
This year's Lead Actress category was crammed with the most nominees ever to grace a single category on the Emmy ballot - a total of eight actresses earned nominations. In addition to Mills, One Life to Live star Kassie DePaiva (Blair Cramer, OLTL) earned her very first Emmy nomination. Last year's winner, Michelle Stafford (Phyllis Summers, Y&R) is again nominated this year. She is joined by previous Lead Actress winners Martha Byrne (Lily Snyder, ATWT; 2001), Susan Flannery (Stephanie Forrester, B&B; 1975, 2000, 2002, 2003), Kim Zimmer (Reva Shayne, Guiding Light; 1985, 1990) and Erika Slezak (Victoria Davidson, OLTL; 1984, 1986, 1992, 1995, 1996). Why so many nominees? "There was most likely a tie," a NATAS rep tells Soap Opera Central. Seven of the nine soaps received nominations in the category, with just All My Children and Days of our Lives being shut out.
Being shut out was again the theme of the day for Days of our Lives. More often than not, the NBC soap is overlooked in the acting fields. Last year, James Reynolds (Abe Carver, DAYS) received a nod in the Supporting Actor field. The last time DAYS received an Emmy nomination in a Lead acting category was 1998 when Eileen Davidson (ex-Kristen and Susan Blake, DAYS) earned a Lead Actress nomination for the dual roles of Kristen and Susan Blake. The shut out comes as a major surprise considering that DAYS was the receiving end of a lot of chatter last year mostly due to its serial killer storyline. In all, Days of our Lives received just two nominations - both of them coming in technical categories.
All My Children again proved to be the show to beat in the creative arts categories. The ABC soap received a whopping ten technical nominations. The only technical category in which the show did not receive a nomination was the Casting Director category. AMC was also not nominated in the Writing Team category.
In the writing category, As the World Turns was honored with a fifth consecutive nomination. The show's writing team, helmed by Hogan Sheffer, has won this category in three of the previous four years. General Hospital and Guiding Light each also have three previous wins in this category. All My Children holds the record with four writing wins.
The nominees for Outstanding Drama Series have amassed 20 wins in the category - or roughly two-thirds of all the trophies handed out in this category. General Hospital leads the tally with seven wins, The Young and the Restless has 6, followed by As the World Turns' 4 wins and All My Children's 3. Y&R, the top-rated soap for over 15 years, was the winner last year. The CBS soap earned its first win in this category in 1975. Between 1995 and 2000, General Hospital won the top series honors five-out-of-six times.
The Creative Craft Daytime Emmy Awards, primarily for the creative will be presented at ceremonies on Saturday, May 14th, in New York at Marquis Hotel and in Los Angeles at the Kodak Theatre Ballroom.
The Daytime Emmys will be held Friday, May 20th and will air on CBS at 900pm.