Emmy nominations ballot 2013: Surprises from 'Game of Thrones,' 'Downton Abbey,' 'Mad Men,' 'Bunheads' and more

emmy-ballots-2013-game-of-thrones-mad-men-bunheads.jpgThe official ballots for the 2013 Primetime Emmy Awards are now available online, and while they won't tell us who's going to be nominated, they can tell us who won't be.

We scoured the ballots to dig up the notable omissions (if you were hoping for an Arya Stark nomination, better luck next year) and surprising inclusions (go get your directing nomination, Jennifer Love Hewitt!).

Where's "Bunheads"?

Every ABC Family original series (including "The Lying Game," "Baby Daddy" and "The Secret Life of the American Teenager") is submitted for consideration as either Outstanding Comedy or Outstanding Drama except for the network's most outstanding show: "Bunheads." Huh?

Star Sutton Foster submitted herself in the Comedy Actress category, but "Bunheads" is otherwise MIA from the ballots (even in technical categories like casting, main title design and costume design).

Other shows completely out of contention are more understandable, though Starz's canceled "Boss" earned enough acclaim that it should've been submitted for consideration. SyFy's ongoing "Continuum" and CW's departed "90210" are also not on the series ballot (while the rest of the CW line-up, including "Gossip Girl," is).

simon-baker-mentalist-320.jpgI can haz Emmy, pleez?

While we're rooting for Foster to score an upset, it's always kind of adorable when actors go out on a limb as the only performers submitted from their shows. This year's group of solo contenders includes Simon Baker ("The Mentalist"), Andre Braugher ("Last Resort"), Roger Cross ("Continuum"), Sharon Gless ("Burn Notice"), David Mazouz ("Touch"), Shemar Moore ("Criminal Minds"), Dylan O'Brien ("Teen Wolf"), Francia Raisa (Adrian Lee on "The Secret Life of the American Teenager"), Ashley Rickards ("Awkward"), Gary Sinise ("CSI: NY"), David Spade ("Rules of Engagement") and Austin Basis (J.T. Forbes on "Beauty and the Beast").

And then there are the shows with no actors submitted at all, including CW's "Gossip Girl," "90210" and "Supernatural" and ABC Family's "Baby Daddy" and "The Lying Game." Sometimes you know even getting on the ballot isn't worth it.

Will the "Mad Men" finale get a fair shake?

The "Mad Men" Season 6 finale, "In Care Of," doesn't air until June 23. Ballots are due on June 28. "In Care Of" was submitted for possible writing and directing nominations, but the timing won't give voters very long to properly consider the "Mad" finale. Many voters could fill out their ballots before the episode even airs -- unless AMC does something to make their notoriously secretive series available to Emmy voters ahead of time.

Thumbnail image for bates-motel-freddie-highmore-norman-bates-pilot-march-18-2013-a-e.jpgCategory confusion

Is Freddie Highmore a supporting actor on "Bates Motel"? Ridiculous! But that's where he's a contender for a nomination. Other tough-to-defend category choices: Portia de Rossi as lead actress for "Arrested Development," Sarah Wayne Callies as lead actress for "The Walking Dead," Matthew Morrison as lead actor for "Glee" and the always confusing Rob Lowe as lead actor for "Parks and Recreation."

Making wiser choices to change their categories this year: Elizabeth McGovern ("Downton Abbey"), Jessica Pare ("Mad Men") and Madeleine Stowe ("Revenge") all opted to shift from lead to supporting, while Jake Johnson ("New Girl") jumped up to lead from supporting.

But what I really want to do is win a directing Emmy!

There's nothing weird about actors directing an episode of their own TV series, but it's kind of hilarious to try to get an Emmy for it. What are the odds Courteney Cox ("Cougar Town"), Simon Baker ("The Mentalist"), Mark Feuerstein ("Royal Pains"), Christopher Gorham ("Covert Affairs") and Jennifer Love Hewitt ("The Client List") really directed Emmy-worthy episodes this season? They're also the only directing contenders on the ballot for their shows, which only makes it look worse.

Other offenders: John Krasinski ("The Office"), James Roday ("Psych"), Brian McNamara ("Army Wives"), David Boreanaz ("Bones"), Kevin McKidd ("Grey's Anatomy"), Chandra Wilson ("Grey's Anatomy"), Jon Tenney ("Major Crimes"), Peter Krause ("Parenthood"), Stephen Moyer ("True Blood") and Tim DeKay ("White Collar").

On the other hand, there are totally legit submissions from Lena Dunham ("Girls"), Louis CK ("Louie") and Mike White ("Enlightened"). And we'll go easy on Amy Poehler and Nick Offerman ("Parks and Recreation") and John Slattery and Jon Hamm ("Mad Men") since their shows are in the Emmy conversation anyway. Tony Goldwyn ("Scandal") also deserves a pass, because he's been firmly established as a director for years.

Then there's Bryan Cranston. He didn't direct "Breaking Bad," but he did direct (and submit for Emmy consideration) an episode of "The Office."

downton-abbey-season-3-finale-carson-hughes-baby.jpg Who was left out from "Game of Thrones" and "Downton Abbey"?

Unlike such big guns as "Breaking Bad" and "Homeland," which submit all of their cast members for consideration (even Walt Jr. and Chris Brody!), two hot shows with supersized ensembles opt instead to make tough choices. This year's "Downton Abbey" contenders are Hugh Bonneville (Lord Grantham) in lead actor, Michelle Dockery (Mary) in lead actress, Jim Carter (Mr. Carson), Rob James-Collier (Thomas) and Dan Stevens (Matthew) in supporting actor, and Laura Carmichael (Edith), Joanne Froggatt (Anna), Elizabeth McGovern (Cora) and Maggie Smith (Dowager Countess) in supporting actress. Shirley MacLaine is in guest actress.

That leaves out fan favorites including Phyllis Logan (Mrs. Hughes), Jessica Brown Findlay (Sybil) and one of last year's nominees: Brendan Coyle (Bates).

"Game of Thrones" has Nikolaj Coster-Waldau (Jamie), Peter Dinklage (Tyrion) and Kit Harington (Jon Snow) in contention for supporting actor and Emilia Clarke (Daenerys), Natalie Dormer (Margaery), Michelle Fairley (Catelyn), Lena Headey (Cersei) and Sibel Kekilli (Shae) on the ballot for supporting actress. Ciaran Hinds (Mance Rayder) is in guest actor and Diana Rigg (Olenna Tyrell) is in guest actress.

Given the massive cast, that leaves out a slew of key players including Charles Dance (Tywin), Jack Gleeson (Joffrey), Maisie Williams (Arya) and Sophie Turner (Sansa). And beloved characters Robb Stark, Theon, Brienne, Stannis, Melisandre, Davos, Ygritte... (Apologies to the actors, but we could be here all day.)
Photo/Video credit: HBO / AMC / ABC Family
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