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2012 Emmy nominees: The newbies
Leading up to the 64th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards, airing on Sunday, Sept. 23 on ABC, Hudson Buzz will preview the Emmy races that feature stars with hometown roots. First up, the “newbies.”
Max Greenfield of "The New Girl" and Merritt Wever of "Nurse Jackie" have a few things in common. They’re both first-time Emmy nominees in best supporting actor in a comedy categories. As scene stealers of their respective comedies, their nominations delighted TV fans. And oh yes, they both have connections to the Hudson Valley.
Greenfield earned a best supporting actor Emmy nod for his role as the lovably narcissistic Schmidt on the FOX comedy “New Girl,” which debuted last fall. While the titular “girl,” fellow first-time Emmy nominee Zooey Deschanel, is the show’s lead, the Dobbs Ferry native quickly became the series’ breakout star. As someone who’s obsessed with his looks and living an absurdly high-end lifestyle (he’s the proud owner of a sharkskin laptop sleeve and driving moccasins), Schmidt’s penchant for colorful quotes has inspired countless videos and Tumblrs devoted to his “Schmidt-isms.”
As beloved as Greenfield’s character is on “New Girl,” his Emmy category is stacked with talent, including all four male actors -- Ed O’Neill, Jesse Tyler Ferguson and previous Emmy winners Ty Burrell and Eric Stonestreet -- from the uber-popular “Modern Family,” as well as popular “Saturday Night Live” star Bill Hader. Does Greenfield have a chance to defeat the cast of “Modern Family,” who’ve dominated the category for the past two years? As his character would say, “Schmidt happens.”
Last year, a page called “Isn’t it time Merritt Wever won an Emmy?” was created on Facebook. Well, the Emmy Awards finally listened, because the Sarah Lawrence College graduate received her first nod for her role on the Showtime dramedy “Nurse Jackie.” Her character Zoey began the show as an enthusiastic but inexperienced nursing student who stood out in sharp contrast to her mentor, the strong-willed, pill-popping nurse Jackie Peyton (played by Purchase College alum and fellow Emmy nominee Edie Falco). This season, Wever demonstrated her character’s growth as she became a more confident and independent person while still retaining her bubbly charm.
Like Greenfield, Wever faces major competition in the best supporting actress category from the actors of “Modern Family” and “Saturday Night Live.” She’ll vie for Emmy gold against “Family” stars Sofia Vergara and Julie Bowen, who won the best supporting actress Emmy last year, and Kristin Wiig, who is nominated for her final season of “SNL.” Other contenders include “Big Bang Theory” actress Mayim Bialik and the late Kathryn Joosten for her role on “Desperate Housewives.” With the "Modern Family" juggernaut, nostalgia for Wiig and sympathy votes for Joosten, this might a case where Wever will just have to be happy to be nominated.