AMC’s “Mad Men” continued its Emmy nomination domination on Thursday (July 19) morning with a field-leading 17 nods, joined atop the heap by FX’s “American Horror Story,” which exploited TV Academy loopholes to compete in the Movies/Miniseries field and also snagged 17 nominations.
In the drama field, the “Mad Men” quest for an unprecedented fifth straight drama series win will likely see the most competition from “Downton Abbey,” which shifted from Movies/Miniseries and earned 16 nominations and from AMC’s “Breaking Bad,” which made a big leap to 13 nominations.
Meanwhile, on the comedy side, “Modern Family” will gun for its third straight series win with 14 nominations under its belt, leading a category that’s heavy on first-time nominees.
The 64th Primetime Emmy Awards will air live, coast-to-coast, from the Nokia Theare in Los Angeles on Sunday, September 23, with Jimmy Kimmel hosting.
In the Outstanding Drama Series category, “Mad Men,” “Downton Abbey” and “Breaking Bad” will be going up against HBO’s “Boardwalk Empire” and “Game of Thrones,” plus the new Showtime drama “Homeland.” For those of you looking for snubs, that means that the category is network-free, with the shunning of perennial favorite “The Good Wife.”
The drama categories are generally packed with cable and, thanks to “Downton Abbey, PBS offerings, with Kathy Bates and Julianna Margulies as the lone network representative in the two lead acting fields.
Bates and defending champ Margulies will go against Emmy winners Glenn Close (“Damages”) and Claire Danes (“Homeland”), prior nominee Elisabeth Moss and “Downton Abbey” star Michelle Dockery.
Dockery’s “Downton Abbey” colleague Hugh Bonneville tops the Lead Actor, Drama field trying to end “Breaking Bad” star Bryan Cranston’s streak of three straight wins (in years he was eligible). Steve Buscemi, Michael C. Hall, Jon Hamm and Damian Lewis are also nominated, meaning that the final season of “House” couldn’t earn Hugh Laurie a nomination.
The drama supporting fields are full of “Downton Abbey” and “Breaking Bad” stars. How full? Seven of 12 nominations full. On the supporting actor side, Aaron Paul and Giancarlo Esposito represent “Breaking Bad” and Jim Carter and Brendan Coyle represent “Downton Abbey” against Jared Harris of “Mad Men” and defending champ Peter Dinklage of “Game of Thrones.” On the supporting actress side, it’s Maggie Smith and Joanne Froggatt of “Downton Abbey” and Anna Gunn of “Breaking Bad” against Archie Panjabi and Christine Baranski of “The Good Wife” and Christina Hendricks of “Mad Men.”
On the comedy side, “Modern Family” nearly equalled the “Downton”/”Breaking” juggernaut all on its own as adult stars Ed O’Neill, Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Ty Burrell, Eric Stonestreet, Sofia Vergara and Julie Bowen were all nominated for the second consecutive year.
Trying to take “Modern Family” down for Outstanding Comedy Series are former champ “30 Rock,” regular favorites “Curb Your Enthusiasm” and “30 Rock,” CBS hit “The Big Bang Theory” and HBO newcomers “Veep” and “Girls.” The addition of those two new comedies meant that “Parks and Recreation” was squeezed out of the comedy series category.
It was a good day for “Girls” creator/producer Lena Dunham, who was also nominated for writing, directing and as lead actress in a seven-woman field that also features Zooey Deschanel (“New Girl”), Amy Poehler (“Parks and Recreation”) and Emmy winners Melissa McCarthy (“Mike & Molly,” and also nominated for her “Saturday Night Live” hosting stint), Edie Falco (“Nurse Jackie”), Tina Fey (“30 Rock”) and Julia Louis-Dreyfus (“Veep”).
Alec Baldwin and Jim Parsons, who have controlled the Lead Actor, Comedy field in recent years are back this year along with Larry David (“Curb Your Enthusiasm”), Jon Cryer (making a category jump for “Two and a Half Men”), Don Cheadle (“House of Lies”) and Louis C.K. (“Louie”). [Louis C.K. actually earned a whopping seven nominations, with four nominations for the “Louis C.K. Live at the Beacon Theatre” special.]
The Outstanding Miniseries or Movie category actually includes three continuing TV series masquerading as a movie or miniseries, with “American Horror Story,” “Sherlock” [acceptable here because it submitted only “A Scandal in Belgravia”] and “Luther” going head-to-head with actual movies/miniseries contenders “Game Change,” “Hemingway & Gellhorn” and “Hatfields & McCoys.”
The CW received zero Emmy nominations. Sorry, “Ringer” fans.