TCA Awards nominees include ‘Breaking Bad,’ ‘Mad Men,’ ‘Game of Thrones’ & ‘Homeland’

Showtime’s “Homeland,” HBO’s “Game of Thrones” and AMC’s “Breaking Bad” and “Mad Men” were among the shows getting the most love in the nominations for the 2012 Television Critics Association Awards.

The TCA (a group to which both Fienberg and I have belonged for years, and which is separate from the group that does the newer Critics Choice Awards for television) went with five dramas – the four shows listed above and “Downton Abbey” – for its Program of the Year category, and “Homeland” was this year’s most-nominated show, with nods for Individual Achievement in Drama for Claire Danes, as well as for best drama and best new show. “Mad Men,” “Breaking Bad” and “Game of Thrones” were nominated for three apiece.

The nominations process is quirky in some ways – for reasons I’ve never entirely understood, we’re each asked to pick only two shows/people per category, even though there will be five nominees – and will lead to at least one head-scratching nomination per year. In this case, that’s probably the inclusion of “Smash” – a show that pretty much every critic I’m friendly with (which, admittedly, is not representative of the entire TCA) – had been openly hate-watching by the end of its first season. If I had to guess just based on past reviews, I’d say the bulk of the critics went with “Homeland” and “Girls” as their picks in that category, which meant any other three shows that got even modest support had a good shot of making the cut.

Here are all the nominees. The awards will be given out at a (non-televised) ceremony on Saturday, July 28, during the TCA summer press tour.

Individual Achievement in Drama

   Bryan Cranston (“Breaking Bad,” AMC)
   Claire Danes (“Homeland,” Showtime)
   Peter Dinklage (“Game of Thrones,” HBO)
   Jon Hamm (“Mad Men,” AMC)
   Jessica Lange (“American Horror Story,” FX)

Individual Achievement in Comedy

   Louis C.K. (“Louie,” FX)
   Lena Dunham (“Girls,” HBO)
   Julia Louis-Dreyfus (“Veep,” HBO)
   Jim Parsons (“The Big Bang Theory,” CBS)
   Amy Poehler (“Parks and Recreation,” NBC)

Outstanding Achievement in News and Information

   “Anderson Cooper 360” (CNN)
   “The Daily Show” (Comedy Central)
   “Frontline” (PBS)
   “60 Minutes” (CBS)
   “The Rachel Maddow Show” (MSNBC)

Outstanding Achievement in Reality Programming

   “The Amazing Race” (CBS)
   “Dancing with the Stars” (ABC)
   “The Glee Project” (Oxygen)
   “So You Think You Can Dance” (Fox)
   “The Voice” (NBC)

Outstanding Achievement in Youth Programming

    “iCarly” (Nickelodeon)
   “Phineas and Ferb” (Disney)
    “Sesame Street” (PBS)
   “Switched at Birth” (ABC Family)
   “Yo Gabba Gabba” (Nick Jr.)

Outstanding New Program

   “Girls” (HBO)
   “Homeland” (Showtime)
   “New Girl” (Fox)
   “Revenge” (ABC)
   “Smash” (NBC)

Outstanding Achievement in Movies, Miniseries and Specials

   “Downton Abbey: Masterpiece” (PBS)
   “Game Change” (HBO)
   “Hatfields & McCoys” (History)
   “Hemingway & Gellhorn” (HBO)
   “Sherlock: Masterpiece” (PBS)

 Outstanding Achievement in Drama

   “Breaking Bad” (AMC)
   “Game of Thrones” (HBO)
   “Homeland” (Showtime)
   “Justified” (FX)
   “Mad Men” (AMC)

Outstanding Achievement in Comedy

   “The Big Bang Theory” (CBS)
   “Community” (NBC)
   “Louie” (FX)
   “Modern Family” (ABC)
   “Parks and Recreation” (NBC)

 Career Achievement Award

   Dick Clark
   Andy Griffith
   David Letterman
   Regis Philbin
   William Shatner

 Heritage Award (a kind of career achievement for shows) 

   “Cheers” (NBC)
   “Lost” (ABC)
   “Saturday Night Live” (NBC)
   “Star Trek” (NBC)
   “Twin Peaks” (ABC)

Program of the Year

   “Breaking Bad” (AMC)
   “Game of Thrones” (HBO)
   “Homeland” (Showtime)
   “Mad Men” (AMC)
   “Downton Abbey: Masterpiece” (PBS)