Will AMC’s Breaking Bad’s finale season repeat as the outstanding drama? Can ABC’s Modern Family make it five comedy series wins in a row? Are Netflix’s Orange Is The New Black and House of Cards ready to break through?
Those are among the questions to ponder following Mindy Kaling and Carson Daly’s announcement of the 66th Primetime Emmy nominations, with the ceremony slated to air on NBC on August 25 from Los Angeles.
To repeat, the concluding campaign of Breaking Bad will have to top HBO’s True Detective and Game of Thrones, and Netflix’s House of Cards. Moreover, Vince Gilligan’s final turns of the Walter White saga will have to surpass AMC stablemate and four-time winner Mad Men and PBS’s Downton Abbey.
For its part, Modern Family is looking to match NBC’s Frasier 1994-98 run with a comedy category five-peat of its own. CBS’s Big Bang Theory is in the hunt again, along with FX’s Louie and Netflix’s Orange Is The New Black. HBO is well-represented with Veep and rookie Silicon Valley vying for the statue.
Per usual, HBO set the nomination pace with 99, down from 108 for the 2013 season. CBS was second with 47, one more than NBC. FX, which had 26 last year, jumped into fourth with 45. ABC had 37 nods.
Streaming service Netflix continues to make waves among traditional providers and in Tinseltown, notching 31 nods, 17 more than a year ago. AMC accumulated 26, while Showtime garnered 24, seven fewer than in 2013. However, the premium programmer had an industry-best 11 actor nominations, including a half dozen among the main actor categories. Fox had 18 total nominations.
HBO’s biggest series ever, Game of Thrones, led all drama series with 19 nods, including two in the key acting categories: Lena Headey as best supporting actress for her portrayal of Cersei Lannister, and Peter Dinklage for his Tyrion Lannister.
For its part, FX scored very big, as miniseries Fargo earned 18 nominations, including nods for Billy Bob Thornton and Martin Freeman as top thespians, while American Horror Story's "Coven" iteration earned 17. Breaking Bad had 16 for its farewell trek, the most for a basic-cable drama and the most in its run, as did the HBO telefilm The Normal Heart. NBC's venerable Saturday Night Live welcomed 14 nods, while Netflix streamed up a baker's dozen of nods for House of Cards, one more than Orange Is the New Black. HBO's True Detective also tallied 12 nominations.
The best drama actor nominees are topped by last year’s winner, Jeff Daniels in HBO’s The Newsroom. He will look to hold off fellow HBOers Woody Harrelson and Oscar-winner Matthew McConaughey in True Detective. That marks the first time a cable network has three nominees in this major category.
Kevin Spacey earned a second nomination for Netflix's House of Cards. Bryan Cranston is in the running with his final turn as Breaking Bad’s high school chemistry teacher turned criminal Walter White, along with perennial contender, Jon Hamm’s Don Draper in AMC’s Mad Men.
Claire Danes will get a chance to add a third consecutive best drama actress statue for her work on Showtime's Homeland. The premium network also has another nominee with Lizzy Caplan in its Masters of Sex. Julianna Margulies for CBS’s The Good Wife and Kerry Washinton for ABC’s Scandal represent broadcast’s hopes here, while PBS and Netflix are represented by Michelle Dockery in Downton Abbey and Robin Wright in House of Cards, respectively.
Showtime matched HBO’s three drama actor noms with a trio among the comedy ranks with Matt LeBlanc for Episodes, William Macy for Shameless and Don Cheadle for House of Lies. Louis C.K. is also in the running for FX’s Louie as is Ricky Gervais for Netflix's Derek. They will all be looking to unseat Jimmy Parson, who has taken home three Emmys for his role as Dr. Sheldon Cooper on CBS’s The Big Bang Theory, including the 2013 statue.
Julia Louis-Dreyfus may score a comedy actress three-peat for HBO’s Veep. Her competition: Lena Dunham for HBO’s Girls; Melissa McCarthy for CBS’s Mike & Molly; Edie Falco for Showtime’s Nurse Jackie, Taylor Schilling for Orange Is the New Black; and Amy Poehler for NBC’s Parks and Recreation.
With the movies and miniseries categories divided again after three years of togetherness, cable captured more nominations.
Among miniseries, it's all cable with FX grabbing two nods for the aforementioned Fargo and American Horror Story. Premium network Starz, which counted a record 11 nominations overall, is in this game here with The White Queen, along with HBO's Treme. Then, there's the A&E Networks' presentation of Bonnie & Clyde, which was simulcast on Lifetime, A&E and History, but was submitted by and credited as one of the women's-targeted service's record 17 nominations.
Cable also has an 80% chance to take home the statue in the outstanding television movie mode: HBO has a pair of entries with the acclaimed The Normal Heart and Muhammad Ali’s Greatest Fight, while Lifetime's The Trip to Bountiful and Nat Geo Channel's Killing Kennedy also garnered nods. PBS's Sherlock: His Last Vow is the outlier.
Competition will be keen in what has been a cable stronghold: best variety show. Last year, The Colbert Report ended Comedy Central teammate The Daily Show With Jon Stewart's 10-year winning streak. Will host Steven Colbert gain another win over Stewart before he replaces David Letterman at CBS? Or does HBO's long-running Real Time With Bill Maher rise above NBC's stalwart Saturday Night Live, newcomer The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, or ABC's late-night entry, Jimmy Kimmel Live.
As to best reality competition series, cable has two cracks with Lifetime's Project Runway, nomimated for a 10th straight year, and Bravo's Top Chef. NBC's The Voice is looking to sing again about an Emmy win, while category kingpin, CBS's The Amazing Race, looks to regain its throne. ABC's Dancing With The Stars and Fox's So You Think You Dance round out the nominees.
Mindy Kaling and Carson Daly announced the Emmy nominations.
The 66th Primetime Emmy Awards will air live on NBC, on Monday, August 25 at 8 p.m. (ET) from the Nokia Theatre at L.A. LIVE In Los Angeles. Seth Myers will host, while Don Mischer, with a number of Super Bowl halftime shows, Olympic opening ceremonies and Oscars to his credit, will executive-produce.
Check out a list of the 2014 nominees here.
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