THE BROADCAST NETWORKS did not have a good showing
among this year’s top Emmy Awards nominations.
The sole network player in the outstanding drama
category is the U.K. import ‘Downton Abbey’, and broadcast
is sharing the comedy series bids with three HBO shows.
Broadcast shut out cable last year in the comedy category.
HBO again led the pack with 81 nominations,
though that was well below the 104
nods the network received last year. Its next
closest competitor, CBS, saw 60 nominations,
up from the 50 it received in 2011.
PBS was the second-most nominated
broadcast network with 58, up from 43 last
year, and NBC has 51, up from last year’s 46.
ABC saw 48 nominations, up from last year’s
40, and Fox was far behind with 26, down
from last year’s 42.
After HBO, the overall and cable leader,
AMC was second among cablers and improved
its tally to 34 nominations, up from
29. FX was in third with 26, a big jump from
last year’s six, thanks in large part to Ryan
Murphy’s anthology series American Horror
Story, which tied Mad Men for the most series
nods with 17. Showtime received 22 noms,
up from last year’s 21, while History received
17, almost exclusively for the ratings recordbreaking
miniseries, Hatfields & McCoys.
AMC’s Mad Men will attempt to make history
this year with a record five consecutive
outstanding drama wins; its current four is tied
with The West Wing, Hill Street Blues and L.A.
Law. Matthew Weiner’s 1960s period drama
will face stiff competition though from category
newcomers Downton Abbey (which won in the
miniseries category in 2011) and Homeland
(this year’s Golden Globe winner), as well as
fellow AMC series Breaking Bad and HBO’s duo
of Boardwalk Empire and Game of Thrones.
Downton Abbey—which earned PBS its first
outstanding drama series Emmy nod in 35
years—and History’s Hatfields & McCoys each
garnered 16 nominations. Both series saw
their actors recognized as well, with Downton’s
Hugh Bonneville and Michelle Dockery and
Hatfields’ Kevin Costner and Bill Paxton all
receiving lead acting nods.
HBO’s nominations included 15 for movie
Hemingway & Gellhorn, whose stars Clive
Owen and Nicole Kidman were recognized
with acting nominations, and 12 apiece for
Boardwalk Empire and outstanding miniseries/
movie nominee Game Change.
Steve Buscemi was again recognized with an
acting nom for Boardwalk, as were Game Change
leads Julianne Moore and Woody Harrelson.
Peter Dinklage, last year’s winner in the supporting
actor in a drama series category, was
again nominated for Game of Thrones.
Three-time lead actor in a drama winner
Bryan Cranston is in the running again this
year, after Breaking Bad was ineligible in 2011.
Cranston will face off against perennial nominees
Jon Hamm (Mad Men) and Michael C.
Hall (Dexter) as well as Buscemi and newcomers
Bonneville and Homeland’s Damian Lewis.
Last year’s winner, The Good Wife’s Julianna
Margulies, and Homeland’s Claire Danes, who
won the Golden Globe in 2012, are favorites
in the lead drama actress field, though Good
Wife was notably not nominated in the drama
series category. Elisabeth Moss repeated for
her role as copywriter Peggy Olsen in Mad
Men, as did Kathy Bates for the now-cancelled
Harry’s Law. Downton’s Dockery and Damages’
Glenn Close round out the field.
In a shift from last year, three broadcast
comedies—The Big Bang Theory, Modern
Family and 30 Rock—shared the outstanding
comedy series nominations with three cable
entries, the HBO series Curb Your Enthusiasm,
Girls and Veep.
Big Bang, which received its second nomination,
has had a banner year, surpassing
Two and a Half Men as TV’s top-rated comedy.
Two-time winner Jim Parsons was again
nominated in the lead actor category for his
role as über-geek Sheldon Cooper.
CBS’ Big Bang will face two-time winner
Modern Family, still considered the favorite
in the category, which received 14 nominations,
the most of any comedy. Like last
year, Modern Family’s entire adult cast—Julie
Bowen, Sofia Vergara, Ed O’Neill, Jesse Tyler
Ferguson, Ty Burrell and Eric Stonestreet—
Notably excluded from the comedy category
is NBC’s Parks and Recreation, thought to have
had its best season yet this year, though series
star Amy Poehler was again nominated. Three
of the six lead comedy actress nominees came
from nominated series: Girls’ Lena Dunham,
30 Rock’s Tina Fey and Veep’s Julia Louis-
Dreyfus. Along with Poehler, last year’s winner—
Mike & Molly’s Melissa McCarthy—was
again nominated, along with previous winner
Edie Falco of Nurse Jackie and newcomer
Zooey Deschanel of New Girl.
The lead actor in a comedy category also
saw three picks from nominated series, with
Parsons, former winner Alec Baldwin for 30
Rock and Curb’s Larry David. Louis C.K. of
Louie repeated, while Two and a Half Men’s Jon
Cryer, submitted this year as lead actor rather
than supporting in the absence of Charlie
Sheen, was also recognized. House of Lies’ Don
Cheadle is the category’s newcomer.
NBC’s The Voice is the new face in the outstanding
reality competition program category,
replacing Fox’s American Idol, which was left
off the list. The rest of the category is filled
by repeat nominees: perennial winner The
Amazing Race, Bravo’s Top Chef, Lifetime’s
Project Runway, ABC’s Dancing With the Stars
and Fox’s So You Think You Can Dance.
Many of those programs’ hosts were also
nominated: Amazing Race’s Phil Keoghan,
DWTS’ Tom Bergeron and SYTYCD’s Cat
Deeley. Also recognized were Idol’s Ryan
Seacrest and Betty White of Betty White’s Off
Their Rockers. Notably excluded was Survivor’s
Jeff Probst, who has won the category every
year since it was added in 2008.
Nominated in the outstanding reality program
category are PBS’ Antiques Roadshow,
ABC’s Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution, Discovery
Channel’s MythBusters, ABC’s Shark Tank,
CBS’ Undercover Boss and NBC’s Who Do You
Think You Are?
FX’s American Horror Story, starring the nominated
Connie Britton, and History’s Hatfields
& McCoys would seem to be the favorites for
outstanding miniseries or movie with their
17 and 16 respective total nominations. Other
nominees in the category are HBO’s Game
Change and Hemingway & Gellhorn, BBC America’s
Luther, starring repeat nominee Idris Elba,
and PBS’ Sherlock: A Scandal in Belgravia starring
the nominated Benedict Cumberbatch.
In comedy/variety, The Daily Show With Jon
Stewart will have the chance to extend its winning
streak in the category to 10 straight years.
It will face fellow Comedy Central show The Colbert
Report, NBC’s Late Night With Jimmy Fallon
and Saturday Night Live, ABC’s Jimmy Kimmel
Live and HBO’s Real Time With Bill Maher.
E-mail comments to
firstname.lastname@example.org and follow
her on Twitter: @andreamorabito
The television industry's top news stories, analysis and blogs of the day.
Thank you for signing up to Broadcasting & Cable. You will receive a verification email shortly.
There was a problem. Please refresh the page and try again.