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'Downton Abbey,' 'Breaking Bad,' 'Girls,' 'Modern Family' Top 2012 Emmy Nominations

by Oliver Lyttelton
July 19, 2012 9:01 AM
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So 5:30 (PST) this morning saw Jimmy Kimmel and Kerry Washington announce the 2012 Emmy nominations, and it served as a good lesson in why not to not give the organization too much credit. Yesterday we'd suggested that shows like "Parks and Recreation" and "Louie" were starting to make major inroads, giving us a little reason for optimism. And there were certainly things to be celebrated in this morning's nominees: actress and comedy nominations for "Girls," typically good showings for "Breaking Bad" and "Mad Men," and well-deserved nods for two actors we thought were unlikely, Jared Harris and Idris Elba.

But it also served as a reinforcement of the middlebrow tastes of the Academy; 'Parks' and 'Louie' failed to repeat their Best Comedy nods from last year, landing only token nominations for their lead actors, while "Downton Abbey" 's weak second season dominated, with "Homeland" and "Game of Thrones" doing less well than expected as a result.  Ah, well. The awards themselves will be handed out on Sunday, September 23rd.

Directing - TV Movie/Miniseries
Jay Roach - "Game Change"
Kevin Reynolds - "Hatfields & McCoys"
Philip Kaufman - "Hemingway & Gellhorn"
Sam Miller - "Luther"
Paul McGuigan - "Sherlock: A Scandal In Belgravia"

Writing - TV Movie/Miniseries
Danny Strong - "Game Change"
Ted Mann, Ronald Parker, Bill Kerby - "Hatfields & McCoys" Part 2
Abi Morgan - "The Hour"
Neil Cross - "Luther"
Steven Moffat - "Sherlock: A Scandal In Belgravia"

Best Supporting Actress - TV Movie/Miniseries
Frances Conroy - "American Horror Story"
Jessica Lange - "American Horror Story"
Sarah Paulson - "Game Change"
Mare Winningham - "Hatfields & McCoys"
Judy Davis - "Page Eight"

Best Supporting Actor - TV Movie/Miniseries
Denis O'Hare - "American Horror Story"
Ed Harris - "Game Change"
Tom Berenger - "Hatfields & McCoys"
David Strathairn - "Hemingway & Gellhorn"
Martin Freeman - "Sherlock"

Lead Actress - Miniseries
Connie Britton - "American Horror Story"
Ashley Judd - "Missing"
Nicole Kidman - "Hemingway & Gellhorn"
Julianne Moore - "Game Change"
Emma Thompson - "The Song Of Lunch"

Lead Actor - Miniseries
Kevin Costner - "Hatfields & McCoys"
Benedict Cumberbatch - "Sherlock: A Scandal In Belgravia"
Idris Elba - "Luther"
Woody Harrelson - "Game Change"
Clive Owen - "Hemingway & Gellhorn"
Bill Paxton - "Hatfields & McCoys"

"American Horror Story"
"Game Change"
"Hatfields & McCoys"
"Sherlock: A Scandal In Belgravia"

Guest Actress - Drama
Martha Plimpton - "The Good Wife"
Loretta Devine - "Grey's Anatomy"
Jean Smart - "Harry's Law"
Julia Ormond - "Mad Men"
Joan Cusack - "Shameless"
Uma Thurman - "Smash"

Guest Actor - Drama
Mark Margolis - "Breaking Bad"
Dylan Baker - "The Good Wife"
Michael J Fox - "The Good Wife"
Jeremy Davies - "Justified"
Ben Feldman - "Mad Men"
Jason Ritter - "Parenthood"

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  • umm... | July 20, 2012 12:07 PMReply

    Homeland was a great show overall (helped by incredible performances) and the story is brilliant (although not their original story), but actually think it was weakened by some really cliche and unrealistic dialogue.

  • StephenM | July 19, 2012 10:22 PMReply

    Only one nom for Community? Come on! Happy for Sherlock, though. Steven Moffat is brilliant.

  • BEF | July 19, 2012 11:00 AMReply

    Shoulda slipped Slatterly into supporting drama, his absolute best year in Mad Men. I love Peggy (Moss) but except for two episodes (taking Dawn home and spoiler free: her biggest episode ever) this wasn't her character's year. Louie has to be amongst Best Comedy. It will next year.

    I'd love an Esposito, Cranston win and though it's boring to win again this was Mad Men's best season (I think) and not Breaking Bad.

  • Ivan | July 19, 2012 9:49 AMReply

    Drama Serie: Downtown Abbey vs. Mad Men -With Breaking Bad as an alternative-
    Drama Actor: Bryan Cranston vs. Jon Hamm
    Drama Actress: Claire Danes -Maybe the most predictable award of the night-
    Drama S. Actor: Giancarlo Esposito vs. Aaron Paul
    Drama S. Actress: Christina Hendricks vs. Maggie Smith
    Comedy Serie: Girls vs. Modern Family
    Comedy Actor: Jim Parsons -Only Baldwin could make competition, I guess-
    Comedy Actress: Zooey Deschanel vs. Lena Durham -I think Durham has the edge-
    Comedy Supporting Actor: One of the Modern Family guys
    Comedy Supporting Actress: Modern Family gals vs. Kristin Wiig -Maybe she has the advantage this year, last season and Oscar nomination-
    Miniserie: American Horror Story
    Miniserie Actor: Benedict Cumbetbacht -Maybe Idris Elba could be the alternative-
    Miniserie Actress: Julianne Moore -Only Kidman has a change to pull off-
    Miniserie S. Actor: I don't know, I guess Ed Harris but I love to see Denis O'Hare -An excellent character actor-
    Miniserie S. Actress: Jessica Lange -The other predictable award of the night-

  • Porter | July 19, 2012 9:37 AMReply

    Just kinda hoped that Adam Driver would get a nom...

  • Porter | July 19, 2012 9:36 AMReply

    So happy for Girls! Definitely, the best show of the year!

  • Brocky | July 19, 2012 9:11 AMReply

    No Community? Again? And all those supporting actresses in drama and we can't nominate Rose Byrne who has proven herself year in and year out on Damages. I can pick the winners already. At least it's not the Golden Globes, I don't have enough bullets in my shotgun for all of them.

    Scoffs in disgust.

  • Sean | July 19, 2012 11:51 AM

    The best episode of season 3 (and maybe the entire series) of Community got nominated for writing.

  • Jesse | July 19, 2012 9:07 AMReply

    The Emmy's are really heavy on BSS (Big Screen Stars) this year with both Kidman and Thurman nominated.

  • vonDread | July 19, 2012 9:06 AMReply

    Wait wait wait... why is American Horror Story up for all the TV movie/mini-series nominations and not drama series? Even if it only lasts one season, isn't that technically a full series?

  • Ivan | July 19, 2012 9:36 AM

    Vondread, with the new rules around the Emmys, you can make category fraud. Easily a network channel can choose which categories would compete with not clear explanations.

    Not Only American Horror Story -Which Ryan Murphy is making the season 2 at this time-... Missing and The River, cancelled ABC TV series were competing as miniserie and in the case of Missing it pay off with Ashley Judd's nomination.

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