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2 YEARS

Emmys 2012: 'American Horror Story' a 'Complete Experience' for Connie Britton

"It's nice to have people recognize something that is such a unique vision and so different as American Horror Story," she tells THR.

American Horror Story Birth Connie - H 2011
FX
"American Horror Story's" Connie Britton

Connie Britton found out about her Emmy nomination for American Horror Story the same way she found out about her pair from Friday Night Lights.

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"My cousin Michelle in New York -- who is like my sister -- is always up and watching and she's always the first to call," an excited Britton told The Hollywood Reporter from her new home in Nashville, where she's prepping ABC's country music drama Nashville.

The actress picked up her third overall Emmy nomination for her role as Vivien Harmon on FX's horror series American Horror Story, which was submitted in the miniseries category courtesy of its surprising anthology format that saw Britton and many of her co-stars killed off.

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"The Emmy thing is such an elusive and wonderful thing because I realize every time I've been nominated, I've been completely shocked -- each time in a different way," said Britton, who scored two previous nominations for her role as one of TV's best mothers on NBC/DirecTV's Friday Night Lights. "American Horror Story was a really unique and special show, I felt so fortunate to be able to do it and to have this be the dividend from that is just really extraordinary."

Britton was equally shocked to hear that the series, from Glee co-creators Ryan Murphy and Brad Falchuk, had tied for the lead with Mad Men with 17 nominations overall.

"That's incredible!" she enthused. "It's nice to have people recognize something that is such a unique vision and so different as American Horror Story. Ryan and Brad are such visionaries, they have an amazing knack of being so innovative with new and exciting ideas in television."

STORY: Emmys 2012 By the Numbers: Nominations by Series and Network

Britton, who was yet to chat with Murphy or Falchuk, was planning a low-key celebration by setting in to her new home for her upcoming fall drama and has no regrets about moving on from the FX thriller that will see a handful of her Season 1 cast members return as new characters in the fall.

"That experience was so unique and perfect for me, it was more than I could have ever anticipated and feels like a complete experience for me," she said. "Today is a day that an actor dreams about; to be able to do that amazing, extraordinary show for a year and going into something completely different and flexing different muscles … I'm pinching myself."

Email: Lesley.Goldberg@thr.com; Twitter: @Snoodit