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Two perennially snubbed broadcast series finally received Emmy nominations this year. The low-rated but crucially hailed Friday Night Lights, which has already ended its run on DirecTV and will soon air its finale on NBC, finally received a nomination in the drama category. And CBS’ The Big Bang Theory – which last year saw star Jim Parsons at long last take home the Emmy for lead comedy actor – scored a comedy series nod.
Friday Night Lights will compete with AMC’s Mad Men – which received the most nominations of any series with 19 – Showtime’s Dexter, CBS’ The Good Wife and two HBO freshmen (Boardwalk Empire and Game of Thrones).
Big Bang will go up against five broadcast comedies; Fox’s Glee, ABC’s Modern Family and NBC threesome The Office, 30 Rock and fellow first-time nominee Parks and Recreation. It is a bit of a departure from last year’s outstanding comedy series category, which featured multiple cable series in the category including Showtime’s Nurse Jackie and HBO’s Curb Your Enthusiasm.
The HBO miniseries Mildred Pierce received the most nominations overall with 21, including a nom in the newly combined miniseries or movie category, where it will face fellow HBO productions Cinema Verite and Too Big to Fail as well as PBS’ Downton Abbey, Starz’s Pillars of the Earth and The Kennedys, the controversial miniseries that was picked up by the little-watched Reelz Channel after being abruptly dropped by History.
Greg Kinnear and Barry Pepper also received lead actor nominations for their respective roles as John F. Kennedy and Bobby Kennedy. They’ll compete in the miniseries or movie category with Edgar Ramirez (Sundance Channel’s Carlos), Idris Elba (BBC America’s Luther), Laurence Fishburne (HBO’s Thurgood Marshall biopic Thurgood) and William Hurt (HBO’s Too Big to Fail). (Elba also received a guest actor in a comedy series nomination for his turn on Showtime’s The Big C.)
However, Katie Holmes, who played Jackie Kennedy, did not receive a nom in the lead miniseries actress category for The Kennedys. The nominees are Kate Winslet (Mildred Pierce), Diane Lane (Cinema Verite), Elizabeth McGovern (Downton Abbey), Jean Marsh (PBS’ Upstairs Downstairs) and Taraji P. Henson (Lifetime’s Taken From Me: The Tiffany Rubin Story).
There are many newbie nominees in the acting categories as well. Veteran actress Kathy Bates (NBC’s Harry’s Law) and Mireille Enos (AMC’s The Killing) are first-time nominees for lead drama actress along with Connie Britton (Friday Night Lights), Julianna Margulies (The Good Wife), Mariska Hargitay (NBC’s Law & Order: SVU) and Elisabeth Moss (Mad Men).
As expected, Boardwalk’s Steve Buscemi received his first drama series nomination, as did Timothy Olyphant for FX’s Justified. They’ll compete with Dexter’s Michael C. Hall, Friday Night Light’s Kyle Chandler, House’s oft-nominated Hugh Laurie and Mad Men’s Jon Hamm.
The lead comedy actress category features multiple first-time nominees including Laura Linney (The Big C), Melissa McCarthy (CBS’ Mike & Molly) and Martha Plimpton (Fox’s Raising Hope) as well as returning nominees Tina Fey (30 Rock), Amy Poehler (Parks and Recreation) and Edie Falco (last year’s winner for Nurse Jackie).
Johnny Galecki (Big Bang) scored his first nomination for lead comedy actor along with his co-star Jim Parsons (last year’s winner in the category), Matt LeBlanc (Showtime’s Episodes), Louis C.K. (FX’s Louie), Steve Carell (for his final season on The Office) and Alec Baldwin (30 Rock).
Betty White snagged a nomination — the 17th of her career — for her scene-stealing supporting role in the TV Land comedy Hot in Cleveland. (But she was trumped by Cloris Leachman
Archie Panjabi and Christine Baranski (both from The Good Wife) and Christina Hendricks (Mad Men) again received supporting drama actress nods along with Kelly Macdonald (Boardwalk Empire), Margo Martindale (Justified) and Michelle Forbes (The Killing).
Alan Cumming, another scene-stealer, and Josh Charles received supporting drama actor nominations for The Good Wife. They’ll compete with Peter Dinklage (Game of Thrones), Walton Goggins (Justified) and returning nominees John Slattery (Mad Men) and Andre Braugher (TNT’s Men of a Certain Age).
Comedy Central’s The Daily Show With Jon Stewart once again leads the variety, music or comedy series category. The show has won the Emmy eight years in a row. Conan O’Brien (a nominee last year for his truncated tenure on The Tonight Show) scored a nom for TBS’ Conan. The rest of the nominees this year are Comedy Central’s The Colbert Report, HBO’s Real Time With Bill Maher and NBC’s Late Night With Jimmy Fallon and Saturday Night Live.
PBS’ Antiques Roadshow, A&E’s Hoarders, Bravo’s Kathy Griffin: My Life on the D-List, CBS’ Undercover Boss and Discovery’s Deadliest Catch and MythBusters are the reality nominees. CBS’ Amazing Race, ABC’s Dancing With the Stars, Lifetime’s Project Runway, Bravo’s Top Chef and Fox’s American Idol and So You Think You Can Dance are the reality competition nominees. Ryan Seacrest (American Idol), Phil Keoghan (Amazing Race), Tom Bergeron (Dancing With the Stars), Cat Deeley (So You Think You Can Dance) and Jeff Probst (Survivor) are the nominees for reality competition host.
With 104 nominations, HBO once again leads the way, followed by CBS (50), NBC, (46), PBS (43), Fox (42), ABC (40), AMC (29) and Showtime (21).
The 63rd annual Primetime Emmy Award nominees were announced Thursday morning by Mike & Molly star McCarthy and Fringe star Joshua Jackson. The show airs live Sept. 18 on Fox with Mark Burnett as executive producer. Glee‘s Jane Lynch will host.
Click here for the full 2011 Primetime Emmys Nominations List.
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