2012 Emmy Nominations

The 64th Primetime Emmy Award nominations have been announced! Without any further ado, here are the nominees in select categories. (For the full list, visit the Emmy Award website.):


Outstanding Comedy Series
  • The Big Bang Theory
  • Curb Your Enthusiasm
  • Girls
  • Modern Family
  • 30 Rock
  • Veep
Though I can't say I'm surprised, I am disappointed that Community and Wilfred are not nominated. We all expected Girls to be recognized in its debut season and it was, but maybe somewhat unexpected though certainly welcome is the nomination for Veep, which is one of the few shows that can make me laugh out loud.

Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series
  • Lena Dunham, Girls
  • Melissa McCarthy, Mike and Molly
  • Zooey Deschanel, New Girl
  • Edie Falco, Nurse Jackie
  • Amy Poehler, Parks and Recreation
  • Tina Fey, 30 Rock
  • Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Veep
Women are funny! Anyone who tries to argue otherwise need only watch these gals do their thing. (Of course, I am referring mainly to Dunham, Falco, Poehler, Fey and Louis-Dreyfus; I've never watched Mike and Molly, and New Girl is awful.)

Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series
  • Jim Parsons, The Big Bang Theory
  • Larry David, Curb Your Enthusiasm
  • Don Cheadle, House of Lies
  • Louis C. K., Louie
  • Alec Baldwin, 30 Rock
  • Jon Cryer, Two and a Half Men
Okay. Seriously, someone has to tell me exactly who watches Two and a Half Men and who thinks Jon Cryer is funny. And funnier than, say, Joel McHale, who absolutely deserves recognition for Community.

Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series
  • Mayim Bialik, The Big Bang Theory
  • Kathryn Joosten, Desperate Housewives
  • Julie Bowen, Modern Family
  • Sofia Vergara, Modern Family
  • Merritt Wever, Nurse Jackie
  • Kristen Wiig, Saturday Night Live
Though I've never watched Desperate Housewives, I'm pleased that the late, great Kathryn Joosten (who excelled as Mrs. Landingham on The West Wing) received a nomination. Also, the understated Merritt Wever (currently so good downtown in Uncle Vanya) is totally deserving of her nomination.

Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series
  • Ed O'Neill, Modern Family
  • Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Modern Family
  • Ty Burrell, Modern Family
  • Eric Stonestreet, Modern Family
  • Max Greenfield, New Girl
  • Bill Hader, Saturday Night Live
Last year, all the Modern Family men except Ed O'Neill were nominated; I'm glad they rectified that situation this year. And Bill Hader? Hell yes! He has been the MVP of SNL, in my opinion. Congratulations!

Outstanding Guest Actress in a Comedy Series
  • Dot-Marie Jones, Glee
  • Maya Rudolph, Saturday Night Live
  • Melissa McCarthy, Saturday Night Live
  • Elizabeth Banks, 30 Rock
  • Margaret Cho, 30 Rock
  • Kathy Bates, Two and a Half Men
I think it's hilarious that Margaret Cho, a woman, is nominated for playing Kim Jong-il, a man. Only in the wacky world of 30 Rock. Plus, way to go, Maya Rudolph. Girlfriend is one of the funniest ladies working today.

Outstanding Guest Actor in a Comedy Series
  • Michael J. Fox, Curb Your Enthusiasm
  • Greg Kinnear, Modern Family
  • Bobby Cannavale, Nurse Jackie
  • Jimmy Fallon, Saturday Night Live
  • Will Arnett, 30 Rock
  • Jon Hamm, 30 Rock
Yay for stage veteran Bobby Cannavale!

Outstanding Directing for a Comedy Series
  • Robert B. Weide, Curb Your Enthusiasm, "Palestinian Chicken"
  • Lena Dunham, Girls, "She Did"
  • Louis C.K., Louie, "Duckling"
  • Jason Winer, Modern Family, "Virgin Territory"
  • Steven Levitan, Modern Family, "Baby on Board"
  • Jake Kasdan, New Girl, "Pilot"
Outstanding Writing for a Comedy Series
  • Chris McKenna, Community, "Remedial Chaos Theory" (!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!)
  • Lena Dunham, Girls, "Pilot"
  • Louis C.K., Louie, "Pregnant"
  • Amy Poehler, Parks and Recreation, "The Debate"
  • Michael Schur, Parks and Recreation, "Win, Lose or Draw"


Outstanding Drama Series
  • Boardwalk Empire
  • Breaking Bad
  • Downton Abbey
  • Game of Thrones
  • Homeland
  • Mad Men
I actually only watch two of these series, Boardwalk Empire and Downton Abbey, but knowing everyone else's feeling for the other shows (critics and fans alike), this is definitely a great, competitive category.

Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series
  • Glenn Close, Damages
  • Michelle Dockery, Downton Abbey
  • Julianna Margulies, The Good Wife
  • Kathy Bates, Harry's Law
  • Claire Danes, Homeland
  • Elisabeth Moss, Mad Men
Lady Mary Crawley is an Emmy nominee!

Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series
  • Steve Buscemi, Boardwalk Empire
  • Bryan Cranston, Breaking Bad
  • Michael C. Hall, Dexter
  • Hugh Bonneville, Downton Abbey
  • Damian Lewis, Homeland
  • Jon Hamm, Mad Men
The Earl of Grantham is an Emmy nominee! (Regardless, I think this race is between Steve Buscemi and Bryan Cranston.)

Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series
  • Anna Gunn, Breaking Bad
  • Maggie Smith, Downton Abbey
  • Joanne Froggatt, Downton Abbey
  • Archie Panjabi, The Good Wife
  • Christine Baranski, The Good Wife
  • Christina Hendricks, Mad Men
Obviously the Dowager Countess was nominated, but Anna, Mr. Bates's lover, too? Good job, Emmy nominators. (Also, good job on Archie Panjabi and Christine Baranski.)

Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series
  • Aaron Paul, Breaking Bad
  • Giancarlo Esposito, Breaking Bad
  • Brendan Coyle, Downton Abbey
  • Jim Carter, Downton Abbey
  • Peter Dinklage, Game of Thrones
  • Jared Harris, Mad Men
Free Bates! He's an Emmy nominee now! I'm super excited that Brendan Coyle (Mr. Bates) and Jim Carter (Mr. Carson) are nominees, but look for Peter Dinklage to become a repeat winner.

Outstanding Guest Actress in a Drama Series
  • 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
Isn't it kind of ironic that the movie star who was brought in to star in Bombshell is the only actor from Smash to be nominated? Despite, let's say, Megan Hilty being AMAZING?

Outstanding Guest Actor in a Drama Series
  • 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
Pretty good slate. I'm surprised by Jason Ritter's nomination, though I think it's totally deserved. Michael J. Fox and Dylan Baker are both stellar on The Good Wife. (And this makes Fox a double nominee this year.)

Outstanding Directing for a Drama Series
  • Tim Van Patten, Boardwalk Empire, "To the Lost"
  • Vince Gilligan, Breaking Bad, "Face Off"
  • Brian Percival, Downton Abbey, "Episode 7"
  • Michael Cuesta, Homeland, "Pilot"
  • Phil Abraham, Mad Men, "The Other Woman"
Outstanding Writing for a Drama Series
  • Julian Fellowes, Downton Abbey, "Episode 7"
  • Alex Gansa, Howard Gordon and Gideon Raff, Homeland, "Pilot"
  • Semi Chellas and Matthew Weiner, Mad Men, "The Other Woman"
  • Andre Jacquemetton and Maria Jacquemetton, Mad Men, "Commissions and Fees"
  • Erin Levy and Matthew Weiner, Mad Men, "Far Away Places"
I'm a little disappointed that neither The Good Wife nor Boardwalk Empire received writing nominations.

Some additional notable nominations:
  • Sarah Paulson (Collected Stories, Martha Marcy May Marlene) is nominated for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Miniseries or Movie for Game Change.

  • The Colbert Report, The Daily Show, Jimmy Kimmel Live, Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, Real Time with Bill Maher and Saturday Night Live are nominated for Outstanding Variety Series.

  • Mel Brooks and Dick Cavett: Together Again is nominated for Outstanding Variety Special. If you haven't watched these two comedy legends kibbutz for 90 minutes, you haven't properly laughed. Log on to HBO Go to watch.

  • The broadcasts of the Academy Awards, Golden Globe Awards, Grammy Awards and Tony Awards are among the nominees for Outstanding Special Class Programs.

  • The writers of The Colbert Report, The Daily Show, Real Time with Bill Maher and Saturday Night Live are among the nominees for Outstanding Writing for a Variety Series.

  • Seth MacFarlane's American Dad! is nominated for Outstanding Animated Program, but Family Guy is not. I guess the Emmy nominators didn't care for the show's sardonic "for your consideration" promo, and let it be known in this category. However, MacFarlane's music special, Seth MacFarlane: Swingin' in Concert, did score a nomination for its music director, Bill Elliott, for Outstanding Music Direction.

  • Perennial Broadway gypsy Spencer Liff is nominated for Outstanding Choreography for his work on So You Think You Can Dance.

  • Boardwalk Empire and Downton Abbey are both nominees for Outstanding Costumes for a Series.

  • One of Downton Abbey's hairstylists, nominated for Outstanding Hairstyling for a Single-Camera Series, is officially listed as Anne "Nosh" Oldham. Nosh? I think I'm a little more in love with Downton Abbey than before.

  • Theatre favorite Marc Shaiman, along with Christian Bacon, is nominated for Outstanding Music Composition for a Series (Original Dramatic Score) for Smash.

  • Speaking of Shaiman, he and Scott Wittman are among the nominees for Outstanding Original Music and Lyrics for "Let Me Be Your Star." Other nominees include Adam Schlesinger and David Javerbaum for "It's Not Just for Gays Anymore" from the 2011 Tony Awards, and Eli Brueggemann, Seth Meyers and John Mulaney for "I Can't Believe I'm Hosting" for the Jason Segel episode of Saturday Night Live.

So, to sum up: Modern Family leads the comedy pack with 14 nominations, while Mad Men (not Boardwalk Empire, as you might expect) holds the honor for drama series, with 17 nominations.

To find out who will go from Emmy nominee to Emmy winner, tune into ABC on Sunday, September 23, when Jimmy Kimmel hosts the 64th Primetime Emmy Awards.

Bonus: Check out this nerd-heaven Facts and Figures sheet, which has tons of statistics about this year's slate of nominee and past winners. (For example, it includes a list of "Parents and Children Who Have Both Won Emmys." Amazing, right?)


  1. Well here is a topic I have an opinion on...

    Having seen all of the seasons nominated for Outstanding Drama Series this year, I feel confident in saying this is one of the best group of nominees ever in a single year. Unlike the comedy categories where CBS comedies continue to get love (like you, I've never met someone who watches, let alone enjoys, 2.5 Men and Big Bang), all from this group of drama series are deserving of the prize.

    As much as I'd like to see the trophy taken home by Boardwalk or Game of Thrones (for obvious reasons), Breaking Bad Season 4 and Mad Men Season 5 were two of the top 5 seasons of TV all time (with The Wire S1 and S4 and Dexter S4). So for me it comes down to those two.

    This year, I'd love to see the drama winners reverse course; Breaking Bad wins the best series award and for Jon Hamm to finally take home an Emmy (but Aaron Paul has to get the gold for his portrayal of Jesse, yo).

    In the other dramatic acting categories, Claire Danes was amazing toeing the line of genius and insanity in Homeland, so I'd have to go with her. The final acting award could go to either of the Downton ladies; the AMC women aren't deserving there.

    As for comedy, NO ONE is funnier than Larry David, and Curb should win in every category that it's nominated.

  2. I just can’t believe that Parks and Rec didn’t make the cut for the Outstanding Comedy Series Award. Poehler definitely deserves a spot in the Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series category, but the rest of the cast does an amazing job as well! Ron Swanson cracks me up during every episode! He is almost exactly like my boss at Dish that it is kind of creepy; I’ve never met anyone that loves ribs so much besides Ron! LOL! I think oversight in nominations is partly to do with their lack of marketing for the show. I’m the only one of my friends that even knows what the series is about, and it was all by chance that I started watching it in the first place! My Hopper DVR comes with this nifty little feature, called PrimeTime AnyTime, that automatically records everything shown on the major networks during primetime hours so, out of boredom one day, I gave Parks and Rec a shot! It has quickly become my favorite show on TV. All I’m saying is they should probably rethink their marketing team if shows like The Big Bang Theory are making a bigger, well, bang!


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