66th Emmy Award Nominations

The nominees for the 66th annual Emmy Awards have been announced. Herein, a list of many of the nominees. Visit emmys.com for the full list.


Drama Series
  • Breaking Bad
  • Downton Abbey
  • Game of Thrones
  • House of Cards
  • Mad Men
  • True Detective
I'm bummed to see The Good Wife didn't make the list. It had such an incredible season. As it stands, this is a good slate. House of Cards and Game of Thrones were terrific this season, but I'm betting things will break well for Breaking Bad 's final season. 
Lead Actress
  • Michelle Dockery, Downton Abbey
  • Julianna Margulies, The Good Wife
  • Claire Danes, Homeland
  • Robin Wright, House of Cards
  • Lizzy Caplan, Masters of Sex
  • Kerry Washington, Scandal
What a talented crop of ladies. I've never watched Scandal and only last night did I start watching Masters of Sex (so far so good), but even among the first four ladies... This was a breakout season for Julianna Margulies, but I think Robin Wright is flawless in House of Cards.  
Lead Actor
  • Bryan Cranston, Breaking Bad
  • Kevin Spacey, House of Cards
  • Jon Hamm, Mad Men
  • Jeff Daniels, The Newsroom
  • Woody Harrelson, True Detective
  • Matthew McConaughey, True Detective 
No surprises here. My guess is this comes down to recent Tony winner Bryan Cranston for the final season of Breaking Bad and recent Oscar winner Matthew McConaughey for his buzzed-about performance in True Detective (which I've never watched; I have some catching up to do). 
Supporting Actress
  • Anna Gunn, Breaking Bad
  • Maggie Smith, Downton Abbey
  • Joanne Froggatt, Downton Abbey
  • Lena Headey, Game of Thrones
  • Christine Baranski, The Good Wife
  • Christina Hendricks, Mad Men 
Another terrific category. Anna Gunn won last year, but Joanne Froggatt's Anna had quite the arc on Downton Abbey. This is a good race.
Supporting Actor
  • Aaron Paul, Breaking Bad
  • Jim Carter, Downton Abbey
  • Peter Dinklage, Game of Thrones
  • Josh Charles, The Good Wife
  • Mandy Patinkin, Homeland
  • Jon Voight, Ray Donovan 
Wow. It's nice to see Jim Carter (that would be Mr. Carson) recognized, as well as Josh Charles. He had such a great, if abbreviated, year. Aaron Paul is sensational as Jesse, but Peter Dinklage was astonishing this season, particularly at Tyrion's trial.
Guest Actress
  • Margo Martindale, The Americans
  • Diana Rigg, Game of Thrones
  • Kate Mara, House of Cards
  • Allison Janney, Masters of Sex
  • Jane Fonda, The Newsroom
  • Kate Burton, Scandal
Diana Rigg is a boss.  
Guest Actor
  • Paul Giamatti, Downton Abbey
  • Dylan Baker, The Good Wife
  • Reg E. Cathey, House of Cards
  • Robert Morse, Mad Men
  • Beau Bridges, Masters of Sex
  • Joe Morton, Scandal 
Eh. I don't have strong feelings about this category, though Dylan Baker is always diabolically captivating on The Good Wife.
  • Moira Walley-Beckett, Breaking Bad, "Ozymandias"
  • Vince Gilligan, Breaking Bad, "Felina"
  • David Benioff and D.B. Weiss, Game of Thrones, "The Children"
  • Beau Willimon, House of Cards, "Chapter 14"
  • Nic Pizzolatto, True Detective, "The Secret Fate of All of Life" 
Hooray for Beau Willimon, political operative-turned accomplished writer (Breathing Time, The Ides of March). That said, the two Breaking Bad episodes represent some of the best writing on TV, and "The Children," the only episode the Game of Thrones folks submitted for nomination in this category, was a powerful season finale.
  • Tim Van patten, Boardwalk Empire, "Farewell Daddy Blues"
  • Vince Gilligan, Breaking Bad, "Felina"
  • David Evans, Downton Abbey, "Episode 1"
  • Neil Marshall, Game of Thrones, "The Watchers on the Wall"
  • Carl Franklin, House of Cards, "Chapter 14"
  • Cary Joji Fukunaga, True Detective, "Who Goes There" 
How do you choose? I'm sticking with Vince Gilligan for the series finale. 


Comedy Series 
  • The Big Bang Theory
  • Louie
  • Modern Family
  • Orange is the New Black
  • Silicon Valley
  • Veep 
Though it would have been a long-shot,  I was holding out hope for a nod for The Mindy Project. Alas, though Mindy Kaling announced the nominations, it was not meant to be. Of the three shows I watch (Modern Family, Silicon Valley and Veep), my favorite is Veep; it has the best zingers.
Lead Actress
  • Lena Dunham, Girls
  • Melissa McCarthy, Mike and Molly
  • Edie Falco, Nurse Jackie
  • Taylor Schilling, Orange in the New Black
  • Amy Poehler, Parks and Recreation
  • Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Veep
Julia Louis-Dreyfus is hilarious but I'm pulling for Amy Poehler. Her timing and comedic instincts are spot on, and I'm hoping this is her year.  
Lead Actor
  • Jim Parsons, The Big Bang Theory
  • Ricky Gervais, Derek
  • Matt LeBlanc, Episodes
  • Don Cheadle, House of Lies
  • Louis C.K., Louie
  • William H. Macy, Shameless 
Well, I only watch Episodes so I feel like I can't declare a favorite. I do like Louis C.K.'s stand up, though. Of note: this is the first year Shameless has competed in the comedy categories.
Supporting Actress
  • Mayim Bialik, The Big Bang Theory
  • Julie Bowen, Modern Family
  • Allison Janney, Mom
  • Kate Mulgrew, Orange is the New Black
  • Kate McKinnon, Saturday Night Live
  • Anna Chlumsky, Veep 
This makes Allison Janney a double nominee, as she is also nominated as a guest actress in a drama series for Masters of Sex. It's interesting to note that Julie Bowen is nominated but her co-star, Sofia Vergara, is not. Bowen has won the category more than once.  
Supporting Actor
  • Andre Braugher, Brooklyn Nine-Nine
  • Adam Driver, Girls
  • Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Modern Family
  • Ty Burrell, Modern Family
  • Fred Armisen, Portlandia
  • Tony Hale, Veep
It's not a Modern Family sweep, as actors from that show take up only two of the slots. While Tony Hale took the honor last year, Andre Braugher's deadpan on Brooklyn Nine-Nine is comedy gold.
Guest Actress
  • Natasha Lyonne, Orange is the New Black
  • Uzo Aduba, Orange is the New Black
  • Laverne Cox, Orange is the New Black
  • Tina Fey, Saturday Night Live
  • Melissa McCarthy, Saturday Night Live
  • Joan Cusack, Shameless
I'm thinking I need to watch Orange is the New Black, especially because I interviewed Uzo Aduba a few years ago when she was in the revival of Godspell. 
Guest Actor
  • Bob Newhart, The Big Bang Theory
  • Nathan Lane, Modern Family
  • Steve Buscemi, Portlandia
  • Jimmy Fallon, Saturday Night Live
  • Louis C.K., Saturday Night Live
  • Gary Cole, Veep
Talented group of guys.  
  • David Crane and Jeffrey Klarik, Episodes, "Episode 305"
  • Louis C.K., Louie, "So Did the Fat Lady"
  • Liz Friedman and Jenji Kohan, Orange is the New Black, "I Wasn't Ready (Pilot)"
  • Alec Berg, Silicon Valley, "Optimal Tip-to-Tip Efficiency"
  • Simon Blackwell, Tony Roche and Admando Iannucci, Veep, "Special Relationship"
You know what? I'm rooting for Silicon Valley here. That episode was great, especially when the guys were debating various, um, tip-to-tip scenarios. 
  • Iain B. MacDonald, Episodes, "Episdoe 309"
  • Paris Barclay, Glee "100"
  • Louis C.K., Louie, "Elevator, Part 6"
  • Gail Mancuso, Modern Family, "Vegas"
  • Jodie Foster, Orange is the New Black, "Lesbian Request Denied"
  • Mike Judge, Silicon Valley, "Minimum Viable Product"
I haven't watched Glee in a couple years. Did it deserve the nomination? Anyway, as someone who loved Beavis and Butt-head as a kid, and later Office Space, I'm rooting for Mike Judge.


Outstanding Miniseries
  • American Horror Story: Coven
  • Bonnie and Clyde
  • Fargo
  • Lurther
  • Treme
  • The White Queen 
Note that this year, miniseries and movie are separated here, though not in the acting or other creative and technical categories.
Outstanding Television Movie
  • Killing Kennedy
  • Muhammad Ali's Greatest Fight
  • The Normal Heart
  • Sherlock: His Last Vow
  • The Trip to Bountiful 
I usually haven't even seen one of the nominees in this category, but I certainly watched The Normal Heart. While I didn't love every aspect of this adaptation (particularly the direction), it's a powerful and important piece, and it featured some inspired performances. 
Lead Actress
  • Jessica Lange, American Horror Story: Coven
  • Sarah Paulson, American Horror Story: Coven
  • Helena Bonham Carter, Burton and Taylor
  • Minnie Driver, Return to Zero
  • Kristen Wiig, The Spoils of Babylon
  • Cicely Tyson, The Trip to Bountiful
Cicely Tyson won a Tony for The Trip to Bountiful. Do you think she'll also win the Emmy? 
Lead Actor
  • Chiwetel Ejiofor, Dancing on the Edge
  • Martin Freeman, Fargo
  • Billy Bob Thornton, Fargo
  • Idris Elba, Luther
  • Mark Ruffalo, The Normal Heart
  • Benedict Cumberbatch, Sherlock: His Last Vow 
Oscar winners and nominees abound in this category. Though I haven't seen his competition, I'm rooting for Mark Ruffalo for The Normal Heart
Supporting Actress
  • Frances Conroy, American Horror Story: Coven
  • Kathy Bates, American Horror Story: Coven
  • Angela Bassett, American Horror Story: Coven
  • Allison Tolman, Fargo
  • Ellen Burstyn, Flowers in the Attic
  • Julia Roberts, The Normal Heart
Ellen Barkin won the Tony for playing Julia Roberts's role in The Normal Heart. Do we think the role will be lucky for Roberts, too?
Supporting Actor
  • Colin Hanks, Fargo
  • Jim Parsons, The Normal Heart
  • Joe Mantello, The Normal Heart
  • Alfred Molina, The Normal Heart
  • Matt Bomer, The Normal Heart
  • Martin Freeman, Sherlock: His Last Vow
Bravo to all these The Normal Heart actors. Joe Mantello was nominated for a Tony when he played Ned Weeks on stage (the role Mark Ruffalo played in this version), while John Benjamin Hickey won the Featured Actor Tony for the role Matt Bomer played in this small screen adaptation. I'm rooting for Bomer.
  • Ryan Murphy and Brad Falchuk, American Horror Story: Coven, "Bitchcraft"
  • Noah Hawley, Fargo, "The Crocodile's Dilemma"
  • Neil Cross, Luther
  • Larry Kramer, The Normal Heart
  • Steven Moffat, Sherlock: His Last Vow
  • David Simon and Eric Overmyer, Treme, "...To Miss New Orleans" 
Sorry, but how do you root against the still-at-it Larry Kramer?
  • Alfonso Gomez-Rejon, American Horror Story: Coven, "Bitchcraft"
  • Adam Bernstein, Fargo, "The Crocodile's Dilemma"
  • Colin Bucksey, Fargo, "Buridan's Ass"
  • Stephen Frears, Muhammad Ali's Greatest Fight
  • Ryan Murphy, The Normal Heart
  • Nick Hurran, Sherlock: His Last Vow
The direction was actually my least favorite thing about this version of The Normal Heart, so I don't have a favorite in this category.


Outstanding Variety Series
  • The Colbert Report
  • The Daily Show with Jon Stewart
  • Jimmy Kimmel Live
  • Real Time with Bill Maher
  • Saturday Night Live
  • The Tonight Show starring Jimmy Fallon
Jon Stewart's my homeboy. 
Outstanding Variety Special
  • AFI Life Achievement Award: A Tribute to Mel Brooks
  • The Beatles: The Night That Changed America
  • Best of Late Night with Jimmy Fallon
  • Billy Crystal: 700 Sundays
  • The Kennedy Center Honors
  • Sarah Silverman: We Are Miracles 
Have you watched 700 Sundays? Incredible. I was laughing uncontrollably during the first half, and then sobbing inconsolably during the second. It's funny and touching and honest. Watch it. 
Outstanding Writing for a Variety Series
  • The Colbert Report, Opus Moreschi, Head Writer
  • The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, Elliott Kalan and Tim Carvell, Head Writers
  • Inside Amy Schumer, Jessi Klein, Head Writer
  • Key and Peele
  • Portlandia
  • The Tonight Show starring Jimmy Fallon, AD Miles, Head Writer
(Shows for which I have not listed a writer do not have a head writer listed in the nomination release. Please see the full list of nominees for full credits.)
Outstanding Documentary or Nonfiction Series
  • American Masters
  • Cosmos: A Space Time Odyssey
  • Pioneers of Television
  • The World Wars
  • Years of Living Dangerously
  • Tom Kitt and Lin-Manuel Miranda, Outstanding Original Music and Lyrics, 67th Annual Tony Awards, "Bigger!"
  • James Lapine, Outstanding Directing for a Variety Special, Six by Sondheim
  • 67th Annual Tony Awards, Outstanding Special Class Program
  • Between Two Ferns with Zach Galifianakis: President Barack Obama, Outstanding Short-Format Live-Action Entertainment Program
  • Cosmos: A National Geographic Deeper Dive and Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee Outstanding Short-Format Nonfiction Program
  • The Writers' Room, Outstanding Informational Series of Special
  • Ann Druyan and Steven Soter, Outstanding Writing for Nonfiction Programming, Cosmos: A Space Time Odyssey
  • Brandon Braga, Outstanding Directing for Nonfiction Programming, Cosmos: A Space Time Odyssey
  • Seth MacFarlane, Outstanding Character Voice-Over Performance, Family Guy
  • Alan Silvestri, Outstanding Music Composition for a Series (Original Dramatic Score) and Outstanding Original Main Title Theme Music, Cosmos: A Space Time Odyssey

And there we have it, the nominees for the 66th Emmy Awards. Game of Thrones is the most nominated program, with 19 nominations, though Breaking Bad, House of Cards and True Detective all received at least ten nominations. Tune into NBC at 8pm EDT on Monday August 25 to see which of these nominees will walk away a winner. (And check out my Emmys Pinterest board throughout the season for photos.)