The 64th Primetime Emmy nominations were announced this morning, and per usual it was a mixed bag of the highly expected, the unfortunately snubbed and the bizarre surprises. Here’s a rundown of 20 noteworthy things from the nominations, in case you don’t feel like sifting through a good hundred categories here.
1. The Emmys still really love “Mad Men” and “Modern Family.” Both series have won the top Emmy in the drama and comedy categories in every season they’ve aired, and in 2012 the Emmys have suggested their love for “Mad Men” and “Modern Family” is not dying. “Men” took 17 nominations (more than any other series), while “Family” took 14 (including nominations for every single adult cast member).
2. Except for the part about snubbing John Slattery. Four members of the “Mad Men” cast — Jon Hamm, Elisabeth Moss, Christina Hendricks and Jared Harris — got Emmy nominations. While this is Harris’ first (and last) nomination for portraying Lane on the series, the other three have been part of a quartet of consistent nominees. Missing from that quartet, however, is John Slattery — despite having arguably his best season yet.
3. Lena Dunham is a quadruple threat. It was a bit of a question mark as to how the Emmys might respond to “Girls,” but clearly they’re getting behind the freshman comedy. The Emmys gave Dunham the Tina Fey treatment by nominating her a whopping four times for writing, directing, producing and starring in the HBO series. Quite the warm welcome.
4. Louis C.K. is a sixtuple threat. One-upping Dunham’s feat was another television jack of all trades, Louie C.K.. Like Dunham, Louie scored acting, directing and writing nods for his FX show (though it didn’t get a series nom), and three more for producing, writing and directing his special “Louis C.K. Live at the Beacon Theatre.”
5. “Downton Abbey” became PBS’s first series nom in 35 years, and the love didn’t stop there. “Downton Abbey” became public TV’s first program to earn a series nod since the similarly themed “Upstairs Downstairs” won for best drama in 1977. It also surprised quite a few folks by managing an impressive six acting nominations to boot (for Hugh Bonneville, Michelle Dockery, Maggie Smith, Joanne Froggatt, Brendan Coyle and Jim Carter).
6. HBO got the most nominations of any network — but its lowest count since 1999. HBO scored 81 nominations overall, leading all networks once again (for the 12th consecutive year!). But that’s also the lowest count for HBO since 1999, which is conducive of the surge of quality programming from competing networks like AMC and Showtime.
7. Amy Poehler got noms in acting and writing, but “Parks and Recreation” got snubbed in the comedy series and Nick Offerman once again failed to make the cut. Good thing Nick Offerman missed his flight and couldn’t announce the Emmy nominations after all (Jimmy Kimmel ended up filling in), because the Emmys snubbed him yet again for his work on “Parks and Recreation.” Arguably worse was a snub for the series itself… in favor of “The Big Bang Theory.”
8. “The Voice” is in, “American Idol” is out. After nine consecutive nominations (though never a win), “American Idol” was left out of the reality competition category, replaced by competing singing competition “The Voice.” The latter will vie against “The Amazing Race,” “Dancing With The Stars,” “Project Runway,” “So You Think You Can Dance” and “Top Chef.”
9. “Community” was snubbed almost entirely, but still managed a writing nomination. Hopes that its big win at the Critics’ Choice Television Awards suggested Emmy would finally take to “Community” were unwarranted as it was snubbed in the comedy series category. But a small silver lining was a writing nod for Chris McKenna’s episode “Remedial Chaos Theory.”
10. Kathryn Joosten got a posthumous nomination for “Desperate Housewives.” After two wins in the guest actress category for her role as Karen McCluskey on “Desperate Housewives,” the late actress (who passed away on June 2nd) got a supporting actress nom for the series’ final season.
11. The Tony Award showstopper “It’s Not Just For Gays Anymore” got a music nom. The remarkably catchy number from Neil Patrick Harris’ opening monologue at the Tony Awards got a deserved nod in the music category. If Harris gets to re-perform it at the Emmys somehow, it will probably be that award show’s highlight as well:
12. “Blossom,” Emmy nominee! Yep, Mayim Bialik was nominated for supporting actress for “The Big Bang Theory,” adding to a CV that already includes “PhD in neuroscience.”
13. Margaret Cho got a guest actress nomination for playing Kim Jong-il on “30 Rock.” Best announcement of the morning.
14. Sorry, “Glee.” Shut out of acting, directing, writing and series categories, the Emmys’ semi-love affair with “Glee” is over (just like most of America).
15. Martin Scorsese versus… the team behind the “Project Runway” finale? In the “Outstanding Directing for Nonfiction Programming” category, Martin Scorsese managed a nomination for his work on the doc “George Harrison: Living in the Material World.” His competition? The team behind the “Project Runway” finale and the directors of an “Amazing Race” episode entitled “Let Them Drink Their Haterade.”
16. The finale of “Breaking Bad” didn’t get a writing nomination. Despite being heralded by many as the very best episode on television last season, “Face Off” — the harrowing fourth season finale of “Breaking Bad” — did not receive a nomination in the writing category (though did get a directing nomination). Three episodes of “Mad Men” managed to make the cut instead.
17. Dan Savage and the team behind “It Gets Better” got a nomination. In the “Outstanding Children’s Nonfiction, Reality of Reality-Competition Program” category (whatever that means), Dan Savage and the team behind anti-gay bullying series “It Gets Better” managed a well-earned nomination.
18. Kathy Bates got nominated for playing Charlie Sheen. While Kathy Bates got a nomination in the drama actress category for her now-cancelled series “Harry’s Law,” she doubled-up thanks to her guest spot playing the ghost of Charlie Sheen’s ex-“Two and a Half Men” character Charlie Harper.
19. Kristin Wiig got nominated for voicing a Looney Toon. Another double nominee was Kristin Wiig, who got a voice-over nom for her work as “Lola” on “The Looney Toons Show” (who knew?). She’s up against Brenda Strong’s “Desperate Housewives” voiceover as Mary-Alice Young, and Hank Azaria, who continues to voice Moe Szyslak, Duffman, Mexican Duffman, Carl, Comic Book Guy and Chief Wiggum on “The Simpsons.”
20. A whole lot of Oscar nominees just got Emmy nominations. What do Julianne Moore, Nicole Kidman, Emma Thompson, Clive Owen, Kevin Costner, Woody Harrelson, Judy Davis, Mare Winningham, Jessica Lange, Ed Harris, David Strathairn, Uma Thurman, Joan Cusack, Maggie Smith, Kathy Bates, Greg Kinnear, Melissa McCarthy, Alec Baldwin and Don Cheadle have in common? They are all Oscar nominees that got Emmy nominations this morning, further suggesting that so many of the great acting roles are no longer on the big screen.