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by Peter Knegt
July 19, 2012 11:38 AM
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20 Notable Things From The Always Unpredictable Emmy Award Nominations

Lena Dunham in 'Girls' HBO

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.

'Parks and Recreation' Tyler Golden/NBC

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.


  • F.P. | July 19, 2012 2:26 PMReply

    Not only did Slattery not get nominated, the guy playing Ginsburg got nominated for Best Guest Actor in a Drama. Oy vey! And the more I see the 'Girls' nomination, the more I see Judd Apatow's name all over the place. Double oy vey!

  • helen | July 19, 2012 12:41 PMReply

    Disgusted that Downton got a writing nomination and not Breaking Bad

  • CZ | July 19, 2012 12:35 PMReply

    What happened with "The Killing" and the Emmy Award Nominations? That thoroughly fine series - in terms of writing, acting, direction, editing, lighting, music, you name it - deserves real recognition!

  • Bobby Curtola | July 19, 2012 12:29 PMReply

    >>> "Downton Abbey" became PBS's first series nom in 35 years... since the similarly themed "Upstairs Downstairs" won for best drama in 1977

    Sorry, I don't mean to rain on the PBS parade but both of those shows are British imports. I'm not sure if that really qualifies as a PBS victory.

  • Dana Harris | July 19, 2012 11:55 AMReply

    A. -- Fixed.

  • A.Reader | July 19, 2012 11:51 AMReply

    dudes, please. DOWNTON Abbey. DOWNTON. It gives me douche chills to see when it is written as Downtown.

  • James | July 19, 2012 11:45 AMReply

    Merritt Wever was a big ole pleasant surprise as well!

  • bob hawk | July 20, 2012 6:54 PM

    Second that. I'm a huge fan of Merritt, and have also seen (I think) all of her work on stage these past few years. (Right now she's in the singularly intimate Annie Baker/Sam Gold/SoHo revival of UNCLE VANYA.) She rocks!!