Before sunrise today, the 2012 nominees for the 64th Primetime Emmy Awards were announced. “Mad Men,” “Boardwalk Empire,” “Breaking Bad,” “Downton Abbey,” “Game of Thrones,” and “Homeland” all landed the Best Drama Series list. “Mad Men” still seems set to win, with 17 nominations, the most of any show in the lineup. But “Downton Abbey” is a definite contender. If “Mad Men” wins for the fifth year in a row, it will make television history.
The real surprises this year were the nominations of new shows, a rare occurrence. “Homeland,” “Girls,” and “Veep” are all newbies that not only got nominated, but each show’s leading female stars were nominated as well.
In comedy, there were some disappointments for fans and critics alike. Many will wonder if “Girls” or “Veep” edged out critical darling “Community” or “Parks and Recreation” from the running. Two-time winner “Modern Family” still dominates the comedy field. However, “New Girl” is another new show whose lead actress Zooey Deschanel was nominated. Will she be able to hold her own against previous Emmy favorites Tina Fey, Edie Falco, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, and Melissa McCarthy?
This year is also the first in which commercial broadcast networks have no contenders in the Best Drama field.
The final awards show will air September 23.
Is there a trend away from commercial broadcast networks in the Emmy’s, or is good television simply not being made there anymore? Did the Television Academy, which bestows the awards, get it right or wrong this year? We’ll dish with a couple leading critics to get their reactions and yours…
Tom O'Neil, Host, GoldDerby.com; O'Neil has written about the Oscars, Emmys, Grammys, Golden Globes and other showbiz awards for the Los Angeles Times, New York Times, London Times, Washington Post, Reader's Digest, TV Guide and scores of other top media outlets.
Mary McNamara, Television Critic, Los Angeles Times