Cable has had a something of a lock on the golden age of TV drama. But for the second consecutive year broadcast television has been shut out of the outstanding drama series category with PBS' Downton Abbey again the lone free TV nominee. Meanwhile, HBO again topped the Emmy nominations with 108 including a sweep in one category, while the FX anthology series American Horror Story: Asylum picked up the most nominations with 17.
But they'll have to share the headlines with Netflix, as the streaming service earned multiple nominations for the 65th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards -- including noms in all three top drama series categories for House of Cards.
The political thriller will compete for the outstanding drama series statuette with AMC’s Mad Men and Breaking Bad (the latter heads into its final season in August), PBS’ Downton Abbey, HBO’s Game of Thrones and Showtime’s Homeland, last year's winner.
Kevin Spacey and Robin Wright also picked up nominations for outstanding actor and actress in a drama series. Spacey will compete with Dowton’s Hugh Bonneville, Breaking Bad’s Bryan Cranston (who has multiple statues in the category), The Newsroom’s Jeff Daniels, Mad Men’s oft-nominated Jon Hamm and Homeland’s Damian Lewis, last year’s winner. Lewis’ co-star Claire Danes again picked up a nom for her Emmy-winning turn as a bipolar government agent.
Wright and Danes will compete with a large and varied field of outstanding lead drama series actresses including Connie Britton (ABC’s Nashville), Michelle Dockery (Downton), Vera Farmiga (USA’s Bates Motel), Elisabeth Moss (Mad Men) and Kerry Washington (ABC’s Scandal).
Netflix’s other hotly anticipated original, a reboot of the cult hit Arrested Development, did not have a robust showing in the nominations. Star Jason Bateman scored a nom as outstanding lead actor in a comedy series, but the Mitch Hurwitz series was shut out of the other main categories. Filling out the comedy actor field are Alec Baldwin (a multiple winner and possible sentimental favorite along with his co-star Tina Fey for the final season of NBC’s 30 Rock), Louis C.K. for FX’s Louie, The Big Bang Theory’s Jim Parsons (the winner two years ago), and Matt LeBlanc and Don Cheadle from Showtime’s Episodes and House of Lies, respectively. Jon Cryer, last year’s winner for Two And a Half Men, was not nominated.
Laura Dern earned a nom for outstanding lead actress in a comedy series for her turn on the canceled HBO series Enlightened. She’ll face Emmy favorite Fey (30 Rock) and last year’s winner Julia Louis-Dreyfus (HBO’s Veep), Amy Poehler (NBC’s Parks and Recreation), Edie Falco (Showtime’s Nurse Jackie) and Golden Globe winner Lena Dunham (HBO’s Girls).
Girls again scored a nom in an outstanding comedy series category that looks much like last year’s field with the one exception, Louis scored a nom instead of Curb Your Enthusiasm, which did not air during the 2012-2013 eligibility period. Filling out the outstanding comedy series category are CBS’ Big Bang, NBC’s 30 Rock, HBO’s Veep and ABC’s Modern Family, last year’s winner.
History’s ratings hit The Bible earned an Emmy nomination for outstanding miniseries or movie. HBO again has a significant presence in that category with noms for Phil Spector and the Liberace biopic Behind the Candelabra. USA’s canceled Political Animals also scored a nom (as did star Sigourney Weaver). Sundance Channel’s Jane Campion mini Top of the Lake and FX’s American Horror Story: Asylum round out the nominees. Meanwhile, HBO swept the lead actor nominations in a miniseries or movie with Behind the Candelabra’s Matt Damon and Michael Douglas earning noms along with Toby Jones (The Girl), Al Pacino (Phil Spector) and Benedict Cumberbatch (Parade’s End).
Along with Weaver, lead actresses in the category are Jessica Lange for American Horror Story: Asylum (Lange won the supporting actress Emmy last year for the first season of American Horror Story), Laura Linney (for her turn on the final episodes of Showtime’s The Big C: Hereafter), Helen Mirren (Phil Spector) and Moss (Top of the Lake).
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- Emmy nominations