HBO Racks Up Emmy Noms, But Network TV Also Ranks High

Emmy nominee Steve Buscemi in "Boardwalk Empire" (Photo: HBO)

HBO racked up Emmy nominations in the double digits for three series and one original movie, while AMC’s “Mad Men” grabbed 19.

But broadcast television also staked its claim to the top tier of 2011 Emmy nominees with five network series tallying 10 or more nominations apiece.

The nominees for the 63rd annual Emmy Awards – set to air Sept. 18 on Fox – were announced early Thursday morning in Hollywood by Joshua Jackson, star of “Fringe” on Fox, and Melissa McCarthy, co-star of CBS’s “Mike & Molly,” who also happened to be a nominee – for Outstanding Actress in a Comedy Series.


The Kate Winslet miniseries “Mildred Pierce” led all other TV programs in the nominations with 21 – including a Best Actress nod for Winslet, Best Actor in a Miniseries nominations for co-stars Guy Pearce and Brian F. O’Byrne, and Supporting Actress nominations for Evan Rachel Wood, Melissa Leo and Mare Winningham.

“Mildred” collected nominations in a slew of other categories, including costumes, makeup and hair, elements that brought the mini’s 1930s time period to life. In fact, all of the top three nominees this year were period pieces – AMC’s 1960s series “Mad Men” and HBO’s 1920s gangster series “Boardwalk Empire,” which scored 18 nominations, including nods for stars Steve Buscemi (Best Actor) and Kelly Macdonald (Supporting Actress). HBO’s “Game of Thrones,” which only recently finished its first season, was also a big winner with 13 nominations.

But broadcast television more than held its own. ABC’s “Modern Family” had 17 nominations, NBC’s “Saturday Night Live” 16 nominations, Fox’s “Glee” 12, “American Idol” 10, and CBS’s “The Good Wife” nine, including a Best Drama nomination plus nods for Julianna Margulies (Best Actress), Josh Charles and Alan Cumming (Supporting Actors), Archie Panjabi and Christine Baranski (Supporting Actresses), and Michael J. Fox (Guest Actor).

Here are this year’s nominees in the major categories:

Best Drama:
“Boardwalk Empire,” HBO
“Dexter,” Showtime
“Friday Night Lights,” DirecTV
“Game of Thrones,” HBO
“The Good Wife,” CBS
“Mad Men,” AMC

Our take: A very competitive category. Among other things: Great to see “Friday Night Lights” on the list for its final season. But we predict “Boardwalk Empire” will take this one.

Watch a full episode of Emmy nominee “Friday Night Lights” here:

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Best Comedy:
“The Big Bang Theory,” CBS
“Glee,” Fox
“Modern Family,” ABC
“The Office,” NBC
“Parks and Recreation,” NBC
“30 Rock,” NBC

Our take: We’re not sure who will win this one (though the favorite is probably “Modern Family”), but we think it’s notable that three of NBC’s Thursday night comedies are on the list – three shows we happen to love, even if they don’t get the kind of ratings the other nominees get. We’d love to see “The Office” win for Steve Carell’s superlative final season.

Watch a full episode of Emmy nominee “Modern Family” here:

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Best Actor in a Comedy Series
Alec Baldwin, “30 Rock”
Steve Carell, “The Office”
Louis C.K., “Louie,” FX
Johnny Galecki, “The Big Bang Theory”
Jim Parsons, “The Big Bang Theory”
Matt LeBlanc, “Episodes,” Showtime

Our take: Please, Emmy gods, give this one to Steve Carell!

Watch Emmy nominee Steve Carell in a full episode of “The Office” here:

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Best Actress in a Comedy Series
Edie Falco, “Nurse Jackie,” Showtime
Laura Linney, “The Big C,” Showtime
Tina Fey, “30 Rock”
Melissa McCarthy, “Mike & Molly”
Martha Plimpton, “Raising Hope,” Fox
Amy Poehler, “Parks and Recreation,” NBC

Our take: We happen to think Amy Poehler is the funniest woman alive (sorry, Wanda Sykes) and it would warm our hearts if Amy won this.

Watch Emmy nominee Amy Poehler in a full episode of “Parks and Recreation” here:

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Best Actor in a Drama Series
Steve Buscemi, “Boardwalk Empire”
Kyle Chandler, “Friday Night Lights”
Michael C. Hall, “Dexter”
Jon Hamm, “Mad Men”
Hugh Laurie, “House,” Fox
Timothy Olyphant, “Justified,” FX

Our take: Like the Drama Series category, this looks like a very tight race. But our gut tells us “Boardwalk Empire” is going to do real well at these Emmys, starting with the series’ star, Steve Buscemi, who’s our pick to win here.

Watch Emmy nominee Hugh Laurie in a full episode of “House” here:

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Best Actress in a Drama Series
Kathy Bates, “Harry’s Law,” NBC
Connie Britton, “Friday Night Lights”
Mireille Enos, “The Killing,” AMC
Mariska Hargitay, “Law & Order, Special Victims Unit,” NBC
Julianna Margulies, “The Good Wife”
Elisabeth Moss, “Mad Men”

Our take: We think the Academy might go with Julianna Margulies here, and there’s nothing wrong with that. But we’re huge fans of Elisabeth Moss, so we’ll likely be rooting for her – and Connie Britton too.

Watch this clip of Emmy nominee Elisabeth Moss in “Mad Men”:

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The opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Comcast.

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