Anthony D’Alessandro, Diane Haithman and Ray Richmond contribute to Deadline’s TV coverage

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Drama Series
Downton Abbey

“Well of course it’s very, very good position to be in, we’ve been so lucky to have many nominations every year we’ve been making the show,” said executive producer Gareth Neame of the Masterpiece theater soap opera hit. “We’re absolutely delighted to be represented this year. And it’s so pleasing that the nominations are across all the major categories, so many of our wonderful actors, talent and people in the below-the-line categories that add such wonderful production value to the show.” The British producer added that he’s happy to live with the added attention Downton will get in the next couple of months. “This is what comes of it. It’s not just our show, there are other huge dramas out there these days like Breaking Bad and Game Of Thrones, people want to talk about this, it’s a globalized age of television. People talk about these shows around the world. I’d much rather have people ringing me every day than not to be nominated,” he joked.

“Well it is rather marvelous in the third year of the series to feel that we’re still in the running,” Downton Abbey creator Julian Fellowes said. He advises living in the moment on awards: “I think the moment you start expecting to be nominated, you’ve had it.” The Englishman added that the American Emmys are big news in Britain, where Downton is produced. “They all know about the Emmys. Last year we were on the national news, which was rather thrilling for us.”

Related: 2013 Primetime Emmy Nominations

“There were really two nominations that meant a lot to us — one this tribute to Henry Bromell, a man we really miss every single day. A second one is really Mandy Patinkin. He was kind of overlooked last season. His work in the last season was just superior; he was the moral center of the show”, executive producer Alex Gansa said. “His performance was sort of very subtle and in the margins and sometimes that doesn’t get you noticed. I’m really glad it did. Gansa joked that last year’s Emmy show was really a “perfect ceremony” for Homeland but added wistfully: “I’d like to hear people allowed to talk just a little longer. Everything is just so quick. Lights are flashing, wrap it up, almost the second you get up there. It’s the crowning moment of a career. You wish you had just a little more time.”

EMMYS: ‘Homeland’s Henry Bromell Gets Posthumous Nom

“I feel a little bit like I’m playing with the house’s money — the show has been so warmly received by fans and critics. You don’t want to be falsely modest.  It really does feel like we’re winners. The outcome at this point, the specifics of it,” don’t really matter, executive producer Howard Gordon said. He added that today’s nomination “disabuses you, or hopefully the community, of the sort of one-shot wonder syndrome. It’s great to be included again. The sophomore year is always a potential sand trap for a series. We have a lot of talented people, and great people doing great work.”

House Of Cards
Executive producer Beau Willimon was understandably giddy this morning after learning that his Netflix series garnered nine nominations in its first season, including nods for top drama as well as lead actor (Kevin Spacey) and actress (Robin Wright). He didn’t claim to be shocked but also wasn’t exactly expecting such a haul. “My feeling about life in the arts in general is never to have expectations,” he said. “When you endeavor to make something original that takes risks and allows you to experiment, great things can happen and you just hope it can connect with viewers.” The best thing about the attention from his perspective is the recognition of the show’s collective effort, and helping earn Netflix significant Emmy attention in its first go-round with original programming. That, and the fact his parents were so jazzed. “My mom and dad were in St. Louis, and I didn’t want to call them too early because I was worried about waking them up,” Willimon said. “But it turned out they were worried about calling me and interrupting my sleeping or working or whatever.” He was doing script revisions for a Season 2 episode in advance of a table read tomorrow, when Willimon went to take a break. “I’m at the Baltimore Harbor looking at this flock of ducks paddle by, and I thought about that really great episode of The Sopranos with the ducks,” he said. “At that moment, I looked at my phone and had all of these texts and emails and phone calls about the nominations. It was a terrific way to start the day.”

“As a company, MRC has always sought out great artists doing great work. It is validating for us and the creative team on House Of Cards that the Television Academy recognizes the quality of the art, rather than the method in which it’s delivered”. — Modi Wiczyk, co-CEO of producer Media Rights Capital

Comedy Series
“It was so exciting and such an honor to get nominated last year that it just seemed like it had to be a fluke,” admitted Jenni Konner, executive producer of the HBO’s series, a five-time nominee this year. “To have it happen again was just so shocking.” What happened again was that Girls landed its second consecutive comedy series nom, which is perhaps more than a little surprising given the TV Academy’s somewhat conservative reputation and the fact the Lena Dunham-starrer sometimes resembles soft-core porn. “That makes this extra special,” Konner affirmed. But what she was most excited about was Adam Driver’s nomination for supporting actor. She calls him “one of the finest actors I’ve ever seen” and maintained that were it up to her, “he would win every award there is to win. His performance on the show is so electric, and it’s just terrific to see that recognized.” Konner dismissed any notion that running Girls might be a mixed bag given the passion it inspires both positive and negative. “It’s a dream come true to work on this show,” she said, “and to work with a network like HBO. They give us unbelievably helpful notes and are really collaborative and really smart people.”

Louis C.K. was straight up about why he sat out of the press limelight during the pre-Emmy nom phase, saying “I’ve just been on a great break. My tour ended in April and since then I’ve been submerged in Season 4, while taking out some time with my kids. I also worked on the David O. Russell movie.” In terms of his m.o. for Louie in Season 3 — and where he mined the story arcs for Parker Posey’s erratic girlfriend character and the three-episode finale where C.K.’s onscreen alter-ego is groomed to take over David Letterman’s gig — the comedian explained, “I didn’t want to worry about how long it took to tell a story or whether or not I told it before…I set my own bar (in terms of whether an episode is funny or good). I don’t get in anyone else’s head. I work really hard to try to surprise and to be different. I think when something is really entertaining and funny is when it comes from an unexpected place. That’s my goal. I like scoring that way.”

Related: EMMYS Analysis: Web Series & ‘Louie’ Scores, Broadcast’s Drama Drought Continues

Modern Family
“Well, listen, on a morning like this I’m just happy to wake up”, said co-creator Steve Levitan. “First of all it’s wonderful, it’s very nice we’re extremely appreciative. A morning like this lets me delude myself into thinking I’ll always have mornings like this. He adds that being nominated doesn’t get old. “No, honestly you have to embrace this time because it’s fleeting. The minute you stop embracing it is the minute you should hang it up. Our good fortune is ridiculous right now, I’m not going to turn my nose up at any of it. I enjoy the parties, seeing people I know and meeting new people. There are many, many worse things in the world than being congratulated.”

Behind The Candelabra
It’s been 38 years since Jerry Weintraub won his last Emmy — for the 1975 CBS special An Evening With John Denver -– and 35 years since his last nomination period. So that made his being honored for executive producing the HBO biopic all the sweeter. “If you live long enough, everything comes back around,” he said. “I may be the only living person who has waited this long between Emmy nominations. But more than me, I’m most thrilled to see all of the people behind the scenes of the film recognized. That means everything.” The long, difficult journey to the screen for the Liberace film that saw it rejected by most every studio is all water under the bridge now to Weintraub, who claims to feel “nothing like vindication” over the film’s 15 nominations. “All it is is exciting and wonderful,” he stressed, “and we’re very happy — I mean, you hear in advance that you’re a shoo-in, but you never really know it’s real until it’s real.” In terms of winning or losing on Emmy night, he has neither predictions nor expectations and carried a modest goal. “All I care about,” Weintraub said, “is to still be alive on Emmy night. I’ll be 76 years old on September 26. So that will be the real victory for me.”

The Bible
Executive producers Mark Burnett and Roma Downey understood that the overwhelming commercial success of their History mini didn’t guarantee Emmy attention. In fact, often it can work against it. Downey was the more certain of the two that it would receive best Miniseries/Movie honor — it did among three total noms. Burnett was more circumspect. “I didn’t allow myself to think about it,” he acknowledged. “What gave me hope was the fact all sorts of people in our industry — TV Academy members — were coming up to us saying, ‘Thank you for making The Bible.’ To my mind, it was a much easier conversation opener than discussing the actual Bible. Our series has given people permission to overtly let you know how they feel about and love God.” Downey added she felt the epic nature of what the production team was able to achieve on the screen gave her confidence that an Emmy accolade would  follow. “I’m a positive girl, and I knew we’d be recognized for breathing new visual life into the story,” she said. “It was such a privilege to do it.”

“We are delighted that The Bible received three nominations and has been recognized in the Outstanding Miniseries or Movie category. Epic event programming is a hallmark of History, and the re-telling of these iconic stories from both the Old and New Testaments — covering the scope from Genesis to the Revelation — reached a huge and diverse audience, making it #1 in its time slot averaging 11.4 million total viewers over its five-week run and reaching 95 million people in total. Congratulations to the amazing History team and to Mark Burnett and Roma Downey for bringing these quintessential stories to life for a new generation.” — Dirk Hoogstra, History EVP and General Manager

Lead Actor – Drama
Jeff Daniels, The Newsroom
Daniels’ first-ever Emmy nomination — for his work as the brilliant, prickly TV news anchor Will McAvoy in the HBO drama — wasn’t one that came as a shock to him. He had trolled the Internet and knew he was considered a favorite to land in the lead drama actor category. At the same time, he knew it was a crowded field. “So I didn’t assume,” he admitted. “You hope, but nothing’s for sure.” Indeed, the Aaron Sorkin series that’s polarized critics and viewers from the outset failed to land a top drama nomination. But the fact the show is so daringly different also makes it an irresistible opportunity for the show’s cast. “Aaron writes complicated, complex people who do unpredictable things,” Daniels said, “and that makes it a consistent joy to be a part of the ensemble.” It didn’t surprise him, however, that the show wasn’t singled out for the outstanding drama prize, given the divisive nature of the material. “When you’re as original as this show is, sometimes you get slapped around a little bit,” he believes, “and it’s not everyone’s thing. That also applies to the critics. I think maybe we hit a little too close to home for some of them. As soon as you turn the spotlight on people who rarely have the spotlight on them, it’s uncomfortable.” That said, Daniels hopes The Newsroom survives for years. “That’s the ultimate revenge,” he said. “I’d love to outlive some of the critics who have pissed on us.”

Kevin Spacey, House Of Cards
Spacey had a theory on why House Of Cards broke through and Arrested Development didn’t at the Emmys: “The Emmy ballot this year was like a geometry test. There were a lot of characters and a lot of shows and it took a long time for me to work through it. But I do believe that if you look at Netflix’s 14 nominations, I don’t think it’s about anyone not breaking through, but it’s a pretty historical moment”, he said. “You can talk about individuals and shows being overlooked, but you can’t ignore the fact that the paradigm has shifted.” In regards to House Of Cards executive producer Beau Willimon being overlooked for outstanding drama writing, Spacey said, “I believe when a series is nominated for outstanding drama, you’re recognizing the whole thing. While I would have loved to see Beau recognized in the writing category, I wouldn’t have a nomination, Robin Wright wouldn’t have a nomination, David Fincher wouldn’t have a nomination if it wasn’t for Beau. We got nine nominations because of Beau.”

Lead Actress – Drama
Connie Britton, Nashville
Britton says being nominated for an Emmy “never gets old.” Although Nashville did not get the nod for drama series, the actress said she was “over the moon” to see songwriters Sarah Buxton and Kate York nominated in the category of outstanding original music and lyrics for “Nothing In This World Will Ever Break My Heart Again.” The song is performed by Jayden Panettiere’s character in the show’s first-season finale. “Those are the women who are the real Nashville,” she said of the songwriters. “Since the show didn’t get a ton of nominations, that’s such a beautiful, representative recognition.” Despite being an awards nomination veteran, Britton says each time she “sits there in terror” that she might actually win. “What if I win, what would I really be able to get out of my mouth? And I don’t ever think I can walk up there in those shoes. For a couple of moments I think, if it were to happen, I would have to go barefoot.”

Claire Danes, Homeland
“It is truly a great day on the Homeland set with so many of my fellow castmates being nominated. I was going to do some serious screaming into pillows if Mandy hadn’t gotten a nod. I’m also very glad that Henry Bromell, who we lost too soon, has been recognized for his extraordinary work on our show.”

Michelle Dockery, Downton Abbey
“It’s a wonderful and unexpected surprise, I’m so grateful to be nominated again”.

Vera Farmiga, Bates Motel
“It is such an honor to be recognized by the Academy and in the company of such brilliant women. I’m grateful to Carlton, Kerry and Anthony for gifting me with the opportunity to play such a complex woman and for breathing new life into the iconic Norma Bates.”

Elisabeth Moss, Mad Men
“I always have a couple of theories why [the Mad Men actors don’t win in the final round of Emmys], and then they don’t pan out”, Moss said after she landed a pair of noms today — for AMC’s Mad Men and the Sundance Channel miniseries Top Of The Lake. ” It’s hard to analyze artistic quality – how is one performance better than the others? However, I do feel we are an ensemble cast.  We don’t have a bad apple on our show. The obvious thing that does come to mind is that there would be no Mad Men without Jon Hamm.  Without his portrayal, the show wouldn’t exist. That’s the one [the Academy] should recognize in the end – it’s like c’mon guys.” On her own character on the AMC show: “From the very beginning, I wanted Peggy Olsen to be an everyman and to tell the story of a woman working in the work place and she has changed so much over the years”.  With my character Robin in Top Of The Lake, she’s very much the juxtaposition of strength and vulnerability. She’s very hard and protected and it’s her job to be strong and commanding. Since she works with children, she has a tough sensitivity about her.  Jane Campion said to me at the beginning, ‘I know you can do vulnerable, but I need you to cover it.’ ”

Kerry Washington, Scandal
“You can write a dissertation on the topic,” the nominee said about why there have been few black performers in the drama category in nearly two decades. “I’m really excited that Scandal is being celebrated. The show prioritizes inclusiveness and diversity. Not just in terms of race, but if you look at Jeff Perry’s character and Dan Bucatinsky’s character; if you look at the world of the show, it prioritizes race, gender, age and sexual orientation. So the fact that a show like this and these two nominated characters (mine and Dan’s) can be celebrated, I’m really proud of that. I’m excited to live in a world where these kinds of stories can flourish.”

Related: EMMYS: Washington & Cheadle Break Ground With Noms

Robin Wright, House Of Cards
“I’m so proud to be a part of such a ground breaking project as House Of Cards. I’m thrilled that our show has been recognized and I want to thank the academy for this great honor”.

Lead Actor – Comedy
Alec Baldwin,
30 Rock
“It’s days like this that make me miss 30 Rock. Many thanks to everyone that nominated me”.

Don Cheadle, House Of Lies
Cheadle has proven the exception to the rule at the Emmys as an African American consistently getting nominated in what is too often a lily-white competition. He received his sixth overall Emmy nom and second in a row for the Showtime comedy House of Lies for his work as Marty Kaan, and Cheadle is proud to be the catalyst  in adding some consistent color to the competition. And he’s thrilled to see Kerry Washington from ABC’s Scandal becoming the first black actress in the lead drama category in nearly 20 years – since Cicely Tyson in 1995 for Sweet Justice. “I think it’s fantastic,” Cheadle exulted, “and hopefully something that’s a trend and not just an aberration before everything goes back to a homogenized look.” He also pointed out that both he and Washington are playing roles on their respective series that “would not in the past have necessarily been cast with us in them. So it’s a testament to the people behind the scenes as well.” That said, Cheadle wasn’t sitting at home by his phone waiting for the Emmy call this morning. Instead, he was playing golf. “I just suddenly got flooded with calls out there on the course and had to quit,” he said. That was a little disappointing, as was the fact that House of Lies got no recognition beyond his nomination. But he figured, “Any attention brought to our show will hopefully bring more eyes to the screen.”

Matt LeBlanc, Episodes
LeBlanc was surprised that people even remembered he still had a show given that his Showtime comedy hasn’t had a fresh episode since last August. Yet he received his second nomination for the series, leaving him feeling “honored and flattered.” He was just a little annoyed that they announce the nominations so early in the morning. “It’s actually my mother who complains,” LeBlanc said. “She’s always like, ‘Can’t they do it a little later?’ ” He’s happier for the network than he is for himself, he maintained. “It’s a great feeling to be nominated at the end of the day.” On the other hand, this is LeBlanc’s fifth Emmy nod — he received three for Friends and now a pair for Episodes — and he’s still looking for his first win. “Yeah, always a bridesmaid, never the bride,” he said. “But so what? I try not to worry about things. It’s like interest on a debt that never gets paid.” Told that this was a pretty good line, LeBlanc admitted that he’d stolen it from his attorney. “Nothing is my own, I’m an actor. Thank God we’ve got some great writers on our show. They deserve all of the credit.”

Lead Actress – Comedy
Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Veep
“It’s taken me decades, but I have finally avenged Lucille Ball. I am euphoric.”

Lena Dunham, Girls
After receiving four nominations for the first season of her divisive HBO comedy series, the writer-director-star pulled in another pair of noms this year — for lead actress and directing the episode “On All Fours”. She admitted that getting invited back to the party felt “very validating” in that “when it happens twice in a row, it’s no longer a crazy fluke.” But she cautions that she feels like anything but an Emmy veteran. “I’m still going to be sitting in a room with people whose faces I have obsessively studied on television,” she said. “I just hope I can plan things better this time. Last year, I didn’t pack enough snacks and didn’t plan how long I was going to have to hold my urine.” Dunham was, however, part of host Jimmy Kimmel’s opening sketch in which she was seen stuffing cake into her face while sitting in as toilet stall. “I’m just glad that didn’t turn into a number two joke,” she added, “because then I’d have had to kill myself.” The fact that Dunham failed to convert any of her four nominations into wins a year ago didn’t faze her. But it seemed to upset her mother, who was her date. “Every time I didn’t win, mom would squeeze my hand and look at me in a very concerned way,” Dunham recalls. “I had to reassure her that I was really fine about it all. And I’m looking forward to it again.” The fact that the actress has become such a punching bag for Internet hatred is also something she figures just goes with the territory. “Luckily, people who want to string me up and smack me with a broom only talk about doing it on Twitter and don’t try to do it in reality.”

Amy Poehler, Parks & Recreation
“I appreciate the nominations. I love my job. But nice try, guys. I’m not falling for this old trick again”.

Lead Actor – Movie/Miniseries
Benedict Cumberbatch, Parade’s End
“This nomination is a wonderful early birthday present, which is tomorrow”, he said this morning. “For me as a British actor, an Emmy nomination is a big honor — especially being recognized in a category alongside Michael Douglas, Matt Damon, Al Pacino and Toby Jones, who is an old family friend. I can’t speak how the honor resonates with the British press or fans, but for me, the Emmys, like the Golden Globes, are one of the highest accolades up there for an actor, just like the BAFTAs. What’s wonderful about the character of Christopher Tietjens (in Parade’s End) is that he’s a hero who represents something in a modern, old fashioned way. He’s not outdone by his old-fashion-ness, but he cares and loves those soldiers that are in his charge. He’s a deeply emotional feeling man, not a stiff upper lip.”

Michael Douglas, Behind The Candelabra
Douglas was excited by the fact that his HBO Liberace biopic – a film that at one time nobody wanted, having been rejected by studio after studio – was so universally honored with 15 nominations. “That’s what I’m most thrilled about, is our people getting recognized across the board,” he said. “From our producers to our writer to our costumers, hair and makeup, everyone was recognized. And of course Matt (Damon) and Scott (Bakula). …The nominations are the real winning. Winning itself would be gravy.” Douglas added that since he wasn’t on the production team, he didn’t have any first-hand experience with the rejection the film received but admitted there was probably a certain vindication in all of the Emmy attention. “It became like the largest-viewed film in HBO history, and has been doing fantastically overseas theatrically.” He’s convinced that having Candelabra land at HBO was the greatest break the film could have gotten. “The marketing strength and audience of HBO domestically is second to none,” he said. “It makes it a lot easier after struggling with some of the independent features that Steven (Soderbergh) and I encountered during our career where you get no marketing help.” This is Douglas’ fifth Emmy nomination — and he’s still looking for his first win. His first three came in the mid-1970s for the ABC cop drama The Streets Of San Francisco “So I guess I’ve really kind of come full circle,” he figures. “This film kind of reeks of commitment. We all made a clear commitment, and now it’s been acknowledged in a wonderful way. For me, that’s the nicest part.”

Supporting Actor – Drama
Aaron Paul, Breaking Bad
The “beautiful, crazy ride” that is the AMC drama Breaking Bad continued to serve up blessings for Paul, already a two-time Emmy winner nominated for his fourth supporting statuette as the show’s young meth-dealer-with-a-conscience, Jesse Pinkman. With the show’s much-anticipated final eight episodes premiering August 11, the actor sounded today like a guy who can’t quite believe he hooked onto a series that’s evolved into a phenomenon. “Breaking Bad has just slammed open so many doors for all of us,” he said. “We’ve known how lucky we were to be part of this show from moment one. It’s just so nice that each year, our fan base has kind of grown. We aren’t just ‘The Little Meth Show That Could’ anymore.” Paul naturally is thrilled to be nominated again, and “honored” to have his name sit alongside co-star Jonathan Banks (aka badass Mike Ehrmantraut) in the category. Paul declined to discuss the final season other than to confirm it will be “a violent, brutal spring to the finish”. He also acknowledged that the show most likely is destined to be the highlight of his acting career. “And I say that with the biggest smile on my face,” he noted. “It’s all downhill from here. But it’s sure nice to have ridden on that pedestal.”

Jim Carter, Downton Abbey
“I’m certainly more excited than perhaps Mr. Carson would be. Last year was a thrill, this year even more so. Thank you Emmy voters.”

Supporting Actress – Drama
Morena Baccarin, Homeland
Winning isn’t going to be top of mind on Emmy night for Baccarin, the Brazilian actress who received her first nomination as a supporting players for her role as Jessica Brody on Showtime’s Homeland. That evening, she will be precisely nine months pregnant and “ready to pop,” as she puts it. “So the thing I’ll be worried about most is whether my water will break all over the red carpet.” It will also be fun to see what kind of dress she’s able to fit into. But again, Baccarin isn’t overly concerned with whether she’s able to pull off an upset — she was in bed and asleep when the noms were announced this morning, on vacation with her husband in Charleston, SC. “I’m in bed and suddenly I see a thousand messages,” she recalled. “I figured something was wrong. But no, it was just my publicist emailing, texting, calling, trying everything. It was amazing to get the news.” Was she surprised? “Very,” she admitted. “I can’t even believe it, to be honest.” She can’t even fathom winning. “Oh no way. I’m voting for Maggie Smith, She’s incredible. I feel lucky just to be mentioned in the same breath as her.”

Supporting Actor – Comedy
Bill Hader, Saturday Night Live
Hader attributes his nomination to perhaps his most popular SNL character, Stefon, the New York City correspondent whose breathless updates on NYC’s hottest clubs always crack up not just the viewers but Hader himself. The character’s quirky speech patterns are based on a guy who worked in a coffee shop in Chelsea, Hader said. The actor confirms he has never made it through one of Stefon’s appearances on the Weekend Update segment without dissolving into laughter. “They’ll switch things up on the cue cards without telling me, or tell me things as I go out there to make me laugh,” he said. Hader has been delighted by the recent addition of new cast members to SNL. “They have this kind of new voice coming in,” he says. “It isn’t evident on the show — you really see it in the Wednesday table read.” He said that producer Lorne Michaels will ask some of the newbies, including Kate McKinnon, to hold back new characters and ideas for future episodes so as not to introduce all the “good stuff” all at once. When asked whether he’d like to see any changes made in this year’s Emmy telecast, Hader joked: “If the whole thing were longer…”

Tony Hale, Veep
“It was one of those things that doesn’t really feel real,” said Hale, a first-time nominee for his role as fawning Vice President aide Gary Walsh. “My wife and I had kind of been staring at each other all morning, then there were times when we kind of screamed, and then we’d go back to staring. It’s probably going to hit us again at about 3 in the morning and we’ll start screaming again.” He added: “It was a huge long shot. I was even kind of wondering if the show was going to be nominated, and then to see my name — I’m just honored, I’m dead serious.” Hale said the Veep producers allow for a lot of improv during rehearsal, even though the actual shooting is tightly scripted. “It’s very rare in television to be allowed to do improv — it’s an incredibly fun process,” he said. He noted how many political shows are on the air right now, including Homeland and House Of Cards. “I love it that Veep shows the humanity of these people,” he said. “We hear the sound bites, but behind the scenes, they are normal.”

Supporting Actress – Comedy
Mayim Bialik, The Big Bang Theory
After receiving her second nomination in as many years for her scene-stealing work as Amy Farrah Fowler on the CBS comedy, the one thing Bialik is certain of is that she’s not going to win. “I’m just completely shocked to have gotten nominated,” she admitted. “I got online early this morning to see who got nominated instead of me, and then I see MY name. It was crazy.” But why was she so shocked? After all, she’d already been nominated a year ago. “I don’t know,” she replied. “I famously don’t watch television at all, so I only have a vague notion of the other people in my category in terms of their performances. But I do know that Jane Lynch is phenomenal. So are Julie Bowen and Anna Chlumsky and, well, all of them really. I don’t stand a chance against them. Any of them can win. Except me.”

Merritt Wever, Nurse Jackie
Wever’s nomination is her second for her role as Zoey Barkow on the Showtime series. “There’s something about it happening now that the show has been on for a few years too. I find that really rewarding as well,” she said. “For some reason that means a lot to me.” The first thing on her mind this morning was wondering what to wear to the Emmys. “Last year I got the nomination and it was amazing, but I was doing a play so I was a bit consumed by something else so I didn’t think so hard about the finding a dress thing,” she said. “It’s hard for me. That level of attire is not my forte. It’s the only downside. There are so many different elements — it’s not like I’ve never put on a dress before, but this seems to be a whole industry in itself. I thought this year I’d try to not to get so unhappy.”

Supporting Actor – Movie/Miniseries
Scott Bakula
, Behind The Candelabra
Twenty years after his most recent Emmy nomination — his fourth, for NBC’s cult drama Quantum Leap — Bakula finally has been invited back to the party with a nomination few were expecting (least of all him). He was honored for his supporting role in HBO’s Liberace biopic has left him scratching his head. “I’m sure there were a few hundred guys at home saying, ‘Really? Bakula?’ ” he said. “Shoot, I was more surprised than anybody. I didn’t have me in the office pool, either.” The best prediction was that if anyone would emerge with a supporting nod for the film, it would be Rob Lowe. Or possibly Dan Aykroyd. “There’s no rhyme or reason to any of this stuff,” Bakula agreed. “I’m really honored but, at the same time, kind of confused. I’m thrilled that the academy recognized the film the way they did.” So Bakula clearly isn’t holding his breath that he might win. But he plans to celebrate on Emmy night all the same. “I’m just going to party like a crazy man,” he quipped. “I’m gonna set Hollywood on its ear. I’m gonna find out the names of all of the clubs I’m supposed to go to and just go. And I’ll dress up in my wardrobe from the movie just to see if anyone notices.”

Variety Series
Jimmy Fallon, Late Night With Jimmy Fallon
“Honored to be nominated for an Emmy this morning. Takes the sting away from being snubbed by the ESPYs last night”.

Jimmy Kimmel, Jimmy Kimmel Live!
“It just goes to show you — good things happen to bad people”.

Reality Host
Tim Gunn & Heidi Klum, Project Runway
“It is still a bit surreal but I am thrilled and honored to be nominated alongside Heidi and the show. I am so grateful to Heidi, as she is the real star of the show, for sharing billing and allowing me to stand in her shadow.” — Gunn

Guest Actor – Drama
Harry Hamlin, Mad Men
“To be nominated is above and beyond my greatest expectations. They had me at hello just by walking onto the set. I didn’t have much insight into my character beforehand, but was excited to be another mad man, in Matt Weiner’s brilliant world. It’s been an unbelievable opportunity to work on an extraordinary show with such talented people. Thank you.”

Guest Actress – Drama
Linda Cardellini, Mad Men
“Sylvia Rosen is different from Don Draper’s usual mistresses”, she said. “She’s the one that changed his trajectory. This stemmed from Sylvia grappling with her guilt and Don playing into that. When they are both caught by Sally Draper, it’s an important turn of events. My (preparation) pace as an actress on the show was different from the fast-speed faced by many actors.  My scenes tended to be with Jon Hamm and this was different say, if my scenes were in the office. My interactions are secret and intimate with Don Draper, so that was the dynamic on the set.”

Guest Actress – Comedy
Melissa Leo, Louie
After some 30 years of TV guest roles — including that actors’ rite of passage Law & Order —the Oscar winner says she is just as happy about her nomination as she ever was about winning an Academy Award. “I started working in television before the film world,” she says. “I have a biding love for television. Not only is so much of it available freely to the public, but the available audience is wider than any boxoffice you ever dreamed of. To be honored by the TV Academy is no less an honor and a delight, and particularly for my first comic sketch”. Leo’s episode features a rollicking, raunchy scene in which she gives Louis CK’s character a blowjob in a car, only to find that he is uncomfortable about the idea of returning the favor.  Think of any term you can for oral sex and it’s in this scene. But it wasn’t the language, or the subject, that was a stretch for Leo. It was playing comedy. “He [Louis CK) is so funny, I just thought: ‘I don’t want to fall flat on my face,’ ” she said. “I just tried to ground her and make her like all my characters. Make her feet on the ground and have her make some sense, even if it’s to herself and no one else. Comedy, tragedy — it’s all acting to me, I did what I knew how to do, and I took everything I could from Louis and his gang”.

Molly Shannon, Enlightened
“If you’re really lucky in your life, you make a friend like Mike White. Then, if you’re crazy lucky, he writes an amazing part for you to play. I’m so grateful to have been a part of Enlightened and am honored that the Academy recognized me for this performance. I am just thrilled!”

Writing – Comedy
Robert Carlock, 30 Rock
No one can say that NBC’s 30 Rock sputtered to the Emmy finish line after seven seasons. In fact, it landed 13 nominations for its seventh and final campaign, more than any other comedy. The total included not just noms for comedy series, acting leads Tina Fey and Alec Baldwin and supporting player Jane Krakowski but also a pair for writing (both halves of the hourlong finale) and one for directing. “It was also nice to see out sound, casting and editing people singled out on the crafts side,” said showrunner Robert Carlock, who received one of the writing noms (his fourth). “Of course, what everyone will be talking about on Emmy night is how I’m the fan favorite and darling. As it should be.” Carlock added that he hopes they can “trick the TV Academy into giving us one or two more Emmys for all the good times. Especially for Alec. He has a baby coming and needs a baby present.” Kidding aside, he admitted to being proud that the 30 Rock wrap-up was recognized in writing, given the difficulties in bringing a show to its conclusion without turning awkward and maudlin. “Hopefully, the nominations tell us we were able to avoid that,” Carlock noted. “We packed seven or eight stories into that last hour in the interest of really servicing the characters. It was a tough job, but we were happy to do it.”