I wouldn’t say there were a lot of surprises on this morning’s Emmy nominations list, although the comedy series categories offered a lot of fresh meat for the awards show. That is mostly supplied by HBO, which came roaring back in series competition garnering three of the six nods for comedy series — Curb Your Enthusiasm, Girls, and Veep for HBO joining ABC’s Modern Family, NBC’s 30 Rock, and CBS’ The Big Bang Theory — and two of the six for drama series with repeaters Game Of Thrones and Boardwalk Empire. That’s nearly half the complete combined total in those two areas. Don’t expect it to win any of them, though, with Outstanding Comedy Series likely going predictably to favored Modern Family for a third year in a row and Outstanding Drama Series likely going again to Mad Men, which had a sensational fifth season and which co-led the field of nominees with 17 mentions (tying Movie/Mini-Series contender American Horror Story).
Showtime’s Homeland, a critical favorite, could sweep in and upset Mad Men’s attempt to break a record for most Drama Series wins with five in a row. PBS’ switch of Downton Abbey from its winning perch as last year’s best Movie/Mini (see separate analysis here) to the Drama Series category is the great unknown here. The Academy’s continuing love affair with anything and everything British could provide trouble for Mad Men’s quest and steal it all too. Although this was the most predictable category in terms of nominations, it may turn out to be the least predictable in terms of a winner. A close contest could actually provide room for a real upset here — maybe AMC’s hugely deserving Breaking Bad breaking good with a first-time win in the top category? Just sayin’. It had an amazing fourth season and is back in the Emmy competition with its most nominations ever at 13 after being off the air and on the Emmy bench last year due to eligibility dates. Its star Bryan Cranston should easily be the favorite for Lead Actor in a Drama Series, which would be his fourth win since no actor from Mad Men ever seems to win anything. That includes star Jon Hamm, who apparently makes it look all too easy for Academy voters in the actors branch. (more…)