POSTED: 1:30 a.m. HST, Jul 11, 2014
It's not just television — it's everything that's good on video, as far as the Emmys are concerned, a point driven home emphatically as the nominations for this year's awards were announced Thursday.
The expected showdown between outstanding drama series spread across cable and pay television services and included some of the most highly praised shows in recent memory. AMC's "Breaking Bad," in its last season, and HBO's "True Detective" were nominated and are expected to be strong contenders. They were joined by "Game of Thrones" on HBO, which topped the list with 19 nominations, and "House of Cards" on Netflix, with 16.
"Downton Abbey" and "Mad Men" were the other dramas nominated.
Indeed, Netflix, the subscription service, was far more a presence than it was last year, racking up 31 nominations, including major nominations in the top series and acting categories for "House of Cards" and "Orange Is the New Black." That was more nominations than some of the networks, including Fox, which had 18.
The strong showing for Netflix was driven by 13 nominations for "House of Cards" and 12 for the newcomer "Orange Is the New Black."
Other big winners included two FX miniseries, "Fargo," which racked up the second-highest total (after "Game of Thrones") with 18 nominations, and "American Horror Story" with 17. "Breaking Bad" had 16, as did the HBO movie "The Normal Heart." "True Detective" had 12.
The Emmys, scheduled for Aug. 25 at the Nokia Theater in Los Angeles, will air on NBC. Seth Meyers will emcee.
In general, broadcasters continued to struggle against the onslaught of strong entries from across the spectrum of video, with even CBS' "The Good Wife," after a widely praised season, shut out of the best-drama category.
In the comedy series category, the broadcast networks fared slightly better, with ABC's "Modern Family," which has won the Emmy in each of the last four years, and CBS' "The Big Bang Theory" earning nominations, along with "Veep," "Louie," "Orange Is the New Black" and "Silicon Valley."
CBS led the broadcasters with 47 nominations (dwarfed by perennial leader HBO with 99), followed by NBC with 46 and ABC with 37. PBS had 34. The remaining strength for the four big networks is in comedy, where nominations were still managed for "Big Bang" and "Modern Family," a four-time winner.
In the acting categories drama was again the stronghold of non-network shows, though Julianna Margulies of "The Good Wife," Kerry Washington of ABC's "Scandal" and Michelle Dockery of "Downton Abbey" did break into the best actress list. Also in the group were the newcomer Lizzy Caplan, widely praised for her performance in Showtime's "Masters of Sex"; Robin Wright of "House of Cards"; and the incumbent winner, Claire Danes from "Homeland."
Notable omissions included Elisabeth Moss of "Mad Men," Tatiana Maslany for "Orphan Black," Keri Russell for FX's "The Americans" and Vera Farmiga for A&E's "Bates Motel."
On the men's side it was all nonbroadcast contenders: Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson for "True Detective," Bryan Cranston for "Breaking Bad," Jeff Daniels for HBO's "Newsroom," Kevin Spacey for "Cards" and one more nomination for Jon Hamm of "Mad Men," who has never won this award.
Omissions included Michael Sheen of "Masters of Sex," James Spader of "Blacklist" and Matthew Rhys of "The Americans."
The strategizing that went into the gaming of categories was evident and in some cases paid off. For instance, "Fargo" and "True Detective" have the same format (closed-ended series with plans for additional seasons with different casts), but both claimed a host of nominations in separate categories — miniseries versus drama series — when they could have canceled each other out had they gone head to head.
Falco always gets some grief for being listed in the comedy actress group because her performance is so dramatically compelling, but she is at least in a half-hour show, the format of all the other comedy nominees.
Then there is the category of outstanding guest actor in a comedy series, which somehow now includes the stars who guest-host "SNL" — including, this year, Jimmy Fallon and Louis C.K.
By Bill Carter, New York Times
|EMMY NOMINATIONS IN MAJOR CATEGORIES
The Academy of Television Arts & Sciences announced the 2014 Emmy Award nominees Thursday. For a full list, visit www.emmys.com.
» Drama series: "Breaking Bad," AMC; "Downton Abbey," PBS; "Game of Thrones," HBO; "House of Cards," Netflix; "Mad Men," AMC; "True Detective," HBO
» Comedy series: "The Big Bang Theory," CBS; "Louie," FX Networks; "Modern Family," ABC; "Orange Is the New Black," Netflix; "Silicon Valley," HBO; "Veep," HBO
» Miniseries: "American Horror Story: Coven," FX Networks; "Bonnie & Clyde," Lifetime; "Fargo," FX Networks; "Luther," BBC America; "Treme," HBO; "The White Queen," Starz
» Actor, drama series: Bryan Cranston, "Breaking Bad," AMC; Kevin Spacey, "House of Cards," Netflix; Jon Hamm, "Mad Men," AMC; Jeff Daniels, "The Newsroom," HBO; Woody Harrelson, "True Detective," HBO; Matthew McConaughey, "True Detective," HBO
» Actress, drama series: Michelle Dockery, "Downton Abbey," PBS; Julianna Margulies, "The Good Wife," CBS; Claire Danes, "Homeland," Showtime; Robin Wright, "House of Cards," Netflix; Lizzy Caplan, "Masters of Sex," Showtime; Kerry Washington, "Scandal," ABC
» Supporting actor, drama series: Aaron Paul, "Breaking Bad," AMC; Jim Carter, "Downton Abbey," PBS; Peter Dinklage, "Game of Thrones," HBO; Josh Charles, "The Good Wife," CBS; Mandy Patinkin, "Homeland," Showtime; Jon Voight, "Ray Donovan," Showtime
» Supporting actress, drama series: Anna Gunn, "Breaking Bad," AMC; Maggie Smith, "Downton Abbey," PBS; Joanne Froggatt, "Downton Abbey," PBS; Lena Headey, "Game of Thrones," HBO; Christine Baranski, "The Good Wife," CBS; Christina Hendricks, "Mad Men," AMC
» Actor, comedy series: Jim Parsons, "The Big Bang Theory," CBS; Ricky Gervais, "Derek," Netflix; Matt LeBlanc, "Episodes," Showtime; Don Cheadle, "House of Lies," Showtime; Louis C.K., "Louie," FX Networks; William H. Macy, "Shameless," Showtime
» Actress, comedy series: Lena Dunham, "Girls," HBO; Melissa McCarthy, "Mike & Molly," CBS; Edie Falco, "Nurse Jackie," Showtime; Taylor Schilling, "Orange Is the New Black," Netflix; Amy Poehler, "Parks and Recreation," NBC; Julia Louis-Dreyfus, "Veep," HBO
» Supporting actor, comedy series: Andre Braugher, "Brooklyn Nine-Nine," Fox; Adam Driver, "Girls," HBO; Jesse Tyler Ferguson, "Modern Family," ABC; Ty Burrell, "Modern Family," ABC; Fred Armisen, "Portlandia," IFC; Tony Hale, "Veep," HBO
» Supporting actress, comedy series: Mayim Bialik, "The Big Bang Theory," CBS; Julie Bowen, "Modern Family," ABC; Allison Janney, "Mom," CBS; Kate Mulgrew, "Orange Is the New Black," Netflix; Kate McKinnon, "Saturday Night Live," NBC; Anna Chlumsky, "Veep," HBO
» Actor, miniseries or movie: Chiwetel Ejiofor, "Dancing on the Edge," Starz; Martin Freeman, "Fargo," FX Networks; Billy Bob Thornton, "Fargo," FX Networks; Idris Elba, "Luther," BBC America; Mark Ruffalo, "The Normal Heart," HBO; Benedict Cumberbatch, "Sherlock: His Last Vow (Masterpiece)," PBS
» Actress, miniseries or movie: Jessica Lange, "American Horror Story: Coven," FX Networks; Sarah Paulson, "American Horror Story: Coven," FX Networks; Helena Bonham Carter, "Burton and Taylor," BBC America; Minnie Driver, "Return to Zero," Lifetime; Kristen Wiig, "The Spoils of Babylon," IFC; Cicely Tyson, "The Trip to Bountiful," Lifetime