'Mildred Pierce,' 'Mad Men,' 'Modern Family' lead 63rd Emmy nominations
'Game of Thrones' and 'Boardwalk Empire' debut strongly
"Mad Men" and "Modern Family," last year's Outstanding Drama and Outstanding Comedy, led their respective categories in nominations, but it was "Mildred Pierce" that drew the most nominations for the 63rd Primetime Emmy Awards.
The HBO miniseries adaptation of the James M. Cain novel drew 21 nominations, including writing and directing nods for Todd Haynes, acting nominations for Guy Pierce, Brian F. O'Byrne, Evan Rachel Wood, Melissa Leo, Mare Winningham and Kate Winslet and, of course, Outstanding Miniseries or Movie.
HBO also had plenty to celebrate on the drama side of things, as first-year dramas "Game of Thrones" and "Boardwalk Empire" both made the Outstanding Drama Series cut, with "Game of Thrones" earning 13 nominations (including a nod for star Peter Dinklage) and "Boardwalk Empire" taking 18 (including star Steve Buscemi and pilot director Martin Scorsese).
The only drama with more nominations than "Boardwalk Empire" was, of course, three-time Outstanding Drama Series winner "Mad Men," which earned 19 nominations this year, with Jon Hamm, Elisabeth Moss, Christina Hendricks and John Slattery (plus three guest stars) all receiving nominations.
Joining "Mad Men," "Boardwalk Empire" and "Game of Thrones" in the Outstanding Drama Series category are "The Good Wife" (with 9 nominations total), "Dexter" (5 nominations total) and, for its final season, NBC and DirecTV's "Friday Night Lights."
"Friday Night Lights" also celebrated its last year with nominations for stars Kyle Chandler and Connie Britton (both nominated for the first time last year).
While cable dominated the drama series nominations, Outstanding Comedy Series will be an all-network race, with "Modern Family," "Glee," "30 Rock," "The Office," "Parks and Recreation" and "The Big Bang Theory" going head-to-head.
"Modern Family" was tops among all comedies with 16 nominations, which is what happens when you're able to score six of 12 available nominations in the supporting actor categories, with Ed O'Neill joining last year's five nominees in the field. Close behind was "30 Rock" with 13 nominations and "Glee" with 12 nods, though "Glee" saw alleged leading man Matthew Morrison dropped from the Outstanding Actor in a Comedy field, which now features newbies Matt LeBlanc (of "Episodes") and Louis C.K. (of "Louie) along with perennials Alec Baldwin, Steve Carell and Jim Parsons (plus Parsons' "Big Bang" co-star Johnny Galecki).
Joining "Mildred Pierce" in the now unified Outstanding Miniseries or Movie category are HBO's "Too Big To Fail" and "Cinema Verite," plus PBS' beloved "Downton Abbey," Starz' respected "Pillars of the Earth" and Starz' generally maligned "The Kennedys." Although "The Kennedys" was dismissed by History Channel and critics alike, it also earned nominations for stars Greg Kinnear, Barry Pepper and Tom Wilkinson.
The 63rd Primetime Emmy Awards will be held on Sunday, September 18 in Los Angeles, with Jane Lynch (a returning nominee for "Glee") hosting the FOX telecast.