Saturday, August 30, 2014
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Emmys: 'Mildred Pierce,' 'Mad Men' top nominations

It's Emmy nominations day, or as they probably call it at HBO, Christmas.

Emmys: 'Mildred Pierce,' 'Mad Men' top nominations

 It's Emmy nominations day, or as they probably call it at HBO, Christmas.

Because while the network gets plenty of recognition at the annual Emmy awards -- winners may forget to thank spouses, but they never, ever forget HBO -- it never really dominates the televised awards show the way it does the nominations, where this year its haul adds up to 104. (NBC, the second most-nominated network, has 46.)

And though miniseries "Mildred Pierce's" 21 nominations are impressive, putting it ahead of AMC's "Mad Men" (19), HBO's "Boardwalk Empire" (18) and ABC's "Modern Family" (17), awards for continuing series are more likely to have an impact on a show's future.

Assuming that a show still has a future.

It only took five seasons, but DirecTV's "Friday Night Lights," whose series finale re-airs tomorrow night on NBC, finally got its due from the academy, with for nominations, including its first for outstanding drama and acting nods for lead actors Kyle Chandler and Connie Britton (who were both nominated for the first time for their roles in the Texas-based series last year).

Also in the running for outstanding drama: "Boardwalk Empire," Showtime's "Dexter," CBS' "The Good Wife," HBO's "Game of Thrones" and "Mad Men."

Outstanding comedy nominees include CBS' "The Big Bang Theory," Fox's "Glee," ABC's "Modern Family," NBC's "The Office," NBC's "Parks and Recreation" and NBC's "30 Rock."

 Nominees for lead actress in what's in a few cases loosely defined as comedy include Edie Falco (Showtime's "Nurse Jackie"), Laura Linney (Showtime's "The Big C"), Amy Poehler (NBC's "Parks and Recreation"), Melissa McCarthy (CBS' "Mike & Molly"), Martha Plimpton (Fox's "Raising Hope") and Upper Darby's Tina Fey ("30 Rock").

Nominees for lead actor in a comedy include Matt LeBlanc (for playing a fictionalized version of himself in Showtime's "Episodes"), Jim Parsons (CBS' "The Big Bang Theory," Steve Carell (for his final year on NBC's "The Office"), Johnny Galecki ("The Big Bang Theory"), Louis C.K. (FX's "Louie") and Alec Baldwin ("30 Rock").

In drama, lead actor nominees, besides Chandler, are: Steve Buscemi ("Boardwalk Empire"), Michael C. Hall (Showtime's "Dexter"), Jon Hamm ("Mad Men"), Hugh Laurie (Fox's "House") and Timothy Olyphant (FX's "Justified").

Lead actress nominees in a drama, besides Britton, are: Elisabeth Moss ("Mad Men"), Mariska Hargitay (NBC's "Law & Order: SVU"), Mireille Enos (AMC's "The Killing"), Julianna Margulies (CBS' "The Good Wife") and Kathy Bates (NBC's "Harry's Law").

 The 63rd annual Primetime Emmy Awards will air Sept. 18 on Fox, hosted by Jane Lynch.

A complete list of nominees can be found here.

 Some scattered thoughts that I may or may not refine as the day goes on (and if you’d like to contribute to the refining process, please stop by my noon chat on philly.com and we can talk about All Things Emmy).

-- Could the History Channel be wishing today that it had held on to "The Kennedys"? The controversial miniseries from "24" producer Joel Surnow was commissioned by History, which ultimately decided not to show it. Reelz Channel picked that hot potato (which by that time had become only lukewarm) and now has an Emmy nomination for outstanding movie or miniseries as well as acting nominations for Greg Kinnear and Barry Pepper to show for it. (Other nominees in the movie and mini category include HBO's "Mildred Pierce," HBO's "Cinema Verite," PBS "Masterpiece's" "Downton Abbey," Starz' "The Pillars of the Earth" and HBO's "Too Big to Fail.") Today’s score: Reelz , 10 nominations, History, seven.

--  It’s a good day to be an actor at FX: Besides Olyphant and Louis C.K., there are supporting player nominations for Walton Goggins (“Justified”) and Margo Martindale (“Justified”). I’m particularly pleased about Martindale, whose one-season stint as backwoods sociopath Mags Bennett was both wonderful and terrifying.

 -- If Matt LeBlanc, who was nominated three times for playing Joey on “Friends” but never won, wins for playing Matt LeBlanc, will he ever want to play anyone else?

--  “Bridesmaids” seems to have done marvels for raising the Hollywood profile of Kristen Wiig, who’s a supporting actress nominee for playing “various characters” on NBC’s “Saturday Night Live.”

Ellen Gray Daily News TV Critic
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About this blog
As the TV critic for the Philadelphia Daily News, I've always believed my job is less about thumbs -- up or down -- and more about the conversation. Because the more choices we have, the fewer people in our lives know what we're talking about when we say, "Did you see that?" And that's when television really starts to get interesting.

Ellen Gray Daily News TV Critic
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