The nominations for the 64th annual Emmy Awards are out and AMC’s “Mad Men” and FX’s “American Horror Story” are leading the field, with 17 apiece.
But they won’t be facing each other in the competition for best drama.
Because while you might have thought both were regular series, the FX show, taking advantage, perhaps, of its status as a kind of anthology, is competing in the movies and miniseries category, up against HBO’s “Game Change,” the History Channel’s “Hatfields & McCoys,” HBO’s “Hemingway & Gellhorn,” BBC America’s “Luther” and PBS’ “Masterpiece" presentation "Sherlock: A Scandal in Belgravia.”
Meanwhile, another “Masterpiece” entry, “Downton Abbey,” which last season competed – and won – as a miniseries, is in the running for outstanding drama for its second season, along with HBO’s “Boardwalk Empire” and “Game of Thrones,” AMC’s “Mad Men” and “Breaking Bad” and Showtime’s “Homeland.”
Also taking advantage of the apparently blurry line between series and miniseries: ABC’s “Missing,” whose star, Ashley Judd, was nominated in the mini category, something that makes sense only because ABC canceled the show at the end of its first short season.
Maybe AMC should have tried this with one of its shows: As it is, three-time winner Bryan Cranston (“Breaking Bad”) is once again up against “Mad Men’s” Jon Hamm. They’re joined in the category outstanding lead actor in a drama by Hugh Bonneville (“Downton Abbey”), Steve Buscemi (“Boardwalk Empire”), Michael C. Hall (“Dexter”) and Damian Lewis (“Homeland”). Out in the cold: Hugh Laurie, of Fox’s now-finished “House,” who’s now never going to win an Emmy for that show.
Emmy voters, often derided by critics as old and out of touch, went this year with something (or someone) old and something new, giving a nod to 90-year-old Betty White, host of NBC’s “Off Their Rockers,” in the reality host category and nominating Lena Dunham, the 26-year-old creator and star of HBO’s “Girls,” in both the lead actress in a comedy and outstanding comedy categories.
Upper Darby’s Tina Fey, long an Emmy-winning machine, was again nominated as lead actress in a comedy, along with NBC’s “30 Rock,” the show she created.
A complete list of the nominations can be found here.