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66th Primetime Emmy Nominations: Netflix Rules the School as House of Cards and OITNB Dominate



The nominations for the 66th Primetime Emmys were announced this morning to the usual round of ooh and aahs over inclusions and snubs. Just as House of Cards set the pace last year as the inaugural Netflix program to gather Emmy attention, Orange is the New Black did expectedly well, grabbing five acting nominations (including the first ever for a transgender person – Laverne Cox), directing and writing kudos and a nod for Best Comedy Series.  All in all, the series netted a 12 nominations.

House of Cards managed not to suffer a sophomore slump, receiving a whopping 13 nominations with Best Drama Series, Lead Actor, Lead Actress, Writing and Directing among them. It actually built upon its 9-nomination freshman year. Last year’s series winner, Breaking Bad, snagged 16 nominations this year for its final season. HBO’s True Detective, which earlier this year surprisingly went from Miniseries to Drama, did well with 12, including dual Lead Actor in a Drama Series nominations for Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson. But the field-best winner today in Drama was HBO’s other show, Game of Thrones. Showing no signs of slowing down with Emmy, it racked up 19 nominations, including a first nod for Lena Headey in Supporting Actress. Former Drama Series winners Mad Men and Homeland continued to see their numbers dip with the former getting 8 nominations and the latter just 4, including an expected snub in Drama Series for what many felt was a very lackluster season. Showtime had pinned its Emmy hopes on its new show Masters of Sex, which ultimately disappointed. It didn’t manage a Drama Series, Directing or Writing nomination but did manage one for Lead Actress Lizzy Caplan. The fourth season of Downton Abbey chugged along with 12 nominations, including its usual single Writing and Directing submission strategy paying off. The resurgence of The Good Wife didn’t materialize in the form of a return to Drama Series but previous winner and recent snubee Julianna Margulies did make it back into the Lead Actress race. 

Over in Comedy, Orange is the New Black‘s main competition, Modern Family, saw quite a few chinks in its armor including a snub in Supporting Actress for Sofia Vergara and no return to Supporting Actor for previous 2-time winner Eric Stonestreet. Still, it managed to tie OITNB for a field-best 12 nominations. Fox’s freshman show and Golden Globe winner Brooklyn Nine-Nine had a quiet morning with just two mentions, for Stunt Coordination and for multi-Emmy nominated Andre Braugher in Supporting Actor. In other Fox news, former Emmy nomination champ Glee found itself with a single nomination this year, albeit a big one; Directing. HBO had a good day as both Veep and new series Silicon Valley managed Comedy Series nominations (with the latter also getting Writing and Directing nominations). Previous series nominee Girls was left off this year, as was HBO’s other freshman series, Looking. FX’s Louie returned with just 5 nominations, and surprisingly none in the Guest categories. Sarah Baker was an early frontrunner here and even Ellen Burstyn couldn’t manage to crack the list. But don’t cry for Louis C.K. just yet. This year brings his personal Emmy nomination total to 25 in just four years.  Orange is the New Black wasn’t the only Netflix comedy getting attention this morning as Derek managed a surprise Lead Actor nomination for previous winner Ricky Gervais. Showtime’s switch from Drama to Comedy for Shameless proved a good plan for William H. Macy, who got his first nomination for the show. Joan Cusack, who’s been nominated in Guest every year since the show began, found herself nominated again this morning. Sorry, Emmy Rossum, looks like you won’t be living up to your name.

In TV Movie and Miniseries it was all about The Normal Heart, Fargo and American Horror Story: Coven. The Normal Heart pulled off quite a hat trick, getting four Supporting Actor nods for Matt Bomer, Joe Mantello, Alfred Molina and Jim Parsons (sorry Taylor Kitsch) to go with its Supporting Actress (Julia Roberts) and Lead Actor (Mark Ruffalo) mentions for a total of 16. Fargo proved to be a strong Emmy force with a field-best 18 nominations, including four acting nominations for Leads Martin Freeman and Billy Bob Thornton and supporting players Colin Hanks and Allison Tolman. American Horror Story: Coven was no slouch, dominating the female acting categories with two in Lead (Jessica Lange and Sarah Paulson) and three in Supporting (Angela Bassett, Kathy Bates and Frances Conroy). The anthology also managed writing and directing nominations for the first time. HBO’s Treme, which was given a shortened 5-episode final season qualified it for Miniseries and it got more Emmy attention than in previous seasons, netting a Miniseries nom and one for Writing.

Comedy Series
The Big Bang Theory
Modern Family
Orange Is the New Black
Silicon Valley

Drama Series
Breaking Bad
Downton Abbey
Game of Thrones
House of Cards
Mad Men
True Detective

Lead Actress, Comedy
Lena Dunham, Girls
Edie Falco, Nurse Jackie
Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Veep
Melissa McCarthy, Mike and Molly
Amy Poehler, Parks and Recreation
Taylor Schilling, Orange Is the New Black

Lead Actor, Comedy
Louis C.K., Louie
Don Cheadle, House of Lies
Ricky Gervais, Derek
Matt LeBlanc, Episodes
William H. Macy, Shameless
Jim Parsons, The Big Bang Theory

Lead Actress, Drama
Lizzy Caplan, Masters of Sex
Claire Danes, Homeland
Michelle Dockery, Downton Abbey
Julianna Margulies, The Good Wife
Kerry Washington, Scandal
Robin Wright, House of Cards

Lead Actor, Drama
Bryan Cranston, Breaking Bad
Jeff Daniels, The Newsroom
Jon Hamm, Mad Men
Woody Harrelson, True Detective
Matthew McConaughey, True Detective
Kevin Spacey, House of Cards

American Horror Story: Coven
Bonnie and Clyde
The White Queen

Television Movie
Killing Kennedy
Muhammad Ali’s Greatest Fight
The Normal Heart
The Trip to Bountiful

Lead Actress, Miniseries or TV Movie
Helena Bonham Carter, Burton and Taylor
Minnie Driver, Return to Zero
Jessica Lange, American Horror Story: Coven
Sarah Paulson, American Horror Story: Coven
Cicely Tyson, The Trip to Bountiful
Kristen Wiig, The Spoils of Babylon

Lead Actor, Miniseries or TV Movie
Benedict Cumberbatch, Sherlock
Chiwetel Ejiofor, Dancing on the Edge
Idris Elba, Luther
Martin Freeman, Fargo
Mark Ruffalo, The Normal Heart
Billy Bob Thornton, Fargo

Variety Series
The Colbert Report
The Daily Show
Jimmy Kimmel Live
Real Time with Bill Maher
Saturday Night Live
The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon

Reality – Competition Program
The Amazing Race
Dancing with the Stars
Project Runway
So You Think You Can Dance
Top Chef
The Voice

Supporting Actor, Drama
Peter Dinklage, Game of Thrones
Jon Voight, Ray Donovan
Josh Charles, The Good Wife
Mandy Patinkin, Homeland
Aaron Paul, Breaking Bad
Jim Carter, Downton Abbey

Supporting Actress, Drama
Anna Gunn, Breaking Bad
Maggie Smith, Downton Abbey
Joanne Froggatt, Downton Abbey
Lena Headey, Game of Thrones
Christina Hendricks, Mad Men
Christine Baranski, The Good Wife

Supporting Actor, Comedy
Andre Braugher, Brooklyn Nine-Nine
Adam Driver, Girls
Ty Burrell, Modern Family
Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Modern Family
Fred Armisen, Portlandia
Tony Hale, Veep

Supporting Actress, Comedy
Julie Bowen, Modern Family
Allison Janney, Mom
Kate Mulgrew, Orange Is the New Black
Kate McKinnon, Saturday Night Live
Mayim Bialik, The Big Bang Theory
Anna Chlumsky, Veep

Guest Actor, Drama
Paul Giamatti, Downton Abbey
Reg E. Cathey, House of Cards
Robert Morse, Mad Men
Beau Bridges, Masters of Sex
Joe Morton, Scandal
Dylan Baker, The Good Wife

Guest Actress, Drama
Diana Rigg, Game of Thrones
Kate Mara, House of Cards
Allison Janney, Masters of Sex
Kate Burton, Scandal
Margo Martindale, The Americans
Jane Fonda, The Newsroom

Guest Actor, Comedy
Nathan Lane, Modern Family
Steve Buscemi, Portlandia
Jimmy Fallon, Saturday Night Live
Louis C.K., Saturday Night Live
Bob Newhart, The Big Bang Theory
Gary Cole, Veep

Guest Actress, Comedy
Uzo Aduba, Orange Is the New Black
Laverne Cox, Orange Is the New Black
Natasha Lyonne, Orange Is the New Black
Tina Fey, Saturday Night Live
Melissa McCarthy, Saturday Night Live
Joan Cusack, Shameless

Game of Thrones – 19
Breaking Bad – 16
House of Cards – 13
Downton Abbey – 12
Orange is the New Black – 12
True Detective – 12
Modern Family – 10
Veep – 9
Mad Men – 8
Big Bang Theory – 7
Louie – 5
Silicon Valley – 5

Don’t forget to head over to the Emmy Experts page of predictions to see who scored and who tanked and then let your voice be heard in the forums!

Full list of nominations

Full list by program

About Erik Anderson

Erik thanks his mother for his love of all things Oscar, having watched the Academy Awards together since he was in the single digits; making lists, rankings and predictions throughout the show. This led him down the path to obsessing about awards. Much later, he found himself at GoldDerby, led by Tom O’Neill and then migrated over to Oscarwatch (now AwardsDaily), headed up by Sasha Stone before breaking off to create AwardsWatch. He is a member of the International Cinephile Society, GALECA (The Society of LGBTQ Entertainment Critics), the International Press Academy and is the founder/owner of AwardsWatch.

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