Emmy Nominations: Girls, Downton, Zooey And More Make This A Competition We Actually Care About

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Zooey Deschanel, Michelle Dockery and Lena Dunham

When we planned this post, before Scandal’s Kerry Washington and a pajama-wearing Jimmy Kimmel announced the 64th Primetime Emmy nominations, we thought we’d make this list short and sweet. Traditionally, this is an awards show that ignores our faves and gives all the kudos to the shows our parents love. But then we got a very pleasant surprise and discovered we actually care about almost all of the nominees. Maybe the Emmy voters are finally getting younger and hipper. Or maybe really good TV is back in a place where everyone can agree on the shows that CAN’T be ignored.

Our longtime obsession Mad Men and new addiction American Horror Story lead the pack with a whopping 17 nominations apiece. Downton Abbey’s got 16 nominations, including Outstanding Drama Series and acting nods for Hugh Bonneville, Michelle Dockery, Brendan Coyle, Jim Carter, Maggie Smith and Joanne Froggatt. Of course, HBO is a dominating force once again, but we can’t complain when that means Game of Thrones has 11 nods and Girls has five nods — for Outstanding Comedy, writing, directing, casting and, naturally, Lead Actress Lena Dunham. Speaking of girls, New Girl’s Zooey Deschanel and Max Greenfield are nominated. As expected, Boardwalk Empire, Breaking Bad, 30 Rock and Modern Family also have tons of nominations, but we love them just the same.

After last year’s moving speech, Melissa McCarthy has another shot at Lead Comedy Actress (she’s up against Dunham, Deschanel, Amy Poehler, Tina Fey, Edie Falco and Veep’s Julia Louis-Dreyfuss). We’re also excited about another of other favorite ladies: Connie Britton for American Horror Story. Also, Blossom is back! Mayim Bialik‘s role on Big Bang Theory earned her a Supporting Actress nod. Among the leading ladies in drama, Dockery is competing with Julianna Margulies, Claire Danes, Kathy Bates, Elisabeth Moss and Glenn Close.

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In the male comedy category, there’s one guy we’re rooting for, for the potential hilarity of his acceptance speech alone: Louis C.K.! He’s got to beat big shots like Larry David, Jon Cryer, Jim Parsons, Alec Baldwin and Don Cheadle first, though. If the Earl of Grantham wants to take home a statuette, he’ll have to defeat the likes of Steve Buscemi, Bryan Cranston, Michael C. Hall, Jon Hamm and Damian Lewis. We confess, our loyalties are completely divided there.

Check out our gallery of favorite nominees above, and a more complete list below. And let us know which shows you’ll be rooting for when the Emmys air on Sunday, September 23.

The 64th Primetime Emmy Nominations:

Outstanding Comedy Series
The Big Bang Theory
Curb Your Enthusiasm
Girls
Modern Family
30 Rock
Veep

Outstanding Lead Actress In A Comedy Series
Lena Dunham, Girls
Melissa McCarthy, Mike & Molly
Zooey Deschanel, New Girl
Edie Falco, Nurse Jackie
Amy Poehler, Parks And Recreation
Tina Fey, 30 Rock
Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Veep

Outstanding Lead Actor In A Comedy Series
Jim Parsons, The Big Bang Theory
Larry David, Curb Your Enthusiasm
Don Cheadle, House Of Lies
Louis C.K., Louie
Alec Baldwin, 30 Rock
Jon Cryer, Two And A Half Men

Outstanding Supporting Actress In A Comedy Series
Mayim Bialik, The Big Bang Theory
Kathryn Joosten, Desperate Housewives
Julie Bowen, Modern Family
Sofia Vergara, Modern Family
Merritt Wever, Nurse Jackie
Kristen Wiig, Saturday Night Live

Outstanding Supporting Actor In A Comedy Series
Ed O’Neill, Modern Family
Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Modern Family
Ty Burrell, Modern Family
Eric Stonestreet, Modern Family
Max Greenfield, New Girl
Bill Hader, Saturday Night Live

Outstanding Guest Actress In A Comedy Series
Dot-Marie Jones, Glee
Maya Rudolph, Saturday Night Live
Melissa McCarthy, Saturday Night Live
Elizabeth Banks, 30 Rock
Margaret Cho, 30 Rock
Kathy Bates, Two And A Half Men

Outstanding Guest Actor In A Comedy Series
Michael J. Fox, Curb Your Enthusiasm
Greg Kinnear, Modern Family
Bobby Cannavale, Nurse Jackie
Jimmy Fallon, Saturday Night Live
Will Arnett, 30 Rock
Jon Hamm, 30 Rock

Outstanding Drama Series
Boardwalk Empire
Breaking Bad
Downton Abbey
Game Of Thrones
Homeland
Mad Men

Outstanding Lead Actress In A Drama Series
Glenn Close, Damages
Michelle Dockery, Downton Abbey
Julianna Margulies, The Good Wife
Kathy Bates, Harry’s Law
Claire Danes, Homeland
Elisabeth Moss, Mad Men

Outstanding Lead Actor In A Drama Series
Steve Buscemi, Boardwalk Empire
Bryan Cranston, Breaking Bad
Michael C. Hall, Dexter
Hugh Bonneville, Downton Abbey
Damian Lewis, Homeland
Jon Hamm, Mad Men

Outstanding Supporting Actress In A Drama Series
Anna Gunn, Breaking Bad
Maggie Smith, Downton Abbey
Joanne Froggatt, Downton Abbey
Archie Panjabi, The Good Wife
Christine Baranski, The Good Wife
Christina Hendricks, Mad Men

Outstanding Supporting Actor In A Drama Series
Aaron Paul, Breaking Bad
Giancarlo Esposito, Breaking Bad
Brendan Coyle, Downton Abbey
Jim Carter, Downton Abbey
Peter Dinklage, Game Of Thrones
Jared Harris, Mad Men

Outstanding Guest Actress In A Drama Series
Martha Plimpton, The Good Wife
Loretta Devine, Grey’s Anatomy
Jean Smart, Harry’s Law
Julia Ormond, Mad Men
Joan Cusack, Shameless
Uma Thurman, Smash

Outstanding Guest Actor In A Drama Series
Mark Margolis, Breaking Bad
Dylan Baker, The Good Wife
Michael J. Fox, The Good Wife
Jeremy Davies, Justified
Ben Feldman, Mad Men
Jason Ritter, Parenthood

Outstanding Directing For A Drama Series
Tim Van Patten, Boardwalk Empire
Vince Gilligan, Breaking Bad
Brian Percival, Downton Abbey
Michael Cuesta, Homeland
Phil Abraham, Mad Men

Outstanding Miniseries or Movie
American Horror Story
Game Change
Hatfields & McCoys
Hemingway & Gellhorn
Luther
Sherlock: A Scandal In Belgravia

Outstanding Lead Actress In A Miniseries Or A Movie
Connie Britton, American Horror Story
Julianne Moore, Game Change
Nicole Kidman, Hemingway & Gellhorn
Ashley Judd, Missing
Emma Thompson, The Song Of Lunch

Outstanding Lead Actor In A Miniseries Or A Movie
Woody Harrelson, Game Change
Kevin Costner, Hatfields & McCoys
Bill Paxton, Hatfields & McCoys
Clive Owen, Hemingway & Gellhorn
Idris Elba, Luther
Benedict Cumberbatch, Sherlock: A Scandal In Belgravia

Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Miniseries or A Movie
Frances Conroy, American Horror Story
Jessica Lange, American Horror Story
Sarah Paulson, Game Change
Mare Winningham, Hatfields & McCoys
Judy Davis, Page Eight

Outstanding Supporting Actor In A Miniseries Or A Movie
Denis O’Hare, American Horror Story
Ed Harris, Game Change
Tom Berenger, Hatfields & McCoys
David Strathairn, Hemingway & Gellhorn
Martin Freeman, Sherlock: A Scandal In Belgravia

[Photos: Fox, PBS, HBO]