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.
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.