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Boardwalk Empire, 2011 Emmy Nominations
The Boardwalk Empire Gang | HBO

The nominations for the 2011 Primetime Emmys are in, and hmmm… maybe some of those ginormous ads in The Hollywood Reporter are paying off. Makes you wonder if the awards are based on actual worthiness or whomever has the most money for advertising. Sort of like politicians. But I won’t go there.

Melissa McCarthy (Mike & Molly) and Joshua Jackson (Fringe) announced the nominations live from North Hollywood, and the awards show airs live on Sunday, Sept. 18, 2011.

No shocker that AMC’s Mad Men and ABC’s Modern Family led the pack, while two new HBO dramas, Boardwalk Empire and Game of Thrones, had strong showings, including cracking the best drama series category. Another new drama, AMC’s The Killing, picked up a few noms, too. 

Mad Men scored the most nominations with 19, followed by 18 for Boardwalk Empire (including a best actor nod for Steve Buscemi – yay! He so deserves it), 17 for Modern Family (nearly sweeping the supporting comedy actor category) and 13 for Thrones. NBC’s 30 Rock (13) and Fox’s Glee (12) also landed plenty of noms.

Mad Men
The Mad Men Gang | AMC

Snubs & Shockers

There are plenty, including The Walking Dead, which illustrates the fact that a ton of buzz does not an Emmy nomination make.  And hey, maybe it’s a good thing I didn’t watch True Blood last season. It didn’t score any major nominations. I’m watching it this season, though. It’s not half-bad. No twisted sex scenes so far, thank goodness.

I know folks are getting their knickers in a twist over Lea Michele’s snub for Glee, but honestly, nobody in this house even watches Glee anymore. For one thing, Jane Lynch’s character is super annoying. The only reason I’d watch it is for Kurt, and I heard he was leaving the show … sniff … but yay! There might be a spinoff in the works with Chris Colfer and Lea Michele.

The Kennedys, Greg Kinnear
Who's laughing now? Greg Kinnear of The Kennedys | Zac Cassar

Does it seem odd that The Kennedys was practically laughed off the screen when it aired (after being shamefully shifted to another network), and yet it scored a bunch of nominations? Hmmm… I do love me some Greg Kinnear, though.

Nothing for HBO’s Treme? It’s like The Wire all over again. Sorry about that, David Simon. You deserve better.

Fringe! Really?! Emmy voters, what the heck is wrong with you people? In case you hadn’t noticed, J.J. Abrams’ alt-universe drama is a quiet storm in the sci-fi landscape, and don’t even get me started on John Noble being snubbed YET AGAIN for his wonderful portrayal of Walter Bishop! Gah…

Nothing for Sons of Anarchy? I admit that the aftermath of Gemma’s rape was a little tough to watch, but that’s because the whole series is so darn realistic. It’s to bikers what Rescue Me is to firefighters. I was so hoping Kurt Sutter would get that Emmy tattoo on his butt, but even he says the show is too pulpy for Emmy.

The Nominations

Here’s the complete list of 2011 Primetime Emmy Nominations and a condensed version below, with a star next to my picks. That Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama is a tough, tough category this year. Go, Peter Dinklage!

Tell me your Emmy thoughts in the comments below. Did your favorite shows make the grade? Any shows not here that SHOULD be?

Check out this great video from with a round-up of reactions. It’s so sweet that Melissa McCarthy learned about her nomination while at the podium!

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Outstanding Drama Series
Boardwalk Empire
Friday Night Lights
*Game of Thrones
The Good Wife
Mad Men

Outstanding Comedy Series
Big Bang Theory
*Modern Family
The Office
Parks and Recreation
30 Rock

Outstanding Actress in a Drama
*Kathy Bates, Harry’s Law
Connie Britton, Friday Night Lights
Mireille Enos, The Killing
Mariska Hargitay, Law and Order: SVU
Julianna Margulies, The Good Wife
Elisabeth Moss, Mad Men

Outstanding Supporting Actress In A Drama
Kelly Macdonald, Boardwalk Empire
Archie Panjabi, The Good Wife
Christine Baranski, The Good Wife
*Margo Martindale, Justified
Michelle Forbes, The Killing
Christina Hendricks, Mad Men

Outstanding Actor in a Drama
*Steve Buscemi, Boardwalk Empire
Kyle Chandler, Friday Night Lights
Michael C. Hall, Dexter
John Hamm, Mad Men
Hugh Laurie, House
Timothy Olyphant, Justified

Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama
*Peter Dinklage, Game of Thrones
Josh Charles, The Good Wife
Alan Cumming, The Good Wife
Walton Goggins, Justified
John Slattery, Mad Men
Andrew Braugher, Men of a Certain Age

Outstanding Actress in a Comedy
Edie Falco, Nurse Jackie
Tina Fey, 30 Rock
Laura Linney, The Big C
*Melissa McCarthy, Mike & Molly
Martha Plimpton, Raising Hope
Amy Poehler, Parks and Recreation

Outstanding Supporting Actress In A Comedy
Jane Lynch, Glee
*Betty White, Hot In Cleveland
Julie Bowen, Modern Family
Sofia Vergara, Modern Family
Kristen Wiig, Saturday Night Live
Jane Krakowski, 30 Rock

Outstanding Actor in a Comedy
Alec Baldwin, 30 Rock
Louis C.K., Louie
*Steve Carrell, The Office
Johnny Galecki, The Big Bang Theory
Matt LeBlanc, Episodes
Jim Parsons, The Big Bang Theory

Outstanding Supporting Actor In A Comedy
Chris Colfer, Glee
Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Modern Family
Ed O’Neill, Modern Family
*Eric Stonestreet, Modern Family
Ty Burrell, Modern Family
Jon Cryer, Two and a Half Men

Outstanding Variety, Comedy Or Musical Series
The Colbert Report
The Daily Show With Jon Stewart
Late Night With Jimmy Fallon
Real Time With Bill Maher
Saturday Night Live

Outstanding Reality Show
The Amazing Race
American Idol
Dancing With the Stars
*Project Runway
So You Think You Can Dance
Top Chef

Outstanding TV Miniseries or Movie
Cinema Verite
*Downton Abbey
The Kennedys
Mildred Pierce
The Pillars of the Earth
Too Big To Fail

Outstanding Guest Actor In A Comedy
Idris Elba, The Big C
Nathan Lane, Modern Family
Zach Galifianakis, Saturday Night Live
Justin Timberlake, Saturday Night Live
*Matt Damon, 30 Rock
Will Arnett, 30 Rock

Outstanding Guest Actress In A Comedy
*Kristin Chenoweth, Glee
Dot-Marie Jones, Glee
Gwyneth Paltrow, Glee
Cloris Leachman, Raising Hope
Tina Fey, Saturday Night Live
Elizabeth Banks, 30 Rock

Outstanding Leading Actress in a Mini-series or Movie
*Kate Winslet, Mildred Pierce
Elizabeth McGovern, Downton Abbey
Diane Lane, Cinema Verite
Taraji P. Henson, Taken From Me: The Tiffany Rubin Story
Jean Marsh, Upstairs Downstairs

Outstanding Leading Actor in an Mini-Series or Movie
*Greg Kinnear, The Kennedys
Barry Pepper, The Kennedys
Edgar Ramirez, Carlos
William Hurt, Too Big To Fail
Idris Elba, Luther
Laurence Fishburne, Thurgood

Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Mini-series or Movie
Guy Pearce, Mildred Pierce
Bryan F. O’Byrne, Mildred Pierce
Tom Wilkinson, The Kennedys
*Paul Giamatti, Too Big to Fail
James Woods, Too Big to Fail

Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Mini-series or Movie
Evan Rachel Wood, Mildred Pierce
Melissa Leo, Mildred Pierce
Mare Winningham, Mildred Pierce
*Maggie Smith, Downton Abbey
Eileen Atkins, Upstairs Downstairs


  1. Well, the Emmy noms that got me all excited are Timothy Olyphant and Walter Goggins for Justified; you must not be a fan, I gather? I for one am thrilled to see a little-mentioned show finally get noticed. And I’m afraid we disagree about Fringe, too; tried it for a season and just could NOT like the characters, nor keep up with the alternative reality plot line. And I’m afraid Walter’s the character I find most annoying!! But I guess that just goes to show there’s room for many tastes and opinions. What I like best about the Emmys is they let you hear about shows you’ve missed!

    • Justified is one of those shows I’ve been meaning to get caught up on, so I’m glad to hear it’s worthy. I do love Timothy Olyphant, and FX has sent me all the episode screeners, so I’ve got the entire show here disc by disc! Time for a marathon before the Emmys in September.

      Yeah, Fringe definitely isn’t for everyone. I thought my sci-fi loving mom would love it, but she couldn’t get into it either. Plus, they went off the rails, I thought, with the alt-universe storyline last season. I’m expecting greatness this upcoming season. Yes, it was renewed. Even airing in the Friday Night Death Slot!

  2. So many of the shows I love have been nominated: SNL (especially with Justin Timberlake), Real Time with Bill Maher, Modern Family, Mad Men, 30 Rock. But I’m also a serious Fringe fan and, of coucrse, I adore John Noble. His character is one of the most unique around. Sad he’s not everyone’s cup of tea and the show gets snubbed again and again.

  3. Oh I hope Friday Night Lights wins and Kyle Chandler also wins. It’s the last season (sniff) and I love that show. I’ve been a Kyle Chandler fan since he was on Homefront (another show I loved that didn’t make it)

  4. Oh, I wish I had more time to watch tv, since so many of these sound so good. But I do love Modern Family and Boardwalk Empire and am glad to see their nominations. But…no Weeds or Nurse Jackie?

    • I liked the first season of Nurse Jackie, but found it a little depressing. She’s a mess.

      Re Weeds – I’ve been thinking it’s gone downhill the past couple of seasons. The first few seasons I watched one after the other – like, got through them all in a couple weeks’ time. Just amazing stuff. I picked it up again this season, but Nancy Botwin in NYC isn’t really grabbing me. I’m recording it, though. Same with True Blood.

  5. I agree with you on Sons of Anarchy! WTH!? Also, what is up with no Damages nominations, it’s like the show doesn’t even exist! I’m not a reality television fan, but I do love Pawn Stars, where was that!? And Timothy Olyphant. Yum! 🙂 I was glad The Killing got something, but I think the guy (can’t remember his name) should have received a nod. He plays that character so well. You don’t know whether to love him or hate him.

    • Yes – Pawn Stars! I looked through that Reality TV category and none of my favorites are on there. Pawn Stars is right at the top, followed by America’s Got Talent and Storage Wars. Also love Rachel Zoe, though didn’t watch last season.

      I’m bummed that I don’t get Damages anymore on my cable provider. I’ll have to catch up via DVD eventually. I really got sucked into the first few seasons, and Martin Short and Lily Tomlin were excellent. Love Glenn Close – she’s chilling.

  6. See … I came to Glee late (watched all episodes from start to current in about 2 weeks), so I’m still somewhat enamored, but if Kurt leaves … well, that’s tough.

    I also made my way through that Kennedy mini series. I enjoyed it, and I thought was well done … but emmy worthy? Hmmm, not so sure.

    • I started watching The Kennedys the other night, but fell asleep. I wouldn’t say that’s because of the quality, though, just that I started watching it around 2 a.m. I’ll pick it up again.

  7. I vote for Friday Night Lights for everything. Tried to watch Treme in its first season, but found it overly reverent toward New Orleans — and nothing ever happened. I finally got tired of waiting.

    • Ruth – I’ve been trying to figure out why I haven’t watched Friday Night Lights yet. I watched part of season one, mainly because I interviewed a couple of the stars at the time and didn’t want to sound like a complete numbskull.

      But I think the reason I haven’t watched it since is because it’s too “real.” I know that sounds ridiculous, but there you have it. I watch TV to escape. It’s the same reason I haven’t watched ‘Rescue Me’ religiously, even though I love Denis Leary. Too darn real.

  8. Clearly I don’t watch enough TV! And we cut off HBO to save money, so I don’t know anything about those dramas. But I do watch The Good Wife and I do think that Archie Panjabi is terrific. And I do watch 30 Rock and wonder why Condolezza Rice was not nominated for best celebrity appearance?

  9. Love Mad Men, 30 Rock, and The Good Wife! Much as I love Glee, I don’t think Lea Michele was snubbed. Rachel isn’t the most likable character and she’s becoming a bit of a caricature. Love her voice, but I think there are probably more deserving actresses.

  10. Jane! You MUST do live tweeting during the Emmy Awards! It would be fun to hear your reactions and interesting to hear your observations as they call out the winners.

  11. Okay, this will tell you a lot about my TV watching habits. I’ve seen NONE of these other than an occasional Glee episode and my men Colbert and Stewart.

    • I’m really hit and miss with Zack Galifianakis. I loved him in the Hangover movies (yes, even the second one – he was the highlight for me) and Due Date with Robert Downey, Jr. But I’m iffy on Between Two Ferns and some of his other stuff. Haven’t seen Bored to Death, so can’t comment there. I’m sure I must have watched the SNL hosting, but can’t remember it, which doesn’t bode well.

  12. I looked through that Reality TV category and none of my favorites are on there. Haven’t seen Bored to Death, so can’t comment there. I picked it up again this season, but Nancy Botwin in NYC isn’t really grabbing me.

  13. So many of the shows I love were nominated: SNL (especially with Justin Timberlake), Real Time with Bill Maher, Modern Family, Mad Men, 30 Rock…


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