Nominations for the 64th Primetime Emmy Awards, covering the eligibility period of June 1, 2011 through May 31, 2012, were announced on 19 July 2012 by the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences from the Leonard H. Goldenson Theatre in the NoHo Arts District, California.
Television Academy Chairman and CEO Bruce Rosenblum presided over the nominations along with Kerry Washington from the ABC drama Scandal, and Jimmy Kimmel, host of ABC's late night show Jimmy Kimmel Live and this year's Emmy Awards telecast.
Three of the 12 nominees for Outstanding Comedy and Drama Series were first-time nominees. This included Girls and Veep in the comedy category and Homeland in drama, with Downton Abbey also receiving a nomination for the first time since switching to the drama series category.
Additional first-time series nominees in various program categories included Jimmy Kimmel Live, Shark Tank, Who Do You Think You Are? and The Voice.
Programs receiving 10 or more nominations were American Horror Story (17), Mad Men (17), Downton Abbey (16), Hatfields & McCoys (16), Hemingway & Gellhorn (15), Modern Family (14), Saturday Night Live (14), Breaking Bad (13), Sherlock: A Scandal in Belgravia (13), 30 Rock (13), Boardwalk Empire (12), Game Change (12) and Game of Thrones (11).
This year's Outstanding Comedy Series performer categories featured a mix of familiar and new faces along with nominees for the first time in particular comedy roles or categories.
These "first-timers" included:
Lena Dunham in Girls, Zooey Deschanel in New Girl, Julia Louis-Dreyfus in Veep, Don Cheadle in House of Lies and Jon Cryer in Two and a Half Men.
Mayim Bialik in The Big Bang Theory, Merritt Wever in Nurse Jackie, Max Greenfield in New Girl and Bill Hader in Saturday Night Live.
Similar to the comedy categories, the Outstanding Drama series performer categories were comprised of many new nominees for the roles they portray, including:
Michelle Dockery and Hugh Bonneville in Downton Abbey, and Claire Danes and Damian Lewis in Homeland.
Anna Gunn and Giancarlo Esposito in Breaking Bad, Joanne Froggatt, Brendan Coyle and Jim Carter in Downton Abbey, and Jared Harris in Mad Men.
This year's nominations also featured several individuals who received multiple category nominations for their work. They included a historic seven nominations for Louis C.K. for Louie (Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series, Outstanding Writing for a Comedy Series, Outstanding Directing for a Comedy Series) as well as Louis C.K. Live at the Beacon Theatre (Outstanding Special Class Program, Outstanding Directing in a Variety Special, Outstanding Writing in a Variety Special, and Outstanding Editing for Short-form Segments and Variety Specials).
In addition, Lena Dunham received four nominations for Girls (Outstanding Comedy Series, Lead Actress in a Comedy Series, Writing for a Comedy Series and Directing for a Comedy Series); Amy Poehler received two nominations for her leading comedy role and writing for Parks and Recreation; Ryan Seacrest was nominated for hosting American Idol and also for producing Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution; and, Michael J. Fox received two nominations for his guest roles in The Good Wife and Curb Your Enthusiasm.
First-time nominees in Lead Performance categories for Miniseries or a Movie included Julianne Moore in Game Change, Nicole Kidman and Clive Owen in Hemingway & Gellhorn, Kevin Costner and Bill Paxton in Hatfields & McCoys and Benedict Cumberbatch in Sherlock: A Scandal in Belgravia.
Additional first-time nominees in Supporting Performance categories for Miniseries or a Movie included Sarah Paulson in Game Change, Denis O'Hare in American Horror Story and Martin Freeman in Sherlock: A Scandal in Belgravia.
Outstanding Drama Series
Game of Thrones
Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series
Kathy Bates as Harriet Korn, Harry's Law
Glenn Close as Patty Hewes, Damages
Claire Danes as Carrie Mathison, Homeland
Michelle Dockery as Lady Mary Crawley, Downton Abbey
Julianna Margulies as Alicia Florrick, The Good Wife
Elisabeth Moss as Peggy Olson, Mad Men
Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series
Hugh Bonneville as Robert, Earl of Grantham, Downton Abbey
Steve Buscemi as Nucky Thompson, Boardwalk Empire
Bryan Cranston as Walter White, Breaking Bad
Michael C. Hall as Dexter Morgan, Dexter
Jon Hamm as Don Draper, Mad Men
Damian Lewis as Nicholas Brody, Homeland
Outstanding Miniseries or Movie
American Horror Story
Hatfields & McCoys
Hemingway & Gellhorn
Outstanding Lead Actress in Miniseries or Movie
Connie Britton as Vivien Harmon, American Horror Story
Ashley Judd as Rebecca Winstone, Missing
Nicole Kidman as Martha Gellhorn, Hemingway & Gellhorn
Julianne Moore as Sarah Palin, Game Change
Emma Thompson as She, The Song of Lunch
Outstanding Lead Actor in Miniseries or Movie
Kevin Costner as 'Devil' Anse Hatfield, Hatfields & McCoys
Benedict Cumberbatch as Sherlock Holmes, Sherlock
Idris Elba as John Luther, Luther
Woody Harrelson as Steve Schmidt, Game Change
Clive Owen as Ernest Hemingway, Hemingway & Gelhorn
Bill Paxton as Randall McCoy, Hatfields & McCoys
Outstanding Supporting Actress In A Drama Series
Anna Gunn as Skyler White, Breaking Bad
Maggie Smith as Violet, Dowager Countess of Grantham, Downton Abbey
Joanne Froggatt as Anna, Downton Abbey
Archie Panjabi as Kalinda Sharma, The Good Wife
Christine Baranski as Diane Lockhart, The Good Wife
Christina Hendricks as Joan Holloway Harris, Mad Men
Outstanding Supporting Actor In A Drama Series
Aaron Paul as Jesse Pinkman, Breaking Bad
Giancarlo Esposito as Gustavo 'Gus' Fring, Breaking Bad
Brendan Coyle as John Bates, Downton Abbey
Jim Carter as Mr. Carson, Downton Abbey
Peter Dinklage as Tyrion Lannister, Game Of Thrones
Jared Harris as Lane Pryce, Mad Men
Outstanding Host for Reality or Reality Competition Program
Tom Bergeron, Dancing With the Stars
Cat Deeley, So You Think You Can Dance
Phil Keoghan, The Amazing Race
Ryan Seacrest, American Idol
Betty White, Betty White's Off Their Rockers
Outstanding Reality Competition Program
The Amazing Race
Dancing With the Stars
So You Think You Can Dance
Outstanding Variety Series
The Colbert Report
The Daily Show With Jon Stewart
Jimmy Kimmel Live
Late Night With Jimmy Fallon
Real Time With Bill Maher
Saturday Night Live
Outstanding Reality Program
Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution
Who Do You Think You Are?
Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series
Zooey Deschanel as Jess Day, New Girl
Lena Dunham as Hannah Horvath, Girls
Edie Falco as Jackie Peyton, Nurse Jackie
Tina Fey as Liz Lemon, 30 Rock
Julia Louis-Dreyfus as Selina Meyer, Veep
Melissa McCarthy as Molly Flynn, Mike and Molly
Amy Poehler as Leslie Knope, Parks and Recreation
Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series
Alec Baldwin as Jack Donaghy, 30 Rock
Don Cheadle as Marty Kaan, House of Lies
Louis C.K.as Louie, Louis
Jon Cryer as Alan Harper, Two and a Half Men
Larry David as himself, Curb Your Enthusiasm
Jim Parsons asSheldon Cooper, The Big Bang Theory
Outstanding Supporting Actress In A Comedy Series
Mayim Bialik as Amy Fowler, The Big Bang Theory
Kathryn Joosten as Karen McCluskey, Despeate Housewives
Julie Bowen as Claire Dunphy, Modern Family
Sofia Vergara as Gloria Delgado-Pritchett, Modern Family
Merritt Wever as Zoey Barkow, Nurse Jackie
Kristen Wiig as various characters, Saturday Night Live
Outstanding Supporting Actor In A Comedy Series
Ed O'Neill as Jay Pritchett, Modern Family
Jesse Tyler Ferguson as Mitchell Pritchett, Modern Family
Ty Burrell as Phil Dunphy, Modern Family
Eric Stonestreet as Cameron Tucker, Modern Family
Max Greenfield as Schmidt, New Girl
Bill Hader as various characters, Saturday Night Live
Outstanding Comedy Series
The Big Band Theory
Curb Your Enthusiasm
Outstanding Original Main Title Theme Music
Martin Phipps, Composer
Hell On Wheels
Theme by Gustavo Santaolalla
Music by Sean Callery
Music by Paul English
Theme by Lisa Coleman and Wendy Melvoin
Outstanding Music Composition For A Series (Original Dramatic Score)
The Borgias • The Confession • Showtime • Showtime Presents, In association with Take 5 Productions and Octagon Films
Music by Trevor Morris
Downton Abbey • Episode 6 • PBS • A Carnival / Masterpiece Co-Production
Music by John Lunn
Pan Am • Pilot • ABC • Jack Orman Productions, Out of the Blue Entertainment and Shoe Money Productions in association with Sony Pictures Television
Music by Blake Neely
Smash • Publicity • NBC • Universal Television in association with DreamWorks Television and Madwoman in the Attic
Marc Shaiman, Original Music by
Score by Christian Bacon
30 Rock • The Tuxedo Begins • NBC • Broadway Video, Little Stranger, Inc. in association with Universal Television
Music by Jeff Richmond
About the Emmys
The Emmy Awards are administered by three sister organisations; the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences, the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences, and the International Academy of Television Arts & Sciences.
The Awards recognise excellence within various areas of the television industry, and are a symbol of peer recognition from over 12,000 members of the Academy, where each member casts a ballot for the category of competition in their field of expertise.
The Awards are divided into three categories - The Primetime Awards, The Daytime Awards and the L.A. Area Awards.
Only the Primetime Awards are screened in South Africa, which celebrate excellence in national prime-time programming, awarding top honours during the creative arts awards and the prime-time telecast.
The first Emmy Awards were presented on January 25, 1949 at the Hollywood Athletic Club. The name "Emmy" was a feminisation of "immy", a nickname used for the image orthicon tubes that were commonplace in early television cameras.
The Emmy Awards trophies are currently made by a private company with a manufacturing site at the maximum security El Dorado Correctional Facility, in El Dorado, Kansas.
The statuette of a winged woman holding an atom has since become the symbol of the TV Academy's goal of supporting and uplifting the art and science of television.
The wings represent the muse of art, and the atom represents the electron of science. It was created by television engineer Louis McManus, using his wife as a model.