2012 Emmy Nominations
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This Is What the 2012 Emmy Nominations SHOULD Look Like

By Dustin Rowles | Trade News | July 17, 2012 | Comments ()


The 2012 Emmy Nominations will be announced on Thursday. Will they resemble my list below? Maybe a little, but you can never trust the Emmy voters to pick up on a great show until about three seasons after it's no longer any damn good (see "The Office"). They've also had a knack for ignoring great shows over the years.

These are the nominees I'd like to see, and not necessarily the ones I even expect to see. It also turns out it's much more difficult in some categories to narrow it down to five than I anticipated. That Best Drama category is a real ballbuster, as is the comedy category. (Sorry "Happy Endings." You know I love you.)

Best Drama
"Game of Thrones"
"Mad Men"
"Breaking Bad"

Best Actor -- Drama
Bryan Cranston -- "Breaking Bad"
Kelsey Grammer -- "Boss"
Jon Hamm -- "Mad Men"
Michael Cudlitz -- "Southland"
Timothy Olyphant -- "Justified"

Best Actress -- Drama
Claire Danes -- "Homeland"
Julianna Margulies -- "The Good Wife"
Elisabeth Moss -- "Mad Men"
Katey Sagal -- "Sons of Anarchy"
Emmy Rossum -- "Shameless"

Best Supporting Actor -- Drama
Peter Dinklage -- "Game of Thrones"
Giancarlo Esposito -- "Breaking Bad"
Jared Harris -- "Mad Men"
John Noble -- "Fringe"
Aaron Paul -- "Breaking Bad"

Best Supporting Actress -- Drama
Archie Punjabi -- "The Good Wife"
Lena Headey -- "Game of Thrones"
Christina Hendricks -- "Mad Men"
Regina King -- "Southland"
Kelly Macdonald -- "Boardwalk Empire"

Best Comedy
"Parks and Recreation"

Best Actor -- Comedy
Don Cheadle -- "House of Lies"
Louis C.K. -- "Louie"
Garret Dillahunt -- "Raising Hope"
Joel McHale -- "Community"
Charlie Day -- "It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia"

Best Actress -- Comedy
Tina Fey -- "30 Rock"
Lena Dunham -- "Girls"
Julia Louis Dreyfus -- "Veep"
Martha Plimpton -- "Raising Hope"
Amy Poehler -- "Parks and Recreation"

Best Supporting Actress -- Comedy
Katie Aselton -- "The League"
Gillian Jacobs -- "Community"
Allison Williams -- "Girls"
Eliza Coupe -- "Happy Endings"
Anna Chlumsky -- "Veep"

Best Supporting Actor -- Comedy
Max Greenfield -- "New Girl"
Nick Offerman -- "Parks and Recreation"
Danny Pudi -- "Community"
Damon Wayans Jr. -- "Happy Endings"
Adam Driver -- "Girls"

Best Television Movie or Miniseries
"Downton Abbey"
"The Hour"
"Game Change"

Best Guest Actor -- Drama
Neal McDonough -- "Justified"
Jere Burns -- "Justified"
Mykelti Williamson -- "Justified"
Ray McKinnon -- "Sons of Anarchy"
Matthew Perry -- "The Good Wife"

Best Guest Actress -- Drama
Lucy Liu -- "Southland"
Carrie Preston -- "The Good Wife"
Martha Plimpton -- "The Good Wife"
Julia Ormond -- "Mad Men"
Alexis Bledel -- "Mad Men"

Best Guest Actor -- Comedy
Michael J. Fox -- "Curb Your Enthusiasm"
Jon Hamm -- "30 Rock"
Liam Neeson -- "Life's Too Short"
Paul Rudd -- "Parks and Recreation"
Jimmy Fallon -- "Saturday Night Live"

Best Guest Actress -- Comedy
Lizzy Caplan -- "New Girl"
Kathryn Hahn -- "Parks and Recreation"
Kathryn Hahn -- "Girls"
Megan Mulally -- "Happy Endings"
Pamela Adlon -- "Louie"

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Comments Are Welcome, Bigots and Trolls Are Not

  • Harrumph

    They better give Dinklage the fucking Emmy. I swear to fucking God...

  • Steve Ward

    Okay, fine, for fuck's sake I'll watch Southland.

  • Maguita NYC

    Is it too late to submit a new supporting actor in TV drama: The dude who plays Glaber in Spartacus.

    He was pretty spectacular this last season. Quite Shakespearean in his misdeeds and manipulations. Even his nudity was spectacular!
    His name is Craig Parker, and some of you might remember him from LOTR (Fellowship and Two Towers), as Haldir, member of the Galadhrim, who died at Helms Deep.

  • I thought Maggie Siff (Tara)was great on Sons of Anarchy this season. As was Katey Sagal but that goes without saying. You are absolutely right on Lena Heady, too. She was great this season, the scenes with her and Sansa during the Blackwater attack were riveting.

  • RyanBeingManny

    Unfortunately Downton Abbey switched from miniseries to drama this year, So it will further clog up those categories. But at least that means Sherlock gets to in everything this year!

    And I'm torn. I almost think I would be ok with a year where the comedy noms are 2 and a half men, big bang, glee, 2 broke girls, and whitney if it would rectify the injustice of John Noble never being nominated for Fringe.

  • Z

    Agree with almost all of this, but I would nominate "Archer" over "Girls", rules be damned.

  • AudioSuede

    Good, except I would have included Doug Stanhope as Eddie on that episode of Louie under Guest Actors in a Comedy Series. Because that was such a terrific episode.

  • kirbyjay

    They should have a kids category. Debs on Shameless was so heartbreaking when her mother tried to commit suicide, and Eden Sher ( Sue) on The Middle amazes me with her ability to take a snowball in the face without blinking.

  • jdizzle

    That Best Actress is a shockingly hard one to pick. Its weird world we live in where Tina Fey winning would be considered a shocking disappointment. But between Poehler, Dunham and Julia Louis Dreyfus its a hard choice...now I type and think actually its pretty certain Elaine has this cat in her bag.

    And Dowton Abbey is definitely in the Drama category this year. And cant imagine The Good Wife NOT being there even if it wasnt up to its standards from last year. Bye bye Southland and ...sniff...Justified.

  • Maguita NYC

    I don't get this Veep thing: Julia's role in Veep, to me, is the exact same one as Old Christine. No nuance.

  • jdizzle

    With added HBO swearing!

    I'm thinking it might be more the Meryl Streep oscar factor but in TV comedy form

  • Bodhi

    I will never understand the love for Leah Dunham. She is the worst

  • Tatiana Berg

    I loooOOOooove Peggy Olsen so I'm always happy to see Elizabeth Moss included-- it kills me she's never won-- but, let's be real, she didn't get too much screentime this past year. Wasn't it Christina Hendricks' year?

  • dizzylucy

    I can argue with very little on this list, pretty solid.
    I would somehow get Walton Goggins in there for Justified, and kudos for mentioning Jere Burns, and also for the Southland love.

    I'm not as big a fan of Girls, I guess, because the idea of it (inevitably) getting a best comedy nod leaves me cold. It's interesting and at times annoying (ugh, Hannah!) but to me, rarely if ever funny.

  • Atoz15

    There are 6 available nominations do happy endings is good! Holler

  • Atoz15


  • Maddy

    I agree Maisie Williams was amazing!

  • Atoz15

    Adam Scott lead actor omission for shame!

  • celery

    Everyone on Community deserves an Emmy, but I realized this season that Jim Rash deserves it extra hard. He completely deansappears into the character.

  • Three_nineteen

    There should be more love for Josh Charles. I'd probably put him in instead of Jared Harris - Harris's breakout turn was last season. Although, John Noble is in the Supporting category? Is Pacey really the lead actor on Fringe?

  • googergieger

    I know this will get a lot of down votes but I'm still wondering what is so effin brilliant from Clair Danes performance? To me Damien Lewis owns that show. He makes me feel beyond conflicted. I can't root against him and I can't root for him. Meanwhile Danes acts like Debra from Dexter more often than not. With the cursing, posture, and melodrama. Outside of the mental health problem caricature she occasionally does I can't see why so many people find her so mesmerizing. Maybe it's because I actually know manic people? Though I'd assume almost everyone does. So again, someone please explain to me what is up. Maybe during the new season of Homeland I can come around.

  • I haven't like Claire Danes in anything since My So Called Life...until Homeland. Girl is kicking it and to me it's about the fact that her manic-ness is palpable--I feel it coming off her like a bad smell. When she's been crushed or desperate, I felt it in my own chest. I agree that Lewis is fantastic, and he has been in everything I've seen.

  • googergieger

    Have you had much experience with manic people? Or people with mental health issues in general? Dunno I guess people just relate better when they are told things. Clair Danes is clearly acting a certain way. Therefore it is clearly the best. Then again all award shows are politics, so all it takes is the right campaign. The right critic saying something and everyone jumping on board without too many people challenging it. Still hope Lewis gets some recognition for that show. Honestly be nothing without him.

  • space_oddity

    I tend to agree with you. But I suspect portrayal of mental health issues (as long as you don't go 'full retard'!) is a hit w/ the Emmy voters, just like for the Oscars. Whether or not it's accurate.

  • Artemis

    I would nominate the girl playing Arya over Lena Headey. I don't have a problem with the latter, but Arya was completely outstanding this past season (especially playing opposite a guy like Charles Dance).

  • POINGjam

    Hey, Veep. Nice to see someone else watches that.

  • NoPantsMcLane

    No Walton Goggins? For shame...

  • miked

    Kelsey Grammer won last year for Boss, and there has only been one season. Is he somehow eligible again?

  • ed newman

    Grammer won a Golden Globe or something. The 2011 Emmy went to Coach Taylor.

  • miked

    Fuck me, he won the Goldon Globe. Never mind.

  • John W

    I'll be surprised if Claire Danes doesn't win for Homeland.

    I'd like to see Lena Headey, Jack Gleeson and Sophie Turner get nominated for Game of Thrones but I know those are reeeeal long shots.

  • rodle

    BEst Supporting Actor- Mandy Patinkin- Homeland

  • sainthubbins

    Charlie. Day.

  • logan

    Veep as best comedy? Now THAT is funny.

  • MC Hammer

    Not as funny as Girls for best comedy.

  • annoyed

    No Damian Lewis for Homeland?

    Tough choice for:

    Best Supporting Actress — Comedy

    Katie Aselton — The League

    Gillian Jacobs - Community

    Allison Williams — Girls

    Eliza Coupe - Happy Endings

    Anna Chlumsky — Veep

    But Gillian should win in this hypothetical nomination thingy.

  • annoyed

    Oh yeah Southland should also be in (Sorry Justified)...

  • annoyed

    Oh yeah and SouthLAnd should be in over Justified

  • Mariazinha

    I thought Rory was just awful in Mad Men...

  • MC Hammer

    She was ... but her boobs deserve an Emmy.

  • birdgal

    Totally agree! Every time she'd show up on screen I'd wince at the horrible acting--and this coming from someone who loved her on Gilmore Girls.

  • Me too, she was so wooden I wanted to use her to eat my spicy tuna rolls.

  • Maguita NYC

    Rory is one-tone. Whether playing under-age hooker in Sin City, or a mistress in Mad Men. However, if you haven't watched her grow-up on Gilmore Girls, delivering the same monotone monologues, you'd find her endearing in her latest role on Mad Men.

  • Three_nineteen

    Exactly. Her only good scene was in the hospital, and that's because vacant is her default setting.

  • mex

    Gillian Jacobs??? Fuck no. I love Community as much as the next guy but she is not a good actress. At all.

  • dj

    The Emmy's expanded to 6 nominees each, a few years ago, except for the movie/miniseries category which is still 5. Also Dustin, are your nominations ranked by who you want to win or is it random order.

  • I think Damien Lewis deserves a nomination-I know Danes gets the most press for her performance, and she does knock it out of the park. But he's so subtle and phenomenal.

  • ed newman

    I don't disagree but who do you substitute? Everyone on Dustin's better than Lewis with the possible exception of the Southland guy who I didn't see but am told was phenomenal.

  • Exactly. He's so subtle that I think we all just take him for granted.

  • Lotney

    Gotta get my Justified on!

  • duckandcover

    fuuuuuuuu - I can't vote on this!

  • prince_of_montagu

    I'd rather have Anika Noni Rose in Martha Plimpton's Best Guest Actress - Drama slot. She was deliciously evil as Wendy Scott-Carr on The Good Wife. She would stab you in the back, smile while doing it, and justify her action.

    No problems with Carrie Preston though. Utterly delightful in her role.

    I wish Megan Hilty would get a nom for Smash. She deserves some recognition for being awesome in such a (gloriously) terrible show.

  • This reminds me of just how great tv has gotten these days.

  • Maguita NYC

    I think we have HBO to thank for that. Their winning anything and everything had put the right amount of pressure on the big Networks to start delivering on quality television.

    Hopefully, very soon, reality TV will be down to less than 20% of programming.

  • GunNut2600

    Reality TV is dirt cheap...both long and short term. Look at the show "Wipe Out" where people literally volunteer their bodies for concussions and other injuries while interns throw shit at them. It is no different than Youtube videos of idiots except for the production values. And while the replay value is next to nothing, there are zero royalties the producers have to pay to writers and actors.

    We will get rid of crack cocaine before reality TV goes away.

  • Maguita NYC

    GunNut... I love Wipe Out. Yes, shame on me, but it is the best numbing, dumbing thing I can do for my mind after a frustrating day at work.

    I feel like a sullied Roman, sprawled on my couch, drinking my wine, and watching people getting the shit beaten out of them. I just laugh, and laugh, and forget my own troubles!

    But I meant reality TV, not competition. Goodbye to Kardashians, Housewives, Palins, Jersey Shore, and every other calamity they try shoving down our throats.

    As for competition shows, only very few survive for a long time. I can live with that.

  • ed newman

    In your dreams. Reality TV is growing not shrinking. But with the DVR, more access to the BBC and the overall quality of cable dramas in particular, it is getting easier to ignore Reality TV rot.

  • laylaness

    Alexis Bledsoe — Mad Men


    I finally started watching Breaking Bad yesterday on Netflix streaming. I get the hype now.

  • laylaness

    I also applaud the Southland inclusions. It's really a good show.

  • seanfast

    Sean McDonough — Justified (should be Neil McDonough)
    Alexis Bledsoe — Mad Men (should be Bledel)

    typos aside, what a great list, i agree with this wholeheartedly

  • lucas

    Neal McDonough, not Sean. and that is a crazy crazy best supporting actor category. how could you possibly pick a winner there? Walter Goggins isn't even on the list!

  • Bert_McGurt

    I'm so surprised at the omission of Walton Goggins that my hair looks like Boyd Crowder's.

  • Its a win Wynn situation.

  • JoannaRobinson

    Goggins will get his. I think 2013 is his year, Yost is going to give him all the scenery to chew on.

  • I could listen to Boyd preach all day.

  • celery

    I've only seen 3 episodes of Justified and always get the names of Walton Goggins and Boyd Crowder mixed up. It's a rare actor/role pair with names at the exact same level of ridiculous.

  • KatSings

    I'm pretty sure they're submitting Downton as a Drama, no? Also, no love for AHS and Jessica Lange?

  • I was just going to ask about AHS! I never understand how the cutoffs work and I know AHS had a weird schedule, is it eligible this year?

  • Maguita NYC

    Still do not get the New Girl hype. Each and every character gets on my nerves.

    Love though how you included Emmy Rossum for Shameless. She is so gobsmack amazing in her role, I still don't recognize her sweet-sacharine self when on any red carpet. The girl is really hot when playing affected derelict.

  • Artemis

    I am not at all an Emmy Rossum fan, but she is KILLING it on that show.

  • Maguita NYC

    Surprisingly mesmerizing right?
    Was not sold at all watching her in anything, but caught the first episode and fell for it. All of it. And badly in awe of Jeremy Allen White (plays Lip).

  • John W

    Agree on New Girl that show is as unfunny as it can be.

  • MC Hammer

    "Agree on Girls - that show is as unfunny as it can be." FIFY

  • JoannaRobinson

    Michael Cudlitz — Southland UNCLE MIKE!!!

  • Nimue

    Alexis Bledel on Mad Men, no?
    Also, i really disliked Ray McKinnon on SoA. I really didn't get that character.....why are all the Feds on that show so weird???

  • Katylalala

    Alexis Bledel on Mad Men? No!

    I have a ridiculously soft spot for that lady, but she is an absolutely terrible actress. On Mad Men she ruined every scene she was in, at least for me.

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