Emmy Nominations: ‘Mildred Pierce’ and ‘Mad Men’ Lead the Pack

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Matt Sayles/AP

Actors Melissa McCarthy, left, and Joshua Jackson announce nominees for Drama Series during nominations for the 63rd Primetime Emmy Awards at the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences in Los Angeles, Thursday, July 14, 2011.

Glee or Modern Family? Mad Men or Boardwalk Empire? For a certain swath of the population, these are the burning issues of the day. Debt talks between President Obama and John Boehner? Get back to us when they turn that into a reality show.

And the TV world is starting to come to terms with the reality that the actual nominations were finally announced on Thursday morning for the 63rd Primetime Emmy Awards. Leading the way overall with an incredible 21 nominations is HBO’s miniseries Mildred Pierce, starring (in some are saying the performance of her already Oscar-winning career) Kate Winslet. And no doubt getting an early martini ready as way of similar celebration are the folk at AMC, as Mad Men racked up an impressive 19 nominations. They’ll be hoping for four wins in a row for Best Drama, with Jon Hamm and Elisabeth Moss up for lead acting honors.

We’ll start off by looking more closely at Outstanding Comedy Series (because Outstanding is our favorite word and we’d like to think we’re funny) and those usual suspects Glee did indeed get the nod, along with Parks and Recreation, The Office, Modern Family and 30 Rock. This is a tough category but we have a sneaking suspicion that this just might be Amy Poehler et al‘s year so look for Parks to take the shock win.

(LIST: Top 10 TV Shows of 2010)

But while NBC has two of the above noms, they missed out in Drama Series: HBO will fancy its chances with their new and generally well-received shows, Boardwalk Empire and Game of Thrones, but Mad Men, Friday Night Lights and Dexter will be similarly confident. Only one traditional network made the short list with CBS’s The Good Wife making up the half dozen contenders. This is hard to call but Mad Men will start off as slight favorites on the back of its track record and such a strong season.

Notable snubs? Kyra Sedgwick, who won best lead actress in a drama  for TNT’s The Closer in 2010, wasn’t nominated.
But if you’re upset about Bryan Cranston, from flavor of the month Breaking Bad, not being recognized, the reason is that the show was ineligible this year. Previously, Cranston had taken home best lead actor in a drama award for three years running so every single male actor will be breathing a sigh of relief.

But what about the other strong contenders? Last year’s top comedy series, Modern Family, was the most-nominated sitcom with 17 nods. Boardwalk Empire went one better with 18, Saturday Night Live showed it still has the touch with 16 while Game of Thrones and 30 Rock received a lucky for some 13 each. And just to show that second chances can pay off, The Kennedys, which was dropped by the History channel and subsequently taken on by the lesser-known ReelzChannel, received 10 nominations, including best miniseries. We’ll all find out who wins and who has to pretend about not being mad at losing on September 18, when Glee‘s Jane Lynch hosts on Fox. (via New York Times)

PHOTOS: The Many Funny Faces of Jane Lynch

Below is a list of nominees in the top categories.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Supporting Actress in a Drama
Kelly Macdonald, Boardwalk Empire
Christina Hendricks, Mad Men
Michelle Forbes, The Killing
Archie Panjabi, The Good Wife
Margo Martindale, Justified

Glen Levy is an Executive Producer at TIME. Find him on Twitter at @glenjl. You can also continue the discussion on TIME’s Facebook page and on Twitter at @TIME.

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