HEY, GUYS! IT’S 2012 EMMY NOMINATIONS DAY! Does the air taste a bit sweeter? The mugginess feel a bit less muggy? The mosquito bites less itchy? The heat less unpleasant? Well now you know why. The nominations for one of the “annual celebration[s] of those who make morally insidious amounts of money for creating what is often some of the most intellectually vacuous cultural content in the history of human experience” have been released! That’s what Gabe said last year, that quote, and hey, it still applies! Who would’ve ever thought that the opinions of Gabe and the Videogum community in general concerning the idea of Hollywood award ceremonies would’ve carried over from one year to the next. But another thing that carries over from last year to this year — the idea of which applies even MORE SO this year — is that basically, like, everything we all enjoy is nominated in one way or another. (Pitted against garbage in some cases, but of course it is an honor to just be nominated along with the garbage.) Louis C.K. vs. Larry David for comedic actor. Almost the entire comedic actress category. For best drama, Breaking Bad vs. Downton Abbey vs. Game of Thrones vs. Mad Men. Gus vs. Jesse for best supporting actor. I don’t want to spoil the whole list for you, but YOU GET THE IDEA! Lots of good stuff! (Also lots of garbage.) (Also Louie is NOT nominated for best comedy.)

Soooooo. Who are you wearing? Le pyjama? Haha. Great. You look great. SMILE FOR ME. Can you imagine being an actress walking down a red carpet and having people shout “SMILE FOR ME!” at you because they’re trying to take your picture? Gross. I’m pretty sure people do shout that. I’m getting self-conscious now, because maybe they don’t?, but I’m pretty sure they do. Anyway. What? OH YEAH! List of nominees after the jump.


The Big Bang Theory
Curb Your Enthusiasm
Modern Family
30 Rock


Jim Parsons as Sheldon Cooper in The Big Bang Theory
Larry David as Himself in Curb Your Enthusiasm
Don Cheadle as Marty Kaan in House of Lies
Louis C.K. as Louie in Louie
Alec Baldwin as Jack Donaghy in 30 Rock
Jon Cryer as Alan Harper in Two and a Half Men


Lena Dunham as Hannah Horvath in Girls
Melissa McCarthy as Molly Flynn in Mike & Molly
Zooey Deschanel as Jess Day in New Girl
Edie Falco as Jackie Peyton in Nurse Jackie
Amy Poehler as Leslie Knope in Parks and Recreation
Tina Fey as Liz Lemon in 30 Rock
Julia Louis-Dreyfus as Selina Meyer in Veep


Ed O’Neill as Jay Pritchett in Modern Family
Jesse Tyler Ferguson as Mitchell Pritchett in Modern Family
Ty Burrell as Phil Dunphy in Modern Family
Eric Stonestreet as Cameron Tucker in Modern Family
Max Greenfield as Schmidt in New Girl
Bill Hader as various characters in Saturday Night Live


Mayim Bialik as Amy Farrah Fowler in The Big Bang Theory
Kathryn Joosten as Karen McCluskey in Desperate Housewives
Julie Bowen as Claire Dunphy in Modern Family
Sofia Vergara as Gloria Delgado-Pritchett in Modern Family
Merritt Wever as Zoey Barkow in Nurse Jackie
Kristen Wiig as various characters in Saturday Night Live


Boardwalk Empire
Breaking Bad
Downton Abbey
Game of Thrones
Mad Men


Glenn Close as Patty Hewes in Damages
Michelle Dockery as Lady Mary Crawley in Downton Abbey
Julianna Margulies as Alicia Florrick in The Good Wife
Kathy Bates as Harriet Korn in Harry’s Law
Claire Danes as Carrie Mathison in Homeland
Elisabeth Moss as Peggy Olson in Mad Men


Steve Buscemi as Nucky Thompson in Boardwalk Empire
Bryan Cranston as Walter White in Breaking Bad
Michael C. Hall as Dexter Morgan in Dexter
Hugh Bonneville as Robert, Earl of Grantham in Downton Abbey
Damian Lewis as Nicholas Brody in Homeland
Jon Hamm as Don Draper in Mad Men


Anna Gunn as Skyler White in Breaking Bad
Maggie Smith as Violet, Dowager Countess of Grantham in Downton Abbey
Joanne Froggatt as Anna in Downton Abbey
Archie Panjabi as Kalinda Sharma in The Good Wife
Christine Baranski as Diane Lockhart in The Good Wife
Christina Hendricks as Joan Holloway Harris in Mad Men


Aaron Paul as Jesse Pinkman in Breaking Bad
Giancarlo Esposito as Gustavo ‘Gus’ Fring Breaking Bad
Brendan Coyle as John Bates in Downton Abbey
Jim Carter as Mr. Carson in Downton Abbey
Peter Dinklage as Tyrion Lannister in Game of Thrones
Jared Harris as Lane Pryce Mad Men


Tim Van Patten, Boardwalk Empire
Vince Gilligan, Breaking Bad
Brian Percival, Downton Abbey
Michael Cuesta, Homeland
Phil Abraham, Mad Men


American Horror Story
Game Change
Hatfields & McCoys
Hemingway & Gellhorn


Connie Britton as Vivien Harmon, American Horror Story
Julianne Moore as Sarah Palin, Game Change
Nicole Kidman as Martha Gellhorn, Hemingway & Gellhorn
Ashley Judd as Rebecca Winstone, Missing
Emma Thompson as She, The Song of Lunch


Woody Harrelson as Steve Schmidt, Game Change
Kevin Costner as ‘Devil’ Anse Hatfield, Hatfields & McCoys
Bill Paxton as Randall McCoy, Hatfields & McCoys
Clive Owen as Ernest Hemingway, Hemingway & Gellhorn
Idris Elba as John Luther, Luther
Benedict Cumberbatch as Sherlock Holmes, Sherlock


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


American Dad!
Bob’s Burgers
The Penguins Of Madagascar
The Simpsons

Comments (85)
  1. I feel like it’s on me for getting angry about this consistently dumb awards show, but man. So dumb. Nominating literally EVERY adult regular cast member from Modern Family is an enormous “fuck you!” to everyone else. Especially Nick Offerman, who would’ve announced the nominations if not for flight trouble. I’m sure that would’ve been awkward. So, yeah. Emmys stay Emmying.

    • Amen. I usually get annoyed when “Modern Family” gets its annual fifty-odd Emmy nominations, but this was beyond. (And is everyone on “Modern Family” considered a supporting actor?) But let’s at least appreciate that Jon Hamm got nominated for his guest roles as Abner and David Brinkley in the “30 Rock” live episode!

    • Also Happy Endings got zero noms!!!

  2. Can we talk about how ridic it is that 30 Rock is still getting nominated for best comedy series despite not being very good anymore, and neither Parks and Rec nor Community has ever been nominated? I mean, obviously the nomination of Girls made me want to vom more than 30 Rock, but I can at least understand that (new show, lots of hype, whatever). Get it together, Emmys!

    • I stopped watching 30 Rock after the last several episodes of the season before this one seemed like they were written by young fans. I take it that was a reasonable decision. I do think it’s crazy that Parks got just the one nomination. It is s so wonderful in every way.

    • I’m glad Dunham got the nod for acting, directing and writing. She really deserves it. She’s struggled for so long, worked so hard… I was worried her talents would never be noticed. A real triple threat, that one.

      • It is totally legit to have the opinion that Girls is not a good show, but for as much criticism as she receives for having famous parents and opportunities most of would never have, I feel like no one would care about her connections if she was a man. Her story is the story of every other dude in hollywood, but everyone seems to be pretty okay with privileged men producing shitty quality work.

    • YEES! And Freeman too!!

      Did anyone else find it weird though that all the Sherlock noms came for Scandal in Belgravia and not Reichenbach? Personally, I think Belgravia was my least favorite Sherlock Season 2 episode. But whatever, I’ll take whatever noms they wanna give it.

      • And Paul McGuigan! And the Moff!

        What a great birthday present for Benedict Cumberbatch!

        I prefer Reichenbach because of the feels, but I think Scandal is also amazing. Basically I love them all, so I’m not that person to ask..

      • I agree with the Belgravia assessment. The whole “she uses whips and might be gay so we’re soooo edgy” thing was a bit CSI: Las Vegas for me. That said, the naked-in-the-Palace scene was the best, so.

      • Yeah, Belgravia was kind of weak. Perhaps it was the only episode that met the cut off date?

        • That would also make sense. They did air kind of late in the season I guess. Maybe next year we’ll see the Reichenbach nominations. I mean, Moriarty just won a BAFTA and wasn’t even nominated over here!

      • I actually loved Scandal. The constant twists at the end left me breathless. I thought Hounds was the week link this season.

  3. Wow – Hatfields and McCoys got nominated for awards? That thing was terrible.

  4. As long as Sherlock or Luther wins Outstanding Miniseries, we all win!

  5. “Joel McHale not getting nominated for Best Comedy Actor is a Cryer shame.” — Frank Lloyd Wrong’s Pull Quote.

    • I do not understand this Jon Cryer nomination nonsense. Even if you like that show, as an Emmy voter shouldn’t you have enough sense to know that winking at a studio audience does not require studying under Uta Hagan.

  6. 100% of Emmy responses:

    “My favorite [nominee] won, he/she/it is validated! My choices are good!”
    “My favorite actor/actress/show wasn’t nominated/didn’t win. The Emmys are bullshit.”

    So can we all just watch with a ton of wine/whiskey/emmy-themed cocktail?

  7. How is American Horror Story a miniseries? Because not all of the actors are returning for season 2??? That seems like a total loophole that Ryan Murphy figured out to get nominated.

  8. So this is like the third year in a row where three or four people from Modern Family are nominated for Best Supporting Actor and Nick Offerman is not nominated. No, I get it, totally.

  9. Remind me why Mondern Family is funny again?

    • It is not, and it is one of those things where when someone tells me it is such a great show and I would love it, I immediately ignore every recommendation that person every makes for me henceforth unless those people are my parents because they are responsible for my undying love for The Sting and I don’t know where I’d be without that movie. Probably not enjoying a fine Scott Joplin rag or a long con, I’ll tell you that much.

      • I agree 100%. I just don’t laugh at all. And Cam is so over the top as to be a parody.

        • It’s not just that it isn’t funny (which it isn’t, but you know… comedy=subjective. As much as I wish I didn’t have to admit it) but it’s that it is soooo insanely up it’s own ass about how funny it is (which it isn’t) like…in an ‘in your face’ kind of way. I don’t even know how to describe it.

          All I know is that I tried the first season based on recommendations, I never laughed and never understood what the documentary filming style and interviews had to do with the narrative. It wasn’t cohesive, and clearly seemed an Arrested Development rip-off, but without the brilliance. Like a low-brow Everybody Loves George Michael-esque derivative garbage show (subjectively speaking)

          • Modern Family should be a fine, mid-range network comedy that you could watch with your parents, but apparently, it’s supposed to be the second coming of network sitcoms or something. Sorry Academy, no.

          • Exactly. Of course this is the most recognizable problem with all the major awards – either you award based on popularity (and thus, reward shows that bring in major $$$ and admit it) or you stick to subjective artistic merit. You can’t do both. You can’t because it’s annoying as fuck. I’m perfectly fine with the Grammys just coming out and saying “this is for making lots of industry money Coldplay. Here’s a statue. Thanks.” That’s fine. Albeit completely irrational (because HELLO! MONEY IS AN AWESOME AWARD ALREADY.) But there’s a pretense that the award is for artistic merit, and it’s so easy to pick out the flaws when you also include shows and albums and movies that are just so banal that it’s transparent they’re included to improve the ratings of the awards ceremony itself.

            Awards shows solutions
            Solution #1: Just give awards objectively to those who made the most money and admit it. Then you’ll have great ratings still because most people have the worst taste.
            Solution #2: Just give awards subjectively to those who you deem to have the most artistic merit and accept that you may or may not get great ratings for the ceremony, but you know what? Who gives a fuck, spend less money on your celebrity circle jerk then.
            Solution #3: Don’t televise your celebrity circle jerk, and do whatever the fuck you want with your dumb awards.

          • It was pretty remarkable for what it was in its first year. It was on the bubble for a really long time (after almost not making it out of being in pilot form) just barely got renewed, had mediocre ratings, then swept the Emmys. Was it funnier than the other shows? No way (except for 2.5 Men and that nerd minstrel show). It wasn’t even funnier than other ABC sitcoms in similar circumstances that year (Better Off Ted, Ugly Betty, etc.) However, it was just different enough from standard sitcoms without actually being different that it hit the sweet spot of Emmy voters. Then it kept winning and the quality got worse and worse (my guess bc network execs are amazingly tone deaf and kept killing what was funny with lots of notes so they’d appeal to a broader Nielsen base) but the acting stayed the same and the producers of the show really bought their own hype (like last year when the award winner kept citing the episode that won like an inside joke with the audience). But because it was expected to fail and fail hard and actually did well with recognition then later with ratings, it did sort of usher in a new life to one-camera network sitcoms… because the only stuff that was funny and a sitcom had terrible ratings (everything we like — AD, 30 Rock, Parks and Rec, Community, etc.). Cougartown, Suburgatory, Happy Endings… none of those shows would have gotten a green light or would have been renewed if it wasn’t for Modern Family. It’s a bizarre cluster effect thing.

  10. Also when I first looked at that picture for some reason I thought it was Aziz Ansari, not Coach.

  11. Just so I’m not a total Negative Nancy, yay for Max Greenfield! I feel like somehow this retroactively makes it ok that Veronica Mars dumped Deputy Leo for stupid Logan.

  12. Can we all agree that regardless of the nominations, it was an extremely good year when it came to quality television shows?

  13. Also great that Jared Harris got nominated for Best Supporting Actor in a Drama, aka Best Supporting Actor in breaking his glasses and hanging from a rope.

  14. Oh man. So many meaningless pop culture things to keep me distracted at work today and filled with zeitgeist feelings. Aside from my obvious Parks and Rec outrage, how am I expected to form an appropriate allegience between Skylar White and Joan Harris? Impossible! And the Melissa McCarthy SNL vs. the Maya Rudolph SNL? Just rip my heart to shreds why don’t you! I’m going to be Gchatting about this with some of my friends ALL DAY.

  15. I actually think, of all the major entertainment awards shows (EGOTs), the Emmy’s have recently been the best about nominating high quality pieces of work. It may just be the nature of Television compared to the other industries, but I feel like if Grammy voters, for instance, were submitting for Emmy consideration, we’d get a lot of high-rated network crap instead of critically acclaimed cable shows.

  16. Believe me, I’m right there with everyone with the outrage, but I think the Drama noms are mostly okay, right?

  17. Speaking of great Emmy snubs….did you guys see the lego version of The Wire?
    It’s pretty great. Good fun.


  18. Obviously the comedy categories are mostly awful, but the drama categories are good. And Glee didn’t get nominated for anything did it? Progress. Also, YAY AMY POEHLER! But someone already mentioned that The Wire never won an Emmy, so we can all agree they are bullshit.

  19. Girls? GIRLS?

  20. Idris Elba vs. Benedict Cumberbatch? I can’t handle the stress!

  21. DOWNTON ABBEY NOMS WOO. Although, yes, the first season was better, but whatever, I’m pretty happy about the acting noms. Especially Lady Mary and Anna! Yayy!

    Plus, can Edie Falco just GET OUT of the Comedic Lead Actress category? GET OUT.

  22. Luther and Breaking Bad and Amy Poehler should take everything. Why not?

  23. So what’s the over/under on how many racial epithets Seth McFarlane involuntarily yelled when he found out he wasn’t nominated? 6?

  24. Louie not being nominated for best comedy series is unconscionable. I also don’t understand the lack of love for Justified. Walter Goggins’ performance as Boyd Crowder is right up there with the likes of Cranston, Paul, Hamm, Dinklage, etc.

    I’m also pretty sure you could’ve narrowed down that list of supporting actors from Modern Family and squeezed Nick Offerman in there. Come on, guys.

  25. really? Damages is still on?

  26. [obligatory rage over lack of nominations for justified, community/ridiculous over abundance of nominations for modern family.]

    also, how are sherlock and luther (or downton abbey, for that matter) nominated? i thought the emmys were just for american television? i mean, i realize they all aired here in one way or another, but still. i don’t know how to emmys. i hope cumberbatch wins, though. he’s like a handsome alien! #cumberbatch4martianmanhunter

    • They were probably co-productions with PBS?

      • I think WGBH in Boston is somehow involved in the production or something (at least with Sherlock.) According to Wikipedia, WGBH “produces more than two-thirds of PBS’s national prime time television programming…WGBH is also well known for having co-produced numerous period dramas and has collaborated for years with British production companies.”

  27. I know not everyone here is a fan of the Killing. Personally, I thought it was a great show. Brent Sexton, who played Rosie Larsen’s father, really should have gotten a nomination for that role.

  28. And where is the love for Southland? I guess it got a nomination for stunt coordination, but there are some really solid performances on that show. Surprised none of the cast have been nominated.

  29. I think it’s neat they split up the Emmy categories for web. The video shorts online are now eligible for general short nominations… and there are two categories for what I used to do — original interactive content (like Psych’s Hashtag Killer game) and supplemental enhancement (what HBO made for Game of Thrones). So now everything that’s been put on the web isn’t competing against each other for one Emmy. Does this make up for the fact that two projects I have worked on have won but bc of the way my network was staggered, the VP of a department that had nothing to do with it got the credit? Not really. Do I mention that two projects I worked on won Emmys on my resume? No, because I’m not listed with everyone else, just the VP is. But whatever, I make boring sites now for a lot more money and don’t hate my life anymore. Yay! Everyone wins! Emmys all around!

  30. Mayim Bialik as Amy Farrah Fowler was nominated? There’s an award for actress who single-handedly made a show unwatchable?

  31. Are Emmy voters just lazy? “Let’s just vote for everything we voted for last year and throw in a few new names so people don’t accuse us of not paying attention.”

  32. Are Emmy voters just lazy? “Let’s vote for the same people as last year, and add a few new names just so people don’t accuse us of not paying attention.”

  33. I just love Kyle Chandler

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