2012 Emmy Nominations Honor Some Television Programs, Not Others

It’s that time of the year when shows that you don’t watch, shows you enjoy very muchly, and shows you’ve never heard of are nominated for a trophy that you would sell to pay a month’s rent. I haven’t seen anything about this being the year of the woman yet but I’m sure someone is working on that article as you read because “Girls,” “Veep,” and “New Girl” are all new to the ballot… and they’re about ladies. Crazy Town, USA. Here are the nominees:

“Boardwalk Empire” (HBO)
“Breaking Bad” (AMC)
“Homeland” (Showtime)
“Downton Abbey” (PBS)
“Game Of Thrones” (HBO)
“Mad Men” (AMC)

Steve Buscemi, “Boardwalk Empire” (HBO)
Bryan Cranston, “Breaking Bad” (AMC)
Michael C. Hall, “Dexter” (Showtime)
Damien Lewis, “Homeland” (Showtime)
Jon Hamm, “Mad Men” (AMC)
Hugh Bonneville, “Downton Abbey” (PBS)

Glenn Close, “Damages” (DirecTV)
Michelle Dockery, “Downton Abbey” (PBS)
Claire Danes, “Homeland” (Showtime)
Julianna Margulies, “The Good Wife” (CBS)
Kathy Bates, “Harry’s Law” (NBC)
Elisabeth Moss, “Mad Men” (AMC)

“Curb Your Enthusiasm” (HBO)
“The Big Bang Theory” (CBS)
“Girls” (HBO)
“Modern Family” (ABC)r
“30 Rock” (NBC)
“Veep” (HBO)

Lena Dunham, “Girls” (HBO)
Melissa McCarthy, “Mike & Molly” (CBS)
Zooey Deschanel, “New Girl” (Fox)
Edie Falco, “Nurse Jackie” (Showtime)
Amy Poehler, “Parks and Recreation” (NBC)
Tina Fey, “30 Rock” (NBC)
Julia Louis-Dreyfus, “Veep” (HBO)

Jon Cryer, “Two and A Half Men” (CBS)
Jim Parsons, “The Big Bang Theory” (CBS)
Larry David, “Curb Your Enthusiasm” (HBO)
Louis C.K., “Louie” (FX)
Don Cheadle, “House of Lies” (Showtime)
Alec Baldwin, “30 Rock” (NBC)

Jesse Tyler Ferguson, ‘Modern Family” (ABC) – gay character
Ed O’Neill, “Modern Family” (ABC)
Eric Stonestreet, “Modern Family” (ABC) – gay character
Ty Burrell, “Modern Family” (ABC)
Bill Hader, “Saturday Night Live” (NBC)
Max Greenfield, “New Girl” (Fox)

Mayim Bialik, “The Big Bang Theory” (CBS)
Merritt Wever, “Nurse Jackie” (Showtime)
Julie Bowen, “Modern Family” (ABC)
Sofia Vergara, “Modern Family” (ABC)
Kristen Wiig, “Saturday Night Live” (NBC)
Kathryn Joosten, “Desperate Housewives” (ABC)

Giancarlo Esposito, “Breaking Bad” (AMC)
Aaron Paul, “Breaking Bad” (AMC)
Peter Dinklage, “Game Of Thrones” (HBO)
Jim Carter, “Downton Abbey” (PBS)
Jared Harris, “Mad Men” (AMC)
Brendan Coyle, “Downton Abbey” (PBS)

Archie Panjabi, “The Good Wife” (CBS) – bisexual character
Anna Gunn, “Breaking Bad” (AMC)
Maggie Smith, “Downton Abbey” (PBS)
Joanne Froggatt, “Downton Abbey” (PBS)
Christina Hendricks, “Mad Men” (AMC)
Christine Baranski, “The Good Wife” (CBS)

“Game Change” (HBO)
“American Horror Story” (FX Networks)
“Hemingway & Gellhorn” (HBO)
“Sherlock” (PBS)
“Luther” (BBC America)
“Hatfields & McCoys” (History)

Julianne Moore, “Game Change” (HBO)
Connie Britton, “American Horror Story” (FX Networks)
Nicole Kidman, “Hemingway & Gellhorn” (HBO)
Emma Thompson, “The Song of Lunch” (Masterpiece)
Ashley Judd, “Missing” (ABC)

Woody Harrelson, “Game Change” (HBO)
Clive Owen, “Hemingway & Gilhorn” (HBO)
Benedict Cumberbatch, “Sherlock Holmes” (Masterpiece)
Idris Elba, “Luther” (BBC America)
Kevin Costner, “Hatfields & McCoys” (History)
Bill Paxton, “Hatfields & McCoys” (History)

“The Daily Show With Jon Stewart” (Comedy Central)
“The Colbert Report” (Comedy Central)
“Real Time With Bill Maher” (HBO)
“Saturday Night Live” (NBC)
“Jimmy Kimmel Live” (ABC)
“Late Night With Jimmy Fallon” (NBC)

“So You Think You Can Dance” (FOX)
“The Amazing Race” (CBS)
“Dancing With the Stars” (ABC)
“Top Chef” (Bravo)
“Project Runway” (Lifetime)
“The Voice” (NBC)

Cat Deeley, “So You Think You Can Dance” (FOX)
Phil Keoghan, “The Amazing Race” (CBS)
Ryan Seacrest, “American Idol” (FOX)
Betty White, “Betty White’s Off Their Rocker” (NBC)
Tom Bergeron, “Dancing With the Stars” (ABC)

Your favorite least favorite show Glee was clearly not as popular this year (last year it snagged “Outstanding Cast for A Comedy Series” among other nods) but it is up for Outstanding Makeup for a Single-Camera Series (Non-Prosthetic), Outstanding Cinematography For A Single-Camera Series and Outstanding Guest Actress in a Coemdy Series, which went to Dot-Marie Jones for her role as Coach Shannon Beiste.

The winner of best reaction goes to Margaret Cho on her “30 Rock” nomination. “I’m so excited to have been nominated for an Emmy, especially for 30 Rock, which is an incredible show and also for playing a deranged and deceased world dictator who has divided the small country of my origin in two. That’s the best part. I think that’s what I’d call iron curtain irony.”

The main networks were shut out of the outstanding drama category meaning not only are they making really boring shows, they’re making really bad boring shows. Except “Parenthood.” Everyone should watch “Parenthood.” “Homeland” had the most nomination for any freshman show with nine.

Things I’ve learned from this year’s nominations: No one loves Naya Rivera as much as they should except me and probably all of you. DirecTV has some sort of channel capable of broadcasting shows. “Parks and Recreation” and “Louie” got screwed. “Curb Your Enthusiasm” is still a thing.

Jimmy Kimmel will host the show on September 23rd on ABC. I’m not one for predictions but I think he’s going to wear a tux. Don’t quote me on that. I also would love to talk about who I want to win in the comments with you. It will be entirely based on personal biases, opinions, and a complete lack of insider knowledge. We can talk about how perhaps Madeline Stowe wasn’t THAT great in “Revenge” but she probably was. Tell me your feelings about television! They’re the only feelings that matter.

Before you go! Autostraddle runs on the reader support of our AF+ Members. If this article meant something to you today — if it informed you or made you smile or feel seen, will you consider joining AF and supporting the people who make this queer media site possible?

Join AF+!


Brittani Nichols is a Los Angeles based comedy person. When she's not tweeting about white people or watching television, she's probably eating pizza. Actually, she's probably doing all three of those things concurrently and when she's not doing THAT, she's sleeping. Brittani also went to Yale and feels weird about mentioning it but wants you to know.

Brittani has written 328 articles for us.


  1. I want Modern Family to stop winning all the things. Knope We Can: Emmy’s 2012!

    Also LUTHER.

  2. If Peter Dinklage doesn’t win for Game of Thrones I will cry.

    Also I am having trouble deciding if I want Downton Abbey or Game of Thrones to win for best drama. One has hot British accents and womens liberation storylines and the other has dragons and Lena Headey. Can they tie?

    • I’m with you on Downton Abbey VS Game of Thrones, these two shows are the best I’ve seen in years.

      I also expected to see Peter Dinklage nominated this year again, but IMO Alfie Allen deserved recognition too for his *amazing* work with Theon in S2, I think he even outclassed Dinklage this year. He keeps doing worse and worse things, yet he plays the poor tortured soul spiraling helplessly into darkness so well you can’t help but feel sorry for him. Lena Headey was also amazing this season, all the child/teen actors blown my mind too (esp. Sophie Turner and Maisie Williams), and come on almost the whole GoT cast deserves an award!

  3. I’m glad that Don Cheadle got nominated for House of Lies. It’s a damn good show and I feel as if it’s underrated.

    • I feel the same way. I love that show so much, don’t know how it isn’t talked about more.

  4. Glee for Outstanding Cinematography? The show that somehow lost all their lighting and i remember seeing cameramen in the shot at leaast twice in big numbers.

    also, comedy nominations are a mess. I didn’t know Curb was still a thing either. also i liked Modern Family at first, but you’ve got to be kidding me with them swamping the supporting actor in a comedy series thing. i mean c’mon.
    (can’t even deal with parks not getting a nomination either)

    • Yes, but it does frustrate me that Sherlock and Luther are being called miniseries. Note to the Emmys: if it has multiple seasons, it’s a series. (Note to the BBC: if you made more than six episodes of your shows a year, maybe we wouldn’t have this problem.)

    • her performance this season was FLAWLESS and unbelievable, and i would love for her to finally win something because i feel like her fame tends to run on her body and how the show sells it, but i also love the other nominees in that category

      my heart, it hurts

    • Yes, please. Christina´s performance was so much more convincing than the actual script.

      And I also, also, also just have a giant crush on her.

  5. Since I’ve watched all of Breaking Bad in about two weeks, I want it to win all the things

  6. What great Best Acress nominations! (Save for Mike and Molly character, I dunno her, but what great company she’s in!)

    • I’ve never seen that show. Is it really THAT amazing? I’ve heard mixed reviews. EMMYS AND MODERN FAMILY, GET A ROOM!

      • I watched it occasionally in the first couple of seasons and it was good, but I hear it’s really gone downhill this year.

        • Modern family is REALLY funny and the writing/cast are amazing.. They kinda deserve all the awards. (Parks and rec is also really funny).

  7. Jon Cryer got nominated again? Really?
    Rooting for Sherlock to win since Parks and Rec and Community got snubbed…

  8. I thought I was the only one frantically searching for a reference of Revenge in the nominations…

  9. DOWNTON ABBEY! I want Maggie Smith to win Best Supporting Actress because she is hilarious! p.s. I would just like to note that as far as I can remember, the only kiss in the pilot of Downton Abbey was same-sex, which is more than I can say for the L Word’s pilot.

    • Yay for Downton addicts! I’m surprised it doesn’t have more fans here, considering that it’s a show with a ton of hotness on the lady front and not very much on the man front…

      I am actually not sure if I want Maggie Smith to win, because as much as I love her character, I really don’t think it’s all that difficult for her on the acting front. Snarky old ladies are kind of her hat, you know? I am rooting more for Joanne Froggatt as Anna. I think she should get an Emmy just based on her reaction to the verdict at Bates’s trial alone… (which I am not going to spoil for everyone who hasn’t watched Downton yet)

      Re: the same-sex kiss – it would be nice if Thomas’s love life had more follow-up, however. But at least, unlike the vast majority of TV shows where the gay character’s love life gets shafted in favor of the various opposite-sex entanglements, it actually makes sense with the time period (being one where it was very risky to be out).

  10. My whole Facebook feed is filled with angry statuses from people who are upset about Parks & Rec and/ or Community. I am secretly gleeful because I always thought both were overrated hipster shows.

    However, if Christina Hendricks and Kristen Wiig don’t win…

    • I love Christina Hendricks especially as Joan but if you think she should automatically win, dude, you need to watch some of the people she’s up against from other shows. All the Drama Categories are ultra-stiff competition this year.

      Totally agree about Kristen Wiig though.

  11. Can I just say that I hope the Colbert Report wins for once? The Daily Show has won for like the last 9 years in a row. Also, what the hell? Parks and Rec got cheated. For one thing, it didn’t get nominated for best comedy series and also I don’t see how Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Ty Burrell, Eric Stonestreet, and Ed O’Neill *all* get nominated for best supporting actor and not Aziz Ansari, Nick Offerman, Chris Pratt, or Adam Scott. Cheated, I say.

  12. I think it’s important/depressing to point out that out of 6 directing categories with 31 total directors nominated, only one is a woman. (It’s Lena Dunham.)

  13. I think NBC makes a lot a bad shows, with REALLY GOOD gems in the mix. Parenthood and Grimm are the best new TV shows I’ve watched in years, and I love them so much. WATCH THEM!

    • I watched the first five or so episodes of Grimm but it kind of seemed like every episode was pretty much the same, just with a different monster. Did that change as the season went on? Because if it picked up some sort of multi-episode character arc I’ll start watching it again immediately.

      • It does have the usual cop show predictability, but not in the usual way. There definetly is a lot more character development as the season goes on. You should watch the rest of the season, the new one starts mid-august. There are many characters, besides the two detectives and the other main characters, that show up throughout the season. There is a lot of depth in the backround story of Nick and the Grimms. I’ve never seen a cop show with so much story in it.

        • Thanks, I’ll give it another try. I’d be really interested in seeing more backstory/character development, b/c I thought the idea was cool, but it seemed like each episode was mainly dedicated to another species without much regard to the big picture (if that makes sense).

  14. Glad Joanne Froggatt got nominated, really love the character. And Downton Abbey is my current british turn-of-the-century-movie/tv-series-crush (I always seem to have one for some reason ^^).

    Also: GO Peter Dinklage! You know we all adore you.

  15. Really can’t believe Alfie Allen didn’t get nominated for Game of Thrones. When I think about the fact that before that show his claim to fame was that his sister wrote a hit song about him smoking weed it makes my head explode a bit.

    Also poor Community, poor Parks and Recreation and go Idris Elba/Luther! Sorry Sherlock.

  16. Dude, screw the Emmys. Every year the list just makes me mad. They ignored Veronica Mars and Buffy and Gilmore Girls. And now it’s Parenthood. Is Lauren Graham ever gonna get recognition from these people? ffs. At least Parks and Rec got /a/ nomination.

  17. I want Sherlock and its actors to win everything they’re nominated for. I want Veep to win some stuff. I would be fine with Modern Family winning more awards because tbh I do think they deserve them. The show is hilarious. Not EVERY SINGLE award, that could get toned down, but in my opinion they’re keeping it consistently really funny.

  18. Also, seven years on the air, and Supernatural should have been nominated for /something/ especially during season four or five.

    And Katey Sagal has never won for anything. Ever.

    Also speaking of Parenthood, Peter Krause has never won.

    I think there must be something wrong with the process tbh.

    Ugh, okay, I’m gonna stop talking now, this is making me mad.

  19. I’m so happy that Glee got snubbed this year. I’m really sick of the people who decide these awards overlooking the show’s numerous heinous flaws because they think that awarding Glee gives them tolerance points or something. Especially since, if you’re going to applaud a lousy show simply for having LGBT characters, there are plenty of others out there that treat them way better than Glee does…

    • Agreed!!
      Glee is such a crap show, I never got why it has so much fans (under 13 years old I get it but above..).

  20. I just read from the woman herself that Jaime Clayton’s web-series Dirty Work was nominated for an Emmy. I haven’t seen it yet but yay for a show with a trans* actress being nominated! I hope it wins

  21. Justified?


    Also wtf is Girls? Does it include all girls because I consider myself one (albeit perhaps a bit overgrown) and I’d appreciate an award.

    • “Also wtf is Girls? Does it include all girls because I consider myself one (albeit perhaps a bit overgrown) and I’d appreciate an award.”

      It’s a comedy show on HBO about girls in their early twenties in New York. And a lot of the criticism I’ve seen of it is that it doesn’t include all girls (that the main characters are all white and straight, and their friend circles are fairly that way too even though that’s totally unrealistic for a twenty-something college grad in just about any urban center but especially NYC).

  22. The Emmy’s should create a special category for best child actor and give it to the entire cast of Game of Thrones. Seriously, how you seen a better bunch of child/teen actors out there? I doubt it.

    • I KNOW

      How did you feel about the last two episodes of Season 2? What are your predictions for Season 3?

  23. 1.Game of Thrones vs Breaking bad
    2. Tina Fey vs Amy Poehler
    I am crippled by indecision… Also am I the only one that thinks Grey’s anatomy should have been nominated for something?

    • For. Real. Can we please get John Noble and Jasika Nicole supporting actor nominations?

  24. Glad Emma Thompson is up for one for Song of Lunch. It was on so long ago in the UK that I’d almost forgotten about it, but I guess it’s been on more recently in the US?

  25. How do people feel about Breaking Bad? On the one hand, the plot and character development is just fantastic…and on the other hand, it’s basically about white dudes fighting evil Mexican baddies. There are also a lot of “be a MAN, because a MAN is a MAN” speeches. So what I’ve been doing is enjoying the plot while realizing that aspects of the show are problematic/racist/sexist.

  26. So happy for Merritt Wever!! That was abt time she gets reward for her hilarious character in Nurse Jackie!
    Game of Thrones, Breaking Bad and homeland are way beyond all other shows this year. Gus better get it this year! *SPOILER* Kinda weird he finally got nominated when his character died..

Comments are closed.