2014 Emmy Nominations: ‘Downton Abbey,’ ‘True Detective’ among the honored

By Bill Carter

New York Times News Service

Published: Thursday, July 10 2014 10:00 a.m. MDT

"Downton Abbey" is among this year's Emmy nominees.

Nick briggs,

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It’s not just television — it’s everything that’s good on video, as far as the Emmys are concerned, a point driven home emphatically as the nominations for this year’s awards were announced Thursday.

The expected showdown between outstanding drama series spread across cable and pay television services and included some of the most highly praised shows in recent memory. AMC’s “Breaking Bad,” in its last season, and HBO’s “True Detective” were nominated and are expected to be strong contenders for the top honor. They were joined by “Game of Thrones” on HBO, which topped the list with 19 nominations, and “House of Cards” on Netflix, with 16.

“Downton Abbey” and “Mad Men” were the other dramas nominated.

Indeed, Netflix, the subscription service, was far more a presence than it was last year, racking up 31 nominations, including major nominations in the top series and acting categories for “House of Cards” and “Orange Is the New Black.” That was more nominations than some of the networks, including Fox, which had 18. A&E had one nomination.

The strong showing for Netflix was driven by 13 nominations for “House of Cards” and 12 for the newcomer “Orange Is the New Black.” Both had multiple entries in the acting categories. Other big winners included two FX mini-series, “Fargo,” which racked up the second highest total (after “Game of Thrones”) of nominations with 18 and “American Horror Story” with 17. “Breaking Bad” had 16, as did the HBO movie “The Normal Heart.” “True Detective” had 12.

“Saturday Night Live” also scored well with 14 nominations. It continued to hang in with the late night talk shows, earning a nomination for outstanding variety series. Also earning nominations in that category were the shows hosted by Jimmy Fallon, Jimmy Kimmel and Stephen Colbert, who by next year will be network competitors, as well as “The Daily Show” and Bill Maher on HBO.

The Emmys, scheduled to take place Aug. 25 at the Nokia Theater in Los Angeles, will be telecast on NBC. Seth Meyers, host of a late-night talk show on that network, will emcee the ceremony.

In general, broadcasters continued to struggle against the onslaught of strong entries from across the spectrum of video, with even CBS’ “The Good Wife,” after a widely praised season, shut out of the best drama category.

The only broadcaster with a nominee in that competitive group was PBS, with “Downton Abbey.”

In the comedy-series category, the broadcast networks fared slightly better, with ABC’s “Modern Family,” which has won the Emmy in each of the last four years, and CBS’ “The Big Bang Theory” earning nominations, along with “Veep,” “Louie,” “Orange Is the New Black” and “Silicon Valley.”

CBS led the broadcasters with 47 nominations (dwarfed by perennial leader HBO with 99), followed by NBC with 46 and ABC with 37. PBS had 34. The remaining strength for the four big networks is in comedy, where it still managed the nominations for “Big Bang” and “Modern Family,” a four-time winner.

In the acting categories drama was again the stronghold of non-network shows, though Julianna Margulies of “The Good Wife,” Kerry Washington of ABC’s “Scandal,” and Michelle Dockery of “Downton Abbey” did break into the best actress list. Also in the group were the newcomer Lizzy Caplan, widely praised for her performance in Showtime’s “Masters of Sex”; Robin Wright of “House of Cards” and the incumbent winner, Claire Danes from “Homeland.”

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