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'Mad Men,' 'Modern Family' rack up Emmy nominations

By the CNN Wire Staff
HBO mini-series "Mildred Pierce," starring Kate Winslet, earned 21 nominations.
HBO mini-series "Mildred Pierce," starring Kate Winslet, earned 21 nominations.
  • NEW: "Oh my God. Yikes!" McCarthy says while presenting.
  • NEW: Kyra Sedgwick, last year's winner, was not nominated this year
  • NEW: Gwyneth Paltrow is nominated for a guest role on "Glee"
  • NEW: "The Kennedys" receives several nominations

Los Angeles (CNN) -- The popular shows "Mad Men" and "Modern Family" were at the top of the list when the 2011 primetime Emmy nominations were announced Thursday.

AMC's series "Mad Men" collected 19 nominations, edging out the new HBO program "Boardwalk Empire," which got 18 nods.

The ABC program "Modern Family" received 17 nominations, the most of any program on the networks.

The only entry to top these series was "Mildred Pierce," an HBO miniseries starring Kate Winslet, which landed 21 nominations.

Overall, HBO led the way with a total of 104 nominations in various categories. No other network or cable channel came close. AMC was next among cable channels, receiving 29 nominations.

While ABC had good news with "Modern Family" -- a program that also scored four of the six nominations for outstanding supporting actor in a comedy -- it received the fewest nominations among the networks. CBS had the most with 50, compared to 46 for NBC, 43 for PBS, 42 for FOX, 40 for ABC. It's a steep fall for ABC, which last year led the way among networks with 63 total nominations.

Five of the 12 nominated series in comedy and drama are first-time nominees. Seven of the 12 are network programs..

Among the first-timers is HBO's "Game of Thrones," which got 13 nominations, including outstanding drama series and a nod for Peter Dinklage as supporting actor.

Nominated in the drama series category were two HBO programs -- "Boardwalk Empire" and "Game of Thrones" -- as well as Showtime's "Dexter," DirecTV's "Friday Night Lights" -- which just came to an end -- CBS' "The Good Wife" and AMC's "Mad Men."

The nominees for best comedy series are CBS' "The Big Bang Theory," FOX's "Glee," ABC's "Modern Family," and three NBC programs: "The Office," "Parks and Recreation," and "30 Rock."

Nominees for best reality show include "The Amazing Race," "American Idol," "Dancing with the Stars," "Project Runway," "So You Think You Dance" and "Top Chef." NBC's "The Voice," a ratings hit for the network, did not receive a nomination.

The Academy of Television Arts & Sciences, which presents the Emmy awards, noted that many actors, including some familiar faces, are receiving their first Emmy nominations this year.

Nominees for lead actress in a comedy include Laura Linney of "The Big C," Edie Falco of "Nurse Jackie," Amy Poehler of "Parks and Recreation," Martha Plimpton of "Raising Hope," Tina Fey of "30 Rock," and Melissa McCarthy of "Mike & Molly."

McCarthy was one of the two presenters announcing the nominees. She seemed stunned by the news, and nearly brought to tears. "Oh my God. Yikes!" she said, then added out loud to herself, "OK. Keep it together."

Nominees for best lead actor in a comedy include Matt LeBlanc, who plays a version of himself in "Episodes," Louis C.K. of "Louie," Alec Baldwin of "30 Rock," two actors from "The Big Bang Theory" -- Johnny Galecki and last year's winner Jim Parsons -- and Steve Carell of "The Office."

Many have speculated Carell could take home the trophy this year. He left the show after five years and, despite repeated nominations, has never won the Emmy for his role as Michael Scott.

Two fan favorites are among the nominees for outstanding supporting actress in a comedy -- Betty White of "Hot in Cleveland" and Jane Lynch of "Glee." Lynch will host the telecast on September 18. Also nominated in the category are two actresses from "Modern Family" -- Julie Bowen and Sofia Vergara -- as well as Jane Krakowski for "30 Rock" and Kristen Wiig for "Saturday Night Live," the program that holds the most Emmy nominations of any in history, at 142.

Jon Cryer, who over the past year suffered through the widely chronicled drama surrounding his sitcom "Two and a Half Men" formerly starring Charlie Sheen, received an Emmy nomination. He will face off against Chris Colfer of "Glee" and four members of the "Modern Family" cast for outstanding supporting actor in a comedy.

The man who has taken home the Emmy for leading actor in a drama for the past three years, Bryan Cranston of AMC's "Breaking Bad," was ineligible this year because of the scheduling of his show. The nominees to take home that Emmy include Steve Buscemi of "Boardwalk Empire," Michael C. Hall of "Dexter," Kyle Chandler of "Friday Night Lights," Hugh Laurie of "House," Timothy Olyphant of "Justified," and Jon Hamm of "Mad Men."

For lead actress in a drama, the nominees include Connie Britton of "Friday Night Lights," Julianna Marguiles of "The Good Wife," Kathy Bates of "Harry's Law," Mireille Enos of "The Killing," Mariska Hargitay of "Law and Order: SVU" and Elisabeth Moss of "Mad Men." Kyra Sedgwick of "The Closer," who won last year, was not nominated.

Oscar winner Gwyneth Paltrow could take home an Emmy for her guest-star role on "Glee," though her competition includes two others from the same show -- Kristin Chenoweth and Dot-Marie Jones -- as well as Cloris Leachman for "Raising Hope," Elizabeth Banks for "30 Rock" and Tina Fey for guest hosting "Saturday Night Live."

"The Kennedys," a troubled program that ultimately was shown on ReelzChannel, surprised many by racking up nominations for outstanding miniseries and for three members of its cast -- Greg Kinnear and Barry Pepper for lead actor and Tom Wilkinson for supporting actor.