Mad Men and Downton Abbey score big in Emmy nominations

Mad Men is the veteran of the TV honours list, but Homeland is the new kid on the block

LAST UPDATED AT 15:38 ON Thu 19 Jul 2012

TV DRAMAS Mad MenDownton Abbey and Homeland and comedy Veep have all scored nominations for the 64th Emmy Awards.

Mad Men, the stylishly melancholy portrait of a 1960s American advertising anti-hero, leads the pack with 17 Emmy nominations for the awards, which could see it set a new record as the most-honoured drama in television history. The retro show has already won four best drama series laurels for its first four seasons, and is tied with Hill Street Blues, L.A. Law and The West Wing in the category.

The mini-series American Horror Story, a nightmarish tale of a haunted house, received an equal 17 award nominations, including one for its star Connie Britton.

Close behind was the British period soap Downton Abbey, which earned 16 nods, including one for best drama and acting nominations for Michelle Dockery and Hugh Bonneville.

The Los Angeles Times says there was "a sense of deja view" to the announcements, with many of the nominees being perennial favourites in recent years, such as Mad Men, 30 Rock and Modern Family, as well as regular actors Jon Hamm and Tina Fey.

But there were also some newcomers in the line-up, including Showtime's first-time drama series Homeland, along with its stars, Damian Lewis and Claire Danes, as well as two new HBO comedy series, Girls and Armando Iannucci's political satire Veep.  

The LA Times says nominations also pointed to a growing gap between network television and cable television, which garnered the most nominations in the leading categories. Game of Thrones, Breaking BadMad Men and Curb Your Enthusiasm were among the cable shows earning multiple nominations.

The nominations were announced by Kerry Washington from American political thriller series Scandal and comedian Jimmy Kimmel, who will host the awards.

The Guardian says ABC's late-night host Kimmel arrived on stage to read the nominations at the TV academy at 5.40am dressed in pyjamas. He joked: "This is a sex dream, isn't it."

The Emmy award night is scheduled for 23 September. · 

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