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Commentary: Emmy nominations invite speculation on surprises, snubs

Courtesy of MCT

Some aspects of the 64th Primetime Emmy Award nominations are just not capable of being shocking.

For 2012, “Mad Men,” a past Emmy favorite, has tied “American Horror Story” for the most nominations with 17. “Modern Family,” which won Outstanding Comedy Series in 2010 and 2011, received a nod in that category again this year, along with 13 other nominations.

On another note, there is some refreshing change thrown into the mix this year.

Breakout HBO series “Girls,” a New York City-based comedy starring creator Lena Dunham, received a best comedy nod along with three nominations for Dunham. The show premiered a mere three months ago as HBO’s latest spin on “Sex and the City,” which aired its last new episode in 2004.

I was happy to see the Academy recognize “Girls” along with “New Girl,” starring the adorable Zooey Deschanel and HBO’s “Veep,” starring past Emmy winner Julia Louis-Dreyfus. All three are breakout comedies featuring women as core characters. Following the box office success of “Bridesmaids,” which featured a hilarious group of women, it’s clear that comedy is not just a boy’s club.

As I scrolled through the list, I couldn’t help but feel like something was missing. Where was Hugh Laurie? The actor has been nominated six times before for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series for “House,” but the show received a snub this year in its final season.

“American Idol” was also snubbed in the category of Outstanding Reality-Competition Program, but that was probably for the best. The show lost its stars when Paula Abdul and Simon Cowell departed, and replacement judges Jennifer Lopez and Steven Tyler have recently announced they will not return. Lately the show has seemed to be more about reviving the judges’ careers, rather than finding any new stars.

With the release of the nominations comes a season of judging. TV lovers and critics alike will pick their favorites, place bets and watch the drama unfold. As for me, I’ll be rooting for my favorites, the casts of “Modern Family,” and the hilariously funny “The Big Bang Theory,” Will Arnett for his guest role on “30 Rock,” and Bryan Cranston on “Breaking Bad.”

I hope to see “Mad Men” walk away with a few of those 17 possible awards, maybe even breaking the record for most wins for Outstanding Drama Series. The show currently has four wins under its belt in that category, and could surpass other four-time winners “Hill Street Blues,” “L.A. Law” and “The West Wing,” becoming the first show to win the award five times.

A few wins, or even just one, for “Girls,” in order for the show to truly follow in the footsteps of “Sex and the City,” which won seven Emmys in its six seasons, would round out the best.

The 64th Primetime Emmy Awards will be presented Sept. 23 at the Nokia Theatre in Los Angeles. Jimmy Kimmel will host, and the ceremony will air on ABC.

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