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Emmys 2011: Mildred Pierce and Mad Men lead nominees

Mildred Pierce

Story by Jack Foley

KATE Winslet drama Mildred Pierce and AMC hit Mad Men lead the nominees for this year’s Emmys (2011) with 23 and 19 apiece.

In what is a particularly good year for HBO, the channel also saw marquee shows Game of Thrones and Boardwalk Empire recognised with a clutch of nominations.

While two shows that have long missed out on main nominations, despite critical acclaim and/or audience popularity, also got recognised: Friday Night Lights, for outstanding drama series, and CBS favourite The Big Bang Theory, for outstanding comedy series.

Friday Night Lights has its work cut out, though, going up against Mad Men, Dexter, The Good Wife and HBO freshman series Boardwalk Empire and Game of Thrones.

There was also some success for critically maligned mini-series The Kennedys, which picked up nominations for Greg Kinnear and Barry Pepper in the Outstanding Lead Actor in a Miniseries or Movie category as well as Tom Wilkinson in Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Miniseries or Movie.

Of the other main categories, Modern Family dominates the supporting actor category for a comedy series, with Ty Burrell, Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Ed O’Neill and Eric Stonestreet all shortlisted.

They’ll go up against Glee‘s Chris Colfer and Two And A Half Men‘s Jon Cryer.

Modern Family‘s Julie Bowen and Sofía Vergara are also shortlisted for the best supporting actress category against Glee‘s Jane Lynch, 30 Rock‘s Jane Krakowski, Saturday Night Live‘s Kristen Wiig and veteran actress Betty White (for Hot in Cleveland).

British hopes

British talent was also recognised in a number of categories, not least the Outstanding Lead Actress in a Miniseries or Movie category where Kate Winslet is a hot favourite for Mildred Pierce.

But she’s up against compatriot Jean Marsh, for Upstairs Downstairs, as well as Elizabeth McGovern for British hit show Downton Abbey.

Hugh Laurie carries British hopes once again in the Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series category, but will be pitted against Steve Buscemi (for Boardwalk Empire), Kyle Chandler (for Friday Night Lights), Michael C. Hall (Dexter), Jon Hamm (Mad Men) and Timothy Olyphant (Justified).

And Idris Elba is shortlisted for Luther in the Outstanding Lead Actor in a Miniseries or Movie category, alongside Laurence Fishburne for Thurgood, William Hurt for Too Big To Fail, Edgar Ramirez for Carlos and The Kennedys’ boys.

Kelly Macdonald is nominated for her work in Boardwalk Empire in the Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series category, while Eileen Atkins and Dame Maggie Smith are shortlisted for, respectively, Upstairs Downstairs and Downton Abbey in the Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Miniseries or Movie category.

British comedy Episodes is also recognised with a nomination for its US star, Matt LeBlanc, who is nominated for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series for playing a fictional version of himself.

And Downton Abbey is in the running for Outstanding Miniseries or Made for Television Movie along with Mildred Pierce, The Kennedys and The Pillars of the Earth.

The winners will be announced on Sunday, September 18, 2011.

View the nominees in full