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Emmys 2012: Downton Abbey, Modern Family and Homeland among nominees

Downton Abbey, Christmas special

Story by Jack Foley

BRITISH talent features prominently among the nominations for the 64th annual primetime Emmys.

Downton Abbey leads the British charge with a nod for outstanding drama series, while Michelle Dockery, Hugh Bonneville, Dame Maggie Smith, Joanne Froggatt, Brendan Coyle and Jim Carter have all gained acting nods across various categories.

Damian Lewis is also in the running for Outstanding Lead Actor In A Drama Series (along with Downton‘s Bonneville) for his performance in Homeland – but faces strong competition from the likes of Bryan Cranston for Breaking Bad, Jon Hamm for Mad Men and Steve Buscemi for Boardwalk Empire.

There were also nominations for British stars Clive Owen (Hemingway & Gellhorn), Idris Elba (Luther) and Benedict Cumberbatch (Sherlock: A Scandal In Belgravia) in the Outstanding Lead Actor In A Miniseries Or A Movie category, as well as for Martin Freeman (Sherlock) for Outstanding Supporting Actor In A Miniseries Or A Movie.

And Emma Thompson is in the running for Outstanding Lead Actress In A Miniseries Or A Movie for her performance in Missing, vying against the likes of Julianne Moore’s portrayal of Sarah Palin in Game Change and Nicole Kidman for Hemingway & Gellhorn.

As if to echo the strong line-up of TV talent, though, most categories in the dramatic sections appear to be keenly fought and underline the quality of TV writing and acting at the moment.

The Outstanding Drama Series category, for instance, is to be contested by Boardwalk Empire, Breaking Bad, Downton Abbey, Game Of Thrones, Homeland and Mad Men… with Downton arguably the weakest of the bunch after the critical indifference that greeted its sophomore series.

The comedy categories, meanwhile, continue to be dominated largely by Modern Family, which incredibly saw four of its ensemble nominated in the Outstanding Supporting Actor In A Comedy Series and two of its actresses (Julie Bowen and Sofia Vergara) up for Outstanding Supporting Actress In A Comedy Series.

But Armando Iannucci’s Veep is also in the running this year, with nods for Iannucci himself (for writing) as well as leading lady Julia Louis-Dreyfus (as outstanding lead actress in a comedy series).

The show is also competing for outstanding comedy series along with the Judd Apatow produced Girls, The Big Bang Theory, Curb Your Enthusiasm, Modern Family and 30 Rock.

The winners will be announced on September 23, 2012 at the Nokia Theatre LA Live.

View the winners in full