‘Fargo,’ ‘The Normal Heart’ top Critics’ Choice TV Award nominations

The Broadcast Television Journalists Association announced the nominees for its 4th Annual Critics’ Choice Television Awards, and FX was the top network with 19 nominations, thanks to strong showings in drama (“The Americans“), comedy (“Louie“), and movie/miniseries categories (“Fargo,” “American Horror Story: Coven“). (Click here for the complete list of nominees.)

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Fargo” leads all programs with five Critics’ Choice bids – Best Miniseries, Movie/Mini Actor (Martin Freeman and Billy Bob Thornton), Movie/Mini Supporting Actor (Colin Hanks), and Movie/Mini Supporting Actress (Allison Tolman) – but the BTJA spread the wealth: four other programs also earned five nods apiece.

Among them is the recent HBO telefilm “The Normal Heart,” which chronicles the early years of the AIDS crisis and picked up bids for Best TV Movie, Movie/Mini Actor (Mark Ruffalo), Movie/Mini Supporting Actor (Matt Bomer and Joe Mantello), and Movie/Mini Supporting Actress (Julia Roberts).

Showtime’s freshman drama “Masters of Sex” also made a big impact. It was the year’s top new series, earning nominations for Best Drama, Drama Actor (Michael Sheen), Drama Actress (Lizzy Caplan), and Drama Guest Performer (Beau Bridges and Allison Janney).

Watch: Sheen and Caplan on blurring lines with ‘Masters of Sex

Tying “Masters” as the top drama was CBS’s “The Good Wife,” up for Drama Series for the fourth year in a row, as well as Drama Actress (Julianna Margulies), Drama Supporting Actor (Josh Charles), Drama Supporting Actress (Christine Baranski), and Drama Guest (recent Emmy-winner Carrie Preston).

Like last year, CBS also has the year’s top comedy: “The Big Bang Theory,” which contends for Comedy Series, Comedy Actor (Jim Parsons), Comedy Supporting Actress (Mayim Bialik and Kaley Cuoco), and Comedy Guest (James Earl Jones).

Though the Emmys are often criticized for being set in their ways, TV critics welcomed several new programs, including Netflix’s “Orange is the New Black,” up for four awards including Best Comedy, though its star, Taylor Schilling, is surprisingly absent from the Comedy Actress lineup. Two other newcomers broke into the Best Comedy race: Comedy Central’s “Broad City” and HBO’s tech start-up “Silicon Valley.”

There were more holdovers in the race for Best Drama. Besides “Masters of Sex,” only one new program made the cut: “True Detective,” which earned just one other nomination, Drama Actor for Matthew McConaughey; his co-star Woody Harrelson was snubbed.

TCA Awards nominations: ‘True Detective’ leads with 4

Among the surprise contenders were a number of our Gold Derby Emmy MVPs, including Hugh Dancy (Drama Actor, “Hannibal“), Peter Sarsgaard (“The Killing“), and Amy Schumer (Comedy Actress, “Inside Amy Schumer“).

But the wealth of new contenders was bad news for some returning shows: “Parks and Recreation” was dropped from Best Comedy Series, though it did manage lead nominations for Adam Scott and Amy Poehler. It fared better than “New Girl,” which was a four-time nominee last year including Best Comedy, but was completely shut out this time around.

After what was widely considered a third-season slump, “Homeland” is absent from these Critics’ Choice contenders on the drama side, as are “Downton Abbey” and past winner “Mad Men.” “House of Cards” earned a sole Drama Actress bid for Robin Wright; her on-screen husband, Kevin Spacey, was left out of Drama Actor despite earning a bid last year.

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The Critics’ Choice TV Awards will be broadcast live on the CW from the Beverly Hilton Hotel on Thursday, June 19, and hosted by comedian Cedric the Entertainer. Will they influence the Emmys? Make your Best Drama predictions below, and discuss these latest awards shockers in our forums:

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