Emmys swap AMC’s ‘Mad Men’ for ‘Breaking Bad’ in Drama Writing race

Best Drama Writing saw a changing of the guard at this year’s Emmy Awards. AMC’s “Mad Men” won that prize for its first three seasons (2008-2010) and racked up 13 total nominations in five years, but wasn’t nominated for writing at all this year.

Its winning streak in this race ended in 2011 when it lost to the series finale of “Friday Night Lights.” In 2012, the show lost the category again, this time to the “Homeland” pilot episode, and lost every other category as well, a historic shutout of 17 nominations and 17 losses. So the tea leaves were there to foreshadow their snubbing in this category this year.

But while “Mad Men” got skunked, AMC still maintains a stronghold in this category with their other award-winning drama, “Breaking Bad,” finally breaking through. For years the show couldn’t get any love here despite having won four awards from the WGA. Who knew all it took was a less than stellar year for “Mad Men” for it to be finally welcomed into the club for not one, but two episodes?

Emmy voters singled out George Mastras‘s “Dead Freight” and Thomas Schnauz‘s “Say My Name,” both of which feature game-changing story developments that could make them strong contenders.

The absence of “Mad Men,” which swept the category with three nominations last year, also made room for the return of “Game of Thrones,” which was nominated in 2011 for “Baelor,” was left out in 2012, and now returns with the D.B. Weiss and David Benioff-penned episode “The Rains of Castamere,” which features a shocking event known to fans of the series and novels as the “Red Wedding.”

The other two nominated dramas return following bids last year. “Homeland” hopes to defend its title, nominated this year for the late Henry Bromell‘s “Q&A,” while “Downton Abbey” competes for Julian Fellowes‘s “Episode 4.”

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