With 16 nominations, the third season of “Game of Thrones” is tied as the most-nominated season of a science-fiction or fantasy drama series at the Emmys, matching the record set by “The X-Files” in 1998 and surpassing recent attempts by “Lost” in 2010 and “Thrones” itself in 2011, both with 13 nominations.
Indeed, it is a big day for “Game of Thrones” as it finally registered in some key categories that have mysteriously eluded it, like editing and cinematography. The series also returned to the writing category with its buzzed-about “Red Wedding” episode, “The Rains of Castamere,” and finally picked up an acting nomination—two, actually—for someone other than Peter Dinklage (Emilia Clarke, nominated for Drama Supporting Actress, and Diana Rigg, up for Drama Guest Actress).
Among others, “Game of Thrones” competes for Best Drama against “Mad Men,” which reaped a series-low 12 this year. If “Mad Men” were to win this year (or in 2014 for its final season), it would set a new record for most Drama Series wins ever. With four wins, it is currently tied with “The West Wing,” “L.A. Law,” and “Hill Street Blues.” However, “Mad Men” missed key nominations in the writing and directing categories this year, after 14 previous bids for writing and four for directing over its first five seasons, so a win in the top category may be unlikely.
“Homeland” won six Emmys last year: Drama Series, Drama Writing, Drama Actor (Damian Lewis), Drama Actress (Claire Danes), Drama Casting and Single-Camera Picture Editing. It was snubbed for editing this year.
Like last year, “Breaking Bad” has two nominations in the editing category. The AMC drama also has two nominations—its first two ever—in the Drama Writing category, putting it ahead of “Homeland” in that key category as well.
“30 Rock,” which has not won a single Emmy in any category in the last three years, is back in the writing, directing, and supporting actress (Jane Krakowski) categories that it was dropped from last year. Although not quite the all-time record that it set in 2009 with 24 nominations, they were enough to bring “30 Rock’s” total nominations haul this year to 15, leading all comedies.
Last year’s nominations leader, “Modern Family,” which has won 16 Emmys in the last three years, is down two nominations to 12. Two-time Comedy Supporting Actor winner Eric Stonestreet was left out for the first time, while the show’s Comedy Directing nominations have been reduced to one, down from two in 2012 and three in 2011. However, it gained a nomination in the new Comedy Stunt Coordination category; the creation of that category also resulted in the first ever nomination for eight-year-old FX sitcom “Its Always Sunny in Philadelphia.”
“Arrested Development” was not warmly welcomed back to the Emmys. When it was last on the air in 2006, it still picked up major nominations for Comedy Series and Comedy Writing, but it contends for just three categories overall in 2013: Comedy Actor (Jason Bateman), Picture Editing, and Music Composition.
“The Office’s’ penultimate season was skunked by the Emmys last year, but its series finale episode contends for three awards this year: Comedy Writing, Picture Editing, and Sound Mixing. The final season also picked up a Short-Format Special Class nomination for “The Office: The Farewells”; John Krasinski is one of three producers recognized for the program, which is his career-first Emmy nomination, having been snubbed for nine seasons as an actor opposite his multiple-nominated co-stars Steve Carell, Rainn Wilson, and Jenna Fischer.
“Glee,” debuted with 19 nominations in 2010, then fell to 12 for its second season and just three last year, but rebounds slightly to four categories this year: Comedy Supporting Actress for past winner Jane Lynch, as well as Comedy Directing, which it was last nominated for – and won – in 2010. Dot-Marie Jones is nominated for the third year in a row for Comedy Guest Actress, while the episode “Guilty Pleasures” picked up a bid for Non-Prosthetic Makeup.