Critics’ Choice TV Awards nominations hail ‘Justified,’ ‘Empire,’ ‘Jane the Virgin’ and …

As it does at the Emmys, HBO dominated the the nominations for the Critics’ Choice TV Awards announced by the Broadcast Television Journalists Assn. on Wednesday. The paycaster’s programming earned 27 bids in all, including five for the acclaimed “Olive Kitteridge.” (Click here for the complete list of nominations.)

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“Olive Kitteridge” is up for Best Limited Series, Best Movie/Limited Series Actress (Frances McDormand), Best Movie/Limited Series Actor (Richard Jenkins) and twice for Best Movie/Limited Series Supporting Actor (Bill Murray and Cory Michael Smith).

And the upcoming telefilm “Bessie,” about the life and career of legendary singer Bessie Smith, also did well for HBO with four nominations: Best TV Movie, Best Movie/Limited Series Actress (Queen Latifah) and two for Best Movie/Limited Series Supporting Actress (Khandi Alexander and Mo’Nique).

FX reaped 16 nominations in all led by “Justified” — which tied “Olive Kitteridge” as the year’s most nominated program — with five bids including Best Drama. The crime series ended its six-season run in April and enjoys its best showing ever with these kudos. Indeed, it hadn’t been cited in the top category since 2011.

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Not far behind for FX is the Cold War drama “The Americans,” which contends in four categories: Best Drama, Best Drama Actor (Matthew Rhys), Best Drama Actress (Keri Russell) and Best Drama Guest (Lois Smith).

However, while the cable net’s “American Horror Story: Freak Show” earned three acting nominations — lead actress Jessica Lange and supporting performers Finn Wittrock and Sarah Paulson — it was the first installment of this anthology to be snubbed for Best Drama Series. 

Among network TV fare, “The Good Wife” was tops, with four nominations: Best Drama, Best Drama Actress (Julianna Margulies), Best Drama Supporting Actress (Christine Baranski) and Best Drama Guest (Linda Lavin).

Transparent” also has four bids. The Golden Globe-winning Amazon series contends for Best Comedy, Best Comedy Actor (Jeffrey Tambor), Best Comedy Supporting Actress (Judith Light) and Best Comedy Guest (Bradley Whitford).

The PBS historical drama “Wolf Hall” was cited for Best Limited Series along with acting bids for lead Mark Rylance and supporting players Jonathan Pryce and Claire Foy.

Just like the Emmys, Critics’ Choice moved “Orange is the New Black” from comedy into drama despite it having won the top laffer award last year as well as two of its other three races.  This time it’s limited to two bids, Best Drama and for supporting actress Lorraine Toussaint.

FOX’s ratings juggernaut “Empire” made an impact, earning nominations for Best Drama and Best Drama Actress (Taraji P. Henson). And the CW scored for its outlandish soap, “Jane the Virgin,” which was singled out in three races: Best Comedy, Best Comedy Actress (Gina Rodriguez) and Best Comedy Supporting Actor (Jaime Camil).

Showtime’s “Homeland” made a comeback after being shut out last year. It’s back in the Best Drama race, and Mandy Patinkin picked up his first nomination for Best Drama Supporting Actor.

Watch our exclusive chats with Critics’ Choice nominees
Carrie Coon,
Mandy Patinkin, Finn Wittrock, Will Forte and more

Leading Emmy contender “House of Cards” was snubbed in all categories. This Netflix political drama has never been that popular with these kudos, earning just three nominations in total for its first two seasons. By comparison, it has contended twice for Best Drama Series at the Emmys and reaped repeat bids there for stars Kevin Spacey and Robin Wright

More surprising is the absence of Tatiana Maslany for “Orphan Black.” She had won Best Drama Actress the last two years running for playing multiple roles in BBC America’s sci-fi series. 

The BTJA also turned its back on “Mad Men” for its farewell season. The AMC period series had won Best Drama in 2011 and airs its final episode on May 17.

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