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'Downton Abbey' and 'Mad Men' go head-to-head for Emmy glory

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The 2012 Emmy Awards are now within viewing distance, with the small screen's finest jostling to be rewarded on Sunday September 23. This year, Downton Abbey's well-heeled residents will come up against Mad Men's heady mixture of power and glamour. Both are up for the night's top prize, Best Drama Series, and both are flirting with Emmy history. 


Downton Abbey has garnered an incredible sixteen nominations, while Mad Men have their eye on their fifth consecutive win in the coveted category. Away from the competition in the auditorium, all eyes will be on the shows' stars and their sartorial style. Christina Hendricks' classic look never disappoints, and it's always interesting to see how rock chic Elizabeth McGovern marries her polished character's style with real-life choices. 


Others competing in the top tier include US shows Breaking Bad, and the hugely popular series Homeland, which stars Claire Danes and British actor Damian Lewis. Game of Thrones and Boardwalk Empire also have their hats in the ring. Comedian Jimmy Kimmel is on hosting duty, and has some tricks up his sleeve to ensure the night is a fun-filled affair. "I am gonna do something very weird during the show," he said. "I think it could possibly be the biggest prank ever pulled, as far as number of people involved. "I haven't researched it, but it'll definitely be right up there. The audience will be a participant in this. So it's important that you watch because you're either going to be in on it or not." On Sunday, all will be revealed, fun will be had, and one series will be crowned king of the small screen.

2012 Emmy Award Nominations 

  • Outstanding Drama Series Boardwalk Empire Breaking Bad Downton Abbey Homeland Mad Men Game of Thrones
  • Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series Glenn Close in Damages Michelle Dockery in Downton Abbey Julianna Margulies in The Good Wife Kathy Bates in Harry’s Law Clare Danes in Homeland Elisabeth Moss in Mad Men
  • Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series Steve Buscemi in Boardwalk Empire Bryan Cranston in Breaking Bad Michael C. Hall in Dexter Damian Lewis in Homeland Jon Hamm in Mad Men Hugh Bonneville in Downton Abbey
  • Supporting Actress Anna Gunn in Breaking Bad Maggie Smith in Downton Abbey Joanne Froggatt in Downton Abbey Archie Panjabi in The Good Wife Christine Baranski in The Good Wife Christina Hendricks in Mad Men
  • Supporting Actor Aaron Paul in Breaking Bad Giancarlo Esposito in Breaking Bad Brendan Coyle in Downton Abbey Jim Carter in Downton Abbey Peter Dinklage in Game of Thrones Jared Harris in Mad Men
  • Miniseries or TV Movie Sherlock: A Scandal in Belgravia Luther American Horror Story Game Change Hatfields & McCoys Hemingway & Gellhorn
  • Lead Actress in a Miniseries or Movie Emma Thompson in The Song of Lunch Connie Britton in American Horror Story Julianne Moore in Game Change Nicole Kidman in Hemingway & Gellhorn Ashley Judd in Missing
  • Lead Actor in a Miniseries or Movie Idris Elba in Luther Benedict Cumberbatch in Sherlock: A Scandal in Belgravia Woody Harrelson in Game Change Kevin Costner in Hatfields & McCoys Bill Paxton in Hatfields & McCoys Clive Owen in Hemingway & Gellhorn
  • Comedy Series The Big Bang Theory Curb Your Enthusiasm Girls Modern Family 30 Rock Veep
  • Comedy Actor Jim Parsons in The Big Bang Theory Larry David in Curb Your Enthusiasm Don Cheadle in House of Lies Louis C.K. in Louie Alec Baldwin in 30 Rock Jon Cryer in Two and a Half Men
  • Comedy Actress Lena Dunham in Girls Melissa McCarthy in Mike & Molly Zooey Deschanel in New Girl Edie Falco in Nurse Jackie Amy Poehler in Parks and Recreation Tina Fey in 30 Rock Julia Louis-Dreyfus in Veep

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