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

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
    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

    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
    Modern Family
    30 Rock

  • 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