'Mad Men,' 'American Horror Story' lead Emmy nods
Comedian Jimmy Kimmel, right, reacts alongside fellow presenter Kerry Washington after "Jimmy Kimmel Live!" was nominated for Outstanding Variety Series during the nominations for the 64th Primetime Emmy Awards at the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences in Los Angeles, Thursday, July 19, 2012. The 64th annual Primetime Emmy Awards will be presented Sept. 23 at the Nokia Theatre in Los Angeles, hosted by Kimmel and airing live on ABC. (Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP)
LOS ANGELES (AP) — "Mad Men," a piercingly bleak portrait of a 1960s American anti-hero, earned a leading 17 Emmy nominations Thursday and the chance to set a new record as the most-honored drama in television history.
AMC's "Mad Men," which has won four best drama series trophies and is tied with "Hill Street Blues," ''L.A. Law" and "The West Wing," received a fifth bid in the category.
"It's insane. I can't believe it," said "Mad Men" creator Matthew Weiner. "I can't believe we are on the air. I can't believe that people don't call AMC A&E anymore. I'm so proud of the network."
The miniseries "American Horror Story," a nightmarish saga about a haunted house, received a matching 17 awards, including an acting nod for star Connie Britton.
Other leading nominees include the elegant British-born soap opera "Downton Abbey," which earned 16 bids, and two miniseries, "Hatfields & McCoys," with 16, and "Hemingway & Gellhorn" with 15.
In this publicity photo released by AMC, Elisabeth Moss as Peggy Olson is shown in Episode 11, Season 5, of "Mad Men." Moss was nominated for an Emmy award on Thursday, July 19, 2012 for outstanding actress in a drama series for her role as Peggy Olson. The 64th annual Primetime Emmy Awards will be presented Sept. 23 at the Nokia Theatre in Los Angeles, hosted by Jimmy Kimmel and airing live on ABC. (AP Photo/AMC, Jordin Althaus)
"Modern Family," honored as best comedy series for the past two years, was the sitcom leader with 14 bids and practically ran the table in supporting actor nods, but the comedy realm also saw an infusion of girl power.
Breakout comedies with women at their center — in fashion after the box-office success of "Bridesmaids" — proved alluring to Emmy voters.
"Girls," creator-star Lena Dunham's darkly comedic coming-of-age New York story, received a best comedy nod and acting, writing and directing nominations for her. Zooey Deschanel's offbeat charm in "New Girl" earned her an acting bid.
"I have had the shriekiest morning of my life," said Dunham, as she arrived on set in New York to shoot the second season of "Girls." ''I literally feel like I got asked to the prom and engaged and told I was going to the moon all in one day. Not to be too dramatic."
"I jumped around in my bed and I ran down the hall that's in my apartment building that's not even part of my house without my pants on," she said.