‘Mad Men,’ ‘Family Guy’ among top Emmy nominees

The Emmy Awards smiled on some unlikely comedy series nominees Thursday morning, giving nominations to "Family Guy" and "Flight of the Conchords" and leaving out such mainstays as "Two and a Half Men."

“Family Guy,” the Fox series that muscled its way back on the air in 2005 after proving popular in reruns and on DVD, received just two nominations — but one of them was for best comedy series, making it just the second animated series to compete in the best comedy series category. “Flight of the Conchords,” the offbeat HBO series about two struggling musicians, received six nominations, including a nomination as best comedy series and another for star Jemaine Clement. (Co-star and musical partner Bret McKenzie must be wondering who he offended.) The series with the most nominations were “30 Rock,” which is up for 22 Emmys, and “Mad Men,” which earned 16 nods. Both were big winners last year, taking best comedy series and best drama, respectively. The HBO movie “Grey Gardens” earned 17 nominations. Though many of the nominations turned out as expected by handicappers, the awards did throw a few curves — mainly in what was left out. “Desperate Housewives,” whose actresses usually nab at least one nomination in the lead comedy actress category, was shut out in that field, as well as for best comedy series. In fact, the show earned just two nominations — one for a guest spot by Beau Bridges, the other for best hairstyling. America Ferrera, a former winner for best actress in a comedy, also failed to pick up a nomination. The show earned just two total. Also coming up empty in the major categories: “Grey’s Anatomy,” which failed to earn nominations for best drama, best actor in a drama or best actress in a drama. However, Chandra Wilson — who was one of the presenters Thursday morning — did pick up one of “Grey’s” five nods, for best supporting actress in a drama. Despite a push by critics and fans, “Battlestar Galactica” failed to place in any major categories. It did get five nominations, including one for directing.

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And in a sign that Emmy voters have already forgotten one-time powerhouses, two shows that ended with well-reviewed finales — “ER” and “Boston Legal” — received little credit from the television academy. “ER” earned just two nominations and “Boston Legal” received four. On the other hand, such performers as Sarah Silverman (“The Sarah Silverman Program”), Simon Baker (the breakout hit “The Mentalist”) and Jim Parsons (“The Big Bang Theory”) all earned nominations. Still, the front-runners must be considered last year’s winners. “30 Rock” once again dominated the nominations, with picks for best comedy series, best actor in a comedy (Alec Baldwin) and best actress in a comedy (Tina Fey). Moreover, of the five nominations for outstanding writing for a comedy series, “30 Rock” received four. (The other went to “Flight of the Conchords.”) “Mad Men,” last year’s best drama, picked up nominations for best drama, actor Jon Hamm and actress Elisabeth Moss. Its writers dominated in the same way as the “30 Rock” writers, with four of the five nominations for outstanding writing for a drama series; the fifth nod went to “Lost.” HBO was the leader among all networks, with 99 nominations. Among the broadcast networks, NBC earned 67 Emmy nominations, followed by ABC with 55. Here are some of the nominations for the 61st annual Primetime Emmy Awards: The nominees for best drama are “Lost,” “Mad Men,” “House,” “Breaking Bad,” “Dexter,” “Damages” and “Big Love.” The nominees for best comedy series are “Entourage,” “30 Rock,” “The Office,” “Family Guy,” “Flight of the Conchords,” “Weeds” and “How I Met Your Mother.” The nominees for best actor in a drama are Simon Baker (“The Mentalist”), Gabriel Byrne (“In Treatment”), Hugh Laurie (“House”), Michael C. Hall (“Dexter”), Bryan Cranston (“Breaking Bad”) and Jon Hamm (“Mad Men”). The nominees for best actress in a drama are Mariska Hargitay (“Law & Order: SVU”), Kyra Sedgwick (“The Closer”), Glenn Close (“Damages”), Elisabeth Moss (“Mad Men”), Sally Field (“Brothers and Sisters”) and Holly Hunter (“Saving Grace”). The nominees for best actor in a comedy are Jemaine Clement (“Flight of the Conchords”), Alec Baldwin (“30 Rock”), Tony Shalhoub (“Monk”), Charlie Sheen (“Two and a Half Men”), Steve Carell (“The Office”) and Jim Parsons (“The Big Bang Theory”). The nominees for best actress in a comedy are Toni Collette (“The United States of Tara”), Christina Applegate (“Samantha Who”), Tina Fey (“30 Rock”), Mary-Louise Parker (“Weeds”), Julia Louis-Dreyfus (“The New Adventures of Old Christine”) and Sarah Silverman (“The Sarah Silverman Program”). The nominees for best TV movie are “Grey Gardens,” “Into the Storm,” “Prayers for Bobby,” “Taking Chance” and “Coco Chanel.” The nominees for best reality competition are “The Amazing Race,” “American Idol,” “Dancing with the Stars,” “Project Runway” and “Top Chef.” The nominees for best variety, music or comedy series are “The Colbert Report,” “The Daily Show,” “The Late Show with David Letterman,” “Real Time with Bill Maher” and “Saturday Night Live.” The 61st annual Primetime Emmy Awards will air Sunday, September 20, on CBS. Neil Patrick Harris will host. The show will air from Los Angeles’ Nokia Theater.