2015 Emmy Nominations

  • Publish Date: July 16, 2015
  • Comments: ↓ 3 user comments

With Breaking Bad gone, it's anyone's game (especially Game's)

Shows with Most Nominations - 2015
1 Game of Thrones (HBO) 24
2 American Horror Story: Freak Show (FX) 19
3 Olive Kitteridge (HBO) 13
4 Bessie (HBO) 12
5 House of Cards (Netflix) 11
  Mad Men (AMC) 11
  Transparent (Amazon) 11
8 American Crime (ABC) 10
  Boardwalk Empire (HBO) 10
10 Veep (HBO) 9

Early Thursday morning (though, thankfully, not as early as in years past), the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences announced its nominations for the 67th Primetime Emmy Awards, and HBO's Game of Thrones was the top nominee for the second year in a row, leading all programs with a stunning 24 nominations (up from last year's 19).

American Horror Story, always another major contender, added two nominations to last year's total to finish second with 19 overall, trailed by a pair of HBO films, Olive Kitteridge and Bessie. The best-performing newcomer this year was Amazon's Transparent, with an impressive 11 nominations, followed among the new series by ABC's American Crime (10 nominations) and AMC's Better Call Saul and Netflix's Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt (each with 7).

HBO was yet again the leader among all networks, with a fairly astounding 126 total nominations (that's 27 more than its total in 2014). The second-highest total among all networks and the first among broadcast networks belonged to ABC for the first time in several years. That network had 42 nominations, ahead of CBS and NBC, which each had 41.

Listed below are the 2015 Emmy nominees in each major category.

Drama nominees

Last year's winners in each category are marked with an asterisk (*) if re-nominated this season.

Outstanding Drama Series

Better Call Saul AMC Amazon iTunes
Downton Abbey PBS Amazon iTunes
Game of Thrones HBO HBO
Homeland Showtime Hulu+
House of Cards Netflix Netflix
Mad Men AMC Amazon iTunes
Orange Is the New Black Netflix Netflix

Both the drama and comedy fields have been expanded to seven nominees this year (up from last year's six), and there are several important rule changes designed to clarify which category each show is eligible for. Hourlong programs (like former comedy nominee Orange Is the New Black) are presumed to be dramas, while 30-minute shows are placed by default in the comedy category. Individual shows may lobby the Academy for an exception—which Netflix did attempt for OITNB, only to have the Academy reject its appeal, leaving it to compete as a drama, where its nomination total dropped from 12 in its first season to just four this year (for its second season, rather than the now-streaming third season, which will be eligible for the Emmys in 2016). Shameless, Jane The Virgin and Glee did have their petitions approved, however, and thus were eligible as comedies. In addition, there are now better defined rules for determining whether a show is a miniseries or a regular drama/comedy series; to qualify for the latter, a series must tell an ongoing story in at least six episodes.

Last year, the final season of Breaking Bad dominated the drama categories, winning best drama series and three of the four acting awards. With that show now off the air, this year's contests become more competitive and harder to predict. Mad Men, with its own final season, may be the sentimental favorite (and has a proven record, winning in this category in each of its first four seasons). But will this be the year that Game of Thrones finally wins the big one? Or will the Academy go with the next best thing to Breaking Bad in the form of its prequel, Better Call Saul (the only first-year series contending in the category)?

As for what's missing here, well, there's The Americans, the favorite drama of many a TV critic over the past year. It still couldn't make the cut despite the extra nominee slot this year. Nor could CBS's The Good Wife, another long-neglected critical favorite. And while the Academy did hand out a few nominations for Fox's new hit Empire, that show failed to crack the best drama category, as did Golden Globe winner The Affair.

Lead Actor in a Drama Series

Kyle Chandler Bloodline Netflix
Jeff Daniels The Newsroom HBO
Jon Hamm Mad Men AMC
Bob Odenkirk Better Call Saul AMC
Liev Schreiber Ray Donovan Showtime
Kevin Spacey House of Cards Netflix

Only Daniels, Hamm, and Spacey are repeats here from last year, but the other three contenders all have past nominations (and both Chandler and Odenkirk have won, though obviously not for their current shows, which are each in their debut seasons). Daniels won the trophy for this same role two years ago, making him an instant favorite (with last year's winner Bryan Cranston out of the picture), but Hamm (also nominated this year for a guest spot in Unbreakable Kimmy Schmdit) is the sentimental favorite: he now has 15 career nominations without a win.

Lead Actress in a Drama Series

Claire Danes Homeland Showtime
Viola Davis How to Get Away With Murder ABC
Taraji P. Henson Empire Fox
Tatiana Maslany Orphan Black BBC America
Elisabeth Moss Mad Men AMC
Robin Wright House of Cards Netflix

It's a year of change in the lead actress category. Missing from last year's group of nominees are Lizzy Caplan (Masters of Sex), Scandal's Kerry Washington, Michelle Dockery (Downton Abbey), and—in the biggest surprise—The Good Wife's Julianna Margulies, who won the Emmy here last year. In a welcome though unexpected twist, however, one of their replacements is perennial Emmy snub Tatiana Maslany. She and Viola Davis are the first-time Emmy nominees here.

Supporting Actor in a Drama Series

Jonathan Banks Better Call Saul AMC
Jim Carter Downton Abbey PBS
Alan Cumming The Good Wife CBS
Peter Dinklage Game of Thrones HBO
Michael Kelly House of Cards Netflix
Ben Mendelsohn Bloodline Netflix

With Breaking Bad off the air, Aaron Paul can't repeat as the winner here, though his co-star Jonathan Banks is among the nominees—playing the same character for which he was nominated in 2013, but on a different show. Carter and Dinklage are actually the only repeats in this category from last year, but if TV critics are any guide, watch out for Mendelsohn, who was by far their favorite thing about first-year Netflix drama Bloodline.

Supporting Actress in a Drama Series

** Uzo Aduba Orange Is the New Black Netflix
Christine Baranski The Good Wife CBS
Emilia Clarke Game of Thrones HBO
Joanne Froggatt Downton Abbey PBS
Lena Headey Game of Thrones HBO
Christina Hendricks Mad Men AMC

** Uzo Aduba won an Emmy last year for the same role, but in a very different category (Guest Actress in a Comedy Series)

Anna Gunn was the winner here last year, so the end of Breaking Bad means that yet another category is suddenly up for grabs. All of the supporting actress contenders have previous Emmy nominations, though only Aduba and Baranski have won Emmys.

Guest Actor in a Drama Series

F. Murray Abraham Homeland Showtime
Alan Alda The Blacklist NBC
Beau Bridges Masters of Sex Showtime
Reg E. Cathey House of Cards Netflix
Michael J. Fox The Good Wife CBS
Pablo Schreiber Orange Is the New Black Netflix

Guest Actress in a Drama Series

Khandi Alexander Scandal ABC
Rachel Brosnahan House of Cards Netflix
* Allison Janney Masters of Sex Showtime
Margo Martindale The Americans FX
Diana Rigg Game of Thrones HBO
Cicely Tyson How to Get Away With Murder ABC

Writing for a Drama Series

Joshua Brand The Americans, "Do Mail Robots Dream Of Electric Sheep?" FX
Gordon Smith Better Call Saul, "Five-0" AMC
David Benioff and D.B. Weiss Game of Thrones, "Mother's Mercy" HBO
Semi Chellas and Matthew Weiner Mad Men, "Lost Horizon" AMC
Matthew Weiner Mad Men, "Person to Person" AMC

Directing for a Drama Series

Tim Van Patten Boardwalk Empire, "Eldorado" HBO
David Nutter Game of Thrones, "Mother's Mercy" HBO
Jeremy Podeswa Game of Thrones, "Unbowed, Unbent, Unbroken" HBO
Lesli Linka Glatter Homeland, "From A To B And Back Again" Showtime
Steven Soderbergh The Knick, "Method And Madnes" Cinemax

Comedy nominees

Last year's winners in each category are marked with an asterisk (if re-nominated this season).

Outstanding Comedy Series

Louie FX Amazon iTunes
* Modern Family ABC Hulu+ Amazon iTunes
Parks and Recreation NBC Hulu+ Amazon iTunes
Silicon Valley HBO HBO
Transparent Amazon Amazon
Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt Netflix Netflix

Modern Family has dominated this category, winning the award in each of its five previous seasons. Will this be the year its reign ends? The ABC sitcom received just six total nominations this year, easily its lowest total to date. (Last year, Modern Family was nominated 10 times, and its yearly total has been as high as 17.)

Louie, Silicon Valley, and Veep are the other other repeat nominees here. Streaming hits Transparent (which won the Golden Globe in this category) and Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt were each nominated for their debut seasons, and Parks and Recreation (nominated here for its strong final season) was previously nominated in this category just once, in 2011. Missing from last year's nominees are Orange Is the New Black (which competed as a drama instead) and The Big Bang Theory. Critical darling Jane the Virgin was unable to crack the expanded field (while that show's star, Gina Rodriguez was similarly left out of the actress group despite winning the Golden Globe for her performance).

Lead Actor in a Comedy Series

Anthony Anderson black-ish ABC
Louis C.K. Louie FX
Don Cheadle House of Lies Showtime
Will Forte The Last Man on Earth Fox
Matt LeBlanc Episodes Showtime
William H. Macy Shameless Showtime
Jeffrey Tambor Transparent Amazon

Jim Parsons, who won the Emmy in this category in each of the past two years, could not even crack this year's field despite an expansion from six to seven nominees. Cheadle, Louis C.K., LeBlanc, and Macy are the repeat nominees from a year ago, while Anderson is a first-time nominee (giving first-year comedy hit black-ish its sole nomination).

In addition to his nomination here, Louis C.K. added four more in other categories this year. That gives him an astounding 30 Emmy nominations in the last five years alone (and 34 for his career, with six total wins).

Lead Actress in a Comedy Series

Edie Falco Nurse Jackie Showtime
Lisa Kudrow The Comeback HBO
* Julia Louis-Dreyfus Veep HBO
Amy Poehler Parks and Recreation NBC
Amy Schumer Inside Amy Schumer Comedy Central
Lily Tomlin Grace and Frankie Netflix

Julia Louis-Dreyfus owns this category, with wins in each of the past three years. She has some new challengers this year, however, in the form of Amy Schumer, Lisa Kudrow, and Lily Tomlin. The biggest potential challenger, however, could be Amy Poehler, who now has 14 career nominations (including six for portraying Leslie Knope on Parks & Rec) but is still seeking her first Emmy trophy.

Missing from last year's nominees in this category are Lena Dunham (whose Girls received just two nominations this year, repeating last year's disappointing total), Taylor Schilling (who failed to repeat as a nominee once OITNB was shifted into the drama category), and Melissa McCarthy (Mike & Molly). In addition to the aforementioned Gina Rodriguez, the most obvious omission here is Ellie Kemper, seemingly the only cast member from Netflix's first-year comedy Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt to go without a nomination.

Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series

Andre Braugher Brooklyn Nine-Nine Fox
Tituss Burgess Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt Netflix
* Ty Burrell Modern Family ABC
Adam Driver Girls HBO
Tony Hale Veep HBO
Keegan-Michael Key Key & Peele Comedy Central

In a major contrast to recent years, Burrell and Julie Bowen (below) are the only Modern Family stars nominated this year. That clears the way for first-time nominee Tituss Burgess, as well as the Key half of Key and Peele.

Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series

Mayim Bialik The Big Bang Theory CBS
Julie Bowen Modern Family ABC
Anna Chlumsky Veep HBO
Gaby Hoffmann Transparent Amazon
* Allison Janney Mom CBS
Jane Krakowski Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt Netflix
Kate McKinnon Saturday Night Live NBC
Niecy Nash Getting On HBO

Both Allison Janney (last year's winner here) and first-timer Gaby Hoffmann received two nominations this year; the latter also was honored for her guest role in HBO's Girls, while Janney is also looking for a repeat victory for her "guest" performance in Masters of Sex.

Guest Actor in a Comedy Series

Mel Brooks The Comedians FX
Louis C.K. Saturday Night Live NBC
Paul Giamatti Inside Amy Schumer Comedy Central
Bill Hader Saturday Night Live NBC
Jon Hamm Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt Netflix
Bradley Whitford Transparent Amazon

Guest Actress in a Comedy Series

Pamela Adlon Louie FX
Elizabeth Banks Modern Family ABC
Christine Baranski The Big Bang Theory CBS
Joan Cusack Shameless Showtime
Tina Fey Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt Netflix
Gaby Hoffmann Girls HBO

Writing for a Comedy Series

David Crane and Jeffrey Klarik Episodes, "Episode 409" Showtime
Will Forte The Last Man on Earth, "Alive in Tucson" Fox
* Louis C.K. Louie, "Bobby's House" FX
Alec Berg Silicon Valley, "Two Days Of The Condor" HBO
Jill Soloway Transparent, "Pilot" Amazon
Simon Blackwell, Armando Iannucci, Tony Roche Veep, "Election Night" HBO

Directing for a Comedy Series

Phil Lord and Christopher Miller The Last Man on Earth, "Alive in Tucson" Fox
Louis C.K. Louie, "Sleepover" FX
Mike Judge Silicon Valley, "Sand Hill Shuffle" HBO
Jill Soloway Transparent, "Best New Girl" Amazon
Armando Iannucci Veep, "Testimony" HBO

Miniseries/movie nominees

Outstanding Limited Series

. American Crime ABC Hulu+ Amazon iTunes
. American Horror Story: Freak Show FX Amazon iTunes
. Olive Kitteridge HBO HBO Amazon iTunes
. The Honorable Woman Sundance Amazon iTunes
. Wolf Hall PBS Amazon iTunes

The miniseries category has been retitled this year, and to qualify, a show must now tell a "complete, non-recurring story" across at least two episodes and 150 minutes. If any characters or storylines appear in multiple seasons, the show must compete with the regular drama or comedy series instead and may not be considered a limited series.

ABC's rookie series American Crime, which will follow the True Detective/Fargo/American Horror Story format of launching each season with a new cast and story, is the first broadcast network miniseries to be nominated since CBS's Elvis back in 2005.

Outstanding Made-for-Television Movie

Agatha Christie’s Poirot: Curtain, Poirot’s Last Case Acorn TV Amazon iTunes
. Bessie HBO HBO Amazon iTunes
. Grace Of Monaco Lifetime Netflix
Hello Ladies: The Movie HBO HBO Amazon iTunes
. Killing Jesus National Geographic Channel Amazon
. Nightingale HBO HBO Amazon iTunes

Lead Actor in a Movie or Limited Series

Adrien Brody Houdini History
Ricky Gervais Derek (Special) Netflix
Timothy Hutton American Crime ABC
Richard Jenkins Olive Kitteridge HBO
David Oyelowo Nightingale HBO
Mark Rylance Wolf Hall PBS

Lead Actress in a Movie or Limited Series

Maggie Gyllenhaal The Honorable Woman Sundance
Felicity Huffman American Crime ABC
* Jessica Lange American Horror Story: Freak Show FX
Queen Latifah Bessie HBO
Frances McDormand Olive Kitteridge HBO
Emma Thompson Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber Of Fleet Street PBS

Supporting Actor in a Movie or Limited Series

Richard Cabral American Crime ABC
Damian Lewis Wolf Hall PBS
Bill Murray Olive Kitteridge HBO
Denis O'Hare American Horror Story: Freak Show FX
Michael Kenneth Williams Bessie HBO
Finn Wittrock American Horror Story: Freak Show FX

Supporting Actress in a Movie or Limited Series

Angela Bassett American Horror Story: Freak Show FX
* Kathy Bates American Horror Story: Freak Show FX
Zoe Kazan Olive Kitteridge HBO
Regina King American Crime ABC
Mo'Nique Bessie HBO
Sarah Paulson American Horror Story: Freak Show FX

Writing for a Movie, Limited Series or Dramatic Special

John Ridley American Crime, "Episode One" ABC
Dee Rees, Christopher Cleveland, Bettina Gilois, Horton Foote Bessie HBO
Stephen Merchant, Gene Stupnitsky, Lee Eisenberg Hello Ladies: The Movie HBO
Hugo Blick The Honorable Woman Sundance
Jane Anderson Olive Kitteridge HBO
Peter Straughan Wolf Hall PBS

Directing for a Movie, Limited Series or Dramatic Special

Ryan Murphy American Horror Story: Freak Show, "Monsters Among Us" FX
Dee Rees Bessie HBO
Hugo Blick The Honorable Woman Sundance
Uli Edel Houdini History
Tom Shankland The Missing Starz
Lisa Cholodenko Olive Kitteridge HBO
Peter Kosminsky Wolf Hall PBS

Other nominees

Outstanding Variety Talk Series

* The Colbert Report Comedy Central
The Daily Show with Jon Stewart Comedy Central
Jimmy Kimmel Live ABC
Last Week Tonight With John Oliver HBO
Late Show With David Letterman CBS
The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon NBC

The variety series category has been split in two this year. The "Variety Talk" category winner will be announced during the main Emmy broadcast, while the new "Variety Sketch" award will be introduced during the Creative Arts ceremony.

Outstanding Variety Sketch Series

Drunk History Comedy Central
Inside Amy Schumer Comedy Central
Key & Peele Comedy Central
Portlandia IFC
Saturday Night Live NBC

Writing for a Variety Series

* The Colbert Report Comedy Central
The Daily Show with Jon Stewart Comedy Central
Inside Amy Schumer Comedy Central
Key & Peele Comedy Central
Last Week Tonight With John Oliver HBO

Outstanding Variety Special

Bill Maher: Live From D.C HBO
The Kennedy Center Honors CBS
Louis C.K.: Live At The Comedy Store LouisCK.net
Mel Brooks Live At The Geffen HBO
The Saturday Night Live 40th Anniversary Special NBC
Tony Bennett & Lady Gaga: Cheek To Cheek LIVE! PBS

Outstanding Animated Program

Archer, "Pocket Listing" FX
* Bob's Burgers, "Can't Buy Me Math" Fox
Over The Garden Wall Cartoon
The Simpsons, "Treehouse Of Horror XXV" Fox
South Park, "Freemium Isn't Free" Comedy Central

Remember that unlike other shows, animated programs are nominated for a single episode, rather than the entire season.

Outstanding Short-Format Live-Action Entertainment Program

* Between Two Ferns With Zach Galifianakis: Brad Pitt FunnyOrDie.com
Billy On The Street With First Lady Michelle Obama, Big Bird And Elena!! FunnyOrDie.com
Childrens Hospital, "Just Like Cyrano de Bergerac" Adult Swim
Key & Peele Presents Van And Mike: The Ascension: Episode 5 CC.com
Super Bowl XLIX Halftime Show Starring Katy Perry NBC

Outstanding Documentary or Nonfiction Series

* American Masters PBS
. Cancer: The Emperor Of All Maladies PBS
. The Jinx: The Life And Deaths Of Robert Durst HBO
. The Roosevelts: An Intimate History PBS
. The Sixties CNN

Outstanding Documentary or Nonfiction Special

. The Case Against 8 HBO
. Going Clear: Scientology And The Prison Of Belief HBO
. Kurt Cobain: Montage Of Heck HBO
. Sinatra: All Or Nothing At All HBO
. Virunga Netflix

Outstanding Informational Series Or Special

* Anthony Bourdain Parts Unknown CNN
. Foo Fighters: Sonic Highways HBO
Inside The Actors Studio Bravo
. StarTalk With Neil deGrasse Tyson National Geographic
* Vice HBO

Outstanding "Structured" Reality Program

Antiques Roadshow PBS
Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives Food
MythBusters Discovery
Property Brothers HGTV
* Shark Tank ABC
Undercover Boss CBS

This is the second year that non-competitive reality shows are split into two categories. This "structured" category includes shows with a standard format each week (anything form MythBusters to Catfish to Antiques Roadshow), while the "unstructured" category (below) is for the shows that follow the lives of one or more "real" people (e.g., your Housewives, your Kardashians, your Deadliest Catchers).

Outstanding "Unstructured" Reality Program

Alaska: The Last Frontier Discovery
* Deadliest Catch Discovery
Intervention A&E
Million Dollar Listing New York Bravo
Naked And Afraid Discovery
Wahlburgers A&E

Outstanding Reality–Competition Program

* The Amazing Race CBS
Dancing With the Stars ABC
Project Runway Lifetime
So You Think You Can Dance Fox
Top Chef Bravo
The Voice NBC

Outstanding Host for a Reality or Reality Competition Program

Tom Bergeron Dancing With the Stars ABC
Anthony Bourdain The Taste ABC
Cat Deeley So You Think You Can Dance Fox
Heidi Klum, Tim Gunn Project Runway Lifetime
* Jane Lynch Hollywood Game Night NBC

More Emmy coverage

For the complete list of 2015 Emmy nominees, including the numerous technical, directing, and writing categories not listed above, visit the official Emmy website.

This year's Emmy winners will be announced during a ceremony televised live on Fox on Sunday, September 20th at 8p ET, hosted by Andy Samberg. In the week prior to the broadcast, we'll have a guide to expert predictions in each major category. But before that, you'll have an opportunity to make your own predictions in our annual Emmy poll, which launches next week.

What's your take?

What do you think of this year's Emmy nominations? Let us know in the comments section below.

Comments (3)

  • crjohnson1980  

    So, not a single nomination for "Justified?" What a load of BS.

  • ParkerFarron  

    Rooting for Tatiana Maslany to finally get her Emmy

  • LamontRaymond  

    Good for Better Call Saul! (Otherwise, that Drama category is looking a little samey.....)

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