Emmy Winners 2012

Oh, right. The Emmy Awards happened over the weekend. That’s something notable that we should probably mention here. Of course, it wasn’t notable enough for me to actually watch the thing. Did you?

I’ll do the Oscars and even the Golden Globes, but that’s about the extent of the awards-show viewing I can take. For pretty much anything else, I find it sufficient to read a run-down of the winners afterwards. I understand that Jimmy Kimmel hosted this year. Did that bring any life to the proceedings?

Drama Series

I’m actually pretty shocked that ‘Mad Men’ didn’t win a fifth consecutive Best Drama Series award. Given the Emmy voters’ proclivities, I expected the same show to win year after year after year until it finally went off the air. Instead, Showtime’s excellent freshman series ‘Homeland’ took home the trophy. (That’s a first for the network.) I approve of this. Other nominees included ‘Boardwalk Empire’, ‘Breaking Bad’, ‘Downton Abbey’ and ‘Game of Thrones’.

In fact, ‘Homeland’ also swept up further wins for lead actor Damian Lewis, lead actress Claire Danes, and writing.

The other drama acting categories were less surprising. Best Supporting Actor in a Drama went to Aaron Paul in ‘Breaking Bad’ (his third nomination and second win for the same role.) Maggie Smith took Best Supporting Actress for ‘Downton Abbey’ (her second consecutive win).

Guest spot trophies were awarded to Martha Plimpton for her turn in ‘The Good Wife’ and Jeremy Davies for ‘Justified’.

‘American Horror Story’ went into the evening with 17 nominations, but walked away with only two wins. Jessica Lange took Best Supporting Actress in a Miniseries or Movie. (The category rules for this are very weird. This show’s second season begins in October, and Lange will be in it again.) Amusingly, the show also won Outstanding Hairstyling in a Miniseries or Movie, no doubt for Lange again.

Comedy Series

Things were duller in the comedy categories, where the very blas√© third season of ‘Modern Family’ claimed its third consecutive win over much better shows such as ‘Veep’, ‘Curb Your Enthusiasm’ and (at least arguably) ‘Girls’. Also in the mix were ’30 Rock’ and ‘The Big Bang Theory’, but neither really deserved to be there.

Fortunately, ‘Veep’ managed to score a win for Julia Louis-Dreyfus as lead actress, much to the whining of Lena Dunham fans everywhere. Lead Actor, on the other hand, went to Jon Cryer for the dreadful ‘Two and a Half Men’. This was Cryer’s second win (the last in 2009) out of seven nominations for the role. I can’t fathom why anyone likes this show.

The Best Supporting Actor in a comedy was Eric Stonestreet for ‘Modern Family’ (second win, third nomination). Best Supporting Actress was Julie Bowen for the same show (also second win, third nomination).

See the official Emmys web site for the full list of winners and nominees.


  1. William Henley

    I did not know it was even coming on, but as there are only a couple of shows I really watch, I could care less. If I have the choice between Teen Mom and or CSI or something, and some movie I have seen a hundred times, I will choose the movie.

    That being said, there were a couple of shows last year I got hooked on – Once Upon A Time, Terra Nova (although completely disgusted with the ending), Pan Am, and Dance Moms were all shows I got hooked on in the past year. Truthfully, though, I could care less one way or another if they get awards.

  2. Shannon Nutt

    Usually it takes Emmy voters a few years to catch up with quality shows, so I was really pleased to see HOMELAND get the attention this year, rather than down the road.

    Anyone know what the last show it was to sweep the major categories (Best Actor/Actress/Drama) in its FIRST season? Has it even ever happened before?

    • Josh Zyber

      If I’m not mistaken, it looks like Picket Fences was the last drama to sweep all three categories in its first season. It won Best Drama Series, Best Actor (Tom Skerritt) and Best Actress (Kathy Baker) in 1993.

      Both Mad Men and The West Wing won Best Drama Series in their first seasons, but not the acting categories.

      For comedy, we may have to go back to 1971 for All in the Family (Best Comedy Series, Best Actor – Carroll O’Connor, Best Actress – Jean Stapleton). The show swept all three categories again in 1978, for its 8th season.

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