64th annual television awards promises to be a gay affair. As usual
by Donalevan Maines • Photo by Bob D’Amico/ABC
Until Jimmy Kimmel appeared in his jammies at the pre-dawn announcement of the nominations for the 64th Annual Emmy Awards on July 19, I hadn’t thought much about him since he was “f—in’ Ben Affleck” four years ago.
Mad Men was on its first of four Emmy wins for outstanding drama series, with Bryan Batt co-starring as closeted Salvatore “Sal” Romano. Mad Men is the first and only basic-cable series to claim best drama, and it could win a record fifth trophy when Kimmel hosts the 64th Annual Emmy Awards at 7 p.m., Sunday, September 23, on ABC-TV.
Its competition includes Boardwalk Empire, Breaking Bad, Downton Abbey, Game of Thrones, and Homeland, which should score a best-actress win for Claire Danes, who played Meryl Streep’s daughter in The Hours and won Emmy honors for Temple Grandin in 2010. Danes also looks to win the fashion face-off with fellow nominees Kathy Bates (Harry’s Law), Glenn Close (Damages), Michelle Dockery (Downton Abbey), Julianna Margulies (The Good Wife), and Elisabeth Moss (Mad Men). Snubbed this year was Sugar Land’s Mirielle Enos, who was brilliant in The Killing.
Modern Family vies for its third consecutive win as outstanding comedy series, with multiple chances to win in supporting-role categories. Ty Burrell and Eric Stonestreet, who’ve won before, are nominees again, along with Jesse Tyler Ferguson and Ed O’Neill, which last year’s winner Julie Bowen faces off with Sofia Vergara.
Other best-comedy contenders are Curb Your Enthusiasm, Girls, 30 Rock, Veep, and The Big Bang Theory, which could score a best-actor three-peat for Houston’s out Jim Parsons.
Greg Kinnear is nominated as outstanding guest actor in a comedy series for his turn in “Me? Jealous?” on Modern Family last February.
Of particular interest is the category of outstanding guest actress in a comedy series, as former OutSmart cover girl Margaret Cho is nominated for her stealth portrayals of both North Korean leader Kim Jong-il and his successor, Kim Jong-un. If Cho wins, she can celebrate with both her glam-squad gays and Linda Hunt, who won an Oscar for playing but a single Asian man in The Year of Living Dangerously (1982).
At 17 nods, Mad Men tied for most nominations with Glee creators Ryan Murphy and Brad Falchuk’s American Horror Story, which should have a sure winner in Jessica Lange as Constance Langdon. In addition to Moss, Mad Men’s acting nominees include Jon Hamm, Jared Harris, Christina Hendricks, Julia Ormond (also an Emmy winner for Temple Grandin), and my favorite, Ben Feldman (who played Benjamin Braddock in The Graduate on Broadway), Fran Drescher’s son on the TV sitcom Living with Fran, and Fred the Angel on Drop Dead Diva.
Hamm hopes for his first Emmy win as Don Draper. Other nominees are Hugh Bonneville (Downton Abbey), Steve Buscemi (Boardwalk Empire), Bryan Cranston (Breaking Bad), Damian Lewis (riveting in Homeland), and Michael C. Hall (Dexter), formerly the gay son in Six Feet Under. Passed over this year was Timothy Olyphant, who was terrific in Justified.
At 16 nominations each are Downton Abbey and The Hatfields and McCoys, which co-starred Matt Barr as Johnse Hatfield. (The handsome Texan portrayed MTV’s ”Puck” in Pedro, the 2008 film biography of AIDS educator Pedro Zamora.)
Kathy Griffin: Tired Hooker is nominated for outstanding variety special against the likes of The Kennedy Center Honors.
Visit emmys.com for lots more on TV’s biggest night.
Donalevan Maines is a regular contributor to OutSmart magazine.