Seven Shows That Dominate 2012 Emmys

PHOTO: Damian Lewis as Nicholas "Nick" Brody and Claire Danes as Carrie Mathison in Homeland.

It's been a very good year for cable television, as today's Emmy nominations no doubt prove.

Only one of the nominees for best drama series, PBS' "Downton Abbey," comes from one of the broadcast networks. The rest, ''Boardwalk Empire,'' ''Breaking Bad,'' ''Game of Thrones,'' ''Homeland'' and ''Mad Men,'' come from cable.

"I think television is better than ever, especially with all the cable channels doing original programming and taking risks," Yahoo! TV writer Dave Nemetz told "It's making the Emmy race tighter and tighter."

See Full List of Nominees Here

"It's a tough year and there are a lot of shows that may end up getting shut out," Nemetz added.

Then again, there are certain shows likely to dominate. Click through to see seven of them.

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PHOTO: The fifth season of "Mad Men" kicked off with a birthday party for Don Draper (Jon Hamm), shown right.
'Mad Men'

That perennial drama favorite -- it's won best drama series four straight years -- is once again a nominee but does not have a lock on the award. "The drama series competition is fierce this year," Nemetz said, "and 'Mad Men' may not pull off the win this year." Same goes for the star of the AMC show, Jon Hamm, who received his fifth nomination for best actor in a drama series but has never taken home the trophy.

PHOTO: Jesse Pinkman (Aaron Paul) and Walter White (Bryan Cranston), seen here as co-stars on "Breaking Bad", recently endorsed Michael Ulin for high school class president via a Youtube video.
Rainbow Media
'Breaking Bad'

Hamm is back up against Bryan Cranston, the star of AMC's "Breaking Bad," which is back in Emmy contention this year with Part 1 of its final season. "It's hard to argue with Bryan Cranston," Nemetz said. "He fully deserves the three Emmys he's already received and he's bound to be a favorite this year." Both Cranston and "Breaking Bad" received nominations today.

PHOTO: Damian Lewis as Nicholas "Nick" Brody and Claire Danes as Carrie Mathison in Homeland.

While "Breaking Bad" is wrapping up, "Homeland" is just getting started. The Showtime series is a critics' darling and star Claire Danes, who received an Emmy nomination for her role as a bipolar CIA analyst, is "almost a lock to win for best actress," Nemetz said. "Homeland" is also up for the award for best drama series.

PHOTO: Created by Emmy-winning writer Julian Fellowes, "Downton Abbey" depicts the lives of the noble Crawley family and the staff who serve them.
'Downton Abbey'

One reason the drama category is so crowded this year, PBS' Downton Abbey has switched over to this category from best miniseries, which it won last year. Though drama is a more competitive category, Nemetz said, "I don't think there's any way 'Downton' will be shut out. The PBS period drama and its leads Michelle Dockery and Hugh Bonneville are all up for Emmys.

PHOTO: ABC's "Modern Family" stars Jesse Tyler Ferguson as Mitchell, Ariel Winter as Alex, Eric Stonestreet as Cameron, Rico Rodriguez as Manny, Sofia Vergara as Gloria, Ed O'Neill as Jay, Ty Burrell as Phil, Julie Bowen as Claire, Sarah Hyland as Haley a
Bob DAmico/ABC
'Modern Family'

One place the broadcast networks are still well represented is the comedy category, and ABC's "Modern Family," which won best comedy for the last two years, is still considered the favorite. The show will be competing against "The Big Bang Theory," "Curb Your Enthusiasm," "Girls," "30 Rock" and "Veep" for best comedy series. Meanwhile, "Modern Family" stars Ty Burrell and Julie Bowen, who took home trophies last year for supporting roles, were nominated along with Sofia Vergara, Ed O'Neill, Jesse Tyler Ferguson and Eric Stonestreet.

PHOTO: Zooey Deschanel
Patrick Mcelhenney/FOX
'New Girl'

It's been a good year for new comedies, Nemetz said. One of them is the new Fox comedy, "New Girl," which earned star Zooey Deschanel a nomination for best actress in a comedy. Meanwhile new HBO sitcoms "Girls" and "Veep," scored nods for best comedy series and "Veep" star Julia Louis-Dreyfus also scored a nomination for best actress.

PHOTO: Cast of 'Girls'
Mark Seliger/HBO

Another new comedy about young women, aptly titled "Girls," is scoring big with critics. But the HBO series has as many detractors as fans, having been criticized for its focus on privileged white girls and lack of diversity. "It's very polarizing," said Nemetz. Despite the initial backlash, critics have stuck with it, and the series and its star Lena Dunham both earned Emmy nominations.

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