Hollywood loves “Fargo.” The Minnesota-based drama garnered 18 Emmy nominations Thursday, second only to “Game of Thrones” with 19 nods.
Billy Bob Thornton, Martin Freeman, Colin Hanks and newcomer Allison Tolman all were recognized for their performances.
Part of the reason for the high count is that the FX project chose to compete in the miniseries category, which kept it from going head to head with heavily hyped “Breaking Bad” and “True Detective.”
But that shrewd move shouldn’t take away from “Fargo”’s brilliance, that makes it a runaway favorite to beat out “American Horror Story: Coven,” “Bonnie & Clyde,” “Luther,” “The White Queen” and — in one of the morning’s most delightful surprises — “Treme.”
There were more stunners, most of them positive.
Most pundits expected season one of Netflix’s “Orange is the New Black” to make a mark, but it exceeded expectations with 12 nominations, more than any other comedy, including “Modern Family” and “Veep.”
Netflix also had reason to cheer for Ricky Gervais, who may have scored the day’s biggest upset by securing a spot in the category of best comedic actor for his role in the woefully underappreciated “Derek.” In all, Netflix picked up 31 nominations, more than the Fox network and all but two cable channels, HBO and FX.
HBO had a total of 99 nominations, largely because of the overwhelming support of “The Normal Heart” and “True Detective.” But let’s also give a hand to “Silicon Valley,” which managed to pick up five nominations, including one for outstanding comedy.
And then there are the heavyweight fights.
The most anticipated battle will take place in the category of lead actor in a drama, as Bryan Cranston, in his final season of “Breaking Bad,” takes on Matthew McConaughey for his withering performance in “True Detective.” If McConaughey pulls off a victory, he will be the first male actor to win an Oscar and an Emmy in the same year.
Also keep an eye on “Modern Family.” It may not be as hip as the competition, which includes “Orange is the New Black” and “Louie,” but it’s a longtime Emmy favorite, and a win for outstanding comedy will make it five in a row, an accomplishment previously achieved only by “Frasier.”
There was one major sour note: For the second year, Tatiana Maslany was overlooked for playing a variety of clones in “Orphan Black.” Just how many characters does she have to play to finally get some Emmy love?
The awards will be handed out on Aug. 25, a Monday, to avoid competing against “Sunday Night Football” and “The MTV Video Awards.” Seth Meyer hosts.