UPDATE 2-"Mad Men," "Modern Family" to defend Emmy wins

Thu Jul 14, 2011 10:26am EDT

* HBO miniseries "Mildred Pierce" gets most nods, 21

* "Mad Men" earns a total 19 Emmy nominations

* "Modern Family" claims 17 nods overall (Adds quotes, other nominations, leading networks)

By Jill Serjeant

LOS ANGELES, July 14 (Reuters) - Stylish 1960s advertising drama "Mad Men" and mockumentary comedy "Modern Family" will vie again for the top prizes at the 2011 Primetime Emmy Awards in a field packed with newcomers and veteran actors in new roles.

"Mad Men," the three-time Emmy winner for best dramatic show, scored 19 nominations on Thursday for TV's highest honors, including best drama series and acting nods for its stars Jon Hamm and Elisabeth Moss.

ABC's "Modern Family," which took the top comedy prize last year, earned a total of 17 nominations, including mentions for stars Ty Burrell, Julie Bowen and Sofia Vergara.

Other contenders in the best drama series race were HBO's new prohibition era series "Boardwalk Empire" with a total of 18 nods, CBS legal program "The Good Wife," freshman fantasy "Game of Thrones," "Dexter" and "Friday Night Lights."

Among comedy series, "Modern Family" will face off for best program against veteran "30 Rock," first time nominee "Parks and Recreation," "The Big Bang Theory" and "The Office."

Fox's quirky musical comedy "Glee", which dominated last year's Emmy nominations, got just 12 mentions this year, including best comedy and supporting acting nods for Chris Colfer and Jane Lynch. But it failed to grab any spots in the lead acting categories.

HBO's miniseries "Mildred Pierce" had the largest number of nominations with a total of 21, including nods for its stars Kate Winslet and Evan Rachel Wood.

FIRST TIME NOMINEES

Five of the 12 nominated comedy and drama series are first time nominees. The acting categories featured a slew of Emmy rookies including Melissa McCarthy in freshman comedy "Mike & Molly," Martha Plimpton for "Raising Hope," Mireille Enos in the AMC crime drama "The Killing" and Timothy Olyphant in the modern Western drama "Justified" on FX.

"It is great that we are recognizing the spectrum of television. We are here to celebrate television and let our audience around the world know how great TV is," said John Shaffner, chairman of the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences.

The Emmys will be handed out at a ceremony in Los Angeles on September 18, hosted by "Glee" star Jane Lynch.

HBO was again the most nominated network, despite a controversial decision this year to merge the miniseries and TV movie categories, which the cable channel has traditionally dominated.

HBO garnered 104 nominations overall, followed by CBS with 50, NBC with 46, Fox 42, and ABC with 40.

Some of TV's favorite stars were recognized on Thursday in new roles. They included former "Friends" actor Matt LeBlanc, who plays a version of himself in the Showtime satire "Episodes," and Betty White, age 89, who earned her 17th Emmy nomination for a supporting role in comedy "Hot in Cleveland."

Cloris Leachman, age 85, notched her 22nd nod for a supporting role as the ditzy grandmother in Fox show "Raising Hope," while veteran Kathy Bates scored a lead actress nomination for playing a cranky lawyer in the new NBC drama "Harry's Law." (Reporting by Jill Serjeant; Editing by Bob Tourtellotte and Vicki Allen)

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