HBO Scores Big In Emmy Nominations

David Greene talks to TV Guide magazine executive editor Michael Schneider about Thursday's announcement of the 66th Emmy Award nominations.

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RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And the nominations for the 2014 Emmys were announced here in Los Angeles this morning. HBO led the nominations with a total of 99 nods. To hear more about that and the others who get to, geesh, they're honored just to be nominated, MORNING EDITION's David Greene talked to Michael Schneider, executive editor of TV Guide magazine.

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Well Michael let's dig in to the list that we have out this morning. In the category of dramas, HBO with two shows, "True Detective" and "Game Of Thrones" but I'm - I am presuming that the real competition here is going to be between "True Detective" and "Breaking Bad," those seem to be the big ones here, right?

MICHAEL SCHNEIDER: Yeah, you're right, "Breaking Bad" is still a critic's darling. It's a show that ended a year ago so people may have forgotten about it but it was such a dominant show and it won last year and, you know, The TV Academy voters love to repeat and "Breaking Bad" - this is its final chance to win one last Emmy, so it's got a good shot. But "True Detective" - HBO, was one of the hottest shows of the year. Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson really amazed, two great actors on a very fascinating piece, so don't count "True Detective" out either.

GREENE: And, you know, Matthew McConaughey you mentioned, he's also been nominated for his performance in a drama. If he wins an Emmy in that category he would, if I'm not mistaken, the first male actor to win both an Oscar and Emmy in the same year. He won for "Dallas Buyers Club" right?

SCHNEIDER: Yeah, as Matthew McConaughey says, alright, alright, alright, it's been a good year for him and he's got a very good shot. He's the odds on favorite to probably win that and pull off that feat, which has only been done a couple times before by women, by Helen Hunt and Helen Mirren in the past.

GREENE: And Michael let's move over to comedies. I mean if we look at comedic roles, there is quite a list of women, I mean that's a real packed list of nominees and some great performances.

SCHNEIDER: It's a great list and leading the pack is Julia Louis-Dreyfus from HBO's Washington comedy "Veep," he's the odds on favorite. She's won the past two years, so I would give her the leg up this time too. But Edie Falco from "Nurse Jackie" on Showtime actually is another TV Academy darling. Lena Dunham for the TV show "Girls," she's polarizing, she's been nominated before but her show actually wasn't nominated this year, so she's a long shot. Melissa McCarthy, who's one of the stars of "Mike and Molly" on CBS, she's nominated but I think more so because of her future career and what a superstar she's become overall. So she's a long shot. And then Amy Poehler from "Parks And Recreation" at NBC, a critic's darling. One of the great actresses - comedic actresses of our time, she's a critics favorite, but she's never won.

GREENE: You know, you keep talking about critics darlings, I mean, is it critics who really have the influences over who gets nominated? Is it the audience size? I mean, what determines these nomination lists?

SCHNEIDER: It's kind of all the above and none of the above at the same time. There's some critics favorites that just don't get nominated. This year critics were really rooting for a BBC America show called "Orphan Black," it's a fascinating thriller about clones, which got snubbed completely today. And on the flipside some of the most popular shows on TV like "The Walking Dead" AMC's zombie drama, one of the most watched shows on television also pretty much got snubbed. Sometimes it's campaigning that makes the difference and sometimes it's just shows that have been nominated in the past, the TV Academy loves to stick with tradition.

GREENE: And we'll of course wait for the actual winners to be announced later this summer. Michael Schneider is executive editor of TV Guide. Michael thanks a lot.

SCHNEIDER: Any time.

GREENE: This is NPR News.

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