Mad men

Mad men

Hit dramas Mad Men and American Horror Story look set to dominate the 2012 Primetime Emmy Awards after landing a whopping 17 nominations each.

Mad Men star Jon Hamm will go up against the likes of Steve Buscemi (Boardwalk Empire), Bryan Cranston (Breaking Bad) and Michael C.

Hall (Dexter) for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series.

Hamm's co-star Elisabeth Moss will battle for the lead actress prize against Mariska Hargitay (Law and Order Special Victims Unit), Glenn Close (Damages), and Kathy Bates (Harry's Law), as well as Michelle Dockery (Downton Abbey) and Julianna Margulies (The Good Wife).

American Horror Story received a number of technical nods, including nominations in the best costume and make-up categories, as well as mentions for lead actress Connie Britton and supporting actor Denis O'Hare.

The Outstanding Drama Series category will be a tight race - Mad Men, Homeland, Downton Abbey, Dexter, Breaking Bad, and Martin Scorsese's Boardwalk Empire are all in the running, while Outstanding Comedy Series nods go to 30 Rock, Girls, Modern Family, The Big Bang Theory, Veep, and Curb Your Enthusiasm.

Also receiving mentions as an Outstanding Lead Actor or Actress in a Miniseries or Movie were Nicole Kidman (Hemingway and Gellhorn), Julianne Moore (Game Change), Ashley Judd (Missing), and Kevin Costner (Hatfields and McCoys).

The nominees were announced live from Hollywood on Thursday morning by Kerry Washington and comedian Jimmy Kimmel, who will host the official 64th annual awards ceremony on 23 September.

Parks and Recreation actor Nick Offerman was due to present at the program, however, heavy storms grounded his flight to Los Angeles, forcing a pajama-wearing Kimmel to step in and fill his place.

The main list of nominees is as follows:

Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series
Zooey Deschanel - New Girl
Edie Falco - Nurse Jackie
Tina Fey - 30 Rock
Melissa McCarthy - Mike and Molly
Amy Poehler - Parks And Recreation
Lena Dunham - Girls
Julia Louis-Dreyfus - Veep

Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series
Alec Baldwin - 30 Rock
Louis C.K. - Louie
Don Cheadle - House of Lies
Jim Parsons - The Big Bang Theory
Jon Cryer - Two and a Half Men
Larry David - Curb Your Enthusiasm

Outstanding Comedy Series
The Big Bang Theory
Modern Family
30 Rock
Curb Your Enthusiasm

Outstanding Drama
Boardwalk Empire
Breaking Bad
Mad Men
Game of Thrones
Downton Abbey

Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama
Claire Danes - Homeland
Julianna Margulies - The Good Wife
Elisabeth Moss - Mad Men
Glenn Close - Damages
Kathy Bates - Harry's Law
Michelle Dockery - Downton Abbey

Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama
Bryan Cranston - Breaking Bad Michael
C. Hall - Dexter
Jon Hamm - Mad Men
Hugh Bonneville - Downton Abbey
Steve Buscemi - Boardwalk Empire
Damian Lewis - Homeland

Outstanding Lead Actress in a Miniseries or Movie
Julianne Moore - Game Change
Connie Britton - American Horror Story
Nicole Kidman - Hemingway and Gellhorn
Emma Thompson - The Song Of Lunch
Ashley Judd - Missing

Outstanding Lead Actor in a Miniseries or Movie
Woody Harrelson - Game Change
Clive Owen - Hemingway and Gellhorn
Benedict Cumberbatch - Sherlock - A Scandal In Belgravia 
Idris Elba - Luther
Kevin Costner - Hatfields and McCoys
Bill Paxton - Hatfields and McCoys

Outstanding Miniseries or Movie
Game Change
American Horror Story
Hemingway and Gellhorn
Sherlock - A Scandal In Belgravia 
Hatfields and McCoys