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Kelsey Grammer’s Chicago ‘Boss’ shut out of Emmy nominations

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Updated: August 21, 2012 6:25AM

Kelsey Grammer won a Golden Globe for his mighty turn as Chicago’s ruthless Mayor Tom Kane, but Grammer is nowhere to be found on this year’s Emmy ballot.

Neither is his underrated Starz show, “Boss,” which was shut out of the kudofest.

Other than dissing Grammer, leaving “Community” and “Parks and Recreation” off the best comedy list and showering the HBO movie “Hemingway & Gellhorn” with 15 noms (15 more than it deserved), the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences did a decent job sifting through a fertile field of worthy contenders for the 64th Primetime Emmy Awards. Nominations were announced Thursday.

“Mad Men” deserved its usual bounty of Emmy nods, although I would have liked to have seen one of its 17 shoutouts go to John Slattery, whose slick ad man character Roger Sterling dropped acid — not to mention his pants — this season.

The belle of the ball has to be newcomer Lena Dunham, whose polarizing HBO show, “Girls,” was tapped for best comedy series. That category rightfully ignored perennial nominee “The Office” — and should have followed suit with past-its-prime “30 Rock.”

Dunham, 26, also was lauded in the arenas of best lead actress, directing and writing for her “Sex and the City” 2.0 coming-of-age comedy. Maybe all of this validation will convince Dunham’s self-doubting character that she deserves a guy better than the d-bag played (expertly) by Adam Driver.

“Girls” is the only freshman HBO comedy that deserved a spot on the ballot. But that didn’t stop Julia Louis-Dreyfus’ solid-but-not-stellar political satire, “Veep,” from sneaking in there, too. “Community,” “Parks and Recreation” and ABC’s “Happy Endings” are more worthy.

No surprise that Emmy magnet “Modern Family” once again dominated the sitcom kingdom with 14 noms, despite having its weakest season yet.

Don Cheadle (“House of Lies”) as a BS-filled management consultant is a welcome addition to the comedy lead actor pool, where Alec Baldwin (“30 Rock”) has spent so much time his fingertips are pruney. I’m getting tired of seeing Baldwin there, but the academy clearly isn’t.

Showtime’s addictive national security thriller “Homeland” shocked no one by taking its rightful place on the list for best drama, where the biggest upset would have to be the exclusion of CBS’ “The Good Wife” — a move I wholeheartedly endorse.

In yet another sign that cable TV is beating broadcast at its own game, this is the first time that not one show from the major four networks is nominated for outstanding drama series. I can’t quibble with any of the academy’s choices here, all of which come from pay-TV with the exception of PBS’ “Downton Abbey.”

This marks the first time Julian Fellowes’ Brit-based soap will compete as a drama instead of a miniseries. While plenty of folks said “Downton’s” second season paled in comparison to its first (I still loved it), the academy lavished it with 16 bids. I would have rather seen one of the two supporting actor nods for “Downton” (Brendan Coyle and Jim Carter) go to Mandy Patinkin for “Homeland.”

“Homeland’s” Claire Danes certainly earned a spot in the running for lead actress as bipolar CIA agent Carrie Mathison. In my fantasy world, she’d be joined there by “The Killing’s” Mireille Enos, who’s surely deserving for acting like those wool sweaters don’t itch. At least the academy finally realized someone other than Mariska Hargitay deserves a shot.

On the reality show circuit, “Survivor” fatigue may have finally set in. The tribe has spoken, and Jeff Probst, perennial past winner for best reality show host, was sent packing.

Always a bridesmaid and never a bride, “American Idol” didn’t even make the cut as bridesmaid this year. But NBC’s “The Voice” did. Not that it matters, since CBS’ “The Amazing Race” deserves to dominate this category yet again.

The Emmy news that brought the biggest smile to my face: lots of love for “Sherlock.” This wickedly smart PBS program gleaned 13 nods as a “Masterpiece” movie for “Sherlock: A Scandal in Belgravia.” I just might burn something down if “Sherlock” actor Benedict Cumberbatch doesn’t walk away from L.A.’s Nokia Theatre with a gold statuette in his hand Sept. 23.

In that same category, the deliciously twisted “American Horror Story” snagged 17 noms. The FX show about a haunted house from hell no doubt benefitted from its strategy of entering the miniseries/movie category instead of the more competitive race for best drama series. (The rationale is that each season of “American Horror Story” is self-contained and features a fresh cast of characters.)

Muai thai momster Ashley Judd also got nominated in that category for best lead actress, presumably because her implausible ABC show “Missing” got axed early enough to qualify as a miniseries. Sometimes it’s good to be bad.

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