updated 07/14/2011 AT 11:00 AM ET
•originally published 09/16/2011 AT 2:30 PM ET
The nominees are a varied bunch:
There’s fan-favorite football drama Friday Night Lights, which follows the stories unfolding inside a small Texas community; and last year’s winner, the ’60s advertising saga Mad Men, which stars January Jones as sullen housewife Betty Draper.
Then there’s Dexter, the story of America’s favorite serial killer; Boardwalk Empire about the life of Nucky Thompson, politician and gangster in Prohibition-era Atlantic City.
The Good Wife, which stars outstanding actress nominee Julianna Margulies, follows one woman’s career and love life in the wake of her politician husband’s high-profile sex scandal.
And Game of Thrones, HBO’s well-received fantasy drama based on the best-selling book series A Song of Fire and Ice, features a cast of feuding characters, including exiled princess Daenerys Targaryen played by Emilia Clarke.
It’s going to be a tough race when the 63rd annual Primetime Emmy Awards air live from Los Angeles’s Nokia Theatre on Fox Sept. 18.