'Mad Men,' 'Boardwalk,' 'Dexter,' 'Thrones,' 'Good Wife' in running for drama

AMC’s “Mad Men” has been tapped to contend for a fourth straight Norman Felton drama series award from the Producers Guild of America.

The other drama-category nominees, announced Wednesday, are HBO’s “Boardwalk Empire,” Showtime’s “Dexter,” HBO’s “Game of Thrones” and CBS’ “The Good Wife.”

ABC’s “Modern Family” was nominated to compete for a second straight PGA Danny Thomas award for comedy series along with NBC’s “30 Rock,” CBS’ “The Big Bang Theory,” Fox’s “Glee” and NBC’s “Parks and Recreation.” “30 Rock” won the award in 2009 and 2010.

Noticeably absent from the drama list were Showtime’s new terrorist-themed series “Homeland,” with Claire Danes, and the most recent season of AMC’s highly praised skein “Breaking Bad.” Both those shows began after the end of the org’s eligibility period for series: June 1, 2010-May 31, 2011.

Those dates also meant “Mad Men,” which hasn’t aired a new episode since October 2010, made the cut.

On the comedy side, Fox’s “New Girl” wasn’t eligible. All three shows, however, were acknowledged with Writers Guild Awards nominations, also announced Wednesday.

The PGA’s eligibility period is identical to that of the Emmy Awards, though the TV Acad’s kudos are normally handed out in mid-September. With the PGA Awards dated for Jan. 21 at the BevHilton, there is nearly an eight-month gap between the end of eligibility and the awards air date.

PGA topper Vance Van Petten said the reason the org doesn’t make its eligibility period a full calendar year – January through December – is that if a broadcast show that launches in the fall changes producers in between seasons in the summer, it would be unclear which producers to credit for awards purposes.

“It’s a sensitive issue,” Van Petten told Variety . “It’s an issue that comes up for us every year, and we always address it.”

Van Petten said the PGA changed the eligibility period about five years ago. He added that there are often times when an outgoing producer might have strong negative feelings against an existing or incoming producer, and to have them both represent a series at an awards show would be too awkward for all involved.

For longform programming, the PGA mirrors the Golden Globe standards with a calendar-year eligibility period.

Comedy Central’s “The Colbert Report” will contend for a fourth straight victory in the live entertainment and talk category against the syndicated “Ellen DeGeneres Show,” HBO’s “Real Time With Bill Maher,” NBC’s”Saturday Night Live” and CBS’ “The 64th Annual Tony Awards.”

Discovery Channel’s “Deadliest Catch” will go for a second consecutive victory in the nonfiction category against PBS’ “American Masters,” Travel Channel’s “Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations,” ESPN’s “30 for 30″ and CBS’ “Undercover Boss.”

Competition TV nominees are CBS’ “The Amazing Race,” Fox’s “American Idol,” ABC’s “Dancing With the Stars,” Lifetime’s “Project Runway” and Bravo’s “Top Chef.”

The remaining nominations in feature films and longform TV will be announced Jan. 3.

The PGA, which has 4,750 members, has not yet made its final determination as to credited producers on the nominated shows.

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