Adams breaks through for drama actor nod

The smallscreen side of the Screen Actors Guild Awards nominations revealed how much familiarity bred comfort among voters.

Breakthroughs were rare and even then involved widely known thesps. The sole exception to this was drama actor Patrick J. Adams, who plays Mike Ross on first-year USA series “Suits.” He will compete against four TV veterans: Kyle Chandler (“Friday Night Lights”), Bryan Cranston (“Breaking Bad”), Michael C. Hall (“Dexter”) and defending champ Steve Buscemi (“Boardwalk Empire”).

In a year that brought such lauded perfs as Claire Danes’ work in “Homeland,” it was instead an “American Horror Story” actress that earned a SAG nom — and not even series lead Connie Britton, but rather supporting player and Hollywood mainstay Jessica Lange. She was chosen alongside fellow familiar freshman Kathy Bates of “Harry’s Law,” Glenn Close of “Damages,” Kyra Sedgwick of “The Closer” and the most recent SAG honoree, Julianna Marguiles of “The Good Wife.”

No thesps from new series found their way into the comedy acting noms at all. On the guys’ side, Alec Baldwin, who has won five years in a row, again was nominated alongside 2011 Emmy winner Ty Burrell of “Modern Family,” Burrell’s co-star Eric Stonestreet, “The Office” expatriate Steve Carell and Jon Cryer of “Two and a Half Men.”

Jim Parsons, who has won the past two lead comedy actor Emmys, has yet to earn a SAG nom.

The comedy actress noms barely changed from the last go-round, with current title-holder Betty White (“Hot in Cleveland”) and returning nominees Edie Falco (“Nurse Jackie”), Tina Fey (“30 Rock”) and Sofia Vergara (“Modern Family”) joined by Julie Bowen (“Modern Family”), who won for supporting actress at this year’s Emmys.

Similarly, “Game of Thrones” — which listed 32 members in its ensemble — was the only first-year series to earn a drama or comedy nom. “Boardwalk Empire,” “Breaking Bad,” “Dexter” and “The Good Wife” grabbed the other drama spots, while comedy features “The Big Bang Theory,” “Glee,” defending champ “Modern Family,” “30 Rock” and “The Office,” the latter two NBC vets holding off Thursday-nightmates “Community” and “Parks and Recreation.”

On the movies and miniseries docket, “Appropriate Adult,” which only premiered Stateside on Sundance Channel this past Saturday after a September bow in the U.K., nevertheless yielded a female actor nomination for Emily Watson. She was tapped along with Diane Lane (HBO’s “Cinema Verite”), Maggie Smith (PBS’ “Downton Abbey”), Kate Winslet (HBO’s “Mildred Pierce”) and yet another nod for White (CBS’ “Hallmark Hall of Fame: The Lost Valentine”).

HBO performers nabbed all but one slot among actors in movies and miniseries, with Laurence Fishburne (“Thurgood”), Paul Giamatti and James Woods (“Too Big To Fail”) and Guy Pearce (“Mildred Pearce”) up against Greg Kinnear of “The Kennedys,” which aired on Reelz.

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