The Critics' Choice Television Awards liked Community, Parks And Recreation, Justified, other shows TV critics like

The Critics' Choice Television Awards liked Community, Parks And Recreation, Justified, other shows TV critics like

Indicative of the way television has gradually begun to equal or even usurp film as a storytelling medium, TV now has the Critics’ Choice Television Awards, the small-screen equivalent of the Critics’ Choice Movie Awards and the many, many critics’ societies who offer a slightly snootier rejoinder to the Oscars every year. The nominees were released today for the inaugural edition of the CCTA, which are determined by the recently formed Broadcast Television Journalists Association (an offshoot of the Broadcast Film Critics Association), and they occupy a middle ground between the ratings-fueled popularity contests of the Emmys and the Peabody Awards’ annual nose-holding naming of shows that are not deliberately contributing to the softening of American brains. Even better, they’re rife with people and programs that get plenty of praise on TV blogs, but rarely see any sort of mainstream attention—stuff like Community, Parks And Recreation, Louie, Archer, and Cougar Town, for instance.

Of course, there are also several perennials like Modern Family (which scored six nominations in all) and Mad Men, and there’s no way anyone is going to compile a list like this and leave off Jane Lynch or Alec Baldwin. But there’s also some unappreciated sleepers finally getting recognition (Fringe, The Middle) as well as plenty of things we haven’t seen before—like acting nominations for Community’s Joel McHale and Danny Pudi, Parks And Recreation’s Nick Offerman, Southland’s Shawn Hatosy, It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia’s Charlie Day, and Justified’s Timothy Olyphant and Walton Goggins. Its Best Drama Series nomination also marks the first of what’s sure to be many accolades to come for HBO’s Game Of Thrones (though how they left out Peter Dinklage is a mystery), but it's definitely less certain the Emmys will feel the same about AMC’s The Killing, which scored a best drama nod here, as well as a nomination for stars Mireille Enos and Michelle Forbes.

That said, the recognition for Margo Martindale’s stellar recent turn on Justified is certainly reassuring; whatever the Emmys decide to copy from this list, that should stay on it. And finally, we have no idea what’s up with the Best Talk Show nominations, which seem specifically crafted to prove some sort of contrarian stance against the Letterman/Leno/Conan O’Brien hegemony, or maybe get Chelsea Handler to sleep with them. Whatever.

BEST DRAMA SERIES
Boardwalk Empire
Dexter
Friday Night Lights
Fringe
Game of Thrones
The Good Wife
Justified
The Killing
Mad Men
The Walking Dead

BEST ACTOR IN A DRAMA SERIES
Steve Buscemi, Boardwalk Empire
Kyle Chandler, Friday Night Lights
Michael C. Hall, Dexter
Jon Hamm, Mad Men
William H. Macy, Shameless
Timothy Olyphant, Justified

BEST ACTRESS IN A DRAMA SERIES
Connie Britton, Friday Night Lights
Mireille Enos, The Killing
Julianna Margulies, The Good Wife
Elisabeth Moss, Mad Men
Katey Sagal, Sons Of Anarchy
Anna Torv, Fringe

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR IN A DRAMA SERIES
Alan Cumming, The Good Wife
Walton Goggins, Justified
Shawn Hatosy, Southland
John Noble, Fringe
Michael Pitt, Boardwalk Empire
John Slattery, Mad Men

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS IN A DRAMA SERIES
Michelle Forbes, The Killing
Christina Hendricks, Mad Men
Margo Martindale, Justified
Kelly Macdonald, Boardwalk Empire
Archie Panjabi, The Good Wife
Chloë Sevigny, Big Love

BEST COMEDY SERIES
Archer
The Big Bang Theory
Community
Glee
Louie
The Middle
Modern Family
The Office
Parks and Recreation
30 Rock

BEST ACTOR IN A COMEDY SERIES
Alec Baldwin, 30 Rock
Steve Carell, The Office
Louis C.K., Louie
Charlie Day, It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia
Joel McHale, Community
Jim Parsons, The Big Bang Theory

BEST ACTRESS IN A COMEDY SERIES
Courteney Cox, Cougar Town
Edie Falco, Nurse Jackie
Tina Fey, 30 Rock
Patricia Heaton, The Middle
Martha Plimpton, Raising Hope
Amy Poehler, Parks And Recreation

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR IN A COMEDY SERIES
Ty Burrell, Modern Family
Neil Patrick Harris, How I Met Your Mother
Nick Offerman, Parks And Recreation
Ed O’Neill, Modern Family
Danny Pudi, Community
Eric Stonestreet, Modern Family

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS IN A COMEDY SERIES
Julie Bowen, Modern Family
Jane Krakowski, 30 Rock
Jane Lynch, Glee
Busy Philipps, Cougar Town
Eden Sher, The Middle
Sofía Vergara, Modern Family

BEST REALITY SERIES
Extreme Makeover: Home Edition
Hoarders
The Real Housewives Of Beverly Hills
Sister Wives
Undercover Boss

BEST REALITY SERIES — COMPETITION
The Amazing Race
American Idol
Dancing with the Stars
Project Runway
RuPaul’s Drag Race
Top Chef

BEST REALITY SHOW HOST
Tom Bergeron, Dancing With The Stars
Cat Deeley, So You Think You Can Dance
Ty Pennington, Extreme Makeover: Home Edition
Mike Rowe, Dirty Jobs
Ryan Seacrest, American Idol

BEST TALK SHOW
Chelsea Lately
The Daily Show
The Ellen DeGeneres Show
Jimmy Kimmel Live!
The Oprah Winfrey Show