Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Jim Parsons, Denis O'Hare, Margaret Cho, Dan Savage, and Ryan Murphy are among the LGBT notables who were awakened with good news as the 2012 Emmy nominations were announced this morning.
Fourteen nominations went to ABC's hit comedy Modern Family, including supporting actor recognition for both Ferguson and costar Eric Stonestreet, who play the series' endearing gay couple. Two-time winner Parsons will try to take home his third for best actor in a comedy for the CBS sitcom The Big Bang Theory.
Among the happy surprises is a guest actress nomination for Cho's hilarious take on father-and-son dictators Kim Jong Il and Kim Jong Un on NBC's 30 Rock. The Tina Fey and Alec Baldwin-headlined series found a clever way to address the uproar over costar Tracy Morgan's antigay rant during a standup routine last summer and scored a total of 13 nominations.
Activist turned television personality Savage can add Emmy nominee to his list of achievements, as his It Gets Better special has earned a nomination for Outstanding Children's Nonfiction, Reality, or Reality-Competition Program.
Murphy's thrilling haunted house series American Horror Story received 17 nominations, including one for best miniseries of movie. Fan favorite Jessica Lange, who memorably portrayed mysterious neighbor Constance, is nominated as best supporting actress, along with costar Denis O'Hare as supporting actor. Murphy's other powerhouse, Glee, scored three nominations, including one for Dot Marie Jones for outstanding guest actress in a comedy series. Jane Lynch and Chris Colfer were surprise omissions.
AMC's Mad Men also garnered 17 nominations, including nods for Jon Hamm as best actor, Elisabeth Moss as best actress, Christina Hendricks as best supporting actress, and the series itself for best drama.
Lena Dunham's acclaimed HBO comedy Girls, which features Andrew Rannells as the bratty gay ex-boyfriend of her character Hannah, received five nominations, including Dunham as best actress in a comedy and for the series' stellar writing.
HBO's riveting Game Change, about equality opponent Sarah Palin's bid for vice president, scored a dozen nods, including one for Julianne Moore's startlingly accurate interpretation of Palin and another for Sarah Paulson as political adviser Nicolle Wallace.
Downton Abbey, another favorite with LGBT viewers due primarily to Dame Maggie Smith's tart-tongued Dowager Countess, was rewarded with 16 nominations, including best drama series and one for Smith as supporting actress.
NBC's behind-the-Broadway-scenes drama Smash earned four nods, including one for guest star Uma Thurman and for the song "Let Me Be Your Star," written by Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman.
Other LGBT favorites remembered this morning include Damages' Glenn Close for best actress in a drama series and Dexter's Michael C. Hall for best actor in a drama series.
For a complete list of nominations go here.