The producers of Downton Abbey will be celebrating today, with the announcement of this year's Emmy awards nominations. The British costume drama has emerged with no fewer than 16 nominations, making it one of the front runners for the September 2012 awards ceremony. It was beaten only by Mad Men and American Horror Story, which both had 17 nominations each. It's a pretty impressive achievement for a UK import, given the home-grown talent against which it was fighting for recognition.

Downton Abbey actors Michelle Dockery, Maggie Smith, Joanne Froggatt, Brendan Coyle, Jim Carter and Hugh Bonneville all received a nod for their performances in the drama series. Leading the way for Mad Men are Jon Hamm, Christina Hendricks, Jared Harris and Elisabeth Moss. As expected, Claire Danes has received a nomination for her performance in the new series Homeland, as has her co-star Damian Lewis. Danes is hotly-tipped to be taking home the Lead Actress in a Drama series gong, despite facing strong competition from Dockery and Moss in her category. The Lead Actress category also includes nominations for Kathy Bates (Harry's Law), Glenn Close (Damages) and Julianna Margulies (The Good Wife), none of whom should be discounted too readily.

Breaking Bad has also proved extremely popular with viewers and critics alike and the Emmys have reflected that, with nominations for 'Outstanding Drama Series' as well as individual nominations for its actors Bryan Cranston, Aaron Paul, Giancarlo Esposito and ANNA GUNN.