Claire Danes as Carrie Mathison in Showtime’s “Homeland.” (Kent Smith/Showtime)

 The thriller, based on an Israeli series, landed four nominations — the most TV Critics Association Awards of any program — including best drama, best new series, program of the year, and an acting nom for star Claire Danes turn as a pill-popping CIA officer who thinks a U.S. Marine/war hero (Damian Lewis) was turned by al-Qaeda during his captivity.

 By in large, television critics appear not to have thought much of the recently concluded TV season. Across 12 categories, only a handful of freshman series were mentioned: “Homeland,” HBO comedies “Girls” and “Veep,” AMC’s Ryan Murphy created “American Horror Story,” NBC’s let’s-put-on-a-Marilyn-Monroe-musical drama “Smash,” ABC’s campy soap opera “Revenge,” and Fox’s goofy Zooey Deschanel comedy “New Girl.”

 Notice the lack of any new CBS shows in that list. CBS finished the season as the country’s most popular television network — among actual people — by a hefty margin. That included the country’s most popular new comedy, “2 Broke Girls,” and America’s most watched new series of any genre, “Person of Interest.”

 But critics really hated “2 Broke Girls” — in January, at Winter TV Press Tour 2012, they nearly brawled with exec producer Michael Patrick King over gags they found to be racist. And while the critics seemed to like “Person of Interest” a lot better, what with it being a JJ Abrams show and all, it’s noticeably missing from the list of nominees.

 Comedy “Big Bang Theory” is the only CBS series critics deigned to notice in this year’s list of trophy nominees, scoring a nom for best comedy series, and one for star Jim Parsons. (In the best comedy race, “Big Bang Theory” faces NBC’s “Community” and “Parks and Recreation,” “FX’s “Louie,” and ABC’s “Modern Family.”)

 CBS gets the last laugh, however — it owns “Homeland” network Showtime.

There’s also a shocking lack of zombies and vampires in this year’s list.

 Meanwhile, after several years in which TV critics tossed a drama-nom bone broadcast TV’s way — a “Good Wife” here, a “Friday Night Lights” or “Lost” there — this season critics’ only noted cable fare in that race. But, TV critics have long preferred their dramas on cable, where programs are not subject to FCC knuckle-rapping over issues of language, sex, and violence. This year’s list of best drama nominees:  “Homeland,” AMC’s “Breaking Bad” and “Mad Men,” FX’s “Justified,” and HBO’s “Game of Thrones.”

 Yes, ABC’s “Revenge” and NBC’s “Smash,” as mentioned, are both up for TCA awards – just not in the best- drama derby.

 Critics instead nominated both for best New Program of the Year. And, broadcast series “Downton Abbey” also is nominated – but not in the drama derby. Instead it’s up for best miniseries, and for best Program of the Year.

 No, we cannot explain it.

 For the New Program of the Year, “Smash” and “Revenge” will compete with “Homeland,” “Girls” and “New Girl.”

 And, in order to win the Program of the Year statuette, “Downton Abbey” will have to climb over “Homeland,” AMC’s “Breaking Bad,” HBO’s “Game of Thrones,” and AMC’s “Mad Men.”



Individual Achievement in Drama

Bryan Cranston (“Breaking Bad,” AMC)

Claire Danes (“Homeland,” Showtime)

Peter Dinklage (“Game of Thrones,” HBO)

Jon Hamm (“Mad Men,” AMC)

Jessica Lange (“American Horror Story,” FX)

Individual Achievement in Comedy

Louis C.K. (“Louie,” FX)

Lena Dunham (“Girls,” HBO)

Julia Louis-Dreyfus (“Veep,” HBO)

Jim Parsons (“The Big Bang Theory,” CBS)

Amy Poehler (“Parks and Recreation,” NBC)

Outstanding Achievement in News and Information

“Anderson Cooper 360” (CNN)

“The Daily Show” (Comedy Central)

“Frontline” (PBS)

“60 Minutes” (CBS)

“The Rachel Maddow Show” (MSNBC)

Outstanding Achievement in Reality Programming

“The Amazing Race” (CBS)

“Dancing with the Stars” (ABC)

“The Glee Project” (Oxygen)

“So You Think You Can Dance” (Fox)

“The Voice” (NBC)

Outstanding Achievement in Youth Programming

“iCarly” (Nickelodeon)

“Phineas and Ferb” (Disney)

“Sesame Street” (PBS)

“Switched at Birth” (ABC Family)

“Yo Gabba Gabba” (Nick Jr.)

Outstanding New Program

“Girls” (HBO)

“Homeland” (Showtime)

“New Girl” (Fox)

“Revenge” (ABC)

“Smash” (NBC)

Outstanding Achievement in Movies, Miniseries and Specials

“Downton Abbey: Masterpiece” (PBS)

“Game Change” (HBO)

“Hatfields & McCoys” (History)

“Hemingway & Gellhorn” (HBO)

“Sherlock: Masterpiece” (PBS)

Outstanding Achievement in Drama

“Breaking Bad” (AMC)

“Game of Thrones” (HBO)

“Homeland” (Showtime)

“Justified” (FX)

“Mad Men” (AMC)

Outstanding Achievement in Comedy

“The Big Bang Theory” (CBS)

“Community” (NBC)

“Louie” (FX)

“Modern Family” (ABC)

“Parks and Recreation” (NBC)

Career Achievement Award

Dick Clark

Andy Griffith

David Letterman

Regis Philbin

William Shatner

Heritage Award

“Cheers” (NBC)

“Lost” (ABC)

“Saturday Night Live” (NBC)

“Star Trek” (NBC)

“Twin Peaks” (ABC)

Program of the Year

“Breaking Bad” (AMC)

“Game of Thrones” (HBO)

“Homeland” (Showtime)

“Mad Men” (AMC)

“Downton Abbey: Masterpiece” (PBS)