Idris Elba, Don Cheadle and Maya Rudolph headline Emmy nominations

Earlier today, Scandal star Kerry Washington and Jimmy Kimmel announced the 2012 Emmy nominations.  This year, a few of our favorite black actors have a reason to celebrate.

Idris Elba received a nomination for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Mini-series or Movie for his role as John Luther on BBC America’s psychological crime series Luther. On the show, Elba portrays and embattled detective with a dark side. The show itself was also nominated for Outstanding Mini-series or Movie.

Don Cheadle was nominated for Lead Actor in a Comedy Series for his role on House of Lies, and Giancarlo Esposito received a nomination for Supporting Actor in a Drama Series for his role on Breaking Bad.

Maya Rudolph picked up a nomination for Outstanding Guest Actress in a Comedy series for her hosting gig on Saturday Night Live.

Aside from Rudolph, no other black actresses were nominated for an Emmy Award in a major category.

In 2010, Southland star Regina King, expressed her outrage for lack of diverse Emmy nominees in an op-ed entitled, The Emmys: As White as Ever. This year The Southland actress was shut out again for an Emmy nomination.

Last year Taraji P. Henson was nominated for Outstanding Leading Actress in a Mini-series or Movie for her portrayal of Tiffany Rubin in Lifetime’s Taken From Me: The Tiffany Rubin Story; however this year the actress was overlooked for her role as Detective Joss Carter on CBS’s Person of Interest.

Although Kerry Washington announced the Emmy nominations, Scandal did not receive a nod for a single award this year.

The 64th Prime-time Emmy Awards will be broadcast live Sunday, September 23 on ABC.

Follow Chris Witherspoon on Twitter at @WitherspoonC