The AMC period drama and the FX thriller both garnered 17 nominations each, it was announced today (July 19).
Nominations for Mad Men include 'Outstanding Drama' and 'Outstanding Actor in a Drama' for star Jon Hamm, who will compete against Hugh Bonneville (Downton Abbey), Steve Buscemi (Boardwalk Empire), Bryan Cranston (Breaking Bad), Michael C Hall (Dexter) and Damian Lewis (Homeland).
Hamm's Mad Men co-star Elisabeth Moss will also compete against Kathy Bates (Harry's Law), Glenn Close (Damages), Claire Danes (Homeland), Michelle Dockery (Downton Abbey) and Julianna Margulies (The Good Wife) in the category of 'Outstanding Actress in a Drama'.
Other series nominated for the best drama gong include HBO's Boardwalk Empire, AMC's Breaking Bad, PBS's Downton Abbey, HBO's Game of Thrones, Showtime's Homeland and AMC's Mad Men.
American Horror Story's nominations include a nod for star Connie Britton and one for the show itself in the category of 'Outstanding Miniseries or Movie'.
Tied in second place with 16 nominations each are Downton Abbey - which scooped 'Supporting Actor' nods for Brendan Coyle (John Bates) and Jim Carter (Mr. Carson) - and mini-series Hatfields & Mccoys - which saw lead Kevin Costner nominated as 'Lead Actor in a TV Miniseries or Movie'.
Sherlock star Benedict Cumberbatch and Luther star Idris Elba were also nominated alongside Costner in the same category.
Sherlock's 'A Scandal in Belgravia' managed 13 nominations overall - equal to AMC's Breaking Bad and NBC's 30 Rock - including a nod for Cumberbatch's co-star Martin Freeman in the category of 'Supporting Actor In A Miniseries Or A Movie'.
The 2012 Primetime Emmys will be held on Sunday, September 23, at the Nokia Theatre in Los Angeles. ABC will air the show live, with Jimmy Kimmel as host.
> Primetime Emmys 2012: Full Nominees list
Photo gallery - Emmys 2012 nominations: