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This image released by HBO shows Natalie Dormer, left, Jack Gleeson, Peter Dinklage, right in a scene from "Game of Thrones." The series garnered 19 Emmy Award nominations on Thursday, July 10, 2014, including one for best drama series. (AP Photo/HBO, Macall B. Polay)
’Game of Thrones’ earns a leading 19 Emmy nods
First Published Jul 10 2014 08:01 am • Last Updated Jul 10 2014 12:57 pm

Los Angeles • The sprawling and bloodthirsty saga "Game of Thrones," defying the Emmy Awards’ grudging respect for such fantasy fare, emerged as the leader in the nominations announced Thursday with 19 bids, including best drama series.

Other top nominees included a pair of ambitious miniseries, "Fargo," with 18 bids, and "American Horror Story: Coven," with 17. The AIDS drama "The Normal Heart" received 16 nominations, including best TV movie. The meth kingpin saga "Breaking Bad" got 16 bids for its final season, including best drama and best actor nod for star Bryan Cranston.

At a glance

Emmy nominees

Nominees in major categories for the 2014 Emmy Awards announced Thursday by the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences:

Drama Series: “Breaking Bad,” AMC; “Downton Abbey,” PBS; “Game of Thrones,” HBO; “House of Cards,” Netflix; “Mad Men,” AMC; “True Detective,” HBO.

Comedy Series: “The Big Bang Theory,” CBS; “Louie,” FX Networks; “Modern Family,” ABC; “Orange Is the New Black,” Netflix; “Silicon Valley,” HBO; “Veep,” HBO.

Miniseries: “American Horror Story: Coven,” FX Networks; “Bonnie & Clyde,” Lifetime; “Fargo,” FX Networks; “Luther,” BBC America; “Treme,” HBO; “The White Queen,” Starz.

Actor, Drama Series: Bryan Cranston, “Breaking Bad,” AMC; Kevin Spacey, “House of Cards,” Netflix; Jon Hamm, “Mad Men,” AMC; Jeff Daniels, “The Newsroom,” HBO; Woody Harrelson, “True Detective,” HBO; Matthew McConaughey, “True Detective, “ HBO.

Actress, Drama Series: Michelle Dockery, “Downton Abbey,” PBS; Julianna Margulies, “The Good Wife,” CBS; Claire Danes, “Homeland,” Showtime; Robin Wright, “House of Cards,” Netflix; Lizzy Caplan, “Masters of Sex,” Showtime; Kerry Washington, “Scandal,” ABC.

Supporting Actor, Drama Series: Aaron Paul, “Breaking Bad,” AMC; Jim Carter, “Downton Abbey,” PBS; Peter Dinklage, “Game of Thrones,” HBO; Josh Charles, “The Good Wife,” CBS; Mandy Patinkin, “Homeland,” Showtime; Jon Voight, “Ray Donovan,” Showtime.

Supporting Actress, Drama Series: Anna Gunn, “Breaking Bad,” AMC; Maggie Smith, “Downton Abbey,” PBS; Joanne Froggatt, “Downton Abbey,” PBS; Lena Headey, “Game of Thrones,” HBO; Christine Baranski, “The Good Wife,” CBS; Christina Hendricks, “Mad Men,” AMC.

Actor, Comedy Series: Jim Parsons, “The Big Bang Theory,” CBS; Ricky Gervais, “Derek,” Netflix; Matt LeBlanc, “Episodes,” Showtime; Don Cheadle, “House of Lies,” Showtime; Louis C.K., “Louie,” FX Networks; William H. Macy, “Shameless,” Showtime.

Actress, Comedy Series: Lena Dunham, “Girls,” HBO; Melissa McCarthy, “Mike & Molly,” CBS; Edie Falco, “Nurse Jackie,” Showtime; Taylor Schilling, “Orange Is the New Black,” Netflix; Amy Poehler, “Parks and Recreation,” NBC; Julia Louis-Dreyfus, “Veep,” HBO.

Supporting Actor, Comedy Series: Andre Braugher, “Brooklyn Nine-Nine,” Fox; Adam Driver, “Girls,” HBO; Jesse Tyler Ferguson, “Modern Family,” ABC; Ty Burrell, “Modern Family,” ABC; Fred Armisen, “Portlandia,” IFC; Tony Hale, “Veep,” HBO.

Supporting Actress, Comedy Series: Mayim Bialik, “The Big Bang Theory,” CBS; Julie Bowen, “Modern Family,” ABC; Allison Janney, “Mom,” CBS; Kate Mulgrew, “Orange Is the New Black,” Netflix; Kate McKinnon, “Saturday Night Live,” NBC; Anna Chlumsky, “Veep,” HBO.

Actor, Miniseries or Movie: Chiwetel Ejiofor, “Dancing on the Edge,” Starz; Martin Freeman, “Fargo,” FX Networks; Billy Bob Thornton, “Fargo,” FX Networks; Idris Elba, “Luther,” BBC America; Mark Ruffalo, “The Normal Heart,” HBO; Benedict Cumberbatch, “Sherlock: His Last Vow (Masterpiece),” PBS.

Actress, Miniseries or Movie: Jessica Lange, “American Horror Story: Coven,” FX Networks; Sarah Paulson, “American Horror Story: Coven,” FX Networks; Helena Bonham Carter, “Burton and Taylor,” BBC America; Minnie Driver, “Return to Zero,” Lifetime; Kristen Wiig, “The Spoils of Babylon,” IFC; Cicely Tyson, “The Trip to Bountiful,” Lifetime.

Structured Reality Program: “Antiques Roadshow,” PBS; “Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives,” Food Network; “MythBusters,” Discovery Channel; “Shark Tank,” ABC; “Undercover Boss,” CBS; “Who Do You Think You Are?” TLC.

Reality-Competition Program: “The Amazing Race,” CBS; “Dancing With the Stars,” ABC; “Project Runway,” Lifetime; “So You Think You Can Dance,” Fox; “Top Chef,” Bravo; “The Voice,” NBC.

Variety Series: “The Colbert Report,” Comedy Central; “The Daily Show With Jon Stewart,” Comedy Central; “Jimmy Kimmel Live,” ABC; “Real Time With Bill Maher,” HBO; “Saturday Night Live,” NBC; “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon,” NBC.

Children’s Program: “Degrassi,” Nickelodeon; “Dog With a Blog,” Disney Channel; “Good Luck Charlie,” Disney Channel; “Nick News With Linda Ellerbee — Family Secrets: When Violence Hits Home,” Nickelodeon; “One Last Hug: Three Days at Grief Camp,” HBO; “Wynton Marsalis-A YoungArts Masterclass, HBO.

A look at the top Emmy contenders

SERIES

— HBO’s “Game Of Thrones,” 19 nominations

— FX’s “Fargo,” 18 nominations.

— FX’s “American Horror Story: Coven,” 17 nominations.

— AMC’s “Breaking Bad,” 16 nominations.

— HBO’s “The Normal Heart,” 16 nominations.

— NBC’s “Saturday Night Live,” 14 nominations.

— Netflix’s “House of Cards,” 13 nominations.

— Fox’s “Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey,” 12 nominations.

— PBS’ “Downton Abbey,” 12 nominations.

— Netflix’s Orange Is the New Black,” 12 nominations.

— PBS’ “Sherlock: His Last Vow,” 12 nominations.

— HBO’s “True Detective,” 12 nominations.

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NETWORKS

— HBO, 99 nominations.

— CBS, 47 nominations.

— NBC, 46 nominations.

— FX, 45 nominations.

— ABC, 37 nominations.

— PBS, 34 nominations.

— Netflix, 31 nominations.

— AMC, 26 nominations.

— Showtime, 24 nominations.

— Comedy Central, 21 nominations.

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The 66th prime-time Emmy Awards ceremony will have big-screen star power to spare. This year’s Academy Awards best-actor winner Matthew McConaughey ("Dallas Buyers Club") and nominee Chiwetel Ejiofor ("12 Years a Slave") are both nominees for TV projects, as is past Oscar winner Julia Roberts.

In the competitive best-drama series category, "Game of Thrones" will compete with "Breaking Bad," "Downton Abbey," "House of Cards," "Mad Men" and "True Detective."

Whether "Game of Thrones" can take home the top trophy is another question: Only one fantasy or sci-fi series, "Lost," has ever captured it, according to Tom O’Neil, author of "The Emmys" and organizer of the Gold Derby awards site.

Snubbed in the category was "The Good Wife," despite a season that was both critically acclaimed and gasp-inducing for the sudden, violent death of character Will Gardner (Josh Charles).

Netflix’s "House of Cards" which made a breakthrough last year as the first online series nominated for a major award, has the chance again to grab Emmy gold.

"Orange is the New Black," also from Netflix, leaped that barrier on the flip side this time around with a bid for best comedy series, along with a nod for star Taylor Schilling.

Also competing for best comedy honors are "The Big Bang Theory," "Louie," "Silicon Valley," "Veep," and "Modern Family," a four-time winner that has the chance to tie "Frasier" as the all-time winning sitcom with one more award.

"Orange is the New Black," a prison-set hybrid "dramedy," could have been entered in either the drama or comedy category, and the decision to go for the latter paid off. Not so for "Shameless," a onetime drama contender that tried for better luck on the comedy side but failed to get a top bid.


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Another category-buster is "True Detective," the dark-hearted Southern drama that starred McConaughey and Woody Harrelson. It was entered in the series category although it had a close-ended story and its stars have indicated they don’t plan on returning.

But the crime anthology qualifies as a series because of the "created by" credit given to Nic Pizzolatto by the Writers Guild of America, said John Leverence, the TV academy’s senior vice president for awards.

McConaughey and Harrelson both will vie for best drama actor honors, along with four-time winner Cranston for "Breaking Bad," Jon Hamm for "Mad Men," Kevin Spacey for "House of Cards," and Jeff Daniels for "The Newsroom," who won the Emmy last year.

Nominees in the lead actress drama category are last year’s winner, "Homeland" star Claire Danes along with Lizzy Caplan for "Masters of Sex," Michelle Dockery for "Downton Abbey," Julianna Margulies for "The Good Wife," Kerry Washington for "Scandal" and Robin Wright for "House of Cards."

"I’m crazy grateful that the TV Academy has acknowledged our show in these ways," Washington said in a statement, giving a shoutout to fellow "Scandal" nominees Joe Morton and Kate Burton. They were recognized in the guest actor and actress categories.

For comedy series, the lead actor nods went to Don Cheadle for "House of Lies," Louis C.K. for "Louie," Ricky Gervais for "Derek," Matt LeBlanc for "Episodes," William H. Macy for "Shameless" and Jim Parsons for "The Big Bang Theory." Parsons won the Emmy last year.

Best actress comedy nominees besides Schilling were Lena Dunham for "Girls," Edie Falco for "Nurse Jackie," Melissa McCarthy for "Mike & Molly," Amy Poehler for "Parks and Recreation" and last year’s winner, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, for "Veep."

"This list of nominees would also be the list for the best dinner party in history," "Girls’ creator and star Dunham said in a statement, dubbing them "fierce and funny women."

With a resurgence of so-called long-form drama, the TV academy separated the best movie and miniseries categories that had been combined for several years because of scant entries. The acting categories, however, remain a mix of the two.

In the miniseries category, "American Horror Story: Coven" and "Fargo," a riff on the 1996 movie of the same name, will compete with "Bonnie & Clyde," "Luther," "Treme" and "The White Queen."

Along with "The Normal Heart," the TV movie nominees are "Killing Kennedy," "Muhammad Ali’s Greatest Fight," "Sherlock: His Last Vow (Masterpiece)" and "The Trip to Bountiful."

Roberts is a supporting actress nominee for "The Normal Heart."

The 66th Primetime Emmy Awards will air Monday, Aug. 25, on NBC, with emcee Seth Meyers, the former "Saturday Night Live" player and new NBC late-night host. The ceremony, traditionally held on Sunday, was moved to avoid a conflict with NBC’s "Sunday Night Football" and with MTV’s Video Music Awards.

HBO received a leading 99 nominations, followed by CBS with 47; NBC, 46; FX Networks, 45; ABC, 37; PBS, 34; Showtime, 24, and Fox, 18.

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Online: http://www.emmys.com

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Lynn Elber is a national television columnist for The Associated Press. She can be reached at lelber(at)ap.org and on Twitter at http://twitter.com/lynnelber .



Copyright 2014 The Salt Lake Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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