'Game of Thrones' slays with a leading 22 Emmy nominations

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Associated Press

Game of Thrones roared back onto the Emmy battlefield, topping today's nominations with 22 bids but with a formidable opponent in last year's winner The Handmaid's Tale, while a streaming platform made history by earning the most bids for the first time.

Coster-Waldau was nominated for an Emmy for outstanding supporting actor in a drama series.

Coster-Waldau was nominated for an Emmy for outstanding supporting actor in a drama series.

Source: Associated Press

Netflix's 112 nominations took away the front-runner title that HBO held since 2001, giving cable and broadcast networks more reason to fear their future with viewers as well as honours.

HBO is no piker: It claimed 108 bids. Game of Thrones "helped boost the premium cable service's total and became the most-nominated series of all time, with its 129 nods topping the 124 nominations earned by ER.

Donald Glover's Atlanta was the top comedy series nominee the with 16 bids, poised to take advantage of the absence this time around of three-time winner Veep. Atlanta will face newcomers including The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, Glow and Barry.

Others in the category include black-ish, Silicon Valley, 'Curb Your Enthusiasm and Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt.

The newbie comedies aced out long-time Emmy favourite Modern Family, a five-time winner and perennial nominee since it debuted in 2009 on ABC. Its absence leaves just one network contender for best comedy, ABC's black-ish, which also earned nods for Tracee Ellis Ross and Anthony Anderson, who noted his urban California roots.

The short-lived revival of Roseanne, cancelled because of star Roseanne Barr's racist tweet, drew only one major nomination, a supporting actress nod for Laurie Metcalf. Another revival, Will & Grace, got Emmy love for nominees Megan Mullally and Molly Shannon but the main stars and series itself were snubbed.

Killing Eve star Sandra Oh made history of her own, becoming the first actress of Asian descent to be nominated for lead acting honours in a drama series. Oh had earned five supporting bids for Grey's Anatomy.

The TV industry has made recent strides toward inclusion, with Glover and Sterling K. Brown of "This Is Us" winning top acting awards last year and both nominated again.

"I think we're all happy with the direction we're going. This is the most diverse class of performer nominees we've had — we're almost up to a third, which is fantastic," Maury McIntyre, TV academy president. "There's still a lot of work to be done in terms of gender" and with behind-the-camera jobs, he said.

CNN's "Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown," received a nomination in the category for best information series or special, which also includes shows with Leah Remini and David Letterman. The show featuring chef-writer Bourdain, who died in early June, has won four Emmys.

Among the notable first-time nominees: Issa Rae for "Insecure," Darren Criss, Ricky Martin, Penelope Cruz and Edgar Ramirez for "The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story," Tiffany Haddish for "Saturday Night Live," Letitia Wright for "Black Museum (Black Mirror)" and John Legend for "Jesus Christ Superstar Live in Concert."

HBO's fantasy dragons-and-swords saga is a two-time best drama winner that sat out the last year's awards because of its production schedule. Although it's up for top series honours, it drew only three supporting actor bids for cast members Lena Headey, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau and Peter Dinklage.

"The Handmaid's Tale," the dystopian sci-fi series based on Margaret Atwood's novel, drew 20 bids, including one for last year's best actress winner, Elisabeth Moss, and supporting bids for Alexis Bledel, Ann Dowd, Yvonne Strahovski and Joseph Fiennes.

Other drama series contenders are "Westworld," with an impressive 21 nods; "The Americans," nominated for its final season and with nods for stars Keri Russell and Matthew Rhys; "The Crown," ''Stranger Things" and "This Is Us" from NBC, the only broadcast show to make the cut.

Shawn Levy, a producer of "Stranger Things," got the good news after landing in New York following weeks of directing season three episodes in Georgia.

"We not only faced the burden of expectation given the show's popularity, but we did want to top ourselves, we did not want to repeat ourselves," he said. "Our deepest fear was complacency."

Competing with Moss, Oh and Russell for lead drama actress are Claire Foy for "The Crown," Tatiana Maslay of "Orphan Black" and Evan Rachel Wood of "Westworld."

Rhys and Brown will be up against Brown's castmate Milo Ventimiglia, along with Jason Bateman for "Ozark" and Ed Harris and Jeffrey Wright for "Westworld." Brown is also nominated for comedy series guest actor for "Brooklyn Nine-Nine."

Glover and Anderson's competitors for best comedy series actor are Ted Danson for "The Good Place," Larry David for "Curb Your Enthusiasm," William H. Macy for "Shameless" and Bill Hader for "Barry."

"It's truly an honor to be nominated, and especially nice not to be the oldest person in the category. Thanks, Larry," Danson joked in a statement.

Actresses competing for top comedy honors are getting a break with the temporary absence of six-time" ''Veep" winner Julia Louis-Dreyfus.

Besides Rae and Ross, the nominees are Rachel Brosnahan for "The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel," Allison Janney for "Mom," Pamela Adlon for "Better Things" and Lily Tomlin for "Grace and Frankie."

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