*Oscar nominee Chiwetel Ejiofor, “Scandal” star Kerry Washington, “House of Lies’ actor Don Cheadle and the shows “Orange is the New Black” and “Luther” are among the nominees announced Thursday morning for the 66th prime-time Emmy Awards.
“Game of Thrones” led the pack with 19 bids, including best drama series. Other top nominees included FX miniseries, “Fargo,” with 18 bids, and “American Horror Story: Coven,” with 17.
HBO’s AIDS drama “The Normal Heart” received 16 nominations, including best TV movie and supporting actress for Julia Roberts.
The meth kingpin tale “Breaking Bad” got 16 bids for its final season, including best drama and a best actor nod for star Bryan Cranston.
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.”
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.
“True Detective” stars Matthew McConaughey and Woody 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.”
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.”
Ejiofor earned a bid for the Starz miniseries “Dancing on the Edge.”
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.”
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.