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‘Game of Thrones’ earns a leading 19 Emmy Award nominations

Peter Dinklage was nominated for outstanding supporting actor in a drama series for his role in “Game of Thrones.”AP Photo/HBO, Helen Sloan

LOS ANGELES — The fantasy saga ‘‘Game of Thrones,’’ defying the Emmy Awards’ grudging respect for genre fare, emerged as the leader in the nominations announced Thursday with 19 bids, including best drama series.

The meth kingpin drama ‘‘Breaking Bad’’ was next in line with 16 bids for its final season, including best drama and best actor nod for star Bryan Cranston.

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 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 genre series, ‘‘Lost,’’ has ever captured it, according to Tom O'Neil, author of ‘‘The Emmys’’ and organizer of the Gold Derby awards site.

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.

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.

Best actor in a television drama series nominees are: Bryan Cranston, ‘‘Breaking Bad”; Jeff Daniels, ‘‘The Newsroom”; Jon Hamm, ‘‘Mad Men”; Woody Harrelson, ‘‘True Detective”; Matthew McConaughey, ‘‘True Detective”; Kevin Spacey, ‘‘House of Cards.’’

The nominees for best actress in a TV drama series are: Lizzy Caplan, ‘‘Masters of Sex"; Claire Danes, ‘‘Homeland"; Michelle Dockery, ‘‘Downton Abbey"; Julianna Margulies, ‘‘The Good Wife"; Kerry Washington, ‘‘Scandal"; Robin Wright, ‘‘House of Cards.’’

The nominees for outstanding supporting actress in a drama series are: Anna Gunn, “Breaking Bad”; Joanne Froggatt, “Downton Abbey”; Christina Hendricks, “Mad Men”; Maggie Smith, “Downton Abbey”; Lena Headey, “Game of Thrones”; Christine Baranski, “The Good Wife.”

The nominees for outstanding supporting actor in a drama series are: Aaron Paul, “Breaking Bad”; Jim Carter, “Downton Abbey”; Peter Dinklage, “Game of Thrones”; Jon Voight, “Ray Donovan”; Mandy Patinkon, “Homeland”; Josh Charles, “The Good Wife.”


The nominees for outstanding guest actress in a drama series are: Diana Rigg, “Game of Thrones”; Allison Janney, “Masters of Sex”; Margo Martindake, “The Americans”; Kate Mara, “House of Cards”; Kate Burton, “Scandal”; Jane Fonda, “The Newsroom.”

The nominees for outstanding guest actor in a drama series are: Paul Giamatti, “Downton Abbey”; Robert Morse, “Mad Men”; Joe Morton, “Scandal”; Reg E. Cathey, “House of Cards”; Beau Bridges, “Masters of Sex”; Dylan Baker, “The Good Wife.”

The nominees for outstanding writing in a drama series are: “Breaking Bad,” Moira Walley-Beckett; “Breaking Bad,” Vince Gilligan; “Game of Thrones,” David Benioff and D.B. Weiss; “House of Cards,” Beau Willimon; “True Detective,” Nic Pizzolatto.

The nominees for outstanding directing for a drama series are: “Boardwalk Empire,” Tim Van Patten; “Breaking Bad,” Vince Gilligan; “Downton Abbey,” David Evans; “Game of Thrones,” Neil Marshall; “House of Cards,” Carl Franklin; “True Detective,” Cary Joji Fukunaga.

The nominees for outstanding drama series are: “Breaking Bad”; “Downton Abbey”; “Game of Thrones”; “House of Cards”; “Mad Men”; “True Detective.”

The nominees for outstanding lead actress in a comedy series are: Lena Dunham, “Girls”; Edie Falco, “Nurse Jackie”; Amy Poehler, “Parks and Recreation”; Melissa McCarthy, “Mike & Molly”; Taylor Schilling, “Orange Is the New Black”; Julia Louis-Dreyfus, “Veep.”

The nominees for outstanding lead actor in a comedy series are: Ricky Gervais, “Derek”; Matt LeBlanc, “Episodes”; Lous C.K., “Louie”; Jim Parsons, “The Big Bang Theory”; Don Cheadle, “House of Lies”; William H. Macy, “Shameless.”


The 66th Primetime Emmy Awards will be presented Aug. 25 at the Nokia Theatre in Los Angeles, hosted by Seth Meyers and airing live on NBC. The nominations were announced in Los Angeles by the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences.

Complete list of nominees

Matthew Gilbert: Emmy snubs and surprises