Game Of Thrones leads Emmys field with 23 nominations

Game of Thrones leads the Emmy Awards nominations with 23 nods, while limited series The People v O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story, and Fargo also landed top nods for US television's highest honours.
Cast members and others involved in the making of Game Of Thrones pose in 2015 after winning the Emmy for Outstanding Drama Series.
Cast members and others involved in the making of Game Of Thrones pose in 2015 after winning the Emmy for Outstanding Drama Series.PHOTO: AFP

LOS ANGELES (AFP) - Fantasy drama Game Of Thrones led the field for television’s coveted Primetime Emmy awards on Thursday (July 14) for a third straight year, with nominations in 23 categories.

HBO’s fantasy epic about noble families vying for control of the Iron Throne will compete for the prestigious outstanding drama series trophy for the fifth year in a row, the Television Academy announced.

The show, which raked in a record-breaking 12 awards last year, faces competition from House Of Cards, Better Call Saul, Mr Robot, Downton Abbey, The Americans and Homeland.

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FX’s hotly-tipped The People v. OJ Simpson: American Crime Story scored the second highest tally with 22 nods, followed by Fargo with 18.

Anthony Anderson, star of ABC’s hit series Black-ish, and Gilmore Girls actress Lauren Graham presented the nominations for the 68th Emmy Awards at the Television Academy in Los Angeles.

Anderson whooped when Graham read out his name in the best comedy actor category, shouting: “Hi momma – I know you’re watching!”

HBO’s political comedy Veep, starring Julia Louis-Dreyfus as hapless President Selina Meyer – scored 17 nominations for television’s equivalent of the Oscars, to be handed out on Sept 18 in Los Angeles.

Several hotly tipped shows missed out on widely-expected nods, however, including The Good Wife, which was shut out of best show honours, and Netflix’s prison comedy drama Orange Is The New Black, which failed to pick up a single nomination.

“Television dominates entertainment conversation and is enjoying the most spectacular run in its history... Today marks the start of our annual celebration of the best of the best,” said Academy chairman Bruce Rosenblum.

Empire, Fox’s debut melodrama about family feuds in a musical empire, picked up just one nomination despite its success with TV viewers, 17.6 million of whom tuned into the first season finale.

That went to Taraji P. Henson in the best actress in a drama category for her portrayal of family matriarch Cookie Lyon. Henson would be only the second African American actress to pick up prize.

Another black actress, Viola Davis, won the category last year and is nominated in the same category for her work on ABC’s How To Get Away With Murder. Comedy show Saturday Night Live scored 16 nominations to squeeze into the top five, edging out political thriller House Of Cards, which managed 13 nods.

The Television Academy’s 19,000 members were given two weeks in June to sift through a crowded field of more than 8,000 entries from shows aired during the previous 12 months across 113 categories.

The most star-studded category was perhaps lead actor in a limited series or TV movie which included six-time Emmy winner Bryan Cranston, who has received rave reviews for anchoring HBO’s Lyndon B. Johnson biopic All the Way.

Benedict Cumberbatch, Idris Elba, Cuba Gooding Jr, Tom Hiddleston and Courtney B. Vance were also nominated while other big name contenders in the category including Bill Murray and Johnny Depp missed out.

The topic of race figured heavily in the limited series category – formerly known as “outstanding miniseries” – with The People v. OJ Simpson matched up with historical saga Roots and ABC’s American Crime.

Downton Abbey, which picked up eight nominations last year but won only for hairstyling, marks its final season with 10 nods, including a fourth in the prestigious outstanding drama category.

Here is a list of the nominees in key categories for the 2016 Primetime Emmy Awards, which will be handed out in Los Angeles on September 18.

OUTSTANDING DRAMA SERIES

Better Call Saul

Downton Abbey

Game of Thrones

Homeland

House of Cards

Mr. Robot

The Americans

OUTSTANDING COMEDY SERIES

black-ish

Master of None

Modern Family

Silicon Valley

Transparent

Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt

Veep

LEAD ACTOR, DRAMA

Kyle Chandler, Bloodline

Rami Malek, Mr.Robot

Bob Odenkirk, Better Call Saul

Matthew Rhys, The Americans

Liev Schreiber, Ray Donovan

Kevin Spacey, House of Cards

LEAD ACTRESS, DRAMA

Claire Danes, Homeland

Viola Davis, How to Get Away with Murder

Taraji P. Henson, Empire

Tatiana Maslany, Orphan Black

Keri Russell, The Americans

Robin Wright, House of Cards

LEAD ACTOR, COMEDY

Anthony Anderson, black-ish

Aziz Ansari, Master of None

Will Forte, The Last Man on Earth

William Macy, Shameless

Thomas Middleditch, Silicon Valley

Jeffrey Tambor, Transparent

LEAD ACTRESS, COMEDY

Ellie Kemper, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt

Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Veep 

Laurie Metcalf, Getting On

Tracee Ellis Ross, black-ish

Amy Schumer, Inside Amy Schumer

Lily Tomlin, Grace and Frankie

SUPPORTING ACTOR, DRAMA

Jonathan Banks, Better Call Saul

Peter Dinklage, Game of Thrones

Kit Harington, Game of Thrones

Michael Kelly, House of Cards

Ben Mendelsohn, Bloodline

Jon Voight, Ray Donovan

SUPPORTING ACTRESS, DRAMA

Emilia Clarke, Game of Thrones

Lena Headey, Game of Thrones

Maggie Smith, Downton Abbey

Maura Tierney, The Affair

Maisie Williams, Game of Thrones

Constance Zimmer, UnREAL

SUPPORTING ACTOR, COMEDY

Louie Anderson, Baskets

Andre Braugher, Brooklyn Nine-Nine

Tituss Burgess, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt

Ty Burrell, Modern Family

Tony Hale, Veep

Keegan-Michael Key, Key & Peele

Matt Walsh, Veep

SUPPORTING ACTRESS, COMEDY

Anna Chlumsky, Veep

Gaby Hoffman, Transparent

Allison Janney, Mom

Judith Light, Transparent

Kate McKinnon, Saturday Night Live

Niecy Nash, Getting On

LEAD ACTOR, LIMITED SERIES OR MOVIE

Bryan Cranston, All The Way

Benedict Cumberbatch, Sherlock: The Abominable Bride

Idris Elba, Luther

Cuba Gooding Jr., The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story

Tom Hiddleston, The Night Manager

Courtney Vance, The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story

LEAD ACTRESS, LIMITED SERIES OR MOVIE

Kirsten Dunst, Fargo

Felicity Huffman, American Crime

Audra McDonald, Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar & Grill

Sarah Paulson, The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story

Lili Taylor, American Crime

Kerry Washington, Confirmation

TELEVISION MOVIE

A Very Murray Christmas

All the Way

Confirmation

Luther

Sherlock: The Abominable Bride