Game of Thrones earns a whopping 23 Emmy Award nominations
Power-and-blood fantasy saga Game of Thrones ruled the Emmy Award nominations on Thursday (Friday NZ Time) with a leading 23 bids, including best drama, while a real-life epic of murder and celebrity, The People v OJ Simpson, was close behind with 22 nods.
Game of Thrones gets the chance to win its second top Emmy, while Veep, last year's top comedy winner, also will get another shot at holding office and with 17 nominations was the comedy leader.
Breakthrough nominations include a best comedy series nod for sophomore black-ish, which brought the African-American family sitcom back to network TV, with bids as well for its stars, Anthony Anderson - who announced the awards on Thursday (Friday NZT) and read his own name with glee - and his co-star Tracee Ellis Ross.
They were among a number of black actors recognised by TV academy voters, who have started to keep pace with TV's growing diversity - in sharp contrast to moviedom's Academy Awards, which were slammed as Oscars "so white" this year.
Viola Davis, the How to Get Away with Murder star who last year became the first woman of colour to win a best drama actress trophy, was nominated again. So was Empire star Taraji P Henson.
But there were no major acting nods for the stars of Fresh Off the Boat or other Asian-American actors, or for Latinos, which has been a recurrent Emmy pattern.
Game of Thrones and Mr Robot will compete with Better Call Saul, Homeland, House of Cards, The Americans and Downton Abbey, the last a nod for its farewell season. But the final season of The Good Wife was not recognised, and star Julianna Margulies also was snubbed.
Aziz Ansari received a lead comedy acting bid for his series Master of None, a first for an Indian-American actor, and the show received a best comedy series nomination. Rami Malek, of Egyptian descent, earned a top drama acting nod for his role as a renegade hacker in another freshman, Mr Robot, which also will compete for drama honours.
The Americans, which gained in attention last season, also earned bids for its stars, Keri Russell and Matthew Rhys.
Besides Russell, Davis and Henson, lead drama actress bids went to Claire Danes for Homeland and Tatiana Maslany for Orphan Black.
Malek and Rhys will be competing with Kevin Spacey for House of Cards, Kyle Chandler for Bloodline, Bob Odenkirk for Better Call Saul and Liev Schreiber for Ray Donovan.
On the comedy side, Veep, black-ish and Master of None will tussle for the trophy with five-time champ Modern Family, Transparent, Silicon Valley and Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt.
A top acting nod for Veep star Julia Louis-Dreyfus, who plays a US vice president now elevated to the Oval Office, gives her the chance to score her fifth consecutive win and set a record.
She and Ross will be competing with Ellie Kemper in Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, Laurie Metcalf in Getting On, Amy Schumer in Inside Amy Schumer and Lily Tomlin in Grace and Frankie.
The September 18 Emmy show will be hosted by Jimmy Kimmel.