Game of Thrones roared back onto the Emmy battlefield, topping Thursday’s nominations with 22 nods. HBO’s fantasy saga is a two-time best drama winner that sat out last year’s Emmy Awards.
It’s returning to face formidable competition: The Handmaid’s Tale, the dystopian sci-fi series that claimed top drama honours last year, drew 20 bids, with Westworld close by with 21.
The nominations for the 70th Primetime Emmys held a clear sign of how much the ground is shifting under the TV industry. Streaming service Netflix captured the most nominations overall, 112, taking away a title that HBO held since 2001 and giving broadcast TV more reason to fear its future in awards and viewers.
HBO 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 is the top comedy with 16 bids. It will face newcomers including The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel and Barry, starring Bill Hader.
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.
“Being a kid from Compton, one could only dream of moments like this, so it’s truly a humbling experience right now,” Anderson said.
The short-lived reboot 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.
Sandra Oh, the Canadian Star of Killing Eve. made history of her own, becoming the first actress of Asian descent to be nominated for lead acting honours in a drama series.
Saturday Night Live, riding high with its relentless pillorying of the Trump administration, was rewarded with 21 nominations.
The previous high for Game of Thrones was 24 nominations in 2015. It got 23 nods in 2016 but wasn’t eligible last year because of a production delay.
The Emmys ceremony airs Sept. 17 on NBC with Colin Jost and Michael Che of Saturday Night Live as hosts.
Actors Samira Wiley of The Handmaid’s Tale and Ryan Eggold, who starred in The Blacklist, read this year’s nominees.
The nominees for best drama series include:
- The Americans.
- The Crown.
- Game of Thrones.
- The Handmaid’s Tale.
- Stranger Things.
- This Is Us.
The nominees for best comedy series include:
- Curb Your Enthusiasm.
- The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel.
- Silicon Valley.
- Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt.
Canadian actress Tatiana Maslany joins Oh among those to snag nominations for Emmy Awards.
The two are both up for best actress in a drama series.
Maslany is nominated for playing multiple clones on Orphan Black, which aired its final season on Space last year. She also won an Emmy for her role on Orphan Black in 2016.
Her off-Broadway play, Mary Page Marlowe, opens tonight.
In a statement emailed to CBC News, Maslany said her nomination was a “completely unexpected and a wonderful surprise to be remembered.”
“This is an amazing sendoff for our final season. It meant so much to all of us who worked on the show for it to resonate with people.”
Ottawa-raised Oh is a contender for playing a secret service operative on BBC America’s Killing Eve, which debuts in Canada on July 22 on Bravo.
She was previously nominated for five Emmys for Grey’s Anatomy, in which she played Dr. Cristina Yang for 10 seasons.
The other nominees for best actress in a drama series include: Claire Foy, The Crown; Elisabeth Moss, The Handmaid’s Tale; Keri Russell, The Americans; Evan Rachel Wood, Westworld.
Full Frontal with Samantha Bee, hosted by the titular Toronto-born comedian, also received a nod for Outstanding Variety Talk Series.
The nominees for best actor in a drama series include: Jason Bateman, Ozark; Sterling K. Brown, This Is Us; Ed Harris, Westworld; Matthew Rhys, The Americans; Milo Ventimiglia, This Is Us and Jeffrey Wright, Westworld.
Musicians in the mix
Music stars in competition for Emmys this year include John Legend, Bruno Mars and Sara Bareilles.
Legend and Bareilles each earned acting nods for their roles in NBC’s Jesus Christ Superstar Live In Concert. Mars earned a nomination for outstanding music direction for his first TV special, CBS’s Bruno Mars: 24K Magic Live at the Apollo.
Legend, who has won several Grammys, an Oscar and a Tony, could become a so-called EGOT if he takes home outstanding lead actor in a limited series or movie.
The term EGOT refers to someone who has won one of all the major awards: an Emmy, Grammy, Oscar and Tony.
Benj Pasek and Justin Paul are also on their way to EGOT status: The composing duo earned a nomination for outstanding original music and lyrics for In the Market for a Miracle from Fox’s A Christmas Story Live!
The nominations for outstanding reality competition show are: The Amazing Race, American Ninja Warrior, Project Runway, RuPaul’s Drag Race, Top Chef and The Voice.
The field is identical to last year when The Voice took home the Emmy statuette.
The Voice and RuPaul’s Drag Race tied for most nominations for a reality program with 10 each.