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Primetime Emmy Nominations: ‘Game of Thrones,’ ‘Orange is the New Black’ Lead Field

Complete Coverage: Emmys 2014

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Netflix gained awards-race ground on cable and broadcast competitors and HBO continued to dominate as the nominees for the 66th Primetime Emmy Awards were announced Thursday.

HBO’s Game of Thrones led all drama series with 19 nominations, though none in the high-profile acting categories. Thrones was joined by Breaking BadDownton AbbeyHouse of CardsMad Men and fellow HBO series True Detective in the Best Drama category. Netflix’s Orange is the New Black was this year’s most nominated comedy, with 12 nods, including one for lead actress and first-time nominee Taylor Schilling. The prison comedy was joined by The Big Bang Theory, Modern Family, Louie, Silicon Valley and Veep

FX miniseries Fargo earned 18 nominations, including for Billy Bob Thornton and Martin Freeman in best actor, miniseries.

Oscar-winner Matthew McConaughey earned his first Emmy nomination for HBO's True Detective. Other first-time nominees included actress Lizzy Caplan for Showtime's Masters of Sex and actor Chiwetel Ejiofor for the Starz miniseries Dancing on the Edge. Two freshman series -- Orange is the New Black and HBO's Silicon Valley -- were nominated in the outstanding comedy category; in the drama series category, rookie True Detective was nominated.

HBO’s bid to run True Detective in the best drama series categories instead of best miniseries yielded 12 nominations, including MConaughey’s and one for his co-star, Woody Harrelson. Showtime shifted Shameless from the drama series categories to comedy this year, leading to a nomination for actor William H. Macy.

Digital service Netflix earned 31 nominations, up from 14 last year. Drama series House of Cards earned 13 nominations, including ones for actors Kevin Spacey and Robin Wright. Orange is the New Black earned 12. Ricky Gervais’ Netflix comedy series Derek also earned a nod, for Gervais’ acting. Documentaries Brave Miss World and The Square also drew nods for the digital service.

Despite Netflix having earned the first series-category nominations last year for a digital network, it was, once again, the only such service break into the field this year. Neither competitor Amazon nor Hulu earned a nod in any category, despite increased efforts in original series from both. AOL and earned their first nominations, each in short-format categories. Overall, digital nominations were up from 19 in 2013 to 39 this year, though Netflix accounted for most of that increase.

HBO was once again the most nominated network with 99 nods, down from 108 last year. CBS was a distant second at 47. Overall, the number of nominations for the Big Four broadcast networks was down from 170 in 2013 to 148 this year, with all four earning fewer nods than they did a year ago. In cable, FX Networks drew 46 nominations—up from 26 last year, tying NBC and outperforming both ABC (37) and broadcast cousin Fox (18). Showtime earned 24 nominations this year, down from 31 last year.

In the AMC drama’s final year of eligibility, Breaking Bad’s Bryan Cranston earned his sixth nomination for playing Walter White, a role for which he’s won three best drama series actor awards. Cranston was joined in the category by Harrelson, McConaughey, last year’s winner Jeff Daniels (The Newsroom, HBO), Jon Hamm (Mad Men, AMC) and Kevin Spacey (House of Cards, Netflix).

House of Cards VP Frank Underwood (Kevin Spacey) was not the only top politico to be featured in a show in line for an Emmy nod.

President Obama (the real one) was the featured guest on an episode of's short-form series "Between Two Ferns with Zach Galifianakis," which was nominated for an Emmy for Outstanding Short-Format Live-Action Entertainment Program.

After not being nominated last year for her role in The Good Wife, Juliana Margulies returned to the best drama actress field this year, having last won in 2011 for the CBS drama. Other nominees are Caplan, last year’s winner Claire Danes (Homeland, Showtime), Michelle Dockery (Downton Abbey, PBS), Kerry Washington (Scandal, ABC) and Robin Wright (House of Cards, Netflix).

Gervais and Macy were joined in the comedy-actor category by Jim Parsons, who has won three of the last four years for his work on CBS’ The Big Bang Theory, as well as Louis C.K. (Louie, FX),Matt LeBlanc (Episodes, Showtime) and Don Cheadle (House of Lies, Showtime).

Julia Louis-Dreyfus of HBO’s Veep earned her 15th nomination for best actress in a comedy series, having won the award the last two years in a row. Other nominees in the category are Schilling, Lena Dunham (Girls, HBO), Melissa McCarthy (Mike & Molly, CBS), Edie Falco (Nurse Jackie, Showtime) and Amy Poehler (Parks and Recreation, NBC).

The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon earned its first nomination in the variety series category, the first nod for a Tonight Show since the Jay Leno's version of the show was nominated in 2003. Fallon's Late Night was nominated in 2013, though successor show Late Night With Seth Meyers failed to earn a nod this year. Comedy Central’s soon-to-end The Colbert Report—which last year ended sister series The Daily Show’s streak of 10 consecutive victories in the category—was nominated this year alongside The Daily Show, Jimmy Kimmel Live (ABC), Real Time With Bill Maher (HBO) and Saturday Night Live (NBC).

In the reality competition series category, all six nominees— The Amazing Race (CBS), Dancing With the Stars (ABC), So You Think You Can Dance (ABC), Project Runway (Lifetime), Top Chef (Bravo) and 2013 winner The Voice (NBC)—were nominated last year.

Despite taking home the Golden Globe earlier this year for best comedy series, Fox’s Brooklyn Nine-Nine failed to earn a nomination in the category. Star Andy Samberg, who won best comedy actor at the Globes, was also not nominated. Critical favorites such as FX’s The Americans and BBC America’s Orphan Black, as well as high-rated series such AMC’s The Walking Dead and NBC’s The Blacklist also failed to garner and nominations in the major categories.

Nominees in major categories follow. For a complete list of nominations and Emmy Award facts and figures, go to the TV Academy’s website.

Best Comedy Series

The Big Bang Theory
Modern Family
Orange is the New Black
Silicon Valley

Best Drama Series

Breaking Bad
Downton Abbey
Game of Thrones
House of Cards
Mad Men
True Detective

Best Actor, Drama Series

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

Best Actress, Drama Series

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

Best Actor, Miniseries

Benedict Cumberbatch, Sherlock: His Last Vow
Chiwetel Ejiofor, Dancing on the Edge
Idris Elba, Luther
Mark Ruffalo, The Normal Heart
Billy Bob Thornton, Fargo
Martin Freeman, Fargo

Best Actress, Miniseries

Jessica Lange, American Horror Story: Coven
Sarah Paulson, American Horror Story: Coven
Helena Bonham Carter, Burton and Taylor
Minnie Driver, Return to Zero
Kristen Wiig, The Spoils of Babylon
Cicely Tyson, The Trip to Bountiful

Best Actor, Comedy Series

Jim Parsons, The Big Bang Theory
Matt LeBlanc, Episodes
Don Cheadle, House of Lies
Louis C.K., Louie
Ricky Gervais, Derek
William H. Macy, Shameless

Best Actress, Comedy Series

Lena Dunham, Girls
Melissa McCarthy, Mike & Molly
Edie Falco, Nurse Jackie
Taylor Schilling, Orange Is the New Black
Amy Poehler, Parks and Recreation
Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Veep

Best Reality Competition

The Amazing Race
Dancing With the Stars
So You Think You Can Dance
Project Runway
Top Chef
The Voice

Best Variety Series

The Colbert Report
The Daily Show With Jon Stewart
Jimmy Kimmel Live
Real Time With Bill Maher
Saturday Night Live
The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon

Best Miniseries
American Horror Story: Coven
Bonnie & Clyde
The White Queen