HBO's Westworld and NBC's Saturday Night Live topped the list of contenders for the 69th Primetime Emmy Awards with 22 nominations apiece, the Television Academy announced Thursday morning in Los Angeles. Netflix's buzzy Stranger Things and FX's star-filled Feud: Bette and Joan tied for second with 18.
NBC's This Is Us also was recognized as best drama and for leading actors Sterling K. Brown and Milo Ventimiglia, a validation for broadcast networks which have been largely shunned in drama categories by Emmy voters in recent years. The new hit joins Netflix's The Crown, House of Cards and Stranger Things, Westworld, AMC's Better Call Saul and Hulu's The Handmaid's Tale among best-drama honorees. (Handmaid's marked Hulu's first nomination in a major category). All but Cards and Saul are first-time nominees as freshman series.
On the comedy side, HBO's Veep and Silicon Valley, ABC's Modern Family and Black-ish, Netflix's Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt and Master of None, and FX's Atlanta will vie for the top trophy.
And Veep star Julia Louis-Dreyfus, who won five consecutive Emmys for HBO's Veep, will try for another with her sixth nomination for the role. The series, which won best comedy in 2015 and 2016, also won another nod.
The list of nominees has some extra room this year: HBO's Game of Thrones, last year's top winner with 12 Emmys, including best drama, is ineligible (its new season, arriving Sunday, fell out of the eligibility window, which ended May 31). PBS's Downton Abbey ended its run last year. And 2016's second-biggest Emmy winner, FX's The People vs. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story, was a one-shot.
Also left out of the best comedy and drama categories were previous nominees including Amazon's Transparent (though star Jeffrey Tambor was recognized), FX's The Americans (though Matthew Rhys and Keri Russell were); USA's Mr. Robot, and its star Rami Malek; and Showtime's Homeland, and its star Claire Danes (though Mandy Patinkin won a supporting-actor nod).
Emmy love for NBC's This Is Us is a big deal for the major broadcast networks, which have been privately griping about Television Academy voters' drift to cable and streaming services. Their last best-drama nominee was CBS' The Good Wife, in 2011, and their last winner was Fox's 24, in 2006.
Us star Ventimiglia is a first-time Emmy nominee, along with best drama actress contender Claire Foy (The Crown) and Donald Glover, who created and stars in FX's Atlanta.
In the hotly contested limited-series category, HBO's Big Little Lies and The Night Of will vie with FX's Fargo and Feud and National Geographic's Genius, and stars of these projects also dominated the respective acting categories.
Reality-competition candidates were The Amazing Race, American Ninja Warrior, Project Runway, The Voice, Top Chef and RuPaul's Drag Race.
Among late-night talk hosts, Jimmy Kimmel, John Oliver, James Corden and Bill Maher won repeat nominations, joined by newcomers Samantha Bee, for her TBS series Full Frontal, and Stephen Colbert, whose CBS Late Show was snubbed last year. Knocked out of the race: NBC's Jimmy Fallon, whom Colbert eclipsed in the ratings this season.
And though the final season of HBO's Girls was largely snubbed, Riz Ahmed and Matthew Rhys earned second nominations this year for guest roles in the comedy: Ahmed also earned kudos for The Night Of and Rhys for The Americans. And Alec Baldwin won dual nominations, for hosting ABC's The Match Game revival and as best supporting comedy actor for playing Donald Trump on SNL.
HBO once again led the networks with the most nominations — 110, up from last year's 94 — followed closely by Netflix with 91, up sharply from just 54 in 2016. NBC was third with 60, followed by FX with 54.
The Emmys will be presented live Sept. 17 (8 ET/5 PT) on CBS, with Colbert as host.
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