After a one-year absence from contention, HBO’s “Game of Thrones” returned with a vengeance to the Emmy scene Thursday, scoring a leading 22 nominations for the 70th Primetime Emmy Awards, including a nod for best drama series.
Last year’s drama winner, Hulu’s “The Handmaid’s Tale,” was nominated again for the prize, along with Netflix’s “The Crown” and “Stranger Things”; NBC’s “This is Us”; HBO’s “Westworld”; and FX’s “The Americans.”
“Game of Thrones” won for outstanding drama series in 2015 and 2016 but wasn’t eligible for the 2017 award because its only new episodes airing during the eligibility period were part of the body of work considered for its 2016 victory.
“This Is Us” last year became the first nominee in the category from the four major broadcast networks since CBS’ “The Good Wife” in 2011. “The Good Wife” is the most recent series from a major broadcast network to receive back-to-back nominations in the category.
A series from the major broadcast networks has not won for outstanding drama series since Fox’s “24” in 2006.
“Westworld,” HBO’s sci-fi drama about a Western theme park populated by self-aware robots, earned 21 nominations Thursday, as did NBC’s long-running sketch comedy series “Saturday Night Live.”
HBO’s comedy series “Veep,” which has won the Emmy for outstanding comedy series the past three years, was not eligible for a nomination this year. The show delayed production of its final season until 2019 while its star, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, underwent treatment for breast cancer.
Nominated for outstanding comedy series were FX’s “Atlanta”; HBO’s “Barry,” “Silicon Valley” and “Curb Your Enthusiasm”; ABC’s “Black-ish”; Netflix’s “GLOW” and “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt”; and Prime Video’s “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel.”
Notably absent from the list was ABC’s “Modern Family,” which failed to land a nomination for the first time in its nine seasons. The show won in the category five straight years, tying the record set by NBC’s “Frasier” from 1994-98.
“Saturday Night Live” was nominated for outstanding variety sketch series, along with “At Home with Amy Sedaris,” “Drunk History,” “I Love You America with Sarah Silverman,” “Portlandia” and “Tracey Ullman’s Show.”
Netflix led all platforms with 112 Emmy nominations, followed by HBO with 108 and NBC with 78. This year marks the first time in 18 years that HBO has not earned the most nominations.
Sterling K. Brown, who won the Emmy for lead actor in a drama series last year for “This is Us,” will look to repeat his win. He was nominated along with Jason Bateman of Netflix’s “Ozark”; Ed Harris and Jeffrey Wright of “Westworld”; Matthew Rhys of “The Americans”; and Milo Ventimiglia of “This is Us.”
Bateman also earned a nod for directing an episode of “Ozark,” while Brown was also nominated for a guest appearance he made on the Fox comedy “Brooklyn Nine-Nine.”
Elisabeth Moss of “The Handmaid’s Tale” will also be looking for a repeat victory. She will square off against Tatiana Maslany of BBC America’s “Orphan Black”; Claire Foy of Netflix’s “The Crown”; Sandra Oh of BBC America’s “Killing Eve”; Keri Russell of “The Americans”; and Evan Rachel Wood of “Westworld.”
Oh is the first Asian-American actress to ever be nominated in the category.
With Louis-Dreyfus out of the running this year for outstanding lead actress in a comedy series, a new winner will be crowned in the category. Allison Janney, who recent won an Oscar for her supporting role in “I, Tonya,” leads the list of nominees for her work in CBS’ “Mom.” Also battling for the prize will be Pamela Adlon of FX’s “Better Things,” Rachel Brosnahan of “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel,” Issa Rae of HBO’s “Insecure,” Tracee Ellis Ross of “Black-ish” and Lily Tomlin of Netflix’s “Grace and Frankie.”
Donald Glover will look to earn his second straight Emmy for his lead role in the comedy “Atlanta.” Also nominated were Anthony Anderson of “Black-ish,” Ted Danson of NBC’s “The Good Place,” Larry David of “Curb Your Enthusiasm,” Bill Hader of “Barry” and William H. Macy of Showtime’s “Shameless.”
Glover was a multiple nominee Thursday, also scoring nods for directing and writing for “Atlanta” and for his guest appearance on “Saturday Night Live.” Hader was also nominated for his guest work on “SNL,” and also earned nods for writing and directing on “Barry.”
Nominations for outstanding limited series went to TNT’s “The Alienist,” FX’s “The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story,” National Geographic’s “Genius: Picasso,” Netflix’s “Godless” and Showtime’s “Patrick Melrose.”
HBO earned three nods in the television movie category, for “Fahrenheit 451,” “Paterno” and “The Tale.” Also nominated were Lifetime’s “Flint” and Netflix’s “USS Callister (Black Mirror).”
Four-time Emmy winner Edie Falco was nominated for best actress in a limited series or TV movie for her work in NBC’s “Law & Order True Crime: The Menendez Murders.” Also nominated were Jessical Biel for USA’s “The Sinner,” Laura Dern for HBO’s “The Tale,” Michelle Dockery for Netflix’s “Godless,” Regina King for Netflix’s “Seven Seconds” and Sarah Paulson for “American Horror Story: Cult.”
For lead actor in a limited series or TV movie, nominations went to Antonio Banderas for “Genius: Picasso,” Darren Criss for “The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story,” Benedict Cumberbatch for “Patrick Melrose,” Jeff Daniels for Hulu’s “The Looming Tower,” John Legend for NBC’s “Jesus Christ Superstar Live in Concert” and Jesse Plemons for “USS Callister (Black Mirror).”
If Legend wins, he will join an exclusive Hollywood club by completing what’s known as an EGOT, meaning a performer who wins Emmy, Grammy, Oscar and Tony awards. Legend is a 10-time Grammy winner, but he also has a best original song Oscar for “Glory” from the film “Selma,” and he has a Tony for co-producing the play “Jitney.” Only a dozen people have ever earned an EGOT.
CBS’ “The Amazing Race” was again among the nominees for outstanding reality-competition program. It had been nominated each of the preceding 16 years the category has been in existence. It won each of the first seven years, and again in 2011, 2012 and 2014.
Last year’s winner, NBC’s “The Voice,” was also nominated, along with NBC’s “American Ninja Warrior”; Lifetime’s “Project Runway”; VH1’s “RuPaul’s Drag Race”; and Bravo’s “Top Chef.”
The biggest rule changes this year are the restructuring of the outstanding variety special and special class categories and the expansion of several existing Emmy categories into two new and distinct categories, including those involving costuming, nonfiction programming and sound editing.
The confusion of defining special class prompted the Television Academy to have separate categories for outstanding live variety special and outstanding pre-recorded variety special.
Samira Wiley from “The Handmaid’s Tale” and Ryan Eggold, who stars in the new NBC medical drama “New Amsterdam,” joined Television Academy Chairman and CEO Hayma Washington and President and COO Maury McIntyre in announcing the nominees in the top categories at the Television Academy’s North Hollywood headquarters.
The 70th annual Primetime Emmy Awards, which honor programming initially airing between 6 p.m. and 2 a.m. from June 1, 2017, to May 31, 2018, will be presented Sept. 17 at the Microsoft Theater.
Colin Jost and Michael Che, anchors of the “Weekend Update” segment on “Saturday Night Live” and co-head writers of NBC’s late-night sketch comedy series, will be the hosts.
The NBC Emmys telecast will be executive produced by “Saturday Night Live” creator and executive producer Lorne Michaels and include what the network is describing as “special appearances from additional `Saturday Night Live’ cast members.”
The bulk of the awards from the Primetime Emmys’ 122 categories will be presented at the Creative Arts Emmy Awards Sept. 8-9, also at the Microsoft Theater.