'Game of Thrones' is king of contenders in Emmys
'GAME of Thrones', which is filmed in Northern Ireland, has defied the Emmy Awards' grudging respect for fantasy fare, and emerged as the leader in the nominations with 19 nods, including best drama series.
Among the nominees from the hit series are Peter Dinklage for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series and Lena Headey for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series.
Other shows that fared well in yesterday's announcement were 'Fargo', with 18 nominations, and 'American Horror Story: Coven', with 17. The AIDS drama 'The Normal Heart' received 16 nominations, including best TV movie. The meth kingpin saga 'Breaking Bad' got 16 nominations for its final season, including best drama and best actor nod for star Bryan Cranston.
This year's Academy Awards best-actor winner Matthew McConaughey ('Dallas Buyers Club') and nominee Chiwetel Ejiofor ('12 Years a Slave') are both nominees for TV projects.
In the competitive best-drama series category, 'Game of Thrones' – which is mostly filmed in Northern Ireland – will compete with 'Breaking Bad', 'Downton Abbey', 'House of Cards', 'Mad Men' and 'True Detective'.
Whether 'Game of Thrones' can take home the top trophy is another question: only one fantasy or sci-fi series, 'Lost', has ever captured it.
Netflix's 'House of Cards', which made a breakthrough last year as the first online series nominated for a major award, has the chance again to grab Emmy gold.
'Orange is the New Black', also from Netflix, leaped that barrier on the flipside this time around with a bid for best comedy series, along with a nod for star Taylor Schilling.
Also competing for best comedy honours are 'The Big Bang Theory', 'Louie', 'Silicon Valley', 'Veep', and 'Modern Family'.
Another category-buster is 'True Detective', the Southern drama that starred McConaughey and Woody Harrelson.
McConaughey and Harrelson will both vie for best drama actor honours, along with Cranston for 'Breaking Bad', Jon Hamm for 'Mad Men', Kevin Spacey for 'House of Cards', and Jeff Daniels for 'The Newsroom', who won the Emmy last year.
Nominees in the lead actress drama category are 'Homeland' star Claire Danes, Lizzy Caplan for 'Masters of Sex', Michelle Dockery for 'Downton Abbey', Julianna Margulies for 'The Good Wife', Kerry Washington for 'Scandal' and Robin Wright for 'House of Cards'.