LOS ANGELES — The fantasy saga "Game of Thrones," defying the Emmy Awards' grudging respect for genre fare, emerged as the leader in the nominations announced Thursday with 19 bids, including best drama series.
The meth kingpin drama "Breaking Bad" was next in line with 16 bids for its final season, including best drama and best actor nod for star Bryan Cranston.
Other top nominees included a pair of ambitious miniseries, "Fargo," with 18 bids, and "American Horror Story: Coven," with 17. The AIDS drama "The Normal Heart" received 16 nominations, including best TV movie.
The 66th prime-time Emmy Awards ceremony will have big-screen star power to spare. 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, as is past Oscar winner Julia Roberts.
In the competitive best-drama series category, "Game of Thrones" will compete with "Breaking Bad," ''Downton Abbey," ''House of Cards," ''Mad Men" and "True Detective."
Netflix's "House of Cards" which made a breakthough last year as the first online series nominated for a major award, has the chance again to grab Emmy gold.
"True Detective," the dark-hearted Southern drama that starred McConaughey and Woody Harrelson, was entered in the series category although it had a close-ended story and its stars have indicated they don't plan on returning.