Sex, drugs and medieval violence lead pack for Emmy nominations

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The fantasy saga Game Of Thrones has emerged as the show with the most Emmy nominations with 19 nods, including best drama series.

The drugs drama Breaking Bad was next in line with 16 nominations for its final season, including best drama and a best actor nod for star Bryan Cranston.

Other top nominees included a pair of ambitious miniseries, Fargo garnered 18 nominations and American Horror Story: Coven has 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 and nominee Chiwetel Ejiofor are both nominees for TV projects, as is past Oscar winner Julia Roberts in The Normal Heart.

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 breakthrough last year as the first online series nominated for a major award, has the chance again to grab Emmy gold.

True Detective, a dark drama that starred McConaughey and Woody Harrelson, was entered in the series category although its storyline has come to an end and its stars have indicated they do not plan on returning. The organisers said it qualifies as a series because of the “created by” credit given to Nic Pizzolatto by the Writers Guild of America.

Orange Is The New Black, also from Netflix, earned a nomination for best comedy and a nod for star Taylor Schilling.

Also competing for best comedy honours are The Big Bang Theory, Louie, Silicon Valley, Veep and Modern Family.

Modern Family is a four-time winner that has the chance to tie with Frasier as the all-time top sitcom with one more award.

Orange Is The New Black, set in a women’s prison, could have been entered in either the drama or comedy category, and the decision to go for the latter paid off. Not so for Shameless, a one-time drama contender that failed to get a nod as a comedy.