Emmy nominations 2016: ‘Game of Thrones’ reigns with 23 bids, ‘People v. O.J. Simpson’ nabs 22

The lavish fantasy epic “Game of Thrones” is once again the most nominated show at the Emmys. Following 2015’s whopping total of 24 bids it picked up 23 this time around, including repeat nom for Best Drama Series, Drama Supporting Actor (Peter Dinklage) and Drama Supporting Actress (Lena Headey and Emilia Clarke). In addition it finally added new actors to its list: supporting stars Kit Harington and Maisie Williams and guest actor Max von Sydow.

For the complete list of nominations, click here.

Overall six of the seven Best Drama nominees from last year were eligible to return — all except “Mad Men,” which ended its run last year — and five of them are back in the top race: Along with “Game of Thrones,” the TV academy invited back “Better Call Saul,” “Downton Abbey,” “Homeland” and “House of Cards.” The only returning show left out was “Orange is the New Black.”

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That means there are two new shows in contention. One is “Mr. Robot,” which picked up six nominations total, also including Drama Actor (Rami Malek), Drama Writing (Sam Esmail for the pilot episode). Surprisingly, supporting actor Christian Slater was snubbed.

Also surprising was the other new nominee for Best Drama Series. In its fourth season, FX’s “The Americans” finally made the cut, and so did both of its lead stars, Matthew Rhys and Keri Russell.

The 2015 champion for Best Comedy Series, “Veep,” drastically improved its haul this year, up from nine to a remarkable 17. That includes return bids for Best Comedy Actress (Julia Louis-Dreyfus, who has won four years in a row), Comedy Supporting Actor (Tony Hale, who won last year) and Comedy Supporting Actress (Anna Chlumsky). In addition to those, the show added bids for supporting actor Matt Walsh and guest actors Martin Mull and Peter MacNicol.

“Veep’s” chief Emmy rival last year was “Transparent,” which had 11 nominations in 2015 and 10 this year, including for Best Comedy Series, Comedy Actor (defending champ Jeffrey Tambor), Comedy Supporting Actress (Gaby Hoffmann) and Comedy Guest Actor (Bradley Whitford, who won last year but is back in a different role). New to the acting races this time around are supporting actress Judith Light and guest actress Melora Hardin.

Three more of last year’s nominees for Best Comedy were eligible to return and all did: “Modern Family,” “Silicon Valley” and “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt.” Two slots were opened up by the absence of “Parks and Recreation,” which concluded last year, and “Louie,” which is on hiatus. Those spots were filled by “Black-ish,” which has three nominations including lead-acting bids for Tracee Ellis Ross and Anthony Anderson, and “Master of None,” which has four bids including Comedy Actor (Aziz Ansari), Comedy Writing and Comedy Directing.

FX’s anthology series “American Horror Story” has led the movie/limited series field for the last four years, but this year the big story was another FX anthology series, also from creator Ryan Murphy: “The People v. O.J. Simpson,” part of the new “American Crime Story” franchise. It received 22 nominations, including Best Limited Series, Best Movie/Mini Actor (Courtney B. Vance and Cuba Gooding Jr.), Best Movie/Mini Actress (Sarah Paulson) and Best Movie/Mini Supporting Actor (Sterling K. Brown, John Travolta and David Schwimmer).

2016 Emmy Awards: Complete list of nominations

Two more returning anthologies racked up major nominations. “Fargo,” which won the top prize in 2014, is back with 18 nominations, and last year’s nominee “American Crime” contends for four awards.

Joining them in the Limited Series race are “The Night Manager,” “Roots” and “Show Me a Hero.” For the first time, “American Horror Story” was snubbed entirely from the top race.

The top nominee among telefilms was HBO’s Lyndon Johnson biopic “All the Way,” adapted from the Tony-winning 2014 play. It’s up for eight awards, including Best TV Movie, Best Movie/Mini Actor (Bryan Cranston) and Best Movie/Mini Supporting Actress (Melissa Leo).

It’s joined in the top race by another HBO political production, “Confirmation,” as well as “Luther,” “A Very Murray Christmas” and “Sherlock: The Abominable Bride.”

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