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Emmy nominees include 'Big Bang Theory,' 'House of Cards,' 'Downton Abbey'

"Breaking Bad" star Aaron Paul and surprise announcer Neil Patrick Harris delivered the news television's loyal binge watchers were hoping for: Netflix original series "House of Cards" cracked the Emmy code and scored a nomination for best drama series.

As a whole, it was a fine morning for Netflix: "Cards" actors Kevin Spacey and Robin Wright also snagged nominations, and Jason Bateman of "Arrested Development" was nominated for lead actor in a comedy. The streaming service received a total of 14 nods.

Congrats+to+@KevinSpacey,+#RobinWright,+#DavidFincher+and+the+@HouseofCards+team+on+9+nominations+http://t.co/j5eElTGul3+#Emmys

—+Netflix+US+(@netflix)+July+18,+2013+

FX's horror/drama "American Horror Story: Asylum," which resets each season with a new location and cast, received the most nods with 17 for its 13-episode second season. The show was nominated for outstanding miniseries, and star Jessica Lange was recognized as a best lead actress in a miniseries for her portrayal of Sister Jude Martin.

But HBO's epic fantasy drama "Game of Thrones" wasn't far behind, nabbing a total of 16 nominations, including supporting actor and actress for Peter Dinklage and Emilia Clarke. The series, which features sweeping landscapes and detailed costumes, was also recognized for cinematography, costumes and drama series.

"Game of Thrones" was just part of HBO's huge morning. The premium cable network snagged a total of 108 nominations to top all the networks. Drama "Boardwalk Empire," which stars Steve Buscemi, helped add to the total with 10 nominations, as did the Liberace biopic "Behind the Candelabra," which snagged 15. HBO far outpaced NBC and CBS, which both earned 53 nods. Broadcast networks ABC received 45, PBS 25 and FOX 19.

"Breaking Bad," which debuts its final season next month, wasn't far behind with 13 nominations, including one for announcer Paul, who was recognized for his role of Jesse Pinkman on the AMC drama. Star Bryan Cranston is up once again for best lead drama actor, a category in which he's won three times for his role as chemistry teacher turned drug lord Walter White. (Damian Lewis of "Homeland" beat Cranston last year.)

The+love+this+morning+has+been+unreal.+Thank+you+so+much+for+the+undying+support+for+me+and+for+Breaking+Bad.+Love+u+all.+#Emmys

—+Aaron+Paul+(@aaronpaul_8)+July+18,+2013+

Critical darling "Mad Men" walked away with 12 nominations, including nods for actors Jon Hamm (lead actor), Elisabeth Moss (lead actress), Christina Hendricks (supporting actress), Robert Morse (supporting actor), Harry Hamlin (supporting actor) and outstanding drama. It's a bit of a slide for the AMC drama, which last year received 17 nods but won nothing. According to Gold Derby's Tom O'Neil, it was the biggest shutout in Emmy history.

British period series "Downton Abbey" tied "Mad Men" with 12 nominations, with the stars nabbing a number of the nods. Hugh Bonneville is up for lead drama actor, Jim Carter for supporting drama actor, Michelle Dockery for lead drama actress and the amazing Maggie Smith for supporting drama actress. The show was also recognized for its writing, music, costumes, and of course, overall drama.

Last year's winner, "Homeland," nabbed 11 nominations, including outstanding drama, writing and directing and nominations for four actors. Stars Claire Danes and Damian Lewis, who both won last year, were recognized again. Supporting players Mandy Patinkin and Morena Baccarin both scored their first nominations.

"Being with this company of people — these writers, these actors, this crew, it’s just a beautiful place to go to work," Patinkin said on Thursday. "And I love being in the mindset of where Saul’s mind is a lot. He’s a deep, optimistic, hopeful human being. And to put my mind in that frame of mind for 12 to 14 hours a day is a wonderful place to live."

Surprisingly, AMC's wildly popular critical hit "The Walking Dead" was mostly ignored by Emmy voters. The drama about a group of survivors living in a world overrun by zombies received only one nod: prosthetic makeup.

Comedy juggernaut "Modern Family" was not the top sitcom after the Emmy nominations were announced Wednesday. NBC's "30 Rock" beat it by one nod with a total of 13 nominations. Both shows are up for the best comedy trophy, but "Modern Family" has dominated in this category, winning the last three trophies.

"Modern Family" star Eric Stonestreet, who was the show's only actor not to be nominated, was quick to cheer on his co-stars.

Congratulations+to+my+fellow+cast+and+crew+members+on+their+Emmy+nominations.+I+have+THE+best+job+on+TV.

—+Eric+Stonestreet+(@ericstonestreet)+July+18,+2013+

But the show could face tough competition from "The Big Bang Theory," which received eight nods. The CBS comedy about a group of geeky friends gave further depth to its characters this season and also set new ratings records, at points reaching more than 19 million viewers in January.

Julia Louis Dreyfus of "Veep" and Amy Poehler of "Parks and Recreation," who cracked up viewers of the awards show last year when Dreyfus was pronounced the winner and they both stood up, collided and mixed up their acceptance speeches, were nominated for lead actress in a comedy again. They both issued statements on Thursday morning without getting them mixed up.

"It's taken me decades, but I have finally avenged Lucille Ball. I am euphoric," said Louis-Dreyfus, who has won three times in her career and on Thursday broke Ball's record of 12 nominations.

"I appreciate the nominations. I love my job. But nice try, guys. I'm not falling for this old trick again," Poehler said.

"Saturday Night Live" was the big winner for NBC, snagging a total of 15 nominations, including outstanding variety series and a supporting actor nod for Bill Hader, who announced that this past season was his last. Other standouts for the network include a best reality host nod for "Betty White's Off Their Rockers," coverage of the 2012 London Olympic Games Opening Ceremony, outgoing comedy "30 Rock" and singing competition "The Voice."

In reality TV, ABC's "Dancing With the Stars" dominated with nine nods. Host Tom Bergeron was once again nominated for best reality host, which he won last year. The ballroom bash was also recognized in the best reality program, choreography, makeup, lighting and other categories.

CBS' "The Amazing Race," which has won best reality competition show every year between 2003 and 2009, and again in 2011 and 2012, was once again nominated in the same category. Host Phil Keoghan did not get a nod this year. Former ratings juggernaut "American Idol" received only three nominations, with one being Ryan Seacrest for best host.

In the outstanding variety TV category, Comedy Central's "The Daily Show With Jon Stewart" appears poised for yet another win. "The Daily Show" has won the Emmy every year since 2003. But Stewart and gang face tough competition — again — from sister show "The Colbert Report," which is also nominated this year. Also competing are "Jimmy Kimmel Live," "Late Night With Jimmy Fallon," "Real Time With Bill Maher" and "Saturday Night Live."

Congratulations+to+@TheDailyShow+and+@ColbertReport+for+their+#EMMY+noms.+We+are+rooting+for+the+tie!

—+Comedy+Central+(@ComedyCentral)+July+18,+2013+

"Honored to be nominated for an Emmy this morning," Fallon said in a statement. "Takes the sting away from being snubbed by the ESPYs last night."

Kimmel, who will soon compete with Fallon head-on when Fallon takes over the "Tonight Show," reacted, well, like you would expect: "It just goes to show you — good things happen to bad people."

Neither of late-night TV's old guard — "Late Show With David Letterman" and "Tonight Show With Jay Leno" — received recognition for outstanding variety TV. It'll be interesting next year to see whether Leno's "Tonight" successor, Fallon, can stay in the competition once he gets settled at his new desk. And will Fallon's "Late Night" replacement, Seth Meyers, be able to elbow his way in?

The full list of Emmy nominations is available on the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences website. The awards ceremony airs Sunday, Sept. 22 at 8 p.m. ET / 5 p.m. PT on CBS.

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    2013 Emmy nominees

    This year's contenders include "The Big Bang Theory," "Downton Abbey," "Breaking Bad" and many more as television celebrates a banner year.

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    "Breaking Bad" received its fourth nomination for best drama this year. The AMC hit about a chemistry teacher who turns into a meth cook (Bryan Cranston) to provide for his family has never won in this category despite critical acclaim. The show has 13 nominations overall.

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    British period drama "Downton Abbey" is up for best drama again this year, as well as 11 other categories. It won outstanding miniseries in its first season, and was nominated for drama series in season two.

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    'Game of Thrones' -

    "Game of Thrones, " the HBO drama based on George R. R. Martin's fantasy novels is up for 16 awards this year, including best drama, which it has contended for in each of its three seasons. It did not win in the previous two years, and once again faces stiff competition in this third try.

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    'Mad Men' -

    The AMC drama "Mad Men," about Madison Avenue ad executives, is once again up for the best drama award. The show was nominated in 17 categories last year, but walked away with nothing. It has previously won four best drama trophies.

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    "House of Cards," the Netflix series about power plays on Capitol Hill earned the streaming service its first nomination for outstanding drama series, ushering in a new era of recognition for streaming content.

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    'Homeland' -

    Showtime drama "Homeland" had an impressive showing at the Emmys its freshman year in 2012, taking the trophies for drama series, best lead actor and actress and more. This year, it nabbed 11 nods, including best drama.

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    Bryan Cranston -

    Bryan Cranston plays chemistry teacher turned ruthless druglord Walter White (aka Heisenberg) on the AMC hit "Breaking Bad." He is once again nominated for lead drama actor, a category he for the role three consecutive times, from 2008 to 2010. He was not nominated in 2011 (the show wasn't eligible for that year's awards due to when the season aired), and was beaten out by "Homeland's" Damian Lewis last year.

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    Hugh Bonneville this year earned his second Emmy nomination for lead drama actor for his role of Robert Crawley on "Downton Abbey." He did not win last year.

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    Damian Lewis -

    "Homeland" star Damian Lewis received his second lead drama actor nomination for playing Nick Brody, a marine turned by al-Qaida. He won in this category in an upset over Bryan Cranston last year.

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    Kevin Spacey is nominated for lead drama actor for his portrayal of Rep. Francis Underwood on Netflix's freshman political drama "House of Cards."

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    Jon Hamm has now been nominated five times for lead drama actor for his role as Don Draper on "Mad Men." He has yet to win, and again has tough competition in the category.

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    Jeff Daniels -

    Jeff Daniels, who plays Will McAvoy on HBO's "The Newsroom," picked up his first Emmy nomination for lead drama actor.

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    Claire Danes -

    Claire Danes stars as Carrie Mathison, a CIA officer with bipolar disorder on "Homeland." Danes is up again for lead drama actress, a category she won last year.

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    Connie Britton is nominated for best drama actress for her portrayal of country singer Rayna James on "Nashville."

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    "Scandal" star Kerry Washington received her first Emmy nod -- lead drama actress -- for her portrayal of Olivia Pope on ABC's drama.

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    Michelle Dockery is nominated for best lead actress for her work as Lady Mary on "Downton Mary."

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    Vera Farmgia, shown with Freddie Highmore, picked up her first Emmy nomination, lead drama actress, for her role as Norma Bates in A&E's "Bates Motel."

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    Elisabeth Moss -

    Elisabeth Moss, who plays Peggy Olson on "Mad Men," earned yet another lead drama actress Emmy nod for the role. She is also up for lead actress in a miniseries or movie for her portrayal of Robin on Sundance Channel's "Top of the Lake."

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    Robin Wright, who plays political wife Claire Underwood in Netflix's "House of Cards," earned her first primetime Emmy nomination for lead drama actress.

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    Bobby Cannavale is up for a supporting drama actor for his role as Gyp Rosetti on "Boardwalk Empire."

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    onathan Banks, who plays Mike on "Breaking Bad," is nominated for supporting drama actor.

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    Aaron Paul -

    For his role as Jesse Pinkman on "Breaking Bad," Aaron Paul received his fourth supporting drama actor nod. He won in 2010 and 2012.

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    Jim Carter is nominated for supporting drama actor for his portrayal of Mr. Carson on "Downton Abbey."

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    Peter Dinklage, who plays Tyrion Lannister in HBO's "Game of Thrones," is nominated for supporting drama actor.

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    Mandy Patinkin is nominated for his portrayal of Saul Berenson on "Homeland."

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    Anna Gunn plays meth dealer Walter White's wife, Skyler, on "Breaking Bad." She is nominated for supporting drama actress.

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    Dame Maggie Smith is nominated for supporting drama actress for her portrayal of Violet, Dowager Countess of Grantham on "Downton Abbey."

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    Emilia Clarke is nominated for supporting drama actress for her portrayal of Daenerys Targaryen in HBO's "Game of Thrones."

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    Christine Baranski, who plays Diane Lockhart on CBS's "The Good Wife," is nominated for supporting drama actress.

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    Morena Baccarin plays Jessica Brody on Showtime's "Homeland," and is nominated for supporting drama actress.

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    Christina Hendricks, who plays Joan Harris on "Mad Men," is nominated for supporting drama actress.

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    "30 Rock" is no stranger to Emmy excitement. The sitcom received 13 nods this year, including best comedy, lead actor and actress, and more.

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    "The Big Bang Theory" is up for eight awards, including best comedy, lead actor, supportig actress and more. The popular sitcom has never won the best comedy trophy.

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    'Modern Family' -

    "Modern Family" is an Emmy powerhouse. This year, it has 12 nominations, and has won outstanding comedy series three times, a category it is once again contending in.

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    HBO's "Girls" is up for five awards this year, including best comedy.

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    HBO's "Veep" is also contending in five categories, including best comedy.

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    Jim Parsons -

    "Big Bang Theory" star Jim Parsons, who plays genius Sheldon Cooper, is once again in the running for lead comedy actor, a category he has won twice before for the role.

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    Alec Baldwin, who stars as bumbling boss Jack Donaghy on "30 Rock," is nominated for lead comedy actor.

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    Louis CK is the creator, star, writer and director of the FX series "Louie." He is nominated for a total of nine awards, including lead comedy actor for his role as Louie on "Louie."

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    Jason Bateman -

    Jason Bateman returned to "Arrested Development" as the show came back via Netflix this year. He is nominated for lead comedy actor for his portrayal of Michael Bluth.

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    Don Cheadle was nominated for lead actor in a comedy series for his role as Marty Kaan in Showtime's "House of Lies."

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    Matt LeBlanc is nominated for lead comedy actor in Showtime's "Episodes" for playing ... himself.

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    Lena Dunham is nominated for two Emmys this year: lead comedy actress and directing for a comedy series.

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    Tina Fey, star of "30 Rock," is nominated for five Emmys this year, including lead comedy actress.

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    Julia Louis-Dreyfus, who stars as Vice President Selina Meyer on HBO's "Veep," is nominated for lead comedy actress.

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    Laura Dern is nominated for lead comedy actress for her portrayal of Amy on HBO's "Enlightened."

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    Edie Falco, who plays Jackie Peyton on "Nurse Jackie," is nominated for lead comedy actress.

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    Amy Poehler, who stars as Leslie Knope on NBC's "Parks and Recreation," is nominated for lead comedy actress

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    Adam Driver -

    Adam Driver earned his first nomination for supporting actor in a comedy series for his role as Adam Sackler on "Girls."

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    Jesse Tyler Ferguson (pictured with Eric Stonestreet, right) is nominated for supporting comedy actor for his portrayal of Mitchell Pritchett on "Modern Family."

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    Ed O'Neill is nominated for supporting comedy actor for his role as Jay Pritchett on "Modern Family."

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    Ty Burrell is nominated for supporting comedy actor for his role as Phil Dunphy on "Modern Family."

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    Bill Hader -

    Bill Hader (in character as Stefon on "Saturday Night Live") is nominated in the supporting comedy actor category for his portrayal of various characters on "SNL."

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    Tony Hale is nominated for supporting comedy actor for his portrayal of Gary Walsh on HBO's "Veep." This is his first Emmy nod.

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    Mayim Bialik is nominated for supporting comedy actress for her portrayal of Amy Farrah Fowler on "Big Bang Theory."

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    Jane Lynch is nominated for supporting comedy actress for her portrayal of Sue Sylvester on Fox's "Glee."

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    Sofia Vergara, shown with Julie Bowen, is nominated for supporting comedy actress for her portrayal of Gloria Pritchett on "Modern Family."

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    Julie Bowen is nominated for supporting comedy actress for her portrayal of Claire Dunphy on "Modern Family."

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    Merritt Wever, who plays Zoey on "Nurse Jackie," is nominated for supporting comedy actress.

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    Jane Krakowski is nominated for supporting comedy actress for her portrayal of Jenna Maroney on "30 Rock."

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    Julia Louis-Dreyfus and Anna Chlumsky both star on HBO's "Veep," and each received a nomination for their roles this year: Louis-Dreyfus for lead comedy actress, Chlumsky for supporting comedy actress.

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    "The Amazing Race" is once again nominated for best reality competition, a category it has won every time between 2003 and 2012, except when "Top Chef" took the trophy in 2010.

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    "Dancing With the Stars" is nominated for best reality competition. It has yet to win in this category.

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    Fashion competition "Project Runway" is nominated for reality competition.

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    "So You Think You Can Dance," which is nominated for reality competition, has 11 previous primetime Emmy wins, but has never won in this categories.

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    Bravo's cooking contest "Top Chef" is nominated for reality competition. It is the only show that has ever beaten "The Amazing Race" in this category.

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    "The Voice" is nominated for best reality competition.

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