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story.lead_photo.caption Kristofer Hivju (from left), Kit Harington and Emilia Clarke are shown in a scene from Game of Thrones, which is in the hunt for a fourth Emmy for best series among its 27 nominations, including best actress for Clarke.

LOS ANGELES -- HBO's Game of Thrones slashed its way to a record-setting 32 Emmy nominations Tuesday for its eighth and final season, leading HBO back to dominance over Netflix, the streaming service that bumped it last year from atop the increasingly crowded television heap.

The bloodthirsty saga eclipsed the series record of 27 nods earned by NYPD Blue in 1994.

If Game of Thrones successfully defends its best drama series title and claims a fourth trophy, it will join the quartet of most-honored dramas that includes Hill Street Blues, L.A. Law, The West Wing and Mad Men.

The Emmy voters' acclaim stands in sharp contrast to fan reaction to the show's last hurrah, which included howls of laughter for a to-go coffee cup inadvertently included in one scene and a finale that detractors called unsatisfying. But the show's ratings never faltered for the series based on George R.R. Martin's novels, setting new highs for HBO.

A wealth of recognition for the cast and guest stars, including the show's only previous winner, Peter Dinklage with three awards, helped Game of Thrones add to its already record haul of nominations, now at 161 total.

Series star Emilia Clarke's decision to seek a best actress nomination after a series of supporting actress bids paid off. She's competing in a category that includes past winner Viola Davis for How to Get Away with Murder and repeat nominee Sandra Oh for Killing Eve, who has another chance to become the first actress of Asian descent to win the trophy. She lost last year to Claire Foy for Netflix's The Crown.

Two actors, Billy Porter for Pose and previous winner Sterling K. Brown for This Is Us, earned drama series nods.

The rest of the drama series field includes Better Call Saul, Bodyguard, Killing Eve, Ozark, Pose, Succession and, as the only network entry, This is Us. Mandy Moore, who plays the NBC drama's matriarch, earned her first best actress nod, with fellow cast member Chris Sullivan earning his first nod, for supporting actor.

Last year's best comedy series, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, led the comedy pack with 20 bids, including for its star and defending champion Rachel Brosnahan.

She'll vie with Emmy record-holder Julia Louis-Dreyfus of Veep, who didn't compete in last year's awards because her breast cancer treatment delayed production of the political satire. Louis-Dreyfus, who with Cloris Leachman shares the record for most Emmys won by a performer, eight, has a shot at solo glory if she wins again.

The final season of Veep received nine nominations, including a best supporting actress bid for Anna Chlumsky.

There was no warm and fuzzy goodbye for The Big Bang Theory, the long-running sitcom that failed to capture a best comedy nod or any for its actors.

Other top nominees include the nuclear disaster miniseries Chernobyl with 19 nominations and Saturday Night Live, which drew on Robert De Niro's talents to play Robert Mueller last season, with 18. When They See Us, the miniseries that dramatized the Central Park Five case and its aftermath, received 16 bids.

The 71st Emmy Awards will air Sept. 22 on Fox, with the host yet to be announced.

Information for this article was contributed by Andrew Dalton and Jonathan Landrum Jr. of The Associated Press.

Photo by AP/BBC America/NICK WALL
Sandra Oh , star of BBC America’s Killing Eve, nominated a second time for best actress, has a chance to become the first actress of Asian descent to win.
Photo by AP/NBC/RON BATZDORFF
NBC’s This is Us is the lone network nominee for best drama series.

A Section on 07/17/2019

Print Headline: Game of Thrones leads in Emmy nods

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