LOS ANGELES (AP) — 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’s total eclipsed the all-time series record of 27 nods earned by “NYPD Blue” in 1994.
If “Game of Thrones” successfully defends it 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’s notable for its diversity, including 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 of color, 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.
“I’m at the dog park this morning with my fur children and started getting a lot of texts and phone calls all at once. I’m so excited to learn that the ‘Maisel’ family has been invited back to the party. This category is ridiculous. I can’t believe I get to be a part of anything with these amazing women,” Brosnahan told The Associated Press .
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.
“I’m feeling really jazzed. It might be the coffee I just had. But this feels so much sweeter because it’s the last time around for this show,” she said.
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. The show has company in other hit sitcoms of the past: Neither “Friends” nor “Frasier” were nominated for best series for their final year, both in 2004.
TV academy members’ out-with-the-old approach created openings for a number of buzzy comedy newcomers and their stars and creators, including Phoebe Waller-Bridge’s “Fleabag” and Natasha Lyonne’s “Russian Doll.” Other best comedy contenders include “Barry,” which won acting trophies last year for Bill Hader and Henry Winkler, and sole network entry “The Good Place.”
A surprising entry : the quirky “Schitt’s Creek,” which received its first best comedy series nomination for its penultimate season and bids for stars Eugene Levy and Catherine O’Hara.
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.
“Thank you to the real men for inviting me to tell their story,” tweeted Ava DuVernay, executive producer of “When They See Us.”
The leading miniseries nominee is “Fosse/Verdon,” the biopic about dancer Gwen Verdon and choreographer Bob Fosse that earned 17 bids, including the first Emmy nominations for stars Michelle Williams and Sam Rockwell.
There was a significant drop in diversity among this year’s group of nominees compared to 2018, when more than a third of the 101 nominees in acting categories were ethnic minorities. This year, the figure was less than a quarter, with diversity especially absent in comedy.
Just two of the 26 acting nominees were people of color — Anthony Anderson for “black-ish” and Don Cheadle for “Black Monday” — and three of the four categories had only white nominees.
Categories dominated by the overwhelmingly white “Game of Thrones” were also short on inclusion , including supporting actress in a drama — zero nominees — and supporting drama actor, with only Giancarlo Esposito of “Better Call Saul” receiving a nomination.
In the overall tally contest among outlets, HBO received a whopping 137 nominations Tuesday, riding the dragon wings of “Game of Thrones” and the big tallies for “Chernobyl” and “Barry.” Netflix, which last year ended HBO’s 17-year reign to win the most Emmy nominations, was bumped to second this year with 117. Amazon’s Prime Video was second to Netflix among streamers with 47 nominations.
Broadcast networks, steadily eclipsed by the rise of cable and now streaming, were far behind, with NBC getting 58 nods to top CBS’ 43, ABC’s 26 and Fox’s 18.
The 71st Emmy Awards will air Sept. 22 on Fox, with the host yet to be announced.
AP Entertainment writers Andrew Dalton and Jonathan Landrum Jr. contributed to this report.
This story has been corrected to show that Rachel Brosnahan referred to her “fur children,” not “four children” in her reaction quote.
Copyright © 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, written or redistributed.
Read the full list here:
Outstanding Comedy Series
The Good Place
The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel
Outstanding Drama Series
Better Call Saul
Game of Thrones
This Is Us
Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series
Jason Bateman, Ozark
Sterling K. Brown, This Is Us
Kit Harington, Game of Thrones
Bob Odenkirk, Better Call Saul
Billy Porter, Pose
Milo Ventimiglia, This Is Us
Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series
Emilia Clarke, Game of Thrones
Jodie Comer, Killing Eve
Viola Davis, How to Get Away with Murder
Laura Linney, Ozark
Sandra Oh, Killing Eve
Mandy Moore, This Is Us
Robin Wright, House of Cards
Outstanding Lead Actor in a Limited Series or a Movie
Mahershala Ali, True Detective
Benicio Del Toro, Escape at Dannemora
Hugh Grant, A Very English Scandal
Jared Harris, Chernobyl
Jharrel Jerome, When They See Us
Sam Rockwell, Fosse/Verdon
Outstanding Lead Actress in a Limited Series or a Movie
Amy Adams, Sharp Objects
Patricia Arquette, Escape at Dannemora
Emma Stone, Maniac
Michelle Williams, Fosse/Verdon
Aunjenaue Ellis, When They See Us
Niecy Nash, When They See Us
Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series
Anthony Anderson, black-ish
Don Cheadle, Black Monday
Ted Danson, The Good Place
Michael Douglas, The Kominsky Method
Bill Hader, Barry
Eugene Levy, Schitt’s Creek
Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series
Christina Applegate, Dead to Me
Rachel Brosnahan, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel
Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Veep
Natasha Lyonne, Russian Doll
Phoebe Waller-Bridge, Fleabag
Catherine O’Hara, Schitt’s Creek
Outstanding Reality Competition
The Amazing Race
American Ninja Warrior
RuPaul’s Drag Race
Outstanding Variety/Talk Series
The Daily Show with Trevor Noah
Full Frontal with Samantha Bee
Jimmy Kimmel Live!
Last Week Tonight with John Oliver
The Late Late Show with James Corden
The Late Show with Stephen Colbert
Outstanding Limited Series
Escape at Dannemora
When They See Us
Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series
Anthony Carrigan, Barry
Alan Arkin, The Kominsky Method
Stephen Root, Barry
Tony Hale, Veep
Tony Shalhoub, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel
Henry Winkler, Barry
Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series
Jonathan Banks, Better Call Saul
Giancarlo Esposito, Better Call Saul
Alfie Allen, Game of Thrones
Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Game of Thrones
Peter Dinklage, Game of Thrones
Michael Kelly, House of Cards
Chris Sullivan, This Is Us
Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series
Sarah Goldberg, Barry
Sian Clifford, Fleabag
Olivia Colman, Fleabag
Alex Bornstein, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel
Betty Gilpin, GLOW
Marin Hinkle, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel
Kate McKinnon, Saturday Night Live
Anna Chlumsky, Veep
The 71st Primetime Emmy Awards will air live Sept. 22 at 8 p.m. Eastern.