LOS ANGELES - America's television stars hit the red carpet Sunday for the Emmy awards show, with online drama "House of Cards" hoping to come up trumps against more traditional small-screen rivals.
The Netflix political drama starring Kevin Spacey aims to become the first online-only series to win in major categories at the 65th annual Primetime Emmy awards show, the TV world's equivalent of the Oscars.
But it faces stiff competition from critically-acclaimed AMC thriller "Breaking Bad," which many are tipping to win the evening's top prize on its fifth nomination.
Terror-themed thriller "Homeland" and multiple-Emmy winning "Mad Men" are also in the running for best drama, while "American Horror Story: Asylum" has the most nominations of all, with 17 nods at the awards gala in Los Angeles.
Elton John will make his first ever appearance at the show in a tribute to piano legend Liberace, the subject of acclaimed biopic "Behind the Candelabra," which has 15 nominations overall.
Among the frontrunners, Spacey - scheming congressman Francis Underwood in "House of Cards" - is vying for best actor against Bryan Cranston, as shy chemistry teacher turned crystal meth drug lord Walter White in "Breaking Bad," the finale of which airs next week.
Others tipped in the male drama race include Briton Damian Lewis in "Homeland" and Jon Hamm of "Mad Men," who surprisingly has never won a Primetime Emmy himself.
For best drama actress, the frontrunners include Kerry Washington of ABC's political thriller "Scandal," who would become the first African-American actress to take the top female Emmy.