LOS ANGELES - HBO's dystopian superhero drama Watchmen and the 1960s comedy The Marvelous Mrs Maisel led nominations on Tuesday (July 28) for the Emmy Awards, in a list strong on diversity and fresh contenders for the highest awards in television.
Watchmen scored 26 nods, including best limited series, while Amazon Studio's The Marvelous Mrs Maisel got 20, including a best actress nod for star Rachel Brosnahan.
Netflix led all networks with a record 160 nominations for shows or stars that included Stranger Things, Tiger King, rape drama Unbelievable and Jewish saga Unorthodox.
It was followed by HBO with 107, including a surprise nod for Zendaya, the 23 year-old star of teen drama Euphoria.
Succession, about a sparring media family, scored 18 nominations, including nine for its actors.
Ozark, about a middle-class family that launders money for a drug cartel, also received 28 nods including for stars Laura Linney and Jason Bateman.
Half of the nominees for best comedy series were newcomers to the Emmys such as Dead To Me and Issa Rae's Insecure, a take on 20-something black women in Los Angeles.
Schitt's Creek' the sleeper hit comedy about a wealthy family forced to live in a rundown motel, scored 15 nods, including best comedy series and for its four main cast members: Catherine O'Hara, Eugene Levy, Dan Levy and Annie Murphy.
"For once, I am speechless," Dan Levy, who is also the co-creator of Schitt's Creek, wrote on Twitter.
At a time when Hollywood's record on diversity is under scrutiny, multiple nominations went to actors of colour.
They included Muslim American Ramy Youssef for his semiautobiographical comedy Ramy, Kerry Washington (Little Fires Everywhere and American Son), Don Cheadle (Black Monday), Regina King (Watchmen), returning Emmy champion Billy Porter (Pose), Sandra Oh (Killing Eve), Uzo Aduba (Mrs America) and Sterling K. Brown (The Marvelous Mrs Maisel and This Is Us).
Former Friends star Jennifer Aniston landed her first Emmy nomination in a dramatic role for her performance as a tough TV anchor in the Apple TV+ drama The Morning Show, which also brought nods for Steve Carell and supporting actors Billy Crudup and Mark Duplass.
Among the surprises was a best drama series nod and 14 other nominations for The Mandalorian, the popular Star Wars spinoff about a helmeted bounty hunter who protects Baby Yoda, on the Disney+ streaming platform.
But LGBTQ series Pose was overlooked in the drama series race, while Oscar winner Reese Witherspoon failed to make the grade for acting in either The Morning Show or Little Fires Everywhere.
The Emmy Awards will be announced at a ceremony on Sept 20, although it is not clear if any of it will be live or in front of an audience because of the coronavirus pandemic.
Following is a list of nominees in key categories:
Best drama series
Better Call Saul (AMC)
The Crown (Netflix)
The Handmaid's Tale (Hulu)
Killing Eve (AMC)
The Mandalorian (Disney+)
Stranger Things (Netflix)
Best comedy series
Curb Your Enthusiasm (HBO)
Dead To Me (Netflix)
The Good Place (NBC)
The Kominsky Method (Netflix)
The Marvelous Mrs Maisel (Amazon Prime Video)
Schitt's Creek (Pop TV)
What We Do in the Shadows (FX)
Best limited series
Little Fires Everywhere (Hulu)
Mrs America (FX)
Best comedy actor
Anthony Anderson, black-ish
Don Cheadle, Black Monday
Ted Danson, The Good Place
Michael Douglas, The Kominsky Method
Eugene Levy, Schitt's Creek
Ramy Yousef, Ramy
Best comedy actress
Christina Applegate, Dead To Me
Rachel Brosnahan, The Marvelous Mrs Maisel
Linda Cardellini, Dead To Me
Catherine O'Hara, Schitt's Creek
Issa Rae, Insecure
Tracee Ellis Ross, black-ish
Best drama actor
Jason Bateman, Ozark
Sterling K. Brown, This Is Us
Steve Carell, The Morning Show
Brian Cox, Succession
Billy Porter, Pose
Jeremy Strong, Succession
Best drama actress
Jennifer Aniston, The Morning Show
Olivia Colman, The Crown
Jodie Comer, Killing Eve
Laura Linney, Ozark
Sandra Oh, Killing Eve
Best actress, limited series
Cate Blanchett, Mrs America
Shira Haas, Unorthodox
Regina King, Watchmen
Octavia Spencer, Self Made: Inspired By The Life Of Madam CJ Walker
Kerry Washington, Little Fires Everywhere
Best actor, limited series
Jeremy Irons, Watchmen
Hugh Jackman, Bad Education
Paul Mescal, Normal People
Jeremy Pope, Hollywood
Mark Ruffalo, I Know This Much Is True