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Game of Thrones receives 19 Emmy nominations

The fantasy saga Game Of Thrones has emerged as the show with the most Emmy nominations with 19 nods, including best drama series.

The drugs drama Breaking Bad was next in line with 16 nominations for its final season, including best drama and a best actor nod for star Bryan Cranston.

Other top nominees included a pair of ambitious miniseries, Fargo garnered 18 nominations and American Horror Story: Coven has 17.

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The Aids drama The Normal Heart received 16 nominations, including best TV movie.

The 66th prime-time Emmy Awards ceremony will have big-screen star power to spare.

This year's Academy Awards best-actor winner Matthew McConaughey and nominee Chiwetel Ejiofor are both nominees for TV projects, as is past Oscar winner Julia Roberts.

In the competitive best-drama series category, Game Of Thrones will compete with Breaking Bad, Downton Abbey, House Of Cards, Mad Men and True Detective.

Netflix's House Of Cards, which made a breakthrough last year as the first online series nominated for a major award, has the chance again to grab Emmy gold.

True Detective, a dark drama that starred McConaughey and Woody Harrelson, was entered in the series category although it had a close-ended story and its stars have indicated they do not plan on returning.

Orange Is The New Black, also from Netflix, earned a nomination for best comedy series and a nod for star Taylor Schilling.

Also competing for best comedy honours are "The Big Bang Theory, Louie, Silicon Valley, Veep and Modern Family.

Modern Family is a four-time winner that has the chance to tie with Frasier as the all-time top sitcom with one more award.

Orange Is The New Black, a hybrid 'dramedy' set in a prison, could have been entered in either the drama or comedy category, and the decision to go for the latter paid off.

Not so for Shameless, a one-time drama contender that tried for better luck on the comedy side but failed to get a nod.

True Detective qualifies as a series because of the "created by" credit given to Nic Pizzolatto by the Writers Guild of America, said John Leverence, the TV academy's senior vice president for awards.

McConaughey and Harrelson both will vie for best drama actor honours, along with four-time winner Cranston, Jon Hamm of Mad Men, Kevin Spacey for House Of Cards, and Jeff Daniels for The Newsroom. Daniels won the Emmy last year.

Nominees in the lead actress drama category are last year's winner, Homeland star Claire Danes along with Lizzy Caplan for Masters Of Sex, Michelle Dockery for Downton Abbey, Julianna Margulies for The Good Wife, Kerry Washington for Scandal and Robin Wright for House Of Cards.

With a resurgence of long-form drama, the TV academy separated the best movie and mini-series categories that it had combined for several years because of scant entries.

In the miniseries category, American Horror Story: Coven and Fargo, a riff on the 1996 movie of the same name, will compete with Bonnie & Clyde, Luther, Treme and The White Queen.

Along with The Normal Heart, the TV movie nominees are Killing Kennedy, Muhammad Ali's Greatest Fight, Sherlock: His Last Vow (Masterpiece) and The Trip To Bountiful.

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