LOS ANGELES - Tina Fey's satire-rich sitcom 30 Rock received a leading 22 Emmy Award nominations yesterday, while the '60s retro series, Mad Men, led the drama pack with 16 bids.
The shows were honored last year as best comedy and drama and have a chance to repeat the performance at September's awards.
The TV movies Grey Gardens, with 17 nominations, and Into the Storm, with 14 nods, were among the front-runners. Chandra Wilson of Grey's Anatomy and Jim Parsons of The Big Bang Theory helped make the announcement at the TV academy's theater - and both proved to be among the lucky.
"No! ... This is some sort of trick fest," said Parsons, when his nomination for lead actor in a comedy series for the CBS show was announced.
"I feel a little dream-like right now," Parsons said later about his first-time Emmy nomination.
"I'm going to the party" was Wilson's response to her bid for outstanding lead actress in a miniseries or movie for Accidental Friendship. She was also nominated for outstanding supporting actress in a drama series for Grey's Anatomy.
The number of contenders in series and acting categories was expanded this year, which may have allowed room for some unexpected bids, including a rare best-comedy series nomination for an animated series, Family Guy.
The series fields are especially crowded, with seven contenders in both drama and comedy categories. Joining Mad Men are fellow cable dramas Big Love, Breaking Bad, Damages, and Dexter. Two network dramas, House and Lost, also made the cut.
Among comedies, the nominees besides 30 Rock and Family Guy include other network series How I Met Your Mother and The Office. Cable contenders include Entourage, Flight of the Conchords, and Weeds.
In announcing that the traditional five nominees would grow to six in top categories, the TV academy noted that a tie could expand the field even more.
Affection was scarce for series that came to an end last season, including long-running medical drama ER, Boston Legal, and Battlestar Galactica.
There was a scattering of nominations among them, but nothing in the marquee categories of acting or best series. Another just-ended series, The Shield, was shut out.
Also snubbed for major awards were Desperate Housewives and Jon & Kate Plus 8, left out of the reality series category. Top-rated TV show American Idol is a contender in the reality-competition category.
NBC found little glory in its late-night lineup, with Jay Leno's final season with Tonight and Conan O'Brien's farewell season of Late Night missing from the variety, music, or comedy series category. O'Brien took over Tonight this year.
Vampire saga True Blood and its star Anna Paquin, who won a Golden Globe earlier this year, were shut out of the major categories.
Academy voters have a history of slighting sci-fi and fantasy series, dating back to Star Trek and including Buffy the Vampire Slayer.
Fey, the executive producer as well as star of 30 Rock, had a chance to repeat as lead actress in a comedy series. Other contenders in the category are Christina Applegate for the canceled Samantha Who?, Toni Collette for United States of Tara, Julia Louis-Dreyfus for The New Adventures of Old Christine, Mary-Louise Parker for Weeds and Sarah Silverman for The Sarah Silverman Program.
Joining last year's winner Alec Baldwin of 30 Rock and Parsons in the comedy category for lead actor is Steve Carell of The Office, Jemaine Clement of Flight of the Conchords, Tony Shalhoub of Monk, and Charlie Sheen of Two and a Half Men.
Lead acting nominations for drama series went to last year's winner, Bryan Cranston of Breaking Bad, along with Michael C. Hall, Dexter; Hugh Laurie, House; Gabriel Byrne, In Treatment; Jon Hamm, Mad Men, and Simon Baker, The Mentalist.
Glenn Close's performance in Damages, which won her an Emmy last year, received a bid again. Also earning nominations were Sally Field, Brothers & Sisters; Kyra Sedgwick, The Closer; Mariska Hargitay, Law & Order: Special Victims Unit; Elisabeth Moss, Mad Men; and Holly Hunter, Saving Grace.