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Emmy nominations: 'Game of Thrones' leads with 19 nods

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'Game of Thrones' earned a leading 19 Emmy Award nominations, including for best drama series. (HBO)

The changing face of television was recognized Thursday morning with the announcement of the nominations for the 66th annual Primetime Emmy Awards. Programs from broadcast, cable, pay-TV, and the digital world were all honored.

HBO's "Game of Thrones" led with 19 nominations, including for best drama series.

"Breaking Bad" got 16 nods for its final season, including best drama and best actor nod for star Bryan Cranston. Other contenders include "Mad Men," "House of Cards."

Other top nominees included a pair of ambitious miniseries, "Fargo," with 18 bids, and "American Horror Story: Coven," with 17. The AIDS drama "The Normal Heart" received 16 nominations, including best TV movie.

Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson, both of "True Detective," will vie for best drama actor honors, along with four-time winner Cranston for "Breaking Bad," Jon Hamm for "Mad Men," Kevin Spacey for "House of Cards," and Jeff Daniels for "The Newsroom."

"I am honored to be included in this years nominations. It's a dream job, with a remarkable group of talented collaborators," said Spacey. "I feel blessed and challenged to tackle our perspective on Washington politics. My congrats to all on the House of Cards team, MRC and to Netflix for a great result across the board - 31 nods - not bad for the new kid on the block."

See full list of nominees for 66th annual Primetime Emmy Awards

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," Robin Wright for "House of Cards" and Kerry Washington for "Scandal."

"I'm so honored to be nominated. And so thrilled for Joe Morton and Kate Burton! I'm crazy grateful that the TV Academy has acknowledged our show in these ways," Washington said.

Morton and Burton were recognized in the guest actor and actress categories for their roles in "Scandal."

In the comedy category, Netflix's "Orange is the New Black" earned a bid for best comedy series, along with a nod for star Taylor Schilling. The cast celebrated their nomination on the set with some orange drinks.

The cast of 'Orange is the New Black' celebrated their Emmy nomination on Thursday, July 10, 2014.

Other best comedy nominees include "The Big Bang Theory," ''Louie," ''Silicon Valley," ''Veep," and "Modern Family," a four-time winner that has the chance to tie "Frasier" as the all-time winning sitcom with one more award.

Lead comedy actor nods went to Don Cheadle for "House of Lies," Louis C.K. for "Louie," Ricky Gervais for "Derek," Matt LeBlanc for "Episodes," William H. Macy for "Shameless" and Jim Parsons for "The Big Bang Theory."

"I am over the moon. I cannot wait to fly to LA to see Louis CK win. Genuinely though, I am absolutely thrilled," said Gervais.

Best actress comedy nominees besides Schilling were Lena Dunham for "Girls," Edie Falco for "Nurse Jackie," Melissa McCarthy for "Mike & Molly," Amy Poehler for "Parks and Recreation" and last year's winner, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, for "Veep."

The Emmy awards will be presented on Aug. 25 at the Nokia Theatre.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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