HBO's "Watchmen," an innovative reimagining of a superhero graphic novel that tackled racism in America, topped the nominations for this year's Emmy Awards on Tuesday with 26 nods.
Perennial Amazon hit "The Marvelous Mrs Maisel" was tops among the comedies with 20 nominations, followed by dark dramas "Ozark" and "Succession" at 18 each.
Netflix dominated with a whopping 160 nominations -- a new record for a single platform -- on the strength of a powerhouse lineup that includes "Ozark" and "The Crown."
The Emmys -- television's equivalent of the Oscars -- will take place on September 20 and will be the first major awards show in Hollywood since the coronavirus crisis began.
Late night talk show host Jimmy Kimmel is set to host the festivities, but it is unclear what form the broadcast on ABC will take.
The nominations were revealed during a live virtual ceremony due to pandemic-related restrictions.
"Despite the unprecedented challenges facing the entertainment industry, it has been an extraordinary year for television," said Television Academy Chairman and CEO Frank Scherma.
"We are honored to be recognizing so many of the talented programs, producers, directors and craftspeople behind the remarkable storytelling that has brought us together while we remain apart," he added.
"Watchmen," a tale that has struck a chord with many viewers in light of ongoing protests against racism and police brutality in various US cities, received nods for outstanding limited series, as well as for stars Regina King and Jeremy Irons.
The show will compete in the best limited series category, against "Little Fires Everywhere," the adaptation of the popular Celeste Ng book, equal rights saga "Mrs America," true crime story "Unbelievable" and religious drama "Unorthodox."
"The Marvelous Mrs Maisel" -- Amazon's story of a 1950s housewife-turned-stand-up comic -- received nods for outstanding comedy series as well as for stars Rachel Brosnahan, Tony Shalhoub and Alex Borstein. All are past winners.
It will compete for best comedy honors against returning favorites "Curb Your Enthusiasm," "The Good Place" and "Schitt's Creek," and four first-time nominees -- "Dead to Me," "Insecure," "The Kominsky Method" and camp vampire series "What We Do In The Shadows."
"Ozark" stars Jason Bateman, Laura Linney and Julia Garner are in the running, as are a multitude of actors from cutthroat business drama "Succession," including Brian Cox, who is one of the favorites in the lead actor category.
Oscar winner Olivia Colman is hotly tipped to win an Emmy for her portrayal of Queen Elizabeth II in Netflix's "The Crown."
Among other nomination highlights, Sterling K Brown earned twin acting nods for his starring role in the NBC family drama "This Is Us" and a supporting role on "Maisel."
"2 Good to be True!" he said in a tweet, thanking the Television Academy "for a great start to my day!"
"Stay sane. #BLM," he added, using the hashtag for the Black Lives Matter movement.
Emmy winner Billy Porter, who was nominated once again for outstanding lead actor in a drama series for "Pose," posted a tweet simply saying "Grateful."
Cate Blanchett, who received a nod for her role in "Mrs America" -- which she also produced -- described the series about the fight over the Equal Rights Amendment as a "story that is not only meaningful to me but deeply resonant to the times in which we live -- times we hoped to illuminate by examining our past."
Disney Plus came out tops among the new streaming platforms with 19 nominations -- 15 of them for the "Star Wars" spinoff "The Mandalorian."
Apple TV+ nabbed nominations for Jennifer Aniston, Steve Carell and Billy Crudup for the platform's flagship launch program "The Morning Show."
The Television Academy's 23,000 voting members were given a record number of entries to sift through this year -- and presumably had plenty of free time to watch TV while cooped up at home due to coronavirus lockdown measures.
"I don't know where we will do this or how we will do this or even why we are doing this but we are doing it and I am hosting it," Kimmel said earlier this month about the Emmys.
It will be his third time as the ceremony's host.
Los Angeles, United States | AFP