HBO’s Game of Thrones slashed its way to a record-setting 32 Emmy nominations Tuesday for its eighth and final season, leading HBO back to dominance over Netflix, the streaming service that bumped it last year from atop the increasingly crowded television heap.
The bloodthirsty saga’s total eclipsed the all-time series record of 27 nods earned by NYPD Blue in 1994.
If Game of Thrones defends it best drama series title and claims a fourth trophy, it will join the quartet of most-honored dramas that includes Hill Street Blues, L.A. Law, The West Wing and Mad Men.
Also Read | Emmy Awards 2019 nominations: The complete list
Series star Emilia Clarke’s decision to seek a best actress nomination after a series of supporting actress bids paid off. She’s competing in a category that’s notable for its diversity, including past winner Viola Davis for How to Get Away with Murder and repeat nominee Sandra Oh for Killing Eve, who has a second chance to become the first actress of Asian descent to win the trophy.
Last year’s best comedy series, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, led the comedy pack with 20 bids, including for its star and defending champion Rachel Brosnahan. She’ll vie with Emmy record-holder Julia Louis-Dreyfus of Veep, who didn’t compete in last year’s awards because her breast cancer treatment delayed production of the political satire.
Louis-Dreyfus, who with Cloris Leachman shares the record for most Emmys won by a performer, eight, has a shot at solo glory if she wins again.
Other top nominees include the nuclear disaster miniseries Chernobyl with 19 nominations and Saturday Night Live, which regularly employed Robert De Niro to play Robert Mueller last season, with 18. When They See Us, the miniseries that dramatized the Central Park Five case and its aftermath, received 16 bids.
The 71st Emmy Awards will air Sept. 22 on Fox, with the host yet to be announced.