LOS ANGELES — "Game of Thrones" roared back onto the Emmy battlefield, topping Thursday's nominations with 22 bids but with a formidable opponent in last year's winner "The Handmaid's Tale," while a streaming platform made history by earning the most bids for the first time.
Netflix's 112 nominations took away the front-runner title that HBO held since 2001, giving cable and broadcast networks more reason to fear their future as the TV industry continues to change.
HBO is no piker: It claimed 108 bids. "Game of Thrones" helped boost the premium cable service's total and became the most-nominated series of all time, with its 129 nods topping the 124 nominations earned by "ER."
Donald Glover's "Atlanta" was the top comedy series nominee with 16 bids, poised to take advantage of the absence this time around of three-time winner "Veep." ''Atlanta" will face newcomers including "The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel," ''GLOW" and "Barry." Others in the category include "black-ish," ''Silicon Valley," ''Curb Your Enthusiasm" and "Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt."
The newbie comedies aced out long-time Emmy favorite "Modern Family," a five-time winner and perennial nominee since it debuted in 2009 on ABC. Its absence leaves just one network contender for best comedy, ABC's "black-ish," which also earned nods for Tracee Ellis Ross and Anthony Anderson, who noted his urban California roots.
"Being a kid from Compton, one could only dream of moments like this, so it's truly a humbling experience right now," Anderson said.
The short-lived revival of "Roseanne," canceled because of star Roseanne Barr's racist tweet, drew only one major nomination, a supporting actress nod for Laurie Metcalf. Another revival, "Will & Grace," got Emmy love for nominees Megan Mullally and Molly Shannon but the main stars and series itself were snubbed.
"Killing Eve" star Sandra Oh made history of her own, becoming the first actress of Asian descent to be nominated for lead acting honors in a drama series. Oh had earned five supporting bids for "Grey's Anatomy."
"I feel tremendous gratitude and joy with this nomination" and am "thrilled" for the show's cast and crew, Oh said in a statement. She added a postscript: "I think my mother at this moment may actually be satisfied".
The TV industry has made recent strides toward inclusion, with Glover and Sterling K. Brown of "This Is Us" winning top acting awards last year and both nominated again.
"I think we're all happy with the direction we're going. This is the most diverse class of performer nominees we've had — we're almost up to a third, which is fantastic," Maury McIntyre, TV academy president. "There's still a lot of work to be done in terms of gender" and with behind-the-camera jobs, he said.
CNN's "Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown," received a nomination in the category for best information series or special, which also includes shows with Leah Remini and David Letterman. The show featuring chef-writer Bourdain, who died in early June, has won four Emmys.
Among the notable first-time nominees: Issa Rae for "Insecure," Darren Criss, Ricky Martin and Penelope Cruz for "The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story," Tiffany Haddish for "Saturday Night Live," Letitia Wright for "Black Museum (Black Mirror)" and John Legend for "Jesus Christ Superstar Live in Concert."
If Legend wins, he'll join the rarified club of "EGOT" performers who've won an Emmy, Grammy, Oscar and Tony.
"Saturday Night Live," riding high with its relentless pillorying of the Trump administration, was rewarded with 21 nods.