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Emmy Awards 2018: Game of Thrones Reigns Over the TV Realm With 22 Nominations

Record-breaking fantasy epic Game of Thrones made a storming comeback Thursday to Hollywood's awards circuit after a year off, dominating this year's Emmy nominations with a whopping 22 nods.

AFP Relaxnews

Updated:July 13, 2018, 7:25 AM IST
Emmy Awards 2018: Game of Thrones Reigns Over the TV Realm With 22 Nominations
‘Game of Thrones’ Season 7 Pirated More Than 1 Billion Times (Photo: Hotstar)
The smash hit HBO show, which returns for a shortened eighth and final season next year, will vie once again for the coveted best drama series prize, several acting trophies and a slew of technical awards. The show about noble families vying for the Iron Throne faces tough competition from perennial favorite comedy sketch show Saturday Night Live and HBO stablemate Westworld with 21 nominations each.

The Television Academy's 22,000-plus members spent two weeks in June sifting through more than 9,000 entries to choose nominees for the Emmys, the small-screen equivalent of the Oscars. "The continued growth of the industry has provided opportunities for acclaimed new programs to emerge, while allowing last season's breakthrough programs to thrive," said academy chairman Hayma Washington.

In fact, many critics argue that it hasn't been a vintage year for television, with very few new shows making waves -- instead, perennial favorites were recognized for having delivered yet another year of quality. The Emmys recognize programs shown in the year to May 31, meaning some of the usual heavy hitters -- from Better Call Saul to House of Cards and Veep -- are absent this time around.

With women's rights advocates angry over President Donald Trump's nomination of an ultra-conservative judge to serve on the Supreme Court, a show about a fictional nightmarish America run by a totalitarian regime is an early favorite to steal the thunder of "Thrones." Hulu's The Handmaid's Tale scored 20 nominations -- seven better than last year -- and is an early favorite to repeat as the winner for best drama in September.

Another big story on Thursday was Netflix ending a 17-year winning streak by HBO. The streamer led the nominations with 112, while HBO scored 108. Adrift in third was NBC with 78 nods.

But it was "Thrones" that set the Emmys pace with its seventh season, which aired last summer, earning recognition for cast members Lena Headey, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Peter Dinklage and Diana Rigg. It will also be in contention for directing, writing and a host of technical awards, as well as best drama, where the other rivals include FX's The Americans, which wrapped recently and has four nods in total.

The category is completed by Westworld, Netflix's The Crown, which finished on 13 nominations, and the streaming service's sci-fi series Stranger Things (12), as well as NBC's family drama This is Us.

GoT made television history in 2016 to become the most decorated fictional show in the Emmys' seven-decade life span.

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