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Emmys snub Sarah and Cosima and Alison and...

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HOLLYWOOD -- It was a great morning for cable, but not so good for clones.

Made-for-cable series such as Game of Thrones, Fargo, American Horror Story and Breaking Bad dominate the nominations for this year's Emmy Awards, which were unveiled Thursday at an early-morning announcement at the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences in Los Angeles. But the TV academy doubled down on last year's snub of the Canadian-made sci-fi series Orphan Black by once again leaving Saskatchewan native Tatiana Maslany out of the field of nominees for best actress in a drama series.

Maslany, who plays at least nine different characters -- including petty thief Sarah, buttoned-down housewife Alison and dreadlocked scientist Cosima -- in the cloning-themed story, has been hailed by critics for her work and has generated a huge fan following during the series' first two seasons. Orphan Black, which airs on Space in Canada and BBC America in the U.S., received a third-season renewal on Wednesday.

Many television-industry observers predicted Maslany would be a shoo-in for an overdue nomination this year, but the TV Academy's voters opted not to include her among this year's Emmy hopefuls. Instead, the best actress/drama series contenders are Lizzy Caplan (Masters of Sex), Claire Danes (Homeland), Michelle Dockery (Downton Abbey), Julianna Margulies (The Good Wife), Kerry Washington (Scandal) and Robin Wright (House of Cards).

The nominees in major categories were announced Thursday morning by co-hosts Mindy Kaling and Carson Daly, along with TV academy chairman Bruce Rosenblum, who called the 2014 Emmy field "platform agnostic" because of its recognition of "the rapidly expanding definition of television" across multiple platforms beyond traditional network and cable TV.

HBO's Game of Thrones led all programs with 19 nominations; FX's shot-in-Calgary drama Fargo received 18 nominations, while another FX series, American Horror Story: Coven earned 17 and AMC's recently concluded Breaking Bad and the HBO movie The Normal Heart each received 16.

Evidence of TV's shifting definition of programming is evident in the Emmys' best-series categories -- contenders in the best-drama bracket include AMC's Breaking Bad and Mad Men, HBO's Game of Thrones and True Detective, PBS's Downton Abbey and the Netflix series House of Cards, while best-comedy nominations went to FX's Louie, ABC's Modern Family, CBS's The Big Bang Theory, HBO's Veep and Silicon Valley and the Netflix original Orange Is the New Black.

The nominees for best actor in a drama series include Bryan Cranston (Breaking Bad); Jeff Daniels (The Newsroom); Jon Hamm (Mad Men); Woody Harrelson (True Detective); Matthew McConaughey (True Detective); and Kevin Spacey (House of Cards).

On the comedy side, best-actress nominations went to Lena Dunham (Girls); Edie Falco (Nurse Jackie); Julia Louis-Dreyfus (Veep); Melissa McCarthy (Mike & Molly); Amy Poehler (Parks and Recreation); and Taylor Schilling (Orange Is the New Black). Best-actor nods went to Louis C.K. (Louie); Don Cheadle (House of Lies); Ricky Gervais (Derek); Matt LeBlanc (Episodes); William H. Macy (Shameless); and Jim Parsons (The Big Bang Theory).

As has been the case in recent years, cable's HBO leads all networks with 99 nominations. Also in the cable-network realm, FX received 45 nominations, while AMC earned 26 and Showtime received 24.

Among the U.S. broadcast networks, CBS leads the pack with 47 nominations, followed closely by NBC with 46; ABC received 37 nominations, the U.S. public broadcaster, PBS, received 34 and Fox received 18. Original series on the Netflix content-streaming service received 31 nominations, more than double the 14 it earned last year.

The 66th Primetime Emmy Awards will be broadcast live on NBC on Monday, Aug. 25, with Seth Meyers acting as host.

A full list of this year's Emmy nominations is available at

Twitter: @BradOswald

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition July 11, 2014 D3

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