Television's biggest stars will strut their stuff in Los Angeles tonight as the industry observes the 66th Primetime Emmy Awards.
Late Night funnyman Seth Myers will preside over the small screen love-in, which airs on a weeknight for the first time in 40 years.
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HBO's fantasy drama Game of Thrones goes into the competition with 19 nominations, followed closely by the shot-in-Calgary drama Fargo with 18, and FX's bewitching thriller American Horror Story: Coven with 17.
Tonight's real drama, however, may come the race for best comedy with Netflix's prison series Orange is the New Black threatening to unseat four-in-a-row Emmy winner Modern Family.
Time for a new winner?
Netflix raised some eyebrows by submitting Orange in the comedy category, but the strategy may pay off for the streaming service as it gives it potential winners in two main categories. (Its Washington political drama House of Cards is on the board again this year in the outstanding drama category.)
Despite its dismal setting in a female prison, many critics predict Orange will get the last laugh.
Orange star Laverne Cox admits she loves the cast of Modern Family, but the trailblazing transgender actress explained to The Associated Press that she thinks "it's time for a new show" to win best comedy, and she's pulling for her own show to do it.
Other nominees in the comedy category are:
- The Big Bang Theory
- Modern Family
- Orange Is the New Black
- Silicon Valley
The major dramatic nominations are as follows:
Best drama series:
- Breaking Bad
- Downton Abbey
- House of Cards
- Mad Men
- Game of Thrones True Detective
Actor in a drama series:
- Bryan Cranston, Breaking Bad
- Matthew McConaughey, True Detective
- Woody Harrelson, True Detective
- Kevin Spacey, House of Cards
- Jon Hamm, Mad Men
- Jeff Daniels, The Newsroom
Actress in a drama series:
- Claire Danes, Homeland
- Michelle Dockery, Downton Abbey
- Robin Wright, House of Cards
- Kerry Washington, Scandal
- Julianna Margulies, Good Wife
- Lizzy Caplan, Masters of Sex
For a full list of nominees and winners see the official Emmy website.
There are a number of actors who could make history with a trip to podium:
- Matthew McConaughey, nominated for the drama series True Detective, will join an exclusive club if he wins, according to awards historian Tom O'Neil, joining Helen Mirren, Helen Hunt, Liza Minnelli and George C. Scott as the fifth actor to win both an Emmy and Oscar in a single year. In March, McConaughey nabbed the best actor Academy Award for Dallas Buyers Club.
- Scandal star Kerry Washington would be in a class by herself if she receives the best drama series actress award, becoming the first African-American to conquer the category.
- If The Big Bang Theory star Jim Parsons is crowned as best comedy actor, it will be his fourth Emmy and put him in league with Kelsey Grammer and Michael J. Fox.
- A victory for Breaking Bad star Bryan Cranston would give him a tie with four-time best drama actor champ Dennis Franz.
Remembering Robin Williams
The star-studded broadcast will also pause to remember Robin Williams, the Hollywood and TV star who died in a suicide at his home two weeks ago. His longtime friend and fellow comedian, Billy Crystal, slated to oversee a special tribute section of the show.
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The 66th Primetime Emmy Awards will be broadcast from the Nokia Theatre starting at 8 p.m. ET on NBC.