Dark drug drama Breaking Bad earned five nominations for television writing on Thursday from the Writers’ Guild of America.

Modern Family was the leader in the comedy category as the WGA announced nominations for television, documentary, news and radio writing.

WGA selected nominees

Best drama:

  • Boardwalk Empire
  • Breaking Bad
  • Game of Thrones
  • Homeland
  • Mad Men

Best comedy:

  • 30 Rock
  • Girls
  • Louie
  • Modern Family
  • Parks and Recreation

New Series:

  • Girls
  • The Mindy Project
  • Nashville
  • The Newsroom
  • Veep 

In the best drama category, all the nominees are well-established, with Breaking Bad,  starring Bryan Cranston as the chemistry teacher turned drug lord, up against Homeland, Boardwalk Empire, Mad Men and Game of Thrones.

But HBO’s new Aaron Sorkin-penned series, The Newsroom, has been recognized in the new series category.

There are also some newcomers among the comedy nominees, including Lena Dunham’s Girls, the story of three 20-somethings navigating life and love in New York City, which has a nomination in the best comedy series slot as well as for best new series.

Other new series contenders are melodrama Nashville, sharp satirical drama Veep and network comedy The Mindy Project.

Modern Family, a big Emmy favourite, has four nominations including three in the episodic comedy category (which recognizes writing in a single episode).

Also in the running for best comedy are 30 Rock, making its swan song this season, Parks and Recreation and comedian Louie C.K.’s vehicle Louie.

In longer form television, the miniseries Hatfields and McCoys, a historical drama about an epic family feud is nominated along with TV film Hemingway and Gelhorn, about Ernest Hemingway’s romance with a female war correspondent and the pilot for Political Animals.

Three episodes of The Simpsons have writing nominations in the animated category, competing against Futurama and Family Guy.

The WGA will hand out its awards on Feb. 17 at simultaneous ceremonies in both New York and Los Angeles. Its nominations for best movie writing will not be announced until January.