'Game of Thrones,' 'The Handmaid's Tale' to Compete for Emmy Drama Honors

LOS ANGELES (CNS) - HBO's “Game of Thrones” will look to reclaim its crown as outstanding drama series at tonight's 70th Emmy Awards, but reigning champ “The Handmaid's Tale” leads a formidable list of challengers as streaming services look to assert their television dominance.

Hulu's “The Handmaid's Tale” won the best drama prize at last year's Emmy ceremony. “Game of Thrones” won for outstanding drama series in 2015 and 2016 but wasn't eligible for the 2017 award because its only new episodes airing during the eligibility period were part of the body of work considered for its 2016 victory.

The shows will go head-to-head during Monday night's ceremony at the Microsoft Theater in downtown Los Angeles, leading a field of nominees that also includes Netflix's “The Crown” and “Stranger Things”; NBC's “This is Us”; HBO's “Westworld”; and FX's “The Americans.”

“This Is Us” last year became the first nominee in the category from the four major broadcast networks since CBS' “The Good Wife” in 2011. “The Good Wife” is the most recent series from a major broadcast network to receive back-to-back nominations in the category.

A series from the major broadcast networks has not won for outstanding drama series since Fox's “24” in 2006.

The outstanding comedy series competition is guaranteed to have a new winner Monday night. HBO's “Veep” won the comedy-series Emmy the past three years, but was ineligible for a nomination this year. The show delayed production of its final season until 2019 while its star, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, underwent treatment for breast cancer.

Battling it out for the prize will be FX's “Atlanta”; HBO's “Barry,” “Silicon Valley” and “Curb Your Enthusiasm”; ABC's “Black- ish”; Netflix's “GLOW” and “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt”; and Prime Video's “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel.”

This is the first time in nine years that ABC's “Modern Family” is absent from the list of nominees. The show won in the category five straight years, tying the record set by NBC's “Frasier” from 1994-98.

Sterling K. Brown, who won the Emmy for lead actor in a drama series last year for “This is Us,” will look to repeat his win. He is nominated along with Jason Bateman of Netflix's “Ozark”; Ed Harris and Jeffrey Wright of “Westworld”; Matthew Rhys of “The Americans”; and Milo Ventimiglia of “This is Us.”

Bateman is also nominated for directing an episode of “Ozark.”

Elisabeth Moss of “The Handmaid's Tale” will also be looking for a repeat victory in the dramatic actress category. She will square off against Tatiana Maslany of BBC America's “Orphan Black”; Claire Foy of Netflix's “The Crown”; Sandra Oh of BBC America's “Killing Eve”; Keri Russell of “The Americans”; and Evan Rachel Wood of “Westworld.”

Oh, a Canadian, is the first actress of Asian descent to be nominated in the category.

Allison Janney, who won an Oscar earlier this year for her supporting role in “I, Tonya,” leads the list of nominees in the comedy actress category for her work in CBS' “Mom.” Also battling for the prize will be Pamela Adlon of FX's “Better Things,” Rachel Brosnahan of “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel,” Issa Rae of HBO's “Insecure,” Tracee Ellis Ross of “Black-ish” and Lily Tomlin of Netflix's “Grace and Frankie.”

Donald Glover will look to earn his second straight Emmy for his lead role in the comedy “Atlanta.” Also nominated are Anthony Anderson of “Black- ish,” Ted Danson of NBC's “The Good Place,” Larry David of “Curb Your Enthusiasm,” Bill Hader of “Barry” and William H. Macy of Showtime's “Shameless.”

Glover is also nominated for directing and writing for “Atlanta,” while Hader is nominated for writing and directing on “Barry.”

“Saturday Night Live” is nominated for outstanding variety sketch series, along with “At Home with Amy Sedaris,” “Drunk History,” “I Love You America with Sarah Silverman,” “Portlandia” and “Tracey Ullman's Show.”

Competing for outstanding limited series, meanwhile, will be TNT's “The Alienist,” FX's “The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story,” National Geographic's “Genius: Picasso,” Netflix's “Godless” and Showtime's “Patrick Melrose.”

Four-time Emmy winner Edie Falco is nominated for best actress in a limited series or TV movie for her work in NBC's “Law & Order True Crime: The Menendez Murders.” Also nominated are Jessical Biel for USA's “The Sinner,” Laura Dern for HBO's “The Tale,” Michelle Dockery for Netflix's “Godless,” Regina King for Netflix's “Seven Seconds” and Sarah Paulson for “American Horror Story: Cult.”

For lead actor in a limited series or TV movie, nominees are Antonio Banderas for “Genius: Picasso,” Darren Criss for “The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story,” Benedict Cumberbatch for “Patrick Melrose,” Jeff Daniels for Hulu's “The Looming Tower,” John Legend for NBC's “Jesus Christ Superstar Live in Concert” and Jesse Plemons for “USS Callister (Black Mirror).”

Legend already won during the Creative Arts Emmy Awards ceremony as a co-producer of “Jesus Christ Superstar,” giving him a rare EGOT, meaning he has won an Emmy, Grammy, Oscar and Tony. He's one of only 15 people to ever achieve the feat.

CBS' “The Amazing Race” is again among the nominees for outstanding reality-competition program. It has been nominated all 17 years the category has been in existence. It won each of the first seven years, and again in 2011, 2012 and 2014.

Last year's winner, NBC's “The Voice,” is also nominated, along with NBC's “American Ninja Warrior”; Lifetime's “Project Runway”; VH1's “RuPaul's Drag Race”; and Bravo's “Top Chef.”

The Emmy Awards honor programming initially airing between 6 p.m. and 2 a.m. from June 1, 2017, to May 31, 2018.

Colin Jost and Michael Che, anchors of the “Weekend Update” segment on “Saturday Night Live” and co-head writers of NBC's late-night sketch comedy series, will host the ceremony, which is also being executive produced by “SNL” creator/producer Lorne Michaels.

Photos: Getty Images

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