In Depth

Basic Cable Scores in Emmy Nominations

Basic cable made its mark in the nominations for the 60th Primetime Emmy Awards, with AMC's "Mad Men" and FX's "Damages" both nominated in the drama category.

Leading the pack overall is HBO’s “John Adams” with 23 nominations. NBC’s “30 Rock,” with its 17 nominations, takes over as the most nominated comedy in a single year.

Also in the race for the drama series prize are ABC's "Lost" and "Boston Legal," Showtime's "Dexter" and Fox's "House." HBO's "The Sopranos" took home the award last year for its final season.

In the category of lead actor in a drama, “Boston Legal’s” James Spader will look to go two in a row against “Breaking Bad’s” Bryan Cranston, “Dexter’s” Michael C. Hall, “House’s” Hugh Laurie, “In Treatment’s” Gabriel Byrne and “Mad Men’s” Jon Hamm.

On the lead actress in a drama side, last year’s winner, "Brothers & Sisters'" Sally Field, faces a cable-heavy lineup of “The Closer’s” Kyra Sedgwick, “Damages’” Glenn Close, “Law & Order: SVU’s” Mariska Hargitay and “Saving Grace’s” Holly Hunter.

In comedy series, HBO's "Entourage" and "Curb Your Enthusiasm," CBS' "Two and a Half Men" and NBC's "The Office" and "30 Rock" are nominated for the top honor. "30 Rock" won the statuette last year.

For comedy lead actors, “Monk’s” Tony Shalhoub again goes up against “30 Rock’s” Alec Baldwin, “The Office’s” Steve Carell and “Two and a Half Men’s” Charlie Sheen. They're joined by newcomer Lee Pace of “Pushing Daisies.”

Tina Fey, creator and star of “30 Rock,” will try to go back-to-back as lead actress in a comedy series, against competition from “Weeds’” Mary-Louise Parker, “Ugly Betty’s” America Ferrera, “Samantha Who?’s” Christina Applegate and “The New Adventures of Old Christine’s” Julia Louis-Dreyfus.

In terms of stats, HBO brought in 85 nominations—one less than last year—putting it in the lead for total network nominations, while ABC's 76 nods gave it the most among broadcast nets. AMC's 20 nominations made it the leader in basic cable.

The Primetime Emmys will air Sept. 21 on ABC. Check the complete list of nominees.

For exclusive interviews with nominees and a preview of the awards, visit TVWeek's special Eye on the Emmys page.

(9:10 a.m.: Updated throughout)