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Emmy Award nominations 2017: 'Saturday Night Live,' 'Westworld' lead with 22 nods each

Sterling K. Brown, who stars on NBC's

Sterling K. Brown, who stars on NBC's "This is Us," is considered a sure bet for an Emmy nomination. Photo Credit: NBC / Ron Batzdorff

To the rich go the riches: “Saturday Night Live” and HBO’s “Westworld” mopped up the 69th Primetime Emmy Award nominations announced Thursday, with a total of 22 apiece. Netflix’s “Stranger Things” and FX’s “Feud: Bette and Joan” followed with 18 nods each.

Alec Baldwin also landed a nomination for his ongoing impersonation of President Donald Trump on “SNL.” He’s widely expected to win supporting actor in a comedy. (He also was nominated in the Host for a Reality/Reality-Competition Program category for “Match Game.”)

But get beyond these numbers — 110 nods for HBO and 91 for Netflix — and even beyond “SNL’s” unsurprising bounty, and the big story of the 69th awards is “This Is Us.” The NBC freshman earned a total of 11 nominations — including for best drama — which is the biggest tally for a commercial broadcast network series in years. In fact, “This Is Us” was the only scripted broadcast network series with multiple nominations, including two for best actor: Sterling K. Brown and Milo Ventimiglia.

Here are the major nominations, with analysis:

Drama Series

House of Cards (Netflix)

Better Call Saul (AMC)

The Crown (Netflix)

The Handmaid’s Tale (Hulu)

This Is Us (NBC)

Westworld (HBO)

Stranger Things (Netflix)

The sentimental favorite in this list is “The Crown.” The high-art fave is “Handmaid’s.” The crowd-pleaser is “This Is Us.” The buzz leader is “Stranger Things.” The permanent fixture is “House of Cards.” The series HBO sold heaviest to the Academy this season is “Westworld” (“Game of Thrones” wasn’t eligible). The best series is “Better Call Saul.” We’ll see if the Emmys get this right on Sept. 17.

Comedy Series

Veep (HBO)

Atlanta (FX)

black-ish (ABC)

Master of None (Netflix)

Modern Family (ABC)

Silicon Valley (HBO)

Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt (Netflix)

An aura of inevitability hung over the “Atlanta” nod, and sometimes — not always — such auras lead to victories. This category is tricky, however. “Family” is long past the days of automatic victory. “Kimmy” and “Master” have had fine seasons but winning ones? “Black-ish” has landed here before, but sometimes that works to a show’s disadvantage. “Silicon” is another repeat, ditto. That leaves “Veep:” Another great season, and another reason why it remains the favorite. Nevertheless, “Atlanta” could do the trick.

Actress in a Drama Series

Claire Foy (The Crown)

Elisabeth Moss (The Handmaid’s Tale)

Robin Wright (House of Cards)

Evan Rachel Wood (Westworld)

Viola Davis (How to Get Away with Murder)

Keri Russell (The Americans)

All of these names were widely expected, but looking ahead to September, Moss has to be the favorite. She was nominated six times for “Mad Men” and while life and the Emmys aren’t always fair, the Academy and voters are aware of the miscarriage of justice. They should address it this September.

Actor in a Drama Series

Sterling K. Brown (This Is Us)

Anthony Hopkins (Westworld)

Bob Odenkirk (Better Call Saul)

Matthew Rhys (The Americans)

Liev Schreiber (Ray Donovan)

Milo Ventimiglia (This Is Us)

The missing name here is Rami Malek. He won for “Mr. Robot” last year, and was expected to at least get a return invitation to this party. He may have the interloper Milo Ventimiglia to blame. No one expected he’d get this nod because Brown — almost certainly the frontrunner here — was so certain a bet. But NBC pushed its drama hit hard, and the Emmy voters responded.

Actress in a Comedy Series

Ellie Kemper (Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt)

Allison Janney (Mom)

Julia Louis-Dreyfus (Veep)

Tracee Ellis Ross (black-ish)

Lily Tomlin (Grace and Frankie)

Jane Fonda (Grace and Frankie)

Pamela Adlon (Better Things)

The comedy actress category has been the least competitive category of the decade. Louis-Dreyfus has dominated this so completely that there comes a point when the other contenders have to ask: What’s the point? The point is that she can’t win this forever (can she?). Someone has to break the streak. Adlon? Nice surprise, but a long shot. Kemper? Hard to imagine. In fact, Janney is this category’s great dark horse: Widely esteemed, and a rare broadcast network entry to this category, she may well have the best chance of defeating Louis-Dreyfus of anyone in years.

Actor in a Comedy Series

Jeffrey Tambor (Transparent)

Aziz Ansari (Master of None)

Donald Glover (Atlanta)

Anthony Anderson (black-ish)

William H. Macy (Shameless)

Zach Galifianakis (Baskets)

Tambor has threatened to turn this into his own personal Louis-Dreyfus streak, except he’ll now be facing Glover in September. Glover is the favorite, but always be aware of that word “favorite” when it comes to Emmys’ guesswork. It tends to end up cursing the favored. Meanwhile, imagine the joy if Macy finally wins. He’s been here so long the Emmys should name a special award for him (Most Patient Good-Natured Luckless Nominee?)

Limited Series

Big Little Lies (HBO)

Feud: Bette and Joan (FX)

Genius (Nat Geo)

The Night Of (HBO)

Fargo (FX)

The race here should be between “Feud” and “Big Little Lies” — advantage “Feud.” Fox — which owns Nat Geo — pushed hard for “Genius,” which was widely predicted to pick up a nod anyway, if only because an Oscar-winning lead was attached (Geoffrey Rush, who also got a nod).

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