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Emmy nominations 2016: 'Game of Thrones,' 'The People v. O.J. Simpson' lead

"Game of Thrones" received multiple 2016 Emmy Awards

"Game of Thrones" received multiple 2016 Emmy Awards nominations. Credit: HBO / Helen Sloan

No longer to be denied, the critically celebrated FX drama, “The Americans,” finally picked up some Emmy love too. The series was nominated for best drama Thursday morning, while leads Matthew Rhys and Keri Russell also picked up best actress and actor nods for the 68th Annual Emmy awards.

Also back for another shot at a win -- Rockville Centre-raised Amy Schumer who picked up her second consecutive nod for best actress in a comedy series. Meanwhile Massapequa’s Jerry Seinfeld has another shot to win -- albeit not in a starring role. His Crackle series, “Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee,” was nominated for outstanding talk series.

But Thursday’s big winner -- nine weeks before the actual winners will be announced -- is “Game of Thrones,” which picked up a total of 23 nominations, including best drama, while Kit Harington picked up a nod for outstanding supporting actor, making him -- inarguably -- the first character in TV history to come back from the dead, and also get an Emmy nomination for the trouble.

And yes, the snubs -- those inevitable oversights that can be read either as an Emmy error, or Emmy validation. Stephen Colbert, in his first season as David Letterman’s replacement, did not score a nomination for his “Late Show.” Worse (for him anyway): “The Late Late Show with James Corden” was accorded a nod (Corden’s “Karaoke Prime Time Special” did as well).

“The Good Wife” also wrapped a celebrated run this year, but was overlooked in the drama category and actress category; it’s been a more or less reliable presence in both categories for years. Another series spurned: “Orange is the New Black,” which entered as a drama this time.

“Saturday Night Live” wasn’t snubbed, per se -- a nod for outstanding variety sketch series. But for an election year, the Emmy celebration seemed rather muted. Kate McKinnon landed an outstanding supporting actress in a comedy series for her memorable season. But she was the only one.

Meanwhile, there was general veneer of predictability to these nominations -- many were indeed expected. “The Americans” -- for example -- was considered a long overdue contender after three straights years when Emmy voters scarcely acknowledged its existence. “Game of Thrones” -- the sixth season its first without George R.R. Martin’s books as blueprint -- also remains TV’s de facto Emmy champion (it won last year for best drama, and is the leading contender this year).

As expected, diversity became a key driver for these nominations. Aziz Ansari and his “Master of None” on Netflix got major nominations in the comedy categories; Tracee Ellis Ross of “black-ish” finally got her (deserved) nod; “The History Channel’s “Roots” got a nomination for limited series too.

FX’s limited series “The People v. O.J. Simpson” scored in that category -- over and over, in fact. Three actors -- Cuba Gooding, Jr., Sarah Paulson and Courtney B. Vance -- did as well.

Foremost, “black-ish” now stands a solid chance of becoming TV’s new comedy Emmy champion. With three major nominations for three major categories (best comedy, a best actor nod for lead Anthony Anderson, and Ross’s nomination) this is the comedy to beat this September, when the winners will be announced.

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