NBC's 30 Rock , which received last year's Emmy award for best comedy show, appeared likely to repeat this year after receiving 22 Emmy nominations, more than any other television show. AMC's Mad Men received the second-greatest number of nominations for a series, 16, and appeared likely to pick up a second-straight award for best drama when winners are announced on CBS's telecast of the annual Emmy Awards on September 20. Overall, pay-TV channel HBO continued to dominate the nominations with 99. NBC, the network with the fewest viewers last season, received the most nominations among the broadcasters, 67. (Last week 30 Rock ranked No. 97 on Nielsen's list of 104 broadcast TV shows.) TV writers noted that there were few surprises among the nominees -- only for those that were left out. CNN noted, for example, that Grey's Anatomy , a past favorite, failed to be nominated in the top categories of best drama, best actor in a drama, or best actress in a drama. USA Today said that it was widely expected that William Petersen would receive a nomination for his final season on CBS's Csi Crime Scene Investigation . He did not. Several writers expressed astonishment that HBO's critically acclaimed True Blood and The No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency were snubbed in the top categories.
The nominees in the top categories Best drama Lost, Mad Men, House, Breaking Bad, Dexter, Damages and Big Love; Best comedy series Entourage, 30 Rock, The Office, Family Guy, Flight of the Conchords, Weeds and How I Met Your Mother ; Best actor in a drama Simon Baker ( The Mentalist ), Gabriel Byrne ( In Treatment ), Hugh Laurie ( House ), Michael C. Hall ( Dexter ), Bryan Cranston ( Breaking Bad ) and Jon Hamm ( Mad Men ); Best actress in a drama Mariska Hargitay ( Law & Order SVU ), Kyra Sedgwick ( The Closer ), Glenn Close ( Damages ), Elisabeth Moss ( Mad Men ), Sally Field ( Brothers and Sisters ) and Holly Hunter ( Saving Grace ); Best actor in a comedy Jemaine Clement ( Flight of the Conchords ), Alec Baldwin ( 30 Rock ), Tony Shalhoub ( Monk ), Charlie Sheen ( Two and a Half Men ), Steve Carell ( The Office ) and Jim Parsons ( The Big Bang Theory ); Best actress in a comedy Toni Collette ( The United States of Tara ), Christina Applegate ( Samantha Who? ), Tina Fey ( 30 Rock ), Mary-Louise Parker ( Weeds ), Julia Louis-Dreyfus ( The New Adventures of Old Christine ) and Sarah Silverman (The Sarah Silverman Program ); Best TV movie Grey Gardens, Into the Storm, Prayers for Bobby, Taking Chance and Coco Chanel ; Best reality competition The Amazing Race, American Idol, Dancing With The Stars, Project Runway and Top Chef ; Best variety, music or comedy series The Colbert Report, The Daily Show, The Late Show with David Letterman, Real Time with Bill Maher and Saturday Night Live .