Emmy voters mixed it up a bit in the lead actress in a drama category today, recognizing seven nominees including newcomers Kerry Washington ("Scandal"), Vera Farmiga ("Bates Hotel") and Robin Wright ("House of Cards"), a past favorite Connie Britton ("Nashville") and returnees Claire Danes ("Homeland"), Michelle Dockery ("Downton Abbey") and Elisabeth Moss ("Mad Men").
Washington scored her first Emmy nomination for her role as crisis manager extraordinaire Olivia Pope in ABC's soapy political thriller "Scandal." The series just completed its second season, though its debut run last year consisted of just seven episodes.
Wright is also a first-time nominee, with voters lauding her work as the headstrong political wife in Netflix's "House of Cards." Farmiga rounds out the Emmy newcomers, nominated for playing the volatile mother Norma Louise Bates in the "Psycho" prequel "Bates Motel."
Britton scored her third nomination and first for "Nashville," which premiered this season. Britton stars on the show as Rayna Jaymes, a fading country singer superstar. Britton was previously nominated twice in this category for her turn on "Friday Night Lights."
Danes, last year's winner, leads the returnees. The 34-year-old actress took the Emmy for her turn as bipolar CIA agent Carrie Mathison in Showtime's "Homeland." It was Danes' second Emmy victory, following a trophy for movie/miniseries actress in 2010 for the HBO pic "Temple Grandin." She also received a lead actress in a drama nomination in 1995 for "My So-Called Life."
Moss is another Emmy perennial, winning her fifth nomination for playing advertising copy chief Peggy Olson on "Mad Men." Moss has never won an Emmy, nor has any actor on the AMC series.
Dockery arrived among the nominees for the first time last year for her turn as Lady Mary Crawley in PBS' "Downton Abbey."
The Emmy Awards will be handed out on Sept. 22 and will air live on CBS.