Fey's NBC comedy series, " 30 Rock," earned 22 Emmy nominations this morning, the most any comedy series has received in Emmy history. It earned nods for best comedy series, as well as best comedy actress for Fey and best comedy actor for Alec Baldwin. The show won best comedy series last year.
Though Emmys eluded her during her lifetime, Farrah Fawcett was posthumously nominated for an Emmy for outstanding nonfiction special for "Farrah's Story," the poignant NBC documentary chronicling her courageous battle with cancer. Fawcett, 62, died June 25. Also nominated for this film: Fawcett's good friend and producer, Alana Stewart.
Last year's best drama winner, AMC's stylish "Mad Men," earned 16 nominations, the most for any drama series this year, including best drama series, best actor for Jon Hamm and best actress for Elisabeth Moss. Hamm also is nominated in the guest-starring category for his comedic role on "30 Rock."
Joining "30 Rock" in the best comedy category are HBO's long-running " Entourage," Fox's ribald animated " Family Guy," HBO's quirky "Flight of the Conchords," CBS' popular "How I Met Your Mother," perennial NBC nominee "The Office" and the Showtime drug comedy "Weeds."
Competing with "Mad Men" in the best drama series category are HBO's polygamy melodrama, " Big Love," and AMC's dark "Breaking Bad" the two have never received nominations in this category before. Also nominated in this category: FX's legal drama, "Damages"; Showtime's lovable serial killer, "Dexter"; Fox's grouchy doctor, "House"; and ABC's enigmatic " Lost."
Joining Fey in the best comedy actress category is former winner Julia Louis-Dreyfus for "The New Adventures of Old Christine," Christina Applegate for the now-canceled "Samantha Who?," Sarah Silverman for "The Sarah Silverman Program," Toni Collette for "The United States of Tara" and Mary-Louise Parker for "Weeds." Fey won the category last year.
Vying with Baldwin for lead actor in a comedy series are Jim Parsons for "The Big Bang Theory," Jemaine Clement for "Flight of the Conchords," three-time winner Tony Shalhoub for "Monk," Steve Carell for "The Office" and Charlie Sheen for "Two and a Half Men."
Joining Hamm in the lead actor in a drama series category are last year's winner, Bryan Cranston, for "Breaking Bad," Michael C. Hall for "Dexter," Hugh Laurie for "House," Gabriel Byrne for "In Treatment" and Simon Baker for "The Mentalist." The nominees for lead actress in a drama series are Sally Field for "Brothers & Sisters"; Kyra Sedgwick in "The Closer"; last year's winner, Glenn Close, for "Damages"; Mariska Hargitay for "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit"; Moss for "Mad Men"; and Holly Hunter for "Saving Grace."
Other notable nominations: 92-year-old Ernest Borgnine earned a nomination as guest actor in a drama series for "ER." Betty White earned a nod for guest actress in a comedy series for playing "Crazy Witch Lady" in "My Name Is Earl." Fey also will be competing in that category, for her role as Sarah Palin, the Republican nominee for vice president, on "Saturday Night Live's" "Presidential Bash 2008." Justin Timberlake earned two nominations, one for guest actor in a comedy series as host of "Saturday Night Live" and for co-writing the naughty and heavily bleeped song "Motherlover." And Sedgwick isn't the only member of her household to be nominated this year: Husband Kevin Bacon earned a nod for best actor in a movie or miniseries for "Taking Chance."
Cable channel HBO continued its domination of the Emmy nominations, garnering 99 nominations in all. Its closest rival was NBC, with 67.
Though HBO's stylish and erotic vampire thriller, "True Blood," failed to take a bite out of the nominations, the cable network earned multiple nominations for its movies and miniseries. Its "Grey Gardens," starring Drew Barrymore and Jessica Lange as Jackie Kennedy's eccentric relatives, earned 17 nominations, tying for the most Emmy nominations ever for a TV movie. Also performing well for HBO were its movies "Taking Chance" and "Into the Storm" and the Iraqi War miniseries "Generation Kill."
Also overlooked: sci-fi favorite " Battlestar Galactica," which many critics and fans hoped would finally score some recognition in its last season.
"The Big Bang Theory's" Parsons and Chandra Wilson of "Grey's Anatomy" joined Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Chairman John Shaffner at the academy headquarters in North Hollywood to make the announcements. They were shocked to find that they also were nominated. Wilson earned two nods, including best supporting actress for "Grey's" and for lead actress in a miniseries or movie for the Hallmark Channel's "Accidental Friendship."
The Emmys will air Sept. 20 on CBS from the Nokia Theatre in Los Angeles. "How I Met Your Mother" star and former Emmy nominee Neil Patrick Harris, who received acclaim in June for hosting the Tony Awards telecast, has been tapped as the emcee.