CBS, which dominated the daytime Emmy Awards last year, jumped into the front-runner's position Thursday by picking up 82 of the 206 nominations for this year's honors--including 20 for its soap opera "As the World Turns."
Three of CBS' Emmy-winning shows from last year--"The Young and the Restless," "The $25,000 Pyramid" and "Jim Henson's Muppet Babies"--were nominated again this year as, respectively, best daytime drama, best game show and best animated program.
CBS, which won 23 of the 39 daytime Emmys last year, was trailed in Thursday's nominations by ABC with 49, PBS with 27, NBC with 25 and syndicated programs with 23.
"As the World Turns" got twice as many nominations as the next most-nominated shows: the serials "All My Children" and "Guiding Light" and the public television series "Sesame Street."
But its big lead is not necessarily a harbinger of things to come when the winners are announced in July 17 ceremonies that will be broadcast nationally by NBC. ABC's "All My Children" collected 19 nominations last year but wound up winning only two--for writing and acting.
Both "As the World Turns" and "All My Children" were nominated for best daytime drama series of 1985-86, along with ABC's "General Hospital" and defending champion "The Young and the Restless."
Many other of last year's winners also are in contention again this year in the nominations released by the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences and the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. The awards cover the period from March 6, 1985 through March 5, 1986.
"The $25,000 Pyramid," which has won as best game show for three years in a row, will be challenged this year by "Wheel of Fortune," "The Price Is Right," "Family Feud" and "Jeopardy!" Its host, Dick Clark, also a winner last year, is also a repeat nominee, along with Pat Sajak of "Wheel of Fortune" and Bob Barker of "The Price Is Right."
"Donahue," which picked up last year's Emmy as best talk/service show, this year faces "Hour Magazine," "This Old House" and "New York's Master Chefs." And Phil Donahue, who won as best talk show host last year, was nominated again, along with Gary Colins of "Hour Magazine," Fred Willard of the cancelled "What's Hot! What's Not?" and Dr. Norman Kaplan of "Here's to Your Health."
"Sesame Street," the choice last year as best children's series, is competing again this year against two fellow PBS shows: "Mister Rogers' Neighborhood" and "3-2-1 Contact."
"Jim Henson's Muppet Babies," named best animated program last year, is in the running again with NBC's "The Smurfs," CBS' "The Charlie Brown & Snoopy Show," "CBS Storybreak" and the syndicated "Fat Albert & the Cosby Kids."
The soap opera acting categories also saw repeat nominations for several of last year's winners, including Kim Zimmer and Larry Gates of CBS' "Guiding Light."
Zimmer (who plays Reva Shayne) was nominated again as best actress, along with Susan Lucci (Erica Kane) of "All My Children," Elizabeth Hubbard (Lucinda Walsh) of "As the World Turns," Peggy McCay (Caroline Brady) of "Days of Our Lives" and Erika Slezak (Victoria Lord Buchanan) of "One Life to Live."
Gates (H.B. Lewis) was nominated as best supporting actor with Gregg Marx (Tom Hughes) and John Wesley Shipp (Douglas Cummings) of "As the World Turns," Louis Edmonds (Langley Wallingford) of "All My Children" and Al Freeman Jr. (Ed Hall) of "One Life to Live."
Best actor nominations went to Scott Bryce (Craig Montgomery) and Larry Bryggman (Dr. John Dixon) of "As the World Turns," David Canary (Adam/Stuart Chandler) of "All My Children," Terry Lester (Jack Abbott) of "The Young and the Restless," Nicholas Coster (Lionel Lockridge) of "Santa Barbara" and Robert S. Woods (Bo Buchanan) of "One Life to Live."
The best supporting actress nominees were Dame Judith Anderson (Minx Lockridge) of "Santa Barbara," Uta Hagen (Hortense) of "One Life to Live," Kathleen Widdows (Emma Snyder) of "As the World Turns," Eileen Herlie (Myrtle Fargate) of "All My Children" and Leann Hunley (Anna Di Mera) of "Days of Our Lives."
Three "CBS Schoolbreak Specials" were nominated as best children's special: "Babies Having Babies," "The War Between the Classes" and "Have You Tried Talking to Patty?" Also nominated in that category was "Don't Touch" from the "ABC Afterschool Special" series.
Nominations as best performer in a children's program went to Pearl Bailey in ABC's "Cindy Eller: A Modern Fairy Tale," Michael York in ABC's "Are You My Mother?," Drew Barrymore in ABC's "The Adventures of Con Sawyer and Hucklemary Finn," LeVar Burton in PBS' "Reading Rainbow" and Beau Bridges in ABC's "Can a Guy Say No?"