HBO's vampire series True Blood garnered a surprise nod in an otherwise familiar list of Emmy Award nominations announced Thursday morning.
Overall HBO led all networks with 101 nominations, followed by ABC's 63 and CBS' 57 recognitions. Cable networks receiving double-digit nominations include AMC (26), Showtime (23), Discovery Channel (14) and Lifetime (11).
The nominations were revealed during an early morning Emmy press conference in Hollywood.
True Blood will battle two-time defending champion Mad Men in the Best Drama Series category along with AMC's Breaking Bad, Showtime' Dexter, CBS's The Good Wife and ABC's Lost.
HBO's Curb Your Enthusiasm will also contend for Best Comedy series with Showtime's Nurse Jackie, Fox's Glee, ABC's Modern Family, NBC's The Office and 30 Rock.
Glenn Close (Fx's Damages) and Bryan Cranston (AMC's Breaking Bad) will vie for their third wins in a row in the Best Lead Actress and Actor in an Drama series categories respectively.
Close will battle Kyra Sedgwick (TNT's The Closer); Connie Britton (NBC's Friday Night Lights); Julianna Margulies (CBS' The Good Wife); Mariska Hargitay (NBC's Law & Order: Special Victims Unit) and January Jones (Mad Men.)
Cranston will compete against Michael C. Hall (Showtime's Dexter); Kyle Chandler (NBC's Friday Night Lights): Hugh Laurie (Fox's House); Matthew Fox (ABC's Lost); and Jon Hamm (AMC's Mad Men).
Toni Collette (Showtime's United States Of Tara) will defend her Best Actress in Comedy series title against network stablemate Edie Falco, who was nominated for her performance in Nurse Jackie. Also in the running is Lea Michele (Glee); Julia Louis-Dreyfus (CBS' The New Adventures Of Old Christine); Amy Poehler (NBC's Parks And Recreation); and Tina Fey (30 Rock).
Actor Tony Shalhoub will look to win one more Best Actor in a Comedy series Emmy for his role in USA Network's dramedy Monk, which ended its run last October. Shalhoub will compete against Curb Your Enthusiasm's Larry David as well as The Office's Steve Carell, Glee's Mathew Morrison and The Big Bang Theory's Jim Parsons.
HBO's The Pacific will vie with PBS's Return to Cranford in the Outstanding Miniseries category.
Disney Channel nearly cornered the Outstanding Children's Program category, with tween-targeted series Hannah Montana, Jonas and Wizards Of Waverly Place (both the series and a stand-alone movie) all getting nods. Nickelodeon's iCarly is the lone non-Disney entry.
Cable also dominated the Outstanding Made For Television Movie category with Lifetime's Georgia O'Keeffe; History's Moonshot and HBO's The Special Relationship, You Don't Know Jack and Temple Grandin vying for the award along with PBS' Endgame.
The 62nd Primetime Emmy Awards will air live on NBC Aug. 29 from the Nokia Theatre in Los Angeles.
The complete list of Primetime Emmy nominations and other Academy news and information is available at www.Emmys.com.