3 LOS ANGELES Dark drug drama "Breaking Bad" dominated television nominations for the annual Writers Guild Awards on Thursday, with "Modern Family" leading the way in the comedy category.
A trio of HBO newcomers - Lena Dunham's "Girls," Aaron Sorkin's "The Newsroom," and political satire "Veep" - will compete in the new series category, along with network comedy "The Mindy Project" and country music drama "Nashville," the Writers Guild of America (WGA) announced.
"Girls," the story of three 20-somethings navigating life and love in New York City, also won a nomination in the best comedy series slot, along with established shows "30 Rock," "Parks and Recreation," "Louie" and Emmy darling "Modern Family."
The Writers Guild recognizes achievements in the writing of U.S. television, radio, news and animation, rather than actors or directors. The Guild will announce its nominations in the movie field in January.
"Breaking Bad," starring Bryan Cranston as a teacher turned drug kingpin and now in its fifth and final season, picked up five nods on Wednesday, including best drama series and four for individual episodes.
The show is likely to face stiff competition from psychological thriller "Homeland," which won the WGA's award for best new drama last year and has since bagged an Emmy and Golden Globe.
"Mad Men," lavish Prohibition-era show "Boardwalk Empire," and fantasy series "Game of Thrones," round out the competition for best drama series.
In longer form television, miniseries "Hatfields and McCoys" - about a 100 year-old family feud - was nominated along with TV film "Hemingway and Gelhorn" and "Political Animals."
The WGA will hand out its awards in all categories on February 17 at simultaneous ceremonies in both New York and Los Angeles.
(Reporting By Jill Serjeant; editing by Andrew Hay)