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By Piya Sinha-Roy and Mary Milliken
LOS ANGELES, July 18 (Reuters) - Television thriller "American Horror Story: Asylum" and medieval fantasy "Game of Thrones" led nominees for primetime Emmy Awards on Thursday, while the Internet streaming service Netflix made history with nods for its first foray into original programming.
Netflix landed a total of 14 nominations for political drama "House of Cards," comedy "Arrested Development" and thriller "Hemlock Grove," a validation of its challenge to broadcast and cable networks. It is the first time programs not produced specifically for television have won Emmy nominations in the top categories, with "House of Cards" competing for best drama and leading stars Kevin Spacey and Robin Wright in best actor and actress groups.
"Everybody is stepping up their game. It's an opportunity to tell stories on multiple platforms and it's great news for our industry," said Bruce Rosenblum, chairman and chief executive of the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences.
"It's not that dissimilar to a couple of decades ago when HBO and Showtime started producing original content," he added.
FX's "American Horror Story: Asylum" pulled in 17 nominations including best miniseries and HBO's "Game of Thrones" landed 16 including best drama. Last year's winner "Homeland" was nominated in 11 categories including best drama.
In the comedy category, NBC's "30 Rock" anchored the most nominations with 13 including best comedy for the long-running series' final season. Creator and star Tina Fey and co-star Alec Baldwin picked up nominations in leading comedy actor categories. Last year's big winner, ABC's "Modern Family," scored 12 nods including best comedy series.
The HBO movie "Behind the Candelabra," based on the life of pianist Liberace pulled in 15 nominations, and Michael Douglas as Liberace and Matt Damon as his lover will compete in the lead actor in a miniseries or movie category.
The Emmys are the top TV awards in the United States given out by the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. This year's Emmy Awards will take place on Sept. 22 and will be broadcast on the CBS network.
Among the networks, Time Warner's cable channel HBO was the clear leader with 108 nominations out of a total of 537. Broadcasters CBS and NBC each earned 53 nods, ABC had 45 and Fox trailed behind with 19.