LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Quirky musical comedy "Glee" and 1960s advertising drama series "Mad Men" led the nominations on Thursday for primetime Emmy Awards in a cross section of new faces and old TV favorites.
Newcomer "Glee", which features a group of high school misfits in a show choir, garnered 19 nominations including best comedy series and acting nods for its stars Matthew Morrison, Lea Michele and Jane Lynch and guest performers Neil Patrick Harris and Kristin Chenoweth.
Two-time Emmy champion "Mad Men" claimed 17 nods for the television industry's highest honors. It will defend its best drama series crown against HBO's vampire show "True Blood", lawyer drama "The Good Wife" with Julianna Margulies, "Dexter", "Breaking Bad" and the final season of sci-fi favorite "Lost."
The Emmys will be handed out in Los Angeles on Aug 29 in a live ceremony hosted by Jimmy Fallon.
The HBO World War Two series "The Pacific" got the largest number of nominations, with a record 24 mentions in the mini-series category. The cable channel was also the leading network with 101 nominations overall, followed by networks ABC with 63, CBS with 57, NBC with 48 and Fox with 47.
Five of the 12 comedy and drama series were first time nominees in a move that should inject new excitement into a race that has been dominated for two years by the same faces.
Comedies got the biggest shake-up. ABC's new hit "Modern Family", with 14 nods including supporting acting nods for five of its cast, will challenge NBC's reigning champion "30 Rock" and its Emmy-winning stars Tina Fey and Alec Baldwin.
After a strong season that included a long hoped-for "Seinfeld" cast reunion, actor and writer Larry David's wry "Curb Your Enthusiasm" earned best comedy and best actor nods.
Showtime's "Nurse Jackie," starring former "Sopranos" star Edie Falco as a subversive pill-popping nurse, was also a new entry in the best comedy category and gave Falco a shot at another Emmy trophy.
In TV dramas, two-time winner Bryan Cranston's drug-dealing teacher in "Breaking Bad" is likely to face a stiff challenge from Michael C. Hall, who has already won Golden Globe and Screen Actors Guild awards this year for his role as a vigilante serial killer in "Dexter".
Best actor contenders Jon Hamm of "Mad Men" and Hugh Laurie's grouchy doctor in "House" are return nominees.
One of the biggest surprises came in the variety show nominations. Although both Jay Leno and Conan O'Brien's version of "The Tonight Show" were both submitted for consideration, only O'Brien's episode will compete for the Emmy.
Reporting by Jill Serjeant; Editing by Bob Tourtellotte