More nominees. More Mad Men nominations. More room for How I Met Your Mother. History for Family Guy.
That's the quick read as the field—make that, the expanded field—for the Primetime Emmy Awards was announced this morning.
With the number of nominees in the series categories moving up from the usual five to six—and even a fat seven due to ties in some categories—Big Love, Breaking Bad, Damages, Dexter, House, Lost and defending champ Mad Men are all up for Outstanding Drama Series.
The Outstanding Comedy race looks like this: Entourage, The Office, reigning winner 30 Rock, Weeds, HBO cult favorite Flight of the Conchords, breakthrough show How I Met Your Mother, and, representing for toon town, Family Guy.
The Family Guy nod is one for the books—and not just because the show traveled back to Nazi Germany this past season.
Family Guy is the first animated series to be nominated as top comedy series since 1961—when The Flintstones walked the earth, and the category was known by the exceptionally whimsical name of Outstanding Program Achievement in the Field of Humor.
(And yes, this means that, no, multi-Emmy-winner The Simpsons has never, ever been up for Outstanding Comedy Series.)
Overall, 30 Rock scored the most nominations of any program: 22, a new record for a comedy series. Mad Men was the top drama series, with 16. The Drew Barrymore-Jessica Lange critter-infested HBO movie Grey Gardens earned 17, tying it for the all-time mark among TV-movies. Dancing with the Stars was the most-nominated reality show, with 10 nods, a new high for the genre.
While many of the nominations and nominees looked familiar, the TV Academy stressed that about half this year's contenders in the comedy and drama series categories, including the acting races, were not in the game last year. That stat, however, wasn't driven so much by changeover, as the change in the rules to allow more nominees.
Still, Big Love and Breaking Bad aren't complaining. The two relatively low-rated cable series are both newbies in the Drama Series category.
How I Met Your Mother, which blossomed in its fourth season, and took Neil Patrick Harris' profile along with it, or vice versa, and Flight of the Conchords are the newcomers in the comedy series field.
For all of the Academy's talk of change, however, not a single drama show from last year wasn't nominated this year, while only Two and a Half Men fell from the ranks of the comedy series contenders.
The 61st annual Primetime Emmy Awards, with newly tapped host Harris, are scheduled for Sept. 20.
(Originally published July 16, 2009, at 6 a.m. PT)
See who else got some Emmy love in our Notable Nominees gallery.