'Westworld,' 'SNL' lead 2017 Emmy list packed with new TV shows

A scene from HBO's "Big Little Lies".

LOS ANGELES - Sci-fi drama "Westworld" and satirical sketch show "Saturday Night Live" led Emmy award nominations on Friday with 22 apiece in a list stuffed with new contenders that reflected a booming era for television.

With reigning Emmy champ "Game of Thrones" ineligible this year for the highest honors in television after it moved its seventh season to this summer, the door opened to five new shows vying for the top prize of best drama series.

The crowded race includes British royal series "The Crown" and supernatural mystery "Stranger Things," both on Netflix; Hulu's breakout dystopian women's series "The Handmaid's Tale" starring best actress nominee Elisabeth Moss; and NBC's emotional family drama "This Is Us."

Peter Morgan, creator of "The Crown," said he was "chuffed, thrilled, proud, honored!" at the show's 13 nominations.

Television Academy Chairman Hayma Washington noted the "explosive growth" in television, where more than 400 scripted shows vie for attention across streaming, cable and broadcast networks.

"The creativity and excellence in presenting great storytelling and characters across a multitude of ever-expanding entertainment platforms is staggering," Washington said in a statement.

The nomination for "This Is Us," which also received acting nods for stars Milo Ventimiglia, Sterling K. Brown and Chrissy Metz, make the show the first from one of the four leading US broadcast networks to enter the Emmy drama series contest since CBS's "The Good Wife" in 2011.

"For our show to even be in a general conversation with these other stellar programs - it’s beyond our wildest dreams," said Dan Fogelman, creator of "This Is Us."

Among networks, HBO again had the highest overall tally, with 111 nods, mostly because of multiple nominations for crime drama "The Night Of" and female-driven murder mystery "Big Little Lies." - Reuters