A humble housemaid will take on a blue-blooded dowager in the battle for a prestigious TV honour after Downton Abbey led the British pack at the Emmy Awards nominations.
But Mad Men, having previously won four best drama series gongs, is making a bid for Emmy history to take the record with five trophies. It has been nominated for 17 awards overall, but Downtown is closing in on its territory with 16 nominations.
Joanna Froggatt, who plays domestic servant Anna, is nominated for the Outstanding Supporting Actress In A Drama Series award along with her ITV co-star Maggie Smith who plays the grand Dowager Countess of Grantham.
There were also nods for BBC1's Sherlock with its stars Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman nominated for Outstanding Lead Actor and Outstanding Supporting Actor In A Miniseries Or A Movie respectively.
Cumberbatch is nominated in a strong field including Woody Harrelson, Kevin Costner and Bill Paxton.
Also nominated are fellow Brits Clive Owen and Idris Elba for their roles in Hemingway and Gellhorn and Luther respectively.
Cumberbatch and Freeman were recognised for their parts in Sherlock: A Scandal in Belgravia.
The episode, based on Arthur Conan Doyle's story A Scandal in Bohemia, featured racy nude scenes with Lara Pulver's whip-wielding dominatrix character and was the most watched show on the BBC iPlayer last year.
The episode, which attracted around 100 complaints for its pre-watershed nudity, was also recognised in categories for art direction and costumes.
Country house drama Downton Abbey is up against hit shows including Homeland and Game of Thrones for the Outstanding Drama Series Emmy.
Several of its stars are recognised including Michelle Dockery who gets a nod for Outstanding Lead Actress In A Drama Series for her portrayal of Lady Mary Crawley.
Hugh Bonneville will have to see off the challenge of fellow Brit Damian Lewis for Outstanding Lead Actor In A Drama Series.
Brendan Coyle, who plays valet John Bates, and Jim Carter, who plays the butler Carson, are both up for Outstanding Supporting Actor In A Drama Series.
Armando Iannucci's new US show, Veep, is nominated for Outstanding Comedy Series but faces competition from Curb Your Enthusiasm and The Big Bang Theory, while its star Julia Louis-Dreyfus is nominated for Outstanding Lead Actress In A Comedy Series.
Emma Thompson is nominated for her performance in The Song of Lunch, but faces competition in the category for Outstanding Lead Actress In A Miniseries Or A Movie from Hollywood stars Julianne Moore and Nicole Kidman.
Celebrity chef Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution is in the running for Outstanding Reality Program, while Cat Deeley is up for Outstanding Host For A Reality Or Reality-Competition Program for So You Think You Can Dance.
The awards are presented at a ceremony on September 23.
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