Homeland to battle Downton for top Emmys


America's love affair with British television drama continues to flourish after a host of UK talent received Emmy nominations, with Downton Abbey leading the charge.

The period drama scripted by Julian Fellowes landed four awards in 2011, and its second series has this year been nominated in 16 categories, including the outstanding drama category. However, it faces fierce competition from shows including Breaking Bad, Mad Men, Game of Thrones and Homeland.

The shortlist for outstanding actress in a drama series includes Michelle Dockery, who plays Lady Mary Crawley in Downton. She is up against Claire Danes, who plays a CIA agent in Homeland, and Glenn Close for her role in Damages.

Downton's Hugh Bonneville will battle Homeland's Damian Lewis among others for best actor in a drama series.

The best supporting actress shortlist includes Maggie Smith, nominated for the role that brought her the award last year. Smith will be up against Downton colleague Joanne Froggatt as well as another British actress, Archie Panjabi, who received a nod for her role as a wisecracking investigator in The Good Wife.

Two of the supporting actors are also from Downton. They will compete with fellow Brit Jared Harris, inset, who plays Lance Pryce in Mad Men.

Talk show host Jimmy Kimmel arrived in his pyjamas, after he had to step in just hours before the event, as he announced the nominations alongside Scandal star Kerry Washington.

There will also be a British interest in the mini-series category, with Sherlock: A Scandal in Belgravia competing with BBC police drama Luther. The lead actors from the two shows, Benedict Cumberbatch and Idris Elba, both received nominations as did Clive Owen, Kevin Costner and Woody Harrelson.

Veep, the political satire created by Armando Iannucci, received a nod for best comedy, and is up against shows including Curb Your Enthusiasm, 30 Rock and Modern Family.