'Game of Thrones' earns a leading 22 Emmy Award nominations

This image released by HBO shows a scene from "Game of Thrones." The program was nominated for an Emmy on Thursday for outstanding drama series. The 70th Emmy Awards will be held on Monday, Sept. 17. (HBO via AP)

LOS ANGELES (AP) — "Game of Thrones" roared back onto the Emmy battlefield, topping Thursday's nominations with 22 bids.

HBO's fantasy saga is a two-time best drama winner that sat out the last year's awards.

It's returning to face formidable competition: "The Handmaid's Tale," the dystopian sci-fi series that claimed top drama honors last year, drew 20 bids, with "Westworld" close by with 21.

Donald Glover's "Atlanta" is the top comedy with 16 bids. It will face newcomers including "The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel" and "Barry," starring Bill Hader.

The revival of "Roseanne," canceled because of star Roseanne Barr's racist tweet, drew only one major nomination, a supporting actress nod for Laurie Metcalf.

"Saturday Night Live," riding high with its relentless pillorying of the Trump administration, was rewarded with 21 nods.

The previous high for "Game of Thrones" was 24 nominations in 2015. It got 23 nods in 2016 but wasn't eligible last year.

The Emmys ceremony airs Sept. 17 on NBC with Colin Jost and Michael Che of "Saturday Night Live" as hosts.

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Lynn Elber can be reached at lelber@ap.org and on Twitter at http://twitter.com/lynnelber .

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