Fantasy epic Game of Thrones is poised to make television history at the 68th Emmy Awards on Sunday by becoming the most decorated fictional show since the awards began.
The HBO series picked up nine statuettes at last weekend's Creative Arts Emmys, which reward artistic and technical achievement, giving it a total haul over the years of 35 - more than any other drama series.
But Sunday's glitzy ceremony in downtown Los Angeles - television's equivalent of the Oscars, when the Emmys in top categories are handed out - could see it pass the 37 won by long-running sitcom Frasier.
That would make it the most-awarded narrative series since the first Television Academy prize-giving in 1949.
HBO's saga about noble families vying for control of the Iron Throne is up for awards in five major categories on Sunday, including its sixth consecutive nod for outstanding drama.
Three of its stars - Lena Headey, Emilia Clarke and Maisie Williams - dominate the supporting actress category, while Peter Dinklage could win a third supporting actor trophy, but faces competition from co-star Kit Harington.
The show also has nominees in the writing and directing categories.
"I think Game of Thrones will be a big winner on Emmy night," Debra Birnbaum, executive editor for TV at entertainment industry magazine Variety, told AFP.
"With all the nominations it has in those five categories, it's going to take home at least three trophies, and break the record."
The all-time Emmy league table - which includes non-fiction - is topped by NBC comedy sketch show Saturday Night Live, with 48 awards.
Game of Thrones, which raked in a record-breaking 12 statuettes last year, may have its date with history to enjoy, but it won't necessarily be the big winner of the night.
FX's hotly-tipped The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story has 13 nominations - more than any other show - in seven categories, having already won four technical Emmys.
"It has a lot of momentum going into Emmy night, and it's certainly a favorite in the limited series category as well as best actress for Sarah Paulson," said Birnbaum.
She also said FX's acclaimed spy drama The Americans could pull some surprises at Sunday's ceremony, hosted by funnyman Jimmy Kimmel.
"It's a critical favorite, for sure, and it built up a lot of good will after all the nominations. Matthew Rhys and Keri Russell might emerge with upset wins in the lead actor and actress categories."
Several hotly tipped shows are conspicuous for their poor showing this year, including CBS's The Good Wife, which was shut out of best drama honours although it has a nomination for writing.
Critics were shocked when Netflix's prison comedy drama Orange is the New Black failed to pick up a single nomination.
"Empire," Fox's melodrama about family feuds in a musical dynasty, picked up just one nomination despite its success with TV viewers, 17.6 million of whom tuned in to watch the first season finale.
That nod went to Taraji P. Henson in the best actress in a drama category for her portrayal of family matriarch Cookie Lyon. Henson would be only the second African American actress after Viola Davis last year to pick up the prize. Davis is nominated in the same category for her work on ABC's How to Get Away with Murder.
The Television Academy's 19,000 members were given two weeks in June to sift through a crowded field of more than 8,000 entries from shows aired during the previous 12 months across 113 categories.
The most star-studded category is perhaps lead actor in a limited series or TV movie, which includes six-time Emmy winner Bryan Cranston, who has received rave reviews for anchoring HBO's Lyndon B. Johnson biopic All the Way.
Benedict Cumberbatch, Idris Elba, Cuba Gooding Jr, Tom Hiddleston and Courtney B. Vance are also nominated.
Downton Abbey, which picked up eight nominations last year but won only for hairstyling, marks its final season with a fourth nomination in the prestigious outstanding drama category among others. It already has two Creative Emmys in the bag.
In the battle of the networks, perennial favorite HBO leads the nominations, with a reduced tally on last year but the biggest early success story has been Fox's FX subsidiary, which got 56 nominations, a new record for a basic cable company.
"It's fantastic. It's great for us and great for the shows that were singled out and we're thrilled about it," Nick Grad, FX's president of original programming, told AFP.
The 68th Emmy Awards will air on VIBE on Monday 19 September, 12pm.
And the nominees are:
OUTSTANDING DRAMA SERIES
Better Call Saul
Game of Thrones
House of Cards
OUTSTANDING COMEDY SERIES
Master of None
Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt
LEAD ACTOR, DRAMA
Kyle Chandler, Bloodline
Rami Malek, Mr. Robot
Bob Odenkirk, Better Call Saul
Matthew Rhys, The Americans
Liev Schreiber, Ray Donovan
Kevin Spacey, House of Cards
LEAD ACTRESS, DRAMA
Claire Danes, Homeland
Viola Davis, How to Get Away with Murder
Taraji P. Henson, Empire
Tatiana Maslany, Orphan Black
Keri Russell, The Americans
"Robin Wright, House of Cards
LEAD ACTOR, COMEDY
Anthony Anderson, black-ish
Aziz Ansari, Master of None
Will Forte, The Last Man on Earth
William H. Macy, Shameless
Thomas Middleditch, Silicon Valley
Jeffrey Tambor, Transparent
LEAD ACTRESS, COMEDY
Ellie Kemper, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt
Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Veep
Laurie Metcalf, Getting On
Tracee Ellis Ross, black-ish
Amy Schumer, Inside Amy Schumer
Lily Tomlin, Grace and Frankie
SUPPORTING ACTOR, DRAMA
Jonathan Banks, Better Call Saul
Peter Dinklage, Game of Thrones
Kit Harington, Game of Thrones
Michael Kelly, House of Cards
Ben Mendelsohn, Bloodline
Jon Voight, Ray Donovan
SUPPORTING ACTRESS, DRAMA
Emilia Clarke, Game of Thrones
Lena Headey, Game of Thrones
Maggie Smith, Downton Abbey
Maura Tierney, The Affair
Maisie Williams, Game of Thrones
Constance Zimmer, UnREAL
SUPPORTING ACTOR, COMEDY
Louie Anderson, Baskets
Andre Braugher, Brooklyn Nine-Nine
Tituss Burgess, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt
Ty Burrell, Modern Family
Tony Hale, Veep
Keegan-Michael Key, Key & Peele
Matt Walsh, Veep
SUPPORTING ACTRESS, COMEDY
Anna Chlumsky, Veep
Gaby Hoffmann, Transparent
Allison Janney, Mom
Judith Light, Transparent
Kate McKinnon, Saturday Night Live
Niecy Nash, Getting On
OUTSTANDING LIMITED SERIES
The Night Manager
The People vs O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story
OUTSTANDING TELEVISION MOVIE
A Very Murray Christmas
All the Way
Sherlock: The Abominable Bride
LEAD ACTOR, LIMITED SERIES OR MOVIE
Bryan Cranston, All The Way
Benedict Cumberbatch, Sherlock: The Abominable Bride
Idris Elba, Luther
Cuba Gooding Jr, The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story
Tom Hiddleston, The Night Manager
Courtney B. Vance, The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story
LEAD ACTRESS, LIMITED SERIES OR MOVIE
Kirsten Dunst, Fargo
Felicity Huffman, American Crime
Audra McDonald, Lady Day at Emerson's Bar & Grill
Sarah Paulson, The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story
Lili Taylor, American Crime
Kerry Washington, Confirmation
Top five programs with most overall nominations (including last weekend's Creative Arts Emmys):
Game of Thrones - 23
The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story - 22
Fargo - 18
Veep - 17
Saturday Night Live - 16