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Actors Matthew McConaughey (L-R), Michelle Monaghan, and Woody Harrelson talk about HBO's "True Detective" during the Winter 2014 TCA presentations in Pasadena, California, in this file photo from January 9, 2014. True Detective racked up a dozen Emmy nominations as the 2014 Emmy nominations were announced July 10, 2014. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson/Files
Actors Matthew McConaughey (L-R), Michelle Monaghan, and Woody Harrelson talk about HBO's "True Detective" during the Winter 2014 TCA presentations in Pasadena, California, in this file photo from January 9, 2014. True Detective racked up a dozen Emmy nominations as the 2014 Emmy nominations were announced July 10, 2014. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson/Files

TV newcomers ‘True Detective,’ ‘Orange’ storm Emmys race

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By Mary Milliken and Eric Kelsey

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Television newcomers "True Detective," a crime drama from HBO, and "Orange is the New Black," a dark prison comedy from Netflix, racked up a dozen Emmy nominations each on Thursday, challenging stalwarts like "Breaking Bad" and "Modern Family."

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Online streaming company Netflix Inc more than doubled its nominations for TV's highest honors last year, reaching 31 as political thriller "House of Cards" earned 13 nods.

HBO's medieval thriller and fan favorite "Game of Thrones" led all nominees with 19 and pushed the premium cable service's overall nods to 99, the most of any network for the 14th year in a row.

While cable and online streaming fared well, the broadcast networks were once again shut out of the top competition, best drama. Last year's winner, AMC's drug tale "Breaking Bad," will compete there for its final season, along with the network's ad world drama "Mad Men," "House of Cards," PBS's British period drama "Downton Abbey," "Game of Thrones" and "True Detective."

"True Detective," which follows a sadistic crime spree in rural Louisiana, earned best actor in a drama nominations for both Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson, some of the biggest film stars to move into the thriving television industry.

'SOMETHING'S WORKING' FOR NETFLIX

In another cross-over from film, FX's "Fargo" mini-series, based on the cult movie from the Coen brothers, notched up 18 nominations, including best actor in a mini-series nods for stars Billy Bob Thornton and Martin Freeman.

In the TV movie category, HBO's "The Normal Heart," based on the true story of an early AIDS activist in New York City, earned 16 nods, including a best actor nomination for Mark Ruffalo.

Netflix, which was the big Emmy disrupter last year by earning the first nominations ever for a series delivered solely online, has made its original programming a priority to lure subscribers around the world, much like Time Warner Inc's HBO. "Emmys are a part of their business plan," said Cynthia Littleton, the TV editor-in-chief at trade publication Variety. "It's the HBO playbook. "They've given their shows big budgets; they've got very good pedigree on their shows. They want to be in that HBO game. Clearly, something's working."

"Orange is the New Black" is based on the real story of a woman who goes to prison on old drug charges, finding herself living with hardened criminals and the old girlfriend who got her into trouble. The nominations this year are for season one, although season two was made available all at once last month.

For the year's best comedy, "Orange is the New Black" will compete against ABC's "Modern Family," which won last year. Rounding out the competitors are political satire "Veep" and tech-world take-down "Silicon Valley," both from HBO; CBS nerd-fest "The Big Bang Theory"; and the irreverent comedy "Louie" from FX.

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