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Mad Men up for a stunning 17 Emmys

HIT drama Mad Men has earned a leading 17 Emmy nominations and the chance to set a new record as the most-honoured drama in television history.

The Sixties-based show set in the world of advertising has already won four best drama series trophies, and is tied with Hill Street Blues, LA Law and The West Wing.

Now the AMC series has received a fifth bid in the category. "It's insane. I can't believe it," said Mad Men creator Matthew Weiner.

The mini-series American Horror Story, a nightmarish saga about a haunted house, received a matching 17 award nods.

Other leading nominees include the British period drama Downton Abbey, which earned 16 bids, and two mini-series, Hatfields & McCoys, with 16, and Hemingway & Gellhorn with 15.

Modern Family, honoured as best comedy series for the past two years, was the sitcom leader with 14 bids. The cast cleaned up in the supporting comedy categories, with Ed O'Neill, Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Ty Burrell, Eric Stonestreet, Julie Bowen and Sofia Vergara all receiving nominations.

Breakout comedies starring women proved popular. Girls, a dark coming-of-age New York story, received a best comedy nod and Zooey Deschanel's offbeat charm in New Girl earned her an acting bid.