Emmy nominations to be announced early Thursday morning

The first-year comedies "Glee" and "Modern Family" are expected to receive best comedy nominations early Thursday morning when the nominees for the 62nd Primetime Emmy Awards are announced.

"Glee," which airs on Fox Broadcasting, won the Golden Globe Award as television's best musical or comedy and the Screen Actors Guild Award for outstanding performance by an ensemble in a comedy series, beating fields that included ABC's "Modern Family" on both occasions.

Both shows are expected to vie with NBC's "30 Rock," the winner in the category each of the past three years.

AMC's "Mad Men" followed its back-to-back Emmy best drama victories with Golden Globe and Screen Actors Guild awards in January and is likely to receive another nomination in the category. CBS' first-year legal drama "The Good Wife," is also among the contenders in the category.

CBS' "The Amazing Race" is expected to have the opportunity to continue its dominance in the outstanding reality-competition program category, which it has won all seven years it has been awarded. Other contenders in the category includes television's two most-watched programs, "American Idol" and "Dancing with the Stars."

These nominations are the last chance for "Law & Order" to add to its 48 nominations. The legal drama was canceled by NBC in May after 20 seasons, matching "Gunsmoke" as prime-time television's longest-running drama. "Law & Order" has not received an Emmy nomination since 2003 and last won an Emmy in 1998.

This year's rule changes include a change making the two-and-a-half-hour series finale of ABC's "Lost" eligible for nominations. Previous rules had limited the extended length episodes to twice the normal running time, two hours for a standard prime-time drama series episode.

The nominations cover programs that initially aired between June 1, 2009 and May 31.

Joel McHale of the NBC comedy "Community" and Sofia Vergara of "Modern Family" will join John Shaffner, the chairman and chief executive officer of the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences, in reading the nominees in the top categories in a 5:30 a.m. ceremony at the academy's North Hollywood headquarters.

The reason for the early start is to allow the nominations to be shown live in the Eastern and Central time zones on the morning news programs.

The 62nd annual Primetime Emmy Awards will be presented Aug. 29 at the Nokia Theatre with late-night talk show host Jimmy Fallon as the host.

The ceremony is usually held in mid-September, one day before the start of the official television season, except in the years, like this, when it is televised on NBC. The Emmys air in August in years it the ceremony is carried on NBC because of its contract to carry "Sunday Night Football." The ceremony rotates among the four major broadcast networks.

The bulk of the Primetime Emmys will be presented at the Creative Arts Emmy Awards ceremony Aug. 21.

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