Nicole Rivelli/NBC; FOX
Stephen M. Silverman
July 16, 2009 08:40 AM

While Emmy didn’t bite HBO’s vampire hit True Blood for any of the major categories, Family Guy became the first animated series since The Flintstones in 1961 to be nominated as best comedy series – which will pit it against a record six other programs, it was announced Thursday morning.

Besides the often outrageous adventures of the Griffin family, the outstanding comedy series nominees are Entourage, Flight of the Conchords, How I Met Your Mother, The Office, 30 Rock and Weeds.

Dramatic series nominees are Big Love, Breaking Bad, Damages, Dexter, House, Lost and Mad Men.

Besides having the eyes of the nation on her for her rich Sarah Palin impersonation on Saturday Night Live during last year’s Presidential campaign, Tina Fey also earned Emmy respect with her satirical NBC sitcom, 30 Rock – which led the entire pack with a walloping 22 nominations. Last year it was named top comedy series.

Last year’s top drama series, the period ad agency program Mad Men, leads its field this year, too, with 16 nominations.

Among TV movies, Grey Gardens, with Drew Barymore in a careeer-altering performance, picked up 17 nominations, while Into the Storm, about Winston Churchill during WWII, garnered 14.

A category new to this year honors comedy, musical and variety series. The nominees are The Colbert Report, The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, Late Show with David Letterman, Real Time with Bill Maher and Saturday Night Live.

CBS will air the Emmys live on Sunday, Sept. 20, from the Nokia Theatre in Los Angeles. How I Met Your Mother star and former Emmy nominee Neil Patrick Harris, who masterfully hosted Broadway’s June 7 Tony Awards, will serve as emcee.

For a complete list of nominees, click here.

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Carin Baer/AMC

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