Downton Abbey leads UK Emmy nominations

The stars of Downton Abbey on the red carpet.
The stars of Downton Abbey on the red carpet. Photo: Yui Mok/PA Wire/Press Association Images

A humble housemaid will take on a blue-blooded dowager in the battle for a prestigious TV honour after Downton Abbey led the British pack at the Emmy Awards nominations.

Joanne Froggatt, who plays domestic servant Anna, is nominated for the Outstanding Supporting Actress In A Drama Series award along with her ITV co-star Maggie Smith who plays the grand Dowager Countess of Grantham.

There were also nods for BBC1's Sherlock with its stars Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman nominated for Outstanding Lead Actor and Outstanding Supporting Actor In A Miniseries Or A Movie respectively.

Cumberbatch is nominated in a strong field including Woody Harrelson, Kevin Costner and Bill Paxton.

Joanne Froggatt, who plays domestic servant Anna, is nominated for the Outstanding Supporting Actress In A Drama Series award.
Joanne Froggatt, who plays domestic servant Anna, is nominated for the Outstanding Supporting Actress In A Drama Series award. Credit: Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire/Press Association Images

Also nominated are fellow Brits Clive Owen and Idris Elba for their roles in Hemingway and Gellhorn and Luther respectively.

Cumberbatch and Freeman were recognised for their parts in Sherlock: A Scandal in Belgravia.

The episode, based on Arthur Conan Doyle's story A Scandal in Bohemia, featured racy nude scenes with Lara Pulver's whip-wielding dominatrix character and was the most watched show on the BBC iPlayer last year.

The episode, which attracted around 100 complaints for its pre-watershed nudity, was also recognised in categories for art direction and costumes.

Maggie Smith plays the grand Dowager Countess of Grantham in Downton Abbey.
Maggie Smith plays the grand Dowager Countess of Grantham in Downton Abbey. Credit: Ian West/PA Archive/Press Association Images

Country house drama Downton Abbey is up against hit shows including Homeland and Game of Thrones for the Outstanding Drama Series Emmy.

Several of its stars are recognised including Michelle Dockery who gets a nod for Outstanding Lead Actress In A Drama Series for her portrayal of Lady Mary Crawley.

Hugh Bonneville will have to see off the challenge of fellow Brit Damian Lewis for Outstanding Lead Actor In A Drama Series.

Brendan Coyle, who plays valet John Bates, and Jim Carter, who plays the butler Carson, are both up for Outstanding Supporting Actor In A Drama Series.

Hugh Bonneville will have to see off the challenge of fellow Brit Damian Lewis for Outstanding Lead Actor In A Drama Series.
Hugh Bonneville will have to see off the challenge of fellow Brit Damian Lewis for Outstanding Lead Actor In A Drama Series. Credit: Ian West/PA Wire/Press Association Images

Armando Iannucci's new US show, Veep, is nominated for Outstanding Comedy Series but faces competition from Curb Your Enthusiasm and The Big Bang Theory, while its star Julia Louis-Dreyfus is nominated for Outstanding Lead Actress In A Comedy Series.

Emma Thompson is nominated for her performance in The Song of Lunch, but faces competition in the category for Outstanding Lead Actress In A Miniseries Or A Movie from Hollywood stars Julianne Moore and Nicole Kidman.

Celebrity chef Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution is in the running for Outstanding Reality Program, while Cat Deeley is up for Outstanding Host For A Reality Or Reality-Competition Program for So You Think You Can Dance.

Jamie Oliver MBE is in the running for Outstanding Reality Program.
Jamie Oliver MBE is in the running for Outstanding Reality Program. Credit: Yui Mok/PA Wire/Press Association Images

Mad Men, the period drama set in the world of advertising, leads the field with 17 nominations.

The awards are presented at a ceremony on September 23.