``Breaking Bad'' is expected to receive a nomination as outstanding drama series for its final season when nominations for the 66th annual Primetime Emmy Awards are announced early Thursday.
``Breaking Bad'' received the Emmy as outstanding drama series last year, ending the four-year winning streak of fellow AMC series ``Mad Men'' in the category.
``Mad Men'' is among the other contenders for the six nominations in the category along with two other nominees from last season, the Netflix political drama, ``House of Cards'' and HBO's medieval fantasy ``Game of Thrones''; HBO's first-year crime drama ``True Detective''; FX's 1980s spy drama ``The Americans''; and CBS' legal drama ``The Good Wife.''
For each of the past two years, none of the outstanding drama series nominees came from the major broadcast networks. A series from the major broadcast networks has not won in the category since Fox's ``24'' in 2006.
In the outstanding comedy series category, ABC's ``Modern Family,'' the winner each of the past four years, is a virtual certainty for a nomination.
Since winning in the category last year, ``Modern Family'' won best comedy awards at the Producers Guild and Screen Actors Guild awards, also the fourth time it has won each of those awards.
Other contenders for the category's six nominations include the Netflix first-year prison comedy, ``Orange Is the New Black''; the Writers Guild Awards winner, ``Veep'' and fellow HBO series ``Girls''; FX's ``Louie''; and CBS' ``The Big Bang Theory,'' television's most-watched comedy.
The NBC singing competition ``The Voice,'' is expected to be among the nominees for outstanding reality- competition program, a year after receiving the Emmy in the category for the first time.
Other contenders for nominations include CBS' nine-time winner, ``The Amazing Race''; Bravo's ``Top Chef,'' the only other program to win in the category; ABC's ``Dancing with the Stars''; Fox's ``So You Think You Can Dance''; and Lifetime's ``Project Runway''.
The major rule change for this year is the split of the outstanding made- for-television movie and miniseries category into separate categories -- outstanding made-for-television movie and outstanding miniseries.
Carson Daly, host of the ``The Voice,'' and Mindy Kaling, the star of the Fox comedy ``The Mindy Project'' will join Bruce Rosenblum, the chairman and CEO of the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences, in announcing the nominees in the top categories in a ceremony at the academy's North Hollywood headquarters beginning at 5:40 a.m. Thursday. 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 66th annual Primetime Emmy Awards, which honor programming initially airing between 6 p.m. and 2 a.m. from June 1, 2013, to May 31, 2014, will be presented Aug. 25 at the Nokia Theatre with Seth Meyers as the host. The ceremony will be televised on NBC.
The ceremony annually rotates among the four major broadcast networks. It is typically held in September, except when it is NBC's turn to air it, when it is held in August to avoid a conflict with NBC's ``Sunday Night Football.''
The bulk of the Primetime Emmys will be presented at the Creative Arts Emmy Awards ceremony Aug. 16, also at the Nokia Theatre.