Canadians Michael J. Fox, Kiefer Sutherland and Sandra Oh also were also among this year's nominees.

The stars and shows vying for TV's top honours were announced from Los Angeles in a live, 5:30 a.m. (PST) broadcast.

The names of nominees were delivered by Chandra Wilson of ABC's "Grey's Anatomy," Jim Parsons of CBS' "The Big Bang Theory," and John Shaffner, Chairman and CEO of the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences.

"30 Rock" had a leading 22 nominations, including best TV comedy and best actress for Fey.

The cable hit "Mad Men" scored 16 nominations, including best drama.

"Mad Men," which won the best drama series Emmy in 2008, will face strong competition this year.

HBO's controversial polygamy series, "Big Love," is a best drama contender. "Damages", "Breaking Bad", "Dexter", "Lost" and the Fox medical series "House" are also nominees in this prestige category.

The contenders challenging "30 Rock" for best comedy series include HBO's "Entourage" and "Flight of the Conchords," "The Office," "Weeds," "How I Met Your Mother" and the Fox hit "Family Guy."

Nominees for best actor in a drama series include Bryan Cranston of "Breaking Bad," "Dexter's" Michael C. Hall, "House" star Hugh Laurie, "In Treatment's" Gabriel Byrne, "Mad Men's" Jon Hamm, and "The Mentalist's" Simon Baker.

Sally Field of "Brothers&Sisters" and" "The Closer's" Kyra Sedgwick are among the leading ladies vying for best actress in a drama series.

Other nominees include "Damages'" Glenn Close, Mariska Hargitay of "Law and Order: Special Victims Unit," "Mad Men's" Elisabeth Moss, and Holly Hunter of the TNT show "Saving Grace."

Fey, the executive producer and female star of "30 Rock," could easily repeat her 2008 Emmy win for best lead actress in a comedy series.

Her Emmy competition in 2009 includes Christina Applegate ("Samantha Who?"), Toni Collette ("United States of Tara"), Julia Louis-Dreyfus ("The New Adventures of Old Christine"), Mary-Louise Parker ("Weeds") and Sarah Silverman ("The Sarah Silverman Program").

Steve Carell ("The Office") joins last year's winner Alec Baldwin ("30 Rock") and Parsons ("The Big Bang Theory") in the best lead actor in a comedy category.

Other nominees include Tony Shalhoub ("Monk"), Charlie Sheen ("Two and a Half Men"), and Jemaine Clement ("Flight of the Conchords").

Michael J. Fox is up for best guest actor in a drama, for his appearance on "Rescue Me."

Fox's five-episode stint on "Rescue Me" was his first acting role in several years, following guest appearances on "Boston Legal" in 2006 and "Scrubs" in 2004.

Sutherland is nominated for best lead actor in a miniseries or movie for "24: Redemption," a special two-hour version of "24."

The Canadian actor best known as Jack Bauer faces some strong competition.

Other nominees in this category include "King Lear's" Ian McKellen (PBS), "Cyrano de Bergerac's" "Kevin Kline" (HBO), "Into the Storm's" Brendan Gleeson (HBO), "Taking Chance's" Kevin Bacon (HBO), and Kenneth Branagh of "Wallander: One Step Behind" (PBS).

Oh is up for best supporting actress in a drama, for playing Dr. Christina Yang on "Grey's Anatomy."

Other nominees in this category include Rose Byrne ("Damages"), Chandra Wilson ("Grey's Anatomy"), Dianne Wiest ("In Treatment"), Hope Davis ("In Treatment"), and Cherry Jones ("24").

Montreal-born William Shatner ("Boston Legal") scored a nomination for best supporting actor in a drama series.

Shatner's competition inlcudes Christian Clemenson ("Boston Legal"), Aaron Paul ("Breaking Bad"), William Hurt ("Damages") Michael Emerson ("Lost"), and John Slattery ("Mad Men").

The popular Vampire saga "True Blood" and its Winnipeg-born star Anna Paquin, who won a Golden Globe earlier this year, were shut out of the major categories.

"Dexter," "Mad Men," "Grey's Anatomy," "Two and a Half Men," "Law⩔der: Special Victims Unit" and "The Big Bang Theory" air on CTV in Canada.

"Lost" airs on "A" in Canada.

The 61st Primetime Emmys will be handed out in Los Angeles on September 20 in a live broadcast ceremony.