The leading nominee, with 16 bids, was the miniseries "Into the West."
In a major reversal from last year's awards, neither "Lost" or "Desperate Housewives" received best-series nominations. Both won last year.
"Honey, I got nominated. It's hilarious, it's unbelievable," Julia Louis-Dreyfus, who helped announce the bids that included her own for "The New Adventures of Old Christine," told her husband, writer-producer Brad Hall, over the phone.
"My skin feels like it's buzzing," she told The Associated Press. "Or maybe that's from all the coffee I've been drinking since 1 a.m."
A number of acting bids went to stars of shows that have left the air, including Frances Conroy and Peter Krause of "Six Feet Under," Geena Davis of "Commander in Chief" and Martin Sheen, Allison Janney and Alan Alda of "The West Wing."
"Will & Grace," which ended its eight-year run last season, received a warm farewell with 10 nominations, the most for a comedy series.
Among the nominated reality series were ratings phenomenon "American Idol" and "The Amazing Race."
"24," with what many considered its strongest season, led all series with 12 nominations, followed by "Grey's Anatomy" with 11. Both received best drama series bids and were joined in the category by "House," "The Sopranos" and "The West Wing."
For "24," Kiefer Sutherland received a best-actor bid. Among the "Grey's Anatomy" stars recognized were Golden Globe winner Sandra Oh and Chandra Wilson, with supporting-actress nominations. The show was shut out of the best-actress and actor categories.
"I'm so happy for our show. My family is here, so I got hugs right away, and the cast is here, so we're hugging on each other. Maybe we can go have a really expensive dinner," Wilson said in a phone call from Milan, Italy, where she and the cast are promoting the show.
The comedy-series nominees were "Arrested Development," "Curb Your Enthusiasm," "The Office," "Scrubs" and "Two and a Half Men."
Among the networks, longtime Emmy powerhouse HBO was the front-runner with 95 nominations, followed by ABC with 64, CBS with 47, NBC with 46 and Fox with 41.
The stars of "Desperate Housewives," which lost its status as critical darling in its sophomore season although it held its ratings, were missing this year from the lead acting category. The stars of "Lost" met the same fate.
Besides Sutherland, other best-actor nominations for a drama went to Peter Krause of "Six Feet Under," Denis Leary of "Rescue Me," Christopher Meloni of "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit" and Martin Sheen of "The West Wing."
Joining Conroy, Davis and Janney in the best drama series actress category were Mariska Hargitay of "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit" and Kyra Sedgwick of "The Closer."
The nominees for best actress in a comedy series were Stockard Channing of "Out of Practice," Jane Kaczmarek of "Malcolm in the Middle," Lisa Kudrow of "The Comeback," Debra Messing for "Will & Grace" and Louis-Dreyfus for "The New Adventures of Old Christine."
Louis-Dreyfus, who won previously for "Seinfeld," was joined by another past Emmy winner, Brad Garrett ("Everybody Loves Raymond") to announce nominations in the top categories in a brief televised ceremony Thursday at the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences' Leonard H. Goldenson Theatre.
Nominees for lead actor in a comedy series were Steve Carrell of "The Office," Larry David of "Curb Your Enthusiasm," Kevin James of "The King of Queens," Tony Shalhoub of "Monk" and Charlie Sheen of "Two and a Half Men."
"This is a very exciting moment for everyone involved with the show. We are all extremely honored. I'm also additionally overjoyed by being personally recognized as well," Carrell said.
Showing the flag for "Desperate Housewives" was series newcomer Alfre Woodard, who received a bid as best supporting actress in a comedy. Joining her were Cheryl Hines of "Curb Your Enthusiasm," Jaime Pressly of "My Name Is Earl," Elizabeth Perkins of "Weeds" and Megan Mullally of "Will & Grace."
Actors nominated in the supporting category in comedy were Will Arnett of "Arrested Development," Jeremy Piven of "Entourage," Bryan Cranston of "Malcolm in the Middle," Jon Cryer of "Two and a Half Men" and Sean Hayes of "Will & Grace."
For drama series, best supporting actor bids went to William Shatner ("Boston Legal"), Oliver Platt ("Huff"), Michael Imperioli ("The Sopranos"), Gregory Itzin ("24") and Alda ("The West Wing").
"It's totally bittersweet. Bittersweet is the order of the day. But we'll take the sweet," said Platt, whose series was canceled after its second season.
Besides Oh and Wilson, actresses in the supporting category, drama, were Candice Bergen for "Boston Legal," Blythe Danner for "Huff" and Jean Smart, "24."
Top nominees in the movie and miniseries field, besides "Into the West," included "Elizabeth I," "Mrs. Harris" and "Bleak House."
Besides "Mrs. Harris," the made-for-TV movie nominees were two Sept. 11-based dramas, "Flight 93" and "The Flight That Fought Back." "The Girl in the Cafe" and "Yesterday" also were nominated.
Best miniseries bids went to "Sleeper Cell" as well as "Bleak House," "Elizabeth I" and "Into the West."
Nominated lead actresses in a miniseries or movie include Gillian Anderson, "Bleak House," Kathy Bates, "Ambulance Girl," Annette Bening, "Mrs. Harris" and Judy Davis, "A Little Thing Called Murder."
Actors nominated for their miniseries or movie performance were Andre Braugher ("Thief"), Charles Dance ("Bleak House") Ben Kingsley ("Mrs. Harris"), Jon Voight ("Pope John Paul II"), and Donald Sutherland, joining his son, Kiefer, in the Emmy race, for "Human Trafficking."
The Emmy Awards are scheduled to air Aug. 27 on NBC, with Conan O'Brien as host of the Shrine Auditorium ceremony. The awards, traditionally held in September at the start of the TV season, were moved up because of NBC's addition of Sunday-night football to its schedule.
There are 94 Emmy categories, including four to be announced later this month.
Other Emmy honors, including those for technical achievement and guest actors and actresses in series, will be given at the creative-arts ceremony on Aug. 19.
By Lynn Elber