(Reuters) - Fox's smash-hit, hip-hop drama "Empire" and old favorites "Big Bang Theory" and "The Good Wife" were elbowed out of the Emmy race on Thursday, while the Television Academy nominated a slew of new shows and actors for awards.
The popular young-adult romantic comedy "Jane the Virgin" was also snubbed while Amazon's transgender comedy "Transparent," and AMC's "Breaking Bad" spinoff "Better Call Saul" were among the newcomers making the grade.
Despite attracting some 17 million viewers for its season finale in March, Empire's tale of a family in the cutthroat world of the recording and entertainment industry was left out of the prestigious best drama series category.
Taraji P. Henson did get an acting nod for her role as a matriarch with a drug-dealing past in "Empire," but Terrence Howard as a hip-hop mogul failed to make the cut.
AMC's zombie show "The Walking Dead" again failed to get a nod in the best drama category.
"Big Bang Theory," the most-watched comedy on U.S. television and a perennial Emmy favorite, missed out on a best series nomination this year, while four-time Emmy winner Jim Parsons, who plays a geeky scientist on the CBS show, slipped off the list for consideration.
Julianna Margulies, the star of legal drama "The Good Wife," is out of the running after taking home two Emmys in the past four years. The series itself also failed to gain a nomination in the prestigious drama category.
The CW's "Jane the Virgin," which delivered a Golden Globe for lead actress Gina Rodriguez in January, was also snubbed in the key categories.
Others that were expected to feature in Thursday's nominations but which did not make the grade include Showtime's Golden Globe-winning "The Affair," and Ellie Kemper, lead actress in Netflix's best comedy series nominee "Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt."
The Television Academy will hand out the Emmys at a ceremony in Los Angeles on Sept. 20. [ID:nL2N0ZW1FO]
(Reporting by Jill Serjeant, editing by G Crosse)