“Mad Men,” moved into the ranks of history-making television dramas today (July 19) after snaring 17 Emmy nominations, making it one of the most celebrated shows in television, and on pace to surpass the best shows ever aired.

The series, which tracks the dysfunctional lives of employees working in a high-powered 1960’s era advertising agency, is a four-time winner of best drama in its five seasons. If it wins this year it will tie “Hill Street Blues,” “L.A Law” and “The West Wing.”

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Cable shows dominated the drama category with HBO’s “Boardwalk Empire,” “Breaking Bad,” PBS’s “Downton Abbey,” “Game Of Thrones,” and newcomer “Homeland” receiving nods. No network shows were nominated.

The outcome is likely to add to network complaints that they can’t compete with cable networks because they face tighter restrictions on nudity, language and violence than their cable counterparts.

Among other major nominees, the FX network mini-series “American Horror Story,” received a matching 17 awards, including a best actress in a mini-series nomination for star Connie Britton. The show is about a dysfunctional family that moves into a haunted house.

In a major accomplishment for public television, the acclaimed British series “Downton Abbey” gained 16 nominations, including best actress in a drama series nomination for Michelle Dockery.

In the mini-series category, the “Hatfields & McCoys,” which starred Kevin Costner and “Hemingway & Gellhorn,” starring Nicole Kidman received 16 nominations and 15 nominations respectively.

“Modern Family,” seemed poised to retain its crown as the best sit-com on television with 14 nominations. It has won best comedy series for two years i a row.

Girls the controversial HBO series by creator and star Lena Dunham also received a best comedy nomination. Dunham is also up for a best actress award as is Zooey Deschanel for her role in “New Girl.”

The comedy category was rounded out by Julia Louis-Dreyfus’ “Veep,” Larry David’s “Curb Your Enthusiasm,” and network shows “30 Rock” and “The Big Bang Theory.”

The Emmy ceremony is scheduled to air on ABC on Sept 23. ABC’s Jimmy Kimmel will host.