Nominations for the 28th annual Daytime Emmy Awards were announced this morning in New York, and CBS's resurgent soap As the World Turns netted an earth-shattering 25 nominations, including outstanding drama series and lead actress for Martha Byrne. (Byrne tackled a dual role this year and is already pegged the favorite to win.) All My Children, also up for best soap, followed close behind with 21 nods. After being snubbed last year, Susan Lucci (Erica) made the cut this time around likely on the strength of the acclaimed plot in which her TV daughter Bianca (played by fellow Emmy nominee Eden Riegel) came out of the closet. In an unusual twist, Lucci will face off against two of her AMC co-stars in the lead actress slot: Julia Barr (Brooke) and Marcy Walker (Liza). The ATWT and AMC juggernaut came at the expense of two Emmy stalwarts: CBS's top-rated The Young and the Restless and ABC's in decline General Hospital. Both soaps after years of dominating the proceedings received 15 nominations combined. Y&R's quiet showing is of particular note considering the show has come under fire in recent years for overstuffing the ballot boxes in hopes of securing as many nods as possible. (TV Guide columnist Michael Logan accused the soap of "turning the nominations process into a numbers racket.") Elsewhere, Emmy also-ran Regis Philbin gets two more chances to grab some gold with nominations for best talk show host (pre-Kelly Ripa Live with Regis) and best game show host (ABC's Who Wants to Be a Millionaire). The Daytime Emmys will be handed out on May 18 in a ceremony broadcast live on NBC. For a complete list of nominees, click here.
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