HBO’s acclaimed Liberace drama Behind The Candelabra starring Michael Douglas and Matt Damon may be ineligible for Oscar consideration but that has not stopped recognition coming from the world of television.

The drama is up for 15 Emmys including two for best lead actor in a miniseries or movie for Douglas as the flamboyant entertainer and Damon as his lover Scott Thorson.

Behind the Candelabra is also in contention for, among other categories, outstanding miniseries or movie, outstanding director for a miniseries, movie or dramatic special for Steven Soderbergh, writer for Richard LaGravenese and supporting actor for Scott Bakula.

The drama received its world premiere in Cannes and earned generally rave reviews but is excluded from Academy Awards glory because it premiered in the US on the small screen. Director Steven Soderbergh and producer Jerry Weintraub took the project to HBO after the US majors baulked at the subject matter of homosexuality, drugs and AIDS.

The initial HBO broadcast on May 26 drew 2.4m viewers – the company’s highest numbers in close to a decade.

Meanwhile Netflix’s House Of Cards and Arrested Development became the first digitally distributed series to earn major nominations. Cards plundered nine and Arrested Development three. Netflix garnered 14 nods overall. Sundance Channel’s Top Of The Lake in in the running for eight awards.

In terms of overall Emmy nods, HBO was the lead network with 108, followed by Showtime on 31.

The 65th annual Primetime Emmy Awards will take place on Sept 22 in Los Angeles.