Downton Abbey and Mad Men battle for Emmys

British period drama will compete with the US TV smash at tonight's awards ceremony (September 23)

Downton Abbey and Mad Men will go head-to-head as they battle for glory at the Emmy Awards tonight (September 23).

The ITV period drama is the most nominated British show ever with 16 nominations and will go up against US TV smash Mad Men, who are up for 17, in all their categories, including Best Drama.

Mad Men has won the top prize every year since its debut season, and could make history by winning it for a fifth time tonight. Homeland, Breaking Bad, Boardwalk Empire and Game Of Thrones will be hoping they snatch it away from the AMC show.

Downton Abbey actor Jim Carter, has been nominated in the Best Supporting Actor category, Michelle Dockery, who plays Lady Mary, is nominated in the Best Lead Actress Category, while Joanna Froggatt is up against co-star Dame Maggie Smith for supporting actress.

Hugh Bonneville, who plays the Earl of Grantham, told reporters at a pre-award party thrown by BAFTA in LA that he would “eat my own toe” if he were to beat Mad Men star John Hamm and Homeland‘s Damien Lewis in the Best Actor category.

BBC shows Sherlock, Luther and The Hour could also take home multiple prizes tonight, with Benedict Cumberbatch and Idris Elba battling it out for acting gongs.

The Primetime Emmy awards will be hosted by late-night talk show host Jimmy Kimmel in LA tonight (September 23).