Julian Fellowes' period drama is up for the Outstanding Drama Series accolade, going head to head with US heavyweights 'Breaking Bad', 'Game of Thrones', 'Homeland', 'House of Cards' and 'Mad Men'.
The show's stars have also been singled out for more awards, with Michelle Dockery, aka Lady Mary, being tipped for the Outstanding Actress In A Drama gong and her father in the show, Hugh Bonneville, is up for the male equivalent.
And in contention for Best Supporting actor gongs are Jim Carter for his role as Mr Carson and Dame Maggie Smith for her formidable Dowager character.
Last year, British actors Damian Lewis and Dame Maggie Smith were winners at the 64th primetime Emmy Awards but 'Downton Abbey' lost out to the US series 'Homeland' for Best Drama.
Neil Patrick Harris came to the rescue at the announcement of the 2013 nominations after 'House Of Cards' actress Kate Mara was unable to make it when her plane had a mechanical malfunction and couldn't take off from Santa Fe.
Kate had been scheduled to reveal the award nominations with Aaron Paul of 'Breaking Bad' at the event, where Netflix series 'House of Cards' ended up making Emmy history.
Political intrigue saga 'House Of Cards' received a best drama series nomination - the first top Emmy nod for a programme delivered online, not on TV. The series received a total of nine bids, including acting nominations for stars Kevin Spacey and Robin Wright.
The most Emmy nominations, 17, went to 'American Horror Story: Asylum'. Close behind was 'Game of Thrones' with 16 nods, while 'Saturday Night Live' and the Liberace biopic 'Behind the Candelabra' earned 15 nominations each.
The Emmys will be hosted by Neil Patrick Harris and air on CBS on 22 September.
See who the 'Downton' cast are up against below, and see the full list of Emmy nominations here:
OUTSTANDING DRAMA SERIES
"Breaking Bad" "Downton Abbey" "Game of Thrones" "Homeland" "House of Cards", "Mad Men"
OUTSTANDING SUPPORTING ACTOR IN A DRAMA
Bobby Cannavale, "Boardwalk Empire" Jonathan Banks, "Breaking Bad" Aaron Paul, "Breaking Bad" Jim Carter, "Downton Abbey" Peter Dinklage, "Game of Thrones", Mandy Patinkin, "Homeland"
OUTSTANDING SUPPORTING ACTRESS IN A DRAMA
Anna Gunn, "Breaking Bad" Christine Baranski, "The Good Wife" Maggie Smith, "Downton Abbey" Emilia Clarke, "Game of Thrones" Morena Baccarin, "Homeland", Christina Hendricks, "Mad Men"
OUTSTANDING ACTOR IN A DRAMA
Hugh Bonneville, "Downton Abbey" Bryan Cranston, "Breaking Bad" Jeff Daniels, "The Newsroom" Jon Hamm, "Mad Men" Damien Lewis, "Homeland", Kevin Spacey, "House of Cards"
OUTSTANDING ACTRESS IN A DRAMA
Connie Britton, "Nashville" Claire Danes, "Homeland" Michelle Dockery, "Downton Abbey" Vera Farmiga, "Bates Motel" Elisabeth Moss, "Mad Men" Kerry Washington, "Scandal", Robin Wright, "House of Cards"