HBO's popular fantasy drama Game of Thrones and new Showtime thriller Homeland burst into the race for the top TV shows of the year on Wednesday, with nominations for their writers and producers.

The freshman Fox comedy New Girl, starring Zooey Deschanel and AMC's slow-burn crime mystery The Killing will also compete for the 2012 Writers Guild Awards, along with returning favorites like Modern Family (ABC), The Good Wife (CBS) and Curb Your Enthusiasm (HBO).

Game of Thrones, based on the best-selling novels by George R.R. Martin, picked up Writers Guild (WGA) nominations in both the new TV series and drama series categories, as well as a nod for best drama from the Producers Guild (PGA).

Homeland, starring Claire Danes as a CIA officer pursuing a possible rogue Marine (Damian Lewis), got three nominations for its writers, but failed to make the cut with the PGA.

HBO's Prohibition gangster series Boardwalk Empire also put in a good showing with both guilds, along with 30 Rock and Parks and Recreation.

Hollywood's guilds represent professionals in their respective industries, and recognition by their peers can go a long way toward boosting a writer's or producer's career.

AMC's advertising drama Mad Men and mockumentary Modern Family will defend their trophies again for the 2012 Producers Guild Awards, with favorites American Idol and The Amazing Race among those vying for top honors in an expanded reality TV show category.

But Mad Men was not eligible this time around to defend its 2011 Writers Guild drama series victory after its fifth season was delayed because of a contract dispute.

Discovery Channel documentary Deadliest Catch, which follows crab fishermen in Alaska will compete for PGA award along with Undercover Boss (CBS), American Masters (PBS), 30 for 30 (ESPN), and Anthony Bourdain: No Reservatons (Travel Channel).

The Producers Guild Awards will be handed out on January 21 in Beverly Hills, and the Writers Guild Awards will be announced on February 19 in ceremonies in both New York and Los Angeles.