NEW YORK (AP) – Ellen DeGeneres, a former prime-time star whose talk show was a hit in its first year, was among the leading contenders Friday in the annual Daytime Emmy Awards ceremony.

DeGeneres and her show were nominated for 12 Emmys, including best talk show and best talk show host. Her show has already won three, during the creative and craft awards presentation last week.

Among her competitors in the talk show categories was last year’s winner Wayne Brady, whose program has ceased production.

“The Young and the Restless” led the soap opera pack with 16 nominations, and won two technical awards last week.

The 31st annual Daytime Emmy Awards was televised on NBC from Radio City Music Hall.

Meredith Vieira was up for both best talk show host, with her colleagues on “The View,” and best game show host for “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire.”

Maurice Benard of “General Hospital,” last year’s winner of best actor in a daytime drama, was considered a favorite again this year, said Carolyn Hinsey, editor of Soap Opera Weekly. His character, Sonny, accidentally shot his wife in the head during childbirth.

Eric Braeden of “The Young and the Restless” was another strong contender for a story line where he dreamed of seeing his father – also played by him – after 40 years, Hinsey said.

Michelle Stafford of “The Young and the Restless,” was a lead contender for best actress. Her character, Phyllis, had to deal with a son taken away from her at childbirth moving back to town as a teenager.

The much-honored children’s show “Sesame Street” won another six Daytime Emmys during the technical awards last week.

The Emmys are awarded by the National Television Academy and the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences.

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