BEVERLY HILLS, CALIF., AUG. 2 -- ABC's quirky drama "Twin Peaks," which astounded critics and confounded television viewers, captured a leading 14 nominations today for the 42nd annual Primetime Emmy Awards.

NBC's legal drama "L.A. Law" earned 13 nominations, and NBC's "Cheers" and CBS's "Murphy Brown" each received 12 nominations.

"The Simpsons," the irreverent animated program from cartoonist Matt Groening on the Fox network, had five nominations: The series got three nominations, including best animated program, and "The Simpsons Christmas Special" received two.

ABC, which finished last among the three big networks in nominations last year, tied for first with NBC with 95 nominations. CBS drew 73 selections and Fox earned 23, up from 12 a year ago.

The selections were announced in a pre-dawn ceremony at the Beverly Hilton Hotel by Dana Delany of ABC's "China Beach" and Louis Gossett Jr., both Emmy winners themselves.

Director David Lynch's "Twin Peaks" was nominated for Outstanding Drama Series, and its star Kyle MacLachlan was nominated for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series for his performance as enigmatic, pie-loving FBI agent Dale Cooper.

The series also collected a nomination for lead actress Piper Laurie, two nominations for writing and one to Lynch for directing the acclaimed pilot episode.

The drama series nominated were ABC's "China Beach," NBC's "L.A. Law" and "Quantum Leap," and ABC's "thirtysomething."

"Cheers," NBC's Boston bar comedy, was nominated again for Outstanding Comedy Series, which it won last year. Also nominated were CBS's "Designing Women" and "Murphy Brown," NBC's "The Golden Girls" and ABC's "The Wonder Years."

ABC's "The Kennedys of Massachusetts," with eight nominations, headed the list of nominees for best miniseries. The others were NBC's "Blind Faith," NBC's "Drug Wars: The Camarena Story," CBS's "Family of Spies" and ABC's "Small Sacrifices."

The CBS movie "Caroline?" drew six nominations, including best drama or comedy special. It will face ABC's "The Final Days," CBS's "The Incident" and "A Killing in a Small Town," and NBC's "Murder in Mississippi."

Despite actress Tracey Ullman's decision to end her inventive Fox variety series, it won a total of 13 nominations. "The Tracey Ullman Show" received nine, and "The Best of the Tracey Ullman Show" was recognized four times.

Other multiple nominees included "thirtysomething" with 11, the syndicated "Star Trek: The Next Generation" with nine and "The Golden Girls" with eight.

"Roseanne," the top-rated but increasingly controversial comedy series, earned just two nominations, including one for best comedy actor for costar John Goodman.

Series star Roseanne Barr was not nominated, but her exclusion had nothing to do with her shrilly mangled rendition of the national anthem at a San Diego Padres baseball game -- Emmy balloting closed before her infamous performance.

"Roseanne" and its leading performer also were overlooked in last year's nominations, even though the situation comedy was the nation's favorite.

Also overlooked this year was "The Cosby Show," which has been one of TV's most consistent hits but hasn't been an Emmy winner since 1986.

Richard Mulligan, who won the Emmy for best comedy actor last year, was nominated again in the category for NBC's "Empty Nest." He will face Goodman, Ted Danson of "Cheers," Craig T. Nelson of ABC's "Coach" and child star Fred Savage of ABC's "The Wonder Years."

Their female counterparts in the comedy competition were Kirstie Alley for "Cheers," Delta Burke for CBS's "Designing Women," Betty White in "The Golden Girls," Candice Bergen in "Murphy Brown" and Blair Brown for "The Days & Nights of Molly Dodd," which is seen on cable's Lifetime network.

For supporting performances in a comedy, the choices were Woody Harrelson and Kelsey Grammer for "Cheers," Jerry Van Dyke in "Coach," Charles Kimbrough for "Murphy Brown" and Alex Rocco in CBS's "The Famous Teddy Z."

Comic supporting-actress nominees were Rhea Perlman and Bebe Neuwirth in "Cheers," Estelle Getty for "The Golden Girls, " Faith Ford from "Murphy Brown" and Julia Duffy in CBS's "Newhart."

Nominated for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series were Peter Falk of ABC's "Columbo," Edward Woodward of CBS's "The Equalizer," Robert Loggia of NBC's "Mancuso FBI," Scott Bakula of "Quantum Leap" and MacLachlan of "Twin Peaks."

Dramatic-actress choices were Delany in "China Beach," Jill Eikenberry from "L.A. Law," Angela Lansbury for CBS's "Murder, She Wrote," Patricia Wettig of "thirtysomething" and Laurie for "Twin Peaks."

"L.A. Law" collected three of the nominations for supporting dramatic actor, for Richard Dysart, Larry Drake and Jimmy Smits. The others went to Dean Stockwell of "Quantum Leap" and Timothy Busfield of "thirtysomething," who's in a contract dispute with the show.

Sherilyn Fenn, who plays Audrey Horne on "Twin Peaks," was nominated for best supporting dramatic actress, as were Marg Helgenberger of "China Beach," Melanie Mayron of "thirtysomething" and Diana Muldaur and Susan Ruttan of "L.A. Law."

Among the more notable nominations was one for the late Jim Henson, who created the Muppets. He was named for directing a variety or music program, "The Song of the Cloud Forest," from "The Jim Henson Hour."

"In Living Color," the daring black sketch comedy show, was nominated for best variety, music or comedy series.

A total of 361 nominations were made. The Emmy winners will be selected Aug. 26-27 by directors, actors and writers.

The awards ceremony will be broadcast on Fox on Sept. 16, live from the Pasadena Civic Auditorium. It will be the third consecutive Emmy broadcast for Fox, which has rights to the ceremony for two more years.