72nd Emmy Awards: HBO's Watchmen, Amazon's The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, Netflix's Ozark lead nominations
Watchmen leads the nominations for the prime-time Emmy Awards with 26 nods
The Television Academy on Tuesday has announced the nominees for the 72nd Emmy Awards.
The virtual show was kickstarted by the Television Academy CEO Frank Scherma, who later invited American comedian Leslie Jones to take the role of the host.
Jones was joined by Laverne Cox, Josh Gad, and Tatiana Maslany who revealed the list of the nominees of the Emmys' top categories including best drama, best comedy, and more.
Watchmen, cloaked in superhero mythology and grounded in real-world racism, received a leading 26 nominations Tuesday for the prime-time Emmy Awards.
The HBO series, which captured America’s deep unease as it faces racial and political discord amid a pandemic, was nominated as best limited series and received bids for cast members including Regina King and Jeremy Irons.
King was part of a vanguard of actors of color indicating that TV academy voters took heed of the social climate.
“Zendaya!” exclaimed Emmy announcement host Leslie Jones, her gleeful reaction to the Euphoria star’s nomination as best actress in a drama. “This is a great day,” Jones said.
She was part of a socially distanced, virtual release of nominees that was online, not on television as is usual. But nothing is usual during a coronavirus era that has brought Hollywood production to a virtual standstill and is making the Emmys and other awards grasp for alternatives.
The strong showing by Netflix’s Ozark helped the streaming service achieve a record-setting 160 nominations that bested onetime perennial leader HBO, which earned 107 nods. Netflix, although the Emmy veteran among streamers, has yet to win a best comedy or drama series trophy.
Streaming newcomer Apple TV+ earned attention in its first season with Jennifer Aniston’s best drama actress bid for The Morning Show. Another streaming newbie, Disney+, saw its Star Wars franchise spinoff, “The Mandalorian,” claim a best drama nomination among its hefty 15 total nods.
“This year, we are also bearing witness to one of the greatest fights for social justice in history. And it is our duty to use this medium for change,” Scherma said at the outset of the presentation.
The acting categories included a record number of Black nominees, 35, among the 102 contenders for lead, supporting, and guest performances in drama, comedy, and limited series or TV movie. At slightly more than 34 percent of nominees, that bettered the 2018 record of just under 28 percent of Black actors in those categories.
In sharp contrast, few other people of color were recognised. Among them: Sandra Oh, repeating as a best actress nominee for Killing Eve, and Dev Patel, who received a comedy guest actor nod for Modern Love.
Kerry Washington’s four nominations covered a wide range, including lead actress for Little Fires Everywhere and for her production company’s work on the limited series and other programmes.
Washington said she was most emotional about the posthumous nomination for Little Fires Everywhere director Lynn Shelton, who died from a blood disorder in May.
“For the academy to acknowledge her in her passing, deservedly so, it’s really moving. We’re at a moment where we so desperately need the voices of storytellers from marginalised communities: women directors, people of colour,” Washington said.
Billy Porter, who last year became the first openly gay man to win the top drama series acting prize, was nominated again this year for Pose.
Diversity was especially notable in the comedy categories after being nearly absent last year.
Ramy, which finds nuanced humor in a young Muslim American’s crisis of identity and faith, earned a best actor bid for its star and co-creator, Ramy Youssef. Issa Rae returned to the best comedy actress category for her series Insecure, which earned a best comedy bid.
Schitt’s Creek, the quirky little show that went without Emmy recognition until last year, received 15 nominations for its final season, including for best comedy series and lead acting nods for Eugene Levy and Catherine O’Hara.
“You just don’t expect it. You cant expect it, so what a great surprise,” said O’Hara, who spoke from Canada, where she and her family are living lakeside. She credited TV for its role during the pandemic.
“I think all the streaming and broadcasting that we have watched in these last months has brought a lot of much needed laughter, a chance to cry — about something other than the reality — and a distraction,” she said. “Also, it’s given some optimism to people and some hope.”
The Good Place, which also came to an end, earned a best comedy bid and, for Ted Danson, a best comedy actor nomination. Danson was a two-time Emmy winner in the 1990s for “Cheers.”
The farewell was less fond for other shows that wrapped last season, with no major bids for Modern Family, Homeland, or Silicon Valley.
But the late Fred Willard received a nomination for his Modern Family guest appearance, his fifth prime-time Emmy nod during his long and admired career.
The eight nods for Unorthodox, a limited series about a dissatisfied Orthodox Jewish woman, may reflect the virus-quarantine downtime that drew Emmy voters to shows they might otherwise overlooked, said Daniel Fienberg, chief TV critic for The Hollywood Reporter.
A far different pop-culture phenomenon also was a likely beneficiary.
“A show like Tiger King, for example, which got a handful of nominations, It’s not really all that great, but it absolutely was the junk food that people were craving at the beginning of this quarantine period,” Fienberg said.
Joining Jones on Tuesday were presenters Laverne Cox (Orange is the New Black), Josh Gad (Frozen), and Tatiana Maslany (Orphan Black). Cox, Gad, and Maslany appeared on by video feeds.
Among the honorees whose nomination collided with current events: Brad Pitt earned a nod for a guest appearance playing Dr. Anthony Fauci on Saturday Night Live.
Here is the complete list of auteurs, who got nominated for the coming Emmy Awards:
Better Call Saul (AMC)
The Crown (Netflix)
The Handmaid's Tale (Hulu)
Killing Eve (BBC America/AMC)
The Mandalorian (Disney Plus)
Stranger Things (Netflix)
Curb Your Enthusiasm (HBO)
Dead to Me (Netflix)
The Good Place (NBC)
The Kominsky Method (Netflix)
The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel (Amazon Prime Video)
Schitt's Creek (Pop TV)
What We Do in the Shadows (FX)
Little Fires Everywhere (Hulu)
Mrs. America (Hulu)
Lead Actor in a Drama Series
Jason Bateman (Ozark)
Sterling K Brown (This Is Us)
Steve Carell (The Morning Show)
Brian Cox (Succession)
Billy Porter (Pose)
Jeremy Strong (Succession)
Lead Actress in a Drama Series
Jennifer Aniston (The Morning Show)
Olivia Colman (The Crown)
Jodie Comer (Killing Eve)
Laura Linney (Ozark)
Sandra Oh (Killing Eve)
Lead Actor in a Comedy Series
Anthony Anderson (Black-ish)
Don Cheadle (Black Monday)
Ted Danson (The Good Place)
Michael Douglas (The Kominsky Method)
Eugene Levy (Schitt's Creek)
Ramy Youssef (Ramy)
Lead Actress in a Comedy Series
Christina Applegate (Dead to Me)
Rachel Brosnahan (The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel)
Linda Cardellini (Dead to Me)
Catherine O'Hara (Schitt's Creek)
Issa Rae (Insecure)
Tracee Ellis Ross (Black-ish)
Lead Actor in a Limited Series or Movie
Jeremy Irons (Watchmen)
Hugh Jackman (Bad Education)
Paul Mescal (Normal People)
Jeremy Pope (Hollywood)
Mark Ruffalo (I Know This Much Is True)
Lead Actress in a Limited Series or Movie
Cate Blanchett (Mrs. America)
Shira Haas (Unorthodox)
Regina King (Watchmen)
Octavia Spencer (Self Made)
Kerry Washington (Little Fires Everywhere)
Supporting Actor in a Drama Series
Giancarlo Esposito (Better Call Saul)
Bradley Whitford (The Handmaid's Tale)
Billy Crudup (The Morning Show)
Mark Duplass (The Morning Show)
Nicholas Braun (Succession)
Kieran Culkin (Succession)
Matthew Macfadyen (Succession)
Jeffrey Wright (Westworld)
Supporting Actress in a Drama Series
Laura Dern (Big Little Lies)
Meryl Streep (Big Little Lies)
Helena Bonham Carter (The Crown)
Samira Wiley (The Handmaid's Tale)
Fiona Shaw (Killing Eve)
Julia Garner (Ozark)
Sarah Snook (Succession)
Thandie Newton (Westworld)
Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series
Andre Braugher (Brooklyn Nine-Nine)
William Jackson Harper (The Good Place)
Alan Arkin (The Kominsky Method)
Sterling K. Brown (The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel)
Tony Shalhoub (The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel)
Mahershala Ali (Ramy)
Kenan Thompson (Saturday Night Live)
Dan Levy (Schitt's Creek)
Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series
Betty Gilpin (GLOW)
D'Arcy Carden (The Good Place)
Yvonne Orji (Insecure)
Alex Borstein (The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel)
Marin Hinkle (The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel)
Kate McKinnon (Saturday Night Live)
Cecily Strong (Saturday Night Live)
Annie Murphy (Schitt's Creek)
Supporting Actor in a Limited Series or Movie
Dylan McDermott (Hollywood)
Jim Parsons (Hollywood)
Tituss Burgess (Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt: Kimmy vs. the Reverend)
Yahya Abdul-Mateen II (Watchmen)
Jovan Adepo (Watchmen)
Louis Gossett Jr. (Watchmen)
Supporting Actress in a Limited Series or Movie
Holland Taylor (Hollywood)
Uzo Aduba (Mrs. America)
Margo Martindale (Mrs. America)
Tracey Ullman (Mrs. America)
Toni Collette (Unbelievable)
Jean Smart (Watchmen)
The Masked Singer (FOX)
Nailed It (Netflix)
RuPaul's Drag Race (VH1)
Top Chef (Bravo)
The Voice (NBC)
Variety Sketch Series
A Black Lady Sketch Show (HBO)
Drunk History (Comedy Central)
Saturday Night Live (NBC)
Variety Talk Series
Daily Show with Trevor Noah (Comedy Central)
Full Frontal with Samantha Bee (TBS)
Jimmy Kimmel Live(ABC)
Last Week Tonight with John Oliver (HBO)
Late Show with Stephen Colbert (CBS)
The 72nd Emmy Awards will be hosted by Jimmy Kimmel, who will also serve as executive producer. The show is scheduled to broadcast on 20 September on ABC.
(With inputs from agencies)
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Netflix's The Crown and Disney+ series The Mandalorian lead with 24 nods each at this year’s Emmys.