Emmy Nominees are Diverse and Deserving (With a Couple of Shameful Snubs)

By Ed Martin Report Archives
Cover image for  article: Emmy Nominees are Diverse and Deserving (With a Couple of Shameful Snubs)

Nominations for the 72nd Primetime Emmy Awards were announced on Tuesday.  At a glance, they made clear that the broadcast networks are largely out of the race when it comes to being honored by the industry.  (Congratulations, though, to ABC’s black-ish and NBC’s Saturday Night Live and The Good Place for maintaining the medium’s pulse.)  Netflix received the most nominations with a whopping 160.  HBO’s complex, breathtakingly topical science-fiction drama Watchmen was the most honored program, with 26 nods.  

Traditionally, the biggest question at this time is, “Who will win?”  This year, for obvious reasons, the bigger questions are, “What will the ceremony look like?” and “Who will watch it?”  We’ll find out on September 20; that’s when the Emmys are scheduled to be telecast on ABC.

Below is a list of nominees in the major categories along with a comment or two about the obvious oversights.

Outstanding Comedy Series

Curb Your Enthusiasm (HBO)
Dead to Me (Netflix)
The Good Place (NBC)
Insecure(HBO)
The Kominsky Method (Netflix)
The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel (Amazon)
Schitt’s Creek (Pop TV)
What We Do in the Shadows (FX Networks)

One can only wonder why FX Network’s delightful and insightful Better Things and CBS’ Mom, the funniest comedy on television, were not included on this list.

Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series

Anthony Anderson, black-ish (ABC)
Don Cheadle, Black Monday(Showtime)
Ted Danson, The Good Place (NBC)
Michael Douglas, The Kominsky Method(Netflix)
Eugene Levy, Schitt’s Creek (Pop)
Ramy Youssef, Ramy (Hulu)

Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series

Christina Applegate, Dead to Me (Netflix)
Rachel Brosnahan, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel (Amazon)
Linda Cardellini, Dead to Me (Netflix)
Catherine O’Hara, Schitt’s Creek (Pop)
Issa Rae, Insecure (HBO)
Tracee Ellis Ross, black-ish (ABC)

It’s no surprise given the snubs of their shows, but Pamela Adlon of Better Things and Allison Janney of Mom should have been included here.

Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series

Mahershala Ali, Ramy (Hulu)
Alan Arkin, The Kominsky Method (Netflix)
Andre Braugher, Brooklyn Nine-Nine (NBC)
Sterling K. Brown, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel (Amazon)
William Jackson Harper, The Good Place (NBC)
Daniel Levy, Schitt's Creek (Pop)
Tony Shalhoub, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel (Amazon)
Kenan Thompson, Saturday Night Live (NBC)

Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series

Alex Borstein, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel (Amazon)
D'Arcy Carden, The Good Place (NBC)
Betty Gilpin, GLOW (Netflix)
Marin Hinkle, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel (Amazon)
Kate McKinnon, Saturday Night Live (NBC)
Annie Murphy, Schitt's Creek (Pop)
Yvonne Orji, Insecure(HBO)
Cecily Strong, Saturday Night Live (NBC)

Sigh.  Mimi Kennedy and Jaime Pressly both had fantastic material last season on Mom.

Outstanding Drama Series

Better Call Saul (AMC)
The Crown (Netflix)
The Handmaid’s Tale (Hulu)
Killing Eve (BBC America)
The Mandalorian (Disney+)
Ozark (Netflix)
Stranger Things (Netflix)
Succession (HBO)

In a better world OWN's David Makes Man, FX Networks' Pose and CBS All Access’ The Good Fight would be on this list.  They certainly deserve to be. 

Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series

Jason Bateman, Ozark (Netflix)
Brian Cox, Succession (HBO)
Sterling K. Brown, This Is Us (NBC)
Steve Carrell, The Morning Show (Apple TV+)
Jeremy Strong, Succession (HBO)
Billy Porter, Pose (FX Networks)

Where the heck is Bob Odenkirk for AMC’s Better Call Saul, which had its most riveting season yet, largely due to his performance?  At least Sterling K. Brown wasn’t forgotten in the sweeping oversight of This Is Us

Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series

Jennifer Aniston, The Morning Show (Apple TV+)
Olivia Colman, The Crown (Netflix)
Jodie Comer, Killing Eve (BBC America)
Laura Linney, Ozark(Netflix)
Sandra Oh, Killing Eve (BBC America)
Zendaya, Euphoria (HBO)

Couldn’t they squeeze in Nicole Kidman for continuing her award-winning role on HBO’s Big Little Lies?  How about Claire Danes for her tremendous work in the final season of Showtime's Homeland?  And what's with the perpetual and infuriating lack of interest in Christine Baranski of The Good Fight ?

Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series

Nicholas Braun, Succession (HBO)
Billy Crudup, The Morning Show (Apple TV+)
Kieran Culkin, Succession (HBO)
Mark Duplass, The Morning Show(Apple TV+)
Giancarlo Esposito, Better Call Saul (AMC)
Matthew Macfadyen, Succession (HBO)
Bradley Whitford, The Handmaid's Tale (Hulu)
Jeffrey Wright, Westworld (HBO)

This list is notable for the most egregious oversight of all – the absence of Tom Pelphrey, who gave one of the top performances of 2019-20 on Netflix’ Ozark.  He didn’t simply deserve a nomination; he deserved the dang award. #smh

Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series

Helena Bonham Carter, The Crown (Netflix)
Laura Dern, Big Little Lies (HBO)
Julia Garner, Ozark (Netflix)
Thandie Newton, Westworld (HBO)
Fiona Shaw, Killing Eve (BBC America)
Sarah Snook, Succession (HBO)
Meryl Streep, Big Little Lies (HBO)
Samira Wiley, The Handmaid's Tale (Hulu)

Janet McTeer brought fearsome fire to Ozark and belongs on this list. So does Rhea Seehorn, who was sensational (as always) on Better Call Saul and was maddeningly overlooked again!

Outstanding Limited Series

Little Fires Everywhere (Hulu)
Mrs. America (FX Networks)
Unbelievable (Netflix)
Unorthodox (Netflix)
Watchmen (HBO)

Hello? HBO's Years and Years was a genuine gem.  

Outstanding TV Movie

American Son (Netflix)
Bad Education(HBO)
Dolly Parton's Heartstrings: These Old Bones (Netflix)
El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie (Netflix)
Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt: Kimmy vs. The Reverend (Netflix)

Outstanding Lead Actor in a Limited Series or TV Movie

Jeremy Irons, Watchmen (HBO)
Hugh Jackman, Bad Education (HBO)
Paul Mescal, Normal People (Hulu)
Jeremy Pope, Hollywood (Netflix)
Mark Ruffalo, I Know This Much Is True (HBO)

Outstanding Lead Actress in a Limited Series or TV Movie

Cate Blanchett, Mrs. America (FX Networks)
Shira Haas, Unorthodox (Netflix)
Regina King (pictured at top), Watchmen (HBO)
Octavia Spencer, Self Made (Netflix)
Kerry Washington, Little Fires Everywhere (Hulu)

Excluding Kaitlyn Dever and Merritt Wever of Netflix's Unbelievable is, well, unbelievable.

Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Limited Series or TV Movie

Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, Watchmen (HBO)
Jovan Adepo, Watchmen(HBO)
Tituss Burgess, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt: Kimmy vs. The Reverend (Netflix)
Louis Gossett Jr., Watchmen (HBO)
Dylan McDermott, Hollywood (Netflix)
Jim Parsons, Hollywood (Netflix)

Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Limited Series or TV Movie

Uzo Aduba, Mrs. America (FX Networks)
Toni Collette, Unbelievable (Netflix)
Margo Martindale, Mrs. America (FX Networks)
Jean Smart, Watchmen (HBO)
Holland Taylor, Hollywood (HBO)
Tracey Ullman, Mrs. America (FX Networks)

Patti Lupone of Netflix’s Hollywood and Rose Byrne of FX Networks’ Mrs. America belonged in this impossible-to-call category, too.

Outstanding Variety Talk Series

The Daily Show with Trevor Noah (Comedy Central)
Full Frontal with Samantha Bee (TBS)
Jimmy Kimmel Live! (ABC)
Last Week Tonight with John Oliver (HBO)
The Late Show with Stephen Colbert(CBS)

Nothing against any of the talk shows nominated here, but the inclusion of Showtime’s Desus and Mero would have been nice.

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