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Netflix and Game of Thrones reign supreme as 2018 Emmy nominations are announced

Game of Thrones still
Emilia Clarke as Daenerys Targaryen and Kit Harington as Jon Snow in Game of Thrones

The unveiling by the Television Academy of the nominations for the 70th Emmy Awards yesterday represents a significant changing of the guard.

Netflix, the web-based streaming giant, flexed its growing production muscle and came out on top for the first time with 112 nominations. Premium cable service HBO, which has been king of the hill for the last 17 years, came in a close second with 108 Emmy nods.

The nominees this year represent a continuation of the trend toward a diversification of viewing platforms away from the networks, along with a steady increase in the high-quality fare vying for audiences in the so-called Age of Peak TV. There are fewer of the “same-old” nominees that repeat year after year and a burst of new shows receiving Emmy noms for the first time.

For example, of the eight shows nominated this year for Outstanding Comedy Series three are freshman entries — Barry, GLOW and The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel. They join five returning nominee hits: Atlanta, black-ish, Curb Your Enthusiasm, Silicon Valley and Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt.

But in the highly competitive Outstanding Drama Series category all seven shows have been nominated in the past: The Handmaid’s Tale, Game of Thrones, This Is Us, The Crown, The Americans, Stranger Things and Westworld.

As for individual shows, HBO’s Game of Thrones, after a year’s hiatus from contention, came roaring back with 22 noms, the most for any series. The fantasy epic holds the all-time-record for most Emmy nominations and wins.

Not far behind is another HBO show, Westworld. The sci-fi Western garnered 21 nominations as did Saturday Night Live, NBC’s long-running variety sketch-show hit. Receiving 20 noms is Hulu’s Handmaid’s Tale. Last year the series based on Margaret Atwood’s dystopian novel of the same name won 11 Emmys. It also became the first series the first shown only on a streaming service to win the award for best drama.

FX’s The Assassination Of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story got 18 nominations including Best Limited Series. Six were for acting in the true-crime melodrama, led by Darren Criss for best actor and Penelope Cruz, Ricky Martin and three others in supporting roles.

Atlanta, also from FX, was the most nominated comedy series with 16 nods. Danny Glover received three noms as best actor in a comedy and for directing and writing the show about trying to make it in the city’s rap music scene.

Amazon’s claim to bragging rights comes mainly by way of The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, a period piece about a 1950s housewife who becomes a stand-up comic. It got 14 Emmy nominations including one for best comedy and Rachel Brosnahan in the title role was nominated as best actress in a comedy.

The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel
Rachel Brosnahan in The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel

HBO’s new series Barry, about a hitman who gets caught up in the Los Angeles arts scene; The Crown about the English Royals on Netflix; and the NBC live concert presentation of Jesus Christ Superstar tied with 13 nominations each. Singers John Legend, Sarah Bareilles and Brandon Victor Dixon got Emmy nods for their performances in the Andrew Lloyd Webber musical which was nominated in the Outstanding Live Variety Special category.

FX is hoping the seventh and last season of The Americans, a drama about Soviet spies living here during the Cold War as a married couple, may finally get some respect. It was nominated as best dramatic series and leads Matthew Rhys and Keri Russell again received best actor nominations. A favorite with critics and fans, The Americans, despite numerous past nominations, has only managed to cop two Emmys to date in a minor category, best guest actress.

Nobody should complain about the lack of diversity in this year’s set of nominees. But Sandra Oh managed to make a bit of history as the first Asian to be nominated for an Emmy as best actress in a drama for her role in BBC’s wry series Killing Eve, about a security guard hunting down an assassin.

Meanwhile, in a note of empathy, Television Academy voters nominated Parts Unknown, the CNN show starring peripatetic chef and food adventurer Anthony Bourdain, who recently committed suicide, for six Emmys including one for best informational series or special.

As is nearly always the case when Emmy nominations are announced, there are perceived to be notable snubs or oversights. Foremost this year is perhaps Roseanne, the highly successful reboot of the 1990s hit which debuted to sky-high ratings. Recently cancelled by ABC after star Rosanne Barr tweeted some racially offensive remarks, the show managed to receive only one nomination which went to Laurie Metcalf for best supporting actress in a comedy.

Conspicuously absent this year with no nominations is Modern Family, a nominee in the best comedy category for the last 8 years and a winner in that slot during its first five seasons.

Some superstars also failed to score. Usually considered a shoe-in for an Emmy nomination Al Pacino came up empty as the star of Paterno, the HBO movie about the late Penn State football coach who was accused of ignoring sexual molestation of his players.

Barbra Streisand, in her concert on Netflix, The Music…The Mem’ries…The Magic!, ballyhooed as her final live appearance, didn’t impress Emmy voters enough to get a nomination either.

The tectonic plates also seem to have shifted in the crowded and politically edgy Variety Talk Show category. HBO’s Real Time With Bill Maher, with nineteen previous Emmy nominations, found it’s acerbic comedian host completely out of the running this year.

The nominees this year, who all compete to out-trump each other lampooning President Trump, are led by another HBO talk show star, John Oliver, the host of Last Week Tonight, and the Emmy winner for the last two years running.

The other five entrants in the category are The Daily Show With Trevor Noah (Comedy Central); Full Frontal With Samantha Bee (TBS); Jimmy Kimmel Live (ABC); The Late Late Show With James Corden (CBS); and The Late Show With Stephen Colbert (CBS).

Missing in action is the Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon on NBC. Fallon, who was once a sure bet for a nom, but seems to have fallen out of favor in the age of Trump, by seeming to go too easy on the President.

With nominations in over 150 categories, the Emmy ceremonies are divided into two parts. The Creative Arts Emmys, which account for the bulk of the nominations covering technical categories like cinematography, production design and editing, will air on September 15 at 8 p.m. on FXX.

The topflight Primetime Emmy Awards will take place on Monday September 17 and will be telecast live (8 p.m. ET) from the Microsoft Theater in downtown Los Angeles. Colin Jost and Michael Che who do SNL’s Weekend Update will co-host the ceremony.

Primetime Emmy Nominations

Outstanding Drama Series

The Americans (FX)
The Crown (Netflix)
Game Of Thrones (HBO)
The Handmaid’s Tale (Hulu)
Stranger Things (Netflix)
This Is Us (NBC)
Westworld (HBO)

Outstanding Comedy Series

Atlanta (FX)
Barry (HBO)
Black-ish (ABC)
Curb Your Enthusiasm (HBO)
GLOW (Netflix)
The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel (Amazon)
Silicon Valley (HBO)
Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt (Netflix)

Outstanding Limited Series

The Alienist (TNT)
The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story (FX)
Genius: Picasso (National Geographic)
Godless (Netflix)
Patrick Melrose (Showtime)

Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series

Claire Foy (The Crown)
Tatiana Maslany (Orphan Black)
Elisabeth Moss (The Handmaid’s Tale)
Sandra Oh (Killing Eve)
Keri Russell (The Americans)
Evan Rachel Wood (Westworld)

Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series

Jason Bateman (Ozark)
Sterling K. Brown (This Is Us)
Ed Harris (Westworld)
Matthew Rhys (The Americans)
Milo Ventimiglia (This Is Us)
Jeffrey Wright (Westworld)

Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series

Alexis Bledel (The Handmaid’s Tale)
Millie Bobby Brown (Stranger Things)
Ann Dowd (The Handmaid’s Tale)
Lena Headey (Game Of Thrones)
Vanessa Kirby (The Crown)
Thandie Newton (Westworld)
Yvonne Strahovski (The Handmaid’s Tale)

Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series

Nikolaj Coster-Waldau (Game Of Thrones)
Peter Dinklage (Game Of Thrones)
Joseph Fiennes (The Handmaid’s Tale)
David Harbour (Stranger Things)
Mandy Patinkin (Homeland)
Matt Smith (The Crown)

Outstanding Guest Actress in a Drama Series

Viola Davis (Scandal)
Kelly Jenrette (The Handmaid’s Tale)
Cherry Jones (The Handmaid’s Tale)
Diana Rigg (Game Of Thrones)
Cicely Tyson (How To Get Away With Murder)
Samira Wiley (The Handmaid’s Tale)

Outstanding Guest Actor in a Drama Series

F. Murray Abraham (Homeland)
Cameron Britton (Mindhunter)
Matthew Goode (The Crown)
Ron Cephas Jones (This Is Us)
Gerald McRaney (This Is Us)
Jimmi Simpson (Westworld)

Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series

Pamela Adlon (Better Things)
Rachel Brosnahan (The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel)
Allison Janney (Mom)
Issa Rae (Insecure)
Tracee Ellis Ross (Black-ish)
Lily Tomlin (Grace And Frankie)

Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series

Anthony Anderson (Black-ish)
Ted Danson (The Good Place)
Larry David (Curb Your Enthusiasm)
Donald Glover (Atlanta)
Bill Hader (Barry)
William H. Macy (Shameless)

Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series

Alex Borstein (The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel)
Aidy Bryant (Saturday Night Live)
Betty Gilpin (GLOW)
Leslie Jones (Saturday Night Live)
Kate McKinnon (Saturday Night Live)
Laurie Metcalf (Roseanne)
Megan Mullally (Will And Grace)
Zazie Beetz: Atlanta In Brooklyn

Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series

Louie Anderson (Baskets)
Alec Baldwin (Saturday Night Live)
Tituss Burgess (Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt)
Brian Tyree Henry (Atlanta)
Tony Shalhoub (The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel)
Kenan Thompson (Saturday Night Live)
Henry Winkler (Barry)

Outstanding Guest Actress in a Comedy Series

Tina Fey (Saturday Night Live)
Tiffany Haddish (Saturday Night Live)
Jane Lynch (The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel)
Maya Rudolph (The Good Place)
Molly Shannon (Will And Grace)
Wanda Sykes (Black-ish)

Outstanding Guest Actor in a Comedy Series

Sterling K. Brown (Brooklyn Nine-Nine)
Bryan Cranston (Curb Your Enthusiasm)
Donald Glover (Saturday Night Live)
Bill Hader (Saturday Night Live)
Lin-Manuel Miranda (Curb Your Enthusiasm)
Katt Williams (Atlanta)

Outstanding Lead Actress in a Limited Series or Movie

Jessica Biel (The Sinner)
Laura Dern (The Tale)
Michelle Dockery (Godless)
Edie Falco (The Menendez Murders)
Regina King (Seven Seconds)
Sarah Paulson (American Horror Story: Cult)

Outstanding Lead Actor in a Limited Series or Movie

Antonio Banderas (Genius: Picasso)
Darren Criss (The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story)
Benedict Cumberbatch (Patrick Melrose)
Jeff Daniels (The Looming Tower)
John Legend (Jesus Christ Superstar: Live in Concert)
Jesse Plemons (USS Callister: Black Mirror)

Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Limited Series or Movie

Sara Bareilles (Jesus Christ Superstar: Live in Concert)
Penelope Cruz (The Assassination Of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story)
Judith Light (The Assassination Of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story)
Adina Porter (American Horror Story: Cult)
Merritt Wever (Godless)
Letitia Wright (Black Mirror (Black Museum))

Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Limited Series or Movie

Jeff Daniels (Godless)
Brandon Victor Dixon (Jesus Christ Superstar)
John Leguizamo (Waco)
Finn Wittrock (The Assassination Of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story)
Ricky Martin (The Assassination Of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story)
Edgar Ramirez (The Assassination Of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story)
Michael Stuhlbarg (The Looming Tower)

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 Late Show With James Corden (CBS)
The Late Show With Stephen Colbert (CBS)

Outstanding Variety Sketch Series

At Home With Amy Sedaris (TruTV)
Drunk History (Comedy Central)
I Love You, America With Sarah Silverman (Hulu)
Portlandia (IFC)
Saturday Night Live (NBC)
Tracey Ullman’s Show (HBO)

Outstanding Reality Competition Series

American Ninja Warrior (NBC)
The Amazing Race (CBS)
Project Runway (Lifetime)
RuPaul’s Drag Race (VH1)
Top Chef (Bravo)
The Voice (NBC)

Outstanding Structured Reality Program

Antiques Roadshow (PBS)
Fixer Upper (HGTV)
Lip Sync Battle (Paramount Network)
Queer Eye (Netflix)
Shark Tank (ABC)
Who Do You Think You Are? (TLC)

Outstanding Unstructured Reality Program

Born This Way (A&E)
Deadliest Catch (Discovery Channel)
Intervention (A&E)
Naked And Afraid (Discovery Channel)
RuPaul’s Drag Race: Untucked (VH1)
United Shades Of America W. Kamau Bell (CNN)

Outstanding Host for a Reality or Reality-Competition Program

W. Kamau Bell (United Shades Of America W. Kamau Bell)
Ellen Degeneres (Ellen’s Game Of Games)
RuPaul (Rupaul’s Drag Race)
Heidi Klum and Tim Gunn (Project Runway)
Jane Lynch (Hollywood Game Night)

Outstanding TV Movie

Fahrenheit 451 (HBO)
Flint (Lifetime)
Paterno (HBO)
The Tale (HBO)
USS Callister (Black Mirror) (Netflix)

Outstanding Variety Special (live)

The 75th Annual Golden Globe Awards (NBC)
60th Annual Grammy Awards (CBS)
Jesus Christ Superstar Live in Concert (NBC)
Night of Too Many Stars: America Unites for Autism Programs (HBO)
The Oscars (ABC)

Outstanding Variety Special (pre-recorded)

Carol Burnett Show 50th Anniversary Special (CBS)
Carpool Karaoke Primetime Special 2018 (CBS)
Dave Chappelle: Equanimity (Netflix)
Full Frontal with Samantha Bee Presents: The Great American* Puerto Rico (*It’s Complicated) (TBS)
Steve Martin & Martin Short: An Evening You Will Forget for the Rest of Your Life (Netflix)

Outstanding informational Series or Special

Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown (CNN)
Leah Remini: Scientology And The Aftermath (A&E)
My Next Guest Needs No Introduction With David Letterman (Netflix)
StarTalk with Neil deGrasse Tyson (National Geographic)
Vice (HBO)

Outstanding Documentary or Nonfiction Series

American Masters (PBS)
Blue Planet II (BBC America)
The Defiant Ones (HBO)
The Fourth Estate (Showtime)
Wild Wild Country (Netflix)
On One Hand, And On The Other Hand, Too: ‘Wild Wild Country’

Outstanding Animated Series

Baymax Returns (Disney XD)
Bob’s Burgers (FOX)
Rick and Morty (Adult Swim)
The Simpsons (FOX)
South Park (Comedy Central)

Outstanding Children’s Program

Alexa & Katie (Netflix)
Fuller House (Netflix)
The Magical Wand Chase: A Sesame Street Special (HBO)
A Series of Unfortunate Events (Netflix)
Star Wars Rebels (Disney XD)

Outstanding Directing in a Drama Series

Jason Bateman (Ozark)
Stephen Daldry (The Crown)
The Duffer Brothers (Stranger Things)
Jeremy Podeswa (Game Of Thrones)
Daniel Sackheim (Ozark)
Kari Skogland (The Handmaid’s Tale)
Alan Taylor (Game Of Thrones)

Outstanding Directing in a Comedy Series

Donald Glover (Atlanta)
Bill Hader (Barry)
Mike Judge (Silicon Valley)
Hiro Murai (Atlanta)
Jesse Peretz (GLOW)
Amy Sherman-Palladino (The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel)

Outstanding Directing in a Variety Series

Andre Allen (Full Frontal With Samantha Bee)
Carrie Brownstein (Portlandia)
Jim Hoskinson (The Late Show With Stephen Colbert)
Don Roy King (Saturday Night Live)
Tim Mancinelli (The Late Late Show With James Corden)
Paul Pennolino (Last Week Tonight With John Oliver)

Outstanding Directing in a Limited Series or Movie

Scott Frank (Godless)
David Leveaux and Alex Rudzinski (Jesus Christ Superstar Live In Concert)
Barry Levinson (Paterno)
Edward Berger (Patrick Melrose)
Ryan Murphy (The Assassination Of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story)
Craig Zisk (The Looming Tower)
David Lynch (Twin Peaks)

Outstanding Writing in a Drama Series

David Benioff and D.B. Weiss (Game Of Thrones)
The Duffer Brothers (Stranger Things)
Bruce Miller (The Handmaid’s Tale)
Peter Morgan (The Crown)
Joe Fields and Joe Weisberg (The Americans)
Phoebe Waller-Bridge (Killing Eve)

Outstanding Writing in a Comedy Series

Alec Berg (Silicon Valley)
Alec Berg and Bill Hader (Barry)
Donald Glover (Atlanta)
Sefani Robinson (Atlanta)
Liz Sarnoff (Barry)
Amy Sherman-Palladino (The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel)

Outstanding Writing in a Variety Series

Full Frontal With Samantha Bee
Last Week Tonight With John Oliver
Late Night With Seth Meyers
Saturday Night Live
The Late Show With Stephen Colbert

Outstanding Writing in a Limited Series or Movie

Kevin McManus and Matthew McManus (American Vandal)
Scott Frank (Godless)
David Nicholls (Patrick Melrose)
Tob Rob Smith (The Assassination Of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story)
David Lynch and Mark Frost (Twin Peaks)
William Bridgers and Charlie Brooker (USS Callister (Black Mirror))


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