HBO’s superhero se­ries ‘Watch­men’ leads list of Emmy nom­i­na­tions

Chicago Sun-Times - - ENTERTAINM­ENT - BY LYNN ELBER

LOS AN­GE­LES — “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 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 who showed 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 added.

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.

Stream­ing new­comer Ap­ple TV+ earned at­ten­tion in its first sea­son with act­ing bids for Jen­nifer Anis­ton and Steve Carell of “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.

The Ama­zon com­edy “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” is the sec­ond most-nom­i­nated se­ries with 20, fol­lowed by Net­flix’s “Ozark” with 18.

“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,” Frank Scherma, chair­man and CEO of the Tele­vi­sion Academy said at the out­set of the pre­sen­ta­tion.

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.

“The Good Place,” also at an end, earned a best com­edy bid and, for Ted Dan­son, a best com­edy ac­tor nom­i­na­tion.

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 nod for his “Modern Fam­ily” guest ap­pear­ance. A post­hu­mous nom­i­na­tion also went to di­rec­tor Lynn Shel­ton, for the lim­ited se­ries “Lit­tle Fires Ev­ery­where.”

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.”

The nom­i­nees for best com­edy se­ries are “Curb Your En­thu­si­asm”; Dead to Me”; “The Good Place”; “In­se­cure”; “The Komin­sky Method”; “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel”; “Schitt’s Creek”; “What We Do in the Shad­ows.”

The nom­i­nees for best drama se­ries are “Bet­ter Call Saul”; “The Crown”; “Killing Eve”; “The Hand­maid’s Tale”; “The Man­dalo­rian”; “Ozark”; “Stranger Things”; “Suc­ces­sion.”

The Emmy Awards, hosted by Jimmy Kim­mel, will be pre­sented Sept. 20 on ABC.

HBO

The 26 “Watch­men” nom­i­na­tions in­clude one for star Regina King.

AP­PLE TV+

Jen­nifer Anis­ton and Steve Carell are Emmy nom­i­nees for “The Morn­ing Show.”

HULU

Ramy Youssef is a nom­i­nee for best ac­tor in a com­edy se­ries for his show “Ramy.”

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