HBO’s superhero series ‘Watchmen’ leads list of Emmy nominations
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.
The 26 “Watchmen” nominations include one for star Regina King.
Jennifer Aniston and Steve Carell are Emmy nominees for “The Morning Show.”
Ramy Youssef is a nominee for best actor in a comedy series for his show “Ramy.”