Saturday Night Live, Westworld top Emmy list
LOS ANGELES — Saturday Night Live, powered by madcap skits skewering President Donald Trump’s administration, earned 22 Emmy Award nominations, including bids for Alec Baldwin’s florid portrayal of the president and Melissa McCarthy’s manic, gender-busting take on spokesman Sean Spicer.
The long-running NBC variety show tied with HBO’s sci-fi drama Westworld, which also earned 22 bids Thursday, to jointly top the field for the 69th Primetime Emmys, to be presented in September. McCarthy’s Saturday
Night Live bid came for an episode she hosted. The show’s other nominees include Leslie Jones, Vanessa Bayer and Kate McKinnon, who has shifted gears from playing Hillary Clinton to U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions. Politics has paid off for
Saturday Night Live with more than Emmy recognition. When it began the season with candidates Trump and Hillary Clinton (Baldwin, McKinnon) facing off, the show drew bigger audiences than at any point since Tina Fey did her Sarah Palin impersonation in 2008.
Netflix carried the best drama category with three contenders, The Crown, House of Cards and Stranger Things.
Feud: Bette and Joan, about the clash of Hollywood divas Bette Davis and Joan Crawford, reaped 18 nominations, including for stars Jessica Lange and Susan Sarandon. Other big-screen stars making a splash on the small screen were Nicole Kidman and Reese Witherspoon, nominated for Big Little Lies, which is competing with Feud for best limited series.
Robert De Niro earned
a nod for his portrayal of fraudster Bernard Madoff in the nominated TV movie The Wizard Of Lies. Veep, the most-nominated comedy with 17 bids, has a chance for its third-consecutive top comedy trophy. Star Julia Louis-Dreyfus has the chance to build on her record of most wins for a lead comedy actress: She has five for
Veep and one for New Adventures of Old Christine.
Jeffrey Tambor has a chance for the same Emmy hat trick: He’s nominated again as best comedy actor for Transparent after taking the trophy the past two years.
Emmy voters showed their willingness to recognize new comic voices as well as diversity. Donald Glover’s Atlanta earned a best-comedy bid, as did Master of None, starring its nominated co-creator, Aziz Ansari, and black-ish. The TV academy noted that the majority of nominated writers are people of color.
There was room in for an old favorite, Modern Family,
although it earned only a handful of bids besides best comedy, including for Ty Burrell in the supporting-actor category. Silicon Valley and Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt
round out the best-comedy ranks.
Samantha Bee, who broke into the late-night male domain with Full Frontal with
Samantha Bee, earned a variety talk show nomination for her efforts. Her competitors include Stephen Colbert, Jimmy Kimmel, John Oliver, James Corden and Bill Maher.
The drama field opened up with the absence of HBO’s dominant Game of Thrones, which aired outside the eligibility window for Emmy consideration this year. It won 12 Emmys last year, including its second consecutive best-drama award.
Newcomers were ready to step in, including breakout series This Is Us. It received 11 nods, including the first best-drama series for a network show since The Good
Wife in 2011. NBC’s intricately told story of an extended family, a hit with viewers and critics, also earned bids for Sterling K. Brown and Milo Ventimiglia, who are competing with each other in the best-actor category.
This Is Us’ Chrissy Metz and Ron Cephas Jones were nominated in supporting acting categories.
Sci-fi drama series Stranger Things received 18 bids, including one for Millie Bobby Brown, while The Crown, a peek at the life of Britain’s Queen Elizabeth as played by the nominated Claire Foy, received 13 bids.
So did the dystopian Hulu saga The Handmaid’s Tale, including a nomination for star Elisabeth Moss. Better Call
Saul, the Breaking Bad spinoff is also nominated, along with star Bob Odenkirk.
The Emmys are scheduled to air Sept. 17 on CBS, with Colbert as host. Information for this article was contributed by Sandy Cohen and Nicole Evatt of The Associated Press.
This May 5 image released by NBC shows Kate McKinnon as Mika Brzezinski (left) and Alex Moffat as Joe Scarborough in a sketch from Saturday Night Live in New York. McKinnon was nominated for an Emmy Award for outstanding supporting actress in a comedy series on Thursday.