What a strange year to celebrate television. On one hand, watching fictional characters fill the bars and offices and schools where we’re no longer allowed (at least, not without a mask) seems a masochistic pleasure. On the other, the wealth of good television released this year has become an unexpected saving grace: something to do in this time of stratification, fear and boredom. I won’t go so far as to say this year’s Emmy darlings have ~brought us all together~, but they’ve given us an unusually universal touchstone, something concrete and consistent in the sticky time warp of 2020.
Which makes this year’s Emmy Awards all the more intriguing. No one—or perhaps everyone?—feels like celebrating right now. The idea of hosting an awards show is both asinine and delicious. And this year’s docket is representative of that spectrum: Previous heavyweights like Game of Thrones no longer dominate the docket; instead, we’re witnessing the rise of dynamic, challenging shows like the incendiary Watchmen, along with the heartwarming company of surprise hit Schitt’s Creek. There’s a lot to chew on this year—but we have more than enough time on the couch to process it all.The 72nd Emmy Awards will be broadcast by ABC on September 20 and hosted by Jimmy Kimmel. In the meantime, here are this year’s nominees:Outstanding Drama SeriesBetter Call SaulThe CrownThe Handmaid’s TaleKilling EveThe MandalorianOzarkStranger ThingsSuccession Outstanding Comedy SeriesCurb Your EnthusiasmDead To MeThe Good PlaceInsecureThe Kominsky MethodThe Marvelous Mrs. MaiselSchitt’s CreekWhat We Do In The ShadowsOutstanding Limited SeriesLittle Fires EverywhereMrs. AmericaUnbelievableUnorthodoxWatchmen Outstanding Lead Actor In a Limited Series or MovieJeremy Irons, WatchmenHugh Jackman, Bad EducationPaul Mescal, Normal PeopleJeremy Pope, HollywoodMark Ruffalo, I Know This Much Is True Outstanding Lead Actress In a Limited Series or MovieCate Blanchett, Mrs. AmericaShira Haas, UnorthodoxRegina King, WatchmenOctavia Spencer, Self MadeKerry Washington, Little Fires Everywhere Outstanding Lead Actor In a Drama SeriesJason Bateman, OzarkSterling K. Brown, This Is UsSteve Carell, The Morning ShowBrian Cox, SuccessionBilly Porter, PoseJeremy Strong, SuccessionOutstanding Lead Actress In a Drama SeriesJennifer Aniston, The Morning ShowOlivia Colman, The CrownJodie Comer, Killing EveLaura Linney, OzarkSandra Oh, Killing EveZendaya, EuphoriaOutstanding Lead Actor In a Comedy SeriesAnthony Anderson, black-ishDon Cheadle, Black MondayTed Danson, The Good PlaceMichael Douglas, The Kominsky MethodEugene Levy, Schitt’s CreekRamy Youssef, RamyOutstanding Lead Actress In a Comedy SeriesTracee Ellis Ross, black-ishChristina Applegate, Dead To MeLinda Cardellini, Dead To MeIssa Rae, InsecureRachel Brosnahan, The Marvelous Mrs. MaiselCatherine O’Hara, Schitt’s CreekOutstanding Supporting Actor In a DramaGiancarlo Esposito, Better Call SaulBradley Whitford, The Handmaid’s TaleBilly Crudup, The Morning ShowMark Duplass, The Morning ShowNicholas Braun, SuccessionKieran Culkin, SuccessionMatthew Macfayden, SuccessionJeffrey Wright, Westworld Outstanding Supporting Actress In a DramaLaura Dern, Big Little LiesMeryl Streep, Big Little LiesHelena Bonham Carter, The CrownSamira Wiley, The Handmaid’s TaleFiona Shaw, Killing EveJulia Garner, OzarkSarah Snook, SuccessionThandie Newton, WestworldOutstanding Supporting Actor In a Comedy SeriesAndre Braugher, Brooklyn Nine-NineWilliam Jackson Harper, The Good PlaceAlan Arkin, The Kominsky MethodSterling K. Brown, The Marvelous Mrs. MaiselTony Shalhoub, The Marvelous Mrs. MaiselMahershala Ali, RamyKenan Thompson, Saturday Night LiveDaniel Levy, Schitt’s CreekOutstanding Supporting Actress In a Comedy SeriesBetty Gilpin, GLOWD’Arcy Carden, The Good PlaceYvonne Orji, InsecureAlex Borstein, The Marvelous Mrs. MaiselMarin Hinkle, The Marvelous Mrs. MaiselKate McKinnon, Saturday Night LiveCecily Strong, Saturday Night LiveAnnie Murphy, Schitt’s CreekOutstanding Supporting Actor In a Limited Series or MovieDylan McDermott, HollywoodJim Parsons, HollywoodTituss Burgess, The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt: Kimmy vs. The ReverendYahya Abdul-Mateen II, WatchmenJovan Adepo, WatchmenLouis Gossett Jr., WatchmenOutstanding Supporting Actress In a Limited Series or MovieHolland Taylor, HollywoodUzo Aduba, Mrs. AmericaMargo Martindale, Mrs. AmericaTracey Ullman, Mrs. AmericaToni Collette, UnbelievableJean Smart, Watchmen
Outstanding Television MovieAmerican SonBad EducationDolly Parton’s Heartstrings: These Old BonesEl Camino: A Breaking Bad MovieUnbreakable Kimmy Schmidt: Kimmy vs. The ReverendOutstanding Variety/Talk SeriesThe Daily Show with Trevor NoahFull Frontal with Samantha BeeJimmy Kimmel Live!Last Week Tonight with John OliverThe Late Show with Stephen ColbertOutstanding Variety/Sketch SeriesA Black Lady Sketch ShowDrunk HistorySaturday Night LiveOutstanding Competition ProgramThe Masked SingerNailed It!RuPaul’s Drag RaceTop ChefThe Voice Outstanding Animated ProgramBig MouthBob’s BurgersBojack HorsemanRick and MortyThe SimpsonsOutstanding Documentary or Nonfiction SpecialThe ApolloBeastie Boys StoryBecomingThe Great HackLaurel Canyon: A Place In Time Outstanding Documentary or Nonfiction SeriesAmerican MastersHillaryThe Last DanceMcMillion$Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem And Madness
Outstanding Structured Reality ProgramAntiques RoadshowLove Is BlindQueer EyeShark TankA Very Brady RenovationOutstanding Unstructured Reality ProgramAmy Schumer Learns To Cook: Lunch Break And Pasta NightCheerKevin Hart: Don’t F**k This UpRuPaul’s Drag Race: UntuckedWe’re Here
Lauren Puckett is a writer and assistant for Hearst Magazines, where she covers culture and lifestyle.
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