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Emmy nominations 2021 5 Takeaways From The 2021 Emmy Nominations

Emmy nominations 2021 5 Takeaways From The 2021 Emmy Nominations

Emmy nominations 2021 5 Takeaways From The 2021 Emmy Nominations

2021 Emmy Nominations: See All the Nominees Here Tue, 13 Jul 2021 09:00:00 -0700-From a banner year for a new generation of streaming platforms to historic inclusion and unexpected exclusions, NPR's Eric Deggans unpacks the 2021 Emmy …

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5 Takeaways From The 2021 Emmy Nominations

July 13, 2021

Mj Rodriguez as Blanca in Pose

Michael Parmelee/FX

This year's Emmy nominations cover a time when the coronavirus pandemic turned the TV industry upside down. So it makes sense that the shows and performances announced today might include some choices that are a bit … unconventional.

Netflix's continuation of The Karate Kid franchise, Cobra Kai, nominated as best comedy series? Lovecraft Country, a series that was essentially canceled by HBO when they decided not to make a second season, racking up 18 nominations, including best drama series? Netflix's middling comedy Emily in Paris, widely ridiculed for snagging a Golden Globe nomination earlier this year, also nominated for a best comedy series Emmy?

Thankfully, the nominations announced this year were mostly devoid of head-scratching choices and did an admirable job of reflecting both promising newcomers and old masters during a period when lockdowns threatened to cripple the industry. It's a heartening sign that it will take more than global pandemic to wipe out innovation and quality work in today's TV universe.

Here are five more takeways I had from the nominations for the 73rd Emmy awards:

Streaming services are more dominant than ever

Sure, the most nominated media platform is HBO with 130 nods. But they only got there by including the nominations for streaming corporate sibling HBO Max with their total. Even so, streaming giant Netflix had the second-largest number of nominations at 129, and upstart Disney+ landed in third place, with 71.

A peek at the most-nominated shows reveals Netflix's The Crown and Disney+'s The Mandalorian tied with 24 nominations, followed quickly by Disney+'s WandaVision (23) and Hulu's The Handmaid's Tale (21). Indeed, among the top 10 most-nominated shows, just three – NBC's Saturday Night Live, along with Mare of Easttown and Lovecraft Country on HBO – were not created by streaming services.

Lots of diversity, though still often focused on Black people

It was wonderful to see Pose star Mj Rodriguez nominated as best actress in a drama, recognizing her powerhouse performance on that show with the first lead acting nomination for a transgender person. And for a critic like me, who has advocated for ethnic diversity in TV for decades, seeing nominations for ambitious, Black-centered shows like Lovecraft Country, Amazon Prime Video's The Underground Railroad and ABC's Black-ish right next to key nods for accomplished Black performers like Bridgerton's Regé-Jean Page and Uzo Adubo from In Treatment is like a dream come true. Best of all, the Emmy academy recognized Michaela Coel and her groundbreaking series I May Destroy You when the Golden Globes did not.

But it is time for the Emmy academy – and the TV industry at large — to spread that wealth beyond Black performers and Black-centered shows. Yes, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Rosie Perez, Anthony Ramos, Bowen Yang and Phillipa Soo all got key nominations. But if Disney+'s version of Hamilton hadn't been eligible, many of those nominations would not have occurred. So I'm hopeful this is a first step toward bringing even more — and more well-rounded – diversity to big Hollywood awards nominations.

Geeks rejoice! Superhero and genre shows get more love than ever

True enough, Game of Thrones often soaked up loads of nominations back in the day. But this year, several shows in the horror/super hero space, so often overlooked by major Hollywood awards, got love in major categories, including: WandaVision, The Mandalorian, Lovecraft Country and Amazon Prime Video's dark superhero satire The Boys (which was the biggest surprise for me). We saw powerhouse studio Marvel get its first Emmy nominations this year, which likely means this is just a taste of future geekdom to come.

Saturday Night Live remains an influential powerhouse

Every few years, a snarky critic writes an epitaph for this annoyingly inconsistent-yet-often-brilliant sketch comedy landmark. And then SNL racks up the Emmy nominations to prove just how premature those rumors of death truly are. It's not just that their 21 total nominations beat comedy favorite Ted Lasso by one nod; they had a significant presence in supporting and guest acting comedy categories. Kenan Thompson even managed to snag a nomination as best lead actor in a comedy for his sitcom Kenan, while still starring as a major player on SNL — where he was also nominated for best supporting actor in a comedy.

Part of their domination this year came from reduced competition in the comedy space, for sure (the pandemic seems to have cleared out more comedy shows than drama). But SNL also pulled off some brilliant shows when the entire cast and writing staff was working remotely from home, following those episodes by welcoming back a live audience well before vaccines were widely available. Not bad for a series nearly ready for its own AARP card.

Fewer notable snubs, but intense competition made some inevitable

No matter what was nominated as best limited series, there were bound to be major shows left out — just because the competition in this space has grown immensely thanks to big-name stars signing on for projects designed to last just one season. This includes series like Kate Winslet's Mare of Easttown.

Still, it was unfortunate that Steve McQueen's ode to Black immigrants in Britain, Small Axe, was left out of the category, along with Showtime's The Good Lord Bird, HBO Max's It's a Sin and HBO's The Undoing. Similarly, Undoing star Nicole Kidman's lack of an acting nomination had to be one of the highest-profile acting snubs, along with Ethan Hawke from The Good Lord Bird. And the Emmy academy also seemed to turn its back on the third season of Netflix's Master of None, passing up the opportunity to honor Naomi Ackie and Lena Waithe's portrayal of a crumbling marriage. This snub made me wonder if onetime series star Aziz Ansari's #metoo controversy had an impact.

And much as I loved seeing the final season of Conan get nominated as best variety talk series and A Black Lady Sketch Show nominated for best variety sketch series, Emmy dropped the ball by not showing love for NBC's Late Night with Seth Meyers and The Amber Ruffin Show on Peacock in those categories (Late Night got a directing nod and Amber Ruffin was nominated for writing). Time to expand these categories a bit so more great work can earn its due.

Winners for the 73rd Emmy Awards will be announced during a ceremony aired and streamed Sept. 19 on CBS and Paramount+, hosted by Cedric the Entertainer.


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5 Takeaways From The 2021 Emmy Nominations Tue, 13 Jul 2021 09:00:00 -0700-Father-daughter duo Ron and Jasmine Cephas Jones were joined by Television Academy chairman and CEO Frank Scherma for the live announcement.

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2021 Emmy Nominations: See All the Nominees Here

After a year in television that saw the birth of multiple new streaming platforms, a whole bunch of livestreams replacing in-person events, and the meteoric rise of an affable coach named Ted Lasso, the 2021 Emmy nominations found a way to recognize almost all of it. Presented by father-daughter acting pair Ron Cephas Jones (an Emmy winner for This Is Us) and Jasmine Cephas Jones (star of the Blindspotting TV series), the 2021 Emmy nominations were announced live Tuesday morning. 

As expected, there was a strong showing for awards-season heavyweights Ted Lasso, in the comedy-series categories (no fewer than four nominees for supporting actor!), and The Crown, while Hamilton roared back more than five years after dominating the Tony Awards to score a slew of nominations for its actors. The race remains tight in the limited-series categories, with Michaela Coel, Kate Winslet, and Anya Taylor-Joy all facing off in lead actress. And multiple actors scored double nominations, including Aidy Bryant, Jean Smart, and Kenan Thompson. 

Take a look at the full list of nominees below, which we’ll update live as they come in, and check out our predictions to see how well we did. For more on the shape of this year’s Emmy race, read David Canfield on why it’s a television year unlike any other, or some of our back-and-forth conversations about the state of the comedy, drama, and late-night categories. 

Drama Series

The Boys 
Bridgerton
The Crown
The Handmaid’s Tale
Lovecraft Country
The Mandalorian
Pose
This Is Us

Actor in a Drama Series

Sterling K. Brown, This Is Us
Jonathan Majors, Lovecraft Country 
Josh O’Connor, The Crown 
Regé-Jean Page, Bridgerton
Billy Porter, Pose
Matthew Rhys, Perry Mason

Actress in a Drama Series

Uzo Aduba, In Treatment
Olivia Colman, The Crown
Emma Corrin, The Crown
Elisabeth Moss, The Handmaid’s Tale
Mj Rodriguez, Pose
Jurnee Smollett, Lovecraft Country

Supporting Actor in a Drama Series

Giancarlo Esposito, The Mandalorian 
O-T Fagbenle, The Handmaid’s Tale
John Lithgow, Perry Mason
Tobias Menzies, The Crown
Max Minghella, The Handmaid’s Tale
Chris Sullivan, This Is Us
Bradley Whitford, The Handmaid’s Tale 
Michael K. Williams, Lovecraft Country 

Supporting Actress in a Drama Series 

Gillian Anderson, The Crown
Madeline Brewer, The Handmaid’s Tale
Helena Bonham Carter, The Crown
Ann Dowd, The Handmaid’s Tale  
Aunjanue Ellis, Lovecraft Country
Emerald Fennell, The Crown
Yvonne Strahovski, The Handmaid’s Tale
Samira Wiley, The Handmaid’s Tale

Guest Actor in a Drama Series

Don Cheadle, The Falcon and the Winter Soldier 
Charles Dance, The Crown
Timothy Olyphant, The Mandalorian
Courtney B. Vance, Lovecraft Country
Carl Weathers, The Mandalorian

Guest Actress in a Drama Series

Alexis Bledel, The Handmaid’s Tale
Claire Foy, The Crown
Mckenna Grace, The Handmaid’s Tale
Sophie Okonedo, Ratched
Phylicia Rashad, This Is Us

Comedy Series

Black-ish
Cobra Kai  
Emily in Paris
Hacks  
The Flight Attendant
The Kominsky Method
Pen15
Ted Lasso

Actor in a Comedy Series

Anthony Anderson, Black-ish
William H. Macy, Shameless
Michael Douglas, The Kominsky Method
Jason Sudeikis, Ted Lasso
Kenan Thompson, Kenan

Actress in a Comedy Series

Jean Smart, Hacks
Kaley Cuoco, The Flight Attendant
Tracee Ellis Ross, Black-ish
Aidy Bryant, Shrill 
Allison Janney, Mom

Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series

Carl Clemons-Hopkins, Hacks  
Brett Goldstein, Ted Lasso
Brendan Hunt, Ted Lasso
Nick Mohammed, Ted Lasso
Paul Reiser, The Kominsky Method
Jeremy Swift, Ted Lasso
Kenan Thompson, Saturday Night Live
Bowen Yang, Saturday Night Live

Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series

Aidy Bryant, Saturday Night Live
Hannah Einbinder, Hacks
Kate McKinnon, Saturday Night Live
Rosie Perez, The Flight Attendant
Cecily Strong, Saturday Night Live
Juno Temple, Ted Lasso
Hannah Waddingham, Ted Lasso

Guest Actor in a Comedy Series

Alec Baldwin, Saturday Night Live
Dave Chappelle, Saturday Night Live
Morgan Freeman, The Kominsky Method
Daniel Kaluuya, Saturday Night Live
Dan Levy, Saturday Night Live

Guest Actress in a Comedy Series

Jane Adams, Hacks
Yvette Nicole Brown, A Black Lady Sketch Show
Bernadette Peters, Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist
Issa Rae, A Black Lady Sketch Show
Maya Rudolph, Saturday Night Live
Kristen Wiig, Saturday Night Live

Limited Series 

WandaVision 
Mare of Easttown 
I May Destroy You 
The Underground Railroad
The Queen’s Gambit

Actor in a Limited Series or TV Movie

Paul Bettany, WandaVision
Hugh Grant, The Undoing
Ewan McGregor, Halston
Lin-Manuel Miranda, Hamilton
Leslie Odom Jr., Hamilton

Actress in a Limited Series or TV Movie

Michaela Coel, I May Destroy You
Cynthia Erivo, Genius: Aretha
Elizabeth Olsen, WandaVision
Anya Taylor-Joy, The Queen’s Gambit
Kate Winslet, Mare of Easttown

Supporting Actor in a Limited Series or TV Movie

Thomas Brodie-Sangster, The Queen’s Gambit
Daveed Diggs, Hamilton
Paapa Essiedu, I May Destroy You
Jonathan Groff, Hamilton
Evan Peters, Mare of Easttown
Anthony Ramos, Hamilton

Supporting Actress in a Limited Series or TV Movie

Renée Elise Goldsberry, Hamilton  
Kathryn Hahn, WandaVision
Moses Ingram, The Queen’s Gambit
Julianne Nicholson, Mare of Easttown
Jean Smart, Mare of Easttown
Phillipa Soo, Hamilton

Reality-Competition Series

The Amazing Race  
Nailed It!
RuPaul’s Drag Race
Top Chef
The Voice  

Reality Host

Bobby Berk, Karamo Brown, Tan France, Antoni Porowski, and Jonathan Van Ness, Queer Eye
Nicole Byer, Nailed It!
Barbara Corcoran, Mark Cuban, Lori Greiner, Robert Herjavec, Daymond John, and Kevin O’Leary, Shark Tank
RuPaul, RuPaul’s Drag Race
Tom Colicchio, Padma Lakshmi, and Gail Simmons, Top Chef

Variety Talk Series 

Last Week Tonight With John Oliver
The Late Show With Stephen Colbert
Conan   
The Daily Show With Trevor Noah
Jimmy Kimmel Live! 

Variety Sketch Series

A Black Lady Sketch Show
Saturday Night Live

More Great Stories From Vanity Fair

— The Making of Mare of Easttown’s Flirtatious, Sad Bar Scene
— Elizabeth Olsen on Reclaiming Her Power in WandaVision
— How William Jackson Harper Brought Hope to The Underground Railroad
— A Golden Globe Voter Speaks Out About Her HFPA Resignation
— Why Is Gina Carano on the Emmy Ballot for The Mandalorian?
— Sign up for the “HWD Daily” newsletter for must-read industry and awards coverage—plus a special weekly edition of “Awards Insider.”


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– July 13, 2021

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