Emmy Nominations: Full of Exciting Inclusions, Infuriating Exclusions, and Barb


It might be hard to take the Primetime Emmy Awards seriously — harder than usual, that is — in a year where people are left Tweeting things like:

Indeed, when This Is Us and House of Cards end up in the Outstanding Drama Series category, and the best-executed, most inventive (well, this is pre Twin Peaks: The Return) drama on television gets nothing except a “Guest Actress — Drama” nomination for the admittedly excellent Ann Dowd, meaning feels a little lost…as it perhaps always should on a ceremony with such a (albeit increasingly less) bland monopoly over nationwide perceptions of TV quality. Oh, and by the way, Insecure also was acknowledged for…nothing whatsoever, while Modern Family still managed to be the least modern show somehow still gaining an Outstanding Comedy series nomination.

But if you can get past the perplexing snubs without completely discrediting this list — or with discrediting it while still being marginally interested — you’ll find some great and/or weird surprises, as well as expected and wholly deserving series/performers/creators/writers etc. getting accolades. Among the exciting nominations on this immense list: love for Stranger Things and particularly Millie Bobby Brown (though, seriously, did Barb really deserve an Emmy nomination? Her death certainly moved many to meme-ing mourning, but did her life…really get shown, like, at all?); nominations for Westworld‘s brilliant performances by Thandie Newton, Evan Rachel Wood, and Jeffrey Wright; nominations for Donald Glover (and his brother, for writing) and his sometimes-surreal, sometimes-hyperreal Atlanta; the continued recognition of Veep and Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Tony Hale, and Matt Walsh’s brilliance, which will never not deserve Emmy praise; unsurprising nods to chillingly potent prestige hits like The Night Of (speaking of which — two nominations for Riz Ahmed, including for his turn on the otherwise mostly overlooked Girls) and The Handmaid’s Tale, which of course scored nominations for Elisabeth Moss, as well as supporting actress nods for Samira Wiley and Ann Dowd (double Dowds this year!); RuPaul’s Drag Race‘s place within the Reality category (which it admittedly also transcends); double-nominations for Matthew Rhys, who, like Ahmed, was nominated for his brilliant (and troubling) Girls performance; Angela Bassett’s recognition for her guest appearance on Master of None; nominations for Tracee Ellis Ross for black-ish and Jane Fonda/Lilly Tomlin for Frankie and Grace in the ever-impressive Comedy Actress category; deserved attention given to Nicole Kidman, Reese Witherspoon, and Laura Dern for Big Little Lies; Ewan MacGregor’s nod for his twin performances on Fargo, as well as Carrie Coon’s should-have-been-for-The-Leftovers-but-whatever Fargo nomination, not to mention David Thewlis’ nomination for his role as the deeply creepy V.M. Varga on the show; a posthumous nod for Carrie Fisher in Catastrophe; and many many more.

Speaking of which, here’s…almost everything (via the L.A. Times and the New York Times):

Outstanding Drama Series Better Call Saul The Handmaid’s Tale House of Cards Stranger Things Westworld This Is Us The Crown

Outstanding Lead actress in a Drama Series Viola Davis, How to Get Away With Murder Elisabeth Moss, The Handmaid’s Tale Claire Foy, The Crown Robin Wright, House of Cards Keri Russell, The Americans Evan Rachel Wood, Westworld

Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series Anthony Hopkins, Westworld Sterling K. Brown, This Is Us Bob Odenkirk, Better Call Saul Matthew Rhys, The Americans Kevin Spacey, House of Cards Liev Schreiber, Ray Donovan Milo Ventimiglia, This Is Us

Outstanding Comedy Series Atlanta Veep Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt black-ish Master of None Silicon Valley Modern Family

Outstanding Lead actress in a Comedy Series Pamela Adlon, Better Things Jane Fonda, Grace and Frankie Lilly Tomlin, Grace and Frankie Ellie Kemper, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt Tracee Ellis Ross, black-ish Allison Janney, Mom

Outstanding Lead actor in a Comedy Aziz Ansari, Master of None Anthony Anderson, black-ish Zach Galifianakis, Baskets Donald Glover, Atlanta Jeffrey Tambor, Transparent William H. Macy, Shameless

Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series Anna Chlumsky, Veep Vanessa Bayer, SNL Leslie Jones, SNL Kate McKinnon, SNL Kathryn Hahn, Transparent Judith Light, Transparent

Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series Alec Baldwin, SNL Tituss Burgess, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt Louie Anderson, Baskets Ty Burrell, Modern Family Tony Hale, Veep Matt Walsh, Veep

Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series Millie Bobby Brown, Stranger Things Uzo Aduba, Orange Is The New Black Ann Dowd, The Handmaid’s Tale Thandie Newton, Westworld Chrissy Metz, This Is Us Samira Wiley, The Handmaid’s Tale

Outstanding Supporting actor in a Drama Series Jonathan Banks, Better Call Saul John Lithgow, The Crown Michael Kelly, House of Cards David Harbour, Stranger Things Jeffrey Wright, Westworld Ron Cephas Jones, This Is Us Mandy Patinkin, Homeland

Outstanding Limited series Big Little Lies Feud: Bette and Joan Fargo The Night Of Genius

Outstanding TV movie The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks Black Mirror Wizard of Lies Sherlock: The Lying Detective Dolly Parton’s Christmas of Many Colors: Circle of Love

Outstanding Lead actress in a Limited Series/TV movie Carrie Coon, Fargo Nicole Kidman, Big Little Lies Reese Witherspoon, Big Little Lies Felicity Huffman, American Crime Jessica Lange, Feud: Bette and Joan Susan Sarandon, Feud: Bette and Joan

Outstanding Lead actor in a Limited Series/TV movie Riz Ahmed, The Night Of Benedict Cumberbatch, Sherlock: The Lying Detective Ewan McGregor, Fargo Geoffrey Rush, Genius John Turturro, The Night Of Robert de Niro, The Wizard of Lies

Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Limited Series or Movie Regina King, American Crime Laura Dern, Big Little Lies Jackie Hoffman, Feud Judy Davis, Feud Michelle Pfeiffer, The Wizard of Lies Shailene Woodley, Big Little Lies

Outstanding Supporting actor in a limited series or movie Alexander Skarsgard, Big Little Lies David Thewlis, Fargo Bill Camp, The Night Of Alfred Molina, Feud Michael Kenneth Williams, The Night Of Stanley Tucci, Feud

Outstanding Guest Actress in a Drama Alexis Bledel, The Handmaid’s Tale Alison Wright, The Americans Ann Dowd, The Leftovers Cicely Tyson, How to Get Away With Murder Shannon Purser, Stranger Things Laverne Cox, Orange is the New Black

Outstanding Guest Actor in a Drama Series Brian Tyree Henry, This Is Us Ben Mendelsohn, Bloodline BD Wong, Mr. Robot Dennis O’Hare, This Is Us Hank Azaria, Ray Donovan

Outstanding Guest actress in a Comedy Series Wanda Sykes, black-ish Carrie Fisher, Catastrophe Angela Bassett, Master of None Becky Ann Baker, Girls Kristen Wiig, SNL Melssa McCarthy, SNL

Outstanding Guest Actor in a Comedy Series Riz Ahmed, Girls Matthew Rhys, Girls Hugh Laurie, Veep Dave Chappelle, SNL Lin-Manuel Miranda, SNL Tom Hanks, SNL

Outstanding Variety Talk Show Last Week Tonight With John Oliver Full Frontal With Samantha Bee Real Time with Bill Maher Jimmy Kimmel Live! The Late Show with Stephen Colbert The Late Late Show with James Corden (So basically, everything that isn’t Fallon)

Outstanding Reality competition RuPaul’s Drag Race Top Chef The Voice Project Runway The Amazing Race American Ninja Warrior

Outstanding Voice-Over Performance Kevin Kline, Bob’s Burgers Dee Bradley Baker, American Dad! Kristen Schaal, Bojack Horseman Mo Collins, F Is For Family Nancy Cartwright, The Simpsons Seth MacFarlane, Family Guy

Outstanding Animated program Bob’s Burgers Archer South Park The Simpsons Elena and the Secret of Avalor

Outstanding Writing for a Comedy Series Donald Glover, Atlanta Stephen Glover, Atlanta Billy Kimball, Veep (“Georgia”) David Mandel, Veep (“Groundbreaking”) Aziz Ansari & Lena Waithe, Master of None (“Thanksgiving”) Alec Berg, Silicon Valley (“Success Failure”)

Outstanding Writing for a Drama Series The Duffer Brothers, Stranger Things (“Chapter One: The Vanishing Of Will Byers”) Gordon Smith, Better Call Saul (“Chicanery”) Joe Weisberg & Joel Fields, The Americans (“The Soviet Division”) Bruce Miller, The Handmaid’s Tale (“Offred Pilot”) Peter Morgan, The Crown (“Assassins”) Lisa Joy & Jonathan Nolan, Westworld (“The Bicameral Mind”)

Outstanding Writing for a Limited Series, Movie or Drama David E. Kelley, Big Little Lies Noah Hawley, Fargo (“The Law of Vacant Places”) Charlie Brooker, Black Mirror (“San Junipero” Ryan Murphy, Feud: Bette and Joan (“And The Winner Is… (The Oscars Of 1963)”) Jaffe Cohen, Michael, Michael Zam & Ryan Murphy, Feud: Bette and Joan (“Pilot”) Richard Price & Steven Zaillian, The Night Of (“The Call Of The Wild”)

Directing for a Comedy Series Donald Glover, Atlanta (“B.A.N.”) Morgan Sackett, Veep (“Blurb”) David Mandel, Veep (“Groundbreaking”) Dale Stern, Veep (“Justice”) Jamie Babbit, Silicon Valley (“Intellectual Property”)

Directing for a Drama Series Jonathan Nolan, Westworld (“The Bicameral Mind”) The Duffer Brothers, Stranger Things (“Chapter One: The Vanishing Of Will Byers”) Vince Gilligan, Better Call Saul (“Witness”) Stephen Daldry, The Crown (“Hyde Park Corner”) Reed Morano, The Handmaid’s Tale (“Offred (Pilot)”) Kate Dennis, The Handmaid’s Tale (“The Bridge”) Lesli Linka Glatter, Homeland (“America First”)

Directing For A Limited Series Noah Hawley, Fargo (“The Law Of Vacant Places”) Jean-Marc Vallée, Big Little Lies Ryan Murphy, Feud: Bette and Joan (“And The Winner Is… (The Oscars Of 1963)”) Ron Howard, Genius (“Einstein: Chapter One”) James Marsh, The Night Of (“The Art Of War”) Steven Zaillian, The Night Of (“The Beach”)

Check out more of the behind-the-scenes-oriented categories (production design, casting, cinematography, etc.) on Variety.