With great award nominations come great award disappointments. Every time an awards body announces its nominations, prognosticators gasp in surprise and mourn the snubs. This morning’s Primetime Emmy® nominations proved to be no exception. What were some of the biggest shocks of the year? What surefire performers were left in the dust?
It was always a long shot. Still, our hearts break a little for HBO’s critically acclaimed, brilliant The Leftovers. The series failed to merit nominations for Drama Series, Actor, Actress, or for Mimi Leder’s wonderful direction of the series finale. Ann Down received a Guest Actress nomination for her volcanic performance this season, so there’s that. We knew it was a tough road to climb, but that doesn’t make it hurt any less.
One of this year’s biggest surprises came in the Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series category. Malek, last year’s winner, was left off of this year’s roster. Mr. Robot‘s second season might have proven to be too divisive for Emmy voters, and the hunky Ventimiglia was ready to take his place for his work as the tragic father figure on the NBC juggernaut.
While Netflix and Amazon have racked up nominations for the last few years, Hulu struggled to make a name for itself at the Emmys. The Handmaid’s Tale, the studio’s most high-profile drama to date, was honored with 13 nominations, including Drama Series, Lead Actress for Elisabeth Moss, and Supporting Actress nods for Ann Dowd and Samira Wiley. Handmaid’s ties Netflix’s The Crown with the most nominations in the Drama fields after Westworld.
The Americans first Drama Series nomination last year was a celebrated moment for the beloved FX series. Stars Matthew Rhys and Keri Russell repeated their nominations, but the series itself was left out in the cold. Were their voters too turned off by current events to tune into the scripted drama?
NBC’s legendary variety show is experiencing a huge cultural resurgence due to the current political climate, and the show was nominated for a staggering nine acting nominations. Outstanding Supporting Actress includes nods for last year’s winner Kate McKinnon, as well as Leslie Jones and Vanessa Bayer, and Alec Baldwin is still the frontrunner to win Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series. Performers Melissa McCarthy, Tom Hanks, Dave Chappelle, Kristen Wiig, and Lin-Manuel Miranda secured nominations in the Guest categories.
Stranger Things was expected to make a strong showing, and Winona Ryder was on almost everyone’s predictions. Unfortunately, Ryder didn’t make the cut, but Shannon Purser made it for her small role as fan-favorite Barb. We really are in The Upside Down.
Pamela Adlon’s nomination in Lead Actress in a Comedy Series was one of this morning’s biggest, and most welcome, surprises. The FX comedy was well received but not a sure thing for awards. She edged out both Emmy legend Sarah Jessica Parker and newcomer Issa Rae.
Lead Actress in a Limited Series or TV Movie doesn’t have any performers in movies. Oprah Winfrey received great notices for The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, but her omission was one of the biggest shocks of the day.
The drag queen reality competition series has slowly been gaining Emmy momentum for the last few seasons, but this year it snatched a gag-worthy seven nominations for Reality Series, Host, Casting, Editing, Makeup, and Hairstyling. Drag Race’s online companion series, Untucked, also grabbed a nomination. Congratulations, Mama Ru!
Some performers were awarded for their first nominations even though their counterparts were honored previously. When Grace and Frankie debuted, only Lily Tomlin garnered a nomination. This year, Tomlin is joined by her co-star Jane Fonda. Louie Anderson, last year’s winner for Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series, is joined by Zach Galifianakis.
Jill Soloway’s celebrated Transparent received some nominations again this year, but its haul was a little light. The Academy swapped out Gaby Hoffman for Kathryn Hahn (who finally received recognition!), but the show itself failed to get a nomination. Soloway won back-to-back Emmys for Directing, but she was left off this year’s nominations.