“Watchmen” starts on top with 26 Emmy Award nominations, "Mrs. Maisel" leads all comedy series

With the "Game of Thrones” era behind us, another HBO title starring Regina King and Jeremy Irons leads the pack

Published July 28, 2020 3:43PM (EDT)

Regina King in "Watchmen" (HBO)
Regina King in "Watchmen" (HBO)

Though the "Game of Thrones" era is now behind us, HBO remains a dominate force heading into this year's prime-time Emmy Awards. With a total of 26 nominations, the limited series "Watchmen" leads all other contenders. The super feat for the super hero saga, which is confrontation of white supremacy and an indictment of denialcomes amid America's real-life reckoning with systemic racism.

With a handful of new streaming providers such as Apple TV+ (with its noteworthy broadcast news drama "The Morning Show"), HBO Max (with the snubbed "Run," which feels like the closest match to the quirkily endearing comedy winner of yore, "Fleabag"), and Disney+ (Baby Yoda, anyone?) — this year's pickings were robust. 

In spite of the new platforms, the leaders of the pack are not all too surprising. "Watchmen" was followed by Amazon's "The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel" with 20 nominations. The Roy and Byrde families of "Succession" and "Ozark" came in with 18 nods each (still not topping the 32 total nominations for "Game of Thrones" last year). Netflix starts out on top with 160 total nominations to HBO's 107 nods.

Art imitating life, the TV academy dialed back its typical live broadcast. Streamed online Tuesday morning, the nominations were hosted by Leslie Jones. The "SNL" star was joined by Josh Gad, Tatiana Maslany and Laverne Cox, who scored a nomination for outstanding guest actress in a drama series.

On March 27, the organization pushed back its regular timeline for submissions and voting. The academy also updated some of its traditional guidelines. While most categories typically honored five nominees, the number is now determined by the total submissions. This, the academy said in a statement last month, will allow for "more inclusiveness in the recognition of excellence."

And as CEO and Chairman Frank Scherma emphasized at Tuesday's ceremony, "History is being made, and you will all tell the story."

While other award shows, including the Oscars, have delayed their broadcasts or moved them online, the prime-time Emmy Awards — for now — are scheduled to proceed Sept. 20 at the Microsoft Theatre, aired by ABC.

Read on for the list of nominees in major categories. For the complete list of 2020 nominees, click here.

Outstanding Drama Series
"Succession," HBO
"The Crown," Netflix
"Ozark," Netflix
"Better Call Saul," AMC
"Killing Eve"
"The Handmaid's Tale," Hulu
"The Mandalorian," Disney+
"Killing Eve," BBC America
"Stranger Things," Netflix

Outstanding Comedy Series
"The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel," Amazon Prime
"Schitt's Creek," Pop TV
"Curb Your Enthusiasm," HBO
"The Good Place," NBC
"Dead to Me," Netflix
"Insecure," HBO
"What We Do In The Shadows," FX
"The Kominsky Method," Netflix

Outstanding Limited Series
"Watchmen," HBO
"Mrs. America," FX on Hulu
"Unbelievable," Netflix
"Unorthodox," Netflix
"Little Fires Everywhere," Hulu

Outstanding Drama Actor
Jason Bateman, "Ozark" (Netflix)
Brian Cox, "Succession" (HBO)
Sterling K. Brown, "This Is Us" (NBC)
Billy Porter, "Pose" (FX) 
Steve Carell, "The Morning Show" (Apple TV+)

Outstanding Drama Actress
Jennifer Aniston, "The Morning Show" (Apple TV+)
Olivia Colman, "The Crown" (Netflix)
Laura Linney, "Ozark" (Netflix)
Jodie Comer, "Killing Eve" (AMC)
Sandra Oh, "Killing Eve" (AMC)
Zendaya, "Euphoria" (HBO)

Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series
Kieran Culkin, "Succession" (HBO)
Giancarlo Esposito, "Better Call Saul" (AMC)
Billy Crudup, "The Morning Show" (Apple TV+)
Matthew Macfadyen, "Succession" (HBO)
Bradley Whitford, "The Handmaid's Tale" (Hulu)
Nicholas Braun, "Succession" (HBO)

Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series
Meryl Streep, "Big Little Lies" (HBO)
Helena Bonham Carter, "The Crown" (Netflix)
Julia Garner, "Ozark" (Netflix)
Laura Dern, "Big Little Lies" (HBO)
Fiona Shaw, "Killing Eve"
Sarah Snook, "Succession" (HBO)
Samira Wiley, "The Handmaid's Tale" (Hulu)
Thandie Newton, "Westworld" (HBO)

Outstanding Guest Actor in a Drama Series
Andrew Scott, "Black Mirror: Smithereens" (Netflix)
Ron Cephas Jones, "This Is Us" (NBC)
Jason Bateman, "The Outsider" (NBC)
James Cromwell, "Succession" (HBO)
Giancarlo Esposito, "The Mandalorian" (Disney+)
Martin Short, "The Morning Show" (Apple TV+)

Outstanding Guest Actress in a Drama Series
Cicely Tyson, "How to Get Away with Murder" (ABC)
Harriet Walter, "Succession" (HBO)
Alexis Bledel, "The Handmaid's Tale" (Hulu)
Laverne Cox, "Orange is the New Black" (Netflix)
Phylicia Rashad, "This Is Us" (NBC)
Cherry Jones, "Succession" (HBO)

Outstanding Directing for a Drama Series
"Homeland," "Prisoners of War" (Showtime)
"Ozark," "Fire Pink" (Netflix)
"Ozark," Su Casa Es Mi Casa" (Netflix)
"Succession," "Hunting" (HBO)
"Succession," "This Is Not For Tears" (HBO)
"The Crown," "Aberfan" (Netflix)
"The Crown," "Cri de Coeur" (Netflix)
"The Morning Show," "The Interview" (Apple TV+)

Outstanding Writing for a Drama Series
"Better Call Saul," "Bad Choice Road" (AMC)
"Better Call Saul," "Bagman" (AMC)
"Ozark," "Boss Fight" (Netflix)
"Ozark," "Fire Pink" (Netflix)
"Ozark," "All In" (Netflix)
"Succession," "This Is Not For Tears" (HBO)
"The Crown," "Aberfan" (Netflix)

Outstanding Comedy Actor
Don Cheadle, "Black Monday" (Showtime)
Ramy Youssef, "Ramy" (Hulu)
Ted Danson, "The Good Place" (NBC)
Anthony Anderson, "Black-ish" (ABC)
Eugene Levy, "Schitt's Creek" (Pop TV)
Michael Douglas, "The Kominsky Method" (Netflix)

Outstanding Comedy Actress
Tracee Ellis Ross, "Black-ish" (ABC)
Linda Cardellini, "Dead to Me" (Netflix)
Catherine O'Hara, "Schitt's Creek" (Pop TV)
Christina Applegate, "Dead to Me" (Netflix)
Issa Rae, "Insecure" (HBO)
Rachel Brosnahan, "The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel" (Amazon Prime)

Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series
Andre Braugher, "Brooklyn Nine-Nine" (Fox)
Kenan Thompon, "Saturday Night Live" (NBC)
William Jackson Harper, "The Good Place" (NBC)
Sterling K. Brown, "The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel" (Amazon Prime)
Mahershala Ali, "Ramy" (Hulu)
Daniel Levy, "Schitt's Creek" (Pop TV)
Alan Arkin, "The Kominsky Method" (Netflix)
Tony Shalhoub, "The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel" (Amazon Prime)

Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series
Betty Gilpin, "GLOW" (Netflix)
Cecily Strong, "Saturday Night Live" (NBC)
Annie Murphy, "Schitt's Creek" (Pop TV)
Alex Borstein, "The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel" (Amazon Prime)
Yvonne Orji, "Insecure" (HBO)
Kate McKinnon, "Saturday Night Live" (NBC)
D'Arcy Carden, "The Good Place" (NBC)
Marin Hinkle, "The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel" (Amazon Prime)

Outstanding Guest Actor in a Comedy Series
Fred Willard, "Modern Family" (NBC)
Adam Driver, "Saturday Night Live" (NBC)
Brad Pitt, "Saturday Night Live" (NBC)
Dev Patel, "Modern Love" (Amazon Prime)
Eddie Murphy, "Saturday Night Live" (NBC)
Luke Kirby, "The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel" (Amazon Prime)

Outstanding Guest Actress in a Comedy Series
Angela Bassett, "A Black Lady Sketch Show" (HBO Max)
Phoebe Waller-Bridge, "Saturday Night Live" (NBC)
Wanda Sykes, "The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel" (Amazon Prime)
Maya Rudolph, "Saturday Night Live" (NBC)
Maya Rudolph, "The Good Place" (NBC)
Bette Midler, "The Politician" (Netflix)

Outstanding Directing for a Comedy Series
"Modern Family," "Finale Part 2" (ABC)
"Ramy," "Miakhalifra.mov" (Hulu)
"Schitt's Creek," "Happy Ending" (Pop TV)
"The Great," "The Great (Pilot)" (Hulu)
"The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel," "It's Comedy or Cabbage" (Amazon Prime)
"The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel," "Marvelous Radio" (Amazon Prime)
"Will and Grace," "We Love Lucy" (NBC)

Outstanding Writing for a Comedy Series
"Schitt's Creek," "Happy Ending" Pop TV
"Schitt's Creek," "The Presidential Suite" Pop TV
"The Good Place," "Whenever You're Ready" NBC
"The Great," "The Great" Hulu
"What We Do In The Shadows," "On The Run" (FX)
"What We Do In The Shadows," "Collaboration" (FX)
"What We Do In The Shadows," "Ghosts" (FX)

Outstanding Lead Actor in a Limited Series
Hugh Jackman, "Bad Education" (HBO)
Mark Ruffalo, "I Know This Much Is True" (HBO)
Jeremy Irons, "Watchmen" (HBO)
Jeremy Pope, "Hollywood" (Netflix)
Paul Mescal, "Normal People" (Hulu)

Outstanding Lead Actress in a Limited Series
Regina King, "Watchmen" (HBO)
Cate Blanchett, "Mrs. America" (FX on Hulu)
Kerry Washington, "Little Fires Everywhere" (Hulu)
Shira Haas, "Unorthodox" (Netflix)
Octavia Spencer, "Self-Made" (Netflix)

Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Limited Series
Dylan McDermott, "Hollywood" (Netflix)
Tituss Burgess, "Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt" (Netflix)
Jovan Adepo, "Watchmen" (HBO)
Jim Parsons, "Hollywood"  (Netflix)
Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, "Watchmen"  (HBO)
Louis Gossett Jr., "Watchmen"  (HBO)

Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Limited Series
Holland Taylor, "Hollywood" (Netflix)
Margo Martindale, "Mrs. America" (FX on Hulu)
Toni Collette, "Unbelievable" (Netflix)
Uzo Aduba, "Mrs. America" (FX on Hulu)
Tracey Ullman, "Mrs. America" (FX on Hulu)
Jean Smart, "Watchmen" (HBO)

Outstanding Directing for a Limited Series, Movie, or Dramatic Special
"Little Fires Everywhere," "Find A Way" (Hulu)
"Normal People," "Episode 5" (Hulu)
"Unorthodox," (Netflix)
"Watchmen," "It's Summer And We're Running Out Of Ice" (HBO)
"Watchmen," "Little Fear Of Lightning" (HBO)
"Watchmen," "This Extraordinary Being" (HBO)

Outstanding Television Movie
"American Son," Netflix
"Bad Education," HBO
"Dolly Parton's Heartstrings: These Old Bones," Netflix
"El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie," (Netflix)
"Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt: Kimmy vs. The Reverend," (Netflix)

Outstanding Variety Talk Series
"Last Week Tonight with John Oliver," HBO
"The Late Show with Stephen Colbert," Hulu
"Full Frontal with Samantha Bee," TBS on HBO Max
"The Daily Show with Trevor Noah," Comedy Central
"Jimmy Kimmel Live!" ABC

Outstanding Variety Sketch Series
"A Black Lady Sketch Show," HBO
"Drunk History," Comedy Central
"Saturday Night Live," NBC

Outstanding Variety Special "Live"
"73rd Annual Tony Awards," CBS
"77th Annual Golden Globes Awards," NBC
"Live In Front Of A Studio Audience: "All In The Family" And "Good Times," ABC
"Super Bowl LIV Halftime Show Starting Jennifer Lopez And Shakira," FOX
"The Oscars," ABC

Outstanding Variety Special "Pre-recorded"
"Dave Chappelle: Sticks and Stones," Netflix
"Dave Chappelle: The Kennedy Center Mark Twain Prize For American Humor," PBS
"Hannah Gadsby: Douglas," Netflix
"Jerry Seinfeld: 23 Hours To Kill," Netflix
"John Mulaney and The Sack Lunch Box," Netflix
"Tiffany Haddish: Black Mitzvah," Netflix

Outstanding Directing for a Variety Series
"A Black Lady Sketch Show," "Born At Night, But Not Last Night" (HBO)
"Last Week Tonight With John Oliver," "Episode 629" (HBO)
"Saturday Night Live," "Host: Eddie Murphy" (NBC)
"The Daily Show With Trevor Noah," "Dr. Fauci Answers Trevor's Questions About Coronavirus" (Comedy Central)
"The Late Show with Stephen Colbert," "Live Show; Chris Christie; Nathaniel Rateliff" (CBS)
"Tiffany Haddish Presents: They Ready," "Flame Monroe" (Netflix)

Outstanding Writing for a Variety Series
"Full Frontal with Samantha Bee," TBS
"Last Week Tonight With John," HBO
"Late Night With Seth Meyers," NBC
"The Daily Show With Trevor Noah," Comedy Central
"The Late Show with Stephen Colbert," CBS

Outstanding Directing for a Variety Special
"62nd Grammy Awards," CBS
"73rd Annual Tony Awards," CBS
"Dave Chappelle: Stick and Stones," Netflix
"Live in Front Of A Studio Audience: "All In The Family" And "Good Times," ABC
"Super Bowl LIV Halftime Show Starring Jenniger Lopez And Shakira," Fox



By Alex Brady

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Brief Culture Emmy Awards Hbo Netflix The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel Tv Watchmen