It’s time to see what audiences liked best in TV shows over this past year.
The 2022 Emmy nominees represent the best of what we watched, streamed, binged and then re-watched over this year.
On Tuesday, the Television Academy and hosts Melissa Fumero and J.B. Smoove unveiled nominations for the 74th Primetime Emmy Awards, honoring the talented stars and hard-working crews of some of the most impressive productions of the year.
This story is developing and will be updated.
Outstanding drama series “Better Call Saul” “Euphoria” “Ozark” “Severance” “Squid Game” “Stranger Things” “Succession” “Yellowjackets”
Outstanding comedy series “Abbott Elementary” “Barry” “Curb Your Enthusiasm” “Hacks” “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” “Only Murders in the Building” “Ted Lasso” “What We Do in the Shadows”
Outstanding limited series “Dopesick” “The Dropout” “Inventing Anna” “Pam & Tommy” “The White Lotus”
Outstanding lead actor in a drama series Brian Cox, “Succession” Lee Jung-jae, “Squid Game” Bob Odenkirk “Better Call Saul” Adam Scott, “Severance” Jeremy Strong, “Succession”
Outstanding lead actress in a drama series Jodie Comer, “Killing Eve” Laura Linney, “Ozark” Melanie Lynskey, “Yellowjackets” Sandra Oh, “Killing Eve” Reese Witherspoon, “The Morning Show” Zendaya, “Euphoria”
Outstanding supporting actor in a drama series Nicholas Braun, “Succession” Billy Crudup, “The Morning Show” Kieran Culkin, “Succession” Park Hae-soo, “Squid Game” Matthew Macfadyen, “Succession” John Turturro, “Severance” Christopher Walken, “Severance” Oh Yeong-su, “Squid Game”
Outstanding supporting actress in a drama series Patricia Arquette, “Severance” Julia Garner, “Ozark” Jung Ho-yeon, “Squid Game” Christina Ricci, “Yellowjackets” Rhea Seehorn, “Better Call Saul” J. Smith-Cameron, “Succession” Sarah Snook, “Succession” Sydney Sweeney, “Euphoria”
Outstanding lead actor in a comedy series Donald Glover, “Atlanta” Bill Hader, “Barry” Nicholas Hoult, “The Great” Steve Martin, “Only Murders in the Building” Martin Short, “Only Murders in the Building” Jason Sudeikis, “Ted Lasso”
Outstanding lead actress in a comedy series Rachel Brosnahan, “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” Quinta Brunson, “Abbott Elementary” Kaley Cuoco, “The Flight Attendant” Elle Fanning, “The Great” Issa Rae, “Insecure” Jean Smart, “Hacks”
Outstanding supporting actor in a comedy series Anthony Carrigan, “Barry” Brett Goldstein, “Ted Lasso” Toheeb Jimoh, “Ted Lasso” Nick Mohammed, “Ted Lasso” Tony Shalhoub, “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” Tyler James Williams, “Abbott Elementary” Henry Winkler, “Barry” Bowen Yang, “Saturday Night Live”
Outstanding supporting actress in a comedy series Alex Borstein, “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” Hannah Einbinder, “Hacks” Janelle James, “Abbott Elementary” Kate McKinnon, “Saturday Night Live” Sarah Niles, “Ted Lasso” Sheryl Lee Ralph, “Abbott Elementary” Juno Temple, “Ted Lasso” Hannah Waddingham, “Ted Lasso”
Outstanding lead actor in a limited series or TV movie Colin Firth, “The Staircase” Andrew Garfield, “Under the Banner of Heaven” Oscar Isaac, “Scenes from a Marriage” Michael Keaton, “Dopesick” Himesh Patel, “Station Eleven” Sebastian Stan, “Pam & Tommy”
Outstanding lead actress in a limited series or TV movie Toni Collette, “The Staircase” Julia Garner, “Inventing Anna” Lily James, “Pam & Tommy” Sarah Paulson, “Impeachment: American Crime Story” Margaret Qualley, “Maid” Amanda Seyfried, “The Dropout”
Outstanding supporting actor in a limited series or TV movie
Outstanding supporting actress in a limited series or TV movie
Outstanding reality/competition series
“The Amazing Race” “Top Chef” “RuPaul’s Drag Race” “Lizzo’s Watch Out for the Big Grrrls” “The Voice” “Nailed It!”
Outstanding variety talk series “Last Week Tonight With John Oliver” “The Late Show With Stephen Colbert” “Late Night With Seth Meyers” “The Daily Show With Trevor Noah” “Jimmy Kimmel Live!”
The Emmys honoring the best in television return Sunday for the first in-person ceremony since the start of the coronavirus pandemic.
In addition to the return of a (small, socially distanced) audience, there are plenty of potential records and historic firsts to look out for:
Michael K. Williams, forever remembered as Baltimore stick-up man Omar Little in seminal HBO crime drama “The Wire,” died earlier this month.
His tragic passing will not influence voting — the suspected drug overdose in New York occurred after Emmys voting had closed.
But Williams is the favorite to win the award for best supporting actor in a drama for supernatural horror series “Lovecraft Country.” He was nominated four times in the past but never won a statuette.
Many viewers will hope for a victory for Williams, which would make him part of an elite group of posthumous acting winners at the Emmys — one that includes Ingrid Bergman.
FX’s “Pose” — about New York’s 1980s underground ballroom culture — has already done much to advance LGBTQ representation.
Two years ago, its star Billy Porter became the first openly gay black man to win the best drama actor prize.
On Sunday, another cast member has a chance to make history.
“Mj Rodriguez has a shot at being the first trans winner in lead actress,” Los Angeles Times journalist Michael Ordona told AFP.
“But she’s got a tough row to hoe, because I think there’s a lot of goodwill toward Emma Corrin for her portrayal of Princess Diana,” in “The Crown,” he added.
“The Handmaid’s Tale” was the first ever streaming show to win best drama at the Emmys. Hulu’s adaptation of Margaret Atwood’s dystopian novel strongly resonated with voters back in 2017.
Since then, the Elisabeth Moss-starring series offering a bleak portrait of an authoritarian America has seen diminishing returns — in terms of both critical response and awards tallies.
Still nominated for a whopping 21 statuettes this year, it has won zero in the technical categories handed out so far — meaning it will become the “biggest loser” in a single year of Emmys history if it fails to convert at all on Sunday.
Netflix needs 10 wins Sunday to tie the all-time record for most Emmys wins in a year — 44, set by CBS network way back in 1974 when shows like “M*A*S*H” and “The Mary Tyler Moore Show” ruled the airwaves.
Such an impressive haul is not necessarily beyond the streamer.
Chess-themed “The Queen’s Gambit” has already bagged nine awards in fields from costumes to cinematography, and should contend for more awards Sunday including best limited series, directing, and actress for Anya Taylor-Joy.
British royals drama “The Crown” is tipped for the night’s top prize — best drama — and has frontrunners across the acting categories including Emma Corrin, Josh O’Connor and Gillian Anderson as Princess Diana, Prince Charles and Margaret Thatcher, respectively.
After last year’s pandemic-mandated virtual event, the nominees are to be welcomed back in-person at the Emmys — but only a lucky few of them.
Each nomination will earn a maximum three invitations to the socially distanced 500-person outdoor venue (the ceremony typically has an audience of 4,000-6,000).
This has caused a scramble among those up for best drama, best comedy and best limited series, as each show usually has a large number of producers listed as nominees and eligible to attend.
“Can you imagine the defining moment in your career — you’re nominated for an Emmy, and you just drew the short straw and you can’t go to the ceremony?” said Variety awards editor Clayton Davis.
The Emmys on Sunday basically turned into the world’s most glamorous Zoom call, with Hollywood A-listers beaming into an empty Staples Center in Los Angeles from their apartments, guest houses and various other locations in 10 countries.
Here are some takeaways about how Tinseltown’s top stars suited up for the coronavirus era’s first major awards show:
Making a statement
Politics often take center stage at the Emmys, and even without a traditional red carpet, this year was no different.
Winner Regina King (“Watchmen”) paired a pink power suit with a tee-shirt bearing the image of Breonna Taylor, an African-American woman killed in a police shooting in her own home, and the words “Say Her Name.”
Uzo Aduba, who won the Emmy for best-supporting actress in a limited series or television movie for “Mrs America,” wore a simple black tee-shirt with Taylor’s name in script — and a gold ball skirt.
“Watchmen” creator Damon Lindelof sported a tee-shirt under his jacket that read “Remember Tulsa ’21” — a reference to a racial massacre in the Oklahoma city of Tulsa that left up to 300 black people dead in 1921, which figures in the show.
And the final presenter of the night, “This Is Us” star Sterling K Brown, wore a Black Lives Matter tee-shirt with a clenched fist.
Glamming it up
Of course, the few stars who took the stage with host Jimmy Kimmel had to dress to impress, and they did not disappoint.
Surprise winner Zendaya (“Euphoria”) wowed in a sculptural black and purple gown from African-American designer Christopher John Rogers. Jennifer Aniston donned a black Dior dress — and managed to look glam wielding a fire extinguisher for an onstage joke.
And nominee Tracee Ellis Ross (“black-ish”) oozed sex appeal in a gold Alexandre Vauthier gown — cut down to there, and with a high central slit revealing her legs.
Reese Witherspoon and Kerry Washington hosted a faux New Year’s Eve party to honor their limited series “Little Fires Everywhere” — and wish an early end to a tough 2020. They wore gowns, but one guest wore a vintage Nirvana tee-shirt.
Daniel Levy, creator and star of “Schitt’s Creek,” opted for a chic gray Thom Browne suit with a kilt — that got a lot of air time, given the show’s multiple wins and the fun socially distanced event the cast and crew held in Toronto.
His outfit was a nod to the show’s finale, in which his character wore similar attire for his same-sex wedding.
Pajamas! And animals!
Of course, organizers told participants that informal chic was encouraged, and many stars took the note, with some wearing glammed up pajamas and others bringing their canine companions to the party.
Nominee Octavia Spencer (“Self Made”) donned a floral robe and drank wine, while past winner Alex Borstein lounged on a giant bed in a silky pink and black nightgown/robe combo.
Borstein’s co-star on “The Marvelous Mrs Maisel,” past winner Rachel Brosnahan, adopted all the trends, wearing a chic pajama top AND having her “farty” — her word — dog Winston by her side.
Jane Lynch, also a cast member on “Maisel,” invited her dog Rumi, named for the Persian poet, to join her on camera.
“When you read an email too quickly, the phrase ‘You’re presenting with an alpaca’ looks a lot like the phrase ‘You’re presenting with Al Pacino’,” Park quipped.
The ultimate COVID formal wear
Perhaps the most on-point outfit of the night was the hazmat tuxedo, worn by those tasked with visiting some of the Emmy winners at their home to deliver their golden statuettes.
Organizers told Variety that the suit was designed in conjunction with a hazmat manufacturer, to ensure top protection for the awards couriers.
No red carpet, no star-studded audience, and no “Game of Thrones” — this year’s Emmys honoring the best in television promise to be radically different as producers scramble to create Hollywood’s first major pandemic-era awards show.
The coronavirus has turned Tinseltown upside down, bringing productions to a halt even as stay-at-home orders around the world send binge-watching through the roof.
Now late-night funnyman Jimmy Kimmel will host the 72nd Emmys live on Sunday from an empty theater in Los Angeles — which remains under strict lockdown — with winners beaming in from the safety of their homes due to Covid-19.
Adding to the unpredictability on a night of firsts, 130-odd nominees who were sent cameras to hook up in their own living rooms have been encouraged to get creative with their speeches (and comfortable — A-listers are invited to trade gowns and tuxedos for pajamas).
“Ratings have been flagging for award shows for years… This is, if nothing else, an opportunity to mix things up, to do an award ceremony in a way unlike any other that’s been done,” said IndieWire TV awards editor Libby Hill.
“Even if Sunday night is a complete disaster, it’s at least going to be an interesting disaster. And that’s really all you ask for in 2020.”
Capturing this year’s somewhat anarchic zeitgeist, “Watchmen” leads the charge with a whopping 26 nominations, primarily in the limited series categories.
The eerily prescient comic book adaptation that debuted last October confronts historic US racism, police violence and even mask-wearing. It also wowed critics and audiences alike.
“‘Watchmen’ speaks so specifically in so many unprecedented ways to the moment in which we’re living right now,” said Hill.
“I think people will probably get pretty tired of hearing Watchmen’s name getting called… it’s as much of a lock as we have right now.”
With HBO’s record-breaking Emmys juggernaut “Game of Thrones” having finally mounted a dragon and soared off to Westeros, the awards in the drama series categories promise to be more fiercely contested this year.
“It’s a relief for HBO that they have ‘Succession’ hitting at the right time,” said Deadline awards columnist Pete Hammond.
The critically adored show about a powerful family’s back-stabbing battle for control of a dynastic media empire won a writing Emmy in its first season, and has amassed 18 nominations this time.
But it is tied with “Ozark,” a dark money-laundering tale set in the American heartland from Netflix, which despite landing a record 160 nominations this year is still desperate to win its first major series Emmy.
Lurking in the background are British royals saga “The Crown” and Star Wars tale “The Mandalorian,” which boasts lavish Thrones-esque production values and has already scooped five Emmys in technical categories this week for newcomer Disney+.
Comedy this year appears to be a toss-up between previous serial winner “The Marvelous Mrs Maisel” — Amazon’s quirky tale of a 1950s housewife who becomes a standup comic — and “Schitt’s Creek.”
The latter, a Canadian comedy about a privileged family forced to live in a rundown motel, failed to earn a single nomination in its first four years, but became a sleeper hit after airing on Netflix and signed off with a heartwarming final season.
Emmy voters “know it’s the show’s last chance… that’s the one that’s got big momentum,” said Hammond.
Of the more than 100 acting nominations in the drama, comedy, limited series and television movie categories this year, more than a third of them went to black actors — a new record
Aside from the awards themselves, the night will honor the career achievement of Tyler Perry.
The African-American entertainment mogul has championed greater diversity in Hollywood, and this year paid funeral costs for black victims of police violence including George Floyd.
The theme of tackling racism is expected to feature prominently throughout the night, while many stars in famously liberal Hollywood are likely to have a wary eye on President Donald Trump’s re-election bid.
And then of course there’s the pandemic itself to address.
With nominees given “unprecedented freedom” as they broadcast from locations of their choosing, winners’ speeches on a night billed by Kimmel as “the Emmys meet Big Brother” are likely to have surprises in store.
“It’s a crapshoot,” said Hammond. “That’s the one thing you can’t predict.”
Welsh actor Matthew Rhys on Monday took home the Emmy for best actor in a drama series for his role in FX’s Cold War spy thriller “The Americans” — a big win for the critically acclaimed show in its final season.
Some industry pundits have called it the “Jon Hamm factor,” as both actors won their lone Emmys for defining roles in their final year of eligibility.
Rhys bested a tough field that included last year’s winner Sterling K. Brown (“This is Us”), Ed Harris (“Westworld”), Milo Ventimiglia (“This is Us”), Jeffrey Wright (“Westworld”) and Jason Bateman (“Ozark”).
“Parts like these come along so rarely,” Rhys told the audience at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles, thanking show creator Joe Weisberg. “What you created and risked, I will be forever in your debt.”
The 43-year-old Rhys starred for six seasons as Philip Jennings, part of a husband-wife team of Soviet sleeper agents posing as Americans — and living next door to an FBI agent.
“We had a cast and show we could only wish for in a fairy tale,” he said.
His now real-life partner, Keri Russell, plays his wife Elizabeth on the show. She too was nominated for an Emmy, and he joked about what the job had brought them.
Addressing Weisberg, he quipped: “Your good self not only gave me the part and opportunity of a lifetime, but you also gave me a son. I just hope the little bugger is asleep.”
He thanked Russell but explained that as opposed to the earlier on-air proposal by Oscar director Glenn Weiss, “she said, ‘If you propose to me, I’ll punch you clean in the mouth'” — a distinct possibility, given her fighting chops seen on the show.
Until Monday’s gala, “The Americans” had only won two Emmys — both for guest actress Margo Martindale, who plays the spy couple’s handler, Claudia.
But now they have four, as Weisberg and Joel Fields also won a statuette for outstanding drama writing.
Rhys, a native of Cardiff, was trained at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in London.
He first came to the attention of US viewers when he starred alongside Sally Field in ABC’s family drama “Brothers and Sisters.”
Other notable roles include a turn in last year’s journalism drama “The Post,” in which he played Daniel Ellsberg, the man who released the Pentagon Papers to The New York Times, The Washington Post and other papers.
Upcoming projects include “Mowgli,” a live-action film based on “The Jungle Book,” and thriller “The Torture Report.”
HBO’s fantasy epic “Game of Thrones” led the field for television’s prestigious Primetime Emmy awards on Thursday, with a whopping 22 nominations, including one for best drama series.
The show about noble families vying for the Iron Throne faces tough competition from perennial favourite comedy sketch show “Saturday Night Live” and HBO stablemate “Westworld” with 21 nominations each.
Hulu’s “A Handmaid’s Tale” — which won the award for best drama series last year — earned 20 nods.
“The Assassination of Gianni Versace,” one of the few serious contenders this year that can claim to be entirely new, picked up an impressive 18 nominations.
Part of FX’s “American Crime Story” strand from the mind of Emmys mainstay Ryan Murphy, it is the follow-up to the acclaimed “The People v. O. J. Simpson” (2016).
The series had been expected to dominate the acting races among the limited series and TV movies — and indeed it did, with Darren Criss, Penelope Cruz, Edgar Ramirez and Ricky Martin all nominated.
HBO awards darling “Veep” was ineligible this year and its crown passed to “Atlanta,” the FX comedy created by and starring Donald Glover, which amassed 16 nods.
Samira Wiley nominated for guest actress in “The Handmaid’s Tale,” and Ryan Eggold (“New Amsterdam”) presented the nominations from the Television Academy in Los Angeles.
Leading the nominations in totals by platform were Netflix (112), leapfrogging last year’s leader HBO, which scored 108. Adrift in third was NBC with 78 nods.