Nominations for the 72nd Emmy Awards were announced Tuesday, recognizing a host of groundbreaking new programs and up-and-coming talent, along with beloved performers and hit shows that have been integral in helping television viewers navigate a changing world.
The live ceremony, reimagined as a virtual event due to production restrictions resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic, was hosted by “Supermarket Sweep” star and “Saturday Night Live” alumnus Leslie Jones with presenters Laverne Cox (“Inventing Anna”), Josh Gad (“Central Park”), Tatiana Maslany (“Perry Mason”) and Television Academy Chairman and CEO Frank Scherma.
HBO’s “Watchmen took the top spot for program nominations with 26 followed by “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” (20), “Ozark” (18), “Succession” (18), “The Mandalorian” (15), “Schitt's Creek” (15), “Saturday Night Live” (15) and “The Crown” (13).
Netflix lead the nominations in totals by platform with 160, setting a record previously held by HBO with 137 nominations in 2019. HBO had the second-most nominations with 107, and rounding out the top five were NBC with 47, ABC with 36 and FX with 33.
“Despite the unprecedented challenges facing the entertainment industry, it has been an extraordinary year for television,” said Television Academy Chairman and CEO Frank Scherma. “Television has inspired, united and comforted a global audience this season. We are honored to be recognizing so many of the talented programs, producers, directors and craftspeople behind the remarkable storytelling that has brought us together while we remain apart.”
Half of this year’s nominees for Outstanding Comedy Series are new to the category, including “Dead to Me,” “Insecure,” “The Kominsky Method” and “What We Do in the Shadows.” Returning favorites include “Curb Your Enthusiasm,” “The Good Place,” “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” and “Schitt's Creek.”
“The Mandalorian” is a newcomer in the Outstanding Drama Series category joining returning nominees “Better Call Saul,” “The Crown,” “The Handmaid's Tale,” “Killing Eve,” “Ozark,” “Stranger Things” and “Succession.”
Ramy Youssef is new to the Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series category, joining previous nominees Anthony Anderson, Don Cheadle, Michael Douglas, Eugene Levy and two-time Emmy winner Ted Danson. Nominees for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series include first-time nominee in this category, Linda Cardellini, who joins previous category nominees Christina Applegate, Catherine O’Hara, Issa Rae and Tracee Ellis Ross, along with 2018 Emmy winner Rachel Brosnahan.
Zendaya received her first-ever Emmy nomination, in the category of Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series, while Emmy winner Jennifer Aniston and previous Emmy nominee Olivia Colman were nominated for the first time in this category. They join returning nominees Laura Linney and Sandra Oh, and last year’s Emmy winner Jodie Comer. Jeremy Strong received his first Emmy nomination for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series while former Emmy nominees Steve Carell and Brian Cox received their first nominations in this category, joining returning nominees Jason Bateman and previous Emmy winners in this category Sterling K. Brown and Billy Porter.
Other first-time performer nominations across the Supporting, Guest and Short Form Comedy-Drama categories include Mamoudou Athie (“Oh Jerome, No (Cake)”), Nicholas Braun (“Succession”), D’Arcy Carden (“The Good Place”), Billy Crudup (“The Morning Show”), Kieran Culkin (“Succession”), Mark Duplass (“The Morning Show”), Shira Haas (“Unorthodox”), William Jackson Harper (“The Good Place”), Stephan James (“#FreeRayshawn”), Anna Kendrick (“Dummy”), Kerri Kenney-Silver (“Reno 911!”), Paul Mescal (“Normal People”), Matthew Macfadyen (“Succession”), Annie Murphy (“Schitt’s Creek”), Kaitlin Olson (“Flipped”), Yvonne Orji (“Insecure”), Jeremy Pope (“Hollywood”), Cecily Strong (“Saturday Night Live”), Sarah Snook (“Succession”), Rain Valdez (“Razor Tongue”), Harriet Walter (“Succession”) and Christoph Waltz (“Most Dangerous Game”).
Two-time Emmy nominees across different properties include Angela Bassett (“Black Lady Sketch Show,” “The Imagineering Story”), Jason Bateman (“Ozark,” “The Outsider”), Sterling K. Brown (“This Is Us,” “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel”), Giancarlo Esposito (“The Mandalorian,” “Better Call Saul”), Wanda Sykes (“The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel,” “Crank Yankers”) and Ramy Youssef (two separate nominations for “Ramy”). Three-time nominees include Daniel Levy (three separate nominations for “Schitt’s Creek”) and Maya Rudolph (“Big Mouth,” “The Good Place,” “Saturday Night Live”).
Also announced was the father-daughter nominee duo of previous Emmy winner Ron Cephas Jones (Outstanding Guest Actor in a Drama, “This Is Us”) and first-time Emmy nominee Jasmine Cephas Jones (Outstanding Actress in a Short Form Comedy or Drama Series, “#FreeRayshawn”).
The nominations rosters may be revised in cases where names or titles are incorrect or appeals for changes – including the addition or removal of names – are approved by the Television Academy’s Primetime Emmy Awards Committee.
Producer eligibility is based primarily on title; the producer nominees in certain program categories will be announced by mid-August. Final-round online voting begins Aug. 21.
The complete list of Emmy nominations as compiled by the independent accounting firm of Ernst & Young LLP, and other academy news are available at Emmys.com.
The 72nd Emmy Awards will be hosted by Jimmy Kimmel, who also serves as executive producer for television’s biggest night. Recently announced executive producers for the telecast include Guy Carrington, Reginald Hudlin, David Jammy and Ian Stewart. The show will be broadcast, Sunday, Sept. 20 (8 p.m. EDT), on ABC.
The 2020 Creative Arts Awards will air on FXX on Saturday, Sept. 19 (8 p.m. EDT/PDT).