In case you missed it, this year’s list of Emmy nominations just dropped. The pandemic’s effect on productions may have limited the series eligible for the 73rd Primetime Emmy Awards, but the recent announcement generated as much buzz as ever. Leading up to the big reveal, we shared our picks of the top contenders in the lead acting categories via our Roundup of Emmy Contenders series. Now that the nominations are out, we’re here to give you our take on whose names made the list this year and who got snubbed. Keep reading for a roundup of this year’s Emmy nominations in the lead acting categories.
Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series
We’re happy for all the nominees here. From Aidy Bryant getting a nod for Shrill to Allison Janney for Mom, there were some names in this category that didn’t make our contenders list, but they still put out excellent work. Our issue with the nominations is that they didn’t show any love for either Renée Elise Goldsberry or Jane Levy. The former stole the show as Wickie Roy in the new Peacock series Girls5eva, and the latter was, in the words of IndieWire, “arguably doing the most work of any actor in contention via Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist.” Since NBC canceled the musical series, Levy no longer has a chance to be recognized for her performance in the title role, and it’s going to take us a minute to get over it.
Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series
We have zero complaints about this category since all our picks were included. It’s no shocker that Jason Sudeikis attracted a nod for his work as the titular character in the heartwarming Apple TV+ series Ted Lasso. Anthony Anderson received his seventh consecutive nomination for his portrayal of Andre “Dre” Johnson in black-ish and Michael Douglas received his third consecutive nomination for The Kominsky Method. Plus, we’re glad to see that Kenan Thompson made the list for his work in the new NBC series Kenan. While we didn’t include William H. Macy in our picks for the category, we can see why his continued excellence in Shameless as Frank Gallagher warranted his sixth nomination for the role.
Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series
Mj Rodriguez made history with her nomination for Pose in this category, becoming the first trans woman to be nominated in a lead acting category. Other notable names include Emma Corrin for her portrayal of Princess Diana in The Crown and Jurnee Smollett for her performance as Letitia in Lovecraft Country, both of whom made our contenders list. And while we can see why Olivia Colman and Elisabeth Moss received their respective nominations for The Crown and The Handmaid’s Tale, we’re still mourning the lack of recognition for British multi-hyphenate Billie Piper. She co-created and starred in the HBO Max series I Hate Suzie, giving the indelible character of Suzie Pickles to the world.
Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series
Josh O’Connor (The Crown), Matthew Rhys (Perry Mason) and Sterling K. Brown (This Is Us) were all picks on our contenders list in this category who went on to receive nominations, and we couldn’t be more thrilled for those actors who delivered strong performances amidst high stakes. From Jonathan Majors garnering a nod for his work in Lovecraft Country to Regé-Jean Page for Bridgerton, it’s easy to understand why other names made this year’s list of nominees. However, we’re still getting over the snub of Pedro Pascal for his work in season two of The Mandalorian. We stand by our previous assertion that “Pascal manages to connect with viewers throughout the series, even though his face is most often covered by a helmet.” But that impressive feat failed to be recognized by the Television Academy, an oversight we can only hope is rectified with a third season of the popular Disney+ series.
Outstanding Lead Actress in a Limited Series or Movie
This is another category in which we’re in total agreement with the list of nominees. Cynthia Erivo was one of our picks for Genius: Aretha, as was Anya Taylor-Joy for The Queen’s Gambit. We’re also glad to see Michaela Coel make the list for I May Destroy You, the sexual assault survivor series she created that was inspired by her own personal experience, especially after the Golden Globes snub earlier this year. As we stated in our roundup of contenders for this category, Mare of Easttown contains “powerful work from Winslet that cannot be ignored.” It turns out the TV Academy felt the same way, recognizing the A-lister with a nod for her work in the HBO series. The list of nominees in this category is rounded out by Elizabeth Olsen, and while she didn’t make our original roundup of picks, we can see why her transformative work in WandaVision warrants a nomination.
Outstanding Lead Actor in a Limited Series or Movie
We’ll admit that this was a stacked category, but the overlooking of Ethan Hawke for The Good Lord Bird is a hard pill to swallow. Few actors could pull off portraying the real-life abolitionist crusader John Brown with such a grounded performance like Hawke, who navigated the character’s mercurial nature with aplomb. Yes, we’re happy that Lin-Manuel Miranda received a nod for his work as the title character in Hamilton, as well as Leslie Odom Jr. for his performance as Aaron Burr. Odom Jr. beat out Miranda for the 2016 Tony Award for Best Actor in a Musical, making their competition in the same Emmy category for the filmed version of the hit Broadway musical that much more interesting. Hugh Grant’s turn as a children’s oncologist with a secret in The Undoing was another pick from our roundup included in this year’s list of nominees. And Paul Bettany (WandaVision) and Ewan McGregor (Halston) received some well-deserved nods as well. But alas, no luck for Hawke.
We still have a while to go until September 19, at which point you can watch on CBS the 73rd Primetime Emmy Awards hosted by Cedric the Entertainer. In the meantime, you can find a full list here of all the nominations and decide for yourself which were well-deserved, along with those you think were snubbed.