Granger on Film: Primary contenders for the virtual Emmy Awards
Since most people are reluctant to return to theaters until there’s a vaccine and COVID-19 is not as threatening, television viewership has skyrocketed, along with increased interest in the Emmy Awards.
Scheduled for Sept. 20 on ABC and Hulu, the 72nd Primetime Emmy Awards, hosted by Jimmy Kimmel, will be a virtual ceremony this year, as opposed to its usual star-studded red carpet affair.
Among all acting categories, including voice-over and short-form series, non-white performers garnered 49 nominations out of 118 in total, or 41.5 percent. In terms of representation and racial diversity, comedy categories fared slightly higher than the drama categories.
While Netflix has the most nominations overall, HBO garnered the most nominations for a single series: 26 for “The Watchmen.” In case you missed any and want to binge-watch, here are the primary contenders:
For Outstanding Drama Series: “Better Call Saul” (AMC), “The Crown” (Netflix), The Handmaid’s Tale (Hulu), “The Mandalorian” (Disney+), “Ozark” (Netflix), “Stranger Things” (Netflix) and “Succession” (HBO). Although “Succession” and “Ozark” both landed 18 nominations, I’d go with “Succession” and its power play within a multimedia family.
For Lead Actor in a Drama Series: Jason Bateman in “Ozark” (Netflix), Sterling K. Brown in “This is Us” (NBC), Steve Carell in “The Morning Show” (AppleTV+), Brian Cox in “Succession” (HBO), Billy Porter in “Pose” (FX), and Jeremy Strong in “Succession” (HBO). While I’d vote for Brian Cox as mogul Logan Roy, Emmy voters might choose newcomer Jeremy Strong, who plays Cox’s son Kendall. On the other hand, since they’re both on the same series, they may split the votes. In that case, it will be Jason Bateman.
For Lead Actress in a Drama Series: Jennifer Aniston in “The Morning Show” (AppleTV+), Olivia Colman in “The Crown” (Netflix, Jodie Comer in “Killing Eve” (BBC America), Laura Linney in “Ozark” (Netflix), Sandra Oh in “Killing Eve” (BBC America), and Zendaya in “Euphoria” (HBO). Olivia Colman may add an Emmy to keep her Oscar company, but Jennifer Aniston made a triumphant return to TV as a TV anchor and scored a victory at the SAG Awards earlier this year.
For Best Supporting Actress in a Drama Series: Meryl Streep as the slyly passive-aggressive mother-in-law in “Big Little Lies,” Helena Bonham Carter as flamboyant Princess Margaret in “The Crown,” Sarah Snook in “Succession,” and I predict Julia Garner in “Ozark.”
For Best Supporting Actor in a Drama Series: The real competition is between Billy Crudup, wheeling-and-dealing behind-the-scenes in “The Morning Show,” and Kieran Culkin as the sleazy youngest son in “Succession.”
For Outstanding Comedy Series: “Curb Your Enthusiasm” (HBO), “Dead to Me” (Netflix), “Insecure” (HBO), “Schitt’s Creek” (Pop TV), “The Good Place” (NBC), “The Kominsky Method” (Netflix), “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” (Amazon Prime Time Video), “What We Do in the Shadows” (FX). I’d go with quirky, good-hearted “Schitt’s Creek” in its final season, rather than the continuation of “Mrs. Maisel.”
For Lead Actor in a Comedy Series: Anthony Anderson in “black-ish” (ABC), Don Cheadle in “Black Monday” (Showtime), Ted Danson in “The Good Place” (NBC), Michael Douglas in “The Kominsky Method” (Netflix), Eugene Levy in “Schitt’s Creek” (PopTV) and Ramy Youssef in “Ramy” (Hulu). I’d vote for Eugene Levy but diversity-conscious voters may choose 29 year-old Ramy Youssef, who created the first sitcom about a Muslim-American family; he won a Golden Globe back in January.
For Lead Actress in a Comedy Series: Christina Applegate in “Dead to Me” (Netflix), Rachel Brosnahan in “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” (Amazon Prime Video), Linda Cardellini in “Dead to Me” (Netflix), Catherine O’Hara in “Schitt’s Creek” (PopTV), Issa Rae in “Insecure” (HBO) and Tracee Ellis Rose in “black-ish” (ABC). I’d vote for clever Catherine O’Hara, who hasn’t won an Emmy since 1982.
For Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series: Bet on Alex Borstein, making it three in a row for her caustic character on “Mrs. Maisel.”
For Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series: It should be Daniel Levy, whose character arc was superbly developed during the run of “Schitt’s Creek,” for which he was also the showrunner.
For Outstanding Limited Series: “Little Fires Everywhere” (Hulu), “Mrs. America” (FX), “Unbelievable” (Netflix), “Unorthodox” (Netflix) and “Watchmen” (HBO). Since TV Academy CEO Frank Scherma said, “This year we are bearing witness to one of the greatest fights for social justice in history, it’s our duty to use this medium for change,” bet on “Watchmen,” exploring the timely/topical issue of race in America.
For Outstanding Television Movie: It’s either HBO’s “Bad Education” or Netflix’s “El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie.”
For Lead Actor in a Limited Series or Movie: Close call between charismatic Hugh Jackman in “Bad Education” and Mark Ruffalo, playing twins in “I Know This Much Is True.”
For Lead Actress in a Limited Series or Movie: Regina King in “Watchmen.”
For Outstanding Guest Actor in a Comedy Series: Adam Driver on “Saturday Night Live” (NBC), Luke Kirby on “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” (Amazon Prime Video), Eddie Murphy on “Saturday Night Live” (NBC), Dev Patel on “Modern Love” (Amazon Prime Video), Brad Pitt on “Saturday Night Live” (NBC), and Fred Willard on “Modern Family” (ABC). I’d vote for Brad Pitt, who was hilarious as Dr. Anthony Fauci.
Susan Granger has been an on-air television and radio commentator and entertainment critic for more than 25 years. Raised in Hollywood, Granger appeared as a child actress in movies with Abbott & Costello, Red Skelton, Lucille Ball, and Lassie. She currently resides in Westport.