The nominations for the 73rd Primetime Emmy Awards are here — and they were full of surprises!
Presented by father-daughter duo Ron Cephas Jones (This Is Us) and Jasmine Cephas Jones (Blindspotting, Hamilton), the newest class of Emmy nominees were unveiled Tuesday morning amid a second year of virtual TV premieres, Zoom Q&As, drive-in screenings and a smattering of in-person, socially-distanced events.
With things gradually opening back up and TV productions establishing a new normal, several awards favorites from 2020 that saw filming halted or delayed due to the pandemic — such as Stranger Things, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel and Ozark, to name a few — fell out of eligibility this year, opening the door for strong showings from newcomers like Ted Lasso (which broke the comedy record for Emmy nominations with 20), WandaVision, Lovecraft Country, Bridgerton, The Queen’s Gambit, The Flight Attendant and Hacks. And, of course, a strong showing by awards darling The Crown, which, along with The Mandalorian, led the field with 24 total nominations.
But not everyone was celebrating as a handful of performances failed to crack the Emmy shortlist for some head-scratching snubs. From Nicole Kidman’s surprising omission for The Undoing to WandaVision standout Teyonah Parris failing to sneak in to Beyonce or Taylor Swift’s respective music films not getting any Emmy love, there was a lot to ruminate on about what could have been.
Following this morning’s Emmy nominations announcement, ET breaks down the biggest TV surprises and snubs of 2021.
Emily in Paris’ Awards Love Isn’t a Fluke
After earning two shocking Golden Globe nominations, the Netflix series proved that the awards recognition it received earlier this year wasn’t a fluke. Slipping into the Outstanding Comedy Series category where it’ll compete against shows like Ted Lasso, Black-ish, The Flight Attendant and PEN15, the Lily Collins series is clearly striking a chord with awards voters on all sides.
Claire Foy’s Back at It With The Crown
This may not seem like much of a surprise, until you remember that Foy hasn’t played Queen Elizabeth II on The Crown for nearly four years. The actress earned a guest acting nomination for her flashback appearance in the season 4 episode, “48:1,” while her successor, Olivia Colman, was nominated once more for Lead Actress in a Drama for the royal role.
Don Cheadle’s Surprise Falcon and the Winter Soldier Nom
It’s strange that the only major nomination to come from The Falcon and the Winter Soldier isn’t for one of the title characters — or even someone with more than a few short scenes of screen time — but we’re not mad at Cheadle getting his due for years of Marvel supporting work as James Rhodes, aka War Machine. The limited series also earned four other nominations, in technical categories, falling short of its fellow Disney+ MCU series, WandaVision, which scored 23.
Bridgerton‘s Leading Man Shines
Rege-Jean Page captured the world’s attention as the Duke of Hastings in season 1 of Netflix’s hit Regency drama and the actor, whose departure ahead of the second season still leaves salt in the wound, was thoroughly rewarded with his first career Emmy nomination. While the series was honored with an Outstanding Drama Series nom, Page’s co-star/frequent scene partner Phoebe Dynevor nor did the stellar supporting cast fail to capture voters’ attention. And that, my friend, is unfortunate.
First-Time Shows Get In
If there’s a silver lining to TV productions delaying their seasons or having longer-than-normal hiatuses, it’s that many first-time shows got the awards recognition they’d otherwise fail to get. The top series categories for both comedy and drama include your usual awards favorites (see: The Crown, The Handmaid’s Tale, This Is Us, Black-ish) but it also put the spotlight on beloved, often overlooked series, like The Boys, Cobra Kai and PEN15.
Double the Funny Ladies
Color us pleasantly surprised when Aidy Bryant scored not one, but two, Emmy nominations for her work on both Shrill and Saturday Night Live. Her SNL nom was as good as expected, but it was her Shrill honor that had us in a celebratory mood. And she’s not the only funny lady to get double nominations Tuesday. Others lucky enough to score two include Jean Smart for Hacks and Mare of Easttown, as well as Maya Rudolph for her voiceover work on Big Mouth and for guest hosting SNL.
Hamilton Has the Votes… Still
Oceans rise, empires fall, Hamilton is still scoring nominations! More than five years after Lin-Manuel Miranda’s historical musical broke records with 16 nominations at the 2016 Tony Awards, the filmed version of the Broadway show, released on Disney+, scored 12 Emmy noms, including Outstanding Variety Special, Lead Actor in a Limited or Anthology Series or Movie for Miranda and Leslie Odom Jr., supporting recognition for Renee Elise Goldsberry, Phillipa Soo, Daveed Diggs, Jonathan Groff and Anthony Ramos, as well as technical nominations for directing, editing and sound mixing.
WandaVision Standout Teyonah Parris Left Out
With all the love for the Disney+ series, it’s a shame they didn’t extend a nod to Parris, who not only time-jumped through the decades along with her co-stars Elizabeth Olsen and Kathryn Hahn, but also crafted Monica Rambeau’s origin story with heart and heroism. Hopefully we’ll get a chance to recognize her again in future installments of the MCU.
Grey’s Anatomy‘s Emotional Season Doesn’t Break Through
Hear us out. While it’s difficult to maintain awards glory 17 seasons in, this last run of episodes for the longtime medical drama produced one of the most emotional (and cathartic) seasons to date. With former original cast members like Patrick Dempsey, T.R. Knight, Chyler Leigh, Eric Dane and Sarah Drew returning for key episodes in a season focused on COVID-19, it seemed like one of these familiar faces would break through. (Our bet was Dempsey, whose multi-episode return as fan-favorite Derek Shepherd, offered closure for fans.)
Pop Queens Don’t Get Emmy Love
Beyonce and Taylor Swift fans took to social media after nominations were announced to express their dismay that neither artist’s musical streaming specials were nominated this year. Beyonce’s Black Is King Disney+ music film failed to earn a nom for Outstanding Variety Special, for Queen Bey herself for directing or original music, or for any creative categories like hairstyling or costumes. Meanwhile, Swift’s Folklore: The Long Pond Studio Sessions was also snubbed from the Outstanding Variety Special category.
The 2021 Primetime Emmy Awards, hosted by Cedric the Entertainer, will air live Sunday, Sept. 19 at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT on CBS and Paramount+. In the meantime, stay tuned to ETonline.com for complete Emmys coverage.
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