For the first time in six years, at least one of the four major broadcast networks has a horse in the race for Outstanding Drama at the Emmys. NBC‘s This Is Us not only pulled at the heartstrings of the audience at home, but also at the hearts of the Television Academy voters. Amazingly, the series was nominated for 10 Emmys, including Outstanding Drama. Seven actors were also nominated for their performances on the show, and one has already won.
Here’s a look at each nomination for the series.
Let’s start with the big one. No network drama has been nominated for Outstanding Drama since CBS’ The Good Wife earned a nomination six years ago. Here’s an even crazier statistic: no NBC show has been nominated for Outstanding Drama since the first season of Heroes in 2007! And a network drama hasn’t won since the fifth season of 24 won in 2006. NBC also hasn’t won the award since the fourth season of The West Wing won in 2003.
Is This Is Us strong enough to beat Better Call Saul (AMC), The Crown (Netflix), The Handmaid’s Tale (Hulu), Stranger Things (Netflix), House of Cards (Netflix) and Westworld (HBO)? The biggest advantage it has is no Game of Thrones, since season seven started so late. HBO’s Westworld, Netflix’s Stranger Things and Hulu’s The Handmaid’s Tale all became cultural phenomenons too, so the three of them might kick This Is Us out of serious contention.
Outstanding Actor – Sterling K. Brown & Milo Ventimiglia
This will be tough. Sterling K. Brown is up for his incredible performance in “Memphis.” But he’s competing with Milo Ventimiglia, who was considered for his performance in the season one finale “Moonshadow.”
Their competition doesn’t include last year’s surprise winner, Mr. Robot‘s Rami Malek. Instead, they are up against perennial losers Matthew Rhys of The Americans, Ray Donovan‘s Liev Schreiber and House of Cards‘ Kevin Spacey. Anthony Hopkins, who hasn’t won an Emmy since 1981 and hasn’t been nominated for one since 1990, is up for Westworld. While Brown deserves this Emmy for giving every part of himself as Randall in This Is Us, the This Is Us fans in the Academy might split their vote and Hopkins wins.
Outstanding Supporting Actor – Ron Cephas Jones
Ron Cephas Jones‘ nomination for Outstanding Supporting Actor is also based on his performance in “Memphis,” his final episode in the series. He played Randall’s biological father, William Hill, to perfection.
The Supporting Actor category is stacked with familiar faces, although the only holdovers from last year are House of Cards‘ Michael Kelly and Better Call Saul‘s Jonathan Banks. The other nominees are David Harbour of Stranger Things; John Lithgow of The Crown; and Jeffrey Wright of Westworld.
Outstanding Supporting Actress – Chrissy Metz
Chrissy Metz was nominated for Outstanding Supporting Actress on the basis of her performance in the “Pilot.” As Kate Pearson, Metz was a revelation during the first season and it would be excellent to see her rewarded for her hard work by her peers.
Once again, Orange Is The New Black‘s Uzo Aduba is up for the award, which she won in 2015. Downton Abbey‘s Dame Maggie Smith is nowhere to be found though, leaving her annual slot open. Metz is up against two The Handmaid’s Tale actresses, Ann Down and Samira Wiley. Thandie Newton was also nominated for Westworld and Millie Bobby Brown is up for Stranger Things.
Outstanding Guest Actor – Gerald McRaney (Winner), Brian Tyree Henry & Denis O’Hare
This Is Us enters the main Emmys ceremony with a victory already. Gerald McRaney, who played Dr. Nathan Katowski, the doctor who delivered the Pearson babies, won at the Creative Arts Emmys. He was up for his performance in “The Big Day.”
Brian Tyree Henry was also nominated for his appearance in “Memphis.” Denis O’Hare was nominated for “Last Christmas.”
Outstanding Casting & Makeup
This Is Us was also up for two other awards decided at the Creative Arts Emmys. Bernard Telsey and Tiffany Little Canfield were nominated for Outstanding Casting for a Drama Series, although the winner was the casting team on Stranger Things. The makeup team also lost the Outstanding Makeup for a Single-Camera Series (Non-Prosthetic) Emmy to Stranger Things.
The series was also originally nominated for Outstanding Contemporary Costumes. However, NBC submitted “Memphis” for that award, but the show included too many flashbacks with period costumes. (Apparently, the 1970s are no longer “contemporary.”)
“Having reviewed the ‘Moonshadow’ episode of ‘This Is Us,’ the Awards Committee noted that the entrant unfortunately miscalculated the proportion of scenes that were period versus contemporary,” a Televison Academy spokesman told CNN. “In fact, the episode is predominately period. The entry (and subsequent nomination) are thereby disqualified.”
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