The nominations for the 75th Emmy Awards were announced this morning by actress Yvette Nicole Brown and Television Academy Chairman and CEO Frank Scherma. Last year’s three nominations leaders managed to outdo themselves this year, with Succession gobbling up 27 nominations, The White Lotus earning 23, and Ted Lasso netting 21. They were joined by freshman series The Last of Us, which scored 24 bids, and those four shows managed to fill a whopping 41 of the acting slots on their own, in some cases dominating entire categories with just two shows and one network (all but Ted Lasso air on HBO).
Among the numerous categories unveiled, there were a handful of snubs and surprises worth noting, especially given the acclaim – or absence – of their costars and series.
Snub: Harrison Ford (Shrinking)
It’s been a big year for the eighty-year-old Ford, who returned to headline Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull and starred in not one but two TV series. He was expected to receive a nomination for his heartfelt, funny performance as a therapist who reluctantly serves as a mentor to Jimmy (Jason Segel) and Gaby (Jessica Williams) in season one of the Apple TV+ series Shrinking. While both Segel and Williams were nominated, Ford wasn’t. Worse still, his other acclaimed series, 1923, the second prequel to Yellowstone, didn’t merit any mentions at all (neither did Yellowstone).
Surprise: Sabrina Impacciatore and Simona Tabasco (The White Lotus)
It shouldn’t surprise anyone that The White Lotus dominated the acting categories. In fact, the show earned one more nomination for acting than it did last year. But in addition to the handful of American and British actors recognized, including last year’s winner Jennifer Coolidge and past Emmy nominees Michael Imperioli and F. Murray Abraham, it’s a delight to see two of the three Italian actresses who joined the cast on the list. Impacciatore was gregarious and entertaining as a resort manager with a crush, while Tabasco added layers to her portrayal of an entrepreneurial escort.
Snub: The Mandalorian
In its first two seasons, The Mandalorian was a huge Emmy player. Alongside a bid for Best Drama Series both times, it earned multiple guest acting nominations as well as two citations for writing in season two. Rather than rebound with a bigger haul in season three after taking two full years off the air, it shrunk down to its lowest total, a still-impressive nine technical nods. But it feels like a slap in the face when other Star Wars fare still did well (and Pedro Pascal earning nominations for both The Last of Us and his Saturday Night Live hosting gig), with Andor scoring series, directing, and writing bids, and another series making an unexpected showing…
Surprise: Obi-Wan Kenobi
The rest of the Best Limited or Anthology Series list was relatively expected: Beef, Dahmer – Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story, Daisy Jones and the Six, and Fleishman Is In Trouble. But rather than a similar series to round out the category, like Black Bird or A Small Light, voters chose the six-episode Disney+ limited series that brought back actors from the then-infamous Star Wars prequel trilogy from two decades ago. What’s strangest about its inclusion is that it earned just four technical bids and no other major nominations, leaving out recent Emmy winner Ewan McGregor and recent nominees Moses Ingram and Rupert Friend, along with Hayden Christensen.
Snub: Imelda Staunton (The Crown)
Netflix’s regal drama has had a great Emmy run thus far, but after having multiple women compete against each other in both the lead and supporting categories for season four, its fifth season wasn’t so fortunate. Elizabeth Debicki, who portrayed Princess Diana, was the show’s lone acting nominee, making Imelda Staunton, a previous Emmy nominee for playing Alma Hitchcock in the 2013 TV movie The Girl, the first Queen Elizabeth not to net a nomination. Both Claire Foy and Olivia Colman won on their second tries, so maybe there’s still hope for Staunton for the show’s sixth and final season, which will likely premiere later this year.
Surprise: Keri Russell (The Diplomat)
Russell as an Emmy nominee isn’t surprising in itself. She scored three back-to-back bids for the last three seasons of The Americans, a show that was generally underappreciated and finally started making an Emmy mark just as it was wrapping up. Her newest show, a popular Netflix political thriller, is something else entirely, seemingly off voters’ radar, yet Russell managed to crack the crowded Best Actress in a Drama Series field to score the show’s only nomination for her work playing an ambassador trying to put out many fires all at once.
Snub: Giancarlo Esposito (Better Call Saul, The Mandalorian, and Kaleidoscope)
Esposito has a rich Emmy history, earning his first nomination in 2012 for his final season of Breaking Bad and then earning two more bids in 2019 and 2020 for reprising the role of Gus Fring on Better Call Saul. While he wasn’t nominated for season five, he did keep his spot in the Best Supporting Actor in a Drama Series category for his portrayal of Moff Gideon in The Mandalorian. With that part now eligible as a guest again this year, Esposito had a solid shot at two Emmy nominations, along with another potential bid for headlining the Netflix limited series Kaleidoscope. Unfortunately, he came up short on all three fronts.
Surprise: Keivonn Montreal Woodard and Storm Reid (The Last of Us)
From the nine acting nominations HBO’s post-apocalyptic drama received, seven were for guest stars. Big names like Murray Bartlett, Nick Offerman, and Melanie Lynskey were among them, and it was a treat to see two younger performers also honored. Woodard, a ten-year-old hockey player, greatly enhances an arc that finds him befriending Bella Ramsey’s character, and allows the Deaf actor to play a Deaf character. Reid, who has previously appeared on another HBO drama, Euphoria, as the younger sister of Zendaya’s protagonist, was similarly moving in a flashback episode that explained her character’s close relationship with Ramsey’s.
Snub: Steve Martin (Only Murders in the Building)
Five spots in the Best Lead Actor in a Comedy Series lineup meant someone was going to have to be left off, and it turns out that was Martin, who contended as an actor, writer, and producer for the show’s first season. While he’ll likely be an Emmy nominee again once producer credits are sorted out since the show did make the Best Comedy Series list, he’s in good company with his costar Selena Gomez, who has now missed out on Emmy nominations for both seasons of the show. The other lead, Martin Short, did make the cut, along with last year’s winner for Best Guest Actor in a Comedy Series, Nathan Lane.
Surprise: The Ms. Pat Show
This BET+ series earns the distinction of surprising two years in a row, earning just one nomination in the same category for director Mary Lou Belli. A 2018 rule mandating the inclusion of a multi-camera comedy in the Best Directing for a Comedy Series race has made space for popular broadcast network shows like The Big Bang Theory, Will and Grace, and Mom, but this show, the only Emmy nominee for BET+, has managed to up its profile with two consecutive bids for Belli. This year she contends against episodes of five shows which are all nominated for Best Comedy Series.
Check out the full list of nominees on the Emmys website. The 75th Emmy Awards are currently scheduled for Monday, September 18th on FOX but may be postponed due to the writers’ strike and possible SAG strike.