In wake of Tuesday announcement of the 2019 Primetime Emmy nominations, we’re breaking down the biggest surprises, snubs and everything else.
With big returners who had final seasons (Game of Thrones, Veep) and shows that were sitting out because they did not have a recent season or were ineligible (Westworld, Stranger Things), this was sure to be an interesting mix of nominees including some newcomers and favorites.
With over 500 shows on television, not everyone makes it through the crowd. There’s also the fact that diversity is down this year for Emmy nominees, despite a lot of our faves making the cut. There were only 24 acting nominations for people of color this year, down from last year’s 38 and the year before that, which had 27.
Here’s our take on this year’s nominees:
The Academy awards Jharrel Jerome and When They See Us…and then some | Given its late May release, Ava DuVernay’s powerful Netflix miniseries, When They See Us, clearly kept space in voters’ minds, earning 17 nods, the most for Netflix. And while a nod for Outstanding Limited Series was expected, everyone was waiting with feverish anticipation that Outstanding Lead Actor in a Limited Series/TV Movie would rightfully go to Jharrel Jerome. But not only did Jerome get a nod, Niecy Nash and Aunjanue Ellis got nominated Outstanding Lead Actress in a Limited Series/TV Movie and Marsha Stephanie Blake, Michael K. Williams, John Leguizamo, but Vera Farmiga were all nominated in the supporting categories for limited series. But the most welcome surprise came for newcomer Asante Blackk, who in his very first role has become an Emmy nominee! The impact jumped out. He’s also nominated for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Limited Series. As for Ellis, she’s veteran talent finally given her due, even when it seemed like her performance in the Netflix series would be overlooked.
Murder is still worth getting away with | Let’s be honest, How To Get Away With Murder is not the same Murder that gave Viola Davis her historic Emmy win. But, with just one season left to go, she scored a surprise nomination for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series for the show’s fifth season. This makes four Emmy nominations for the icon. Glynn Turman and Cicely Tyson received well-earned Outstanding Guest Actor/Actress in a Limited Series noms, but Aja Naomi King was once again overlooked in another stellar season in the supporting department.
Pose gets major love, but not for its leading women | Pose did it! For its first season’s work, the groundbreaking ballroom drama is now an Emmy nominee for Outstanding Drama Series. Also, Billy Porter got his nomination for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series. However, it continues to be a shame that the leading women of the show, MJ Rodriguez and Indya Moore, continue to be ignored in acting categories. The show would not be what it is without them, and they hold it together.
black-ish is highlighted for the wrong lead | Voters decided to ditch a lot of longtime nominees, including ABC’s black-ish. One of its leads got a nomination, but it’s not who you think. Anthony Anderson somehow got a nomination instead of Tracee Ellis Ross’s complicated, nuanced and on-the-money portrayal of a wife and mother going through a rough patch.
No home for Homecoming…no, the other one | It’s almost as if voters looked at Julia Roberts’ biggest TV role to-date and went, “meh.” The Globes surprised us with a Lead Actor in a Drama Series nomination for leading man Stephan James (If Beale Street Could Talk), but like the rest of Homecoming, his role was forgotten. But the other Homecoming, the Coachella concert film by Beyoncé, got several nods. Queen Bey has that EGOT status coming (we can dream, right?)!
Voters buck GoT fans, critics, viewers…everyone | Messy season..who cares! Emmy voters vehemently bucked any criticism levied toward the final season of Game of Thrones, bestowing a whopping nine nominations upon its actors and helping HBO beat Netflix in the total amount of nods.
Give Susan her things | This Is Us continues to be an awards season darling and the show got individual nominations for Sterling K. Brown, Ron Cephas Jones and Phylicia Rashad, but it’s another year that Susan Kelechi Watson doesn’t get a nomination for her work as Beth, the true backbone of that show.
Emmys still sour for Queen Sugar | Ava DuVernay’s OWN family drama gets snubbed yet again. Will the network ever find an awards season contender? Maybe the time could somehow come next year once another Oscar winner, Tarell Alvin McCraney, sees his artsy lyrical drama, David Makes Man, in contention.
Russian Doll’s secret weapon remains covered | The love Natasha Lyonne has received for her dark dramedy is well, well deserved. However, the show would not be what it is without co-star Charlie Barnett, who could have at least netted an Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series nod.
Holy shirtballs! Where is The Good Place love? | The Good Place’s third season, which was a bit polarizing to fans in comparison to the first two, did not get honored as heavily as one would think. While we can talk about Kristen Bell and D’Arcy Carden — we have to specifically point out a simple thing: Where was the William Jackson Harper love!? C’mon folks! Luckily, Maya Rudolph, the most outstanding guest comedy actress on television, got her nomination!
Black Tuesday? | It was kind of a surprise, but it was never out of the realm of possibility that Don Cheadle would get a nomination for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series. Whenever he’s on television, he gets a nod. But, it would have been great to see Regina Hall recognized as well during a time where she is killing it on both the big and small screens.
Did we miss any? What are your surprises and snubs? Comment below!
Photo: FX, Netflix, NBC