Emmy nominations: 'Game of Thrones' leads with 22 nods, followed by 'Saturday Night Live' and 'Westworld'
After a year of being ineligible, "Game of Thrones" came back in a big way in the Emmy nominations announcement on Thursday, earning 22 nods, including best drama series, bringing its lifelong total to a whopping 129.
"Saturday Night Live" and "Westworld," the two shows that dominated last year's Emmys, trailed close behind, earning 21 nominations each, followed by Hulu's "The Handmaid's Tale" with 20.
Another big winner was Netflix, which earned 112 nominations, breaking HBO's 17-year streak of dominating the nods. The streaming service's total includes 13 for "The Crown," 12 each for "Godless" and "Stranger Things," 10 for "GLOW" and four for "Queer Eye." Notably, the platform's dystopian drama "Black Mirror" earned seven nominations for a single episode, "USS Callister."
Surprises include the snubbing of "Modern Family," which earned no nominations. The long-running ABC comedy won the Emmy for best comedy five years in a row, and has earned 80 nominations throughout its eight seasons. This will be the first year since 2009 that a comedy other than "Modern Family" or "Veep" takes the crown.
The final season of "Veep" was delayed while star Julia Louis-Dreyfus was treated with cancer, opening up the lead actress in a comedy series, which she's won each of the past six years. Competing in the category are Pamela Aldon of "Better Things," Rachel Brosnahan of Amazon's "The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel," Allison Janney for "Mom," Issa Rae of "Insecure" and Lily Tomlin, who has earned her 25th Emmy nod, this time for "Grace and Frankie."
Anthony Bourdain, who passed away in June, received a posthumous nomination for hosting his CNN travelogue show "Parts Unknown," which earned six total nods.
The Emmy Awards air Sept. 17 on NBC, hosted by "Saturday Night Live" stars Michael Che and Colin Jost.
NOMINATIONS FOR THE 70TH PRIMETIME EMMY AWARDS
- Nominations by network
National Geographic: 17
- Outstanding comedy series
"The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel" (Amazon)
"Silicon Valley" (HBO)
"Curb Your Enthusiasm" (HBO)
"Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt" (Netflix)
Immediate reaction: After being crowned best comedy at the Golden Globes, "The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel" makes its Emmy debut. It faces some tough competition with fellow newcomers, critical favorites "Barry" and "GLOW." While the old favorites inevitably show up (really, "Curb Your Enthusiasm"?), one significant series got knocked off the list: Former champ "Modern Family" wasn't nominated for the first time in nine seasons.
- Outstanding drama series
"The Handmaid's Tale" (Hulu)
"Game of Thrones" (HBO)
"Stranger Things" (Netflix)
"The Americans" (FX)
"This Is Us" (NBC)
"The Crown" (Netflix)
Immediate reaction: This category played out almost exactly as prognosticators expected, including the reigning champ, Hulu's "The Handmaid's Tale." Of course, "Game of Thrones" is back on the list, and "This Is Us" is keeping broadcast TV in the game with the category's only non-cable or streaming nominee. The only one missing that will break the hearts of some TV critics? "Killing Eve," the addictive BBC America drama that aired this spring and accomplished the rare feat of gaining more viewers every week.
- Outstanding lead actress in a comedy series
Rachel Brosnahan, "The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel" (Amazon)
Tracee Ellis Ross, "Blackish" (ABC)
Allison Janney, "Mom" (CBS)
Lily Tomlin, "Grace and Frankie" (Netflix)
Pamela Adlon, "Better Things" (FX)
Issa Rae, "Insecure" (HBO)
Immediate reaction: With perennial favorite Julia Louis-Dreyfus out of the running this year, this category had room for newcomers Rachel Brosnahan and Issa Rae. Brosnahan took home a surprise Golden Globe for her snappy performance as a housewife turned unlikely stand-up comedian in Amazon's "The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel." And it's so refreshing to see Rae (a two-time Golden Globe nominee) get recognized by the academy for her funny-yet-vulnerable run as a heightened version of herself in her HBO dramedy, which she co-created with Larry Wilmore.
- Outstanding lead actor in a comedy series
Donald Glover, "Atlanta" (FX)
Bill Hader, "Barry" (HBO)
Anthony Anderson, "Blackish" (ABC)
William H. Macy, "Shameless" (Showtime)
Larry David, "Curb Your Enthusiasm" (HBO)
Ted Danson, "The Good Place" (NBC)
Immediate reaction: Donald Glover, who took home the Emmy last year for his role as Earn Marks in FX's arresting dramedy "Atlanta" (which he also created and occasionally directs) is the one to beat here. Could Bill Hader, who has been praised for his at-once comedic and dark turn as a hitman turned actor in HBO's "Barry," be up for the challenge? You might also put your money on Ted Danson, for his wickedly funny role in NBC's "The Good Place," or Larry David, who returns to the race after "Curb Your Enthusiasm's" long hiatus.
- Outstanding lead actor in a drama series
Sterling K. Brown, "This Is Us" (NBC)
Matthew Rhys, "The Americans" (FX)
Milo Ventimiglia, "This Is Us" (NBC)
Jason Bateman, "Ozark" (Netflix)
Jeffrey Wright, "Westworld" (HBO)
Ed Harris, "Westworld" (HBO)
Immediate reaction: Sterling K. Brown, who never fails to make us ugly cry while watching "This Is Us," is the reigning champion here, but don't discount Matthew Rhys, who consistently delivered in his final season of FX's suspenseful spy drama. The absence of disgraced "House of Cards" actor Kevin Spacey, long an academy favorite, and other category staples including Liev Schreiber and Bob Odenkirk (of "Better Call Saul," which is ineligible this year) made room for two newcomers: "Westworld's" Jeffrey Wright and Ed Harris.
- Outstanding lead actress in a drama series
Elisabeth Moss, "The Handmaid's Tale" (Hulu)
Keri Russell, "The Americans" (FX)
Sandra Oh, "Killing Eve" (BBC America)
Claire Foy, "The Crown" (Netflix)
Evan Rachel Wood, "Westworld" (HBO)
Tatiana Maslany, "Orphan Black" (BBC America)
Immediate reaction: It seems like "Orphan Black" went off the air ages ago (in reality, it was just last summer), but we're glad to see Tatiana Maslany, the 2016 Emmy winner, make a triumphant return after being ineligible last year. Amid requisite nods for Claire Foy, Elisabeth Moss and Keri Russell (fresh off her stunning performance in the final bow of FX's "The Americans"), the big news here is Sandra Oh, who is the first Asian woman to get a lead actress nod in the drama category. The nomination itself isn't surprising - her turn as an MI5 spy mutually obsessed with a fugitive and psychopathic assassin has garnered widespread critical acclaim. And if you ask "Grey's Anatomy" fans, the academy's recognition is long overdue.
- Outstanding lead actor in a limited series or a movie
Benedict Cumberbatch, "Patrick Melrose" (Showtime)
Jeff Daniels, "The Looming Tower" (Hulu)
Darren Criss, "The Assassination of Gianni Versace" (FX)
Antonio Banderas, "Genius: Picasso" (National Geographic)
John Legend, "Jesus Christ Superstar Live in Concert" (NBC)
Jesse Plemons, "Black Mirror: USS Callister" (Netflix)
Immediate reaction: There are a few surprises here: R&B crooner John Legend got a nod for NBC's live production of "Jesus Christ Superstar," which the Television Academy seemed to really like. And Jesse Plemons, who played a real jerk in a dark, "Star Trek"-inspired installment of Netflix's "Black Mirror," also was recognized. Not surprising: the Academy's love for Benedict Cumberbatch's titular role in Showtime's "Patrick Melrose," which Washington Post TV critic Hank Stuever called "the Cumberbatch-iest show ever made." We were also expecting to see Darren Criss get this nod for his strong (and creepy) performance as serial killer Andrew Cunanan in FX's "The Assassination of Gianni Versace."
- Outstanding lead actress in a limited series or a movie
Laura Dern, "The Tale" (HBO)
Michelle Dockery, "Godless" (Netflix)
Sarah Paulson, "American Horror Story: Cult" (FX)
Jessica Biel, "The Sinner" (USA)
Edie Falco, "Law & Order True Crime: The Menendez Murders" (NBC)
Regina King, "Seven Seconds" (Netflix)
- Outstanding reality-competition program
"RuPaul's Drag Race" (Logo)
"The Voice" (NBC)
"The Amazing Race" (CBS)
"Top Chef" (Bravo)
"Project Runway" (Lifetime)
"American Ninja Warrior" (NBC)
Immediate reaction: A carbon copy of last year's nominees. Only three shows have ever won this prize: "Top Chef," "Amazing Race" and "The Voice," the winner every year since 2015. Although we think this should be the year they could stand to mix it up a little, Emmy voters might feel differently.
- Outstanding variety sketch series
"Saturday Night Live" (NBC)
"Drunk History" (Comedy Central)
"Tracey Ullman's Show" (HBO)
"I Love You, America with Sarah Silverman" (Hulu)
"At Home with Amy Sedaris" (truTV)
Immediate reaction: This star-studded category has an array of the usual suspects - and some newcomers (hello, Sarah Silverman and Amy Sedaris). But "SNL" looms large in the wake of last year's victory, and a season that had no shortage of topical political comedy.
- Outstanding variety talk series
"Last Week Tonight with John Oliver" (HBO)
"Late Show with Stephen Colbert" (CBS)
"Full Frontal with Samantha Bee" (TBS)
"Jimmy Kimmel Live" (ABC)
"The Late Late Show with James Corden" (CBS)
"The Daily Show with Trevor Noah" (Comedy Central)
Immediate reaction: For the first time since Jon Stewart left to go live under Stephen Colbert's "Late Show" desk (that's what he does now, right?), "The Daily Show" is back in the category with Trevor Noah's first nomination. "Last Week Tonight" has won for two consecutive years and is poised to do it again, though it's a tough race - there wasn't even enough room for Seth Meyers, whose "Late Night" was predicted to be in the running.
- Outstanding limited series
"The Assassination of Gianni Versace" (FX)
"Patrick Melrose" (Showtime)
"The Alienist" (TNT)
"Genius: Picasso" (National Geographic)
Immediate reaction: Luckily for these series, "Big Little Lies" isn't around this year to steal their thunder in this category. No huge surprises here, though "The Alienist" got the nod over a few other more likely nominees, such as Hulu's "The Looming Tower" and Sundance TV's "Top of the Lake: China Girl."
- Outstanding supporting actress in a drama series
Ann Dowd, "The Handmaid's Tale" (Hulu)
Millie Bobby Brown, "Stranger Things" (Netflix)
Thandie Newton, "Westworld" (HBO)
Alexis Bledel, "The Handmaid's Tale" (Hulu)
Lena Headey, "Game of Thrones" (HBO)
Yvonne Strahovski, "The Handmaid's Tale" (Hulu)
Vanessa Kirby, "The Crown" (Netflix)
Immediate reaction: "The Handmaid's Tale," not surprisingly, dominates this category with Ann Dowd, who took home the trophy last year, getting a repeat nod. Also making a repeat appearance: "Westworld's" Thandie Newton and "Stranger Things" wunderkind Millie Bobby Brown. The Academy smartly chose to honor "The Crown" standout Vanessa Kirby for her performance as headstrong Princess Margaret. The show's timeline is jumping ahead several decades, so Kirby's role (and other's including Claire Foy's Queen Elizabeth) will be recast. One name you don't see here is Samira Wiley, who got another nomination for her role as Moira in "The Handmaid's Tale" - this year in the guest actress category.
- Outstanding supporting actor in a drama series
David Harbour, "Stranger Things" (Netflix)
Peter Dinklage, "Game of Thrones" (HBO)
Mandy Patinkin, "Homeland" (Showtime)
Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, "Game of Thrones" (HBO)
Joseph Fiennes, "The Handmaid's Tale" (Hulu)
Matt Smith, "The Crown" (Netflix)
- Outstanding supporting actress in a comedy series
Kate McKinnon, "Saturday Night Live" (NBC)
Aidy Bryant, "Saturday Night Live" (NBC)
Leslie Jones, "Saturday Night Live" (NBC)
Alex Borstein, "The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel" (Amazon)
Megan Mullally, "Will and Grace" (NBC)
Laurie Metcalf, "Roseanne" (ABC)
Betty Gilpin, "GLOW" (Netflix)
Zazie Beetz, "Atlanta" (FX)
Immediate reaction: This will be a hard category to predict, given its many newcomers, including two we're especially (and pleasantly) surprised to see: "Saturday Night Live's" Aidy Bryant and "Atlanta's" Zazie Beetz. For the past two years, this category has belonged to Bryant's co-star Kate McKinnon, but look out for Laurie Metcalf and Megan Mullally, two longtime Academy favorites who return to this list thanks to rebooted versions of the shows that made them famous.
- Outstanding supporting actor in a comedy series
Tony Shalhoub, "The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel" (Amazon)
Tituss Burgess, "Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt" (Netflix)
Louie Anderson, "Baskets" (FX)
Alec Baldwin, "Saturday Night Live" (NBC)
Brian Tyree Henry, "Atlanta" (FX)
Henry Winkler, "Barry" (Netflix)
Kenan Thompson, "Saturday Night Live" (NBC)
Immediate reaction: Well, hello, Kenan Thompson, and welcome to your first acting Emmy nomination (he was previously nominated for co-writing a song). Although some might tell you that Alec Baldwin is an easy guess to earn his second award in a row for playing President Donald Trump on "SNL," we think that he might have some serious competition in the form of Henry Winkler, who stole nearly every episode of "Barry."
- Outstanding supporting actress in a limited series or a movie
Penelope Cruz, "Assassination of Gianni Versace" (FX)
Merritt Wever, "Godless" (Netflix)
Judith Light, "Assassination of Gianni Versace" (FX)
Sara Bareilles, "Jesus Christ Superstar Live in Concert" (NBC)
Adina Porter, "American Horror Story: Cult" (FX)
Letitia Wright, "Black Mirror: Black Museum" (Netflix)
Immediate reaction: The nods in this category reflect the exciting diversity of this year's Emmys race with Ryan Murphy favorite Adina Porter and "Black Panther" MVP Letitia Wright scoring surprising but welcome nominations. Another surprise: Sara Bareilles, proving again that the Academy really enjoyed "Jesus Christ Superstar."
- Outstanding supporting actor in a limited series or a movie
Jeff Daniels, "Godless" (Netflix)
Edgar Ramírez, "Assassination of Gianni Versace" (FX)
Ricky Martin, "Assassination of Gianni Versace" (FX)
Michael Stuhlbarg, "The Looming Tower"
Brandon Victor Dixon, "Jesus Christ Superstar Live in Concert" (NBC)
John Leguizamo, "Waco" (Paramount Networks)
Finn Wittrock, "Assassination of Gianni Versace" (FX)
- Outstanding TV movie
"The Tale" (HBO)
"USS Callister: Black Mirror" (Netflix)
"Fahrenheit 451" (HBO)
- Outstanding reality host
RuPaul Charles, "RuPaul's Drag Race" (Logo)
Jane Lynch, "Hollywood Game Night" (NBC)
Heidi Klum and Tim Gunn, "Project Runway" (Lifetime)
Ellen DeGeneres, "Ellen's Game of Games" (NBC)
W. Kamau Bell, "United Shades of America" (CNN)
This article was written by Bethonie Butler, Travis M. Andrews and Emily Yahr, all reporters for The Washington Post.