‘Watchmen’ Leads Emmy Nominations – With Zendaya, Billy Porter Also Getting Nods

Watchmen leads the 2020 Emmy Nominations. Credit: HBO)

The nominations were announced Tuesday for the 72nd Emmy Awards, with HBO’s Watchmen scoring a leading 26 nods, followed by Amazon Prime’s The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, which picked up 20 nominations.

The nominations ceremony brought record diversity among the acting nominees. Watchmen star Regina King was nominated in the lead actress in a limited series or movie category. She’ll face Cate Blanchett of Mrs. America, Shira Haas from Unorthodox, Octavia Spencer of Self Made, and Kerry Washington from Little Fires Everywhere.

In the lead actor in a limited series or movie category, Jeremy Irons of Watchmen will face Hugh Jackman from Bad Education, Paul Mescal of Normal People, Jeremy Pope of Hollywood, and Mark Ruffalo of I Know This Much Is True.

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Killing Eve star Sandra Oh landed another lead actress in a drama series nod for her role in the BBC America series. She’ll compete against Jennifer Aniston of The Morning Show, Olivia Colman from The Crown, Jodie Comer of Killing Eve, Laura Linney of Ozark, and Euphoria star Zendaya, who picked up her first Emmy nomination.

Leslie Jones hosted the virtual nominations ceremony from Los Angeles, and was thrilled by what she heard. “Oh My God, Zendaya!” Jones shouted.

Jones was joined remotely by presenters Laverne Cox, Josh Gad, Tatiana Maslany, and Television Academy Chairman and CEO Frank Scherma.

In the lead actor in a drama series category, Jason Bateman of Ozark, Sterling K. Brown from This Is Us, Steve Carell of The Morning Show, Brian Cox from Succession, Billy Porter or Pose and Jeremy Strong from Succession were all nominated.

Over in the comedy categories, Anthony Anderson of Black-ish, Don Cheadle from Black Monday, Ted Danson of The Good Place, Michael Douglas from The Kominsky Method, Eugene Levy of Schitt’s Creek, and Ramy star Ramy Youssef all picked up lead actor in a comedy series nominations.

Among the lead actress nominees were Christina Applegate from Dead to Me, Rachel Brosnahan of The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, Linda Cardellini of Dead to Me, Catherine O’Hara from Schitt’s Creek, Issa Rae of Insecure and Tracee Ellis Ross from Black-ish.

The Television Academy, which hands out the Emmys, adjusted its nominations rules this year to “allow for more inclusiveness.”

The changes clearly paid off as the nation faces social unrest over racial inequities and increased calls for more inclusion in entertainment. Although it remains to be seen how many of the nominated actors of color will actually take home awards.

Jimmy Kimmel is set to host and executive produce the Emmys, but it’s still unclear if the ceremony will be held in-person or virtually, due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

As Kimmel joked in a statement last month, “I don’t know where we will do this or how we will do this or even why we are doing this, but we are doing it and I am hosting it.”

The 72nd Emmy Awards will air Sunday, Sept. 20 from 8:00-11:00 p.m. EDT/5:00-8:00 p.m. PDT on ABC.

A complete list of the nominees, can be found here on the TV Academy website.