Cynthia Erivo is nominated for Outstanding Leading Actress in a Miniseries or Film for her portrayal of Aretha Franklin in Nat Geo’s Aretha: Genie. Erivo would be the third actress to win in this category for playing a true singer / artist of color, after Halle Berry in Introducing Dorothy Dandridge (HBO, 2000) and Lynn Whitfield in Josephine Baker’s story (HBO, 1991).
Passionate Jesse Collins was one of the producers of three of the nominees for an Outstanding Variety Special (Live) – the Pepsi Super Bowl LV halftime show, the 63rd Annual Grammy Awards and the Oscars. The other nominees in the category are Celebrating America – A Special Opening Night and Stephen Colbert’s 2020 Election Night: Democracy’s Last Struggle to Rebuild America Better Again in 2020.
Harvey Mason Jr., CEO of the Recording Academy, received his first two Emmy nominations for his work on Zoey’s Extraordinary Reading List. He was nominated for Outstanding Musical Direction and Outstanding Original Music and Lyrics. Mason can win an Emmy before he does a Grammy – he amassed five Grammy nods. Other double Emmy nominees this year in musical categories included Kris Bowers, Jeff Russo, Michael Abels, Bo Burnham and Kristen Anderson Lopez & Robert Lopez.
Marcus Mumford, who won two Grammys with Mumford & Sons, received his first Emmy nomination for his work on Ted lasso. He was nominated for the outstanding original musical theme of the main title in tandem with composer Tom Howe.
Six of the seven nominees for Outstanding Music Supervision were female music supervisors or teams that included a woman. These are Alexandra Patsavas for Bridgerton; Sarah Bridge for The crown; Amanda Krieg Thomas, Alexis Martin Woodall and Ryan Murphy for Halston; Ciara Elwis and Matt Biffa for I can destroy you; Liza Richardson for Lovecraft Country; Randall poster for The Queen’s Gambit; and Dave Jordan and Shannon Murphy for WandaVision.
Leslie Odom Jr. and Lin Manuel Miranda, who competed five years ago for a Tony Award for Outstanding Leading Actor in a Musical in the Broadway blockbuster Hamilton (Odom won), are once again competing for an Outstanding Lead Actor in a Limited or Anthology series or film for the Disney + presentation. David Diggs and Jonathan Groff, who competed for a Tony for Outstanding Starring Actor in a Musical for their work in the series (Diggs won) are competing again here in the supporting category as well. Another Tony nominee Hamilton the Emmy nominated actors are Renee Elise Goldsberry and Phillipa Soo.
The Utopia of David Byrne continues to be a reward magnet. The show was nominated for an Outstanding Variety Special (pre-recorded). Last November, the cast’s album was nominated for a Grammy for Best Album in Musical Theater. The show will receive a special Tony Award when the Tonys are finally presented on September 26.
The voice received his 10th nomination for an exceptional competition program, which puts him ahead of American Idol, which received nine nods in the category from 2003 to 2011. These are the best musical competition programs in the history of the category. They are topped with Fantastic race (18 nods, including one this year), Excellent chef (15 nods, including one this year), Project track (14 nods) and Dancing with the stars (11 nods).
Conan O’Brien’s TBS Talk Show Conan was nominated for an Outstanding Talking Streak in its final season. It took the niche occupied over the past four years by Full Frontal With Samantha Bee. The other nominees in the category are Jimmy Kimmel Live! (nominated for the 10th consecutive year), Last week tonight with John Oliver (nominated for the seventh consecutive year), The Late Show with Stephen Colbert (nominated for the fifth consecutive year) and The Daily Show with Trevor Noah (nominated for the fourth consecutive year). Oliver’s program has won the last five consecutive years. Tonight’s Show with Jimmy Fallon, three times nominated in the category, was excluded for the fifth consecutive year.
Christmas in the square, executive produced by Dolly Parton, was among the nominees for an Outstanding TV Movie. This is Parton’s third show to be nominated in the category in the past five years, following Dolly Parton’s Christmas of Many Colors: Circle of Love (2017) and Dolly Parton’s sensitive cords: those old bones (2020).
There are only two nominees for a series of outstanding variety sketches – Saturday Night Live, who has won in the category for the last four consecutive years, and A black lady sketch show. It is unusual, but not unprecedented, that there are only two nominees in a category. In 1975, The Carol Burnett Spectacle and Dear were the only nominees for outstanding variety series. (Burnett’s show won.) SNLseventh consecutive nomination in the category. The show received 19 nods in a previous category, an Outstanding Variety Series.
The nominations were announced in a live virtual ceremony hosted by father-daughter duo Ron Cephas Jones (It’s us) from Los Angeles and Jasmine Cephas Jones (Blind spot) from New York with Fran Scherma, CEO of Television Academy.
The crown and The Mandalorian tied for first place in program nominations with 24, followed by WandaVision (23), The Handmaid’s Tale (21), Saturday Night Live (21), Ted lasso (20), Lovecraft Country (18), The Queen’s Gambit (18) and Easttown mare (16).
HBO / HBO Max leads the total nominations by platform with 130. Netflix has the second most nominations with 129, and rounding out the top four are Disney + with 71 and NBC with 46.
Six of the eight nominees for Outstanding Comedy Series are new to the category –Cobra Kai, Emily in Paris, Hacks, Pen15, Ted Lasso and The stewardess. They join the returning favorites blackish and The Kominsky method.
Tracee Ellis Ross received her fifth Outstanding Leading Actress in a Comedy Series for her role in blackish. Only one other actress of color has garnered nods in this category. The late Isabel Sanford scored seven consecutive nods from 1979 to 1985 for her role in The Jeffersons. Ross’s mother, Diana Ross, has received 12 Grammy nominations, an Oscar and a Special Tony Award, but has yet to receive an Emmy nomination.
The TV Academy revealed some fine print in its announcement: Nomination lists may be revised in cases where names or titles are incorrect or calls for changes – including adding or removing names – are approved. by the Television Academy Emmy Awards Committee. Producer eligibility is based primarily on title; nominated producers in certain program categories will be announced by mid-August. Online voting for the final round will begin on August 19, 2021.
As recently announced, the 73rd Annual Emmy Awards will be hosted by Cedric the Entertainer. Executive producers Reginald Hudlin and Ian Stewart and director Hamish Hamilton have been selected to lead the show for production companies Done + Dusted and Hudlin Entertainment. The Emmys will air Sunday, September 19 (8:00 p.m. – 11:00 p.m., live ET / 5:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m., PT live) on CBS and will be available to stream live and on-demand on Paramount +. The 2021 Creative Arts Awards will air Saturday, September 18 (8:00 p.m. ET / PT) on FXX.
The full list of Emmy nominees, as compiled by independent accounting firm Ernst & Young LLP, is available at Emmys.com.