Watch These Emmy Nominees Before the Big Show – Cheapism
Who says there’s nothing good on television anymore? This year’s Emmy nominations are full of great shows and memorable performances. But you might have to visit a few apps or have a big streaming budget to find them all. This list of Emmy nominees — and in some cases winners, since some trophies in “Creative Arts” categories were handed out Sept. 3 — will get you started finding out what to look for when the awards ceremony airs Sept. 12. We’ve arranged this rundown to go from least-nominated to most, culminating in a show that took a stunning 25 nods this year. What do you think of this Emmy crop? Let us know in the comments.
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This is the fourth time David Letterman’s laid-back, hourlong interview program was nominated. While it has missed out on an award, it’s still fun to watch the former late-night host engaging in extended conversations with the likes of Billie Eilish, Ryan Reynolds, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, and an apparently high Kevin Durant.
Barack Obama won an Emmy for his narration in this beautifully shot five-part documentary series exploring some of the world’s top national parks. The 44th president also was an executive producer on the project. The Associated Press notes that this puts him halfway to an EGOT — an Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, and Tony — after he won two Grammys for audiobook readings of his memoirs.
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Ron Howard’s documentary tells the inspiring story of how Spanish celebrity chef José Andrés built World Central Kitchen, bringing relief in the form of food to some of the hardest-hit areas on the planet. “The mission is very clear: People are hungry. You cook and you feed them. That’s it,” he says in the film. Variety call “We Feed People”, nominated for Outstanding Documentary or Nonfiction Special, “technically polished and emotionally stirring.”
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Comedian Dave Chappelle’s stand-up performance stirred controversy with its material on transgender people, but The Hollywood Reporter still expected it to win in the Outstanding Variety Special (Pre-Recorded) category. It did not.
Adele’s performance swept in all of its nominations — including Outstanding Variety Special — putting her one step away from “the elusive EGOT,” Variety notes. The show, one of the increasingly rare wins for network television, includes performances at Los Angeles’ Griffith Observatory mixed with interviews with Oprah Winfrey.
For the second year in a row, actor Stanley Tucci’s Italian culinary and travel show won in the Hosted Nonfiction Series or Special category. This year’s four-part season continued a six-episode launch in 2021. The Guardian calls it a “sweet, light delizia of a documentary.”
Every Beatles fan should see director Peter Jackson’s nearly eight-hour epic — what Slate calls a “landmark music documentary” — full of nostalgia and magical sequences of the band building enduring tunes out of thin air. The film won five Emmys including Outstanding Documentary or Nonfiction Series and Outstanding Directing for a Documentary/Nonfiction Program for Jackson.
The makeover series — a reboot of the 2003-2007 series on Bravo — has now picked up 10 Emmys, including the last five in a row in the Outstanding Structured Reality Program category. “There’s no shortage of miracles this season, and the Fab Five is more polished than ever,” the Hollywood Insider gushes of the bingeable sixth season.
Director Amy Poehler “didn’t want to portray Ball as a genius, but as a very real woman whose 20-year marriage was at once complex, loving, painful, and tender,” The New York Times says of this story of Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz’s life on and off the small screen. While the show won two Emmys, it missed out on nominations for Outstanding Documentary or Nonfiction Special and Poehler’s directing.
Variety says the eight-part series about the rise and fall of Theranos CEO Elizabeth Holmes creates “a sharp portrait of an unnerving woman that doesn’t excuse her actions.” Series lead Amanda Seyfried is nominated for Lead Actress in a Limited or Anthology Series, and the show is nominated as well.
The Los Angeles Times calls this mystery series “your next TV obsession,” full of wicked plot twists and strong performances: Christina Ricci, Melanie Lynskey, and Juliette Lewis ”kill in ‘Yellowjackets,’ figuratively and literally.” Ricci and Lynskey are up for individual acting awards and the series is nominated in the drama category.
The lives of a group of Staten Island vampires get the mockumentary treatment in this loopy series based on the 2015 indie movie of the same name. Salon calls it “far and away one of the funnier comedies on television because of its dead-center skewering of the mystique surrounding vampires.” It’s competing for best comedy series and two writing awards, among others.
Collider says this miniseries from the Emily St. John Mandel bestseller is “an unexpectedly compelling watch — and the end result makes for one of the best TV shows of the year.” Himesh Patel is nominated for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Limited or Anthology Series or Movie.
The “Breaking Bad” prequel may have saved the best for its final season. Empire magazine says the show’s “steady rise to the giddy heights of all-time classic television drama feels inexorable.” It’s been nominated 46 times overall (including seven this year) but has yet to take home a trophy. It’s in the running for Drama Series, Lead Actor in a Drama (Bob Odenkirk), and Supporting Actress in a Drama (Rhea Seehorn).
This new show made an impression on Emmy voters with noms for Best Comedy Series, Lead Actress in a Comedy Series (Quinta Brunson), Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series (Tyler James Williams), and two candidates for Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series (Janelle James and Sheryl Lee Ralph). The Guardian calls it a “hilarious mockumentary full of astonishingly rapid-fire jokes, immaculate timing, and note-perfect acting.”
RuPaul Charles won his seventh consecutive Emmy as host of a reality or competition show for this VH1 staple, now in its 14th season. The win also extends the drag icon’s position as the most-decorated Black artist in Emmy history, with 12. The Hollywood Reporter likes its chances to pick up another in the Best Competition Program category.
The limited series about the marriage of Pamela Anderson and Tommy Lee explores “celebrity, the paper-thin divide between publicity and privacy, and what happens when human intimacy is swallowed up by glossy headlines,” Collider says. Lily James, Sebastian Stan, and Seth Rogen are up for individual Emmys.
Already the winner of 20 Emmys (out of 66 nominations), this favorite about a 1950s housewife turned stand-up comic is going strong after four seasons. It’s up (again) for best comedy series with individual nominations for Lead Actress in a Comedy Series (Rachel Brosnahan), Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series (Alex Borstein), and Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series (Tony Shalhoub).
Yes, it’s scary. But this fresh sci-fi series grounded in the 1980s — with 17 Emmys and 51 nominations to its credit — is well worth the time, anchored by a great ensemble cast. “It’s hard not to get swept up in the warm, cozy blanket of these familiar settings and endearing characters, and the sweeping blockbuster nature of the thing,” Consequence says.
As the series wraps up four blood-soaked seasons, Empire says it “deserves its place among the very finest TV takes on American dope, crime, and corruption.” Julia Garner is going after a third Emmy for Supporting Actress in a Drama Series, leads Jason Bateman and Laura Linney are nominated again, and the series is up for best drama for the third time.
The bizarre and brutal South Korean drama that USA Today calls “absurdly addictive” has become an international phenomenon. It’s already made history as the first non-English language show to be nominated for an Emmy and picked up four early Emmys — including one for Lee You-mi as Outstanding Guest Actress in a Drama Series.
This drama produced and directed by Ben Stiller follows employees who undergo a procedure that separates their work and personal memories. British site inews.co.uk calls it an “original, weird, thought-provoking, and beautifully crafted story that asks just how much of ourselves we should give over to our jobs,” featuring nominated performances by Adam Scott, John Turturro, Christopher Walken, and Patricia Arquette.
This gripping limited series features Michael Keaton as a doctor caught up in a growing wave of OxyContin addiction, based on the nonfiction book by Beth Macy. The Independent says the show “clearly lays out the facts of the slow-burning tragedy … without losing track of the human stories behind it.”
Variety says Bill Hader’s series about an assassin pursuing an acting career is either “television’s darkest comedy or its funniest drama.” It’s already brought two Emmys for Hader (who is nominated again this year for Lead Actor in a Comedy) and one for Henry Winkler (up again this year for Supporting Actor in a Comedy).
The teen drama in its second season is described as “exhilarating and exhausting, dark and deranged, hilarious and hellish” by The Detroit News. Creator “Sam Levinson always pushes further than most, shoving the desperation and disillusionment of a young and apparently mostly hopeless generation right in front of the camera.” Zendaya already has one Emmy for her portrayal as Rue and is up for another.
What’s not to like about this comedic murder-mystery featuring Steve Martin, Martin Short, and Selena Gomez as true-crime podcasters working on deaths in their New York City apartment building? Martin and Short are each nominated for Lead Actor in a Comedy, and the show is up for best comedy. Nathan Lane has already won in the Guest Actor in a Comedy Series category. The real mystery might be why Gomez was snubbed.
The second season of the culture-clash comedy about a stand-up comedian (Jean Smart) mentoring a young comedy writer (Hannah Einbinder) takes their story on the road. “If good comedy needs emotional heft, this has it to spare, and still manages to be vicious at the same time,” The Guardian says. Smart — an Emmy winner last year for this role — and Einbinder are nominated this year. Laurie Metcalf picked up an Emmy earlier for her guest appearance.
Empire calls this six-part series about a week at a Hawaiian tourist resort “a mercilessly sharp satire of toxic wealth, entitlement, and class exploitation with a truly radical, subversive tone that separates it from the crowd.” And talk about an ensemble cast: Three among it are nominated for Best Supporting Actor in a Limited or Anthology Series (Murray Bartlett, Jake Lacy, and Steve Zahn) and five for Supporting Actress (Connie Britton, Jennifer Coolidge, Alexandra Daddario, Natasha Rothwell, and Sydney Sweeney).
TV Insider says this fan-favorite fish-out-of-water comedy “perfectly blends saltiness and spice with an overwhelming sweetness.” It scored seven Emmys in its first season — including Best Comedy Series, Lead Actor (Jason Sudeikis), and Supporting Actress (Hannah Waddingham) — and it seems poised for more.
Between all those wealthy, feuding Roy children and the unscrupulous people in their orbits, is there truly a likable character in this ensemble drama? Those meaty roles have garnered an impressive 14 individual nominations this year that include two for Lead Actor in a Drama (Brian Cox and Jeremy Strong), three for Supporting Actor in a Drama (Nicholas Braun, Kieran Culkin, and Matthew Macfadyen), and two for Supporting Actress in a Drama (J. Smith-Cameron and Sarah Snook).
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