Home Entertainment 2020 Primetime Emmy Awards: Watchmen leads with 26 nominations, The Mandalorian surprises

2020 Primetime Emmy Awards: Watchmen leads with 26 nominations, The Mandalorian surprises

7 min read

It may have had its detractors – because not every piece of storytelling needs to please everybody – but for my money, Watchmen – Damon Lindelof’s remix event series follow-up to Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons’ iconic graphic novel, was the best damn TV series I had seen in years. Every aspect of its production was honed to an edge sharp enough to split atoms. And I definitely was not the only person who felt that way as Watchmen scored a massive 26 nominations at the 2020 Primetime Emmy Awards.

The nominees for this year’s Emmys were announced by the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences yesterday afternoon and Watchmen led the pack with its two-dozen-plus nods. The 10-episode HBO comic book drama got nominated in both the Limited Series and Outstanding Drama series, with acting nominations spread out among its cast, including Regina King and Jeremy Irons for their respective Lead Actress/Actor in a Limited Series or Movie category.

One particular category where Watchmen has the deck heavily stacked for a win is for Supporting Actor in a Limited Series or Movie. Of the six nominations in this category, Watchmen boasts half with Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, Jovan Adepo, and Louis Gossett Jr.

It wasn’t all Watchmen, of course. Amazon’s The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel (which I really need to watch more of, since I loved the few episodes I had seen) boasted 20 nominations, completely dwarfing its competition on the Comedy side of things. As for drama, Netflix’s Ozark, which has also been absolutely phenomenal, is tied with HBO’s critically acclaimed family-drama Succession on 18 nominations.

There were some big surprises though. On the snub side of that, Better Call Saul scored eight nominations but actors Bob Odenkirk and Rhea Seehorn, both of whom have drawn mountains of praise for their performances, are oddly missing off the list of nominees. So too HBO’s heavy-hitting drug drama Euphoria scored a Lead Actress nomination for Zendaya, but then was left out of all the major categories.

Reese Witherspoon was even more hard done by. The actress put in three major thespian efforts this year – TV series Big Little Lies and The Morning Show, and TV movie Little Fires Everywhere – which saw many predicting her to garner a couple of nods, but she’s been ignored completely for acting and only recognized as a producer. There was also no recognition for Cynthia Erivo in The Outsider, Tom Pelfrey in The Ozark, Elle Fanning for The Great, Larry David for Curb Your Enthusiasm, and a few more missing headscratchers.

On the positive side though, the hugely popular What We Do in the Shadows landed itself a nomination for Best Comedy Series. While Issa Rae’s Insecure, which has been a critical darling since release four seasons ago but never really got major mainstream recognition, has finally garnered some awards love with eight nominations, including nods for Best Comedy Series and Rae herself.

Without a doubt though, the biggest surprise was The Mandalorian. We knew Disney+’s live-action Star Wars TV series was hugely popular with fans, but apparently awards bodies liked it as well. And not just in the technical categories where its impeccable production/costume design made it a shoe-in. No, The Mandalorian scored a surprising 15 nominations in total, with that number including a shocking nod in the Outstanding Drama Series category.

Giancarlo Esposito also earned a nomination for Guest Actor in a Drama Series, while Taika Waititi earned an Outstanding Character Voice-Over Performance nod for his work as droid IG-11. As expected, the show’s VFX were also recognized, especially the episode “The Child” which introduced the fan-favourite Baby Yoda to audiences.

While the Star Wars franchise has received Emmy nominations recently for its animated fares like Star Wars Rebels and Star Wars Resistance, this is the first time a live-action Star Wars production has earned any love from the Emmys since a pair of Ewok TV movies in 1984 and 1985. Those had also only been recognized for Outstanding Visual Effects and Outstanding Children’s Program. The Mandalorian, on the other hand, is competing with the big dogs here.

Whether you think it deserves that honour or not – personally, as much as I enjoyed the show, I really don’t think it belongs in that Outstanding Drama Series group – it’s now in the history books already. And this achievement will probably motivate Disney to double down even further on their Star Wars TV series plans.

Here are the nominations for all the major awards categories here. You can find the full list of nominees for the 2020 Primetime Emmy Awards. including all the technical production categories, over HERE.

Best Drama Series

Better Call Saul (AMC)
The Crown (Netflix)
The Handmaid’s Tale (Hulu)
Killing Eve (BBC America)
The Mandalorian (Disney+)
Ozark (Netflix)
Stranger Things (Netflix)
Succession (HBO)

Best Comedy Series

Curb Your Enthusiasm (HBO)
Dead to Me (Netflix)
The Good Place (NBC)
Insecure (HBO)
The Kominsky Method (Netflix)
The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel (Amazon)
Schitt’s Creek (Pop)
What We Do in the Shadows (FX)

Best Limited Series

Little Fires Everywhere (Hulu)
Mrs. America (FX on Hulu)
Unbelievable (Netflix)
Unorthodox (Netflix)
Watchmen (HBO)

Best Actor in a Drama Series

Jason Bateman (Ozark)
Sterling K. Brown (This Is Us)
Steve Carell (The Morning Show)
Brian Cox (Succession)
Billy Porter (Pose)
Jeremy Strong (Succession)

Best Actress in a Drama Series

Jennifer Aniston (The Morning Show)
Olivia Colman (The Crown)
Jodie Comer (Killing Eve)
Laura Linney (Ozark)
Sandra Oh (Killing Eve)
Zendaya (Euphoria)

Best Actor in a Comedy Series

Anthony Anderson (Black-ish)
Don Cheadle (Black Monday)
Ted Danson (The Good Place)
Michael Douglas (The Kominsky Method)
Eugene Levy (Schitt’s Creek)
Ramy Youssef (Ramy)

Best Actress in a Comedy Series

Christina Applegate (Dead to Me)
Rachel Brosnahan (The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel)
Linda Cardellini (Dead to Me)
Catherine O’Hara (Schitt’s Creek)
Issa Rae (Insecure)
Tracee Ellis Ross (Black-ish)

Best Actor in a Limited Series or a Television Movie

Jeremy Irons (Watchmen)
Hugh Jackman (Bad Education)
Paul Mescal (Normal People)
Jeremy Pope (Hollywood)
Mark Ruffalo (I Know This Much Is True)

Best Actress in a Limited Series or a Television Movie

Cate Blanchett (Mrs. America)
Shira Haas (Unorthodox)
Regina King (Watchmen)
Octavia Spencer (Self Made)
Kerry Washington (Little Fires Everywhere)

Best Supporting Actor in a Drama Series

Giancarlo Esposito (Better Call Saul)
Bradley Whitford (The Handmaid’s Tale)
Billy Crudup (The Morning Show)
Mark Duplass (The Morning Show)
Nicholas Braun (Succession)
Kieran Culkin (Succession)
Matthew Macfadyen (Succession)
Jeffrey Wright (Westworld)

Best Supporting Actress in a Drama Series

Laura Dern (Big Little Lies)
Meryl Streep (Big Little Lies)
Helena Bonham Carter (The Crown)
Samira Wiley (The Handmaid’s Tale)
Fiona Shaw (Killing Eve)
Julia Garner (Ozark)
Sarah Snook (Succession)
Thandie Newton (Westworld)

Best Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series

Andre Braugher (Brooklyn Nine-Nine)
William Jackson Harper (The Good Place)
Alan Arkin (The Kominsky Method)
Sterling K. Brown (The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel)
Tony Shalhoub (The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel)
Mahershala Ali (Ramy)
Kenan Thompson (Saturday Night Live)
Daniel Levy (Schitt’s Creek)

Best Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series

Betty Gilpin (GLOW)
D’Arcy Carden (The Good Place)
Yvonne Orji (Insecure)
Alex Borstein (The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel)
Marin Hinkle (The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel)
Kate McKinnon (Saturday Night Live)
Cecily Strong (Saturday Night Live)
Annie Murphy (Schitt’s Creek)

Best Supporting Actor in a Limited Series or Movie

Dylan McDermott (Hollywood)
Jim Parsons (Hollywood)
Tituss Burgess (Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt: Kimmy vs. The Reverend)
Yahya Abdul-Mateen II (Watchmen)
Jovan Adepo (Watchmen)
Louis Gossett Jr. (Watchmen)

Best Supporting Actress in a Limited Series or Movie

Holland Taylor (Hollywood)
Uzo Aduba (Mrs. America)
Margo Martindale (Mrs. America)
Tracey Ullman (Mrs. America)
Toni Collette (Unbelievable)
Jean Smart (Watchmen)

Last Updated: July 29, 2020


  1. Why they doing main man Bob Odenkirk dirty like that


  2. Son of Banana Jim

    July 30, 2020 at 15:01

    I hope Zendaya gets the best actress in a drama win though… (Euphoria was such a bizarre and yet strangely interesting show).


    It wouldn’t be Hollywood if they didn’t try to pander. It’s so obvious why Watchmen just got 26 nominations, and it’s got very little to do with it actually being a good show but rather that it’s current year, and the US is literally burning following the George Floyd incident. This is virtue signalling nonsense.

    I’ll say it again though, Watchmen was one of the worst shows I had the displeasure of watching ever. I guess it really is 2020.


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