emmy awards statue on the red carpet
Photo by John Schreiber.

HBO’s superhero series “Watchmen” nabbed a leading 26 nominations Tuesday for the 72nd Primetime Emmy Awards, while Amazon’s “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” collected 20 in hopes of reclaiming the best comedy series honor.

“Watchmen” was nominated for outstanding limited series, while also scoring nods for stars Jeremy Irons and Regina King.

Also nominated for best limited series were FX’s “Mrs. America,” Hulu’s “Little Fires Everywhere” and Netflix’s “Unbelievable” and “Unorthodox.”

Netflix led all platforms with a record 160 overall nominations, followed by HBO at 107 and NBC at a distant third with 47.

With HBO’s “Game of Thrones” ending its run and no longer a factor, the drama series will have a new winner this year. Nominated for the prize were AMC’s “Better Call Saul,” Hulu’s “The Handmaid’s Tale,” BBC America’s “Killing Eve,” Disney+’s “The Mandalorian,” HBO’s “Succession” and Netflix’s “The Crown,” “Ozark” and “Stranger Things.”

The comedy series category also won’t have a repeat winner, with last year’s champ “Fleabag” also ending its run. “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” won the prize in 2018 and will look to return to the winner’s circle. Also vying for the prize are HBO’s “Curb Your Enthusiasm” and “Insecure”; Netflix’s “Dead To Me” and “The Kominsky Method”; NBC’s “The Good Place”; Pop TV’s “Schitt’s Creek”; and FX’s “What We Do in the Shadows.”

Billy Porter of FX’s “Pose” will look to repeat his win for best drama series actor. He will be challenged by Jason Bateman for “Ozark”; Sterling K. Brown for “This is Us”; Steve Carell for “The Morning Show”; and Brian Cox and Jeremy Strong for “Succession.”

Bateman and Brown are both double-nominees. Bateman was also nominated as a guest actor in the drama series “The Outsider,” while Brown earned a supporting actor nod for the comedy series “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel.”

Jodie Comer of “Killing Eve” will also be vying for a repeat win in the drama series actress category. Also nominated were Jennifer Aniston for Apple TV+’s “The Morning Show”; Olivia Colman for “The Crown”; Laura Linney for “Ozark”; Sandra Oh for “Killing Eve”; and Zendaya for “Euphoria.”

For best comedy actor, nominations went to Anthony Anderson for ABC’s “Black-ish”; Don Cheadle for Showtime’s “Black Monday”; Ted Danson for “The Good Place”; Michael Douglas for Netflix’s “The Kominsky Method”; Eugene Levy for “Schitt’s Creek”; and Ramy Youssef for Hulu’s “Ramy.” Comedy actress nominations went to Christina Applegate for “Dead To Me”; Rachel Brosnahan for “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel”; Linda Cardellini for “Dead To Me”; Catherine O’Hara for “Schitt’s Creek”; Issa Rae for “Insecure”; and Traci Ellis Ross for “Black-ish.”

Youssef was also nominated for directing in a comedy series for “Ramy.”

Competing with Irons of “Watchmen” for best actor in a limited series or TV movie will be Hugh Jackman for HBO’s “Bad Education,” Paul Mescal for Hulu’s “Normal People,” Jeremy Pope for Netflix’s “Hollywood” and Mark Ruffalo for HBO’s “I Know This Much Is True.”

Nominated with King for best actress in a limited series or movie were Cate Blanchett for “Mrs. America,” Shira Haas for “Unorthodox,” Octavia Spencer for Netflix’s “Self Made” and Kerry Washington for “Little Fires Everywhere.”

Because CBS did not air a new season of “The Amazing Race” during the eligibility period, it was not among the nominees for outstanding reality-competition program for the first time in the category’s 19-year history.

VH1’s “RuPaul’s Drag Race,” the winner the past two years, was nominated in the category, as were NBC’s “The Voice,” Bravo’s “Top Chef,” Netflix’s “Nailed It!” and Fox’s “The Masked Singer.”

NBC’s mainstay “Saturday Night Live” earned 15 overall nominations — padding its lifetime total to 285 — and will look to repeat its win in the variety sketch series category. Also nominated were HBO’s “A Black Lady Sketch Show” and Comedy Central’s “Drunk History.”

In the variety talk series category, HBO’s “Last Week Tonight with John Oliver,” which won last year, was nominated again, along with Comedy Central’s “The Daily Show with Trevor Noah,” TBS’ “Full Frontal with Samantha Bee,” ABC’s “Jimmy Kimmel Live!” and CBS’ “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert.”

The nominations announcement was held on a virtual basis and streamed on Emmys.com, hosted by Leslie Jones, a three-time Emmy nominee for her work on “Saturday Night Live.” She was joined virtually by Emmy-winning actress Tatiana Maslany, Emmy-nominated actress Laverne Cox, and Josh Gad, who shared a best musical theater album Grammy for the original Broadway cast recording of “The Book of Mormon.”

The 72nd annual Primetime Emmy Awards, which honor programming initially airing between 6 p.m. and 2 a.m. between June 1, 2019, and May 31, 2020, will be presented Sept. 20 with Jimmy Kimmel as host.

“I don’t know where or how or even why we are doing this, but we are and I am hosting it!” Kimmel proclaimed on his Twitter page June 16, confirming his selection as host.

The bulk of the awards will be presented at what the Television Academy bills as an “innovative virtual event taking place over several nights in September” in place of the Creative Arts Emmys, which were canceled because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Those awards are mainly in obscure technical categories, such as picture editing, costuming, hairstyling, makeup and sound, but also include awards for guest acting.

The Television Academy recently changed the nominations rules this year in a move aimed at widening the net for nominees and allowing “for more inclusiveness in the recognition of excellence,” according to the Television Academy.

Submissions for 2020 Primetime Emmys increased by 15% over the 2019 ceremony, when there were more than 9,100 submissions, a record, according to Television Academy Chairman and CEO Frank Scherma.

For this year’s nomination, there was a sliding scale between zero and four nominations in categories with one to 19 submissions; five nominations in categories with 20-80 submissions; six nominations in categories with 81-160 submissions; seven nominations in categories with 161-240 submissions; and eight nominations in categories with more than 240 submissions.

There were eight nominations each in the outstanding comedy and drama series categories, regardless of the number of submissions. There were eight nominees for outstanding drama series at the 2019 Emmys and seven for outstanding comedy series.

The rule change eliminates the previous 2% rule, which specified that in categories with five nominees, if the fifth and sixth top vote-getters were within 2% of each other, both would be nominated.

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