HBO's 'Watchmen,' Amazon's 'Mrs Maisel' top Emmy nominations


Los Angeles (AFP)

HBO's "Watchmen," an innovative reimagining of a superhero graphic novel that tackled racism in America, topped the nominations for this year's Emmy Awards on Tuesday with 26 nods.

Perennial Amazon hit "The Marvelous Mrs Maisel" was tops among the comedies with 20 nominations, followed by dark dramas "Ozark" and "Succession" at 18 each.

Netflix dominated with a whopping 160 nominations -- a new record for a single platform -- on the strength of a powerhouse lineup that includes "Ozark" and "The Crown."

The nominations were revealed during a live virtual ceremony due to restrictions related to the coronavirus pandemic.

The awards show on September 20 will be the first organized by Hollywood during the ongoing health crisis. Late night talk show host Jimmy Kimmel is set to host the festivities, but it is unclear what form the broadcast on ABC will take.

"Despite the unprecedented challenges facing the entertainment industry, it has been an extraordinary year for television," said Television Academy Chairman and CEO Frank Scherma.

"We are honored to be recognizing so many of the talented programs, producers, directors and craftspeople behind the remarkable storytelling that has brought us together while we remain apart," he added.

- 'Watchmen' resonates -

"Watchmen," a tale that has struck a chord with many viewers in light of ongoing protests against racism and police brutality in many US cities, received nods for outstanding limited series, as well as for stars Regina King and Jeremy Irons.

"Watchmen is a great series on its own, but it's become even more resonant in recent weeks and will likely have a big day in the limited races," Joyce Eng, senior editor at awards tracking website Gold Derby, told AFP ahead of Tuesday's announcement.

"Watchmen" will compete in the best limited series category, against "Little Fires Everywhere," the adaptation of the popular Celeste Ng book, equal rights saga "Mrs America," true crime story "Unbelievable" and religious drama "Unorthodox."

"The Marvelous Mrs Maisel" -- Amazon's story of a 1950s housewife-turned-stand-up comic -- received nods for outstanding comedy series as well as for star Rachel Brosnahan.

"Ozark" stars Jason Bateman, Laura Linney and Julia Garner are in the running, as are a multitude of actors from cutthroat business drama "Succession" including Brian Cox, who is one of the favorites in the lead actor category.

Oscar winner Olivia Colman is hotly tipped to win an Emmy for her portrayal of Queen Elizabeth II in Netflix's "The Crown."

Four of the eight nominees for best comedy series are new to the category: "Dead to Me," "Insecure," "The Kominsky Method" and camp vampire series "What We Do In The Shadows."

They will compete against returning favorites "The Marvelous Mrs Maisel," "Curb Your Enthusiasm," "The Good Place" and "Schitt's Creek."

Newcomer Apple TV+ meanwhile nabbed its first nominations, with Jennifer Aniston, Steve Carell and Billy Crudup all earning acting nods for the platform's flagship launch program "The Morning Show."

The Television Academy's 23,000 voting members were given a record number of entries to sift through this year -- and presumably had plenty of free time to watch TV while cooped up at home due to coronavirus lockdown measures.

"COVID has obviously canceled in-person events, so there's been no face-to-face schmoozing this year," Eng said.