'Mandalorian' and 'Crown' lead Emmy noms as Disney expands empire

Los Angeles (AFP) –


Disney+'s "Star Wars" series "The Mandalorian" on Tuesday tied for the most Emmy nominations with Netflix royal drama "The Crown" at 24, as the Mouse House stormed television's version of the Oscars.

Disney's new streaming service, in only its second year, also topped the prestigious limited series category, where Marvel superhero spin-off "WandaVision" earned 23 nominations.

Apple TV+, another streamer in its sophomore year, topped the comedy categories with "Ted Lasso" on 20, while NBC sketch comedy series "Saturday Night Live", a perennial Emmys favorite, extended its all-time record number of nominations to 306 with 21 new nods.

The 73rd Emmy Awards -- the small-screen equivalent of the Oscars -- will be handed out at a live, in-person ceremony in Los Angeles broadcast by CBS on September 19.

The show -- set to feature a "limited audience of nominees and their guests" -- will mark a welcome return to some normality. Last year's edition was broadcast from an empty theater, with winners beaming in via video call.

Hosted by US actor-comedian Cedric the Entertainer, the gala will honor the best in television from a unique, pandemic-plagued year in which producers scrambled to film under tight Covid restrictions.

Like the rest of us, the Television Academy's 25,000 voters spent several months stuck at home, leaving them ample time to sift through a stripped-down selection of series from their sofas.

- Superheroes and 'Star Wars' -

Disney+ increased its share of Emmy nominations from 19 in its debut year to a whopping 71 this time.

Combined with the parent company's other platforms such as ABC and Hulu, Disney topped the overall nominations with 146.

HBO and its own streamer HBO Max managed 130, just pipping last year's record-breaking leader Netflix on 129.

"The Mandalorian" and "The Crown" will compete for best drama against Hulu's dystopian drama "The Handmaid's Tale," which scored 21 nods, and the likes of Netflix's buzzy period rom-com "Bridgerton."

Season two of "The Mandalorian," a space-set neo-Western spun off from the wildly popular sci-fi "Star Wars" films, scored strongly across technical categories, in addition to multiple acting nominations for the likes of Giancarlo Esposito -- though sadly Baby Yoda was not eligible.

All three previous seasons of monarchy saga "The Crown" have been nominated for best drama series, but the show -- like all other Netflix dramas -- has never won the top prize.

The show also boasts leading contenders in the drama acting categories, including Emma Corrin as Princess Diana, Josh O'Connor as Prince Charles, and Gillian Anderson as Margaret Thatcher.

"Ted Lasso" -- about a hapless American football coach thrust into English soccer -- is the hot favorite to win best comedy series, where Michael Douglas's "The Kominsky Method" is the sole comedy nominee from last year again in the running.

The limited series field has arguably the most competitive and prestigious lineup of all, making the success of Disney+'s Marvel series "WandaVision" all the more impressive.

It will compete with shows including Kate Winslet's small-town murder mystery "Mare of Easttown," and the Barry Jenkins-directed slavery tale "The Underground Railroad."

"WandaVision" -- which features popular characters from Marvel's record-breaking films, including Elizabeth Olsen's magical witch Wanda Maximoff -- won legions of fans and critical praise for its quirky send-up of classic TV sitcoms.

And is not the only superhero show gatecrashing the Emmys -- fellow Marvel series "The Falcon and the Winter Soldier" bagged five nominations, including for guest star Don Cheadle, as did Amazon Prime Video's "The Boys."