The 2023 Emmy nominations, announced on July 12 by Yvette Nicole Brown, were (mostly) predictable, with shows like Succession, The Bear, Ted Lasso, and The White Lotus each show scoring multiple nods this year. Still, as is tradition, the Television Academy swept in with plenty of surprises (the Jury Duty love!) and some notable snubs (Reservation Dogs!). Catch the complete nominee list here. Let’s unpack this year’s biggest hits and misses from the nominations.
Snub: Reservation Dogs
What will it take for the Television Academy voters to recognize the sublime glory of Reservation Dogs? FX’s stunning half-hour comedy reached a peak that’s difficult to achieve in a second season. Sterlin Harjo and Taika Waititi’s joyous, profoundly funny series got shut out once again in the Outstanding Comedy Series category (Netflix’s Wednesday has never felt more like a sneak, huh?). And that’s not the only snub.
Reservation Dogs also deserved love for its performances, including Devery Jacobs, D’Pharaoh Woon-A-Tai, Lane Factor, and Paulina Alexis, who play four teens looking to escape their rural Oklahoma roots. The show’s best outing, “Mabel,” didn’t score any nominations for writing or direction, either. Hopefully, the Academy will make up for these omissions after Reservation Dogs’ upcoming third and final season. [Saloni Gajjar]
Surprise: Jury Duty
Amazon Freevee’s phenom Jury Duty came through in a big way. If you’ve been online for the past few weeks, you no doubt already know it was the show to watch. The premise was simple yet engrossing: an unsuspecting guy is roped into thinking he’s part of a documentary chronicling the goings on in a local jury. Only everyone he meets is an actor. The Truman Show vibes were less creepy than hilariously absurd—especially when adorable Ronald Gladden found himself in a jury alongside Westworld’s James Marsden.
Even those who grew obsessed with Gladden’s kindheartedness and the show’s increasingly deranged antics worried the comedic reality series might get forgotten amid a field of contenders from established networks with more critical panache. We needn’t have worried. Sometimes, being one of the funniest shows on the air results in much-deserved Emmy love, here not just for the show itself but for its writing, casting, and, perhaps more thrillingly, for those of us who have loved him since his Ally McBeal days, first-time Emmy nominee Marsden. [Manuel Betancourt]
Snub: Sarah Goldberg, Barry
Riddle me this, who are the freaks who saw Barry and decided it’s OK for Bill Hader, Henry Winkler, and Anthony Carrigan to get acting nominations—which they deserve—but not Sarah Goldberg? The MVP of HBO’s dark comedy, Goldberg has been ditched in the past, but she was beyond worthy of a nomination for Barry’s final run. She found new depths to mine from her Sally Reed unraveling into alcohol addiction and motherhood as her Hollywood dream was washed away by murderous sins. Goldberg’s wrenching performance led to some of Barry’s most momentous scenes. It’s a travesty to see her snubbed. [Saloni Gajjar]
Surprise: Keri Russell and Sharon Horgan over The Crown’s Imelda Staunton
Imelda Staunton is now the first actor to play Queen Elizabeth in The Crown who hasn’t been nominated for an Emmy. Claire Foy and Olivia Colman bagged nods every time, winning once each. Staunton will get another chance with The Crown’s sixth and final season. Instead of Staunton, voters surprised everyone by going for Bad Sisters’ Sharon Horgan and The Diplomat’s Keri Russell—two punchy, terrific performances. [Saloni Gajjar]
Snub: Steve Martin, Only Murders In The Building
It was a good morning for residents of the Arconia as Hulu’s Only Murders In The Building earned 11 nominations. It was assumed the lead actors would share the spotlight again, but only Martin Short got the call. We can’t wait to hear what kind of dig the comedy legend will quip when he celebrates his nomination. But we’ll admit we’re saddened that Steve Martin’s perfectly calibrated performance as Charles-Haden Savage (the star of Brazzos, in case you’ve forgotten!) was snubbed this morning, especially since his straight-man antics are so wonderfully paired with Short’s scene-chewing shenanigans. Maybe this upcoming season, featuring Martin reuniting with his It’s Complicated co-star Meryl Streep, will be what he needs to get back in the nominees’ circle. [Manuel Betancourt]
Surprise: No love for all things Taylor Sheridan
In its five-season run, Yellowstone has only scored one Emmy nomination, for production design. Taylor Sheridan’s Paramount drama probably doesn’t need trophies because it has all the viewership. Still, Yellowstone was a stronger contender after exiting series star Kevin Costner won a Golden Globe this year. But the show received no nominations at all despite being one of America’s most-watched dramas. Sheridan’s spin-off, 1923, was also left out by the Academy. 1923 was expected to score acting nominations for leads Harrison Ford and Helen Mirren. (Notably, Ford didn’t make it in for Shrinking in the Supporting Comedy Actor category, either). At least he’s got Nicole Kidman in his corner with the upcoming series Special Ops: Lionness for 2024. [Saloni Gajjar]
Snub: Actors in non-HBO shows like Andor
You know who was snubbed? Any actor working in a drama series not aired on HBO. The cable network dominated the proceedings, with Succession at 27 nominations, The Last of Us at 24, and The White Lotus at 23. For the drama acting categories (Lead, Supporting, and Guest), only two actors from outside HBO/Max (Better Call Saul’s Bob Odenkirk and The Old Man’s Jeff Bridges) muscled their way in. Pour one out for the likes of Antony Starr (The Boys), Dominic West (The Crown), Harrison Ford (1923), Bradley Whitford (The Handmaid’s Tale), Claes Bang (Bad Sisters), and Elijah Wood (Yellowjackets).
If you’re like me, you’re mostly mourning over the fact that despite its well-earned eight nominations, a popular and critically acclaimed show like Disney+’s Andor couldn’t get any of its actors—including Diego Luna, Denise Gough, Kyle Soller, Andy Serkis, Fiona Shaw (!) or Stellan Skarsgård—any hard-earned recognition. [Manuel Betancourt]
Surprise: The sudden acclaim for Welcome To Chippendales
When Hulu’s Welcome to Chippendales first aired, many of us were less than enthusiastic about this retelling of the infamous and lurid story behind that infamous male stripper empire. In my own recaps, I struggled with squaring its ’80s aesthetic with its true crime trappings. And knowing how stacked the Limited Series categories were going to be this year, I assumed this project would be, if not forgotten, aptly snubbed. Yet looking at this morning’s nominations, it’s hard to argue with Murray Bartlett, Kumail Nanjiani, Analeigh Ashford, and Juliette Lewis earning slots in their respective categories; all four are formidable actors who were thrilling to watch even if the series around them never quite keyed into their outsized performances. [Manuel Betancourt]
Snub: Black Bird
The Academy confounds once again by nominating the stars of Apple TV+’s Black Bird but not the show itself. Taron Egerton, Paul Walter Hauser, and the late, great Ray Liotta each earned their recognition for work that elevated this true-crime drama into one of the genre’s most moving, effective offerings. Yet, the six-episode Black Bird didn’t make it into the Drama category; its slot was given to the unexpected Obi-Wan Kenobi instead. [Saloni Gajjar]
Surprise: Kathryn Hahn, Tiny Beautiful Things
The Emmys aren’t WandaVision, and that’s why Kathryn Hahn was able to beat her MCU series co-star Elizabeth Olsen for a slot in Outstanding Actress in a Limited or Anthology Series. Hahn drew praise for her work in Hulu’s Tiny Beautiful Things, but the show flew under the radar after its April release. So it’s a nice surprise to see Hahn get her due alongside expected nominees like Beef’s Ali Wong, Daisy Jones & The Six’s Riley Keough, and Swarm’s Dominique Fishback. However, it’s a bummer that Olsen didn’t get the same merit for Max’s Love & Death. [Saloni Gajjar]
The fanfare around Atlanta simmered during its third and fourth seasons, with the show generating less buzz than it did during its award-winning debut run. Even so, I thought Atlanta would get some love for its swan song season. Instead, the Academy shut out the FX comedy and its stars. The snub was particularly notable in the Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series, where Donald Glover would’ve been nominated, and which this year is exclusively populated by white men. [Saloni Gajjar]
Surprise: Vanderpump Rules bags first Emmy nom
Scandoval hive, rise up! After 10 seasons, it seems all Vanderpump Rules needed to do to garner some Emmy love was to become must-see TV with the scandal hashtag none of us could escape. Bravo’s long-running series featured a bombshell of a reveal this season when viewers learned, almost in real-time alongside Ariana Madix (!), that Tom Sandoval, her boyfriend of nine years, had been having an affair with one of her best friends, Raquel Leviss. The drama that ensued (including some genuinely incendiary reunion episodes making the affair look even more brazen than previously thought possible) was enough to catapult Vanderpump Rules into the zeitgeist and, it seems, the Emmys stage. [Manuel Betancourt]
Snub: This Is Going To Hurt
The title should’ve warned us. This was always going to hurt. Despite the critical acclaim this BBC/AMC co-production had going for it (Ben Whishaw has already won a BAFTA and a Gotham Award for his performance as an ER OBGYN driven to his wit’s end), This is Going To Hurt didn’t make a dent in the crowded Limited Series categories which, as ever, went for flashy. It left no room for this bruising piece on the faltering healthcare system in the U.K. that allowed Whishaw and co-star Ambika Mod to sketch a portrait of what it means to try to do good (and no harm) in an environment that’s trying to exploit you with crumbling resources and little to support. [Manuel Betancourt]
Surprise: Sarah Niles getting an Emmy nom
Listen, Emmy voters have already proven their ridiculousness regarding the Guest Actor category, like Don Cheadle’s random nomination for two minutes of screen time in The Falcon And The Winter Soldier. This year, Ted Lasso’s Sarah Niles got a nod when she was barely in season three. What are voters thinking, and do they want to be taken seriously?
Niles was a remarkable addition to Ted Lasso in season two, but Dr. Sharon Fieldstone barely made a dent in the show’s overlong third season. At this point, it feels like the Emmys are catering to the beloved Apple TV+ comedy with unnecessary nods for Niles, Juno Temple, and other stars when only Phil Dunster and Hannah Waddingham deserve it. [Saloni Gajjar]