The HBO drama Watchmen, starring Regina King, dominated the 72nd annual Emmy Awards nominations receiving 26 nods during Tuesday’s (July 28) virtual nomination ceremony. The superhero series, whose debut episode chronicled the Tulsa Race Massacre, earned nominations for Best Limited Series, Outstanding Lead Actress in a Limited Series of Movie for King, and Outstanding Lead Actor for Jeremy Irons, among others.
Though Watchmen scooped up the most Emmy nominations, The Marvelous Mrs. Masel was not far behind with 20 nods, followed by Ozark, Succession, The Mandalorian, Schitt’s Creek, Saturday Night Live, and The Crown.
Elsewhere in the Watchmen cast, Louis Gusset Jr. earned an Emmy nod for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Limited Series/Movie, as did first-time nominee and fellow Watchmen co-stars, Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, and Jovan Adept.
According to Variety, a record number of Black actors and actresses landed nominations this year. Black actors and actresses made up 35 of the 102 nominees (which includes Maya Rudolph receiving two nominations in the same category). Issa Rae, whose starring role on Insecure landed a nomination for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series, will go up against Black-Ish star, Tracee Ellis Ross in the category.
Speaking of Insecure, Yvonne Orji was nominated for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series for the HBO hit series, while the show received a eight nominations in total. In addition to earning nods for Insecure, the Rae-produced, A Black Lady Sketch Show, landed three nominations.
First-time Emmy nominee, Zendaya, earned a nod for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series for Euphoria. The 23 year old is the youngest, and sole Black actress, in the category. Also on the list of Black nominees are Billy Porter, Sterling K. Brown, Anthony Anderson, Don Cheadle, and Jeremy Pope. Although Porter received another Best Actor nod for Pose after last year’s historic win, trans actresses India Moore and Angelica Ross spoke out about being snubbed at this year’s ceremony. Ross did however congratulate fellow trans actresses, Laverne Cox and Rain Valdez, on their Emmy nominations.
New Jersey born comedian-actor, Ramy Youssef, became the first Muslim American to be nominated for an Emmy, which he earned for his self-titled HULU series. Actress Sandra Oh is the only actress of Asian decent to receive an Emmy nod in a leading category, and Latinx stars were also largely overlooked this year.
“Despite the unprecedented challenges facing the entertainment industry, it has been an extraordinary year for television,” Television Academy Chairman CEO Frank Scherma said in a statement. “Television has inspired, united and comforted a global audience this season. We are honored to be recognizing so many talented programs, producers, directors and craftspeople behind the remarkable storytelling that has brought us together while we remain apart.”
The 72nd annual primetime Emmy Awards air on ABC on Sunday, Sept. 20 at 8 p.m. EST.