No Record, but HBO Racks Up Emmy Noms

HBO’s 94 nominations for 2016 Emmy Awards may have fallen short of its record 126 nods in 2015, but it was more than enough to lead all content distributors.

HBO, FX and Netflix paced the list of networks earning nominations for the 68th annual Emmy Awards, as announced last week by the Television Academy. HBO will look to complete once again the Emmys hat trick it accomplished last year when it won statuettes for best drama (Game of Throne s) , best comedy (Veep) and best limited series (Olive Kitteridge).

Game of Thrones, which generated an industry-high 23 Emmy nominations, and political comedy Veep — with an impressive 17 nods — are back to defend their respective crowns, and the network is hoping to garner a win in the outstanding television movie category with one of two entries, All the Way and Confirmation.

FX’s 56 nominations and Netflix’s 54 nods were records for both companies.

FX garnered 13 nominations for its limited series The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story — the second most Emmy-nominated series — including best actor nods in the limited series category for Cuba Gooding Jr.’s portrayal of O.J. Simpson and Courtney B. Vance for his role as Johnnie Cochran.

Also noteworthy were AMC’s 24 nominations — including 12 for its limited series The Night Manager — and Showtime’s 22 nominations, led by six nods for horror series Penny Dreadful and five for drama Ray Donovan.

Comedy Central and IFC will field multiple nominations in the Outstanding Sketch Series category. IFC’s Documentary Now! and Portlandia will compete with three Comedy Central titles: Key & Peele, in its last year of eligibility; Inside Amy Schumer; and Drunk History. NBC late-night institution Saturday Night Live will round out the category’s nominations.

Comedy Central, though, will not win an Emmy in the Outstanding Variety/Talk Series category for the first time since 2002, as neither The Daily Show With Trevor Noah nor The Nightly Show With Larry Wilmore were nominated in the category. The Daily Show With Jon Stewart and spinoff The Colbert Report had dominated the category for 13 years, with The Daily Show winning from 2003-12 and Colbert winning in 2013 and 2014. The Daily Show also won last year’s Emmy in the category, for Stewart’s last year as host.

Among surprises in the major categories, Netflix’s Orange Is the New Black didn’t receive a nomination in the best drama category. It was nominated for best drama last year, and star Uzo Aduba won best supporting actress.

Among the shows garnering overdue nominations, in most critics’ views, were FX’s The Americans, which earned a best drama nod for the first time, as well as lead actor and actress nominations for Matthew Rhys and Keri Russell.

R. Thomas Umstead

R. Thomas Umstead serves as senior content producer, programming for Multichannel News, Broadcasting + Cable and Next TV. During his more than 30-year career as a print and online journalist, Umstead has written articles on a variety of subjects ranging from TV technology, marketing and sports production to content distribution and development. He has provided expert commentary on television issues and trends for such TV, print, radio and streaming outlets as Fox News, CNBC, the Today show, USA Today, The New York Times and National Public Radio. Umstead has also filmed, produced and edited more than 100 original video interviews, profiles and news reports featuring key cable television executives as well as entertainers and celebrity personalities.