This Is the Way: The Mandalorian, Watchmen, and What We Do in the Shadows Lead Genre's 2020 Emmy Nominations

It’s a good year for genre TV at the Emmys.
It’s a good year for genre TV at the Emmys.
Image: Lucasfilm, HBO, FX

When you think of Emmy nominees you normally don’t think of galactic bounty hunters, godlike superheroes, or funny vampires. But Tuesday, the Emmys embraced their weird side and gave a some of the best genre TV of the year some well-deserved nods.


The Television Academy has just released the full list of nominees for the 72nd Primetime Emmys, and genre television has made a major impact across the field. HBO’s excellent Watchmen series swept the board with a stunning 26 nominations across 19 categories, including nods for Outstanding Limited Series, Outstanding Writing for a Limited Series, Movie, or Dramatic Special, and nods for both Jeremy Irons and Regina King for their roles as Adrian Veidt and Angela Abar in the Best Lead Actor and Best Lead Actress in a Limited Series or Movie categories.

But while Watchmen is lighting up the field like Dr. Manhattan, it’s not the only genre heavyweight doing the work. Disney+’s breakout Star Wars series, The Mandalorian, racked up nominations across 13 categories, including for Outstanding Drama, as well as Ludwig Göransson’s score highlighting the Outstanding Music Composition for a Series (Original Dramatic Score) category, and a nod for Giancarlo Esposito’s Moff Gideon in the Outstanding Guest Actor In A Drama Series category. The Mandalorian also picked up a nod in the Outstanding Visual Effects category, so technically, we guess you could say Baby Yoda got his own nod? He better be the one to accept if the show wins, that’s all we’re saying.

You can find a sample of some of these year’s nominees below:

Outstanding Drama Series
Better Call Saul
The Crown
The Handmaid’s Tale
Killing Eve
The Mandalorian
Stranger Things

Outstanding Limited Series
Mrs. America
Little Fires Everywhere

Outstanding Comedy Series
Curb Your Enthusiasm
The Good Place
Dead to Me
The Kominsky Method
The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel
Schitt’s Creek
What We Do in the Shadows


Outstanding Lead Actor in a Limited Series or TV Movie
Jeremy Irons, Watchmen
Hugh Jackman, Bad Education
Paul Mescal, Normal People
Jeremy Pope, Hollywood
Mark Ruffalo, I Know This Much Is True

Outstanding Lead Actress in a Limited Series or TV Movie
Cate Blanchett, Mrs. America
Shira Haas, Unorthodox
Regina King, Watchmen
Octavia Spencer, Self-Made
Kerry Washington, Little Fires Everywhere


Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series
Giancarlo Esposito, Better Call Saul
Nicholas Braun, Succession
Kieran Culkin, Succession
Matthew Macfadyen, Succession
Bradley Whitford, The Handmaid’s Tale
Billy Crudup, The Morning Show
Mark Duplass, The Morning Show
Jeffrey Wright, Westworld

Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series
Laura Dern, Big Little Lies
Meryl Streep, Big Little Lies
Fiona Shaw, Killing Eve
Julia Garner, Ozark
Sarah Snook, Succession
Helena Bonham Carter, The Crown
Samira Wiley, The Handmaid’s Tale
Thandie Newton, Westworld

Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Limited Series or Movie
Dylan McDermott, Hollywood
Jim Parsons, Hollywood
Tituss Burgess, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt: Kimmy vs. The Reverend
Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, Watchmen
Jovan Adepo, Watchmen
Louis Gossett Jr., Watchmen

Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Limited Series or Movie
Holland Taylor, Hollywood
Uzo Aduba, Mrs. America
Margo Martindale, Mrs. America
Tracey Ullman, Mrs. America
Toni Collette, Unbelievable
Jean Smart, Watchmen

Outstanding Guest Actor in a Drama Series
Andrew Scott, Black Mirror
James Cromwell, Succession
Giancarlo Esposito, The Mandalorian
Martin Short, The Morning Show
Jason Bateman, The Outsider
Ron Cephas Jones, This Is Us

Outstanding Guest Actress in a Drama Series
Cicely Tyson, How to Get Away With Murder
Laverne Cox, Orange Is the New Black
Cherry Jones, Succession
Harriet Walter, Succession
Alexis Bledel, The Handmaid’s Tale
Phylicia Rashad, This Is Us

You can see the full list of Primetime Emmy nominees here, ahead of the awards kicking off on Sunday, September 20.


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James is a News Editor at io9, where you can find him delivering your morning spoilers, writing about superheroes, and having many feelings about Star Wars. He wants pictures. Pictures of Spider-Man!

Entertainment Reporter. NYU Cinema Studies Alum. Formerly Premiere, EW, Us Weekly, and /Film. AP Award-Winning Film Critic & CCA member. Loves Star Wars, posters, Legos, and often all three at once.


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