Watchmen, cloaked in super hero mythology and grounded in real-world racism, received a leading 26 nominations Tuesday for the prime-time Emmy Awards, while all four leads in the Canadian comedy series Schitt’s Creek scored nominations for the show’s sixth and final season.
Watchmen, which captured America’s unease as it faces racial clashes amid a pandemic, was nominated as best limited series and received bids for cast members including Regina King and Jeremy Irons.
King was part of a vanguard of actors of colour who showed that TV academy voters took heed of calls for change.
The Amazon comedy The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel is the second most-nominated series with 20, followed by Netflix’s Ozark with 18.
“This year, we are also bearing witness to one of the greatest fights for social justice in history. And it is our duty to use this medium for change,” Frank Scherma, chairman and CEO of the Television Academy said at the outset of the presentation.
The nominations, typically unveiled with fanfare at the TV academy’s Los Angeles headquarters, were announced online Tuesday by presenters Leslie Jones of Saturday Night Live, Laverne Cox of Orange is the New Black, Josh Gad of Frozen and Tatiana Maslany of Orphan Black.
All four leads in the Canadian comedy series Schitt’s Creek have scored Emmy nominations for the show’s sixth and final season, which brought in a total of 15 nominations.
The Ontario-shot CBC show, which airs on Pop TV in the U.S., is also nominated for best comedy series.
Stars Eugene Levy and Catherine O’Hara received nominations for their leading roles as the parents of a formerly wealthy family.
Daniel Levy, who co-created the series with dad Eugene, is a contender in the categories of supporting actor, directing and writing in a comedy series.
And Annie Murphy is up for supporting actress in a comedy series.
Together, they play the Roses, who live in a motel in a small town after losing their fortune.
This is the second year in a row the show has been nominated at the Emmys.
WATCH: What to expect from this year’s Emmy Awards:
Other Canadian Emmy nominees this year include Ottawa-raised Sandra Oh for lead actress in a drama series for Killing Eve, which airs on CTV Drama Channel and Crave in Canada, and BBC America.
She plays a determined MI-5 operative caught up in a mind game with a female assassin, played by Jodie Comer, who is also nominated in the same category this year.
And Full Frontal with Samantha Bee, hosted by the titular Toronto-born comedian, is up for best variety talk series.
The Emmy Awards, hosted by Jimmy Kimmel, will be presented Sept. 20 on ABC.
Select nominees for the 2020 Emmy Awards
Lead actor in a comedy series:
- Don Cheadle, Black Monday
- Anthony Anderson, Black-ish
- Ramy Yousef, Ramy
- Michael Douglas, The Kominsky Method
- Ted Danson, The Good Place
- Eugene Levy, Schitt’s Creek
Lead actress in a comedy series:
- Christina Applegate, Dead to Me
- Rachel Brosnahan, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel
- Tracee Ellis Ross, Black-ish
- Issa Rae, Insecure
- Catherine O’Hara, Schitt’s Creek
- Linda Cardellini, Dead to Me
- Curb Your Enthusiasm
- Dead to Me
- Schitt’s Creek
- The Good Place
Lead actor in a drama series:
- Jason Bateman, Ozark
- Sterling K. Brown, This is Us
- Brian Cox, Succession
- Steve Carell, The Morning Show
- Billy Porter, Pose
- Jeremy Strong, Succession
Lead actress in a drama series:
- Zendaya, Euphoria
- Jodie Comer, Killing Eve
- Olivia Colman, The Crown
- Laura Linney, Ozark
- Sandra Oh, Killing Eve
- Jennifer Aniston, The Morning Show
- Better Call Saul
- Killing Eve
- Stranger Things
- Little Fires Everywhere
- Mrs. America
Lead actor in a limited series or TV movie:
- Hugh Jackman, Bad Education
- Jeremy Pope, Hollywood
- Mark Ruffalo, I Know This Much Is True
- Paul Mescal, Normal People
- Jeremy Irons, Watchmen
Lead actress in a limited series or movie:
- Kerry Washington, Little Fires Everywhere
- Cate Blanchett, Mrs. America
- Octavia Spencer, Self Made: Inspired By The Life Of Madam C.J. Walker
- Shira Haas, Unorthodox
- Regina King, Watchmen
- Nailed It!
- The Masked Singer
- The Voice
- RuPaul’s Drag Race
- Top Chef
Variety talk series:
- The Daily Show with Trevor Noah
- Full Frontal with Samantha Bee
- Jimmy Kimmel Live
- Last Week Tonight with John Oliver
- The Late Show with Stephen Colbert
A complete list of nominees is at Emmys.com.