The Emmy nominations came out this morning and although I was hopeful that Empire would be nominated for best drama, I knew better. It’s good stuff but it’s a nightime soap opera at best. I’m so glad Taraji P. Henson got her nod for Best Actress in a Drama along with Viola Davis who stars in “How to Get Away with Murder”. Both gave unforgettable and buzzworthy performances this year. I was surprised but elated that Anthony Anderson was nominated for Best Lead Actor in a comedy for his portrayal of Andre Johnson on ABC’s “Blackish.” It’s his first Emmy nomination! Don Cheadle was nominated again for his brilliant portrayal of Marty Kaan, a manipulative, immoral, driven and cold management consultant on Showtime’s “House of Lies” as well as Reg E. Cathy who plays Freddy Hayes on the same show. Queen Latifah of HBO’s “Bessie” scored big with nominations for Lead Actress in a limited series or movie, Best TV Movie, Michael K. Williams for Best Supporting Actor as Bessie’s husband Jack Gee and a nomination for Mo’Nique’s outstanding performance as Ma Rainey. That movie was so good, I went back and read Bessie Smith’s biography all over again and I still wanted to know more about her. David Oyelowo and Uzo Aduba got nods for their performances in “Nightingale” and “Orange is the New Black respectively”. How cool is it that Andre Braugher got nominated as Best Supporting Actor in a Comedy series for his role as deadpan Captain Frank Pembelton in the hilarious “Brooklyn Nine Nine”? The multi-talented Keegan Michael Key was nominated for his excellent character work on Comedy Central’s sketch series”Key and Peele”. He and co-star Jordan Peele also were nominated for Outstanding Writing for a Variety Series and their Super Bowl Variety special. Can I tell you how excited I am that Broadway actor Tituss Burgess was nominated for his hilarious supporting role on Tina Fey and Robert Carlock’s Netflix series, “The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt?” If you haven’t seen the show, trust me when I tell you that he will make you laugh your face off during his scenes. Well, at least I did. Many of us already know Niecy Nash is a wonderful comedic actress and the TV Academy has bestowed a Best Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series nomination for her portrayal as Didi Ortley in Showtime’s “Getting On”. The formidible Angela Bassett was nominated as Best Supporting Actress in a Limited Series or movie for her chilling role as Sorceress Desiree Dupree on American Horror Story “Freak Show” and Regina King who was AMAZING in ABC’s American Crime as Aliya Shaheed. Khandi Alexander was nominated as outstanding Guest Actress for playing crafty Mama Maya Pope on “Scandal”. If you saw Cicely Tyson’s intense performance as Ophelia Hartness, Viola Davis’s mom on “How to Get away with Murder” and was blown away like I was (and I don’t even watch the show), you’ll be happy to know she got nominated for Outstanding Guest Actress as well. Veteran keyboardist Greg Phillinganes got a Outstanding Musical Direction nomination for the fabulous feel good CBS Special “Stevie Wonder “Songs in the Key of Life-An All Star Grammy Salute”.
No people of color received nominations in the categories of lead actor and supporting actress in a drama series. The same went for lead actress in a comedy series for which I feel Jane the Virgin actress Gina Rodriguez deserved. But considering how Emmy nominations have been so devoid of color in the past, this is a vast improvement.
The Emmy’s will air September 20th on Fox. I am really looking forward to it.