Nominations are in for the Emmy Awards, the US’s highest honours for the US television industry, and there are some surprise hits and misses in the mix.
The sole Australian nominee is The Handmaid’s Tale star Yvonne Strahovski, making the cut which has almost been completely dominated by British royal series The Crown and Star Wars spin-off The Mandalorian.
The bombshell Oprah Winfrey interview with Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, in which the California-based couple accused the royal family of racism, also earned a nomination for best hosted non-fiction series or special.
And surprisingly, Nicole Kidman failed to receive a nomination for her intense performance in psychological thriller The Undoing, while her co-star and “No.1 Dad” Hugh Grant made it into the Outstanding Lead Actor in a limited series category.
HBO and HBO Max led all networks with 130 nominations, followed by Netflix Inc with 129.
Strahovski, who is based in the US but hails from the western Sydney suburb of Werrington Downs, was nominated for outstanding actress in a drama series for her role as the poised but conflicted commander wife Serena Waterford.
The Crown and The Mandalorian racked up 24 nominations each when the lineup was announced on Tuesday morning (AEST), reinforcing the rapid rise of content made for streaming in the past two years.
In her category, Strahovski is up against Gillian Anderson and Helena Bonham Carter from The Crown, fellow Handmaid’s Tale actresses Madeline Brewer, Ann Dowd and Samira Wiley and Aunjanue Ellis from Lovecraft Country.
During an oppressive pandemic in which housebound Americans relied more than ever on television for distraction, TV academy voters recognised a varied mix of storytelling and a diverse group of actors and creators.
Netflix’s The Crown received its fourth nomination for best series, and is likely the streaming service’s best chance to win its first-ever top series trophy.
The British royal drama moved closer to contemporary events with its version of the courtship and rocky marriage of Prince Charles and Diana Spencer, played by Josh O’Connor and Emma Corrin.
O’Connor and Corrin received lead drama acting nods, as did the series’ Olivia Colman for her portrayal of Queen Elizabeth, with a supporting nod to Gillian Anderson for her role as Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher.
The showings by The Mandalorian, an extension of the Star Wars franchise, and the inventive WandaVision featuring the Marvel characters Wanda and Vision, put the series in the ranks of past sci-fi and fantasy Emmy favourites Game Of Thrones and Lost.
The Boys, Amazon’s comedy-tinged take on superheroes, earned a best drama nod.
Other top nominees include previous best drama series winner The Handmaid’s Tale, with 21 nods, tied with Saturday Night Live; The Queen’s Gambit, 18; the costume-drama romp Bridgerton and Hamilton, with 12 each.
Lovecraft Country, a horror-infused drama set in 1950s segregated America, earned an impressive 18 nominations – but was cancelled by HBO after one season.
The Flight Attendant earned nine nominations, including best comedy actress for Kaley Cuoco, and supporting actress for Rosie Perez – who becomes the second Latina nominated in the category, after Sofia Vergara for Modern Family.
One blast from the past getting new respect is Cobra Kai, set 30 years after the events of the Karate Kid film, which earned a best comedy nod and four nominations in all.
The other nominees for best drama series are The Handmaid’s Tale and Lovecraft Country.
The Emmy winners will be announced on September 19.
Last year’s ceremony was held virtually because of the COVID-19 pandemic, but this year’s will air live on US television.