By Lynn Elber
"The Crown” tied with “The Mandalorian” for the most Emmy nominations Tuesday with 24 apiece, but the Marvel universe also got bragging rights with runner-up “WandaVision.”
The nominations reinforced the rapid rise of streaming, with most of the top-nominated scripted shows on services that emerged in the past two years. In the top three categories — drama, comedy and limited series — broadcast networks scored only two nominations, for the NBC drama “This Is Us” and the ABC comedy “black-ish.”
During an oppressive pandemic in which housebound Americans relied more than ever on television for distraction, TV academy voters recognized a varied mix of storytelling and a diverse group of actors and creators.
One example: Mj Rodriguez of “Pose” is the first trans woman to be nominated in a lead acting category. The show also earned a best drama series nod.
This video grab provided by the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences shows Ron Cephas Jones as he announces Mj Rodriguez as a nominee for lead actress in a drama series for "Pose" during the 73rd Emmy Awards Nominations Announcement on Tuesday, July 13, 2021. (Television Academy via AP)
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 II, with a supporting bid to Gillian Anderson for her performance as Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher.
The showings by “The Mandalorian,” an extension of the “Star Wars” franchise, and the inventive “WandaVison” featuring the Marvel characters Wanda and Vision, put the series in the ranks of past sci-fi and fantasy Emmy favorites “Game of Thrones” and “Lost.”
“I would never have thought in a million years that playing a witch in a Marvel show would lead to this. It’s like a dream,” said “WandaVision” co-star Kathryn Hahn. The show's total of 23 nominations was especially sweet.
“I’m so moved that the whole of it has been recognized,” Hahn said. “It was incredibly difficult. It was a hard, hard shoot. But ... the experience of making this meant so much to me and it was so unexpectedly deep.”
The frontrunner on the comedy side is the good-hearted “Ted Lasso,” about a middling American football coach imported to England to handle a soccer team. The Apple TV+ series received 20 nominations, including for top comedy, star Jason Sudeikis and six cast members.
“Hacks,” starring Jean Smart as a stand-up comedian who resists getting aged out of Las Vegas and life, was next with 15 nods, including a lead actor award for Smart and a supporting bid for Hannah Einbinder.
Smart, who some have said is enjoying a career “Jeannaisance,” earned a second nomination for her supporting role in “Mare of Easttown.” The limited series received 16 nods, including for star Kate Winslet.
Among the other who doubled down on nominations: “Saturday Night Live" stars Kenan Thompson and Aidy Bryant, who received supporting acting bids for the variety show as well as lead comedy series acting nods for, respectively, “”Kenan" and “Shrill.”
This image released by Netflix shows Emma Corrin in a scene from "The Crown." Corrin was nominated for an Emmy Award for outstanding leading actress in a drama series. (Des Willie/Netflix via AP)
There were surprises, as usual. Nicole Kidman failed to receive a nomination for limited series “The Undoing,” while co-star Hugh Grant was recognized. But the critically acclaimed miniseries “I May Destroy You” and its star and creator, Michaela Coel, grabbed nine Emmy nods after being snubbed by the Golden Globes.
One blast from the past getting new respect: “Cobra Kai,” set 30 years after the events of the “Karate Kid” film, earned a best comedy nod and four nominations in all.
The other nominees for best drama series are: “The Boys”; “Bridgerton”; “The Handmaid’s Tale” and “Lovecraft Country.”
The other nominees for best comedy series are: “Emily in Paris”; “The Flight Attendant”; “The Kominsky Method” and “PEN15.”
The nominees for best miniseries are: “The Queen’s Gambit”; “I May Destroy You”; “Mare of Easttown”; “The Underground Railroad"; “WandaVision.”
The other nominees for best actress in a comedy series are: Kaley Cuoco, “The Flight Attendant”; Tracee Ellis Ross, “black-ish” and Allison Janney, “Mom.”
The nominees for best actor in a comedy series besides Sudeikis are: Anthony Anderson, “black-ish”; Michael Douglas, “The Kominsky Method”; William H. Macy, “Shameless”; Kenan Thompson, “Kenan.”
The other nominees for best actress in a drama series are: Elisabeth Moss, “The Handmaid’s Tale”; Uzo Aduba, “In Treatment” and Jurnee Smollett, “Lovecraft Country.”
The nominees for best actor in a drama series are: Sterling K. Brown, “This Is Us”; Jonathan Majors, “Lovecraft Country”; Josh O’Connor, “The Crown”; Regé-Jean Page, “Bridgerton”; Billy Porter, “Pose”; Matthew Rhys, “Perry Mason.”
The nominees for best actor in a limited series or TV movie are: Paul Bettany, “WandaVision”; Hugh Grant, “The Undoing”; Ewan McGregor, “Halston”; Lin-Manuel Miranda, “Hamilton”; Leslie Odom Jr., “Hamilton.”
The nominees for best actress in a limited series or TV movie are: Michaela Coel, “I May Destroy You”; Cynthia Erivo, “Genius: Aretha”; Elizabeth Olsen, “WandaVision”; Anya Taylor-Joy, “The Queen’s Gambit”; Kate Winslet, “Mare of Easttown.”
Father-and-daughter actors Ron Cephas Jones (“This Is Us”) and Jasmine Cephas Jones (“Blindspotting”) and TV Academy head Frank Scherma announced the nominees. There were awkward moments when the pair mispronounced some nominees' names, including referring to Taylor-Joy as “Anna.”
The Sept. 19 ceremony, which last year was held virtually because of the COVID-19 pandemic, will air live on CBS from a theater and include a limited in-person audience of nominees and guests. Cedric the Entertainer is the host.
This story has been corrected to show that two broadcast network series, “black-ish” and “This Is Us” received nominations in the top three categories.
AP Entertainment Writer Ryan Pearson contributed to this report.
Updated on July 13, 2021, at 2:27 p.m. ET with the latest details.