Television pats itself on its back before the beginning of the new television season.
September 17, 2018

Yes, it's that time again...the time in which the television industry congratulates themselves on excellence, realized or not.

But I do want to add a little grit to the gloss. If you look at the nominees listed below, this year is the most diverse nominees in the history of the awards, which is great. Yet there are precious few minorities represented or women outside of the female acting categories. Sandra Oh is the first Asian woman to be nominated in 70 years. Sterling K. Brown won the category he's up for again last year, and it was the first time that a black man had won in 20 years. True renaissance man Donald Glover has nominations in writing, directing and acting for his amazing show, Atlanta. But that was a show conceived specifically because he didn't see the representation he wanted offered to him.

I mention that because this week, writer/producer Linda Bloodworth Thomason (Designing Women, Evening Shade) came out with an op-ed that said that Les Moonves' lack of respect and harassment of women wasn't only sexual.

Somewhere in the middle of all this, I was walking the halls one day in the original CBS building. In spite of no longer having gainful employment, I still felt proud that I had been allowed to make a creative contribution to the network I had grown up with — starting with Lucy and Ethel, who had electrified me and inspired me to write comedy. I never dreamed that I would become the first woman, along with my then-writing partner, Mary Kay Place, to write for M*A*S*H. I took pride in being part of a network that always seemed to be rife with crazy, interesting, brash women, from Mary Tyler Moore and Rhoda, to Maude, to Murphy Brown, to the Designing Women. Many of these female characters paved the way for women to be single, to pursue careers and equal pay and to lead rich, romantic lives with reproductive rights.

As I walked, I noticed that the portraits of all these iconic women were no longer adorning the walls. I don’t know why and I didn’t ask. I just know that the likes of them have rarely been seen on that network again. Thanks to Les Moonves, I can only guess they all became vaginal swabs in crime labs on CSI Amarillo.

Representation matters. Telling the stories of those who aren't necessarily white, aren't necessarily male, aren't necessarily wealthy, aren't necessarily straight, aren't necessarily Judeo-Christian, *IS* necessary for others to gain empathy of lives unlike their own. We can trace directly the acceptance of LGBT rights to the popularity of Will & Grace. There have been studies that claim that Spongebob Squarepants has actual impact on the brains of younger viewers. Like or not, television very much plays a significant part in our national zeitgeist.

There are some amazing nominees this year. But in light of how much of what we see is dictated by white, straight, wealthy, conservative males with a history of misogyny and bigotry, I can't help but wonder how many amazing shows we'll never see because the gatekeepers were more interested in gratifying their egos and libidos than bringing representation of the audience to the screen.

Here are the nominees for tonight. John Amato has indicated his predictions with a **.

Outstanding Drama Series
Game of Thrones ** ( I enjoyed every one of the series nominated)
Stranger Things
The Americans
The Crown
The Handmaid's Tale
This Is Us

Outstanding Comedy Series
Atlanta **
Curb Your Enthusiasm
Silicon Valley
The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel
Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt

Outstanding Limited Series
American Crime Story **
Patrick Melrose
The Alienist

Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series
Ed Harris, Westworld
Jason Bateman, Ozark
Jeffrey Wright, Westworld
Matthew Rhys, The Americans **
Milo Ventimiglia, This Is Us
Sterling K. Brown, This Is Us

Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series
Claire Foy, The Crown
Elisabeth Moss, The Handmaid's Tale
Evan Rachel Wood, Westworld
Keri Russell, The Americans **
Sandra Oh, Killing Eve
Tatiana Maslany, Orphan Black

Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series
Anthony Anderson, Black-ish
Bill Hader, Barry
Donald Glover, Atlanta
Larry David, Curb Your Enthusiasm
Ted Danson, The Good Place **
William H. Macy, Shameless

Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series
Allison Janney, Mom
Issa Rae, Insecure
Lily Tomlin, Grace and Frankie
Pamela Adlon, Better Things
Rachel Brosnahan, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel **
Tracee Ellis Ross, Black-ish

Outstanding Lead Actor in a Limited Series or Movie
Antonio Banderas, Genius
Benedict Cumberbatch, Patrick Melrose
Darren Criss, American Crime Story
Jeff Daniels, The Looming Tower **
Jesse Plemons, Black Mirror: USS Callister
John Legend, Jesus Christ Superstar Live in Concert

Outstanding Lead Actress in a Limited Series or Movie
Edie Falco, Law & Order True Crime
Jessica Biel, The Sinner
Laura Dern, The Tale **
Michelle Dockery, Godless
Regina King, Seven Seconds
Sarah Paulson, American Horror Story

Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series
David Harbour, Stranger Things **
Joseph Fiennes, The Handmaid's Tale
Mandy Patinkin, Homeland
Matt Smith, The Crown
Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Game of Thrones
Peter Dinklage, Game of Thrones

Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series
Alexis Bledel, The Handmaid's Tale
Ann Dowd, The Handmaid's Tale
Lena Headey, Game of Thrones
Millie Bobby Brown, Stranger Things
Thandie Newton, Westworld
Vanessa Kirby, The Crown
Yvonne Strahovski, The Handmaid's Tale **

Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series
Alec Baldwin, Saturday Night Live
Brian Tyree Henry, Atlanta ** (Baldwin may win, but Brian is exceptional)
Henry Winkler, Barry
Kenan Thompson, Saturday Night Live
Louie Anderson, Baskets
Tituss Burgess, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt
Tony Shalhoub, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel

Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series
Aidy Bryant, Saturday Night Live
Alex Borstein, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel
Betty Gilpin, GLOW
Kate McKinnon, Saturday Night Live **
Laurie Metcalf, Roseanne
Leslie Jones, Saturday Night Live
Megan Mullally, Will & Grace
Zazie Beetz, Atlanta

Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Limited Series or Movie
Brandon Victor Dixon, Jesus Christ Superstar Live in Concert **
Edgar Ramírez, American Crime Story
Finn Wittrock, American Crime Story
Jeff Daniels, Godless
John Leguizamo, Waco
Michael Stuhlbarg, The Looming Tower
Ricky Martin, American Crime Story

Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Limited Series or Movie
Adina Porter, American Horror Story
Judith Light, American Crime Story
Letitia Wright, Black Mirror: Black Museum
Merritt Wever, Godless
Penélope Cruz, American Crime Story **
Sara Bareilles, Jesus Christ Superstar Live in Concert

Outstanding Variety Talk Series
Full Frontal with Samantha Bee
Jimmy Kimmel Live!
Last Week Tonight with John Oliver **
The Daily Show
The Late Late Show with James Corden
The Late Show with Stephen Colbert

Outstanding Reality-Competition Program
American Ninja Warrior
Project Runway
RuPaul's Drag Race
The Amazing Race
The Voice
Top Chef

Outstanding Directing for a Drama Series
Game of Thrones, Jeremy Podeswa: The Dragon and the Wolf
Game of Thrones, Alan Taylor: Beyond the Wall
Ozark, Jason Bateman: The Toll
Ozark, Daniel Sackheim: Tonight We Improvise
Stranger Things, Ross Duffer, Matt Duffer: Chapter Nine: The Gate
The Crown, Stephen Daldry: Paterfamilias
The Handmaid's Tale, Kari Skogland: After

Outstanding Directing for a Comedy Series
Atlanta, Hiro Murai: Teddy Perkins
Atlanta, Donald Glover: FUBU
Barry, Bill Hader: Chapter One: Make Your Mark
GLOW, Jesse Peretz: Pilot
Silicon Valley, Mike Judge: Initial Coin Offering
The Big Bang Theory, Mark Cendrowski: The Bow Tie Asymmetry
The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, Amy Sherman-Palladino: Pilot

Outstanding Directing for a Limited Series, Movie or a Dramatic Special
American Crime Story, Ryan Murphy: The Man Who Would Be Vogue
Godless, Scott Frank
Jesus Christ Superstar Live in Concert, David Leveaux, Alex Rudzinski
Paterno, Barry Levinson
Patrick Melrose, Edward Berger
The Looming Tower, Craig Zisk: 9/11
Twin Peaks, David Lynch

Outstanding Directing for a Variety Special

Dave Chappelle: Equanimity, Stan Lathan
Jerry Before Seinfeld, Michael Bonfiglio
Steve Martin and Martin Short: An Evening You Will Forget for the Rest of Your Life, Marcus Raboy
Super Bowl LII Halftime Show Starring Justin Timberlake, Hamish Hamilton
The Oscars, Glenn Weiss

Outstanding Writing for a Drama Series
Game of Thrones, David Benioff, D.B. Weiss: The Dragon and the Wolf
Killing Eve, Phoebe Waller-Bridge: Nice Face
Stranger Things, Matt Duffer, Ross Duffer: Chapter Nine: The Gate
The Americans, Joel Fields, Joseph Weisberg: Start
The Crown, Peter Morgan: Mystery Man
The Handmaid's Tale, Bruce Miller: June

Outstanding Writing for a Comedy Series
Atlanta, Stefani Robinson: Barbershop
Atlanta, Donald Glover
Barry, Bill Hader, Alec Berg: Chapter One: Make Your Mark
Barry, Elizabeth Sarnoff: Chapter Seven: Loud, Fast And Keep Going
Silicon Valley, Alec Berg, Fifty-One Percent
The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, Amy Sherman-Palladino: Pilot

Outstanding Writing for a Limited Series, Movie or a Dramatic Special
American Crime Story, Tom Rob Smith: House by the Lake
American Vandal, Kevin McManus, Matthew McManus: Clean Up
Black Mirror, William Bridges, Charlie Brooker: USS Callister
Godless, Scott Frank
Patrick Melrose, David Nicholls
Twin Peaks, David Lynch, Mark Frost **

Outstanding Writing for a Variety Special
Full Frontal with Samantha Bee: The Great American Puerto Rico
John Mulaney: Kid Gorgeous at Radio City
Michelle Wolf: Nice Lady
Patton Oswalt: Annihilation
Steve Martin and Martin Short: An Evening You Will Forget for the Rest of Your Life

Outstanding Variety Sketch Series
At Home with Amy Sedaris
Drunk History
I Love You, America
Saturday Night Live
Tracey Ullman's Show

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