In the age of Peak TV, the list of worthy contenders for the 2016 Emmy Awards was always going to be long, with even more inevitable snubs and omissions given how many worthy shows there are to choose from. But the nominations, announced on Thursday morning by Black-ish’s Anthony Anderson and Gilmore Girls’s Lauren Graham, seemed to show the growing importance of acclaim over ratings, with voters mainly rewarding critical hits over commercial ones.
On the drama side of things, the long-ignored but beloved FX series The Americans got three major nominations for its fourth season: one for Outstanding Drama Series, and one each for its lead actor and actress, Matthew Rhys and Keri Russell. The 2015 breakout USA hit Mr. Robot (which just started its second season) found its way into the outstanding drama category as well, alongside Better Call Saul, Game of Thrones, and the (questionable) Emmys favorites House of Cards and Homeland. Meanwhile, the limited series category seems to only be growing in prestige, with not a single weak show in the bunch.
This year, streaming networks made up exactly half of the entrants for Outstanding Comedy Series, with Netflix’s Master of None getting a nomination for its debut season, and Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt and Transparent remaining in the running after their second seasons. Most shows nominated for best comedy also have strong showings in the performance categories. Silicon Valley has been a notable exception in this regard, but this year marked a turnaround with a lead actor nomination for Thomas Middleditch.