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‘Succession,’ ‘Squid Game’ to face off for top Emmy award

Randy Mancini 9 Jul 13

By Lisa Richwine

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) -“Succession,” the HBO series about a conniving media mogul and his feuding family, racked up 25 Emmy nominations on Tuesday, including one for the prestigious best drama prize.

It will square off against Netflix Inc’s South Korean thriller “Squid Game,” the first non-English language show to be nominated for an Emmy.

“Squid Game” tells the story of cash-strapped contestants who compete for prize money, sometimes with fatal consequences.

Netflix sci-fi hit “Stranger Things,” and HBO’s “Euphoria,” about teens navigating sex, drugs and social media, also were nominated for the drama trophy at television’s highest honors.

Feel-good series “Ted Lasso” will defend its title as best comedy, one of the show’s 20 nominations. The fish-out-of-water story from Apple TV+ will compete against “Hacks,” “Only Murders in the Building” and “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel,” among others.

“Lasso” star Hannah Waddingham, who won a supporting actress Emmy last year, said she was shocked by her second nomination because she thought: “I’ve had my minute.”

“It’s a bit of a magic moment for all of us,” she said of the show’s cast. Ten “Lasso” actors were nominated.

HBO’s “The White Lotus,” about vacationers and staff at a ritzy oceanfront resort, secured 20 nominations and scored a slot in the best limited series field.

Winners of the Emmys will be announced on Sept. 12.

Television Academy CEO Frank Scherma said the group received a record number of submissions this year, a sign that production was thriving after shutdowns during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Streaming television shows dominated the nominations, continuing a trend as audiences flock to online viewing. HBO and HBO Max received 140 nominations overall. Netflix scored 105.

‘CRYING SHAKING AND THROWING UP’

Fourteen of the nominations for “Succession,” which won best drama in 2020, came in acting categories. Brian Cox, who stars as patriarch Logan Roy, will compete for best actor against Jeremy Strong, who plays his troubled son Kendall.

Newcomer “Severance,” a psychological thriller about office workers, earned 14 nominations and will compete for best drama, leaving star and acting nominee Adam Scott at a loss for words.

“It’s overwhelming. I was really deeply surprised and flattered and honored,” Scott said in an interview.

“Abbott Elementary,” a new series from Walt Disney Co’s broadcaster ABC, made its way into the best comedy race.

“Crying shaking and throwing up has new meaning to me because I real life did all three,” Quinta Brunson, who was nominated for writing and acting on the show, wrote on Twitter.

Steve Martin and Martin Short will compete for best comedy actor for Hulu’s “Only Murders in the Building,” about true-crime podcasters, though voters passed over their co-star Selena Gomez in acting categories.

Contenders for best comedy actress include Rachel Brosnahan for her role as a 1950s housewife and comedian on “Mrs. Maisel,” along with Issa Rae of “Insecure” and “Hacks” star Jean Smart.

“Hacks,” about a seasoned female comedian looking to extend her career, received a nomination for the second year in a row for best comedy series.

“I think it’s a really important thing, especially in this moment in time in our country, to highlight women and to tell their stories,” Jen Statsky, co-creator of “Hacks,” said in an interview.

For best drama actress, nominees included previous winner Zendaya for “Euphoria,” Laura Linney for drug-dealing drama “Ozark,” and Melanie Lynskey for new series “Yellowjackets” about high school girls forced to survive in the wilderness.

The final seasons of tear-jerker “This is Us” and comedy “black-ish” did not make the cut in major categories this year. Emmy voters also skipped over popular Western “Yellowstone.”

(Reporting by Lisa Richwine in Los Angeles; Additional reporting by Tyler Clifford and Alicia Powell in New York; Editing by Deepa Babington)

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