“Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown” scored six Emmy nominations this year, including two for Bourdain himself: Outstanding Informational Series or Special, and Outstanding Writing for a Nonfiction Program. The digital series “Anthony Bourdain: Explore Parts Unknown” also received a nomination, giving voters seven shots at honoring the late chef and host.
But the death of a star doesn’t necessarily guarantee a posthumous Emmy. Just last year, it was thought Carrie Fisher might land the Outstanding Guest Actress in a Comedy Emmy for her role on “Catastrophe,” but instead it went to Melissa McCarthy.
“Parts Unknown” won the Outstanding Informational Series or Special Emmy four years in a row, from 2013 to 2016, so the CNN series has a track record in the category. But voters may also choose to honor Bourdain in the writing category, and give the series award to another program.
One editor, filling out IndieWire’s anonymous Emmy ballot, argued that Bourdain, “rest his soul, has been recognized for this great series many times,” and instead threw their weight behind David Letterman, host of Netflix’s “My Next Guest Needs No Introduction With David Letterman.”
“Letterman, despite his flaws, is a national treasure who needs to keep exploring this format,” they wrote. “This is the most interesting in this category.”
IndieWire reached out to creatives across the industry this year to share their own Emmy ballots, anonymously, and explain why they made their choices. Performers, writers, producers, publicists, executives, and craftspeople from across the industry offered up their answers, and IndieWire has been posting some of those ballots last week and this week.
Here’s how an editor made their picks on this year’s Emmy race. Read on below:
Outstanding Drama Series
Game Of Thrones
☑ The Handmaid’s Tale
This Is Us
Hard to watch, but brilliantly executed on all levels and almost every episode.
Outstanding Comedy Series
Curb Your Enthusiasm
☑ The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel
Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt
Such joy in watching Mrs. Maisel and company follow their dreams during a time that was even tougher for women to do so.
Outstanding Limited Series
The Assassination Of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story
Great execution, story and characters overall.
Outstanding Television Movie
USS Callister (Black Mirror)
Levinson, Pacino and Baker – winning combination.
Lead Actress in a Drama Series
Claire Foy/The Crown
☑ Tatiana Maslany/Orphan Black
Elisabeth Moss/The Handmaid’s Tale
Sandra Oh/Killing Eve
Keri Russell/The Americans
Evan Rachel Wood/Westworld
Maslany plays many different characters and moves flawlessly and powerfully from one to another.
Lead Actor in a Drama Series
Sterling K. Brown/This Is Us
Matthew Rhys/The Americans
Milo Ventimiglia/This Is Us
☑ Jeffrey Wright/Westworld
Wright’s performance is nuanced, layered and intriguing, balancing humanity and technology in a way that draws you in, is believable, sad yet hopeful.
Nicole Rivelli/Amazon Studios
Lead Actress in a Comedy Series
Pamela Adlon/Better Things
☑ Rachel Brosnahan/The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel
Tracee Ellis Ross/black-ish
Lily Tomlin/Grace And Frankie
This is a tough one, but Brosnahan is marvelous in this role and it’s endlessly enjoyable to follow her story.
Read More: Full IndieWire Awards Coverage
Lead Actor in a Comedy Series
Ted Danson/The Good Place
Larry David/Curb Your Enthusiasm
☑ William H. Macy/Shameless
Macy is amazing in this role, as always. There’s more depth and skill at work here than in the other roles/shows.
Lead Actress in a Limited Series/Movie
Jessica Biel/The Sinner
Laura Dern/The Tale
☑ Edie Falco/Law & Order True Crime: The Menendez Murders
Regina King/Seven Seconds
Sarah Paulson/American Horror Story: Cult
Falco balances the complex and many sides to her character with empathy, without judgement, and great skill.
Lead Actor in a Limited Series/Movie
Antonio Banderas/Genius: Picasso
Darren Criss/The Assassination Of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story
Benedict Cumberbatch/Patrick Melrose
☑ Jeff Daniels/The Looming Tower
John Legend/Jesus Christ Superstar Live In Concert
Jesse Plemons/USS Callister (Black Mirror)
All of these actors bring so much skill to their roles, but Daniels is just an actor in his own category, handling this role with rare prowess and competence.
Supporting Actress in a Drama Series
Alexis Bledel/The Handmaid’s Tale
Millie Bobby Brown/Stranger Things
Ann Dowd/The Handmaid’s Tale
Lena Headey/Game Of Thrones
Vanessa Kirby/The Crown
☑ Thandie Newton/Westworld
Yvonne Strahovski/The Handmaid’s Tale
Newton is brilliant in this role, crossing the line between human being and robot with such facility, artistry, courage and beauty.
Supporting Actor in a Drama Series
Nikolaj Coster-Waldau/Game Of Thrones
Peter Dinklage/Game Of Thrones
Joseph Fiennes/The Handmaid’s Tale
☑ David Harbour/Stranger Things
Matt Smith/The Crown
Under-recognized actor who does a great job as the lifeline to the viewer in this role.
Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series
☑ Alex Borstein/The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel
Aidy Bryant/Saturday Night Live
Leslie Jones/Saturday Night Live
Kate McKinnon/Saturday Night Live
Megan Mullally/Will & Grace
Such a watchable, unique and terrific talent, Borstein displays such moxie, cunning and craft.
Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series
Alec Baldwin/Saturday Night Live
Tituss Burgess/Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt
Brian Tyree Henry/Atlanta
Tony Shalhoub/The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel
Kenan Thompson/Saturday Night Live
☑ Henry Winkler/Barry
Though Louie is vulnerable, sweet and brilliant in “Baskets,” he has rightfully been recognized year after year, and this feels like the role and the year in which Winkler should be recognized for his fantastic portrayal of some of the people we meet in the entertainment industry. Funny!
Supporting Actress in a Limited Series or Movie
Sara Bareilles/Jesus Christ Superstar Live In Concert
Penélope Cruz/The Assassination Of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story
Judith Light/The Assassination Of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story
Adina Porter/American Horror Story: Cult
☑ Merritt Wever/Godless
Letitia Wright/Black Museum (Black Mirror)
Wever is amazing in this fantastic gender-bending role. A stunner!
Supporting Actor in a Limited Series or Movie
Brandon Victor Dixon/Jesus Christ Superstar Live In Concert
Ricky Martin/The Assassination Of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story
☑ Edgar Ramírez/The Assassination Of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story
Michael Stuhlbarg/The Looming Tower
Finn Wittrock/The Assassination Of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story
This underrated, under-recognized actor always delivers, and this is the role he should be recognized for.
Outstanding Reality/Competition Program
The Amazing Race
American Ninja Warrior
☑ RuPaul’s Drag Race
Still fabulous and getting better each season.
Outstanding Structured Reality Program
Lip Sync Battle
☑ Queer Eye
Who Do You Think You Are?
This reboot is fantastic!
Outstanding Unstructured Reality Program
Born This Way
Naked And Afraid
RuPaul’s Drag Race: Untucked
☑ United Shades Of America With W. Kamau Bell
The others feel old. “United Shades” is relevant and current.
Host for a Reality or Reality/Competition Program
W. Kamau Bell/United Shades Of America With W. Kamau Bell
Ellen Degeneres/Ellen’s Game Of Games
RuPaul/RuPaul’s Drag Race
Heidi Klum and Tim Gunn/Project Runway
☑ Jane Lynch/Hollywood Game Night
Outstanding Variety Talk Series
The Daily Show With Trevor Noah
Full Frontal With Samantha Bee
☑ Jimmy Kimmel Live!
Last Week Tonight With John Oliver
The Late Late Show With James Corden
The Late Show With Stephen Colbert
The best right now. Also love Seth Meyers, but he isn’t listed here.
Outstanding Variety Sketch Series
At Home With Amy Sedaris
I Love You, America With Sarah Silverman
Saturday Night Live
Tracey Ullman’s Show
Brilliant, should be recognized!
Outstanding Variety Special (Live)
The 75th Annual Golden Globe Awards
60th Annual Grammy Awards
☑ Jesus Christ Superstar Live In Concert
Night Of Too Many Stars: America Unites For Autism Programs
Fine production and very good performances, interesting take and direction. The Oscars were not good this year, Grammys are overdone, Globes are underdone, “Night of Too Many Stars” is too much.
Outstanding Variety Special (Pre-Recorded)
Carol Burnett Show 50th Anniversary Special
Carpool Karaoke Primetime Special 2018
☑ Dave Chappelle: Equanimity
Full Frontal With Samantha Bee Presents: The Great American* Puerto Rico (*It’s Complicated)
Steve Martin & Martin Short: An Evening You Will Forget For The Rest Of Your Life
By far the best in this category.
Outstanding Informational Series or Special
Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown
Leah Remini: Scientology And The Aftermath
☑ My Next Guest Needs No Introduction With David Letterman
StarTalk With Neil deGrasse Tyson
Letterman, despite his flaws, is a national treasure who needs to keep exploring this format. This is the most interesting in this category. “Vice” is way too focused on the extremes of any given subject, Bourdain, rest his soul, has been recognized for this great series many times, Remini is overzealous and the series is produced more like a reality show than a documentary series. “StarTalk” is boring.
[Production assistance by Liz Shannon Miller.]