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Anonymous Emmy Ballot: Communications Exec Doesn’t Usually Like ‘Jesus Christ Superstar,’ But Voted For NBC’s Version

A win for the live concert special, starring John Legend, would now also serve as a tribute to late producer Craig Zadan, who died this week at 69.

"Jesus Christ Superstar": Sara Bareilles as Mary Magdalene, John Legend as Jesus Christ, Alice Cooper as King Herod, Brandon Victor Dixon as Judas Iscariot, Jason Tam as Peter

“Jesus Christ Superstar Live in Concert”

James Dimmock/NBC

If “Jesus Christ Superstar Live in Concert” wins for Outstanding Variety Special (Live) this year, it would be the ultimate tribute to executive producer Craig Zadan, who died this week at the age of 69, following complications due to shoulder replacement surgery. Zadan and producing partner Neil Meron have been behind countless TV movies and events, films, and Broadway musicals over the years — and their productions have received countless Academy Award, Primetime Emmy Award, and Tony Award nominations.

“Craig’s distinguished career as a passionate and consummate producer is eclipsed only by his genuine love for the thousands of actors, directors, writers, musicians, designers, and technicians he worked with over the years,” NBC Entertainment chairman Bob Greenblatt said. “His absence will be felt in our hearts and throughout our business.”

JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR LIVE IN CONCERT -- "For Your Consideration Event" -- Pictured: (l-r) Craig Zadan, Andrew Lloyd Webber, Neil Meron at the Egyptian Theatre, Hollywood, Calif. on May 21, 2018 -- (Photo by: Evans Vestal Ward/NBC)

Craig Zadan, Andrew Lloyd Webber, Neil Meron, “Jesus Christ Superstar”

Evans Vestal Ward/NBC

Zadan’s credits go back to “Footloose,” and also include the Academy Award-winning “Chicago,” CBS’ “Gypsy,” starring Bette Midler, the Brandy/Whitney Houston take on “Cinderella” for ABC’s “Wonderful World of Disney,” and five live musicals on NBC that began with “The Sound of Music” and include “Jesus Christ Superstar.” Besides that nomination, Zadan and Meron are also nominated in the Outstanding TV Movie category for producing Lifetime’s “Flint.”

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.

In this edition, a communications executive explains why they chose “Jesus Christ Superstar Live in Concert,” among other picks in this year’s Emmy race. Read on below:

Outstanding Drama Series

The Americans
☑ The Crown
Game Of Thrones
The Handmaid’s Tale
Stranger Things
This Is Us

It just never wavered in quality. All creative hands were on deck.

Read More: Emmy Predictions 2018 — The 70th Annual Primetime Emmys

Outstanding Comedy Series

Curb Your Enthusiasm
☑ The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel
Silicon Valley
Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt

A brilliant comedic tonic to counter our challenging, dark political climate.

“Patrick Melrose”

Justin Downing/SHOWTIME

Outstanding Limited Series

The Alienist
The Assassination Of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story
Genius: Picasso
☑ Patrick Melrose

It was just taut and riveting. All the other nominees needed an editor.

Outstanding Television Movie

Fahrenheit 451
☑ The Tale
USS Callister (Black Mirror)

The best of the bunch. It went this genre’s best year.

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

Nuanced, brilliant performance.

Lead Actor in a Drama Series

Jason Bateman/Ozark
☑ Sterling K. Brown/This Is Us
Ed Harris/Westworld
Matthew Rhys/The Americans
Milo Ventimiglia/This Is Us
Jeffrey Wright/Westworld

Complex, emotional performance — a tie with Rhys.

The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel Season 1 Rachel Brosnahan

“The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel”

Nicole Rivelli/Amazon Studios

Lead Actress in a Comedy Series

Pamela Adlon/Better Things
☑ Rachel Brosnahan/The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel
Allison Janney/Mom
Issa Rae/Insecure
Tracee Ellis Ross/black-ish
Lily Tomlin/Grace And Frankie

Once in a great while a star is born. Her performance is thrilling. Period.

Read More: Full IndieWire Awards Coverage

Lead Actor in a Comedy Series

Anthony Anderson/black-ish
Ted Danson/The Good Place
Larry David/Curb Your Enthusiasm
Donald Glover/Atlanta
Bill Hader/Barry
William H. Macy/Shameless

[No pick.]

The Tale

Laura Dern in “The Tale”


Lead Actress in a Limited Series/Movie

Jessica Biel/The Sinner
☑ Laura Dern/The Tale
Michelle Dockery/Godless
Edie Falco/Law & Order True Crime: The Menendez Murders
Regina King/Seven Seconds
Sarah Paulson/American Horror Story: Cult

She’s absolutely heartbreaking — and thats challenging for any actor.

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)

He became this man — you didn’t see the acting.

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

[No pick.]

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
Mandy Patinkin/Homeland
Matt Smith/The Crown

[No pick.]

Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series

Zazie Beetz/Atlanta
☑ Alex Borstein/The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel
Aidy Bryant/Saturday Night Live
Betty Gilpin/GLOW
Leslie Jones/Saturday Night Live
Kate McKinnon/Saturday Night Live
Laurie Metcalf/Roseanne
Megan Mullally/Will & Grace

In the truest definition of the category, Alex supported the lead actress movingly and hilariously.

Barry Season 1 Henry Winkler

Henry Winkler, “Barry”

Michele K. Short / HBO

Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series

Louie Anderson/Baskets
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

It took him over four decades to land a plum role that he was born to play, but The Fonz knocked it out of the park.

Read More: Anonymous Emmy Ballot: Publicist Says ‘Silicon Valley’ and ‘Curb Your Enthusiasm’ Have Gone Downhill, But Raves for ‘Barry’

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)

From “Nurse Jackie” to this? Is there anything Merritt can’t do?

Supporting Actor in a Limited Series or Movie

Jeff Daniels/Godless
Brandon Victor Dixon/Jesus Christ Superstar Live In Concert
John Leguizamo/Waco
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

Very moving.

Outstanding Reality/Competition Program

The Amazing Race
American Ninja Warrior
Project Runway
RuPaul’s Drag Race
Top Chef
The Voice

[No pick.]

Outstanding Structured Reality Program

Antiques Roadshow
Fixer Upper
Lip Sync Battle
Queer Eye
Shark Tank
Who Do You Think You Are?

[No pick.]

“Born This Way”


Outstanding Unstructured Reality Program

☑ Born This Way
Deadliest Catch
Naked And Afraid
RuPaul’s Drag Race: Untucked
United Shades Of America With W. Kamau Bell

Smart, sensitive look at Downs Syndrome.

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

[No pick.]

Read More: Emmys: Donald Glover and Rachel Brosnahan Appear to Be Comedy Locks, But Spoilers Lurk — Screen Talk Emmy Edition

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

Razor sharp every time.

SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE -- Season 43 Cast Shot -- Pictured: (front l-r) Kyle Mooney, Pete Davidson, Colin Jost, Leslie Jones, Mikey Day, Michael Che; (middle l-r) Heidi Gardner, Kate McKinnon, Cecily Strong, Aidy Bryant, Beck Bennett; (back l-r) Kenan Thompson, Chris Redd, Luke Null, Melissa Villaseñor, Alex Moffat -- (Photo by: Mary Ellen Matthews/NBC)

“Saturday Night Live”

Mary Ellen Matthews/NBC

Outstanding Variety Sketch Series

At Home With Amy Sedaris
Drunk History
I Love You, America With Sarah Silverman
☑ Saturday Night Live
Tracey Ullman’s Show

Because it takes chances on a weekly basis.

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
The Oscars

Not my favorite musical by a country mile, but expert staging and performances for a new generation.

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

Because it captured the love affair we all have with this stunning national treasure.

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
☑ Vice

News 2018 style: roguish, intrepid, unique approach.

[Production assistance by Liz Shannon Miller.]

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