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.”
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 Crown
Game Of Thrones
The Handmaid’s Tale
This Is Us
It just never wavered in quality. All creative hands were on deck.
Outstanding Comedy Series
Curb Your Enthusiasm
☑ The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel
Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt
A brilliant comedic tonic to counter our challenging, dark political climate.
Outstanding Limited Series
The Assassination Of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story
☑ Patrick Melrose
It was just taut and riveting. All the other nominees needed an editor.
Outstanding Television Movie
☑ 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
☑ Sterling K. Brown/This Is Us
Matthew Rhys/The Americans
Milo Ventimiglia/This Is Us
Complex, emotional performance — a tie with Rhys.
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
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
Ted Danson/The Good Place
Larry David/Curb Your Enthusiasm
William H. Macy/Shameless
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
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
Yvonne Strahovski/The Handmaid’s Tale
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
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
In the truest definition of the category, Alex supported the lead actress movingly and hilariously.
Michele K. Short / HBO
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
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.
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
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
Outstanding Reality/Competition Program
The Amazing Race
American Ninja Warrior
RuPaul’s Drag Race
Outstanding Structured Reality Program
Lip Sync Battle
Who Do You Think You Are?
Outstanding Unstructured Reality Program
☑ Born This Way
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
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.
Mary Ellen Matthews/NBC
Outstanding Variety Sketch Series
At Home With Amy Sedaris
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
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
News 2018 style: roguish, intrepid, unique approach.
[Production assistance by Liz Shannon Miller.]