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Anonymous Emmy Ballot: Actor/Writer Believes Legends Ted Danson and Lily Tomlin Deserve More Recognition

Also: A big push for "The Americans" and stars Keri Russell and Matthew Rhys in their swan song.

Ted Danson, Lily Tomlin and Sam WaterstonOceana SeaChange Summer Party, Arrivals, Los Angeles, USA - 15 Jul 2017

Ted Danson, Lily Tomlin

Chelsea Lauren/Variety/REX/Shutterstock

Ted Danson has won two Emmys, out of 16 nominations. Both of them were for playing Sam Malone on “Cheers,” most recently in 1993. Lily Tomlin has won six Emmys, out of 25 nominations. Four of them were for writing, one for a special, and the most recent one as a narrator.

That’s not enough for one anonymous Emmy voter who shared their ballot with IndieWire. Both icons are among the picks by this actor/writer, who also hopes FX’s “The Americans” goes out with a big hurrah.

In this installment of IndieWire’s Anonymous Emmy Ballots, the voter chooses “The Americans” for outstanding drama, as well as stars Keri Russell and Matthew Rhys for drama actress and drama actor. “C’mon,” he wrote. “You gotta give this show some love.”

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 the anonymous actor/writer made their picks on this year’s Emmy race. Read on below:

THE AMERICANS -- "Amber Waves" -- Season 5, Episode 1 (Airs Tuesday, March 7, 10:00 pm/ep) -- Pictured: (l-r) Keri Russell as Elizabeth Jennings, Matthew Rhys as Philip Jennings. CR: Patrick Harbron/FX

“The Americans”


Outstanding Drama Series

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

C’mon. You gotta give this show some love.

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

Outstanding Comedy Series

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

It’s the most exciting show in this line-up. You truly don’t know what you will get each week. It’s the new Must-See TV.

“Patrick Melrose”


Outstanding Limited Series

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

Great series. I don’t think anyone watched it though.

Outstanding Television Movie

Fahrenheit 451
The Tale
☑ USS Callister (Black Mirror)

One of the most memorable “Black Mirrors” — it reminds you why you fell in love with it in the first place.

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

I’m a fan of everyone in this category but Keri Russell is the clear standout, she unapologetically places one of the the most complex people on TV. That is unsympathetic yet you can’t take your eyes off her.

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

I’m once again throwing my full support to another “American,” Matthew Rhys’ series arc is magnificent. The finale showed all sides of this character who fell for the American dream yet was loyal to his homeland. He does more with no words than other actors with pages of dialogue.

Grace And Frankie

Lily Tomlin, “Grace And Frankie”

Melissa Moseley / Netflix

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

I know it’s not the “flashy” choice but Lily continues to grow and mature as a comedian and performer with every passing year. Very few actresses can keep doing what she does as good as she does. This performance should be recognized.

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

After decades on screen Ted Danson, who has been nominated more than he has won, seems to be having the time of his life with this role, which shows him in such a new way you can hardly believe you’ve been watching him your whole life.

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

[No pick.]

JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR LIVE IN CONCERT -- Season: 2018 -- Pictured: John Legend as Jesus Christ -- (Photo by: James Dimmock/NBC)

John Legend, “Jesus Christ Superstar Live In Concert”

James Dimmock/NBC

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)

When you can help someone get an EGOT you have to do it.

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

The unsung hero of this show, Yvonne finally was able to step into the spotlight and this season she delivers a KNOCKOUT performance.

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

I just love him. In a show full of big characters he leads the way with a complex character that evolves more complexly each season.

Kate McKinnon as Frances McDormand on SNL

Kate McKinnon as Frances McDormand, “Saturday Night Live”


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

If we are taking about funny. There is no one that makes me laugh harder than Kate every Saturday night. She has taken Will Ferrell’s throne.

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

He takes a potentially one-note character and makes it one of the most nuanced performances on TV.

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)

[No reason given.]

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

An actor who consistently turns in amazing performances. His role on this show is quiet perfection.

Drag Race RuPaul

RuPaul on the Season 10 finale of “RuPaul’s Drag Race”


Outstanding Reality/Competition Program

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

Yaaas QUEEN! Go get that trophy — You’ve been leading the way for years, we are just catching up.

Outstanding Structured Reality Program

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

May all reboots be as good, timely and socially relevant.

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

[No pick.]

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

I love RuPaul and I will fight anyone who disagrees that they’re the most purposefully entertaining person on this list.

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

You can’t miss this show. It does more than “60 Minutes” in 30 and makes you laugh way harder too.


“Drunk History”

Comedy Central

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

The scope of this show is so impressive to me. While all of these are entertaining, I feel like I walk away smarter after watching “Drunk History.”

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

Finally, a live musical that isn’t lame or embarrassing.

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

Dave is doing what no other comedian is doing and that’s pushing buttons, challenging what you think and saying uncomfortable things. Whether or not you agree with him, he’s the comedian we need that makes you laugh and slightly uncomfortable.

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

David Letterman doing what he wants with whom he wants, the way he wants. Perfection.

[Production assistance by Liz Shannon Miller.]

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