The many directing and writing categories have their favorites, with incumbents like “Saturday Night Live,” “Black Mirror,” “Last Week Tonight with John Oliver,” and “The Handmaid’s Tale” back in a variety of categories and looking for a repeat win. But there’s one category this year that will take a much larger meaning: Outstanding Writing For A Nonfiction Program.
That’s because the late Anthony Bourdain is a nominee in the category, for the “Southern Italy” episode of his CNN series “Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown.” Bourdain died in June, and the wounds are still being felt among his fans, colleagues and even competitors. Emmy voters may want to pay one last tribute to Bourdain by recognizing him as a stellar writer.
Bourdain has been nominated X times for outstanding writing for a nonfiction program, but hasn’t won in the category. He did pick up four Emmys for Outstanding Informational Series or Special, as “Parts Unknown” won in 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2016. It’s nominated in that category again this year as well. “Parts Unknown” recently won the Television Critics Association Award for best informational/news program.
In the key writing categories, “Atlanta” (Donald Glover), “Atlanta” (Stefani Robinson), “Barry” (Alec Berg and Bill Hader), “Barry” (Liz Sarnoff), “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” (Amy Sherman-Palladino), and “Silicon Valley” (Alec Berg) face off in comedy. In drama, showrunners rule: “The Americans” (Joel Fields and Joe Weisberg), “The Crown” (Peter Morgan), “Game of Thrones” (David Benioff and D.B. Weiss), “The Handmaid’s Tale” (Bruce Miller), “Killing Eve” (Phoebe Waller-Bridge) and “Stranger Things” (The Duffer Brothers) compete.
Directing for a comedy is also stacked: “Atlanta” (Donald Glover), “Atlanta” (Hiro Murai), “Barry” (Bill Hader), “The Big Bang Theory” (Mark Cendrowski), “GLOW” (Jesse Peretz), “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” (Amy Sherman-Palladino), “Silicon Valley” (Mike Judge) face off. The Outstanding Directing For A Drama Series race includes “The Crown” (Stephen Daldry), “Game Of Thrones” (Alan Taylor), “Game Of Thrones” ( Jeremy Podeswa), “The Handmaid’s Tale” (Kari Skogland), “Ozark” (Jason Bateman), “Ozark” (Daniel Sackheim), and “Stranger Things” (The Duffer Brothers).
IndieWire editor-at-large Anne Thompson and executive editor Michael Schneider banter about the writing and directing categories in this year’s Emmy race. Here’s Episode 10:
Just like last year, IndieWire’s Screen Talk podcast will launch a weekly Emmy edition over the next few months to highlight the most interesting storylines and races. Also, check out IndieWire’s other TV podcasts:
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