Emmy nominations 2020: 10 surprises and snubs – CNBC

The Child, popularly known as “Baby Yoda,” is a character in the new Disney+ series, “The Mandalorian”

Episodic Photos, Disney

While “Watchmen,” “Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” and “Schitt’s Creek” secured Emmy nominations on Tuesday, there were quite a few shows — and actors — that didn’t make the cut.

And then there were the shows and performers that were a long shot to get on this year’s ballot. 

We’ll have to wait until September to see who ends up taking Emmys home, but here are some of the programs that were the most surprising nominations and the ones that got snubbed.

If you haven’t had a chance to check out the full list of nominees for this year’s Emmys, you can do so here.

Snub: Reese Witherspoon

Despite appearing in three Emmy-nominated shows, Reese Witherspoon was left without a chance to win an acting award. The actress starred in “The Morning Show,” “Big Little Lies” and “Little Fires Everwhere,” but it was her co-stars that found themselves on this year’s ballot.

Jennifer Aniston was nominated for “The Morning Show,” Kerry Washington earned a nod for “Little Fires Everywhere” and Laura Dern and Meryl Streep garnered acknowledgements in the supporting actress category for “Big Little Lies.”

Reese Witherspoon as Elena Richardson in “Little Fires Everywhere.”


Surprise: “The Mandalorian”

It was  pretty clear after watching “The Mandalorian” on Disney+ that it was destined to garner Emmy nominations for its technical achievements in special effects, prosthetic makeup and sound mixing. Few would have guessed that The Child and Mando would get a nomination for best drama series. 

The show has steep competition in the category, including “The Crown,” “Ozark” and “Succession.” 

The Mandalorian and the Child on Disney+’s “The Mandalorian.”


Snub: Bob Odenkirk

Bob Odenkirk has been a perennial acting nominee in the Emmy’s lead actor category since 2015, but this year the actor isn’t listed on the ballot. 

New to the line-up of leading actor nominees is Steve Carell for his work on “The Mornings Show” and Jeremy Strong for “Succession.” Meanwhile, Jason Bateman (“Ozark”), Sterling K. Brown (“This is Us”), Brian Cox (“Succession”) and Bill Porter (“Pose”) reprise their spots on the list.

Bob Odenkirk is Jimmy McGill aka Saul Goodman, a lawyer and a former scam artist from “Better Call Saul.”


Surprise: Brad Pitt

Brad Pitt’s cameo on “Saturday Night Live” back in April was brief, but memorable enough to secure him an Emmy nomination for outstanding guest actor in a comedy series for his portrayal of Dr. Anthony Fauci.

Typically, these nominations go to actors who have hosted a full episode of “SNL.”

Brad Pitt as Dr. Anthony Fauci during the “Fauci Cold Open” on “Saturday Night Live” on April 25, 2020.

NBC | NBCUniversal | Getty Images

Snub: Aaron Paul

Like Witherspoon, Aaron Paul had multiple opportunities to be nominated for an Emmy this year. The actor reprised his role as Jesse Pinkman in the Netflix movie “El Camino,” portrayed an ex-soldier with PTSD in HBO’s “Westworld,” and was a convicted murderer in “Truth Be Told” on Apple TV +.

On Tuesday, the veteran actor came away empty-handed. 

Aaron Paul reprises his role as Jesse Pinkman in “El Camino,” a Netflix movie that acts as a sequel and epilogue to the television series “Breaking Bad.”


Surprise: “What We Do In The Shadows”

The cult-favorite FX series adaptation of Jemaine Clement and Taika Waititi’s vampire mockumentary scored eight nominations Tuesday, including one for outstanding comedy series.

The quirky comedy has been a big hit with fans, but was overlooked last year in the wake of nominations for “Barry,” “Veep,” “Russian Doll” and “Fleabag,” all of which are absent this year.

Kayvan Novak, Matt Berry, and Natasia Demetriou star in the FX show “What We Do In The Shadows.”


Snub: “Hunters”

Oscar-winner Al Pacino made his return to TV in Amazon Prime Video’s Nazi-killing drama “Hunters” this year, but both the actor and the show failed to secure nominations in major categories.

The drama category this year is particularly tough with “The Crown,” “Ozark” and “Succession” all facing off. Also in the mix is “Better Call Saul,” “The Handmaid’s Tale,” “Killing Eve,” “Stranger Things” and, surprise, “The Mandalorian.”

In 1977, in New York City, a secret group of Nazi hunters fight a clandestine war against the cabal of high-ranking Nazi officials in hiding in the United States who working to create the Fourth Reich.

Amazon Prime Video

Surprise: Zendaya

Critics praised Zendaya’s turn as Rue Bennett in HBO’s “Euphoria” and her performance didn’t go unnoticed by the Emmy voting body. She was nominated for best actress in a drama series alongside acting heavyweights Jennifer Aniston (“The Morning Show”), Olivia Colman (“The Crown”), Jodie Comer (“Killing Eve”), Laura Linney (“Ozark”) and Sandra Oh (“Killing Eve”).

This is her first Emmy nomination.

Zendaya stars as Rue Bennett in HBO’s “Euphoria.”


Snub: Kaitlyn Dever and Merritt Wever

Although Netflix’s limited series “Unbelievable” garnered four nominations, including one for best supporting actress (Toni Collette), its leads Kaitlyn Dever and Merritt Wever were left off the ballot.

“Unbelievable” is about a teen (Dever) that reports a rape, but recants her story. Then two detectives (Wever and Collette) find evidence that uncovers a string of similar rapes.

Kaitlyn Dever stars as Marie Adler in “Unbelievable” on Netflix.


Surprise: “Insecure”

Two years ago, Issa Rae, the star and co-creator of “Insecure” earned a lead actress nomination for her work on the comedy, but the show received few other nods.

This year, Rae is once again nominated for best lead actress in a comedy series and “Insecure” is up for best comedy series. With “Barry,” “Veep,” “Russian Doll” and “Fleabag” absent from awards contention this year, “Insecure” gets a chance to shine.

Issa Rae portrays Issa Dee in HBO’s “Insecure.”