Facts and Figures about the 72nd Emmy Awards nominations

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This image released by HBO shows Jeremy Irons in a scene from "Watchmen." Irons was nominated for an Emmy Award for outstanding lead actor in a limited series or movie on Tuesday, July 28, 2020. (Colin Hutton/HBO via AP)

LOS ANGELES – Notable facts and figures from Tuesday’s nominations for the 72nd Emmy Awards:



HBO's “Watchmen” led all shows with a whopping 26 nominations, but that doesn't come close to the record for a limited series.

That honor belongs to the 1977 mega-hit “Roots,” which like “Watchmen” looked at American history and the legacy of racism, though in a very different way. “Roots” was nominated for 37 Emmys, the biggest number for any show of any kind in a single year. It won nine.

Another HBO limited series, 2008's “John Adams,” holds the record for limited series Emmy wins with 13, from 23 nominations.



Astronauts Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins could win the most unlikely of Emmys for footage they shot 50 years ago on a trip to the moon.

The duo's lunar camera work on the 1969 trip where crew mate Neil Armstrong became the first to walk on the moon formed the basis for CNN's “Apollo 11” documentary. The work earned Aldrin and Collins 2020 Emmy nominations for best cinematography for a nonfiction program.

Other unusual nominees this year include NBA legend Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, nominated for his narration of the History Channel's “Black Patriots: Heroes of the Revolution.”



Actor Fred Willard and director Lynn Shelton, who died within a day of each other in May, each received a posthumous Emmy nomination.

Willard, the beloved longtime comic player who died May 15 at age 86, was nominated for best guest actor in a comedy series for “Modern Family.”

Shelton, the revered indie filmmaker and frequent TV director who died unexpectedly of a blood disorder at age 54 on May 16, was nominated for best directing of a limited series for “Little Fires Everywhere.” Shelton, also an executive producer on the show, directed half of the first season’s episodes.

“I know for a FACT Lynn Shelton would be thrilled with her Emmy nomination for directing for LFE!” Shelton’s boyfriend, comedian Marc Maron, said on Twitter. “Deserved. She was the real deal. Miss her. A lot. #RIP.”



The dam holding back “Schitt's Creek” has broken.

In its first four seasons despite being a critical favorite and cult hit, the Netflix comedy starring Eugene Levy and Catherine O'Hara got zero nominations. For its fifth season, it got four (and won none). But in its sixth and final season it earned 15 nominations, including acting nods for all four of its leads, making it second only to “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” in nominations for comedies.

Levy has already won a pair of Emmys for his work on “SCTV” in the 1980s, but his son Daniel has four shots at his first. Daniel Levy is nominated for best supporting actor, best writing and best directing for his work on the show he co-created with his dad, and as an executive producer he would get an Emmy if “Schitt’s Creek” won best comedy series.

If he wins they would become the 14th parent and child to each win Emmys, joining duos like Carl and Rob Reiner, and Lucille Ball and Lucie Arnaz.



Hollywood is notorious for ignoring older women, but “Hollywood” the Netflix series got 77-year-old Holland Taylor nominated for an Emmy, in a category full of women 60 and up.

The nominees for best supporting actress in a limited series also include 69-year-old Margo Martindale and 60-year-old Tracey Ullman for “Mrs. America,” and 68-year-old Jean Smart for “Watchmen.”

In the other acting categories the nominees include 71-year-old Meryl Streep for “Big Little Lies,” 66-year-old Catherine O'Hara for “Schitt's Creek" and 72-year-old Phylicia Rashad for “This Is Us.”


For more on this year’s Emmy Awards, go to: https://apnews.com/EmmyAwards


This story was first published on July 28, 2020. It was updated on July 29, 2020, to correct the number of Emmy nominations Dan Levy received for “Schitt’s Creek.” He received four nominations, not three.