Critics’ Choice TV Awards nominations: ‘Fargo’ leads with 8, ‘The Leftovers’ at 6, ‘The Wiz Live’ lands 5

fargo the leftovers the wiz live critics choice tv awards nominations

We had predicted the second season of FX’s anthology series “Fargo” would do well at the Critics’ Choice TV Awards nominations announced Monday (Dec. 14) by the Broadcast TV Journalists Association. Indeed it picked up eight bids, improving on the five for its first season which won Best Miniseries in 2014. (Click here for the complete list of Critics’ Choice nominations.)

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This time “Fargo” is up for Best Movie/Miniseries, Best Movie/Mini Actor (Patrick Wilson), Best Movie/Mini Actress (Kirsten Dunst), three times for Best Movie/Mini Supporting Actor (Nick Offerman, Jesse Plemons and Bokeem Woodbine) and twice for Best Movie/Mini Supporting Actress (Cristin Milioti and Jean Smart).

That impressive haul might be partly due to the change in the Critics’ Choice eligibility period for TV. Instead of taking place in the spring to precede the Emmys, these kudos are now being presented in the winter right alongside the Critics’ Choice Movie Awards, starting this year. As the last Critics’ Choice TV Awards, held on May 31, already honored achievements from the first half of 2015, they only considered programming that aired since June for this round of awards, which means there were fewer eligible programs for “Fargo” to compete against.

That shortened eligibility period also boosted HBO’s “The Leftovers,” which concluded a well-received second season last week, leaving a strong last impression on voters. In May, its first season earned just two nominations. Now it is up to six including first-time bids for Best Drama Series and Best Drama Actor (Justin Theroux). Carrie Coon, who was nominated as a supporting actress in May, was promoted to the lead-acting category for season two. Her on-screen brother, Christopher Eccleston, returns to the Best Drama Supporting Actor race while Ann Dowd and Regina King are up for Best Drama Supporting Actress.

Also improving its total from the spring is “Transparent,” which has six nominations (up from four), including Best Comedy Series and Best Comedy Actor (defending champ Jeffrey Tambor). In May it lost the Comedy Series race to HBO’s “Silicon Valley,” but that show is ineligible this time around, which could give “Transparent” the edge to claim the title.

The biggest surprise has to be NBC’s “The Wiz Live,” which wowed critics and audiences when it aired on December 3 and has five nominations: Best Movie/Miniseries, Best Movie/Mini Actress (Shanice Williams), Best Movie/Mini Supporting Actor (David Alan Grier and Ne-Yo) and Best Movie/Mini Supporting Actress (Mary J. Blige). 

Three shows earned four nominations apiece: “Black-ish,” “Penny Dreadful” and the recent SAG and Golden Globes hit “Mr. Robot.” “Black-ish” is up for Best Comedy Series, while “Penny” and “Robot” both compete for Best Drama Series.

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Joining “Penny Dreadful,” “Mr. Robot” and “The Leftovers” for Best Drama Series are “Empire,” “Rectify,” “The Knick” and “UnReal.”

Along with “Black-ish” and “Transparent,” the nominees for Best Comedy Series are “Catastrophe,” “Jane the Virgin,” “Master of None,” “The Last Man on Earth” and “Youre the Worst.”

Battling it out against “Fargo” and “The Wiz Live” for Best Movie/Miniseries are “Childhood’s End,” “Luther,” “Saints and Strangers” and “Show Me a Hero.”

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“Fargo” photo credit: FX

“The Leftovers” photo credit: HBO

“The Wiz Live!” photo credit: NBC

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