As everyone looks to the major nominees for star-studded battles, let’s not forget that many familiar faces are popping up left and right in some less-publicized Emmy categories. The majority of these winners will be announced at the Creative Arts Emmys on September 10 and 11. Who are the surprising 33 stars you didn’t know were 2016 Emmy nominees?
After recent wins at the Golden Globes and Critics Choice Awards, Rachel Bloom was widely expected to crash the Best Comedy Actress race for “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend.” Despite her acting snub, she did receive her second and third Emmy noms on Thursday for the show in the Main Title Theme Music and Music and Lyrics categories. So perhaps a first win isn’t quite so far out of reach.
Also contending for Music and Lyrics is first-time nominee Diane Warren for her Oscar-nominated song “’Til It Happens to You” from “The Hunting Ground.” Alan Menken hopes to complete his EGOT with a win for “Galavant” (the composer reaped his first bid in this category last year for “The Comedians”). Finally, Riki Lindhome and Kate Micucci were recognized in this same category for the first time for “Garfunkle and Oats: Trying to Be Special.”
Speaking of snubs, Samantha Bee shouldn’t feel too sore about missing the cut for Variety Talk Series. Her freshman show “Full Frontal” is competing for writing against heavy-hitters “Inside Amy Schumer,” “Key and Peele,” “Last Week Tonight with John Oliver,” and “Portlandia.” Another omitted talk show host, Conan O’Brien, popped up in the Interactive Program category for “Conan.”
Oscar winner Morgan Freeman snagged his very first Emmy bid for producing the Informational Series or Special nominee “The Story of God.” He’ll face off against Bill Maher’s previously rewarded “Vice,” “StarTalk with Neil deGrasse Tyson,” “Inside the Actor’s Studio,” and “Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown.”
“Star Trek” star Chris Pine reaped his first nom Thursday in the Character Voice-Over Performance category for “SuperMansion,” where he’ll compete against Keegan-Michael Key for the same program. Key, of course, is also contending for writing, producing, and starring in “Key and Peele.”
Although he went unrecognized for his supporting turn in “Black-ish,” Laurence Fishburne could win for narrating “Roots,” in which he gives voice to author Alex Haley. He is a former Oscar nominee and has already won two Emmys (for producing “Miss Ever’s Boys” and for guest starring on “Tribeca”) out of five nominations. Up against Fishburne are Oscar champ Adrien Brody for National Geographic’s “Breakthrough” and two-time victor Keith David (“Unforgivable Blackness: The Rise and Fall of Jack Johnson” and “The War”), contending for the fourth time in this category for Ken Burns’ “Jackie Robinson.”
Double Oscar winner Tom Hanks, who has seven Emmys (for producing “From the Earth to the Moon,” “John Adams,” “The Pacific,” “Game Change,” and “Olive Kitteridge” and for producing and directing “Band of Brothers”), received nomination number 15 for Documentary or Nonfiction Series for “The Seventies.” Is win number eight just beyond the horizon?
Best Actress Oscar nominee Ellen Page contends for the first time in the Unstructured Reality Program race for “Gaycation,” where she competes against Oscar champs Ben Affleck and Matt Damon for “Project Greenlight.” The duo has had four bids for the program, and Damon has had an extra two for acting (guest starring on “30 Rock” and Movie/Mini Actor for “Behind the Candelabra”).
Another first-time contender is Patton Oswalt for writing the Variety Special “Patton Oswalt: Talking for Clapping.” He’s competing against Emmy champs Amy Schumer (a producing winner last year for “Inside Amy Schumer”) for “Amy Schumer: Live at the Apollo” and John Mulaney (a song winner for “Saturday Night Live”) for “John Mulaney: The Comeback Kid.”
For Variety Special Directing, we find four-time Emmy winner Chris Rock on his 18th bid for “Amy Schumer: Live at the Apollo.” He’ll compete against Grammy winner Beyonce Knowles Carter, in the running for the third time for “Lemonade,” and recent Tony-champ Thomas Kail (“Hamilton”), receiving his first nomination for “Grease: Live!”
“The Office” star John Krasinski received his second bid for Structured Reality Program for “Lip Sync Battle,” an honor he shares with Emmy winner Stephen Merchant (one of his former executive producers on the NBC comedy). Krasinski previously competed in the Short-Format Nonfiction category for “The Office: The Farewells.”
In the Short Form Comedy or Drama Series category, we find two-time winners Rob Corddry and David Wain competing yet again for “Children’s Hospital.” They’ll face off against first time nominees Abbi Jacobson and Ilana Glazer for “Hack Into Broad City,” based on their popular Comedy Central show.
Steve Buscemi snagged his seventh nomination for Short Form Variety Series for “Park Bench,” an honor he shared with two-time Emmy winner Stanley Tucci. Also competing for the third time is Best Actor Oscar nominee James Franco (“127 Hours”) for “Making a Scene.”
Finally, Jay Leno, who has two Emmys on his mantle (for “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno” and “Jay Leno’s Garage”), received his 17th bid for the Short Form Nonfiction or Reality Series “Jay Leno’s Garage.”
It all just goes to show that when it comes to winning Emmys, stars aren’t afraid to stretch themselves beyond the acting categories.