Top 45 Emmy nomination shockers: ‘The Mandalorian,’ ‘What We Do in the Shadows,’ Brad Pitt as Dr. Fauci and more

The 2020 Emmy nominations were announced on July 28 after an uncertain year marred by the COVID-19 pandemic. Such unprecedented times yielded some unprecedented results when the nominations were announced. We predicted 24 categories, and there were 45 nominees we didn’t see coming (an average of 1.875 surprise nominees per category). Out of those, 21 were such underdogs they got 100/1 odds according to the combined predictions of thousands of our users. Scroll down to see all of those surprises, and check out the complete list of nominations here.

Perhaps the biggest surprise on nominations morning was just how well “The Mandalorian” did. The Disney+ flagship series received 15 nominations, including Best Drama Series, Best Character Voice-Over Performance for Taika Waititi and Best Drama Guest Actor for Giancarlo Esposito. That makes it the most nominated show from a brand new streaming service, though Apple TV+ managed eight nominations of its own for “The Morning Show.”

The FX vampire comedy “What We Do in the Shadows” also took us by surprise with its Best Comedy Series bid. It’s eight total nominations also include recognition for its casting, picture editing and three for its writing. Compare that to last season when it only got two nominations for cinematography and sound editing.

Other big surprises included Steve Carell picking up his first dramatic Emmy bid: Best Drama Actor for playing a disgraced anchor on “The Morning Show,” Maya Rudolph earning a second Best Comedy Guest Actress nom for “Saturday Night Live” in addition to the one we were expecting for “The Good Place,” and Brad Pitt getting a guest-acting nom for playing Dr. Anthony Fauci on “SNL”; expect to hear Donald Trump announce that he’ll be throwing the first pitch at the Grammys in response.

See who else shocked us below, and discuss the nominations here with your fellow TV fans.

These nominees were 100/1 long shots according to the combined predictions of our users.

Best Comedy Series
“What We Do in the Shadows”

Best Comedy Actress
Tracee Ellis Ross, “Black-ish”

Best Comedy Supporting Actress
Cecily Strong, “Saturday Night Live”

Best Comedy Supporting Actor
Andre Braugher, “Brooklyn Nine-Nine”
William Jackson Harper, “The Good Place”

Best Comedy Guest Actress
Maya Rudolph, “Saturday Night Live”

Best Comedy Guest Actor
Adam Driver, “Saturday Night Live”
Dev Patel, “Modern Love”
Brad Pitt, “Saturday Night Live”

Best Drama Series
“The Mandalorian”

Best Drama Actress
Zendaya, “Euphoria”

Best Drama Actor
Steve Carell, “The Morning Show”

Best Drama Supporting Actress
Fiona Shaw, “Killing Eve”
Samira Wiley, “The Handmaid’s Tale”

Best Drama Supporting Actor
Nicholas Braun, “Succession”
Mark Duplass, “The Morning Show”

Best Drama Guest Actor
Giancarlo Esposito, “The Mandalorian”
Martin Short, “The Morning Show”

Best Movie/Limited Actress
Octavia Spencer, “Self Made”

Best Reality Host
Padma Lakshmi and Tom Colicchio, “Top Chef”
The Sharks, “Shark Tank”

We knew these nominees had a shot, but they weren’t among our predicted nominees.

Best Comedy Actor
Anthony Anderson, “Black-ish”

Best Comedy Supporting Actress
Yvonne Orji, “Insecure”

Best Comedy Guest Actress
Angela Bassett, “A Black Lady Sketch Show”

Best Drama Series
“Killing Eve”
“Stranger Things”

Best Drama Actress
Sandra Oh, “Killing Eve”

Best Drama Supporting Actor
Giancarlo Esposito, “Better Call Saul”
Jeffrey Wright, “Westworld”

Best Drama Guest Actress
Laverne Cox, “Orange is the New Black”
Harriet Walter, “Succession”

Best Limited Series

Best TV Movie
“Dolly Parton’s Heartstrings”

Best Movie/Limited Actress
Shira Haas, “Unorthodox”
Kerry Washington, “Little Fires Everywhere”

Best Movie/Limited Actor
Paul Mescal, “Normal People”
Jeremy Pope, “Hollywood”

Best Movie/Limited Supporting Actress
Uzo Aduba, “Mrs. America”
Holland Taylor, “Hollywood”
Tracey Ullman, “Mrs. America”

Best Movie/Limited Supporting Actor
Jovan Adepo, “Watchmen”
Tituss Burgess, “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt: Kimmy vs. the Reverend”
Louis Gossett Jr., “Watchmen”
Dylan McDermott, “Hollywood”

Best Variety Talk Series
“Jimmy Kimmel Live”

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