‘Atlanta,’ ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’ & ‘This Is Us’ Dominate 2017 TCA Awards Nominations

Senior Television Writer
06.19.17 11 Comments

FX/Netflix/Hulu

In Peak TV, filling out an awards ballot is hard. There are just too many shows worth recognizing, and never enough spots. I struggled filling out a hypothetical Emmy ballot last week, and it was no easier to cast my votes for the 33rd Annual Television Critics Association Awards, whose nominees were just announced.

Still, I thought the TCA acquitted itself as well as we could have given the abundance of choice, with a lot of terrific shows spread throughout the categories, including Atlanta, The Handmaid’s Tale, The Leftovers, Fleabag, and Master of None, among others.

As always, there are some oddities that come with any large group of people filling out ballots on their own. The Leftovers, for instance, was nominated for Program of the Year — and Carrie Coon received an unprecedented joint nomination for her work on both that and Fargo — but failed to get a nod for Outstanding Achievement in Drama.

Coon wasn’t the only person getting bonus points for double-duty. The TCA doesn’t split the individual awards by gender, nor even by profession (we’ve occasionally had writers nominated alongside actors), and as a result actor/showrunners can sometimes get a boost, as can be seen in this year’s Individual Achievement in Comedy nominees, where Julia Louis-Dreyfus and Kristen Bell will have to compete against five hyphenates like Donald Glover and Phoebe Waller-Bridge.

The three most-nominated series were Atlanta, The Handmaid’s Tale, and This Is Us, with four apiece (the most any scripted show can get in one year). It’ll be interesting to see if any one show winds up dominating the results, or if the TCA — a group with widely varied tastes — tries sharing the wealth. I can imagine a scenario where Atlanta and Handmaid’s combine for six awards, and another where they somehow fail to win any because voters decided to spread the wealth, all in different ways. Atlanta seems more likely to dominate than Handmaid’s, and based on past results, I wouldn’t be the least bit shocked if This Is Us was our Program of the Year (a populist network hit that many critics liked), but nearly every category feels wide open. Will Coon’s double-nod be enough to nudge her past Moss? Will the TCA’s sci-fi demographic put its muscle behind Stranger Things? Can Speechless rally support against a bunch of preschool shows in the youth programming category, for which the membership’s definition seems to change every few years?

I’m excited to vote, and to see who we wind up picking.

All the nominees, other than for the Career Achievement and the Heritage Award (a kind of TV show Hall of Fame), whose winners will be announced along with all the others at a non-televised ceremony on August 5:

INDIVIDUAL ACHIEVEMENT IN DRAMA

Sterling K. Brown, This Is Us, NBC
Carrie Coon, The Leftovers & Fargo, HBO & FX
Claire Foy, The Crown, Netflix
Nicole Kidman, Big Little Lies, HBO
Jessica Lange, Feud: Bette And Joan, FX
Elisabeth Moss, The Handmaid’s Tale, Hulu
Susan Sarandon, Feud: Bette And Joan, FX

INDIVIDUAL ACHIEVEMENT IN COMEDY

Pamela Adlon, Better Things, FX
Aziz Ansari, Master of None, Netflix
Kristen Bell, The Good Place, NBC
Donald Glover, Atlanta, FX
Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Veep, HBO
Issa Rae, Insecure, HBO
Phoebe Waller-Bridge, Fleabag, Amazon

OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENT IN NEWS AND INFORMATION

Full Frontal With Samantha Bee, TBS (2016 Winner in Category)
Last Week Tonight With John Oliver, HBO
The Lead With Jake Tapper, CNN
O.J.: Made in America, ESPN
Planet Earth II, BBC America
Weiner, Showtime

OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENT IN REALITY PROGRAMMING

The Circus, Showtime
The Great British Baking Show, PBS
The Keepers, Netflix
Leah Remini: Scientology and the Aftermath, A&E
Shark Tank, ABC
Survivor: Game Changers, CBS

OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENT IN YOUTH PROGRAMMING

Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood, PBS (2016 Winner in Category)
Doc McStuffins, Disney Junior
Elena of Avalor, Disney Channel
Odd Squad, PBS
Sesame Street, HBO
Speechless, ABC

OUTSTANDING NEW PROGRAM

Atlanta, FX
The Crown, Netflix
The Good Place, NBC
The Handmaid’s Tale, Hulu
Stranger Things, Netflix
This Is Us, NBC

OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENT IN MOVIES, MINISERIES AND SPECIALS

Big Little Lies, HBO
Fargo, FX
Feud: Bette and Joan, FX
Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life, Netflix
The Night Of, HBO
Wizard of Lies, HBO

OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENT IN DRAMA

Better Call Saul, AMC
Stranger Things, Netflix
The Americans, FX (2015 & 2016 Winner in Category)
The Crown, Netflix
The Handmaid’s Tale, Hulu
This Is Us, NBC

OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENT IN COMEDY

Atlanta, FX
black-ish, ABC (2016 Winner in Category)
Fleabag, Amazon
Master of None, Netflix
The Good Place, NBC
Veep, HBO

PROGRAM OF THE YEAR

Atlanta, FX
Big Little Lies, HBO
Stranger Things, Netflix
The Handmaid’s Tale, Hulu
The Leftovers, HBO
This Is Us, NBC

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