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Watchmen Made Comic Book History at the 2020 Emmys

Emmy Award winner Yahya Abdul-Mateen II stars as Doctor Manhattan in HBO’s Watchmen.
Emmy Award winner Yahya Abdul-Mateen II stars as Doctor Manhattan in HBO’s Watchmen.
Image: HBO

The awards show might have looked different this year, but an Emmy is an Emmy—and HBO’s Watchmen took home quite a few.

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David Lindelof’s sequel to Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons’ Watchmen graphic novel nabbed three major awards at the 72nd Primetime Emmy Awards: Best Limited Series, Best Actress for Regina King (who now has four Emmy awards under her belt) and Yahya Abdul-Mateen II for Best Supporting Role. Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross also won a Creative Arts Emmy over the weekend for their amazing Watchmen score. The wins make it the first comic book adaptation—technically speaking, a continuation—to ever secure one of the top Emmy wins.

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Not a lot of other geeky shows made a splash last night, The Mandalorian and Watchmen had already swept through the prior Creative Emmy awards ceremony. At primetime, potential genre nominees like The Good Place and Stranger Things made way for Schitt’s Creek and Succession. There was another success story, albeit one that didn’t air on Sunday night: Netflix’s The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance won for Outstanding Children’s Program. Now if only they’d finally give us season two.

Here’s the full list of winners from last night’s 2020 Emmy Awards.


Outstanding Limited Series

Little Fires Everywhere (Hulu)
Mrs. America (Hulu)
Unbelievable (Netflix)
Unorthodox (Netflix)
Watchmen (HBO)

Outstanding Comedy Series

Curb Your Enthusiasm (HBO)
Dead to Me (Netflix)
The Good Place (NBC)
Insecure (HBO)
The Kominsky Method (Netflix)
The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel (Prime Video)
Schitt’s Creek (Pop TV)
What We Do in the Shadows (FX)

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Outstanding Drama Series

Better Call Saul (AMC)
The Crown (Netflix)
The Handmaid’s Tale (Hulu)
Killing Eve (BBC America/AMC)
The Mandalorian (Disney+)
Ozark (Netflix)
Stranger Things (Netflix)
Succession (HBO)

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Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series

Jason Bateman, Ozark
Sterling K. Brown, This Is Us
Steve Carell, The Morning Show
Brian Cox, Succession
Billy Porter, Pose
Jeremy Strong, Succession

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Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series

Jennifer Aniston, The Morning Show
Olivia Colman, The Crown
Jodie Comer, Killing Eve
Laura Linney, Ozark
Sandra Oh, Killing Eve
Zendaya, Euphoria

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Directing for a Drama Series

The Crown, “Aberfan”—Benjamin Caron
The Crown, “Cri de Coeur”—Jessica Hobbs
Homeland, “Prisoners of War”—Lesli Linka Glatter
The Morning Show, “The Interview”—Mimi Leder
Ozark, “Fire Pink”—Alik Sakharov
Ozark, “Su Casa Es Mi Casa”—Ben Semanoff
Succession, “Hunting”—Andrij Parekh
Succession, “This Is Not for Tears”—Mark Mylod

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Writing for a Drama Series

Better Call Saul, “Bad Choice Road”—Thomas Schnauz
Better Call Saul, “Bagman”—Gordon Smith
The Crown, “Aberfan”—Peter Morgan
Ozark, “All In”—Chris Mundy
Ozark, “Boss Fight”—John Shiban
Ozark, “Fire Pink”—Miki Johnson
Succession, “This Is Not for Tears”—Jesse Armstrong

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Outstanding Lead Actor in a Limited Series or a Movie

Jeremy Irons, Watchmen
Hugh Jackman, Bad Education
Paul Mescal, Normal People
Jeremy Pope, Hollywood
Mark Ruffalo, I Know This Much Is True

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Outstanding Lead Actress in a Limited Series or a Movie

Cate Blanchett, Mrs. America
Shira Haas, Unorthodox
Regina King, Watchmen
Octavia Spencer, Self Made
Kerry Washington, Little Fires Everywhere

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Directing for a Limited Series, Movie or Dramatic Special

Little Fires Everywhere, “Find a Way”—Lynn Shelton
Normal People, “Episode 5”—Lenny Abrahamson
Unorthodox—Maria Schrader
Watchmen, “It’s Summer and We’re Running Out of Ice”—Nicole Kassell
Watchmen, “Little Fear of Lightning”—Steph Green
Watchmen, “This Extraordinary Being”—Stephen Williams

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Writing for a Limited Series, Movie or Dramatic Special

Mrs. America, “Shirley”—Tanya Barfield
Normal People, “Episode 3”—Sally Rooney and Alice Birch
Unbelievable, “Episode 1”—Susannah Grant, Michael Chabon and Ayelet Waldman
Unorthodox, “Part 1”—Anna Winger
Watchmen, “This Extraordinary Being”—Damon Lindelof and Cord Jefferson

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Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series

Anthony Anderson, black-ish
Don Cheadle, Black Monday
Ted Danson, The Good Place
Michael Douglas, The Kominsky Method
Eugene Levy, Schitt’s Creek
Ramy Youssef, Ramy

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Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series

Christina Applegate, Dead to Me
Rachel Brosnahan, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel
Linda Cardellini, Dead to Me
Catherine O’Hara, Schitt’s Creek
Issa Rae, Insecure
Tracee Ellis Ross, black-ish

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Directing for a Comedy Series

The Great, “The Great” [Pilot]—Matt Shakman
The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, “It’s Comedy or Cabbage”—Amy Sherman Palladino
The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, “Marvelous Radio”—Daniel Palladino
Modern Family, “Finale Part 2”—Gail Mancuso
Ramy, “Miakhalifa.mov”—Ramy Youssef
Schitt’s Creek, “Happy Ending”—Andrew Cividino and Daniel Levy
Will & Grace, “We Love Lucy”—James Burrows

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Writing for a Comedy Series

The Good Place, “Whenever You’re Ready”—Michael Schur
The Great, “The Great”—Tony McNamara
Schitt’s Creek, “Happy Ending”—Daniel Levy
Schitt’s Creek, “The Presidential Suite”—David West Read
What We Do in the Shadows, “Collaboration”—Sam Johnson and Chris Marcil
What We Do in the Shadows, “Ghosts”—Paul Simms
What We Do in the Shadows, “On the Run”—Stefani Robinson

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Outstanding Reality Competition

The Masked Singer
Nailed It!
RuPaul’s Drag Race 
Top Chef
The Voice

Outstanding Variety/Talk Series

The Daily Show with Trevor Noah
Full Frontal with Samantha Bee
Jimmy Kimmel Live!
Last Week Tonight with John Oliver
The Late Show with Stephen Colbert

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Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series

Andre Braugher, Brooklyn Nine-Nine
Mahershala Ali, Ramy
Kenan Thompson, Saturday Night Live
Daniel Levy, Schitt’s Creek
William Jackson Harper, The Good Place
Alan Arkin, The Kominsky Method
Sterling K. Brown, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel
Tony Shalhoub, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel

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Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series

Betty Gilpin, GLOW
Yvonne Orji, Insecure
Kate McKinnon, Saturday Night Live
Cecily Strong, Saturday Night Live
Annie Murphy, Schitt’s Creek
D’Arcy Carden, The Good Place
Alex Borstein, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel
Marin Hinkle, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel

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Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series

Giancarlo Esposito, Better Call Saul
Nicholas Braun, Succession
Kieran Culkin, Succession
Matthew Macfadyen, Succession
Bradley Whitford, The Handmaid’s Tale
Billy Crudup, The Morning Show
Mark Duplass, The Morning Show
Jeffrey Wright, Westworld

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Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series

Laura Dern, Big Little Lies
Meryl Streep, Big Little Lies
Fiona Shaw, Killing Eve
Julia Garner, Ozark
Sarah Snook, Succession
Helena Bonham Carter, The Crown
Samira Wiley, The Handmaid’s Tale
Thandie Newton, Westworld

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Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Limited Series or a Movie

Dylan McDermott, Hollywood
Jim Parsons, Hollywood
Tituss Burgess, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt: Kimmy vs. The Reverend
Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, Watchmen
Jovan Adepo, Watchmen
Louis Gossett Jr., Watchmen

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Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Limited Series or a Movie

Holland Taylor, Hollywood
Uzo Aduba, Mrs. America
Margo Martindale, Mrs. America
Tracey Ullman, Mrs. America
Toni Collette, Unbelievable
Jean Smart, Watchmen

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Outstanding Variety/Sketch Series

A Black Lady Sketch Show
Drunk History
Saturday Night Live

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Video Editor and Staff Writer at io9. My doppelganger is that rebelling greeting card from Futurama.

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