Listen, we get it: This is the time of year that you want to be soaking up some sunshine and staying away from the various screens in your life. But with a crop of 13 certified fresh returning series like this, how can you resist!?


Fear the Walking Dead 75% (AMC)

What it is: An extension of the zombie apocalypse world of AMC mega-hit The Walking Dead that takes place in Los Angeles before the events of its mothership series and shows how city dwellers deal with the virus outbreak.

Why you should watch it: It comes as little surprise that if you love The Walking Dead, you’ll love Fear. Its engrossing backdrop and cast of memorable characters is enough to tune in week to week, even through some of its more languid, slow-boiled pacing. Season 5 premieres June 2 on AMC.

Where to watch it: Amazon, FandangoNow, Google Play, HuluMicrosoft, Vudu

Commitment: Approx. 40 hours (for the first four seasons)


Luther 88% (BBC America)

What it is: This BBC drama follows a brilliant Detective Chief Inspector (Idris Elba) who finds it difficult to strike a work-life balance as he struggles to toe the line between genius and madness.

Why you should watch it: Elba is a four-time Emmy nominee and Golden Globe winner for his spellbinding performance as DCI Luther, a magnetic cross between Sherlock Holmes and Columbo, in this gritty character study that adds a new dimension to the cop show genre. Season 5 premieres June 2 on BBC America.

Where to watch it: Amazon, Google Play, MicrosoftVudu

Commitment: Approx. 17 hours (for the first four seasons)


Black Mirror 84% (Netflix)

What it is: Basing its title on the black, reflective screen of a powered-off phone, tablet, or computer, this hit anthological Channel 4-turned-Netflix series from creator Charlie Brooker examines mankind’s dark, twisted (and thankfully, for now, hypothetical) future when beholden to modern technology.

Why you should watch it: Few other sci-fi series today have proven as prescient on technology, sociology, and politics as Black Mirror, and it just keeps getting better. Plus, the Emmy-winning series has helped launch the careers of U.K. talent like Daniel Kaluuya, Letitia Wright, Alex Lawther, Hayley Atwell, Domhnall Gleeson, and many others.

Where to watch it: Netflix

Commitment: Approx. 20 hours (for the first four seasons)


The Handmaid's Tale 83% (Hulu)

What it is: Set in a not-too-distant future and adapted from Margaret Atwood’s acclaimed novel of the same name, The Handmaid’s Tale is the harrowing imagining of a society where fertile women are forced into slavery to help procreate for the rich and powerful. A gripping and prescient look at modern patriarchy’s darkest corners (and possible futures), it truly is must-watch TV.

Why you should watch it: Last year, The Handmaid’s Tale became the first-ever streaming series to take home the Television Academy’s top honor: the Emmy for best drama. We’d follow its formidable cast — Elisabeth Moss, Ann Dowd, Joseph Fiennes, Alexis Bledel, and Samira Wiley among them — and behind-the-camera creatives anywhere, maybe even to Gilead. Season 3 premieres on Hulu June 5. 

Where to watch it: Amazon, FandangoNow, Google Play, Hulu, Microsoft, Vudu

Commitment: Approx. 19 hours (for the first two seasons)


Designated Survivor 71% (Netflix)

What it is: David Guggenheim’s political thriller imagines what would happen if an entire presidential administration was killed in one fell swoop and the low-ranking cabinet member tapped as designated survivor (a true-life position here played by Kiefer Sutherland) was sworn in as leader of the free world.

Why you should watch it: This network drama-turned-Netflix reboot marks a welcomed return to TV for Sutherland, who, as the titular survivor Tom Kirkman, holds no prisoners as a man between a rock and hard place. Paired with crackling scripts and an excellent ensemble, Designated Survivor is a mile-a-minute thrill-ride and a worthy follow-up to 24. Season 3 premieres on Netflix June 7.

Where to watch it: Netflix

Commitment: Approx. 30 hours (for the first two seasons)


Big Little Lies 89% (HBO)

What it is: From creator David E. Kelley and based on the novel of the same name by Liane Moriarty, Big Little Lies is an murder mystery of intertwined upper-class mothers living in Monterey, California.

Why you should watch it: Big Little Lies is one of the buzziest ensemble dramas on TV today, and that’s thanks in large part to its stacked cast of A-list stars and producers: Reese Witherspoon, Nicole Kidman, Shailene Woodley, Laura Dern, Zoë Kravitz — and, in an twist that just about broke the internet, Meryl Streep is co-starring in the new episodes as a woman whose arrival in the rich seaside town of Monterrey causes trouble for the main women. Season 2 returns by popular demand on HBO June 9.

Where to watch it: Amazon, FandangoNow, Google Play, HBO Now, Vudu

Commitment: Approx. 7 hours (for the first season)


Claws (TNT)

What it is: Niecy Nash stars as Desna Simms, the takes-no-prisoners owner of  a nail salon in the swampy town of Manatee County, Florida. She’s flanked by a scene-stealing assortment of coworkers and patrons. The drama flares, however, when she and her employees turn to organized crime and start laundering money.

Why you should watch it: Full of camp, high-stakes crime drama, and firecracker scripts with performances to match, Claws is some of the most fun you’ll have with a TV series this summer. Plus we’ll take any excuse to see two-time Emmy nominee Nash execute her perfect blend of humor, brawn, and heart as the leading lady. Season 3 premieres June 9.

Where to watch it: Amazon, FandangoNOW, Google Play, Hulu, Microsoft, Vudu

Commitment: Approx. 15 hours (for the first two seasons)


Pose 98% (FX)

What it is: From creators Ryan Murphy, Brad Falchuk, and Steven Canals, Pose depicts New York City’s ballroom and voguing scene of the 1980s with sickening pageantry, tea-spilling drama, and high fashions for the gods.

Why you should watch it: Pose made waves upon its premiere by being the largest ever ensemble cast of transgender actors playing trans characters on TV. But aside from its progressive stamp of approval for onscreen representation, it’s also just damn good TV, expertly acted, written, and directed, and unafraid to tackle LGBTQ+ issues that we’ve never seen explored in such a way before. Season 2 premieres on FX June 11.

Where to watch it: Amazon, FandangoNOWGoogle Play, Microsoft, NetflixVudu

Commitment: Approx. 6 hours (for the first season)


Queen Sugar 98% (OWN)

What it is: After the unexpected death of their father, estranged siblings Ralph-Angel (a conman fresh out of prison), Nova Bordelon (a New Orleans–based journalist and activist), and Charley Bordelon (an upper-class Los Angeles mother to a teenage son) move to rural Louisiana to claim their inheritance: hundreds of acres of sugarcane farmland.

Why you should watch it: Queen Sugar is the result of women both behind and in front of the camera joining their powers: executive producer Oprah Winfrey; executive producer, director, and writer Ava DuVernay; stars Rutina Wesley and Dawn-Lyen Gardner; and other female directors for each episode of its three seasons. And their work isn’t the only stunning aspect of the series — sprawling locations under the Louisiana sun and timely discussions of racial prejudice, mass incarceration, and more make it a thought-provoking family drama. Season 4 premieres on OWN June 12.

Where to watch: Amazon, FandangoNOW, Google Play, Hulu, Microsoft, Vudu

Commitment: Approx. 32.5 hours (for the first three seasons)


Younger 98% (TV Land)

What it is: Sex and the City helmer Darren Star strikes gold again for city-dwelling women of a certain age with Younger, starring theater vet and now small-screen charmer Sutton Foster as a single mother who lies about her age to pursue her dreams in publishing.

Why you should watch it: Foster is absolutely pitch-perfect in this fun, sexy, metropolitan comedy, and she’s matched by a bevy of scene-stealing co-stars: Miriam Shor, Hilary Duff, Nico Tortorella, and Debi Mazar, who are all stellar. Season 6 premieres on TV Land June 12.

Where to watch: Amazon, FandangoNow, Google Play, Hulu, Microsoft, Vudu

Commitment: About 25 hours (for the first five seasons)


Marvel - Jessica Jones 83% (Netflix)

What it is: Private detective/hard-drinking superhero Jessica Jones overcomes abuse and reluctantly helps save the residents of New York City in the final season of Netflix’s Marvel propjects.

Why you should watch it: Krysten Ritter is sublime as the jeans-and-leather jacket-wearing titular superhero, and her nuanced performance is vital to the portrayal of abuse on screen. Plus, the supporting cast — led by Rachael Taylor and Carrie-Ann Moss, plus David Tennant as the insidious first-season villain Kilgrave — is second to none.  Season 3 premieres on Netflix June 14.

Where to watch: Netflix

Commitment: About 17.5 hours (for the first two seasons)


The Detour 90% (TBS)

What it is: The Detour follows the Parker family as they embark on a roadtrip from their Syracuse, New York home to Florida for a family vacation.

Why you should watch it: As its title would indicate, not everything goes to plan in this well-meaning family road trip, and missteps and mishaps abound. Created by husband-wife duo Samantha Bee and Jason Jones (who stars as the central father with Natalie Zea, Ashley Gerasimovich, and Liam Carroll), the scripts are funny and heartfelt while still leaving room for some unexpected run-ins with the law and other twists. Season 4 premieres on TBS June 18.

Where to watch: Amazon, Google Play, HuluMicrosoft, Vudu

Commitment: Approx. 11 hours (for the first three seasons)


Dark 95% (Netflix)

What it is: This foreign-language streaming series from creators Baran bo Odar and Jantje Friesehildren combines elements of time travel sci-fi, horror, and family drama to tell the story of the fictional German town of Winden; its children are inexplicably disappearing, leaving residents in varied states of emotional disarray.

Why you should watch it: Netflix’s first German-language original series is a doozy: spine-tinglingly eerie, fantastical, and at times downright terrifying, it’s a must-watch for any fans of the genre. Season 2 premieres on Netflix June 21.

Where to watch it: Netflix

Commitment: Approx. 8.5 hours (for the first season)


Legion 91% (FX)

What it is: While Legion is among the most original—and undefinable—series on TV today, in the simplest of terms, it’s the story of psych-ward patient David Haller (Dan Stevens) and his sidekick-turned-nemesis Lenny (Aubrey Plaza) as David more fully becomes what he’s always known himself to be: a mutant.

Why you should watch it: To anyone who says they’re tiring of the superhero genre overtaking film and TV, we say, “Have you seen Legion?” Noah Hawley’s absolutely singular X-Men–based vision is a mind-bending and engrossing head-scratcher that’s well worth committing to. And committing is exactly what Stevens and Plaza do with their no-holds-barred, fearless performances. Season 3, its final season, premieres on FX June 24.

Where to watch it: Amazon, FandangoNow, Google Play, Hulu, Microsoft, Vudu

Commitment: Approx. 15 hours (for the first two seasons)


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Thumbnail image photo credit: David Giesbrecht/Netflix; Sarah Shatz/FX; Pari Dukovic/FX
kate

Kate McKinnon, Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)

HBO claimed the top series awards at the 68th annual Primetime Emmy Awards on Sunday with Game of Thrones winning Outstanding Drama Series and Veep taking Outstanding Comedy Series. The ceremony, hosted by Jimmy Kimmel, took place at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles.

The lead acting awards were spread across various series:

FX’s The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story was another big winner in the night, receiving five awards in the Limited Series categories, including the top award; Writing; Lead Actor, Courtney B. Vance; Lead Actress, Sarah Paulson; and Supporting Actor, Sterling K. Brown.

Regina King won Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Limited Series Or Movie for her role in ABC’s American Crime.

Game of Thrones‘ three wins on Sunday brought the show’s 2016 total to 12 between the night’s prime time awards and the creative awards handed out the previous weekend. The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story followed with nine.

Read on for the full list of winners announced Sunday night, as well as winners from last weekend’s Creative Arts Emmy Awards.


Outstanding Comedy Series


Outstanding Lead Actor In A Comedy Series


Will Forte

The Last Man on Earth


Aziz Ansari

Master of None


Thomas Middleditch

Silicon Valley


Jeffrey Tambor

Transparent


Outstanding Lead Actress In A Comedy Series


Laurie Metcalf

Getting On


Lily Tomlin

Grace And Frankie


Amy Schumer

Inside Amy Schumer


Ellie Kemper

Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt


Outstanding Supporting Actor In A Comedy Series


Andre Braugher

Brooklyn Nine-Nine


Ty Burrell

Modern Family


Tituss Burgess

Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt



Veep


Outstanding Supporting Actress In A Comedy Series


Niecy Nash

Getting On


Kate McKinnon

Saturday Night Live


Judith Light

Transparent


Gaby Hoffmann

Transparent


Outstanding Guest Actor In A Comedy Series


Bob Newhart

The Big Bang Theory


Tracy Morgan

Saturday Night Live


Larry David

Saturday Night Live


Bradley Whitford

Transparent


Outstanding Guest Actress In A Comedy Series


Laurie Metcalf

The Big Bang Theory


Christine Baranski

The Big Bang Theory


Tina Fey

(& Amy Poehler as Co-Hosts) Saturday Night Live


Amy Poehler

(& Tina Fey as Co-Hosts) Saturday Night Live


Melissa McCarthy

Saturday Night Live


Amy Schumer

Saturday Night Live


Melora Hardin

Transparent


Outstanding Writing For A Comedy Series

“Episode 1”

Catastrophe
98%

“Parents”

Master of None
93%

“Founder Friendly”

Silicon Valley
94%

“The Uptick”

Silicon Valley
94%

“Morning After”

Veep
93%

“Mother”

Veep
93%

Outstanding Directing For A Comedy Series

“Parents”, Aziz Ansari

Master of None
93%

“Daily Active Users”, Alec Berg

Silicon Valley
94%

“Founder Friendly”, Mike Judge

Silicon Valley
94%

“Man on The Land”, Jill Soloway

Transparent
91%

“Kissing Your Sister”, Dave Mandel

Veep
93%

“Morning After”, Chris Addison

Veep
93%

“Mother”, Dale Stern

Veep
93%

Outstanding Drama Series


Outstanding Lead Actor In A Drama Series


Matthew Rhys

The Americans


Bob Odenkirk

Better Call Saul


Kyle Chandler

Bloodline


Kevin Spacey

House of Cards


Rami Malek

Mr. Robot


Liev Schreiber

Ray Donovan


Outstanding Lead Actress In A Drama Series


Keri Russell

The Americans


Robin Wright

House of Cards


Viola Davis

How To Get Away With Murder


Tatiana Maslany

Orphan Black


Outstanding Supporting Actor In A Drama Series


Jonathan Banks

Better Call Saul


Peter Dinklage

Game of Thrones


Kit Harington

Game of Thrones


Michael Kelly

House of Cards


Jon Voight

Ray Donovan


Outstanding Supporting Actress In A Drama Series


Maura Tierney

The Affair



Downton Abbey


Lena Headey

Game of Thrones


Emilia Clarke

Game of Thrones


Maisie Williams

Game of Thrones


Outstanding Guest Actor In A Drama Series


Max von Sydow

Game of Thrones


Michael J. Fox

The Good Wife


Reg E. Cathey

House of Cards


Mahershala Ali

House of Cards


Paul Sparks

House of Cards


Hank Azaria

Ray Donovan


Outstanding Guest Actress In A Drama Series


Margo Martindale

The Americans


Carrie Preston

The Good Wife


Laurie Metcalf

Horace And Pete



House of Cards


Molly Parker

House of Cards


Allison Janney

Masters of Sex


Outstanding Writing For A Drama Series

“Persona Non Grata”

The Americans
96%

“Battle of The Bastards”

Game of Thrones
89%

“End”

The Good Wife
93%

“eps1.0_hellofriend.mov (Pilot)”

Mr. Robot
94%

“Return”

UnREAL
81%

Outstanding Directing For A Drama Series

“Episode 9”, Michael Engler

Downton Abbey on Masterpiece
86%

“Battle of The Bastards”, Miguel Sapochnik

Game of Thrones
89%

“The Door”, Jack Bender

Game of Thrones
89%

“The Tradition of Hospitality”, Lesli Linka Glatter

Homeland
85%

“This Is All We Are”, Steven Soderbergh

The Knick
92%

“Exsuscito”, David Hollander

Ray Donovan
72%

Outstanding Limited Series


Outstanding Lead Actor In A Limited Series Or Movie


Bryan Cranston

All The Way


Tom Hiddleston

The Night Manager



The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story


Cuba Gooding Jr.

The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story


Benedict Cumberbatch

Sherlock: The Abominable Bride


Outstanding Lead Actress In A Limited Series Or Movie


Felicity Huffman

American Crime


Kerry Washington

Confirmation


Lili Taylor

American Crime


Audra McDonald

Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar & Grill


Sarah Paulson

The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story


Outstanding Supporting Actor In A Limited Series Or Movie


Hugh Laurie

The Night Manager


Sterling K. Brown

The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story


David Schwimmer

The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story


John Travolta

The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story


Outstanding Supporting Actress In A Limited Series Or Movie



All The Way


Regina King

American Crime


Sarah Paulson

American Horror Story: Hotel


Kathy Bates

American Horror Story: Hotel



The Night Manager


Outstanding Writing For A Limited Series, Movie Or Dramatic Special

“Loplop”

Fargo
93%

“Palindrome”

Fargo
93%

“From The Ashes of Tragedy”

American Crime Story
84%

“Marcia, Marcia, Marcia”

American Crime Story
84%

“The Race Card”

American Crime Story
84%

Outstanding Directing For A Limited Series, Movie Or Dramatic Special

All The Way, Jay Roach

All the Way
87%

“Before The Law”, Noah Hawley

Fargo
93%

“The Night Manager”, Susanne Bier

The Night Manager
91%

“From The Ashes of Tragedy”, Ryan Murphy

American Crime Story
84%

“Manna From Heaven”, Anthony Hemingway

American Crime Story
84%

“The Race Card”, John Singleton

American Crime Story
84%

Outstanding Television Movie


Outstanding Animated Program


Outstanding Production Design For A Narrative Contemporary Or Fantasy Program (One Hour Or More)


Outstanding Production Design For A Narrative Period Program (One Hour Or More)


Outstanding Production Design For A Narrative Program (Half-Hour Or Less)


Outstanding Production Design For A Variety, Nonfiction, Reality Or Reality-Competition Series


Outstanding Production Design For A Variety, Nonfiction, Event Or Award Special


Outstanding Casting For A Comedy Series


Outstanding Casting For A Drama Series


Outstanding Casting For A Limited Series, Movie Or Special


Outstanding Cinematography For A Multi-Camera Series

  • The Big Bang Theory, “The Convergence Convergence”
  • Mom, “Sticky Hands And A Walk on The Wild Side”
  • Nicky, Ricky, Dicky & Dawn, “Go Hollywood”
  • The Soul Man, “White Trash”

Outstanding Cinematography For A Single-Camera Series


Outstanding Cinematography For A Limited Series Or Movie


Outstanding Cinematography For A Nonfiction Program


Outstanding Cinematography For A Reality Program


Outstanding Costumes For A Period/Fantasy Series, Limited Series Or Movie


Outstanding Costumes For A Contemporary Series, Limited Series Or Movie


Outstanding Costumes For A Variety, Nonfiction Or Reality Program


Outstanding Directing For A Nonfiction Program


Outstanding Single-Camera Picture Editing For A Drama Series


Outstanding Single-Camera Picture Editing For A Comedy Series


Outstanding Multi-Camera Picture Editing For A Comedy Series


Outstanding Single-Camera Picture Editing For A Limited Series Or Movie


Outstanding Picture Editing For Variety Programming


Outstanding Picture Editing For A Nonfiction Program


Outstanding Picture Editing For A Structured Or Competition Reality Program


Outstanding Picture Editing For An Unstructured Reality Program


Outstanding Hairstyling For A Single-Camera Series


Outstanding Hairstyling For A Multi-Camera Series Or Special


Outstanding Hairstyling For A Limited Series Or Movie


Outstanding Character Voice-Over Performance


Outstanding Short Form Animated Program


Outstanding Choreography


Outstanding Interactive Program


Outstanding Lighting Design/Lighting Direction For A Variety Series


Outstanding Lighting Design/Lighting Direction For A Variety Special


Outstanding Main Title Design


Outstanding Makeup For A Single-Camera Series (Non-Prosthetic)


Outstanding Makeup For A Multi-Camera Series Or Special (Non-Prosthetic)


Outstanding Makeup For A Limited Series Or Movie (Non-Prosthetic)


Outstanding Prosthetic Makeup For A Series, Limited Series, Movie Or Special


Outstanding Music Composition For A Series (Original Dramatic Score)


Outstanding Music Composition For A Limited Series, Movie Or Special (Original Dramatic Score)


Outstanding Music Direction

  • Danny Elfman’s Music From The Films of Tim Burton (Live From Lincoln Center)
  • Jazz At The White House
  • Sinatra: Voice For A Century (Live From Lincoln Center)
  • Smithsonian Salutes Ray Charles: In Performance At The White House
  • A Very Murray Christmas

Outstanding Original Music And Lyrics

  • Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, “I’m Going on a Date with Josh’s Friend!” / Song Title: “Settle For Me”
  • Empire, “A Rose By Any Other Name” / Song Title: “Good People”
  • Galavant, “A New Season aka Suck It Cancellation Bear” / Song Title: “A New Season”
  • Garfunkel and Oates: Trying To Be Special, Song Title: Frozen Lullaby”
  • The Hunting Ground, Song Title: “‘Til It Happens To You”

Outstanding Original Main Title Theme Music


Outstanding Actor In A Short Form Comedy Or Drama Series


Outstanding Actress In A Short Form Comedy Or Drama Series

  • Patrika Darbo, Acting Dead
  • Erinn Hayes, Children’s Hospital
  • Janet Varney, Everyone’s Crazy But Us
  • Michelle, Fear The Walking Dead: Flight 462
  • Tracie Thoms as Gwen, Send Me: an original web series

Outstanding Narrator

  • Adrien Brody, Breakthrough, “Decoding the Brain”
  • Keith David, Jackie Robinson
  • Anthony Mendez, Jane The Virgin, “Chapter Thirty-Four”
  • David Attenborough, Life Story, “First Steps”
  • Laurence Fishburne, Roots

Outstanding Host For A Reality Or Reality-Competition Program


Outstanding Variety Talk Series


Outstanding Variety Sketch Series


Outstanding Variety Special

  • Adele Live In New York City
  • Amy Schumer: Live At The Apollo
  • The Kennedy Center Honors
  • The Late Late Show Carpool Karaoke Prime Time Special
  • Lemonade

Outstanding Directing For A Variety Series


Outstanding Directing For A Variety Special

  • Adele Live In New York City, Beth McCarthy-Miller
  • Amy Schumer: Live At The Apollo, Chris Rock
  • 58th Grammy Awards- Directed by, Louis J. Horvitz
  • Grease: Live, Thomas Kail and Alex Rudzinski
  • The Kennedy Center Honors, Glenn Weiss
  • Lemonade, Kahlil Joseph, Beyoncé Knowles Carter

Outstanding Special Class Program

  • The 73rd Annual Golden Globe Awards
  • Grease: Live
  • The Oscars
  • Super Bowl 50 Halftime Show
  • 69th Annual Tony Awards

Outstanding Short Form Comedy Or Drama Series

  • Children’s Hospital
  • Fear The Walking Dead: Flight 462
  • Hack Into Broad City
  • Her Story
  • UnREAL The Auditions

Outstanding Short Form Variety Series

  • Epic Rap Battles of History
  • Gay of Thrones
  • Honest Trailers
  • Making A Scene With James Franco
  • Park Bench With Steve Buscemi

Outstanding Short Form Nonfiction Or Reality Series


Outstanding Children’s Program

  • Dog With A Blog
  • Girl Meets World
  • It’s Your 50th Christmas, Charlie Brown!
  • Nick News With Linda Ellerbee: Hello, I Must Be Going! 25 Years Of Nick News With Linda Ellerbee
  • School of Rock

Outstanding Documentary Or Nonfiction Special


Outstanding Documentary Or Nonfiction Series


Outstanding Informational Series Or Special


Exceptional Merit In Documentary Filmmaking


Outstanding Structured Reality Program


Outstanding Unstructured Reality Program


Outstanding Reality-Competition Program


Outstanding Sound Editing For A Series


Outstanding Sound Editing For A Limited Series, Movie Or Special


Outstanding Sound Editing For A Nonfiction Program (Single Or Multi-Camera)


Outstanding Sound Mixing For A Comedy Or Drama Series (One Hour)


Outstanding Sound Mixing For A Limited Series Or Movie


Outstanding Sound Mixing For A Comedy Or Drama Series (Half-Hour) And Animation


Outstanding Sound Mixing For A Variety Series Or Special


Outstanding Sound Mixing For A Nonfiction Program (Single or Multi-Camera)


Outstanding Special Visual Effects


Outstanding Special Visual Effects In A Supporting Role


Outstanding Stunt Coordination For A Comedy Series Or Variety Program


Outstanding Stunt Coordination For A Drama Series, Limited Series Or Movie


Outstanding Technical Direction, Camerawork, Video Control For A Series


Outstanding Technical Direction, Camerawork, Video Control For A Limited Series, Movie or Special


Outstanding Writing For A Variety Series


Outstanding Writing For A Variety Special

  • Amy Schumer: Live At The Apollo
  • John Mulaney: The Comeback Kid
  • Patton Oswalt: Talking For Clapping
  • Tig Notaro: Boyish Girl Interrupted
  • Triumph’s Election Special 2016

Outstanding Writing For A Nonfiction Program


For a full list of winners, visit Emmys.com.

With Game of Thrones taking nine Creative Arts Emmys already this year, the remaining question for 2016 is: Can the HBO fantasy juggernaut be bested? We’re looking to the crime series — American Crime and The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story — to make a dent and expect FX, which won 12 creative awards to HBO’s 16, to continue to challenge the crown.

Rotten Tomatoes has ranked the Best Drama, Best Comedy, Best Limited Series, and Best TV Movie nominees by our Tomatometer to show you which titles critics collectively think deserve a win on Sunday. The Television Academy will no doubt hand us some surprises, however, when the Primetime Emmys airs on Sunday, September 18 at 7E/4P p.m. on ABC.


Drama | Comedy | Limited Series | TV Movie


Drama

 

The Americans: Season 4 (2016) 99%

What It Is: FX’s spy drama set in 1980s Washington, D.C., follows two KGB agents trying to maintain their cover while looking out for their family.

What Critics Thought:  With its fourth season, The Americans continues to deliver top-tier spy drama while sending its characters in directions that threaten to destroy their freedoms — and their lives.

 

Mr. Robot: Season 1 (2015) 98%

What It Is: First-time best actor nominee Rami Malek plays Elliot Alderson, a young computer programmer with an anxiety disorder, who is recruited by Mr. Robot and his anarchist team of hackers “fsociety.”

What Critics Thought:  Mr. Robot is a suspenseful cyber-thriller with timely stories and an intriguing, provocative premise.

 

Better Call Saul: Season 2 (2016) 97%

What It Is: The evolution of Breaking Bad lawyer Saul Goodman (Bob Odenkirk) is the focus of this prequel to the hit series, which garnered seven nominations for its first season.

What Critics Thought: Better Call Saul continues to tighten its hold on viewers with a batch of episodes that inject a surge of dramatic energy while showcasing the charms of its talented lead.

 

Game of Thrones: Season 6 (2016) 94%

What It Is: In Series 6 of HBO’s fantasy epic, Bran Stark trains with the Three-Eyed Raven, Daenerys Targaryen is captured and returned to Vaes Dothrak and Jon Snow’s fate is revealed.

What Critics Thought:  Bloody and captivating as always, Game of Thrones plunges back into the midst of a world touched by grief, dread and precarious sexuality.

 

Downton Abbey on Masterpiece: Season 6 (2015) 91%

What It Is: The sixth and final season of the mannered melodrama opens in April 1925 with financial challenges and social upheaval for the Crawley family members and their loyal staff.

What Critics Thought:  Melodramatic characters and soapy class struggles keep Downton Abbey compelling as this celebrated series reaches its grand finale.

 

Homeland: Season 5 (2015) 88%

What It Is: The game has changed for Carrie Mathison (Claire Danes). Out of the CIA and living in Berlin, Carrie is trying to start a new life but realizes now she’s the one with a target on her back.

What Critics Thought: Homeland re-energizes itself in season five by setting up a twisty Berlin-set spy thriller that spotlights Carrie’s questionable ethics more than ever.

 

House of Cards: Season 4 (2016) 86%

What It Is: In Season 4 of Netflix’s political drama, Claire’s determination to be a political figure puts Frank’s battles for the Democratic Party nomination and their marriage in jeopardy.

What Critics Thought: House of Cards retains its binge-worthiness by ratcheting up the drama and deepening Robin Wright‘s role even further.


Back to Top


 

Comedy

 

Master of None: Season 1 (2015) 100%

What It Is: In Season 1 of this comedy web series, commercial actor Dev Shah (Aziz Ansari) struggles to find his way in New York City.

What Critics Thought: Exceptionally executed with charm, humor and heart, Master of None is a refreshingly offbeat take on a familiar premise.

 

Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt: Season 2 (2016) 100%

What It Is: A woman who lived in a cult for 15 years starts life anew in New York City in this comedy series.

What Critics Thought: Not letting up in season two, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt is still odd in the best of ways, wonderfully building on its unique comedy stylings and brilliantly funny cast.

 

Silicon Valley: Season 3 (2016) 100%

What It Is: Computer whizzes toil away at a tech company in California, hoping for an idea that will be the Next Big Thing.

What Critics Thought: Silicon Valley‘s satirical take on the follies of the tech industry is sharper than ever in this very funny third season.

 

black-ish: Season 2 (2016) 90%

What It Is: A successful family man worries that his four children are losing touch with black culture because they are growing up in an affluent, mostly white neighborhood.

What Critics Thought: ABC family comedy tackles family life and race relations with heart and carves a place for itself among TV’s most socially significant comedies.

 

Transparent: Season 2 (2015) 98%

What It Is: Amazon’s Los Angeles-based comedy series follows the goings-on of the dysfunctional Pfefferman family. Season 2 begins with Sarah and Tammy’s wedding.

What Critics Thought: Transparent‘s second season ups its dramatic stakes while retaining the poignancy and humor that have made the series a consistently entertaining example of the best of modern serial dramas.

 

Veep: Season 5 (2016) 94%

What It Is: At the opening of Season 5 of the HBO comedy, former Vice President Selina Meyer (Julia Louis-Dreyfus) finds herself out of power after a brief tenure as Commander in Chief.

What Critics Thought: Thanks to the spot-on comedic prowess of Julia Louis-Dreyfus and company, Veep returned with as many laughs and expletive-filled absurdities as ever.

 

Modern Family: Season 7 (2015) 67%

What It Is: In Season 7 of the mockumentary-style sitcom about the extended Pritchett clan, the comedy continues.

What Critics Thought: After six seasons, the show is alternately reliable and predictable, enduring and tired, as well as funny and suffering.


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Limited Series

 

Fargo: Season 2 (2015) 100%

What It Is: Set in the town of Fargo, North Dakota, and Luverne, Minnesota, 1979, this series is a prequel to Series 1, covering events discussed in the first series.

What Critics Thought:  Season two of Fargo retains all the elements that made the series an award-winning hit, successfully delivering another stellar saga.

 

The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story: The People v. O.J. Simpson (2016) 97%

What It Is: Series 1 of this crime drama and anthology focuses on the O.J. Simpson murder trial as portrayed in Jeffrey Toobin’s book “The Run of His Life: The People v. O.J. Simpson.”

What Critics Thought: Brings top-shelf writing, directing and acting to bear on a still-topical story, while shedding further light on the facts — and provoking passionate responses along the way.

 

Roots: A New Vision: Miniseries (2016) 96%

What It Is: A family tries to overcome the hardships of slavery to survive and build a legacy.

What Critics Thought:  A powerfully impressive — and still relevant — update on a television classic, Roots boasts remarkable performances, deep emotion, and occasionally jarring beauty.

 

American Crime: Season 2 (2016) 95%

What It Is: Issues of sexual orientation and socioeconomic disparity come to a boil when lurid photos of a Midwest high school boy, Taylor Blaine, are posted on social media following a school party.

What Critics Thought: American Crime‘s intense second season infuses a complicated, topical story with genuine emotion, and patiently allows its narrative arc to develop without sacrificing momentum.

 

The Night Manager: Miniseries (2016) 91%

What It Is: An ex-British soldier infiltrates a vast crime ring in this modern take on the John le Carré novel of the same name.

What Critics Thought: The Night Manager‘s smart writing and riveting story are elevated all the more by Hugh Laurie and Tom Hiddleston‘s captivating performances.


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TV Movie

 

All the Way (2016) 87%

What It Is: Adaptation of Robert Schenkkan‘s Tony Award-winning play about the early days of Lyndon B. Johnson’s presidency, from the assassination of John F. Kennedy to the battle over the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and his campaign to stay in the White House.

What Critics Thought: Anchored by Bryan Cranston‘s phenomenal performance as LBJ, All the Way is an engrossing portrayal of a complicated man during a pivotal moment in U.S. history.

 

Confirmation (2016) 83%

What It Is: The confirmation hearings for Judge Clarence Thomas (Wendell Pierce) become a media spectacle when his former colleague Anita Hill (Kerry Washington) accuses the Supreme Court Justice nominee of sexual harassment.

What Critics Thought: Stellar performances and gripping subject matter help Confirmation overcome production values that occasionally feel as dated as the infamous real-life case it covers.

 

Luther: Season 4 (2015) 79%

What It Is: A shocking piece of news draws Luther back to London after a leave of absence from the police force. Meanwhile, a gruesome serial killer has struck the city, eating body parts as he goes.

What Critics Thought: Idris Elba remains the best thing about Luther in an all-too-brief season — counted as a TV movie for Emmy purposes — which packs a lot of plot into a short time frame.

 

A Very Murray Christmas (2015) 68%

What It Is: Bill Murray rounds up an all-star cast for an evening of music, mischief and barroom camaraderie in this irreverent twist on holiday variety shows.

What Critics Thought: Preaches effectively to the converted with a parade of superstar guests and hummable songs that — combined with the host’s trademark presence — adds up to a unique holiday experience.

 

Sherlock: The Abominable Bride (2016) 62%

What It Is: Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman revisit their iconic roles as Sherlock Holmes and Dr. John Watson in this feature-length special set in London 1895.

What Critics Thought: A dream sequence starring the iconic drug-addled detective delivers a fan-pleasing 90-minute Gothic frolic.


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The 68th Primetime Emmy Award nominations were announced on Thursday, July 14, by Gilmore GirlsLauren Graham and black-ish‘s Anthony Anderson. The clear and anticipated lead is, of course, Game of Thrones with a total of 23 nominations. The next highest receiver, at 22 nominations, is The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story, followed by Fargo with 18. Some critic and fan faves also made the list this year, including The Americans, Mr. Robot, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, Master of None, and Better Call Saul. Did your favorite shows and stars get nods? Check the major highlights below and for the full list of nominees, visit emmys.com.


Outstanding Comedy Series


Outstanding Lead Actor In A Comedy Series


Will Forte

The Last Man on Earth


Aziz Ansari

Master of None


Thomas Middleditch

Silicon Valley


Jeffrey Tambor

Transparent


Outstanding Lead Actress In A Comedy Series


Laurie Metcalf

Getting On


Lily Tomlin

Grace And Frankie


Amy Schumer

Inside Amy Schumer


Ellie Kemper

Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt


Outstanding Supporting Actor In A Comedy Series


Louie Anderson

Christine Baskets, Baskets


Andre Braugher

Brooklyn Nine-Nine


Ty Burrell

Modern Family


Tituss Burgess

Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt



Veep


Outstanding Supporting Actress In A Comedy Series


Niecy Nash

Getting On


Kate McKinnon

Saturday Night Live


Judith Light

Transparent


Gaby Hoffmann

Transparent


Outstanding Guest Actor In A Comedy Series


Bob Newhart

The Big Bang Theory


Tracy Morgan

Saturday Night Live


Larry David

Saturday Night Live


Bradley Whitford

Transparent


Outstanding Guest Actress In A Comedy Series


Laurie Metcalf

The Big Bang Theory


Christine Baranski

The Big Bang Theory


Tina Fey

(& Amy Poehler as Co-Hosts) Saturday Night Live


Melissa McCarthy

Saturday Night Live


Amy Schumer

Saturday Night Live


Melora Hardin

Transparent


Outstanding Writing For A Comedy Series

“Episode 1”

Catastrophe
98%

“Parents”

Master of None
93%

“Founder Friendly”

Silicon Valley
94%

“The Uptick”

Silicon Valley
94%

“Morning After”

Veep
93%

“Mother”

Veep
93%

Outstanding Directing For A Comedy Series

“Parents”, Aziz Ansari

Master of None
93%

“Daily Active Users”, Alec Berg

Silicon Valley
94%

“Founder Friendly”, Mike Judge

Silicon Valley
94%

“Man on The Land”, Jill Soloway

Transparent
91%

“Kissing Your Sister”, Dave Mandel

Veep
93%

“Morning After”, Chris Addison

Veep
93%

“Mother”, Dale Stern

Veep
93%

Outstanding Drama Series


Outstanding Lead Actor In A Drama Series


Matthew Rhys

The Americans


Bob Odenkirk

Better Call Saul


Kyle Chandler

Bloodline


Kevin Spacey

House of Cards


Rami Malek

Mr. Robot


Liev Schreiber

Ray Donovan


Outstanding Lead Actress In A Drama Series


Keri Russell

The Americans


Robin Wright

House of Cards


Viola Davis

How To Get Away With Murder


Tatiana Maslany

Orphan Black


Outstanding Supporting Actor In A Drama Series


Jonathan Banks

Better Call Saul


Peter Dinklage

Game of Thrones


Kit Harington

Game of Thrones


Michael Kelly

House of Cards


Jon Voight

Ray Donovan


Outstanding Supporting Actress In A Drama Series


Maura Tierney

The Affair



Downton Abbey


Lena Headey

Game of Thrones


Emilia Clarke

Game of Thrones


Maisie Williams

Game of Thrones


Outstanding Guest Actor In A Drama Series


Max von Sydow

Game of Thrones


Michael J. Fox

The Good Wife


Reg E. Cathey

House of Cards


Mahershala Ali

House of Cards


Paul Sparks

House of Cards


Hank Azaria

Ray Donovan


Outstanding Guest Actress In A Drama Series


Margo Martindale

The Americans


Carrie Preston

The Good Wife


Laurie Metcalf

Horace And Pete



House of Cards


Molly Parker

House of Cards


Allison Janney

Masters of Sex


Outstanding Writing For A Drama Series

“Persona Non Grata”

The Americans
96%

“Battle of The Bastards”

Game of Thrones
89%

“End”

The Good Wife
93%

“eps1.0_hellofriend.mov (Pilot)”

Mr. Robot
94%

“Return”

UnREAL
81%

Outstanding Directing For A Drama Series

“Episode 9”, Michael Engler

Downton Abbey on Masterpiece
86%

“Battle of The Bastards”, Miguel Sapochnik

Game of Thrones
89%

“The Door”, Jack Bender

Game of Thrones
89%

“The Tradition of Hospitality”, Lesli Linka Glatter

Homeland
85%

“This Is All We Are”, Steven Soderbergh

The Knick
92%

“Exsuscito”, David Hollander

Ray Donovan
72%

Outstanding Limited Series


Outstanding Lead Actor In A Limited Series Or Movie


Bryan Cranston

All The Way


Tom Hiddleston

The Night Manager



The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story


Cuba Gooding Jr.

The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story


Benedict Cumberbatch

Sherlock: The Abominable Bride


Outstanding Lead Actress In A Limited Series Or Movie


Felicity Huffman

American Crime


Kerry Washington

Confirmation


Lili Taylor

American Crime


Audra McDonald

Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar & Grill


Sarah Paulson

The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story


Outstanding Supporting Actor In A Limited Series Or Movie


Hugh Laurie

The Night Manager


Sterling K. Brown

The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story


David Schwimmer

The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story


John Travolta

The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story


Outstanding Supporting Actress In A Limited Series Or Movie



All The Way


Regina King

American Crime


Sarah Paulson

American Horror Story: Hotel


Kathy Bates

American Horror Story: Hotel



The Night Manager


Outstanding Writing For A Limited Series, Movie Or Dramatic Special

“Loplop”

Fargo
93%

“Palindrome”

Fargo
93%

“From The Ashes of Tragedy”

American Crime Story
84%

“Marcia, Marcia, Marcia”

American Crime Story
84%

“The Race Card”

American Crime Story
84%

Outstanding Directing For A Limited Series, Movie Or Dramatic Special

All The Way, Jay Roach

All the Way
87%

“Before The Law”, Noah Hawley

Fargo
93%

“The Night Manager”, Susanne Bier

The Night Manager
91%

“From The Ashes of Tragedy”, Ryan Murphy

American Crime Story
84%

“Manna From Heaven”, Anthony Hemingway

American Crime Story
84%

“The Race Card”, John Singleton

American Crime Story
84%

Outstanding Television Movie


Outstanding Animated Program


Outstanding Production Design For A Narrative Contemporary Or Fantasy Program (One Hour Or More)


Outstanding Production Design For A Narrative Period Program (One Hour Or More)


Outstanding Production Design For A Narrative Program (Half-Hour Or Less)


Outstanding Production Design For A Variety, Nonfiction, Reality Or Reality-Competition Series


Outstanding Production Design For A Variety, Nonfiction, Event Or Award Special


Outstanding Casting For A Comedy Series


Outstanding Casting For A Drama Series


Outstanding Casting For A Limited Series, Movie Or Special


Outstanding Cinematography For A Multi-Camera Series

  • The Big Bang Theory, “The Convergence Convergence”
  • Mom, “Sticky Hands And A Walk on The Wild Side”
  • Nicky, Ricky, Dicky & Dawn, “Go Hollywood”
  • The Soul Man, “White Trash”

Outstanding Cinematography For A Single-Camera Series


Outstanding Cinematography For A Limited Series Or Movie


Outstanding Cinematography For A Nonfiction Program


Outstanding Cinematography For A Reality Program


Outstanding Costumes For A Period/Fantasy Series, “Limited Series Or Movie


Outstanding Costumes For A Contemporary Series, “Limited Series Or Movie


Outstanding Costumes For A Variety, “Nonfiction Or Reality Program


Outstanding Directing For A Nonfiction Program


Outstanding Single-Camera Picture Editing For A Drama Series


Outstanding Single-Camera Picture Editing For A Comedy Series


Outstanding Multi-Camera Picture Editing For A Comedy Series


Outstanding Single-Camera Picture Editing For A Limited Series Or Movie


Outstanding Picture Editing For Variety Programming


Outstanding Picture Editing For A Nonfiction Program


Outstanding Picture Editing For A Structured Or Competition Reality Program


Outstanding Picture Editing For An Unstructured Reality Program


Outstanding Hairstyling For A Single-Camera Series


Outstanding Hairstyling For A Multi-Camera Series Or Special


Outstanding Hairstyling For A Limited Series Or Movie


Outstanding Character Voice-Over Performance


Outstanding Short Form Animated Program


Outstanding Choreography


Outstanding Interactive Program


Outstanding Lighting Design/Lighting Direction For A Variety Series


Outstanding Lighting Design/Lighting Direction For A Variety Special


Outstanding Main Title Design


Outstanding Makeup For A Single-Camera Series (Non-Prosthetic)


Outstanding Makeup For A Multi-Camera Series Or Special (Non-Prosthetic)


Outstanding Makeup For A Limited Series Or Movie (Non-Prosthetic)


Outstanding Prosthetic Makeup For A Series, Limited Series, Movie Or Special


Outstanding Music Composition For A Series (Original Dramatic Score)


Outstanding Music Composition For A Limited Series, Movie Or Special (Original Dramatic Score)


Outstanding Music Direction

  • Danny Elfman’s Music From The Films of Tim Burton (Live From Lincoln Center)
  • Jazz At The White House
  • Sinatra: Voice For A Century (Live From Lincoln Center)
  • Smithsonian Salutes Ray Charles: In Performance At The White House
  • A Very Murray Christmas

Outstanding Original Music And Lyrics

  • Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, “I’m Going on a Date with Josh’s Friend!” / Song Title: “Settle For Me”
  • Empire, “A Rose By Any Other Name” / Song Title: “Good People”
  • Galavant, “A New Season aka Suck It Cancellation Bear” / Song Title: “A New Season”
  • Garfunkel and Oates: Trying To Be Special, Song Title: Frozen Lullaby”
  • The Hunting Ground, Song Title: “‘Til It Happens To You”

Outstanding Original Main Title Theme Music


Outstanding Actor In A Short Form Comedy Or Drama Series


Outstanding Actress In A Short Form Comedy Or Drama Series

  • Patrika Darbo, Acting Dead
  • Erinn Hayes, Children’s Hospital
  • Janet Varney, Everyone’s Crazy But Us
  • Michelle, Fear The Walking Dead: Flight 462
  • Tracie Thoms as Gwen, Send Me: an original web series

Outstanding Narrator

  • Adrien Brody, Breakthrough, “Decoding the Brain”
  • Keith David, Jackie Robinson
  • Anthony Mendez, Jane The Virgin, “Chapter Thirty-Four”
  • David Attenborough, Life Story, “First Steps”
  • Laurence Fishburne, Roots

Outstanding Host For A Reality Or Reality-Competition Program


Outstanding Variety Talk Series


Outstanding Variety Sketch Series


Outstanding Variety Special

  • Adele Live In New York City
  • Amy Schumer: Live At The Apollo
  • The Kennedy Center Honors
  • The Late Late Show Carpool Karaoke Prime Time Special
  • Lemonade

Outstanding Directing For A Variety Series


Outstanding Directing For A Variety Special

  • Adele Live In New York City, Beth McCarthy-Miller
  • Amy Schumer: Live At The Apollo, Chris Rock
  • 58th Grammy Awards- Directed by, Louis J. Horvitz
  • Grease: Live, Thomas Kail
  • The Kennedy Center Honors, Glenn Weiss
  • Lemonade, Kahlil Joseph, Beyoncé Knowles Carter

Outstanding Special Class Program

  • The 73rd Annual Golden Globe Awards
  • Grease: Live
  • The Oscars
  • Super Bowl 50 Halftime Show
  • 69th Annual Tony Awards

Outstanding Short Form Comedy Or Drama Series

  • Children’s Hospital
  • Fear The Walking Dead: Flight 462
  • Hack Into Broad City
  • Her Story
  • UnREAL The Auditions

Outstanding Short Form Variety Series

  • Epic Rap Battles of History
  • Gay of Thrones
  • Honest Trailers
  • Making A Scene With James Franco
  • Park Bench With Steve Buscemi

Outstanding Short Form Nonfiction Or Reality Series


Outstanding Children’s Program

  • Dog With A Blog
  • Girl Meets World
  • It’s Your 50th Christmas, Charlie Brown!
  • Nick News With Linda Ellerbee: Hello, I Must Be Going! 25 Years Of Nick News With Linda Ellerbee
  • School of Rock

Outstanding Documentary Or Nonfiction Special


Outstanding Documentary Or Nonfiction Series


Outstanding Informational Series Or Special

Exceptional Merit In Documentary Filmmaking


Outstanding Structured Reality Program


Outstanding Unstructured Reality Program


Outstanding Reality-Competition Program


Outstanding Sound Editing For A Series


Outstanding Sound Editing For A Limited Series, “Movie Or Special


Outstanding Sound Editing For A Nonfiction Program (Single Or Multi-Camera)


Outstanding Sound Mixing For A Comedy Or Drama Series (One Hour)


Outstanding Sound Mixing For A Limited Series Or Movie


Outstanding Sound Mixing For A Comedy Or Drama Series (Half-Hour) And Animation


Outstanding Sound Mixing For A Variety Series Or Special


Outstanding Sound Mixing For A Nonfiction Program (Single or Multi-Camera)


Outstanding Special Visual Effects


Outstanding Special Visual Effects In A Supporting Role


Outstanding Stunt Coordination For A Comedy Series Or Variety Program


Outstanding Stunt Coordination For A Drama Series, Limited Series Or Movie


Outstanding Technical Direction, Camerawork, Video Control For A Series


Outstanding Technical Direction, Camerawork, Video Control For A Limited Series, Movie or Special


Outstanding Writing For A Variety Series


Outstanding Writing For A Variety Special

  • Amy Schumer: Live At The Apollo
  • John Mulaney: The Comeback Kid
  • Patton Oswalt: Talking For Clapping
  • Tig Notaro: Boyish Girl Interrupted
  • Triumph’s Election Special 2016

Outstanding Writing For A Nonfiction Program

It’s the most wonderful time of the year! Dark skies by 4:00 p.m., temperatures below 30 degrees, and — best of all — crazed shoppers at every turn. Fortunately, there is no shortage of quality television to watch over the holidays, so to go with your December shopping list, Rotten Tomatoes has prepared your December bingeing list — a mix of new shows, returning shows, and what’s fresh on DVD and Blu-ray — some naughty, some nice!


Marvel's Jessica Jones: Season 1 (2015) 94%

What it is: The most recent addition to the Marvel Cinematic Universe is Jessica Jones, about a broken superhero (Krysten Ritter) who runs her own P.I. business. Battling PTSD, our anti-hero finds herself struggling to defeat Kilgrave (David Tennant), a super-villain who has inflicted unconscionable harm upon countless innocents.

Why you should watch it: Marvel’s Jessica Jones is a dark, psychologically complex, and thoughtful meditation on what it means to be a hero. It is also engrossing, action-packed, compassionate, and visceral. Jones is binge-worthy for a number of reasons, but what elevates this well-executed comic adaptation is having a powerful female centered alliance at its core.

Where to watch: Netflix

Commitment: About 11 hours.


Transparent: Season 1 (2014) 98%

What it is: Jeffrey Tambor plays a father who wants to live his life as a woman and needs to tell his adult children.

Why you should watch it: Tambor’s turn as Maura is award-worthy, but what is most surprising is how it’s just one facet of this family dramedy. All the members of the Pfefferman clan are struggling with their own demons and each storyline is full and fascinating to follow. It’s a study of faith, family, and dysfunction that is well worth the day or two it takes to binge-watch it.

Where to watch: The complete first season is streaming on Amazon Prime now, with season two scheduled to drop on Dec. 11.

Commitment: 10 hours for both seasons.


Fear the Walking Dead: Season 1 (2015) 76%

What it is: A prequel to the AMC hit The Walking Dead, Fear the Walking Dead begins in Los Angeles at the dawn of the zombie outbreak as the government employs survival tactics that fuel the apocalyptic fire.

Why you should watch it: Even though fans know what’s coming, somehow the prequel is even scarier than The Walking Dead. All of the shortcomings of the human race — fear, abuse of power, false trust — become factors in the death of society, as one already-dysfunctional family must stick together to survive. It’s not just zombies they must battle, though, but also the failing system that was designed to protect them.

Where to watch: AmazonGoogle Play, iTunes, Playstation Video, Vudu, and Xfinity (with subscription). Season one is also available on DVD and Blu-ray.

Commitment: Five hours.


It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia: Season 10 (2015) 100%

What it is: A group of five slacker friends — known collectively as “The Gang” — run an Irish pub in South Philadelphia and get into all sorts of predicaments because they lack both common sense and social graces.

Why you should watch it: Sunny isn’t a sitcom for everyone; its characters are self-centered, misanthropic, and frequently obnoxious. That said, their resilience in the face of countless defeats is strangely endearing, and their adventures are so outrageous and hilarious that it’s almost therapeutic to watch them scramble through each half hour. With season 11 set to premiere in early January, now’s the perfect time to catch up with the Gang’s insane antics.

Where to watch: The first nine seasons are available to stream on subscription services Amazon Prime, Hulu, and Netflix, and you can rent or purchase episodes from all 10 seasons on Google Play, iTunes, PlayStation VideoVudu, and Xbox Video.

Commitment:About 42 hours.


Luther: Season 1 (2010) 91%

What it is: This BBC drama follows a brilliant Detective Chief Inspector (Idris Elba) who finds it difficult to strike a work-life balance as he struggles to toe the line between genius and madness.

Why you should watch it: Elba won a Golden Globe for his performance as DCI Luther, a sexy cross between Sherlock Holmes and Columbo, in this gritty character study that adds a new dimension to the cop show genre. Plus, fans of The Affair will enjoy Ruth Wilson in her role as the seductive serial killer Alice Morgan. Catch up in time for season four, which starts on Dec. 17.

Where to watch: Amazon, Google Play, iTunes, Netflix, PlayStation Video, Vudu, and Xbox Video. The first three seasons are also available on DVD.

Commitment: 16 hours.


Mozart in the Jungle: Season 1 (2014) 91%

What it is: Based on Blair Tindal’s tell-all book, Mozart in the Jungle: Sex, Drugs, and Classical Music, this lighthearted comedy from Amazon Studios shows the inner workings of the contemporary fictitious New York Symphony, led by a young upstart conductor (Gael García Bernal).

Why you should watch it: What makes Roman Coppola’s adaptation of Mozart such a spritely binge is the commanding and hilarious performance by Bernal as Rodrigo (based on the Los Angeles Philharmonic conductor Gustavo Dudamel), along with memorable turns by Bernadette Peters as the elegant Symphony manager, Lola Kirke as the oboe-playing ingénue, and Malcolm McDowell as the ousted old-guard maestro.

Where to watch: Season one is currently streaming on Amazon Prime. Season two premieres Dec. 30.

Commitment: Five hours.


Hannibal: Season 3 (2015) 98%

What it is: Criminal profiler Will Graham (Hugh Dancy) assists the FBI in apprehending serial killers, but as the job begins to eat away at his mental health, he starts meeting with therapist Dr. Hannibal Lecter (Mads Mikkelsen), a cannibal who murders rude people and serves them at fancy dinner parties.

Why you should watch it: The third (and likely final) season of the critically acclaimed show comes to Blu-ray December 8. There really isn’t anything quite like Hannibal; it’s a crime procedural and a psychological thriller, filled with horror and just the right dash of romance and comedy.

Where to watch: Amazon Prime, iTunesVudu, and on DVD/Blu-ray.

Commitment: 27.5 hours.


Shameless: Season 5 (2015) 92%

What it is: Based on the award-winning BBC series of the same name, Showtime’s hit dramedy stars Oscar winner William H. Macy and tells the story of the scrappy Gallagher kids as they struggle to keep body and soul together despite the constant burden of a dysfunctional alcoholic father.

Why you should watch it: Shameless features a great cast, including a stellar Emmy-award winning performance by the ever-adorable Joan Cusack. Holidays have always been a time for dysfunctional family fun, and nobody does it better than the Gallaghers. Shameless comes back for a sixth season on Jan. 10 so now is the perfect time to binge.

Where to watch: Amazon, Google Play, iTunes, PlayStation Video, Showtime Anytime (with cable subscription), Vudu, Xbox Video, and Xfinity (with cable subscription).

Commitment: 60 hours.


Defiance: Season 3 (2015) 80%

What it is: In this western-sci-fi mash-up, humans, aliens, and hybrids all fight for their rights and acceptance, while a human lawkeeper bonds with his adopted Votan (alien) daughter in 2046 Defiance (formerly St. Louis, MO).

Why you should watch it: Defiance’s backstory is wonderfully complex and reads like a lesson in mythology. The humor is addictive and the scenery and creature designs are breathtaking. The show’s inter-species tension is a clear commentary on cultural struggles, but not presented as a lecture on contemporary acceptance. Rather, it throws intense action, soapy character interaction, and some sexy stuff at you. And Grant Bowler (Nolan) is still one hot leading man.

Where to watch: All three seasons are available on Amazon PrimeGoogle Play, iTunes, Playstation Video, and Vudu. Season three hits DVD/Blu-ray on Dec. 22.

Commitment: 26 hours.


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What it is: The residents and domestic staff of a grand English country estate deal with household intrigue and societal upheaval in the first decades of the 20th Century.

Why you should watch it: With its lavish setting and British accents, this might look like your typical PBS prestige show at first glance. But Downton Abbey gives equal dramatic weight to the household staff and the Crawley family. Indeed, what makes the show so compulsively watchable is its richly nuanced characters, each of whom are bound by societal conventions but occasionally finds a way to expand their limits.

Where to watch: Seasons one through five are available on Amazon, Google Play, iTunesVudu, and Xbox Video, as well as DVD/Blu-ray. The sixth and final season premieres on PBS on Jan. 3.

Commitment: 43 hours.

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