On December 11 at 8:00 p.m. Eastern time, the Critics Choice Awards are going to be coming on the air on A&E. This is a show that’s fluctuated a lot over the years when it comes to the times in which it is airing, and with that, it’s been rather difficult to really speculate on and predict in advance.
This morning, the nominations all came out, and we do think for the most part there are some great picks in here. “Atlanta” on FX received a tremendous amount of attention, it’s nice to see both Caitriona Balfe and Sam Heughan in here for “Outlander,” “Stranger Things” got a little bit of love, and there are some smaller surprises here and there that have us excited. Take a look below at the entire field of nominations, and we’re included our personal take in here on many of them.
BEST COMEDY SERIES
Modern Family (ABC)
Silicon Valley (HBO)
Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt (Netflix)
Most of these are expected. “Fleabag” is the biggest surprise, mostly because it’s an Amazon series still working on finding an audience. This’ll help.
BEST ACTRESS IN A COMEDY SERIES
Ellie Kemper, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt (Netflix)
Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Veep (HBO)
Kate McKinnon, Saturday Night Live (NBC)
Tracee Ellis Ross, Black-ish (ABC)
Phoebe Waller-Bridge, Fleabag (Amazon)
Constance Wu, Fresh Off the Boat (ABC)
It’s somewhat interesting that McKinnon is being considered a lead here given that the “SNL” tradition tends to be that most actors are listed as supporting. Given her impressions of Hillary Clinton over the past month or two, we do think that this is close to a lock for her even with this competition.
BEST ACTOR IN A COMEDY SERIES
Anthony Anderson, Black-ish (ABC)
Will Forte, The Last Man on Earth (FOX)
Donald Glover, Atlanta (FX)
Bill Hader, Documentary Now, IFC
Patrick Stewart, Blunt Talk, (Starz)
Jeffrey Tambor, Transparent (Amazon)
Lots of great nominees in here, though to us this does still belong to Glover for the freshness he brought to TV earlier this year.
BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS IN A COMEDY SERIES
Julie Bowen, Modern Family (ABC)
Anna Chlumsky, Veep (HBO)
Allison Janney, Mom, (CBS)
Jane Krakowski, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt (Netflix)
Judith Light, Transparent (Amazon)
Allison Williams, Girls (HBO)
In looking at this list, it’s probably the most predictable one given that these are all established performers on established shows.
BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR IN A COMEDY SERIES
Louie Anderson, Baskets (FX)
Andre Braugher, Brooklyn Nine-Nine (FOX)
Tituss Burgess, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt (Netflix)
Ty Burrell, Modern Family (ABC)
Tony Hale, Veep (HBO)
T.J. Miller, Silicon Valley (HBO)
We know that Miller’s hosted the broadcast version of this show before, so maybe it’s not a surprise nomination because of that. Either way, we’re happy to see him on the list.
BEST GUEST PERFORMER IN A COMEDY SERIES
Alec Baldwin, Saturday Night Live (NBC)
Christine Baranski, The Big Bang Theory, (CBS)
Larry David, Saturday Night Live (NBC)
Lisa Kudrow, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt (Netflix)
Liam Neeson, Inside Amy Schumer (Comedy Central)
There’s so much goodness in here! Still, it’s probably Baldwin’s race to lose.
BEST ANIMATED SERIES
Bob’s Burgers (FOX)
BoJack Horseman (Netflix)
Son of Zorn (FOX)
South Park (Comedy Central)
The Simpsons (FOX)
Tough race to call, mostly because we’re so inherently biased towards “BoJack Horseman” that it’s hard to include almost anything else on the list.
BEST REALITY COMPETITION SERIES
America’s Got Talent (NBC)
MasterChef Junior (FOX)
RuPaul’s Drag Race (Logo)
Skin Wars (GSN)
The Amazing Race (CBS)
The Voice (NBC)
To us, this belongs to “America’s Got Talent,” a show that’s progressively improved since its onset to become one of the greatest reality series currently airing on TV.
BEST STRUCTURED REALITY SERIES
Chopped (Food Network)
Inside the Actors Studio (Bravo)
Penn & Teller: Fool Us (The CW)
Project Runway (Lifetime)
Shark Tank (ABC)
Undercover Boss (CBS)
This one really just comes down to personal preference, though we have no idea how “Project Runway” is not considered a reality competition series given that’s effectively what it is.
BEST UNSTRUCTURED REALITY SERIES
Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown (CNN)
Chrisley Knows Best (USA)
Deadliest Catch (Discovery)
Ice Road Truckers (History)
Naked and Afraid (Discovery)
We love Anthony Bourdain. This reace is fairly easy to call.
BEST TALK SHOW
Full Frontal With Samantha Bee (TBS)
Jimmy Kimmel Live (ABC)
Last Week Tonight With John Oliver (HBO)
The Daily Show With Trevor Noah (Comedy Central)
The Late Late Show with James Corden (CBS)
The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon (NBC)
This is tricky just because we think that some of these shows have strong parts, but are inconsistent as a whole. Take Fallon, who is excellent at producing sketches but struggles as an interview, or Noah, whose comic timing is impeccable but hasn’t created viral content on the level of some others. Oliver is our person favorite.
BEST REALITY SHOW HOST
Ted Allen, Chopped (Food Network)
Tom Bergeron, Dancing With the Stars (ABC)
Anthony Bourdain, Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown (CNN)
Nick Cannon, America’s Got Talent (NBC)
Carson Daly, The Voice (NBC)
RuPaul, RuPaul’s Drag Race (Logo)
Bergeron remains to us the best in the business.
BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR IN A DRAMA SERIES
Peter Dinklage, Game of Thrones (HBO)
Kit Harington, Game of Thrones (HBO)
John Lithgow, The Crown (Netflix)
Mandy Patinkin, Homeland (Showtime)
Christian Slater, Mr. Robot (USA)
Jon Voight, Ray Donovan (Showtime)
We’ve been hard at times on Harington, and with that, we’re willing to acknowledge his greatness when it comes out. What he did on “Game of Thrones” this past season was extraordinary.
BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS IN A DRAMA SERIES
Christine Baranski, The Good Wife (CBS)
Emilia Clarke, Game of Thrones (HBO)
Lena Headey, Game of Thrones (HBO)
Thandie Newton, Westworld (HBO)
Maura Tierney, The Affair (Showtime)
Constance Zimmer, UnREAL (Lifetime)
We can say the same think about both Clarke and Headey; they’ve also got some crazy competition in the form of Newton.
BEST ACTOR IN A DRAMA SERIES
Sam Heughan, Outlander (Starz)
Rami Malek, Mr. Robot (USA)
Bob Odenkirk, Better Call Saul (AMC)
Matthew Rhys, The Americans (FX)
Liev Schreiber, Ray Donovan (Showtime)
Kevin Spacey, House of Cards (Netflix)
Heughan is outstanding, and so our Malek and Rhys. In our mind, this is a three-person race.
BEST ACTRESS IN A DRAMA SERIES
Caitriona Balfe, Outlander (Starz)
Viola Davis, How to Get Away With Murder (ABC)
Tatiana Maslany, Orphan Black (BBC America)
Keri Russell, The Americans (FX)
Evan Rachel Wood, Westworld (HBO)
Robin Wright, House of Cards (Netflix)
We love Balfe and Maslany dearly, but given timing and pop-culture impact, Evan Rachel Wood probably has the inside track.
BEST DRAMA SERIES
Better Call Saul (AMC)
Game of Thrones (HBO)
Mr. Robot (USA)
Stranger Things (Netflix)
The Crown (Netflix)
This Is Us (NBC)
We love that “Stranger Things,” such an atypical awards-show series, is on here. The same goes for “This Is Us.” Still, we think that “Game of Thrones” has it in the bag.
BEST GUEST PERFORMER IN A DRAMA SERIES
Mahershala Ali, House of Cards (Netflix)
Lisa Bonet, Ray Donovan (Showtime)
Ellen Burstyn, House of Cards (Netflix)
Michael J. Fox, The Good Wife (CBS)
Jared Harris, The Crown (Netflix)
Jeffrey Dean Morgan, The Walking Dead (AMC)
Morgan’s considered a guest, even though he is now a series regular? Doesn’t matter; he should win this.
BEST MOVIE MADE FOR TELEVISION OR LIMITED SERIES
All the Way (HBO)
Killing Reagan (National Geographic)
The Night Manager (AMC)
The People v. O.J. Simpson (FX)
We feel bad for all of these shows about to be steamrolled by “The People vs. OJ Simpson”…
BEST ACTOR IN A MOVIE MADE FOR TELEVISION OR LIMITED SERIES
Bryan Cranston, All the Way (HBO)
Benedict Cumberbatch, Sherlock: The Abominable Bride (PBS)
Cuba Gooding Jr., The People v. O.J. Simpson (FX)
Tom Hiddleston, The Night Manager (AMC)
Tim Matheson, Killing Reagan (National Geographic)
Courtney B. Vance, The People v. O.J Simpson (FX)
See above, except this time for Courtney B. Vance.
BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR IN A MOVIE MADE FOR TELEVISION OR LIMITED SERIES
Sterling K. Brown, The People v. O.J. Simpson (FX)
Lane Garrison, Roots (History)
Frank Langella, All the Way (HBO)
Hugh Laurie, The Night Manager (AMC)
John Travolta, The People v. O.J. Simpson (FX)
Forest Whitaker, Roots (History)
See above again, except this time for Sterling K. Brown.
BEST ACTRESS IN A MOVIE MADE FOR TELEVISION OR LIMITED SERIES
Olivia Colman, The Night Manager (AMC)
Felicity Huffman, American Crime (ABC)
Cynthia Nixon, Killing Reagan (National Geographic)
Sarah Paulson, The People v. O.J. Simpson (FX)
Lili Taylor, American Crime (ABC)
Kerry Washington, Confirmation (HBO)
Do that one last time for Sarah Paulson, who probably gave the best performance out of anyone in 2016.
BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS IN A MOVIE MADE FOR TELEVISION OR LIMITED SERIES
Elizabeth Debicki, The Night Manager (AMC)
Regina King, American Crime (ABC)
Sarah Lancashire, The Dresser (Starz)
Melissa Leo, All the Way (HBO)
Anna Paquin, Roots (History)
Emily Watson, The Dresser (Starz)
This one could be a little more difficult to predict. We’re partial to Lancashire because of “Happy Valley,” but for the show they’re nominated for, King is probably the strongest.
For some other awards-show conversation, head over here to see some our Golden Globe nomination hopes! We’re revealing a new category a day. (Photo: Critics Choice Awards.)