Taraji P. Henson, Audra McDonald Nab Emmy Nominations
You cannot deny Cookie Lyon. When the nominations were announced on Thursday morning (July 14) for the 68th Emmy Awards, Empire's Taraji P. Henson was on on the list for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series. Joining her in that tough category were some Hollywood heavy hitters, including Claire Danes (Homeland), Viola Davis (How to Get Away with Murder), Keri Russell (The Americans), Robin Wright (House of Cards) and Tatiana Maslany (Orphan Black).
Empire also showed up in the Outstanding Original Music and Lyrics list for the work of Jim Beanz, while Fountains of Wayne leader Adam Schlesinger, star Rachel Bloom and Jack Dolgen got love for their work on Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, Oscar-winner Alan Menken made the list for Galavant, as did Diane Warren for The Hunting Ground and comedians Riki Lindhome and Kate Micucci for Garfunkel and Oates.
With Gilmore Girls star Lauren Graham and black-ish lead Anthony Anderson reading the names, Broadway and recording star Audra McDonald got a nod for her moving turn as Billie Holiday in HBO's Lady Day at Emerson's Bar & Grill in the Outstanding Actress in a Mini-series or Movie category, where she will face off against Sarah Paulson (The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story), Kerry Washington (Confirmation), Kirsten Dunst (Fargo), Felicity Huffman (American Crime) and Lily Taylor (American Crime).
Downton Abbey earned a nomination in the Outstanding Drama Series category for its final season (where it will face The Americans, Better Call Saul, Game of Thrones, Homeland, House of Cards and Mr. Robot) and the cameo-filled Netflix musical special A Very Murray Christmas got some love. But, in its final season, American Idol was locked out of the Outstanding Reality Competition Program. (The Voice did get a bid, and Idol host Ryan Seacrest did get a bid for Host for a Reality or Reality-Competition.)
The Outstanding Production Design For A Variety, Nonfiction, Event Or Award Special competition will be a face-off between Grease: Live, The Wiz Live! and Beyonce's HBO Lemonade special, while the Outstanding Choreography competition features America's Best Dance Crew, Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, Dancing with the Stars and So You Think You Can Dance. And though it got canceled after just one season, HBO's Vinyl was noticed for Outstanding Makeup For a Single-Camera Series (Non-Prosthetic).
And, for you Swifties out there keeping track, yes, Tom Hiddleston did get noticed in Outstanding Actor in a Mini-series or Movie for his work in The Night Manager.
Click here for a full list of the nominees.