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‘Chernobyl’ Scores 19 Emmy Noms Including Limited Series Nod As Brits Clean Up In Short-Run Categories

Peter White

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Disaster drama Chernobyl swept up 19 Emmy nominations including a nod in the limited series category, making it the third most nominated show after Game of Thrones and The Marvelous Mrs Maisel.

The drama, which is a co-production between HBO and Sky Atlantic, is up against Escape At Dannemora, Fosse/Verdon, Sharp Objects and When They See Us in the limited series category, while Jared Harris picked up a nomination in the Lead Actor in a Limited Series or Movie category.

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Emily Watson scored in the supporting actress category, while Stellan Skarsgard also got a supporting nod. Elsewhere, the five-part series, which tells the story of the 1986 nuclear accident in the Soviet Union, picked up nominations in casting, directing, production design, hairstyling, makeup and prosthetic makeup, writing, cinematography and a raft of other craft nods.

Produced by Jane Featherstone’s Sister Pictures and created The Huntsman: Winter’s War’s Craig Mazin, the period drama was a breakout hit for both networks; for HBO the series reached a cumulative audience of 8M viewers between its May 6 debut and its June 3 finale, higher than Amy Adams’ Sharp Objects and just below the first season of Big Little Lies.  Similarly, Sky said that it was the UK broadcaster’s third best ever launch for an original drama with its opening episode scoring a cumulative audience of 1.7M.

Mazin said that he was “thrilled” that the Television Academy honored Chernobyl. with 19 nominations. “Our show was a labor of love by so many, so it was particularly gratifying to see how our cast and crew was acknowledged across the board. We all worked so hard to bring Chernobyl to the screen, and we’re overwhelmed by this recognition by our colleagues,” he added.

Featherstone previously told Deadline that Mazin’s “vast” drama was one of the most fascinating, compelling and brilliant outlines” she had ever read.

Featherstone has picked up Emmy nominations in the past when she ran Kudos for shows including Abi Morgan’s The Hour, which aired on BBC America and ABC’s short-lived remake of Life on Mars, but it is the first nomination for her own indie Sister Pictures, which she formed in 2015.

Chernobyl was one of a number of shows produced by British producers with the UK invading shorter run categories with 40% of the nominations in limited series and television movie categories produced by British firms. However, Amazon co-pro A Very English Scandal and the latest adaptation of Les Miserables failed to make it into the limited series category despite some predictions.

Last year, in the limited series category, Sky and Showtime co-pro Patrick Melrose scored a nomination but ultimately lost out to The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story.

In the television movie category, Black Mirror: Bandersnatch, Brexit and King Lear picked up noms. They will go up against Deadwood: The Movie and My Dinner With Herve.

Black Mirror is going for its third straight win. Choose-your-own-adventure episode Bandersnatch launched on Netflix in December. The Charlie Brooker-created drama starred Fionn Whitehead, Will Poulter and Asim Chaudhry and followed a young computer programmer in 1984 that begins to question reality as he adapts a sprawling fantasy novel into a video game and soon faces a mind-mangling challenge.

Black Mirror has done extremely well in this category in recent years; San Junipero won outstanding television movie in 2017, while USS Callister won last year. It’s also a category that has been dominated by Brits over the years with Sherlock: The Abominable Bride winning in 2016 and Downton Abbey winning in 2011.

Elsewhere, Brexit starring Benedict Cumberbatch launched on HBO in January. The drama, originally produced by Tessa Ross and Juliette Howell’s House Productions for Channel 4, starred Cumberbatch as Dominic Cummings, the leading strategist and Campaign Director of Vote Leave. Skyfall star Rory Kinnear and The Crown’s John Heffernan also starred in the two-hour drama.

Finally, King Lear stars Anthony Hopkins and Emma Thompson. The Shakespearean adaptation is produced by Colin Callender’s Playground and Sonia Friedman Productions for BBC and Amazon, which launched the series in the U.S. Florence Pugh also stars.

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