A funny thing happened this year with the Emmy nominations for directing a comedy series: Most of the nods went to writers.
Meanwhile, female directors are few and far between in the top series races. One notable entrant is Beyonce, who earned a mention, shared with Kahlil Joseph, for variety special for the hourlong avant-garde film that premiered on HBO in tandem with the release of her album “Lemonade” in April. Also in the mix this year is Danish helmer Susanne Bier, up for limited series for her work as the sole director of AMC’s six-hour limited series “The Night Manager.”
The list of comedy series directing nominees is dominated by showrunners and those who came up the ranks as writers.
“Silicon Valley’s” Alec Berg and Mike Judge each earned a nom for the HBO comedy, Berg for “Daily Active Users” and Judge for “Founder Friendly.” “Transparent” creator/exec producer Jill Soloway, who won comedy directing honors last year, is up again for the Amazon series.
Multi-hyphenate Aziz Ansari is recognized for the pilot of Netflix’s “Master of None,” which he co-created with Alan Yang. Dave Mandel, nommed for the “Kissing Your Sister” episode of HBO’s “Veep,” came up the ranks as a writer on “Seinfeld” and in features.
In total, “Veep” scored three of the seven noms in the comedy directing category, with nods also for Chris Addison and Dale Stern.
On the drama series directing front, Lesli Linka Glatter is once again the sole female nominee, this time for “The Tradition of Hospitality” episode of “Homeland.” The spectacle of HBO’s “Game of Thrones” commanded two bids, for Jack Bender and Miguel Sapochnik. “Downton Abbey’s” swan song merited a mention for Michael Engler. Steven Soderbergh is up for Cinemax’s “The Knick” and David Hollander is up for Showtime’s “Ray Donovan.”
In the limited series, movie or special heat, FX’s “People V. O.J. Simpson” scooped up half of the six noms, for Ryan Murphy, John Singleton and Anthony Hemingway. Noah Hawley of “Fargo” and Jay Roach for HBO’s “All the Way” and “Night Manager’s” Bier are the other contenders.
Chris Rock is a nominee for variety special, for helming Amy Schumer’s HBO special “Live at the Apollo.” Thomas Kail, hot off his Tony win for “Hamilton,” is up for directing Fox’s “Grease Live” musical telecast alongside Alex Rudzinski. Beth McCarthy-Miller is in the hunt for the “Adele Live in New York City” NBC concert special.
Women fared well in the non-fiction directing category, grabbing two of the five slots. “Making a Murderer” filmmakers Laura Ricciardi and Moira Demos are up for the “Fighting For Their Lives” seg of the Netflix docu series. And Liz Garbus is a contender for her Netflix docu “What Happened, Miss Simone?”
(Pictured: Lesli Linka Glatter, Beyonce, Jill Soloway)