‘Succession’ tops Emmy nominations with 27 as ‘Last of Us’ and ‘White Lotus’ give HBO top 3 spots

Table showing nominees in top categories for the 2023 Primetime Emmys.

LOS ANGELES — HBO dominated Wednesday morning’s Emmy nominations, with the elite trio of “ Succession,” “The White Lotus” and “The Last of Us” combining for a whopping 74, but the dominant theme darkening the scene is the ongoing writers strike and the looming possibility that actors may join them in as little as a day.

“Succession” and its deeply dysfunctional dynasty of one-percenters led all Emmy nominees in its fourth and final season with 27, including best drama, which it has won two of the past three years. It got three nominations for best actor in a drama, with Brian Cox, Jeremy Strong and Kieran Culkin all getting nods for playing men of the Roy clan, and Sarah Snook getting a best actress nomination. It also got four nominations for best supporting actor in a drama.


The cursed vacationers at a Sicilian resort from the second season of “The White Lotus” truly dominated the supporting categories, however, landing five nominations for best supporting actress in a drama — including nods for Jennifer Coolidge and Aubrey Plaza — and four more for best supporting actor.

Bella Ramsey and Pedro Pascal, the duo on a fungus-filled quest in “ The Last of Us,” each got lead acting nominations. The show, based on a popular Playstation video game, was second behind “Succession” with 24 nominations. “The White Lotus” had 23.

“ Ted Lasso ” was tops among comedies with 21 nominations, including best comedy series and best actor for Jason Sudeikis. The Apple TV+ series won both awards for each of its first two seasons, but its threepeat prospects depend on whether Emmy voters favor other contenders like “The Bear” or “Marvelous Mrs. Maisel.”

The nominations suggested that HBO — which got the most overall nominations by far with 127 — can still dominate even as streaming-only outlets have taken over so much of elite TV. The distinction is increasingly blurred, however, with a huge segment of viewers watching “Succession” and the cable channel’s other offerings on the streaming service now known as Max.

Cox, 77, got his best actor in a drama nod despite appearing in fewer than half of this season’s “Succession” episodes, though as the Roy family patriarch he loomed just as large over the episodes he didn’t appear in. A win would be his first for the role, though he won an Emmy for best supporting actor in a TV movie in 2001.

Strong won in 2020 for playing “eldest boy” Kendall Roy. Culkin got his first nomination for best actor after two previous nominations in the supporting category.

Actors joining movie and television writers on strike would further shut down the industry and be the first time since 1960 that two Hollywood unions were simultaneously striking. While show and film releases will continue, work on upcoming projects will cease — as would actors’ interviews and appearances to promote the projects.

The possibility of an industry debilitated by strikes could dampen any joy for the new nominees, and could put the damper on the ceremony scheduled for Sept. 18 on the Fox network.

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