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74th Primetime Emmy Awards - Deadline Room

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The 2023 Emmy nominations are out, and some of our favorite Black women are up for golden statues. Black women are crushing it in the comedy and drama categories. They have achieved greatness in scripted series and unscripted performances. Their characters have doled out advice, stumbled over their choices, sought greatness, and conquered their enemies. 

This year’s nominees include influential television icons and industry newcomers willing to advocate for their talents, slide out of their comfort zones, and create their own material. And musical performers are thriving on small screens as well. Specials and documentaries designed to highlight hard work and perseverance are being honored.

As the WGA writers’ strike is still raging on and the SAG-AFTRA strike is looming, we are standing on what could be the close of the contemporary prestige television era. 

See our favorite Emmy nominations for this year.

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1. Nathalie Emmanuel

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Nathalie Emmanuel has been nominated for Outstanding Actress In A Short Form Comedy Or Drama Series for the second time.

Emmanuel was initially nominated for Jordan King for Die Hart in 2021. She reprised the role this year in Die Hart 2: Die Harter resulting in a second nod. 

2. Nicole Byers

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Nicole Byers is being recognized for her hosting skills for the fourth time. 

While we are still mourning the loss of Grand Crew, Byers is collecting Emmy noms like infinity stones. The actress and podcaster host the Netflix series Nailed It! She has received four Outstanding Host For A Reality Or Competition Program nominations since she started. 

3. Janelle James

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Principal Ava might not “speak line” but Janelle James definitely speaks Emmy.

The funny woman is nominated for the second time. Her character encourages the youth in her own special way and recognizes when someone can wash her with just a glance. The range! 

4. Ayo Edebiri

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Ayo Edebiri got her first nomination for playing the delightfully anxious Sydney on the FX smash The Bear.

Sydney is a real one, and Ayo plays the character’s dogged committedness and naivety with aplomb. Toting her Coach K biography the whole way through, she grounded the second season without having to accidentally stab someone. 

Yes, chef! 

 

5. Sarah Niles

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Sarah Niles shined again in the final season of the comedy turned dramedy Ted Lasso.

Niles received her second nomination for Outstanding Guest Actress In A Comedy Series for playing Dr. Sharon Fieldstone in the series. She was nominated in the same category in 2022. 

6. Jasmine Guy

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The legendary Jasmine Guy picked up her first nomination for the Chronicles Of Jessica Wu. It was long overdue.

Guy should have received her flowers from the Academy long ago. But after seasons of making us fall in love with Whitley Gilbert on A Different World, playing an affected HBCU administrator on The Quad, being a meddling mom in Harlem, and an unloyal friend on Grey’s Anatomy, she is finally being recognized. She is nominated as Outstanding Actress In A Short Form Comedy Or Drama Series. 

7. Lizzo

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Lizzo’s “Watch Out For The Big Grrrls” took home the gold in 2022. This year her recent special is up for an Emmy.

The singer starred in the Max original “Lizzo: Live in Concert.” It got a nod in the category for Outstanding Variety Special (Pre-Recorded).

8. Robin Thede

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Robin Thede picked up three more nominations for “A Black Lady Sketch Show.” The hilarious show gave us the bad bitch support group and a spicy recollection. It deserves it. 

9. Rihanna

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Rihanna’s Superbowl performance got five nominations. The Fenty founder and her baby bump stole the show at the annual sporting event. Looks like there’s another angel coming home to Barbados. 

10. Taraji P. Henson

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Taraji P. Henson is up for playing Janine’s trifling mama on ABC’s Abbott Elementary.

Henson has previously been nominated for three Emmy awards. She received two nods in 2015 and 2016 for playing the formidable Cookie Lyon on Empire. In 2011 she was nominated for Outstanding Lead Actress In A Miniseries Or A Movie for playing Tiffany Rubin in the Lifetime movie Taken From Me: The Tiffany Rubin Story

11. Dominique Fishback

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Dominique Fishback fought for the role of Dre in Swarm, and it paid off. She snagged her first Emmy nomination in the role.

According to Variety, she convinced Donald Glover and Janine Nabers that she could pull off the murderous Dre. They initially envisioned her as a supporting character, but she knew better. Her performance resulted in her being named a nominee for Outstanding Lead Actress In A Limited Or Anthology Series Or Movie. 

12. Storm Reid

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Storm Reid is getting honored for her drama chops.

We’ve known Reid was destined for greatness since she started giving attitude in Euphoria, but it looks like the Academy is catching up. This year, she received her first Emmy nomination for playing Riley Abel in The Last Of Us

13. Maya Rudolph

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Maya Rudolph collected her 11th nomination for her Big Mouth.

The actress plays Connie The Hormone Monstress, in the animated Netflix series. She was previously nominated for Saturday Night Live and The Good Place

14. Niecey Nash

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Niecey Nash is recognized for her role in the limited series Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story.

Nash’s character, Glenda Cleveland, sounded the alarm on the predator in the controversial series. The role earned her a fifth Emmy nomination.

15. Quinta Brunson

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After placing all eyes on public education through Abbott Elementary, Quinta Brunson is nominated once again.

The author, screenwriter, and producer proved you can create an engaging world between commercial breaks. Her mockumentary is continuing to expand what is possible on network television. 

16. Keke Palmer

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Keke “I Keep A Job” Palmer is up for Outstanding Host for a Game Show.

The show features contestants finding passwords through vague clues. Palmer brings her signature energy to the gig, making the game even more fun.

17. Jessica Williams

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Jessica Williams is up for playing a well-meaning but messy godmother in Shrinking.

Williams shined in this underrated original from Apple TV+. The character was confident, self-aware, and funny. She knew when she screwed up and always found the funniest way to rectify the situation. 

18. Michelle Obama

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Michelle Obama is still inspiring us. Our forever first lady got an Emmy nomination for the special she produced with Oprah.

Based on the best-selling book, The Light We Carry offers advice through insightful stories. 

19. Sheryl Lee Ralph

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Sheryl Lee Ralph is being nominated for another season as everyone’s favorite Bible quoting teacher on Abbott Elementary.

Barbara Howard is the glue that holds our communities together. She is a self-care queen who gives to others while modeling how not to burn out. The legendary actress gave an iconic speech last year and we would not be mad at another one. 

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