Sterling K. Brown

Sterling K. Brown holding his trophy during the 2017 Primetime Emmy Awards.

Even before the nominations were announced on Tuesday, The 72nd Annual Primetime Emmy Awards were set to make history thanks to East St. Louis native Reginald Hudlin. When the show airs September 20, Hudlin will be the first-ever African American to serve as executive producer.

“I’m excited to collaborate with this outstanding team as we produce a show that celebrates the best of what we do and reflects this moment in history,” Hudlin told Variety.com.

The night will be even more special with the robust representation of Black actors across the categories – including two nods for St. Louis’ own Sterling K. Brown. Nominations for – already an Emmy winner for his work on the top-rated NBC drama “This Is Us” and “The People vs. OJ Simpson.”  Tuesday’s nominations for “Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama” for “This Is Us” and “Outstanding Supporting Actor in A Comedy Series” for his performance in “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” gives Brown a total of seven nominations and another historic distinction for Black St. Louis with the dual nominations in the respective categories.

But Brown is one of countless Black actors to be recognized for their work on the small screen. Brown shares a category with fellow Emmy winner Billy Porter in the “Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama.”  He shares the “Outstanding Supporting Actor in A Comedy Series” nomination with fellow Stanford alum Andre Braugher, Keenan Thompson (“Saturday Night Live”) and two-time Oscar winner Mahershala Ali (“Ramy”). Before Brown’s Emmy win in 2017, Braugher had been the last Black “Outstanding Actor In Drama” winner for his work on “Homicide: Life On The Street.”

Kansas City native Don Cheadle was nominated for “Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series” for his role in “Black Monday,” as was Anthony Anderson for “black-ish.”

Tracee Ellis Ross (“black-ish”) and Issa Rae (“Insecure”) both earned “Outstanding Lead Actress In A Comedy Series.”  Zendaya earned an “Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series for “Euphoria.” Regina King (“Watchmen”), Octavia Spencer (“Self-Made”) and Kerry Washington (Little Fires Everywhere) will compete for the “Outstanding Lead Actress in a Limited Series or Movie” category.

Jeffrey Wright earned an “Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series” for his role in “Westworld.” And the “Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Limited Series or Movie” is nearly dominated by Black actors with nominations for Yahya Abdul-Mateen II (“Watchmen”), Jovan Adepo (“Watchmen”) Titus Burgess (“Unbreakable Kimmy Smidt: Kimmy vs. The Reverend”) and Louis Gossett, Jr. (“Watchmen”).

Yvonne Orji of “Insecure” earned an “Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series” for “Insecure.” Thandie Newton is in the running for an “Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series” for “Westworld.” Uzo Aduba received an “Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Limited Series or Movie” for her role in “Mrs. America.”

Eddie Murphy earned an “Outstanding Guest Actor in a Comedy Series” for his long-awaited return as host of “Saturday Night Live.”  Giancarlo Esposito (“The Mandalorian”) and Ron Cephas Jones (“This Is Us”) both earned “Outstanding Guest Actor in a Drama Series.”  Angela Bassett (“A Black Lady Sketch Show”), Maya Rudolph (“Saturday Night Live,” “The Good Place”) and Wanda Sykes (“The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel”) each earned nods for “Outstanding Guest Actor in a Comedy Series.” Cicely Tyson (“How To Get Away With Murder”), Phylicia Rashad (“This Is Us”), Laverne Cox (“Orange is the New Black”) earned “Outstanding Guest Actress in a Drama Series” nods.

Laurence Fishburne (“#FreeRayshawn”), Stephan James (“#FreeRayshawn”) and Corey Hawkins (“Survive”) received nominations for “Outstanding Actor in a Short Form Comedy or Drama Series.” Jasmine Cephas Jones was also nominated for “Outstanding Actress in a Short Form Comedy or Drama Series” for her performance in “#FreeRayshawn.”

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (“Black Patriots: Heroes of The Revolution”), Angela Bassett (“The Imagineering Story”), Chiwetel Ejiofor (“The Elephant Queen”) and Lupita Nyong’o(“Serengeti” were all nominated for “Outstanding Narrator” Primetime Emmy Awards.

Nicole Beyer (“Nailed It”), Karamo Brown (“Queer Eye”), RuPaul (“RuPaul’s Drag Race”) and Draymond John (“Shark Tank”) received nods for “Outstanding Host For a Reality or Competition Program.”

For a full list of nominations for the 72nd Annual Primetime Emmy Awards, visit https://www.emmys.com/sites/default/files/Downloads/72nd-nominations-list-v1.pdf?q=1

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