Big Emmy nomination love for Kansas City’s Jason Sudeikis and his hit ‘Ted Lasso’

·7 min read

Jason Sudeikis had never been nominated for an Emmy Award. But on Tuesday, all of that changed — drastically — for the “Saturday Night Live” alum who grew up in Overland Park.

Sudeikis and his breakout hit “Ted Lasso” were nominated for 20 Emmy Awards — a record for a comedy series in its first season.

Sudeikis and the Apple TV+ show are up for best comedy series, actor, directing and writing.

Emmy nominations went to Jason Sudeikis, left, who created and stars as Ted Lasso, and Brett Goldstein, a writer on the show who also plays Roy Kent, the mercurial team captain.
Emmy nominations went to Jason Sudeikis, left, who created and stars as Ted Lasso, and Brett Goldstein, a writer on the show who also plays Roy Kent, the mercurial team captain.

In addition, four of the eight supporting actor nominations went to “Ted Lasso” actors: Brett Goldstein (who plays aging soccer star Roy Kent and also writes for the show), Brendan Hunt (who plays Coach Beard and also, like Sudeikis, co-writes and co-produces), Nick Mohammed (budding coach Nate the Great) and Jeremy Swift (ever-helpful assistant Higgins).

The show earned two of the seven nominations for best supporting actress in a comedy series: Hannah Waddingham, who plays team owner Rebecca Welton, and Juno Temple, who plays player girlfriend with a brain Keeley Jones.

Rebecca (Hannah Waddingham, left) at first seems cold, but she warms to a friendship with team hanger-on Keeley (Juno Temple). Both actresses are up for Emmys.
Rebecca (Hannah Waddingham, left) at first seems cold, but she warms to a friendship with team hanger-on Keeley (Juno Temple). Both actresses are up for Emmys.

“Ted Lasso” was also nominated for several technical awards, including production design, casting, picture editing, sound and theme music.

In all, “The Crown” tied with “The Mandalorian” for the most Emmy nominations Tuesday with 24 apiece, according to the Television Academy. They’re followed by “WandaVision” with 23, “The Handmaid’s Tale” and “Saturday Night Live” with 21, “Ted Lasso” with 20, “Lovecraft Country” and “The Queen’s Gambit” with 18 and “Mare of Easttown” with 16.

The previous record for most nominations for a freshman comedy series was 19, set by “Glee” in 2010.

Streaming services ruled the day. In the top three categories — best drama, comedy and limited series — only two broadcast network shows, NBC’s “This Is Us” and ABC’s “black-ish,” snagged nominations.

For months now, Sudeikis has been taking victory laps with all the awards he’s been hauling in for “Ted Lasso.”

Best actor at the Screen Actors Guild Awards, the Golden Globes and Critics’ Choice Awards. Writers Guild Awards for best comedy series and new series.

Despite all the acclaim, actress Jasmine Cephas Jones, who announced the Emmy nominees with her actor father, Ron Cephas Jones, managed to pronounce it more like “Sue Desk Is.” He probably gets that a lot.

Regardless, awards prognosticators had been expecting multiple nominations for the series, a fish-out-of water tale of a football coach from the Kansas City area who leaves his job at Wichita State University to go coach a sport he knows nothing about: British premier soccer. The simple premise surprised viewers and critics alike with layered nuance and welcome warmth during the pandemic.

As Vanity Fair said in its nominations predictions: “The sheer optimism of Ted Lasso seems to be clearing a path to victory for Jason Sudeikis, but while he is the undeniable favorite, this category also has some formidable competition.”

Awards site isn’t worried, calling Sudeikis “the overwhelming front-runner to claim the trophy” for best actor in a comedy.

In addition to “Ted Lasso,” the other nominees for best comedy series are “black-ish” (ABC), “Cobra Kai” (Netflix), “Emily in Paris” (Netflix), “Hacks” (HBO Max), “The Flight Attendant” (HBO Max), “The Kominsky Method” (Netflix) and “Pen15” (Hulu).

In addition to Sudeikis, the other nominees for best actor in a comedy are Anthony Anderson, “black-Ish”; Michael Douglas, “The Kominsky Method”; William H. Macy, “Shameless”; and Kenan Thompson, “Kenan.”

In short, observers say, Sudeikis is the clear front-runner for best actor, and his show is a strong contender for best comedy series.

Many of the biggest threats in the comedy categories were not in contention. Last year’s big winner, “Schitt’s Creek,” of blessed memory, celebrated its series finale last year, as did “The Good Place” and “Modern Family” (which starred Sudeikis’ fellow Big Slick Celebrity Weekend host Eric Stonestreet of Wyandotte County). The pandemic disrupted production on other favorites, such as “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel.”

Season two of “Ted Lasso” will premiere July 23 on Apple TV+.

The Emmy Awards will air at 7 p.m. Sept. 19 on CBS and stream on several digital options.

Emmy nominees

Here’s a partial list:

Comedy series: “black-ish”; “Cobra Kai”; “Emily in Paris”; “The Flight Attendant”; “Hacks”; “The Kominsky Method”; “PEN15”; “Ted Lasso.”

Actor, comedy series: Anthony Anderson, “black-ish”; Michael Douglas, “The Kominsky Method”; William H. Macy, “Shameless”; Jason Sudeikis, “Ted Lasso”; Kenan Thompson, “Kenan.”

Actress, comedy series: Kaley Cuoco, “The Flight Attendant”; Allison Janney, “Mom”; Tracee Ellis Ross, “black-ish”; Jean Smart, “Hacks”; Aidy Bryant, “Shrill.”

Supporting actor, comedy series: Carl Clemons-Hopkins, “Hacks”; Kenan Thompson, “Saturday Night Live”; Bowen Yang, “Saturday Night Live”; Brett Goldstein, “Ted Lasso”; Brendan Hunt, “Ted Lasso”; “ Nick Mohammed, “Ted Lasso”; Jeremy Swift, “Ted Lasso”; Paul Reiser, “The Kominsky Method.”

Supporting actress, comedy series: Hannah Einbinder, “Hacks”; Kate McKinnon, “Saturday Night Live”; Cecily Strong, “Saturday Night Live”; Aidy Bryant, “Saturday Night Live”; Juno Temple, “Ted Lasso”; Hannah Waddingham, “Ted Lasso”; Rosie Perez, “The Flight Attendant.”

Drama series: “The Boys”; “Bridgerton”; “The Crown”; “The Handmaid’s Tale”; “Lovecraft Country”; “The Mandalorian”; “Pose”; “This Is Us.”

Actor, drama series: Sterling K. Brown, “This Is Us”; Jonathan Majors, “Lovecraft Country”; Josh O’Connor, “The Crown”; Rege-Jean Page, “Bridgerton”; Billy Porter, “Pose”; Matthew Rhys, “Perry Mason.”

Actress, drama series: Emma Corrin, “The Crown”; Elisabeth Moss, “The Handmaid’s Tale”; Uzo Aduba, “In Treatment”; Olivia Colman, “The Crown”; Mj Rodriguez, “Pose”; Jurnee Smollett, “Lovecraft Country.”

Supporting actor, drama series: Giancarlo Esposito, “The Mandalorian”; O-T Fagbenie, “The Handmaid’s Tale”; John Lithgow, “Perry Mason”; Tobias Menzies, “The Crown”; Max Minghella ,”The Handmaid’s Tale”; Chris Sullivan “This Is Us”; Bradley Whitford, “The Handmaid’s Tale”; Michael K. Williams, “Lovecraft Country.”

Supporting actress, drama series: Gillian Anderson, “The Crown”; Helena Bonham Carter, “The Crown”; Madeline Brewer, “The Handmaid’s Tale”; Ann Dowd, “The Handmaid’s Tale”; Aunjanue Ellis, “Lovecraft Country”; Emerald Fennell, “The Crown”; Yvonne Strahovski “The Handmaid’s Tale”; Samira Wiley, “The Handmaid’s Tale.”

Limited series: “The Queen’s Gambit”; “I May Destroy You”; “Mare of Easttown”; “The Underground Railroad”; “WandaVision.”

Actor, limited series or TV movie: Paul Bettany, “WandaVision”; Hugh Grant, “The Undoing”; Ewan McGregor, “Halston”; Lin-Manuel Miranda, “Hamilton”; Leslie Odom Jr., “Hamilton.”

Actress, limited series or TV movie: Michaela Coel, “I May Destroy You”; Cynthia Erivo, “Genius: Aretha”; Elizabeth Olsen, “WandaVision”; Anya Taylor-Joy, “The Queen’s Gambit”; Kate Winslet, “Mare of Easttown.”

Variety talk series: “Conan”; “The Daily Show With Trevor Noah”; “Jimmy Kimmel Live”; “Last Week Tonight With John Oliver”; “The Late Show With Stephen Colbert.”

Guest actor, drama series: George Freeman, “Lovecraft County”; Charles Dance, “The Crown”; (Kansas City native) Don Cheadle, “The Falcon and the Winter Soldier”; Timothy Olyphant, “The Mandalorian”; Carl Weathers, “The Mandalorian.”

Guest actress, drama series: Sophie Okonedo, “Ratched”; Claire Foy, “The Crown”; Alexis Bledel, “The Handmaid’s Tale”; McKenna Grace, “The Handmaid’s Tale”; Phylicia Rashad, “This Is Us.”

Supporting actor, limited series or TV movie: Thomas Brodie Sangster, “The Queen’s Gambit”; Daveed Diggs, “Hamilton”; Paapa Essiedu, “I May Destroy You,”; Jonathan Groff, “Hamilton”; Evan Peters, “Mare of Easttown”; Anthony Ramos, “Hamilton.”

Supporting actress, limited series or TV movie: Renee Elise Goldsberry, “Hamilton”; Phillipa Soo, “Hamilton”; Kathryn Hahn, “WandaVision”; Moses Ingram, “The Queen’s Gambit”; Julianne Nicholson, “Mare of Easttown”; Jean Smart, “Mare of Easttown.”

Television movie: “Dolly Parton’s Christmas on the Square”; “Oslo”; “Robin Roberts Presents: Mahalia”; “Sylvie’s Love”; “Uncle Frank.”

Guest actor, comedy series: Alec Baldwin, “Saturday Night Live”; Dave Chappelle, “Saturday Night Live”; Daniel Kaluuya, “Saturday Night Live”; Dan Levy, “Saturday Night Live”; Morgan Freeman, “The Kominsky Method.”

Guest actress, comedy series: Issa Rae, “A Black Lady Sketch Show”; Yvette Nicole Brown, “A Black Lady Sketch Show”; Jane Adams, “Hacks”; Maya Rudolph, “Saturday Night Live”; Kristen Wiig, “Saturday Night Live”; Bernadette Peters, “Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist.”

Structured reality program: “Antiques Roadshow”; “Property Brothers: Forever Home”; “Queer Eye”; “Running Wild With Bear Grylls”; “Shark Tank.”

Unstructured reality [rogram: “Becoming”; “Below Deck”; “Indian Matchmaking”; “RuPaul’s Drag Race: Untucked”; “Selling Sunset.”

Reality-competition program: “Nailed It!”; “RuPaul’s Drag Race”; “The Amazing Race”; “The Voice”; “Top Chef.”

Variety sketch show: “A Black Lady Sketch Show”; “Saturday Night Live.”

Includes reporting by The Associated Press.

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