2016 Critics’ Choice Television Awards nominees: recognizing geek-friendly acting

2016 Critics’ Choice Television Awards nominees: recognizing geek-friendly acting

Acting in geek-friendly roles has generally not been recognized for awards because, you know, it’s so much easy acting in something which isn’t only outside of your actual experience, but anybody’s actual experience. šŸ˜‰

It’s not that it never happens: Leonard Nimoy was nominated three times for a Primetime Emmy for playing Spock on the original Star Trek, Peter Dinklage has twice that (with two wins) for Game of Thrones, and Tatiana Maslany has been nominated twice and won once for a Primetime Emmy for Orphan Black (batting 500).

The latter two have also been nominated for The Critics’ Choice Television Awards (which weren’t around when ST:TOS was on). Those nominations are out for this year, and there are quite a few geek-friendly acting noms:


It feels like a real move in the direction of the continued mainstreaming of geekery. Not only are geek-friendly actors being nominated in the drama category (often seen as the most prestigious, although that’s a debatable impression), but this time, there is actually more than one nominee in some categories…making a non-win not only probable, but virtually inevitable (outside of ties). šŸ˜‰

Before we look at those nominees, it’s worth noting a couple of factors which may be influencing the choices.

First, there is the rise of non-broadcast television in nominations…HBO leads this year, Netflix tied with ABC for second, and FX was fourth. Subscription television is regulated differently, and isn’t dependent on mainstream advertisers in the same way.

Second, this year there has been a split in the critics in the pool, because it has aligned with Entertainment Weekly. That reminded me a bit of special effects artists bowing out of the Academy Awards when the 1976 was nominated.

That might not have directly impacted these nominations, but it shows an evolution that might have changed the direction a bit.

Okay, geek-friendly noms!

  • Best Actor in a Comedy Series: Will Forte in The Last Man on Earth
  • Best Guest Performer in a Comedy Series: Christine Baranski in The Big Bang Theory
  • Best Animated Series: Archer | BoJack Horseman | Son of Zorn | South Park | The Simpsons
  • Best Structured Reality Series: Ā Penn & Teller: Fool Us
  • Best Supporting Actor in a Drama Series: Peter Dinklage, Kit Harington in Game of Thrones | Christian Slater in Mr. Robot
  • Best Actress in a Drama Series: Emilia Clarke, Lena Headey in Game of Thrones | Thandie Newton in Westworld
  • Best Actor in a Drama Series: Sam Heughan in OutlanderĀ | Rami Malek in Mr. Robot
  • Best Actress in a Drama Series: Caitriona Balfe in OutlanderĀ | Tatiana Maslany in Orphan Black | Evan Rachel Wood in Westworld
  • Best Drama Series: Game of Thrones | Mr. RobotĀ | Stranger Things | Westworld
  • Best Guest Performer in a Drama Series: Jeffrey Dean Morgan in The Walking Dead
  • Best Actor in a Movie made for Television or a Limited Series: Benedict Cumberbatch in Sherlock: The Abominable Bride

Congratulations to first-timers Westworld (which did quite well in noms), and Stranger Things (where some might have expected more noms)!

I would say that many of these acting nominees have been featured in Entertainment Weekly, although, of course, many actors featured in EW weren’t nominated.

Winners will be announced on Sunday, December 11th with T.J. Miller (Deadpool) hosting.

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