The Primetime Emmy Awards are being broadcast live on NBC on Aug. 29 starting at 5 p.m. Here are some of the more prominent Jewish nominees in just some of the many Emmy categories.
Julianna Margulies (“The Good Wife”) and Kyra Sedgwick (“The Closer”) are two of the six nominated actresses competing for the Emmy for best lead actress in a drama series. Sedgwick’s mother is Jewish and she strongly identifies as Jewish. This is her fifth nomination in a row for “The Closer” (no wins yet). Margulies might be the narrow favorite, having won Golden Globe and Screen Actors’ Guild best actress awards for “Wife.”
Newcomer and hot TV star Lea Michele (“Glee”) is nominated for best lead actress in a comedy or musical series. Michele, who plays Jewish character Rachel Berry, is the daughter of a Sephardi father and an Italian Catholic mother.
Larry David, the star and creator of “Curb Your Enthusiasm,” is nominated for best lead actor in a comedy series. This is David’s fourth nomination for the same role since 2003, and some predict this is his year. Veteran actor Eli Wallach, 94, is nominated for best guest actor in a comedy (“Nurse Jackie”). The outstanding voice-over category has three Jewish nominees: Hank Azaria (“The Simpsons”); Seth Green (“Robot Chicken”) and H. Jon Benjamin (“Archer”).
SHOWS, WRITERS, DIRECTORS
“The Daily Show,” starring Jon Stewart, is nominated for best comedy series and for best comedy writing. “Mad Men,” created and produced by Matthew Weiner, is up for best drama series, and Weiner is also up for a writing Emmy. Likewise, “Lost” is nominated for best drama series and series co-creator/producer Damon Lindelof is nominated for writing the show.
“You Don’t Know Jack,” an HBO original film about suicide doc Dr. Jack Kevorkian, is nominated for best original TV film. Its director, Barry Levinson, is up for an Emmy for best director of a made-for-TV film. He competes with Bob Balaban (“Georgia O’Keefe”) and Jeremy Podeswa (“The Pacific”).
Some other nominees include Steve Levitan (“Modern Family,” writing); Adam Shankman (the Academy Awards telecast, choreography and producing); and Agnieszka Holland (HBO’s “Treme” pilot, director of drama series episode). Holland grew up in postwar Poland; her Jewish father barely survived the Holocaust and her Catholic mother fought with the Polish underground. Holland’s best-known feature is the Holocaust movie “Europa Europa.”
In the directors’ chairs
A new documentary about Afghanistan war casualty Pat Tillman, the former NFL star from San Jose, called “The Tillman Story” (opens Sept. 3), is directed by Amir Bar-Lev, 38, who was raised in Berkeley, the son an Israeli-born father. His first two documentaries were well-received: “Fighter,” a study of the journey back to Europe of two Holocaust survivors that Bar-Lev says was inspired by his grandfather’s service in the Haganah, and “My Kid Could Paint That.”
The new romantic comedy “Going the Distance,” starring Drew Barrymore (opens Sept. 3), is directed by Nanette Burstein, 38, who is making her feature-film debut. Burstein, who grew up in a Reform home and attended an Orthodox day school, is best known as a documentary filmmaker. Her works include the Oscar-nominated “The Kid Stays in the Picture,” a 2002 documentary about legendary Hollywood executive Robert Evans.