Emmys: Best Directing Categories a Mix of Familiar (and Not-So-Familiar) Faces

9:00 AM 8/19/2016

by Craig Tomashoff

TV's top helmers — from stars to showrunners to film veterans — hope for Emmy glory in the comedy and drama races.

HBO; Ray Mickshaw/FX

  • Aziz Ansari

    The comedic triple threat also got nominations in the writing and acting categories. His nominated directing turn, "Parents," featured his real-life parents as his fictional ones.

  • Alec Berg

    Berg also got a writing nom for a different episode this season. For "Daily Active Users," he had to capture one of Pied Piper founder Richard Hendricks' near-breakdowns.

  • Mike Judge

    This episode was about a very bad idea: an app that gives you a mustache. Eleven-time nominee Judge's fondness for "little guys vs. self-important types" continues to shine.

  • Jill Soloway

    Soloway won this category on her first nom in 2015. This time she's recognized for a wild episode about the Pfeffermans' trip to a feminist music festival.

  • Dave Mandel

    It was Mandel's first year as showrunner, but this faux-documentary episode about a political stalemate shows how well he understands what makes Veep Veep.

  • Chris Addison

    This is Addison's first directing nom, for the season-five opener that was a perfect setup for Selina Meyer's Electoral College deadlock regarding her possible presidential victory.

  • Dale Stern

    You wouldn't expect a funeral to be a comic gem, but this first-time nominee shepherded a seminal episode in which Selina and her staff cope with her mother's death.

  • Michael Engler

    He'd been nominated for 30 Rock and Sex and the City, but this is the veteran's first recognition for Downton. And it's for one of the most memorable installments: the series finale that was realistic and heartfelt.

  • Miguel Sapochnik

    His first Emmy nom comes for the season's most explosive episode, featuring a spectacularly raw, intense showdown between Jon Snow and the evil Ramsay Bolton.

  • Jack Bender

    Bender's first directing nom for this series (he'd been nominated for Northern Exposure and Lost) explained the White Walkers without seeming like a history lesson.

  • Lesli Linka Glatter

    This action-packed episode, set inside a Middle East refugee camp, marks the vet's third nomination for Homeland.

  • Steven Soderbergh

    It’s the second straight directing nomination for Soderbergh. The Emmy winner (for HBO’s Behind the Candelabra) helmed an extremely dark season finale.

  • David Hollander

    The season finale earned the showrunner his first directing nom, and he made sure to focus on what makes Ray Donovan click: tough talk, wry humor and gunplay.