Movie Stars, Once a Shoo-In, Largely MIA From Emmy Nominations

Emma Stone in MANIAC, George Clooney in CATCH-22 and Julia Roberts in HOMECOMING-Publicity Stills-Split-H 2019
Courtesy of Films

Emmy nominations in over 100 categories were announced on Tuesday, recognizing virtually every aspect of the TV business. One thing, though, was noticeably missing from this year's list that has been a staple of previous years': a large presence of movie stars (or, at least, people who first established themselves on the big screen before moving to the small).

The TV Academy's performers peer group took a pass on a host of A-list and/or Film Academy-knowledged actors and actresses who were thought to be in serious contention, including Catch-22's George Clooney; Homecoming's Julia Roberts; Maniac's Jonah Hill, Emma Stone and Sally Field; Grace and Frankie's Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin; Kidding's Jim Carrey; Who Is America's Sacha Baron Cohen; Yellowstone's Kevin Costner; King Lear's Anthony Hopkins and Emma Thompson; Ray Donovan's Jon Voight and Susan Sarandon; Knightfall's Mark Hamill; The Deuce's James Franco and Maggie Gyllenhaal; Shameless' William H. Macy; The Widow's Kate Beckinsale; and Live in Front of a Studio Audience: Norman Lear's All in the Family and The Jeffersons' Jamie Foxx, Woody Harrelson, Marisa Tomei, Kerry Washington and Will Ferrell.

On her Instagram account shortly after the nominations announcement, Roberts posted a screen shot of a USA Today news alert blaring "Biggest Emmy nomination snubs: Julia Roberts, George Clooney and Emma Stone are among the A-listers shut out," to which she added the caption, "Well, I'm in exceptional company, at least."

TV Academy members did, however, nominate A Very English Scandal's Hugh Grant; The Kominsky Method's Michael Douglas and Alan Arkin; Sharp Objects' Amy Adams; How to Get Away With Murder's Viola Davis; Fosse/Verdon's Sam Rockwell and Michelle Williams; True Detective's Mahershala Ali; Black Monday's Don Cheadle; Escape at Dannemora's Benicio Del Toro; and House of Cards' Robin Wright.

Film and TV were, until fairly recently, largely segregated, with the former considered higher in the hierarchy. But as the number of artistically ambitious films plummeted and the number of TV networks seeking artistically ambitious content surged, the most desirable actors became willing to go wherever the best opportunities were. Nowadays, the tables have turned to a huge extent — TV is minting its own stars who then become coveted for the movies, like Game of Thrones' Emilia Clarke and Fleabag's Phoebe Waller-Bridge — and Emmy voters are apparently less awestruck by people from the movies than they used to be.