My 2018 Emmy Wish List ~ TV TALK with BILL CUSHING


By: Bill Cushing – July, 2018

The Primetime Emmy nominations will be announced shortly and every year I like to review the past year in TV and give my Emmy Wish List, my list of who I would like to see recognized. It’s always tough to remember all the great work every year, and not everyone can be nominated. Some will be overlooked, but I hope the actors and actresses that I mention here are not forgotten. So here goes…

J.K. Simmons (Counterpart) – The brilliance of J.K. Simmons performance in Starz new series ‘Counterpart’ is easy to see. Simmons plays two versions of the same man, Howard Silk. Two spies living on opposite sides of a parallel dimension. With Simmons portrayal you can tell which character he is playing without him even uttering a word, just by the mannerisms he uses for each character. It really is an amazing performance.

Kyle Maclachlan (Twin Peaks: The Return) – Kyle Maclachlan’s role in the Twin Peaks revival was a real impressive achievement. Maclachlan, while playing Agent Dale Cooper, also had to play 2 other characters. Cooper’s evil doppelganger, and the dimwitted Dougie Jones. It really showed Maclachlan’s versatility as an actor and should be recognized with a nomination.

Noah Emmerich (The Americans) – It goes without saying that Matthew Rhys and Keri Russell deserve nominations for their amazing work on ‘The Americans.’ But Noah Emmerich is overdue for some recognition. His portrayal of FBI Agent Stan Beeman, the long unsuspecting neighbor and friend, was showcased in the series finale with a tense 12-minute parking garage scene in which Stan struggled with his sense of duty and his betrayal by his best friend Philip. It’s a powerful performance from Emmerich. Emmy voters shouldn’t forget him.

Julia Garner (Ozark) – As Ruth Langmore, the no nonsense, foul mouthed matriarch of a trailer trash band of delinquents on Netflix’s ‘Ozark’, Julia Garner shines. Garner was very good over the last few years in a small part on ‘The Americans,’ but in ‘Ozark’ she really got to show her acting chops.

Tony Shalhoub (The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel) – Rachel Brosnahan’s role as Midge on Amazon’s terrific series ‘The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel’ has been getting all of the recognition and is sure to get a very well deserved nomination. But Tony Shalhoub as Midge’s very proper and sometimes overbearing father Abe, steals many of the scenes that he is in. His hilarious performance shouldn’t be overlooked.

Hugh Dancy (The Path) – Hugh Dancy’s work as tormented former cult leader Cal Roberts on season 3 of Hulu’s ‘The Path’ showed his character evolved from leader to follower. Cal’s transformation from the leader of the Meyerists to a now former leader tormented by his past showed Dancy’s great range as an actor and he more than held his own in scenes with 3 time Emmy winner Aaron Paul.

Henry Winkler (Barry) – Henry Winkler’s turn as self-styled master acting teacher Gene Cousineau on HBO’s hilarious comedy series ‘Barry’ was one of this year’s greatest pleasures to watch. Winkler shows how great of a comedic actor he is. He is brilliant in this role. Hopefully he gets a nomination.

Paul Giamatti (Billions) –Giamatti took his performance as Chuck Rhoades to new heights this season. In a series like ‘Billions’ great acting is everywhere you look, but Giamatti’s work stood above it all this year. His scenes with co-star Damian Lewis were pure gold, so enjoyable to watch.
Maggie Gyllenhaal (The Deuce) – Gyllenhaal stars as Candy, a world-weary prostitute who hopes to take more control of her life in 1970s New York City in HBO’s excellent new series ‘The Deuce.’ Despite Candy’s flaws, Gyllenhaal’s performance made her into the most well-rounded character on the show.

Tahar Rahim (The Looming Tower) – Hulu’s excellent miniseries chronicling the path to 9/11 had many excellent performances, but none better than Tahar Rahim’s role as Federal agent Ali Soufan. Rahim’s layered, thoughtful draws you in. His interrogations scenes are riveting.

Others I’d love to see nominated: Rachel Brosnahan (Marvelous Mrs. Maisel), Yvonne Strahovski (The Handmaids Tale), Walton Goggins (Vice Principals), Stephen Root (Barry), Millie Bobbie Brown (Stranger Things), Laura Dern (Twin Peaks), James Spader (The Blacklist), Sarah Gadon (Alias Grace), Jeff Daniels (Godless).

The nominations for the 70th Emmy Awards will be announced on July 12th.

If you have any questions about TV you can email me at I will answer all of your questions and will feature some of the questions I receive in a future Mailbag column. Follow me on Twitter @BillsTVTalk and on Facebook at BillsTVTalk for daily up-to-the-minute TV news and discussion.