My 2019 Emmy Wish List ~ TV TALK with BILL CUSHING


By: Bill Cushing – June, 2019

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 the now cancelled ‘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. He does such a great job that you can tell which character he is playing without him even uttering a word, just by the mannerisms he uses for each character. It’s an amazing performance.

Brigette Lundy-Paine (Atypical) – Brigette Lundy-Paine is the best thing about Netflix’s autism dramedy ‘Atypical.’ She plays Casey, the sister of the autistic Sam. Casey balances being Sam’s rock, and trying to adjust to a new school, and all the other stuff a teenage girl goes through. Truly one of the breakout performances of the year.

Daniel Levy (Schitt’s Creek) – Daniel Levy’s role as David on the delightful ‘Schitt’s Creek’ is on the highlights of the TV year. With perhaps the best ensemble comedic cast on TV, ‘Schitt’s Creek’ is far from a one man show. But Daniel Levy comes as close to stealing the show as anyone. The scene where he sings Tina Turner to his partner Patrick is alone worth the Emmy.

Stephen Root (Barry) – Stephen Root is one of the most unsung character actors of the last 25 years. Root is such a fine comedic actor, and his role as Fuches in HBO’s ‘Barry’ is among the best work he’s ever done. The way he transformed from an ally in season 1 to an enemy in season 2, all while maintaining his comedic chops was a joy to watch.

Gina Rodriguez (Jane The Virgin) – The massively underrated Rodriguez is consistently among the best actresses on TV, and she’s long overdue for some recognition from the Academy. She gave perhaps her best performance in this final season when Jane realized that the husband she thought had died was, in fact, alive. The havoc that it created in her life gave Rodriguez a wide range of emotions to show and she showed them all flawlessly.

Rhea Seehorn (Better Call Saul) – We finally got to see Bob Odenkirk’s Jimmy McGill make the full transformation into Saul Goodman last season. But it was Rhea Seehorn’s work as Kim Wexler that continues to impress. The cast of ‘Better Call Saul’ is so good, that she sometimes gets overlooked. Let’s hope she gets recognized this year.

Marc Maron (GLOW) – Maron continues to put in fine work as Sam Silvia, the failed filmmaker who now directs the ‘GLOW’ TV series. Just like in season 1, the comedian turned actor shows that he’s more than capable of touching our hearts and being funny at the same time.

Maggie Gyllenhaal (The Deuce) – Gyllenhaal’s performance as Candy evolved in season 2 into an even more interesting character. Her wonder and excitement at the path her career was taking, mixed with the fear of people finding out what she did for a living, made her into the most well-rounded character on the show.

Ian McShane (Deadwood: The Movie) – Deadwood fans finally got the sendoff that they waited for, for a decade. McShane has always been a powerhouse as Al Swearengen, but seeing Al at his most vulnerable was a perfect ending. McShane was criminally overlooked in his previous 3 seasons on Deadwood. Let’s hope the academy makes things right this time and nominates him for one of the great TV characters of all time.

Others I’d love to see nominated: David Costabile (Billions), Julia Garner (Ozark), Jaime Camil (Jane The Virgin), Allison Miller (A Million Little Things), Ruth Wilson (The Affair), Freddie Highmore (The Good Doctor), Anson Mount (Star Trek: Discovery), Rob Delaney (Catastrophe), Anthony Carrigan (Barry).

The Nominations for the 71st Primetime Emmy Awards will be announced on July 16th.

Bill Cushing

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. ◊