My 2020 Emmy Wish List ~ TV TALK with BILL CUSHING


By: Bill Cushing – July, 2020

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. The actors that I mention here are the ones that people just might forget, not the ones that are shoo-ins for a nomination. So here goes…

Tom Pelphrey (Ozark) – Tom Pelphrey’s amazing turn as Ben Davis, Wendy’s brother on Season 3 of ‘Ozark’ might just be the performance of the year. In a series with such a stellar cast, Pelphrey turned in the season most defining work. His scenes with Julia Garner were pure gold.

Regina King (Watchmen) – Look, Regina King is great in everything she does, but that doesn’t mean that she should be overlooked. She was mesmerizing from the moment we saw her on screen as Tulsa police detective Angela Abar in HBO’s terrific miniseries ‘Watchmen.’

Lizzy Caplan (Castle Rock) – Stepping into a role that won an Oscar for the person who played it first is a big challenge. But Lizzy Caplan rose to the challenge of playing Annie Wilkes, made famous by Kathy Bates in Misery, and delivered one of the season’s most electrifying performances.
Kaitlyn Dever (Unbelievable) – Dever’s role as Marie Adler, the teenage rape victim whose case was unforgivably mishandled, played on every emotion there is. A gut wrenching, soul crushing performance by Dever shouldn’t be forgotten.

Dylan McDermott (Hollywood) – Netflix’s alternative history drama series about Hollywood’s heyday was star studded and had some really memorable and fine work. But none better than Dylan McDermott in his role as the gas station pimp Ernie West. McDermott was a joy to watch as he devoured each scene he was in.

Cynthia Erivo (The Outsider) – In the role of Holly Gibney in HBO’s adaptation of Stephen King’s novel, Cynthia Erivo made us believe in the supernatural shape shifting monster that she was chasing. She made us look past Holly’s eccentricity, and see her confidence and heroism. Erivo is a breakout star and should be recognized for this performance.

Annie Murphy (Schitt’s Creek) – Among all of the Emmy love that this will get, Annie Murphy’s performance as Alexis Rose shouldn’t be overlooked. Over the course of this series she has turned Alexis from a shallow, self-centered socialite into a confident up and coming businesswoman with a big heart.

Walton Goggins (The Unicorn) – In one of the best new comedy series of the year, Walton Goggins delivered a beautifully touching performance as widower Wade Felton. With a string of great work over the years, Goggins has quietly become one of the best, most consistent actors on TV.

Titus Welliver (Bosch) – Titus Welliver’s brilliantly understated performance as the title character in TV’s best cop show never gets mentioned among these names. It certainly should be. Welliver’s work and this excellent series have consistently been overlooked.

Dominic West (The Affair) – In a series that had its ups and downs, Dominic West’s performance as the philandering husband and absentee father Noah Solloway was something that was always consistently top notch. He was never better than in the show’s terrific final episodes.
Others that I would love to see recognized: James Franco (The Deuce), Zoe Kravitz (High Fidelity), Andy Allo (Upload), Holt McCallany (Mindhunter), Marc Maron (GLOW), Freddie Highmore (The Good Doctor).

The 72nd Primetime Emmy Award nominations will be announced on July 28th.

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 and Instagram @BillsTVTalk and on Facebook at BillsTVTalk for daily up-to-the-minute TV news and discussion. ◊