Jews in the News: Daveed Diggs, Maya Rudolph and James Wolk

The Emmys and More

The Primetime Emmy Awards, for excellence in original broadcast and streaming programs, will be presented on Sept. 19 (CBS; 8PM). Years ago, some Primetime categories, like technical awards (sound, etc.), and guest acting roles, were moved to the separate Creative Arts ceremony.

Here are verified Jewish Emmy nominees in categories that will be presented during the “main” ceremony.


Lead actor, comedy series: MICHAEL DOUGLAS, 76, “The Kominsky Method”; Lead actress, comedy series: TRACEE ELLIS, 48, “Blackish”; Lead actress, drama series: JURNEE SMOLLETT, 34, “Lovecraft Country” Supporting actor, comedy: BRETT GOLDSTEIN, 40, “Ted Lasso” and PAUL REISER, 65, “Kominsky”; Supporting actress, comedy: HANNAH EINBINDER, 26, “Hacks”; and Lead actor, limited series/TV movie: DAVEED DIGGS, 39, “Hamilton”.

Best series (Comedy and Drama)

.All but two of the following persons are "best series" Emmy nominees, but I also note (see asterisk) two Jewish writers who aren’t Emmy nominees, but wrote books or films a nominated series was based on. 

Comedy series: ““Emily in Paris” created by DARREN STAR, 60; AND “Kominsky”, created by CHUCK LORRE, 68; AND “Pen15”, co-created by SAM ZVIBLEMAN, 38; and “Cobra Kai”. The Cobra Kai series was created for TV by HAYDEN SCHLOSSBERG and JON HURWITZ, both 43. It’s based on the “Karate Kid” films written by ROBERT MARK KAMEN*, 73.

Drama series: “Boys”, developed for TV by ERIC KRIPKE, 46; and “The Crown”, created by PETER MORGAN; 58; and “The Mandolorian”, created by JON FAVEAU, 54; and “Pose”, co-created by BRAD FALCHUK, 50; and “This is Us”, created by DAN FOGELMAN, 45; and "Bridgerton”, based on novels by JULIA QUINN*, 51.

Best Limited series: “The Queen’s Gambit”, created by SCOTT FRANK, 60; and “WandaVision”, created by (Ms.) JAC SCHAEFFER, 42.

Directing/Writing: Comedy series, Drama series, Limited series (these Emmys cite a specific episode, which I have omitted)

Directors---Comedy: JAMES BURROWS, 80,”B Positive”, and ZACH BRAFF, 46, “Ted Lasso”; and SUSANNA FOGEL, 40, “The Flight Attendant”,  Drama: LIZ GARBUS, 51,  “The Handmaid’s Tale”; and Jon Favreau, “The Mandalorian”,  Limited series/TV movie: THOMAS KAIL, 43, “Hamilton”; and Scott Frank, “The Queen’s Gambit”; and MATT SHAKMAN, 43, “WandaVision”./Writers---- Drama: Peter Morgan, “The Crown”; and Jon Favreau, “The Mandalorian”; and Brad Falchuk (co-writer), “Pose”; Limited Series/TV movie: Scott Frank, “The Queen’s Gambit”, and Jac Schaeffer, “WandaVision”.

Creative Arts Corner

The Creative Arts Primetime Emmy awards were presented on Sept.11-12 and the ceremony will be aired on FXX on Sept. 18. Here are the guest role Jewish acting nominees.

Comedy series, actor: DAN LEVY, “SNL”; actress: MAYA RUDOLPH, “SNL”, Drama series: SOPHIE OKONEDO, 53, “Ratched”.

Other “Creatives” Worth Noting: Best Voice-Over Performance: JESSICA WALTER (1941-2021), “Archer”; Outstanding TV Movie: “Oslo”, about the 1993 Israel/Palestine peace talks; Best Animated Series: “Primal”; created, directed, and written by GENADY TARTAKOVSKY, 51; and “Big Mouth”, co-created by NICK KROLL, 43, ANDREW GOLDBERG 43, and MARK LEVIN., 53.

“Y: The Last Man”, an FX series, premiered on Sept. 12. The premise: an unexplained event kills every mammal on Earth with a Y chromosome —except one man (and his pet monkey). The man, Yorick Brown (Ben Schentzer), travels the world trying to help survivors (almost everyone thinks he is a ‘masculine’ woman). Yorick’s mother, Jennifer Brown (Diane Lane), a U.S. Senator, is elevated to President after the cataclysm.

OLIVIA THIRLBY, 34, has a major supporting role as Hero Brown, Yorick’s sister and a paramedic. While not a household name, Thirlby is a good actress who exudes, I think, intelligence and charm. Her mother is Jewish. Her father’s background is unclear.

“Ordinary Joe”, an NBC series, stars JAMES WOLK, 36, as Joe Kimbreau, a guy who faces a pivotal decision after college. The decision could lead to three different lifepaths and the series follows all three possibilities---he could become a police officer, or a music star (like his father), or a nurse. Veteran character actor DAVID WARSHOWSKY, 60, has a supporting role as Frank, Joe’s father. (Premieres Sept. 20; 10PM).

Wolk, a handsome guy, has been steadily working in film and TV since 2008. He had a starring role on “Zoo”, a CBS drama that was a summer replacement series for three seasons. (2015-2017).

Update: For unknown reasons, the film "Arranged” was completely dropped from Amazon Prime Video last week just before the publication of my Sept. 9 column in which I said it was available, free, on Prime. It's a feel-good, charming, very Jewish movie. It’s available on Tubi, a free app with a few ads. You can watch Tubi on-line (registration required). Tubi is also an "add-able" app on Roku and Amazon Fire.


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