Small screen: Critics Choice Awards Nominations announced; see full list of diverse nominations

The Television Critics Choice Awards announced its nominations earlier this week, and to the surprise of absolutely no one, The People Vs. OJ Simpson is leading the pack with six nominations. Shows with diverse lead actors like Mr. Robot and Black-ish also received many nominations. Meanwhile, Issa Rae’s future is secure, Tupac is coming to the small screen, and Viola Davis is taking on a historic role. For these stories, and full list of nominations, and more, read on:

Cable: Despite shaky ratings, Issa Rae has nothing to worry about. The star’s show Insecure secured a sophomore season on HBO, booking a full ten episodes, a bigger order than its eight-episode first season. The show has averaged just under 0.4 million viewers per episode in its first five episodes, but has received glowing reviews from critics. Adapted from her hit web series Awkward Black Girl, Rae stars in the show and has a first-look producing deal with the network. Other HBO shows Westworld and Divorce were picked up for second seasons as well.

USA Network picked up a true crime drama pilot about the deaths of hip hop legends Tupac and Biggie. The scripted crime story titled Unsolved is part of the network’s 2016-17 lineup, implying it will be released within the next 12 months. The show will be directed by Anthony Hemingway, whose miniseries The People Vs. OJ Simpson has dominated the television awards circuit this year (more on that below). A biopic following Tupac’s life and career called All Eyez On Me will also hit movie theaters in 2017.

The cast of Queen Sugar sat down with the SAG-AFTRA Foundation to discuss the series and the Oprah Winfrey Network, giving a great look at the personalities behind the show. The extensive cast talks about how they got into character by performing daily errands like grocery shopping on a budget with each other when they first met each other. They also talk about working with OWN and the closeness they feel from it. “The president of OWN took me surfing,” said the show’s star Dawn-Lyen Gardner. “Like, what president sees a random person on a show and says, do you want to go surfing?”

Good news, bad news for Steve Harvey fans. Bad news: He’s ending his daytime talk show The Steve Harvey Show. Good news: He’s launching a new one immediately after. Harvey is moving from Chicago to Los Angeles in September 2017, when his current contract with IMG ends. The new contract, still under NBCUniversal, will give Harvey greater creative control and a large ownership stake in his new talk show. Since its launch in 2012, The Steve Harvey Show solidified Harvey as a daytime television star.  

Network: The story of legendary African American entrepreneur Madam C.J. Walker will soon be shown on the small screen. Zero Gravity Management will produce a limited series based on a biography of Walker’s life written by A’Leila Bundles. Octavia Spencer will star as Walker. The biography, On Her Own Ground, was written by Walker’s great-great-granddaughter, Bundles. While washing dishes for $1.50 a week, Walker discovered a breakthrough hair care formula for black women, and created a beauty empire. Spencer will produce on the show directed by Kasi Lemmons (Black Nativity) and written by Nicole Asher (Coco).


Online: Game of Thrones actor Jason Momoa’s new Discovery Channel show has been picked up by Netflix. Frontier, a drama set in 1700s Canada, will drop its six-episode first season on the streaming service January 20. The historical drama follows factions fighting for control of the fur trade. The show premiered earlier this month and has already been renewed for a second season.


Critics’ Choice Awards: Even after already winning multiple awards, The People Vs. OJ Simpson isn’t quite done. The FX mini series lead the 22nd Annual Critics’ Choice Awards nominations with six nominations. Check out the full list of nominations here, and check out the full list of diverse nominations below:

Best Comedy Series: Atlanta, Black-ish

Best Actress in a Comedy Series: Tracee Ellis Ross (Black-ish), Constance Wu (Fresh Off the Boat)

Best Actor in a Comedy Series: Anthony Anderson (Black-ish), Donald Glover (Atlanta)

Best Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series: Andrew Braugher (Brooklyn Nine-Nine), Tituss Burgess (Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt)

Best Talk Show: The Daily Show with Trevor Noah (Comedy Central)

Best Reality Show Host: Nick Cannon (America’s Got Talent), RuPaul (RuPaul’s Drag Race)

Best Drama Series: Mr. Robot

Best Actor in a Drama Series: Rami Malek (Mr. Robot) 

Best Supporting Actress in a Drama Series: Thandie Newton (Westworld)

Best Guest Performer in a Drama Series: Mahershala Ali (House of Cards), Lisa Bonet (Ray Donovan)

Best Movie Made for Television or Limited Series: Confirmation (HBO), Roots (History), The People Vs. OJ Simpson (FX)

Best Actor in a Movie Made for Television or Limited Series: Cuba Gooding Jr. (The People Vs. OJ Simpson), Courtney B. Vance (The People Vs. OJ Simpson)

Best Supporting Actor in a Movie Made for Television or Limited Series: Sterling K. Brown (The People Vs. OJ Simpson), Forest Whitaker (Roots)

Best Actress in a Movie Made for Television or Limited Series: Kerry Washington (Confirmation)

Best Supporting Actress in a Movie Made for Television or Limited Series: Regina King (American Crime)