HOSTED NONFICTION SERIES OR SPECIAL
My Next Guest Needs No Introduction With David Letterman (Netflix)
The fourth season of this show, hosted by a legendary five-time Emmy winner, followed the first three to a nomination in this category — but a win this year would be its first. Featuring six in-depth interviews with celebrities from Will Smith to Cardi B, it dropped in May, as recently as any nominee in the category, but this is its sole nomination.
The Problem With Jon Stewart (Apple TV+)
This rookie show, hosted by a 22-time Emmy winner returning to television for the first time in six years, featured eight episodes highlighting social issues such as veterans’ health problems caused by burn pits, a cause for which Stewart has recently been in the news. It’s also up for outstanding writing for a nonfiction program.
Stanley Tucci: Searching for Italy (CNN)
With a field-leading five nominations, the defending winner — on which a charismatic Oscar nominee and four-time Emmy winner explores Italian food, culture and history — looks likely to repeat for its second season (even though it’s two episodes shorter than the first), which would equal the tally of the show that inspired it, Anthony Bourdain’s Parts Unknown.
All nine seasons of this deep-dive look at the news have now been nominated for this award or an earlier incarnation of it — only Inside the Actors Studio was nominated more times — but its only win came back in 2014. This season, which received no other nominations, dealt heavily with Putin’s Russia, including WNBA star Brittney Griner’s detainment for drug possession.
The World According to Jeff Goldblum (Disney+)
Nominated just like the first season of this show, on which a quirky actor embarks on adventures around the world, the second season tackled such topics as motorcycles, fireworks, dogs and birthdays. To some, the 30-minute show may feel a bit slight and lightweight when compared to its competition, and this is the series’ sole nomination.
EXCEPTIONAL MERIT IN DOCUMENTARY FILMMAKING
Changing the Game (Hulu)
The hot-button issue of transgender participation in sports is examined through the prism of three high school athletes from different parts of the country in this film directed by Michael Barnett and produced by GLAAD’s associate director of transgender representation, Alex Schmider. It stands at 100 percent on Rotten Tomatoes.
Frederick Douglass: In Five Speeches (HBO)
The life and views of the most famous 19th century abolitionist are explored in this show executive produced by Harvard University’s Henry Louis Gates Jr. and directed by his Finding Your Roots collaborator Julia Marchesi, with interpretations and narration by six of today’s top Black actors. HBO shows have won this award 10 times, twice as many as any other networks’.
When Claude Got Shot (PBS)
This category’s sole nominee from a broadcast network, directed by Brad Lichtenstein and executive produced by Snoop Dogg, examines how three families’ lives were impacted by gun violence that unfolded over one weekend in Milwaukee in 2014, chronicling the ensuing years of recovery and the path to forgiveness. It has a perfect rating on Rotten Tomatoes.
This story first appeared in an August stand-alone issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine.