Columbia Projects Sweep Emmy Nominations; Several Projects Take Home Awards

Nicole Saldarriaga
Angeline Dimambro
September 13, 2022

Update: September 13, 2022

The winners of the 2022 Emmy Awards have been announced and several projects worked on by Columbia filmmakers are among the awardees.

Succession, the critical darling drama series from HBO produced by alumnus Scott Ferguson '90, took home multiple Emmy Awards in the categories of Outstanding Drama Series, Outstanding Writing for a Drama Series, and Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series (Matthew Macfadyen). The series was also awarded the Creative Arts Emmy Award for Outstanding Casting for a Drama Series. Succession, which just ended its third season and has been renewed for a fourth, features directing work from alumna Shari Springer Berman '95. Alumnus Brysen Boyd '20 also served as a writing fellow on the show’s third season.

Only Murders in the Building won three Creative Arts Emmy Awards: Outstanding Guest Actor in a Comedy Series (Nathan Lane), Outstanding Production Design for a Narrative Program, and Outstanding Sound Mixing for a Comedy or Drama Series. Alumnus Chris Teague '06 is Director of Photography for the series and directed several episodes, and alumna Cherien Dabis '04 directed four episodes. Additionally, Columbia College alumnus Ben Philippe '11 is a writer on the series and Barnard alumna Jamie Babbit ’93 directed six episodes. 

Actress Jean Smart, one of the leading ladies of Hacks by Lucia Aniello '04 CC, took home the title of Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series. In addition to being the series’ co-creator, Aniello also serves as a producer, writer, and director on the hit series. Hacks was also awarded two Creative Arts Emmy Awards in the categories of Outstanding Contemporary Costumes and Outstanding Guest Actress in a Comedy Series (Laurie Metcalf).

Additionally, Joanna Rothkopf (JRN' 14) is on the writing staff for Last Week Tonight with John Oliver, which won three awards: Outstanding Variety Talk Series, Outstanding Directing for a Variety Series, and Outstanding Writing for a Variety Series (an award the show has won for seven years in a row). 

Michael Keaton (Batman, Birdman, Beetlejuice) won the title of Outstanding Lead Actor in a Limited Series or TV Movie for his portrayal of Dr. Samuel Finnix in Dopesick. Patricia Riggen '03 directed two episodes of the Hulu Originals limited series.

Click here to see a full list of Emmy Award winners, and read more about these winning projects below. 


Original: July 14, 2022

The 74th Annual Emmy nominations were announced Tuesday, and projects by School of the Arts filmmakers received an impressive number of nods. In fact, Succession, the hit HBO series produced by alumnus Scott Ferguson '90, is the most-nominated program of 2022, with 25 nominations ranging from Best Drama Series to Outstanding Single-Camera Picture Editing for a Drama Series. Learn more about each alumni-affiliated series below: 


People in suits

Producer: Scott Ferguson '90
Director: Shari Springer Berman '95
Writing Fellow: Brysen Boyd '20

Succession centers on the Roy family, the dysfunctional owners of Waystar RoyCo, a global media and entertainment conglomerate. The family members are fighting for control of the company amid uncertainty about the health of the family's patriarch, Logan Roy. The hit series has recently made waves, winning three Golden Globes, a 2022 SAG Award, and two 2022 WAG Awards

Ferguson is among the producers of the award-winning series, and Springer Berman directed two episodes, "Safe Room" (2019) and "Lion in the Meadow" (2021). Boyd made history as HBO's first Writing Fellow to work on a show in progress when he was asked to be part of the writers' room for season three of the series. 

Succession is nominated for a total of 25 Emmy awards, with a record 14 acting nominations. 


Woman at diner

Co-Creator, Writer, and Showrunner: Ashley Lyle '07 ('02 CC)

Yellowjackets is the saga of a wildly-talented high school girls soccer team who become the (un)lucky survivors of a plane crash deep in the remote northern wilderness. The series chronicles their descent from a complicated but thriving team to savage clans, while also tracking the lives they’ve attempted to piece back together nearly 25 years later, proving that the past is never really past and what began out in the wilderness is far from over. Showtime describes the show as “equal parts survival epic, psychological horror story and coming-of-age drama.”

The series was nominated for a 2022 WGA Award and a 2022 GLAAD Media Award, and Lyle was the recipient of a 2022 Final Draft Award alongside her co-creator and husband, Bart Nickerson. 

Yellowjackets is nominated for 7 Emmy Awards, including two nominations for Outstanding Writing for a Drama Series for Lyle.

Only Murders in the Building

Only Murders poster

Director of Photography/Director: Chris Teague '06
Director: Cherien Dabis '04
Director: Jamie Babbit (BC’93)
Writer: Ben Philippe (CC'11) 

Only Murders in the Building follows three strangers (Steve Martin, Martin Short, and Selena Gomez) who share an obsession with true crime and suddenly find themselves wrapped up in one. When a grisly death occurs inside their exclusive Upper West Side apartment building, the trio suspects murder and employs their precise knowledge of true crime to investigate the truth. As they record a podcast of their own to document the case, the three unravel the complex secrets of the building which stretch back years. Perhaps even more explosive are the lies they tell one another. Soon, the endangered trio comes to realize a killer might be living amongst them as they race to decipher the mounting clues before it’s too late.

Dabis directed four episodes of the comedy series, which is nominated for 17 Emmy Awards—including a nomination for Outstanding Directing for a Comedy Series for Dabis. 


Woman in dressing room in glittery gown

Co-creator, Producer, Writer, Director: Lucia Aniello '04 CC

Also from HBO/HBO Max is Hacks, which is nominated for Best Comedy Series. The Emmy award winning series starring Jean Smart and Hannah Einbinder explores a dark mentorship that forms between Deborah Vance, a legendary Las Vegas comedian, and an entitled, outcast 25-year-old. Aniello, who was a Film and Media Studies major at Columbia College, is one of the creators of the show in addition to her work as a producer, writer, and director on the series. 

The series was awarded the double honor of Best New Series as well as Best Comedy Series at the 2022 WGA Awards and is nominated for 18 Emmy Awards.

Last Week Tonight

Last Week Tonight Logo

Senior Writer: Joanna Rothkopf (JRN' 14)

HBO’s critical darling hosted by John Oliver is in its ninth season and has been picked up for more episodes. The series secured five nominations in the categories of Outstanding Variety Talk Series; Outstanding Directing For A Variety Series; Outstanding Writing For A Variety Series; Outstanding Picture Editing For Variety Programming; and Outstanding Technical Direction, Camerawork, Video Control For A Series. Rothkopf is a senior writer on the show, with writing credits on over 60 episodes of the hit program.


Dopesick poster

Director: Patricia Riggen '03

A new original limited series from Hulu, Dopesick takes viewers to the epicenter of America's struggle with opioid addiction—from the boardrooms of Purdue Pharma, to a distressed Virginia mining community, to the hallways of the DEA. Riggen directed two episodes: “Hammer the Abusers” and “The Whistleblower.” The show was nominated for nine total Emmy Awards across the following categories: Outstanding Limited Series, Outstanding Lead Actor in a Limited Series or TV Movie (Michael Keaton), Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Limited Series or TV Movie (Will Poulter, Peter Sarsgaard, Michael Stuhlbarg were all nominated), and Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Limited Series or TV Movie (Kaitlyn Dever and Mare Winningham both received nominations).

See a full list of 2022 Emmy Nominations here