Carnegie Mellon University
July 28, 2020

Billy Porter Gets Back-to-Back Lead Actor Emmy Nominations

Alumni, including Ted Danson, Leslie Odom Jr., James Cromwell and Cherry Jones, receive nods in a dozen categories

By Heidi Opdyke

Pam Wigley
  • College of Fine Arts
  • 412-268-1047
Jason Maderer
  • Marketing and Communications
  • 412-268-1151

Carnegie Mellon University alumnus Billy Porter will be defending his historical Emmy win at the 72nd Emmy Awards.

In 2019, Porter became the first openly gay black man to win Outstanding lead actor in a drama series for his work as Pray Tell on FX's "Pose." The Tony, Grammy and Emmy award-winning actor graduated in 1991 from CMU's School of Drama.

This year, 17 CMU alumni have earned 18 nominations in 12 categories.

Josh Gad, a 2003 alumnus of CMU's College of Fine Arts, and Grammy winner, was among the presenters to announce this year's nominations. The ceremony was reimagined as a virtual event this year due to production restrictions resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic. Gad stars in the 2020 Apple TV+ show "Central Park." Among the cast is classmate Leslie Odom Jr. who was nominated for an Outstanding character voice-over performance for the same show.

The Academy of Television Arts and Sciences honors individuals for their artistic, educational and technical achievements in the television industry. Emmy Awards recognize excellence in news, sports, daytime, primetime, documentary and international programming.

Carnegie Mellon alumni and faculty have received more than 130 Emmy Awards to date.

The Television Academy's 72nd Emmy Awards will air live at 8 p.m. Sept. 20 on ABC from the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles. Jimmy Kimmel will serve as host.

CMU Alumni Nominated for Emmys

Outstanding character voice-over performance
"Central Park"
Leslie Odom Jr.*, as Owen, College of Fine Arts, 2003

Outstanding production design for a variety, reality or reality-competition series
"Saturday Night Live"
Eugene Lee, Production designer, College of Fine Arts 1962
Akira Yoshimura, Production designer
Keith Ian Raywood, Production designer
N. Joseph DeTullio, Production designer

Outstanding production design for a variety special
77th Annual Golden Globe Awards
Brian Stonestreet, Production designer, College of Fine Arts 1988
Angel Hererra, Art director

62nd Annual Grammy Awards
Brian Stonestreet, Production designer, College of Fine Arts 1988
Kristen Merlino, Art director, College of Fine Arts 1995
Gloria Lamb, Art director
Jason Howard, Set director

The Oscars
Jason Sherwood, Production designer
Alana Billingsley, Art director College of Fine Arts 2004

Live In Front Of A Studio Audience: "All In The Family" And "Good Times"
Bernard Vyzga, Production designer, College of Fine Arts 1976, 1978
Richard Rohrer, Art director
Ron Olsen, Set decorator

Outstanding lighting design/lighting direction for a variety series
"America's Got Talent"
Noah Mitz, Lighting designer, College of Fine Arts 2005
Michael Berger, Lighting director, College of Fine Arts 2012
William Gossett, Lighting director, College of Fine Arts 2015
Ryan Tanker, Lighting director, College of Fine Arts 2010
Matthew Benson, Lighting director
Scott Chmielewski, Lighting director
Patrick Brazil, Lighting director

Outstanding lighting design/lighting direction for a variety special
62nd Annual Grammy Awards
Robert Dickinson*, Lighting designer
Noah Mitz, Lighting director, College of Fine Arts 2005
Andy O'Reilly, Lighting director
Patrick Boozer, Lighting director
Madigan Stehly, Lighting director
William Gossett, Lighting director, College of Fine Arts 2015
Ryan Tanker, Lighting director, College of Fine Arts 2010
Matthew Cotter, Lighting director

The Kennedy Center Honors
Robert Dickinson*, Lighting designer
Michael Berger, Lighting director, College of Fine Arts 2012
William Gossett, Lighting director, College of Fine Arts 2015
Bryan Klunder, Lighting director
Harry Sangmeiseter, Lighting director
Jason Rudolph, Lighting director

The Oscars
Robert Dickinson*, Lighting designer
Noah Mitz, Lighting director, College of Fine Arts 2005
Michael Berger, Lighting director, College of Fine Arts 2012
Andy O'Reilly, Lighting director
Patrick Boozer, Lighting director
Ben Green, Lighting director

73rd Annual Tony Awards
Robert Dickinson*, Lighting designer
Noah Mitz, Lighting director, College of Fine Arts 2005
Ed McCarthy, Lighting director
Harry Sangmeiseter, Lighting director

Outstanding original music and lyrics
"Last Week Tonight With John Oliver," Song "Eat Sh!t, Bob"
David Dabbon, Music by
Joanna Rothkopf, Lyrics by
Jill Twiss, Lyrics by
Seena Vali, Lyrics by

Outstanding lead actor in a comedy series
"The Good Place"
Ted Danson*, as Michael, College of Fine Arts 1972

Outstanding lead actor in a drama series
"Pose"
Billy Porter, as Pray Tell, College of Fine Arts 1991

Outstanding guest actor In a drama series
"Succession"
James Cromwell, as Ewan Roy, College of Fine Arts 1964

Outstanding guest actress In a drama series
"Succession"
Cherry Jones, as Nan Pierce, College of Fine Arts 1978

Outstanding children's programming
"The Dark Crystal"
Lisa Henson, Executive producer
Halle Stanford, Executive producer
Louis Leterrier, Executive producer
Jeffrey Addiss, Co-executive producer
Will Matthews, Co-executive producer
Javier Grillo-Marxuach, Co-executive producer, Dietrich College of Humanities and Social Sciences 1991
Blanca Lista, Co-executive producer
Ritamarie Peruggi, Produced by

Outstanding documentary or nonfiction special
"The Great Hack"
Judy Korin, Produced by
Pedro Kos, Produced by
Karim Amer, Produced by
Geralyn White Dreyfous, Produced by
Nina Fialkow, Executive producer, College of Fine Arts 1982
Lyn Davis Lear, Executive producer
Mike Lerner, Executive producer

* denotes honorary degree recipient