“A Black Lady Sketch Show,” “Little Fires Everywhere” producers among Northwestern alumni nominated for Emmy Awards



A still from HBO’s “A Black Lady Sketch Show.” Among this year’s Emmy nominees are Northwestern alumni Robin Thede and Ashley Nicole Black from the hit sketch comedy show.

Vivian Xia, Assistant Campus Editor

Among those nominated for the 72nd Primetime Emmy Awards for excellence in television are Northwestern alumni Robin Thede, Stephen Colbert, Jill Leiderman, Seth Meyers, Jenny Hagel, Allison Hord and Attica Locke. From late night comedy hosts to drama miniseries producers, here are some of the alumni and their respective Emmy-nominated shows.

Robin Thede, “A Black Lady Sketch Show”

Created and produced by Robin Thede (Medill ‘01), “A Black Lady Sketch Show” is a narrative series that presents sketches performed by a core cast of black women, including Thede and Ashley Nicole Black (Communication ‘08), who also writes for the show.

The show has made history by boasting the first all-black women writer’s room, the first black woman to receive an Emmy nomination for directing a variety series and the first sketch series cast composed only of black women. This year, the show received Emmy nominations for Outstanding Variety Sketch Series, Outstanding Directing for a Variety Series and Outstanding Guest Actress in a Comedy Series. Thede received a nomination for Outstanding Variety Sketch Series.

“A Black Lady Sketch Show” features dynamic, hilarious characters and celebrity guests, with each episode consisting of five to six sketches. It also touches on culturally relevant themes such as social norms, anxiety, religion, dating and relationships.

Stephen Colbert, “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert”

“The Late Show with Stephen Colbert” is a late-night talk show created and hosted by comedian Stephen Colbert (Communication ‘86). This year, Colbert received an Emmy nomination for Outstanding Variety Talk Series.

The show, successor to David Letterman’s “Late Show with David Letterman,” follows the classic late-night talk show formula, with each episode starting with a monologue and a look at recent headlines.

Like other shows in its genre, the episodes also feature sketch comedy, celebrity interviews and musical performances. Jen Spyra (Communication M.F.A. ‘12) is a writer on the show.

Jill Leiderman, “Jimmy Kimmel Live!”

Jill Leiderman (Communication ‘93) was nominated for Outstanding Variety Talk Series for “Jimmy Kimmel Live!”, of which she was the executive producer from 2006 to 2020.

The show is created and hosted by Jimmy Kimmel, and it features comedy, along with guests including other comics, celebrities, athletes, musicians and people with unusual or compelling personal stories.

“Jimmy Kimmel Live!” has been nominated for an Emmy numerous times over the years and has received Emmy nominations for Outstanding Variety Series, Outstanding Directing for a Variety Series, Outstanding Writing for a Variety Series and Outstanding Variety Talk Series.

Seth Meyers, Jenny Hagel and Allison Hord, “Late Night with Seth Meyers”

“Late Night with Seth Meyers” is a late-night talk and news satire show hosted by comedian Seth Meyers (Communication ‘96), featuring A-list celebrity guests, political figures and other interesting newsmakers, memorable comedy and topical monologue jokes.

This year, Meyers and writers Jenny Hagel (Communication M.F.A. ‘09) and Allison Hord (Communication ‘05) were nominated for Outstanding Writing for a Variety Series.

Meyers is known for his perfectly timed wit and off-the-cuff satire, and he blends politics, news and comedy. This is the fourth year in a row the show has received a nomination for this award.

Attica Locke, “Little Fires Everywhere”

Attica Locke (Communication ‘95) received a nomination for Outstanding Limited Series for “Little Fires Everywhere,” of which she is a co-executive producer.

The web television miniseries, based on the 2017 novel by Celeste Ng, is set in the Cleveland suburb of Shaker Heights, Ohio during the late 1990s and stars Reese Witherspoon and Kerry Washington. It tells the story of the picture-perfect Richardson family and a mysterious mother-daughter pair who turn the Richardsons’ lives upside down.

“Little Fires Everywhere” weaves together themes such as race, motherhood, adoption and class.

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Twitter: @vivianxia7

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