2020 Emmy Nominees for Main Title Themes and Original Songs

Nominations for the 72nd Emmy Awards were announced, including the nominees for Original Main Title Theme Music and Original Music and Lyrics.

Nathan Barr competes against himself in the main titles category, where he is nominated for both Carnival Row and Hollywood. Barr is nominated for a total of three Emmy awards this year with the Hollywood soundtrack nominated for music composition for a series.

Newcomer Labrinth gets a double Emmy nomination for his work on the Euphoria soundtrack, his first gig composing for television. The producer is nominated for his original song ‘All For Us‘ from Euphoria as well as dramatic score.

Six-time Grammy winner Pharrell Williams and Grammy winner Chad Hugo are nominated in the original Music and Lyrics category for their original song from The Black Godfather. Thomas Mizer and Curtis Moore are also nominated for The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, with the duo having written original songs for character Shy Baldwin to perform onscreen. Maisel has won back-to-back Emmy awards for music supervision.

Chart-topping artist Ingrid Michaelson is nominated for her contribution to the Little Fires Everywhere soundtrack. The Hulu series has a total of five nominations this year, including composers Mark Isham and Isabella Summers for composition for a limited series.

Siddhartha Khosla earns a second nomination for his work on This Is Us, joined this year by Dawes’ Taylor Goldsmith, for nominated song ‘Memorized’ performed by Blake Stadnik. Khosla and Goldsmith received a 2020 Guild of Music Supervision nomination for another This Is Us original song, ‘Invisible Ink,’ performed by Goldsmith’s wife, actress Mandy Moore.

Meanwhile, NIN’s Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross pick up two nominations this year for their work on the Watchmen soundtrack. They are also recognized in the Music and Lyrics category for their original song ‘The Way It Used to Be.’ They add this recognition to previous Oscar and Golden Globes wins for their film scores.

Check out the nominees and their work below, including links to view the music from the nominated episodes and series. See our separate coverage of the 2020 Emmy Nominees for Outstanding Music Supervision and 2020 Emmy Nominees for Outstanding Music Composition.


Outstanding Original Main Title Theme Music

Amazon Prime


Defending Jacob Theme (Extended Version)

by Ólafur Arnalds

from Defending Jacob Soundtrack · Season 1 · Episode 1 · Pilot

Extended version of the series theme song.

Apple TV+


Main Title by Nathan Barr

Hollywood Soundtrack



Theme by Antonio Gambale

Unorthodox Soundtrack



Why We Hate

by Laura Karpman

from Why We Hate Soundtrack · Season 1 · Episode 1 · Origins

Series main titles.

Discovery Channel


Theme by RZA

Wu-Tang: An American Saga Soundtrack



Outstanding Original Music and Lyrics

Music and lyrics by: Labrinth



Last Week Tonight with John Oliver

Eat Sh!t, Bob

by John Oliver

from Last Week Tonight With John Oliver · Season 6 · Episode 29 · SLAPP Suits

Music by: David Dabbon
Lyrics by: Joanna Rothkopf, Jill Twiss, Seena Vali



Music and lyrics by: Ingrid Michaelson



Music and lyrics by: Pharrell Williams, Chad Hugo



Music and lyrics by: Thomas Mizer, Curtis Moore

Prime Video

Memorized (From This Is Us)

by Blake Stadnik

from This is Us Soundtrack · Season 4 · Episode 1 · Strangers

Grandson Jack sings to a crowd at his concert w…

Music and lyrics by: Siddhartha Khosla, Taylor Goldsmith



by Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross

from Watchmen Soundtrack · Season 1 · Episode 6 · This Extraordinary Being

Will walks down the road and is approached by f…

Music and lyrics by: Trent Reznor, Atticus Ross



Original music is an important part of elevating storytelling in television and film. Last year’s original main title theme Emmy winner was Nicholas Britell for HBO’s Succession, which has a 2020 Emmy nomination for music composition for a series. Last year’s original music and lyrics Emmy winner was Adam Schlesinger, Rachel Bloom and Jack Dolgen for the popular CW series, Crazy Ex-Girlfriend. The Crazy Ex-Girlfriend soundtrack won for ‘Antidepressants Are So Not A Big Deal’ from the final season. Sadly, series composer Adam Schlesinger passed away earlier this year from Covid-19.

View the full list of nominees for the 2020 Emmy Awards. Curious how an Emmy is won? Check out this infographic that describes the nomination and voting process.

The Creative Arts Emmy Awards will be presented on September 12th and 13th. The 72nd Emmy Awards show will broadcast live on ABC on September 20th.

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