Zach Braff says Emmys ‘passed’ on putting Nick Cordero in In Memoriam segment

Broadway star Nick Cordero.
Broadway star Nick Cordero, shown earlier this year, died in July.
(Vivien Killilea / Getty Images)

Actor Zach Braff says the 2020 Emmy Awards excluded late actor Nick Cordero from Sunday’s In Memoriam segment even though he tried to get the late Broadway star featured.

The “Scrubs” alum, who was Cordero’s friend and “Bullets Over Broadway” costar, took to Twitter the day after the awards show to assure fans that efforts were made for Cordero to appear in the tribute, but that Emmy creatives “passed.”

“The Emmys chose to leave Nick Cordero out of the memorial montage,” Braff tweeted Monday. “I had no idea one had to campaign to get their loved one in. We did. They passed.”


Cordero died in July after spending three months in the hospital after contracting COVID-19. The Tony Award-nominated “Rock of Ages” and Waitress” star was 41. The actor’s handful of TV credits include appearances in “Blue Bloods,” “Law & Order: SVU” and “Lilyhammer.”

Braff added a note he attributed to the Emmys, which are voted on by members of the Television Academy, that said it considered Cordero for the segment but that he didn’t make the cut.

Reps for ABC and the Television Academy did not confirm Braff’s statement, but issued a separate one to The Times on Monday.

“With over 500 colleagues passing away in the past year, it’s always a very difficult decision to determine who gets featured in the In Memoriam segments of the Creative Arts and main telecast ceremonies,” the statement said. “All individuals, however, are included on our online In Memoriam site honoring those who are no longer with us (, as well as in the Emmy Awards program. Requests to have someone included is neither required nor expected.”

In a separate tweet, Braff noted that the team also excluded his “Scrubs” costar Sam Lloyd — a surprising move given that Lloyd had appeared in “Seinfeld,” “Desperate Housewives,” “Modern Family” and several other shows.

“I would have never even considered ‘campaigning’ for Sam because he had more TV credits than most actors I know,” Braff said.

Sunday’s segment featured Grammy winner H.E.R. performing “Nothing Compares 2 U” and opened with the words of former TV host Regis Philbin. It included tributes to Naya Rivera, Chadwick Boseman, Diana Rigg, Diahann Carroll and Carl Reiner. A separate segment from host Jimmy Kimmel was devoted to Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who died Friday.

Other celebrities who died this year but were absent from the segment were actress Kelly Preston, NBA star Kobe Bryant and musician and singer-TV star Kenny Rogers.