Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem and Madness became an immediate viral sensation when it premiered in March

By Jodi Guglielmi
July 28, 2020 01:22 PM
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Joe Exotic
Steve Sisney/The Oklahoman/Imagn/USA Today Network/Sipa

Tiger King is coming out on top!

The 2020 Emmy nominations were announced on Tuesday and the hit Netflix docuseries proved to be an awards favorite with an impressive six total nominations.

Tiger King received recognition for outstanding documentary or nonfiction series, directing for a documentary, picture editing for a nonfiction program, music composition for a documentary series, sound editing for a nonfiction or reality program, and sound mixing.

"Thank you to the Television Academy. It is a huge honor to be nominated amongst such great documentaries. And many thanks to our amazing team!" directors Eric Goode and Rebecca Chaiklin said in a joint statement.

Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem and Madness became an immediate viral sensation when it premiered on the streaming platform in March. The series followed the now-imprisoned big cat wrangler Joseph "Joe Exotic" Maldonado-Passage and explored his feud with his nemesis Carole Baskin, which ended in a failed murder-for-hire plot.

He was found guilty in 2019 for paying Allen Glover $3,000 to kill Baskin, a big cat conservationist whom he considered his rival, and for killing tigers to make room for more big cats at his exotic animal park. He was also found guilty on multiple charges of violating both the Lacey Act for falsifying wildlife records, and the Endangered Species Act. The disgraced zookeeper filed a lawsuit in March against various government agencies, as well as a former business partner, seeking $94 million in damages.

Currently, Maldonado-Passage is serving a 22-year sentence in a Dallas-Fort Worth, Texas, prison.

In the months since the show was released, numerous spin-off projects have been confirmed, including a scripted series set to star Nicholas Cage as Exotic. And Kate McKinnon is already slated to play Joe Exotic's rival in a separate series.

Animal Planet also recently released a new docuseries, which focuses on the animals at Maldonado-Passage's former Greater Wynnewood Exotic Animal Park. The series was filmed four months before Maldonado-Passage was arrested.

The 72nd Primetime Emmy Awards will air live Sept. 20 on ABC.