We didn’t just get more Zoey’s after playlist was canceled by NBC after its second season, but the Roku film Zoey’s Extraordinary Christmas is nominated for two Emmys!

In addition to the nomination for the best TV film, that makes up part of it Zoey’s so good – the performances – received a nomination for Best Choreography (for Mandy Moore and Jillian Meyers).

“It really feels like a nice acknowledgment of all the hard work that we’ve put in, so we’re all really excited,” creator and writer Austin Winsberg told TV Insider of the nominations. He shares more below.

Congratulations! Talk about the moment you found out.

Austin Winsberg: My wife and I lay in bed trying to refresh ourselves meeting and figuring out when it would be announced, and we couldn’t figure out when we would actually see the categories. Then I was bombarded with about five lyrics in five seconds, with people finding it quicker than us.

Have you had time to process the nominations yet?

I had a moment just before this morning where I thought it was great that we could even do the film and it was nice to even be a part of the conversation and I tried to brace myself for disappointment and then go back today work. And then yes, I was really excited and satisfied and surprised.

Zoey's Extraordinary Christmas Key Art

The Roku Channel

Why do you think the film had such an impact?

I think the film deals with issues that people can identify with. I think people certainly enjoy a good Christmas movie and things related to Christmas. In this particular case, the film is about the family’s first Christmas away from their father and what it’s like when someone who is such an important part of your life is suddenly gone. I think there have been a lot of losses lately. I think that’s a universal idea that everyone can relate to, the first vacation without a loved one. So I think that’s probably part of the resonance of that. And then I think that for that Zoey’s Hopefully appealing to fans of being able to pick up where we left off with that massive cliffhanger at the end of season 2 to see that storyline complete while at the same time keeping the film somehow standalone Zoey’s fans and new people alike.

Since the nominations were announced, has anything caught your eye that you hadn’t necessarily thought of before?

That’s a good question. Not yet. My main takeaway is just that there were so many people – cast and crew – who worked so hard on the show and then came back together very quickly to make the film that we had a lot of continuity and could have it all feel very similar. I’m just grateful that we were able to bring everyone back and very, very thankful for Roku and Colin Davis at Roku for believing in the show and in us and greenlighting a movie so quickly that they made it on air by December 1st.

And I have to say the performances were amazing. That’s why I was very happy about the nomination of the choreography.

Yes! I love Mandy Moore so much and she is a genius and she has been my creative partner every step of the way from the moment I made it Zoey’s and literally couldn’t do any of this without her and she just takes it all and makes it better. We speak the same emotional language and I feel like she just gets right to the point every time. And I also have to give credit to Richard Shepard, our pilot director, who came back to do the film with us too. Richard, Mandy and I have such a connection and beautiful shorthand with each other that the process was just effortless and really fun.

Looking back on the nominations, is there one achievement that particularly stands out to you?

I love the mashup between Max [Skylar Astin] and Zoey [Jane Levy]when he sings “Just the Two of Us” and she sings “We Need a Little Christmas” and there’s this thing where all the dancers are together on the stairs and they’re all doing this dance with their hands. We watched it in the editing room – down to the smallest detail, there isn’t a single person on those stairs that’s separated from each other. They’re so in sync, it’s crazy. And the fact that Mandy was able to choreograph all of these people so quickly and accurately is a testament to her work.

Of course I have to ask if there will be more Zoey’s. I need more Zoey’s in my life.

[Laughs] We all do that! I think we just have to keep pushing Roku. I think there is a desire for more. It’s getting complicated now because the actors are doing other projects. I know Roku was very happy with the film and it was good for her. So I think there’s always a possibility, but nothing to announce at the moment.

And now after the Emmy nominations…

I’ve been saying that to Colin for months. I’m like, what does it take? Zoey’s Extraordinary Vacation! Zoey’s Extraordinary Halloween! Let’s do this. What are we waiting for?

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