I’ve had a weird feeling about television lately, at least going into this year’s Emmy nominations. Not sure entirely why, but I’ve had this growing sense that it’s mostly been an overall, odd year. It’s almost like it’s an off-year election, it’s critically important and major we’re not quite betting on the biggest players or names so it doesn’t seem like it’s major. That said, it is actually a big year, there’s a lot of shows that are off, but a lot that came back. And it’s not that clear whether the biggest show around or the newest show is the one that’s still as big as they used to be. I’ve watched more television at this point than I normally have, so I’m more interested than I have been in the past, but I still have a lot to get to as well… and this year, at least based on the Gold Derby odds, and my personal predictions, there were some upsets in the nominations. (Aka, really, Stranger Things is back?!)
Anyway, I always make it a point to be more thorough than everybody else, and I’m gonna go through every major category, that I suspect all of the laymen, as well as the more astute and knowledgeable viewer, will have some interest in. I mean, sure we’re gonna do the top sheet stuff first, but, there’s a lot of other Creative Arts categories that I think more people would like the Emmys if they profiled them a little more, so I will go over them as well. I’m not predicting anything just yet, way too early, and still fresh off the presses, and there’s a lot to take in. That said, let’s go through the categories. We’ll start with the Comedy Series categories.
OUTSTANDING COMEDY SERIES
Curb Your Enthusiasm-HBO
The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel-Prime Video
Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt-Netflix
The 2% rule came into effect here as a record eight shows got nominated this year. The only network series poor “black-ish’, which actually had it’s best year with five nominations; it got into costumes, but still is a real longshot, and HBO, dominated as three series got in this year, and remember, their perennial winner, “Veep”, wasn’t even eligible this year. “Barry” is the big newcomer from them, and it overperformed expectations, with 13 nods, but “Atlanta” way over-performed from last year, getting 16, and this could be important for FX which has never won a Series Award outside of Limited Series. The other big newcomer is “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel”, from Amazon, (And I still don’t get why they’re calling themselves Prime Video) which got 14 of their own. The other newcomer “GLOW”, had a weird morning, where it got ten nominations, but missed in a few categories they thought they’d get into and got surprising nominations were they weren’t expecting. As to the expected show revivals of “Will & Grace”, “Roseanne” or my favorite-even-though-it’s-never-a-revival, “One Day at a Time”, they-eh, didn’t do so well. However, “Curb Your Enthusiasm”, came back in.
(Bum-bum-bum, Ba, ba-bum, ba,ba-ba,bop, bum, ba-dum….)
I kid, I like “Curb…”
OUTSTANDING LEAD ACTOR IN A COMEDY SERIES
Ted Danson-“The Good Place”-NBC
Larry David-“Curb Your Enthusiasm”-HBO
Donald Glover-“Atlanta”-FX Networks
William H. Macy-“Shameless”-Showtime
Boy, “Shameless” really has a devoted following in the acting branch, doesn’t it? I mean, I love Bill Macy, but man…- Still though, the old names are the new ones here. For all you “The Good Place” fans, Ted Danson got in this year. I do like that show; I don’t think it’s the greatest thing ever to be honest, but he is really good in it, and let’s be fair, he’s Ted Danson. By the way, Danson is now the most nominated person in this category, ever; this being his 12th total nomination and his first since “Cheers” (which means that somehow he never got nominated for “Becker”? Man, he should really have even more.). Anyway, with Larry David coming in, I think Zach Galifianakis is the odd one out this year, but and of course, Aziz Ansari wasn’t eligible this year from last, and Jeffrey Tambor…- (sigh) oh well. Anyway, most suspect it’s a two-way race between Donald Glover and Bill Hader, and there are a few two-way races with them by the way, if they’re named as producers on their show, that means they will be competing head-to-head with each other, in five different categories, which I won’t look up personally, but I have to believe that’s a record.
OUTSTANDING LEAD ACTRESS IN A COMEDY SERIES
Pamela Adlon-“Better Things”-FX Networks
Rachel Brosnahan-“The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel”-Prime Video
Tracee Ellis Ross-“black-ish”-ABC
Lily Tomlin-“Grace and Frankie”-Netflix
Big snubs here, Ellie Kemper, missed out for the first time in a couple years, Alison Brie, who was a SAG nominee, very shocking omission to me; I thought she had a decent shot at winning. Of course, the big person missing is Julia Louis-Dreyfus ’cause “Veep” is ineligible, and thank God for that. I know, I’m not the biggest “Veep” guy, but even without that, this was ridiculous. I hope Candice Bergan comes back and takes it from her next year. I’d get it if she absolutely was like, the only reasonable choice and there no possible way the award couldn’t or shouldn’t have honored others over that time, that was so, not the situation, however. Rachel Brosnaham is the heavy favorite, although Issa Rae’s nomination is a bit of a surprise. She was someone, everyone thought would get in last year, but she got in this year instead. Good for her, I like that show, and now I have an excuse to catch up on it. Glad to see Pamela Adlon get in, without having the Louis C.K. thing affect her as well. No other surprises, no seventh spot for Jane Fonda to sneak in, but Lily Tomlin’s there though; she’s always there.
OUTSTANDING SUPPORTING ACTOR IN A COMEDY SERIES
Louie Anderson-“Baskets”-FX Networks
Tituss Burgess-“Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt”-Netflix
Alec Baldwin-“Saturday Night Live”-NBC
Brian Tyree Henry-“Atlanta”-FX Networks
Tony Shalhoub-“The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel”
Kenan Thompson-“Saturday Night Live”-NBC
Ty Burrell finally left the category, and “Modern Family” in general, missed everything; thank God for that too. I know; I like the show, but it’s another example of a show just winning and winning, when in reality there were other, often more deserving shows out there and they sometimes didn’t even get nominated, much less win. (Not to mention, actors on “Modern Family” who kept getting snubbed for Ty Burrell or Eric Stonestreet) Glad to see Kenan Thompson break-in, he actually holds the record for most years on Television as a regular performer doing sketch comedy. Seriously, like, it’s like, him and Carol Burnett, and I think he passed her. (Those of you old enough to remember “All That”) Brian Tyree Henry was a snub last year, he’s in this year, and also Henry Winkler, welcome back for him. Last nominated, almost two decades ago for Guest Actor on “The Practice” and has never won, was nominated, of course, three times for “Happy Days”, and also had a nomination stripped from him, years ago, because of a rule technicality for a Guest spot on a very short-lived series called “Battery Park”, it was so short it was canceled before they aired his episode, which they burned it off so late it didn’t air in the eligibility period, so…. glad to see him back. The defending winner is Alec Baldwin though, look I love Alec Baldwin, I’m glad to see him in again, but we do have to figure something out with these sketch shows in the comedy categories. Until they figure that out though… Oh and 2% rule applied, seven nominations, glad to see Tony Shalhoub back, although you still stole that Emmy that Steve Carell should have. Yeah, I’m still bitter about that. You’re really great on “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel”, but seriously you robbed Steve Carell that year. Congrats on your Tony by the way, oh and you too Laurie Metcalf, congrats on that Tony. Speaking of her…
OUTSTANDING SUPPORTING ACTRESS IN A COMEDY SERIES
Zazie Beetz-“Atlanta”-FX Networks
Alex Borstein-“The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel”-Prime Video
Aidy Bryant-“Saturday Night Live”-NBC
Leslie Jones-“Saturday Night Live”-NBC
Kate McKinnon-“Saturday Night Live”-NBC
Megan Mullally-“Will & Grace”-NBC
Eh, what were those talks about this not being a strong “SNL” year? It certainly doesn’t seem like it in this category. 2% rule applied, we have eight in this category, 3 “SNL”, for the second year in a row, this time Aidy Bryant replaces Vanessa Bayer’s nomination-, remember when they were the “Not-Ready-for-Primetime Players”, can we go back to that?! McKinnon and Jones are the only returning nominees- well, from last year. Megan Mullally broke in for “Will & Grace” which by some standards underperformed, Sean Hayes’s snub, for instance, is particularly noticeable. A surprise return however for Laurie Metcalf, I say surprise, ’cause despite her career renaissance in recent years…, eh,- do I have to say anything else other than “Roseanne”? No? Yeah, just “Roseanne”. I did actually seek out an episode of the revival, (shrugs) it’s by no means the worst thing I ever saw or anything but I had a hard time sitting through it. Alex Borstein finally gets some recognition though, and she could win this with her role in “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel”. Now, I’m one of the few who actually did predict, Betty Gilpin to get in, (You can find my predictions on my GoldDerby ballot, which I published on Facebook).
The only name I technically missed was Rita Moreno for “One Day at a Time”- which why the hell hasn’t she been nominated for that yet….- but-eh, if you told me that Gilpin would get in but Alison Brie wouldn’t, I would’ve probably slapped you silly. Marc Maron also got snubbed for Supporting Actor too-, how did that happen? Wow. Do they really like “GLOW” or not; I can’t tell. So weird.
OUTSTANDING DIRECTING FOR A COMEDY SERIES
Atlanta-“FUBU”-Donald Glover-FX Networks
Atlanta-“Teddy Perkins”-Hiro Murai-FX Networks
Barry-“Chapter One: Make Your Mark”-Bill Hader-HBO
The Big Bang Theory-“The Bow Tie Asymmetry”-Mark Cendrowski-CBS
The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel-“Pilot”-Amy Sherman-Palladino-Prime Video
Silicon Valley-“Initial Coin Offering”-Mike Judge-HBO
Well, this is a little more unpredictable than it has in the past. No “Veep” eating up half the nominations, but still two “Atlanta”, that’s probably a big clue for Series. All the nominees are from nominated series, so this is probably a decent predictor and Donald Glover won this category last year, although I suspect the “Teddy Perkins” episode is a little more preferred overall. That said, “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” is probably the heavy favorite, especially if there’s a push for Amy Sherman-Palladino to get an Emmy; she’s been around forever and before this, her most noted work was “Gilmore Girls” and there are definitely some fans from that show around, including myself. It’s one of the few good shows I ever liked on WB/CW, at least until the last few years with “My Crazy Ex-Girlfriend” and “Penn & Teller: Fool Us” came around. (Oh, and sure, I’ll throw in that new revival of “Whose Line Is It Anyway?”, but it’s not as good as the UK or earlier US versions.) “GLOW”‘s an interesting alternative but I don’t see it. Oh, and-eh, they nominated Mike Judge again. I-eh, honestly I never got “Silicon Valley” either.
ADDENDUM: The Academy announced after I originally posted that they left off Mark Cendrowski’s nomination for “The Big Bang Theory”. This is apart of a new rule they’ve implemented in this category requiring at least one nominee for Comedy Series Directing, be from a multi-camera series. Cendrowski, one of the heads of the DGA, is actually the main guy who insisted the Academy implement this rule, so that’s a particularly glaring error by them in that regard.
OUTSTANDING WRITING FOR A COMEDY SERIES
Atlanta-“Alligator Man”-Donald Glover-FX Networks
Atlanta-“Barbershop”-Stefani Robinson-FX Networks
Barry-“Chapter One: Make Your Mark”-Alec Berg and Bill Hader-HBO
Barry-“Chapter Seven: Loud, Fast and Keep Going”-Liz Sarnoff-HBO
The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel-“Pilot”-Amy Sherman-Palladino-Prime Video
Silicon Valley-“Fifty-One Percent’-Alec Berg-HBO
Oh, this is rare, Alec Berg is actually competing against himself in this category. That doesn’t happen too often in this category; the last person to do that was Garry Shandling in ’93, and that was for two episodes of the same show, “The Larry Sanders Show’; I don’t think it’s ever happened with someone getting nominated for two different shows; even Norman Lear never pulled that off, and…. yeah, I’m double-checking, but I think he’s the first to do this in the Comedy Series category. Still, two “Atlanta”‘s two “Barry”‘s, the “…Mrs. Maisel” episode that could also win here, and the arbitrary “Silicon Valley episode. It’s a bit interesting that “Atlanta” got different episodes than the Directing nominations into Writing, that to me tells me, people are watching the show and they like the show a lot to distinguish multiple episodes. They also like “Barry” a lot too though. Not every show can submit multiple episodes and get multiple ones in, some shows barely can get in only putting up one, so, it’s gonna be a tight race. Curious how Netflix got nothing in this category though. Netflix actually outdid HBO in nominations this year, even with “Game of Thrones” coming back on the Drama side, but I’m not sure how those nominations will lead to wins, especially with goose-eggs in major categories like this.
OUTSTANDING GUEST ACTOR IN A COMEDY SERIES
Sterling K. Brown-“Brooklyn Nine-Nine”-FOX
Bryan Cranston-“Curb Your Enthusiasm”-HBO
Donald Glover-“Saturday Night Live”-NBC
Bill Hader-“Saturday Night Live”-NBC
Lin-Manuel Miranda-“Curb Your Enthusiasm”-HBO
Katt Williams-“Atlanta”-FX Networks
Wow, Sterling K. Brown is so beloved, they can remember to nominate him for “Brooklyn Nine-Nine” and do it in a year where they forget to nominate Andre Braugher. (That’s another show that the Emmys seem to inexplicably not particularly like; not sure why on that one.) Well, if anybody can win for it… That said, two “Curb…”‘s in, and two SNL hosts,- oh, there’s Glover and Hader again. I kinda thought Lin-Manuel Miranda was deserving last year for “SNL”, so, part of me would like to see him win this. Katt Williams is an interesting wild card too here; Dave Chappelle won last year, so if they want to give it to a famous but troubled stand-up again, that might be the place, although Chappelle was due from not winning for “Chappelle’s Show” years ago; I’m not sure you can say the same about Katt Williams.
OUTSTANDING GUEST ACTRESS IN A COMEDY SERIES
Tina Fey-“Saturday Night Live”-NBC
Tiffany Haddish-“Saturday Night Live”-NBC
Jane Lynch-“The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel”-Prime Video
Maya Rudolph-“The Good Place”-NBC
Molly Shannon-“Will & Grace”-NBC
Okay, this is actually a little interesting since “SNL” actually didn’t submit Tiffany Haddish, she submitted that episode on her own, which-, is typically a big no-no, you’re never supposed to submit yourself; it’s usually either the network or the show that does, and there are rules and regulations regarding that practice as well, but once in a blue while it actually works, and I think “SNL” might’ve missed on that one, ’cause she’s got a good shot at winning. Only two “SNL” people, with Tina Fey getting in, who can’t seem to ever get into writing for “UKS” (or for that matter that really good episode of “Great News” that she wrote which should’ve gotten into Writing this year, despite the show getting canceled.) Molly Shannon got in for reprising an old memorable role on “Will & Grace” that I originally thought she would’ve been nominated for but I guess she wasn’t. Wanda Sykes returns for “black-ish”, nice to see here,-, how half the nominees are African-American with Maya Rudolph getting in for “The Good Place. Cool. Eh, Jane Lynch has won this award a few times too and she’s an Emmy favorite, and she’s got a helluva of an episode, so she’s somebody I’m looking at as a favorite, but you can never count out SNL hosts in this category. (Which we should really be re-thinking, btw.)
Oddly, this is actually a rather boring category this year as there’s no new nominee this year. Well, no first time nominee this year, “House of Cards” and “Better Call Saul” were on hiatus this year and “Game of Thrones” was on hiatus last year, and “The Americans” got brought back, for only it’s second time ever, for its final season, pulling a “Parks and Recreation”, although this was a little more predictable than when “Parks…” did it. I’ve actually seen all these shows. Not, all their new seasons, yet, I’m behind on “The Crown”, “Stranger Things”, “Westworld” and “Game of Thrones”, and technically I’m not finished with “The Handmaid’s Tale” yet, I’m halfway through it though. And I’ve only seen one season of “The Americans”. (Shrugs) I hear it gets better; I thought it was mostly average to be honest, although I thought Keri Russell was great in it. I’ve got some catching up to do I guess. I’ll get right on it, for most of these…- (Shrugs)
OUTSTANDING LEAD ACTOR IN A DRAMA SERIES
Sterling K. Brown-“This is Us”-NBC
Matthew Rhys-“The Americans”-FX Networks
Milo Ventimiglia-“This is Us”-NBC
So, Kit Harrington actually submitted into Lead Actor this year, instead of Supporting, his “Game of Thrones” co-star Emilia Clarke also did this, and both of them got snubbed strangely enough, and in Harrington’s case, he got snubbed by two “Westworld” nominations. Don’t feel too bad, “Game of Thrones” lead all shows with 22 total nominations, but it was close this year. “Westworld” had 21 total, tied with “Saturday Night Live” among all shows, but before you think this is a two-way race, “The Handmaid’s Tale” got 20 and it way overperformed, compared to both “G.O.T.” and “Westworld”‘s previous eligible seasons. “The Handmaid’s Tale” has a lack of Leading Actor, so “This is Us” steps up in that regard, even though, it shockingly under-performed in a lot of places, Writing and Directing most notably. That was weird. Speaking of Directing nominations, add Jason Bateman’s name to the list of actors who also got nominated for directing at the Emmys as he directed “Ozark”. it’s a seven-race field last year, “Westworld” only got Anthony Hopkins in last year, they took him out but replaced him with Ed Harris, and Jeffrey Wright switched from Supporting to Lead this year and he pulled an Allison Janney and made the rare jump successful, unlike his fellow network’s other stars. With Matthew Rhys playing the Kyle Chandler spot of finale season nomination here, this is gonna be an interesting category that could go either way.
OUTSTANDING LEAD ACTRESS IN A DRAMA SERIES
Claire Foy-“The Crown”-Netflix
Tatiana Maslany-“Orphan Black”-BBC America
Elisabeth Moss-“The Handmaid’s Tale”-Hulu
Sandra Oh-“Killing Eve”-BBC America
Keri Russell-“The Americans”-FX Networks
Evan Rachel Wood-“Westworld”-HBO
Congratulations to Sandra Oh, for becoming the first percent of Asian descent to be nominated in this category, and she can win this. “Killing Eve” caught on really late, but caught on strong enough for her to get in. This is a strong field though, mostly returning names, including two returning winners with Elisabeth Moss for “The Handmaid’s Tale” and BBC America’s other crossover hit, Tatiana Maslany coming back in for her final season; she won two years ago and wasn’t eligible last year. Meanwhile, it’s Keri Russell’s last year for “The Americans” and she’s had a long TV career that some might see due. However it’s Claire Foy’s last season on “The Crown”; Olivia Colman will be taking her place next season as they age the characters up a bit, so this her last chance, and she did win SAG, so she’s got some momentum. And Evan Rachel Wood’s back, and I know there were some who thought she came damn close to winning last year-, Jesus, this is tough category this year. And next year, it’s gonna look completely different. By that, I mean Mandy Moore better get in next year! (Seriously, Actors, were you not watching the show after the Super Bowl last year!?!? What the hell!?)
(Bites candy bar)
OUTSTANDING SUPPORTING ACTOR IN A DRAMA SERIES
Nikolaj Coster-Waldau-“Game of Thrones”-HBO
Peter Dinklage-“Game of Thrones”-HBO
Joseph Fiennes-“The Handmaid’s Tale”-Hulu
David Harbour-“Stranger Things“-Netflix
Matt Smith-“The Crown”-Netflix
Somebody’s still watching “Homeland” in the Academy?! (Sigh)… Anyway, with his seventh nomination, this makes Peter Dinklage, wow, the most nominated person ever, in this category. He broke a five-way tie at six Supporting Actor in a Drama Series nomination between, Ed Begley, Jr. who got six nominations for “St. Elsewhere”, Will Geer, who was nominated six for “The Waltons”- holy ****! Somebody got nominated six times for “The Waltons”!-um, sorry, Jimmy Smits, who was nominated six times for “L.A. Law”-, really, just-, just for “L.A. Law” in this category? (IMDB search) oh, okay he submitted in Lead for “NYPD Blue” and they counted him as Guest that one year on “Dexter”, okay, and Bruce Weitz, who was nominated six times also, all for “Hill Street Blues”-, okay that one’s not surprising. Wow, Peter Dinklage passed all of them, congratulations to him. He’s up against his co-star Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, who’s got his first nomination this year, so he has a lot of catching up to do. Matt Smith, switched categories the other way this year going from Lead to Supporting for “The Crown” and it worked out, although it helps that John Lithgow wasn’t eligible from the show this year. David Harbour is back, the only repeat from last year, besides Patinkin that stayed in the category. The extra room left a spot for Joseph Fiennes to finally breakthrough, a male nominee for “The Handmaid’s Tale”, ouch. That’s not a good sign for Series if you’re a “Game of Thrones” or a Westworld” fan.
OUTSTANDING SUPPORTING ACTRESS IN A DRAMA SERIES
Alexis Bledel-“The Handmaid’s Tale”-Hulu
Millie Bobby Brown-“Stranger Things”-Netflix
Ann Dowd-“The Handmaid’s Tale”-Hulu
Lena Headey-“Game of Thrones”-HBO
Vanessa Kirby-“The Crown”-Netflix
Yvonne Strahovski-“The Handmaid’s Tale”-Hulu
Three nominees for “The Handmaid’s Tale” in the category, and not all expected ones either, although I did call Yvonne Strahovski in my predictions. Alexis Bledel won last year for Guest Actor, she’s moved up to Supporting this season, and Ann Dowd’s last year’s winner. 2% rule got Vanessa Kirby in for “The Crown” which, were kinda dismissing offhandedly, but it did get 13 nominations, which is an improvement from last year, and it’s in Writing and Directing, so don’t immediately overlook it as an also-ran show. Millie Bobby Brown and Thandie Newton return from last year, Newton was a threat to win last year, so a split vote might help her in some scenarios, Lena Headey’s back from the year before. This might be a prognosticator category this year for Series.
OUTSTANDING DIRECTING FOR A DRAMA SERIES
The Crown-“Paterfamilias”-Stephen Daldry-Netflix
Game of Thrones-“Beyond the Wall”-Alan Taylor-HBO
Game of Thrones-“The Dragon and the Wolf”-Jeremy Podeswa-HBO
The Handmaid’s Tale-“After”-Kari Skogland-Hulu
Ozark-“The Toll”-Jason Bateman-Netflix
Ozark-“Tonight We Improvise”-Daniel Sackhelm-Netflix
Stranger Things-“Chapter nine: The Gate”-The Duffer Brothers-Netflix
Wow, two nominations for “Ozark”? You gotta go back to the sixties to see a show get two nominations for Drama Series Directing and not have that show get into Series; and even then, that was “CBS Playhouse” that was a Movie of the Week show, that doesn’t count; it didn’t submit in Drama Series and the rules were all weirder back then; the didn’t separate Drama Series from Miniseries or TV Movies or Dramatic Specials or whatever…- anyway, that’s really weird. (Wikipedia’s wrong on that, “Sirens” didn’t get two Directing nominations in ’93, one of them is for an episode of “Sisters”. I don’t know why I’m mentioning that; most of you are too young to remember either of those shows.) The big name of course is Stephen Daldry for “The Crown”, he’s a three-time Oscar nominee behind “Billy Elliot,” “The Hours”, “The Reader”, among others, he’s also a big stage director. Two “Game of Thrones” in, I think both have a decent shot here. This might be the best shot to honor “Stranger Things” if they wanted to though, but I think it’s a loaded field and “The Crown”, “Game of Thrones” and “The Handmaid’s Tale” are gonna be fighting it out on this one. Still freaked out that “Ozark” got two in, even with seven nominees.
OUTSTANDING WRITING FOR A DRAMA SERIES
The Americans-“Start”-Joel Fields and Joe Weisberg-FX Networks
The Crown-“Mystery Man”-Peter Morgan-Netflix
Game of Thrones-“The Dragon and the Wolf”-David Benioff and D.B. Weiss-HBO
The Handmaid’s Tale-“June”-Bruce Miller-Hulu
Killing Eve-“Nice Face”-Phoebe Waller-Bridge-BBC America
Stranger Things-“Chapter Nine: The Gate”-The Duffer Brothers-Netflix
Oh, so that’s what Phoebe Waller-Bridge has been doing since “Fleabag”. Huh. I’m still not sure I liked that series, but it’s promising that it got into here. Most of these shows, I think only submitted one or two episodes: I figured “This is Us” would get in since they corrected that mistake last year, but apparently the writers or directors aren’t crazy about that show. Not sure why, but anyway, there’s some big names here, but nothing overly surprising, Peter Morgan, David Benioff, etc. Look out for the finale of “The Americans” here though, that could be an upset; but I think gut instinct, it’s between “Game of Thrones” and “The Handmaid’s Tale”.
OUTSTANDING GUEST ACTOR IN A DRAMA SERIES
F. Murray Abraham-“Homeland”-Showtime
Matthew Goode-“The Crown”-Netflix
Ron Cephas Jones-“This is Us”-NBC
Gerald McRaney-“This is Us”-NBC
Hey, Showtime; I know this isn’t really relevant to the category that much, and I know you’re sneaking into some of these acting categories and whatnot, but you had 21 nominations, total this year. “Game of Thrones” beat you! Seriously, I know you’re HBO’s little brother, but c’mon; you should be better than that. Your big new sitcom, “SMILF” got nothing! Completely shutout! You’re lucky, “Twin Peaks”, bailed you out the technical side; sure it got screwed over in the major categories that it was supposed to get into (Well, some thought it was supposed to get into those.), but still, Hulu has one show that matters and it still got six more nominations than you. You’re getting killed by Hulu, Netflix, HBO, Amazon, The Big 3, and look who’s behind you with 17 nominations. The NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC CHANNEL, and it’s not just documentaries they’re getting in with anymore either. Somebody in promotion and development better be fired over this. Fine, I like F. Murray Abraham, he’s good on that show, but you guys have been stagnant for way too long, and your parent company CBS/Viacom thinks the CBS brand might be good enough to have an internet only Access option, for things that could and should easily be available on your channel instead. Seriously how is “Star Trek: Discovery” not on your channel?
(Sigh) Uh, sorry about that. Anyway, Cameron Britton is a big surprise here, “Mindhunter” was one of Netflix’s under the radar shows, although it’s got David Fincher’s name on it, it never quite caught on until now. It’s the only nomination it got, but it’s something; it broke into a crowded field, Michael C. Hall couldn’t get in for playing JFK. Jimmi Simpson, who I thought should’ve been up for “Westworld” last year. Ron Cephas Jones and Gerald McRaney are back from “This is Us”, although Jones was in Supporting last year. McRaney won last year, although he’s got a shot to repeat. I’m not really sure who’s the favorite here, this is an interesting category.
OUTSTANDING GUEST ACTRESS IN A DRAMA SERIES
Kelly Jenrette-“The Handmaid’s Tale”-Hulu
Cherry Jones-“The Handmaid’s Tale”-Hulu
Diana Rigg-“Game of Thrones”-HBO
Cicely Tyson-“How to Get Away with Murder”-ABC
Samira Wiley-“The Handmaid’s Tale”-Hulu
So, Viola Davis is in here because “Scandal” had a crossover with “How to Get Away with Murder”, which apparently Viola Davis is still good enough in that she can play that part anywhere and get nominated for something. Meanwhile “The Handmaid’s Tale” is so big that Kelly Jenrette got nominated; I had to look her up too, she played June’s husband’s ex-wife, she’s barely in the episode she submitted, and she somehow took the nomination for the show that I think most people thought Marisa Tomei was gonna get. Other than that, no surprises, Cicely Tyson’s back in, because she’s Cicely Tyson, and Diana Rigg’s back in because she’s Diana Rigg. I’m thinking somebody from “The Handmaid’s Tale” is gonna take this, just not sure who yet, although considering Cherry Jones is an Emmy favorite, I think she’s the favorite right now, but this category’s up in the air.
OUTSTANDING VARIETY TALK SERIES
The Daily Show with Trevor Noah-Comedy Central
Full Frontal with Samantha Bee-TBS
Jimmy Kimmel Live!-ABC
Last Week Tonight with John Oliver-HBO
The Late Late Show with James Corden-CBS
The Late Show with Stephen Colbert-CBS
Welcome back, “The Daily Show”! It took a couple years but I think we finally got used to Trevor Noah and you know what, it’s overdue. He’s been good for awhile, and I guess he took “Real Time with Bill Maher”‘s place. That’s unfortunate: I thought Bill Maher was great this year, but he is polarizing. Other than that, nothing unusual or new; I thought Seth Meyers had a shot at breaking in, but we’re back to the expected group here, and don’t be too surprised if John Oliver’s the expected winner. That said, this might be the year Samantha Bee could pull off the win here; I think they’re closer to John Oliver than we think. Although she’s up again in some of the other Variety categories like she was a couple years ago, so if they don’t want to give it to her here…
OUTSTANDING VARIETY SKETCH SERIES
At Home with Amy Sedaris-truTV
Drunk History-Comedy Central
I Love You, America with Sarah Silverman-Hulu
Saturday Night Live-NBC
Tracey Ullman’s Show-HBO
Two of last year’s nominees, “Billy on the Street” and “Documentary Now” were ineligible this year, I think most everybody had Sarah Silverman’s show was getting in an ever-weaker field, but I’m surprised that truTV still managed to hang around in this category with “At Home with Amy Sedaris”; I had “Nathan for You” sneaking in, ’cause they were on a helluva promotional campaign, although personally, I’ve always found that show a bit iffy myself; I’ve never really sure who the joke is supposed to be on with that one. It’s unique, but it’s hard to describe, it’s like Borat was not trying to find a deeper side to America? I don’t know; I don’t get it. Nobody else is new, but all joking aside, despite the big nomination count, I do suspect that “SNL” is vulnerable this year. “Portlandia” is in its last season and they’ve never won, and “Drunk History” is popular, although I’m more of a take-it-or-leave-it guy with that series too. Boy, this category can use some new blood coming into it next year.
OUTSTANDING VARIETY SPECIAL (PRE-RECORDED)
Carol Burnett Show 50th Anniversary Special-CBS
Carpool Karaoke Primetime Special 2018-CBS
Dave Chappelle: Equanimity-Netflix
Full Frontal with Samantha Bee Presents: The Great American* Puerto Rico (*It’s Complicated)-TBS
Steve Martin & Martin Short: An Evening you Will Forget For the Rest of Your Life-Netflix
What?! “Carpool Karaoke”, again! God, it’s just a clip show! Anyway, uh, don’t worry about the weird new parentheticals in the category name; they just decided for whatever reason to change “Special Class Program” to “Variety Special (Live)”-, I- guess “Special Class” is kinda vague, and considering how negatively we always used the term “Special Class” in school, yeah, probably not a bad idea to change its name honestly. Well, this is an interesting mix this year. A Carol Burnett special, that’s awesome, a Dave Chappelle standup, that’s nice to see, especially considering how much the stand-ups have overtaken the Variety Special Writing category in recent years. A Steve Martin and Martin Short evening, that sounds cool, the two good Amigos. (I’ll pause to let that one sink in.) Plus, “Full Frontal…”‘s got a major special revolving around Puerto Rico-, yeah, that’s probably the favorite, and I hope it does win, or at least that that “Carpool Karaoke Special” doesn’t. I like the bit too, but it’s great the first time on Corden, we shouldn’t be honoring it when they’re just collecting the clips and putting them on Primetime for a night.
OUTSTANDING VARIETY SPECIAL (LIVE)
The 75th Annual Golden Globe Awards-NBC
60th Annual Grammy Awards-CBS
Jesus Christ Superstar Live in Concert-NBC
Night of Too Many Stars: America Unites for Autism Programs-HBO
Okay, somebody tell the damn Oscars to stop trying to be cool and tell them to submit under their real name, “90th Annual Academy Awards”! You’re 90! Okay, one of the big over-performers this year was “Jesus Christ Superstar” which got a surprising 13 nominations overall, including several acting nominations that’ll show up in the Limited Series/TV Movie categories. Because it’s a live broadcast, it’s not eligible for that category, but it makes it eligible here with the three Award shows and the “Night of Too Many Stars…” special. (Sigh) Sorry if I seem unenthusiastic, but I hate “Jesus Christ Superstar.” I’m sure the special was great, short version of the story, I have a low Andrew Lloyd Webber tolerance, and “JSC” is my limit. Sorry, but that’s me. (Sigh)
OUTSTANDING DIRECTING FOR A VARIETY SERIES
Full Frontal with Samantha Bee-“Episode 2061”-Andre Allen-TBS
Last Week Tonight with John Oliver-“Episode 421”-Paul Pennolino-HBO
The Late Late Show with James Corden-“Episode 0416”-Tim Mancinelli-CBS
The Late Show with Stephen Colbert-“Episode 438”-Jim Hoskinson-CBS
Portlandia-“Riot Spray”-Carrie Brownstein-IFC
Saturday Night Live-“Host: Donald Glover”-Don Roy King-NBC
Just as a general rule, unless there’s a reason to go against Don Roy King here, got with Don Roy King. Although it should be noted that the “Full Frontal” episode that’s nominated is the one where Samantha Bee calls Ivanka Trump a [expletive], which was awesome and true, and she shouldn’t have apologized for that.
OUTSTANDING DIRECTING FOR A VARIETY SPECIAL
Dave Chappelle: Equanimity-Stan Lathan-Netflix
Jerry Seinfeld: Jerry Before Seinfeld-Michael Bonfiglio-Netflix
The Oscars-Glenn Weiss-ABC
Steve Martin & Martin Short: An Evening You Wil Forget for the Rest of Your Life-Marcus Raboy-Netflix
Super Bowl LII Halftime Show Starring Justin Timberlake-Hamish Hamilton-NBC
I don’t remember if this is a year they put this on the main show or not, but it’s interesting to see three Stand-Up special get in here. I mean Glenn Weiss always gets in nad he’s good too. Still the Standup category is usually Writing, nice to see Directing getting honored here.
OUTSTANDING WRITING FOR A VARIETY SERIES
Full Frontal with Samantha Bee-Head Writer: Melinda Taub; Writer Supervisors: Ashley Nicole Black and Joe Grossman; Writers: Samantha Bee; et. al.-TBS
Last Week Tonight with John Oliver-Writers: John Oliver, Tim Carvell,… et. al.-HBO
Late Night with Seth Meyers-Writers: Seth Meyers, Jermain Affonso,… et. al.-NBC
The Late Show with Stephen Colbert-Head Writers: Jay Katsir and Opus Moreschi; Writers: Stephen Colbert,… et. al.-CBS
Saturday Night Live-Head Writer: Michael Che, Colin Jost, Kent Sublette and Bryan Tucker; Writers: Lorne Michaels…, et. al.-NBC
Well, no other sketch shows go in, so this makes “SNL” the favorite for sure in Sketch Comedy Series, and Seth Meyers got in for the second straight year, which is interesting considering how he can’t seem to get into Series. I suspect it’s between Samantha Bee and John Oliver. You know, traditionally this category doesn’t always match with Series, so upset are possible here.
OUTSTANDING WRITING FOR A VARIETY SPECIAL
Full Frontal with Samantha Bee Presents: The Great American*: Puerto Rico (*It’s Complicated)-Head Writer: Melinda Taub; Writer Supervisors: Ashley Nicole Black and Joe Grossman; Writers: Samantha Bee; et. al.-TBS
John Mulaney: Kid Gorgeous at Radio City-John Mulaney-Netflix
Michelle Wolf: Nice Lady-Michelle Wolf-HBO
Patton Oswalt: Annihilation-Patto Oswalt-Netflix
Steve Martin and Martin Short: An Evening You Will Forget For the Rest of Your Life-Steve Martin and Martin Short
Tough category too this year. Glad to see Michelle Wolf got in, Patton Oswalt and John Mulaney are returning, Oswalt had a surprise win in this category a couple years ago, Steve Martin & Martin Short are both overdue for Emmys; I know Steve Martin hasn’t won since he was a writer on “The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour”, and Martin Short, well he won a couple years ago as a producer for “AFI Lifetime Achievement Award” special, the one they gave to Mel Brooks, and he’s won as a writer for “SCTV” a couple times. I don’t know, for as long as they’ve been around, you’d think they would more Emmys than they have. It’s gonna be how much do they love “Full Frontal…” let’s be blunt. If they really love it, I mean, there’s four stand-up performances here and none of them got into Variety Special, and the one that did didn’t sneak into Writing shockingly, so unless they really love one of these names, it’s probably gonna be how much do they love Samantha Bee. If there’s an upset, probably Martin & Short.
OUTSTANDING REALITY-COMPETITION PROGRAM
The Amazing Race-CBS
American Ninja Warrior-NBC
RuPaul’s Drag Race-VH1
Eh, nothing too surprising here, it’s the same six as last year, although this might the last chance they get to honor “Project Runway”. See, that show was owned by The Weinstein Corporation and, well, let’s talk business side of it, for now, basically, the sale is mostly cleared, but more than that, all of their projects are in limbo at the moment. It is technically coming back, and coming back to Bravo, so, that’s a whole new part of that story, but-eh, this would be a good time to finally, long overdue honor it Academy! Seriously, long overdue! Oh also, I’m not gonna put it on here, but the finally created a Casting Emmy for Reality shows, which includes “RuPaul’s Drag Race”, “Project Runway”, and “The Voice” as well as “Born This Way” and the new revival of “Queer Eye”. It’s worth noting I think.
OUTSTANDING STRUCTURED-REALITY PROGRAM
Lip Sync Battle-Paramount Network
Who Do You Think You Are?-TLC
I actually like this category and there are some interesting names among the Producers that are worth noting. Little surprised “Fixer Upper’ came back, but other than that…- BTW, this is “Antiques Roadshow” sixteenth nomination, and they’ve yet to win; I don’t know why there’s a holdup on that. I mean, it’s about time, isn’t it? The original “Queer Eye” won years ago, “Lip Sync Battle”‘s too new, “Who Do You Think You Are?”-, um actually that’s never won either and it’s a great show but I think I prefer “Finding Your Roots” a bit more; why not “Antiques Roadshow” one year? I don’t get it. Did “Finding Your Roots” get anything? No. Ahhh.
OUTSTANDING UNSTRUCTURED REALITY PROGRAM
Born this Way-A&E
Deadliest Catch-Discovery Channel
Naked and Afraid-Discovery Channel
RuPaul’s Drag Race: Untucked-VH1
United Shades of America with W. Kamau Bell-CNN
“Naked and Afraid” has come back into the category after “GayCation with Ellen Page” was in last year. Little afraid of “Naked and Afraid” being in this, but, oh-kay. I think ‘United Shades of America…” got the Host nomination so they could seem a bit like a favorite here, but “Born This Way” has won this every year so far it’s been up. Never rule out “Intervention” or “Deadliest Catch”. It’s actually interesting seeing A&E and Discovery Channel, they’ve both taken some strange routes into branding their channels into reality dens lately, and they’ve done pretty good jobs overall I must say. VH1 has been a reality den for awhile, it’s just finally got something good, and even that originated on Logo, but you know what I mean.
OUTSTANDING HOST OF A REALITY OR REALITY-COMPETITION PROGRAM
W. Kamau Bell-“United Shades of America with W. Kamau Bell”-CNN
Ellen DeGeneres-“Ellen’s Game of Games”-NBC
Heidi Klum, Tim Gunn-“Project Runway”-Lifetime
Jane Lynch-“Hollywood Game Night”-NBC
RuPaul-“RuPaul’s Drag Race”-VH1
Jane Lynch wasn’t eligible last year, although she won the two previous years, and she’s an Emmy favorite and she’s probably gonna win for Guest Actress in a Comedy, (Exhale) however, RuPaul won last year and “RuPaul’s Drag Race” has done really well overall. W. Kamau Bell was nominated last year as well, and his show is a favorite too. Heidi & Tim have won before as well, no Alec Baldwin or Gordon Ramsay or Martha & Snoop this year, unfortunately. That said, eh, Ellen DeGeneres, hmm. Now, she’s won a ton of Emmys, but she hasn’t won a Primetime Emmy in a while though; you gotta go back for when she won for her sitcom, and that was for Writing, she’s won never won as a performer of any kind, so she could be a big wild card here. They do love her too, and the Television Academy, they do owe her one. She had to host two of these, including the Emmys after 9/11 that was delayed twice, so ehhhh, fine, you turned that awkward playing game bit on your talk show into a game show, (Which shouldn’t be in reality shows ’cause there’s a difference between game shows and reality shows, same goes for you Jane Lynch) but, I can kinda see where they might be tempted to give it to her this year.
LIMITED SERIES/TV MOVIE
OUTSTANDING LIMITED SERIES
The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story-FX Networks
Genius: Picasso-National Geographic
Well, “Patrick Melrose” did a lot better than I thought it would. Overall this is a bit of an odd year in the Limited Series categories. Mostly though, it’s gonna be “The Assassination of Gianni Versace”, which leads the pack of Limited Series with 18 nominations. “Godless” came in second with 12, and “Twin Peaks” got nine, but got snubbed in Series and acting. I’d feel more sympathy for that, but I thought “Twin Peaks’ sucked the first time, so…, it’s Gianni Versace in most of these categories I suspect.
OUTSTANDING TELEVISION MOVIE
USS Callister (Black Mirror)-Netflix
Well, “Black Mirror” won this last year, and it overperformed this year getting seven nominations. Everything else is filling out the category. (Shrugs) There might be some possibility of “The tale” being in the mix though, but the Emmys have loved their technically-series-but-submitted-in-Movies series lately.
OUTSTANDING LEAD ACTOR IN A LIMITED SERIES OR MOVIE
Antonio Banderas-“Genius: Picasso”-National Geographic
Darren Criss-“The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story”-FX Networks
Benedict Cumberbatch-“Patrick Melrose”-Showtime
Jeff Daniels-“The Looming Tower”-Hulu
John Legend-“Jesus Christ Superstar Live in Concert”-NBC
Jesse Plemons-“USS Callister (Black Mirror)”-Netflix
Even without a “Sherlock” Benedict Cumberbatch found a way in here. (BTW, what the hell was all that with the last season of that show? Boy did that thing jump the shark. I mean, sure it was on shaky ground for a bit there and Watson’s wife being a spy was weird, but that should’ve been able to recover, right? Boy did they go in a weird direction instead? Also, “Coupling” is still Steven Moffat’s best show.) Also, if John Legend wins, and he very well could, he’d become the latest EGOT winner. He already has 10 Grammys, he won an Oscar for the song from “Glory” and he has a Tony Award for being a producer of “Jitney”. He’d become the first African-American male to win it, and only second African-American overall after Whoopi Goldberg, and he’d break Robert Lopez’s record for being the youngest to win it. There are other interesting names her too though. Darren Criss has to be a favorite as well, and if “Black Mirror” is really strong, it might sneak in a win for an actor like Jesse Plemons, who’s a bit overdue on the TV side actually.
OUTSTANDING LEAD ACTRESS IN A LIMITED SERIES OR MOVIE
Jessica Biel-“The Sinner”-USA
Laura Dern-“The Tale”-HBO
Edie Falco-“Law & Order True Crime: The Menendez Murders”-NBC
Regina King-“Seven Seconds”-Netflix
Sarah Paulson-“American Horror Story: Cult“-FX Networks
Somehow they managed to nominate Benedict Cumberbatch and Regina King again in these categories; how do you get lazy in Limited Series or Movie, but they’re finding a way. Jessica Biel’s a nice surprise that I actually predicted, although I did have Elisabeth Moss coming back, and apparently, I’m the only one who has affection for “Howards End”. (I thought the movie was great, I’m sure the miniseries can’t be too bad. Man, Starz just can’t break in) Nice to see Sarah Paulson back; little surprised “American Horror Story” is still a thing, but okay. Really shouldn’t have been that surprised that Edie Falco is still an Emmys favorite, but yeah, I’m a little surprised-, I thought we all kinda agreed to try to forget that “Law & Order True Crime” idea, as much as I had been trying to forget the Menendez Murders ever happened. Michelle Dockery’s owed, for never winning for “Downton Abbey” and “Godless” seems like a decent second choice, although “The Tale” is the strong second choice for TV Movie, or they can give it to Regina King again. (Shrugs) It might be the only nomination that “Seven Seconds” got, but it is about racist cops injuring an African-American kid, so, timely?
OUTSTANDING SUPPORTING ACTOR IN A LIMITED SERIES OR MOVIE
Brandon Victor Dixon-“Jesus Christ Superstar Live in Concert”-NBC
John Leguizamo-“Waco”-Paramount Network
Ricky Martin-“The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story”-FX Networks
Edgar Ramirez-“The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story”-FX Networks
Michael Stuhlbarg-“The Looming Tower”-Hulu
Finn Wittrock-“The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story”-FX Networks
I don’t know how I pulled John Leguizamo out in my predictions, but somehow I got that 100-1 shot right on my ballot, so I’m partying on that one. (Don’t worry, I predicted 9 100-1 shots, not including a flyer on Edward James Olson for “Narcos” that wasn’t on Gold Derby’s board, and I got one right. Hypothetically, if I really gambling I may have come out ahead because of it, but let’s be clear, I didn’t break the bank or anything.) Anyway, 2% rule applied and Jeff Daniels is nominated twice for two miniseries. A second “Jesus Christ Superstar…” nomination in acting, a second “The Looming Tower” nomination despite that not breaking into Series, curiously enough, and three Gianni Vercase nominees and all three would make interesting winners, although I gotta suspect Edgar Ramirez is both due and owed for not winning for “Carlos” and he’s playing Gianni Versace. I mean it didn’t help Cuba Gooding, Jr. playing the title character, but his character didn’t have a death scene, so…
OUTSTANDING SUPPORTING ACTRESS IN A LIMITED SERIES OR MOVIE
Sara Bareilles-“Jesus Christ Superstar Live in Concert”-NBC
Penelope Cruz-“The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story: “-FX Networks
Judith Light-“The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story: “-FX Networks
Adina Porter-“American Horror Story: Cult”-FX Networks
Letitia Wright-“Black Museum (Black Mirror)”-Netflix
It’s been awhile since “American Horror Story” got two into acting. Also glad to see Merritt Wever back in something, and I don’t remember the last time a movie series got two nominations for two different movies in the same year. They’re only allowed to submit one for Series, but “Black Mirror” got an actor in for two movies. I’m not even sure we can go back far enough to figure that out; these genre revivals really recent and you’d probably have to go back to like a “Columbo” or something and I’m not even sure the records are kept on what episodes each actor was up for from back then. Anyway, Judith Light is due, and unfortunately “Transparent”‘s not really a viable option for her now, but a win here would be interesting. Sara Bareilles could be the apple in the bag of oranges here too. It’s so weird these live revivals had never gotten nominations in before, at least the network ones, some of the PBS ones got people in, but this could be over nothing if Gianni Versace overtakes everything.
OUTSTANDING DIRECTING FOR A LIMITED SERIES, MOVIE OR DRAMATIC SPECIAL
The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story-“The Man Who Would Be Vogue”-Ryan Muphy-FX Networks
Jesus Christ Superstar Live in Concert-David Leveaux; Live Television Director: Alex Rudzinski-NBC
The Looming Tower-“9/11”-Craig Zisk-Hulu
Patrick Melrose-Edward Berger-Showtime
Twin Peaks-David Lynch
There’s some interesting names here and a very intriguing mix of directing genres as well. 2% rule applied, and I’m a little surprised Gianni Versace only got one in here. “Jesus Christ Superstar…” getting in is interesting though; this is the Variety Series Directing scenario where “Saturday Night Live” wins all the time, are they gonna give more credit to the accomplishment of directing live television over something like multi-part miniseries like “Twin Peaks”, “Godless” or “Patrick Melrose” that are directed entirely by one guy? I think Barry Levinson is just in for name recognition for “Paterno”; I can’t imagine that’s popular enough to get in here on it’s own. (Unlike the writing categories, which omits the names of the writers, the director’s ballots always have the director’s name on them.) I think this category is up for grabs and is one of the most interesting in the bunch, and there have been recent upsets in this category here. I wouldn’t be shocked if this is the category that goes away from Versace.
OUTSTANDING WRITING FOR A LIMITED SERIES, MOVIE OR DRAMATIC SPECIAL
American Vandal-“Clean Up”-Kevin McManus & Matthew McManus-Netflix
The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story”-“House By the Lake”-Tom Rob Smith-FX Networks
Patrick Melrose-David Nicholls-Showtime
Twin Peaks–David Lynch and Mark Frost-Showtime
USS Callister (Black Mirror)-William Bridges and Charlie Brooker-Netflix
Kinda the same issues here, although somehow “American Vandal” ended up of in here. It’s the parts or the whole, writing the whole thing vs. writing parts. Last year, “Black Mirror” won the category in an upset and they’re here again. Names like Scott Frank and David Lynch though, on the other side. We’ll see…
OUTSTANDING ANIMATED PROGRAM
Baymax Returns (Big Hero 6: The Series)-Disney XD
Bob’s Burgers-“V for Valentine-detta”-FOX
Rick and Morty-“Pickle Rick“-Adult Swim
The Simpsons-“Gone Boy”-FOX
South Park–“Put It Down”-Comedy Central
Interesting sidenote her, “Family Guy’ has decided to start submitting in Animation again, instead of Comedy Series. (You’re only allowed one technically.) Didn’t help them this time here, but I thought that was worth noting. “Rick & Morty” returns, which knocked out “Archer”, which I found surprising ’cause that did win a couple years ago, and that weird nomination that usually goes to some weird animation special usually, went to “Baymax Returns”. (Shrugs) Apparently, I’m the one who didn’t outright love “Big Hero 6”, but it might work better there. Eh, “Bob’s Burgers” won last year, “Rick & Morty” might play spoiler. I know I-, look I like it better than some of Dan Harmon’s other projects, but I can only take so much of “Rick & Morty” myself. “The Simpsons” and “South Park”, of course, they’re “The Simpsons” and “South Park”, you know they’re around. Sorry “BoJack Horseman” fans, again.
OUTSTANDING SHORT-FORM ANIMATED PROGRAM
Adventure Time-“Ring of Fire”-Cartoon Network
Robot Chicken–“Freshly Baked: The Robot Chicken Santa Claus Pot Cookie Freakout Special: Special Edition”-Adult Swim
Steven Universe–“Jungle Moon”-Cartoon Network
Teen Titans Go!–“The Self-Indulgent 200th Episode Spectacular! Parts 1 and 2”-Cartoon Network
We Bare Bears–“Hurricane Hal”-Cartoon Network
I really do have to catch up on some of these. I never even heard of “We Bare Bears” until now. That said, based on what little I’ve seen of these, “Steven Universe” is the one I’m most interested in. “Robot Chicken” I always liked too though. That won two years ago, wasn’t eligible last year and “Adventure Time” won that. Not sure if this’ll be a split for like “Steven Universe” or “Teen Titans” to sneak in or not-. It’s a bit unpredictable this category this year.
OUTSTANDING CHARACTER VOICE-OVER PERFORMANCE
Alex Borstein-“Family Guy”-FOX
Dan Castellaneta-“The Simpsons”-FOX
Seth MacFarlane-“American Dad!”-TBS
Seth MacFarlane-“Family Guy”-FOX
Russi Taylor-“The Scariest Story Ever: A Mickey Mouse Halloween Spooktacular”-Disney channel
Congratulations Seth MacFarlane, he’s the first person to ever be nominated twice in this category in the same year. Although, remember this category’s only been competitive for like, less than ten years, previously it was awarded, and not even every year, only if an Academy committee deemed it so. Also, Seth MacFarlane won this category the last two years and since they separated Narrator and Character Voice-Over into separate categories, the winner has either been from “The Simpsons” or from “Family Guy”, and that’s 3/5 of the nominees. The 4th is MacFarlane again. (Shrugs) Anybody know if that Mickey Mouse Halloween thing is any good.
SHORT-FORM LIVE ACTION
OUTSTANDING SHORT-FORM COMEDY OR DRAMA SERIES
aka Wyatt Cenac-TOPIC.com
An Emmy for Megan-anemmyformegan.com
Grey’s Anatomy: B Team-ABC (abc.go.com)
James Corden’s Next James Corden-CBS (CBS on Snapchat)
The Walking Dead: Red Machete-AMC (amc.com)
Well, I’ll give James Corden this, he knows how to work modern media. I thought Wyatt Cenac had a shot at sneaking into Variety Series with his HBO show, but that’s a loaded category and he’s in his first year. I guess I’m not surprised more things like “An Emmy for Megan” don’t show up, in that I mean not network programs, but it would be a little nice to see. BTW, what the hell happened to AMC? Man, after “Mad Men” and “Breaking Bad” the Emmys have just decided to blow that network off. Wow. Hulu should be taking notes.
OUTSTANDING ACTOR IN A SHORT FORM COMEDY OR DRAMA SERIES
James Corden-“James Corden’s Next James Corden”-CBS (CBS on Snapchat)
Alexis Denisof-“I Love Bekka & Lucy”-Stage13.com
Melvin Jackson Jr.-“The Eddie Murphy Role is Mine, Not Yours”-Youtube
DeStorm Power-“Caught the Series”-YouTube
Huh, a guy named Alexis, that’s weird. Well, I think James Corden is the favorite but I think Melvin Jackson Jr. is probably in the running on this. Actually, it’s interesting how Corden is really the only big name in this category; everybody else is an up-and-comer; it was the complete opposite last year with six nominees who’s IMDB page I didn’t have to look up to know who they were. I like that, these are short-forms and sure, there’s some who you can argue can and should make a career in this medium, I like the idea of this category being a showcase for names trying to get their earliest breaks instead. Congrats on getting Emmy nominee on your resume guys!
OUTSTANDING ACTRESS IN A SHORT FORM COMEDY OR DRAMA SERIES
Megan Amram-“An Emmy for Megan”-anemmyformegan.com
Naomi Grossman-“Ctrl Alt Delete”-Facebook.com
Diarra Kilpatrick-“American Koko”-ABC (abc.go.com)
Kelli O’Hara-“The Accidental Wolf”-theaccidentalwolf.com
Christina Pickles-“Break a Hip”-Vimeo
Same thing basically applies to the actress category, well, mostly, but it is nice to see Christina Pickles back here; (Wow, she was only nominated once for “Friends”! Wow, she was so good in that.) Oh, and Kelli O’Hara too, I know that name. I’m sure I’ve seen Diarra Kilpatrick’s somewhere before. Okay, I’m probably just unaware of a lot of these names and I’m way past my deadline so I’m not looking them up properly; forget everything I said about the actors; congratulations on all you guys’ long overdue and overlooked industry recognition ’til now! (Shrugs) It’s the Short-Form categories, I’ll learn about them in the weeks to come, okay!
OUTSTANDING SHORT-FORM VARIETY SERIES
Between the Scenes-The Daily Show-Comedy Central (thedailyshow.com)
Carpool Karaoke: The Series-Apple Music
Creating Saturday Night Live-NBC (nbc.com)
Gay of Thrones-FunnyorDie
The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon-Cover Room-NBC (nbc.com)
Really, “Carpool Karaoke: The Series” got in, even. Well, last year, YouTube dominated this category, this year, everybody else got in on it. Trevor Noah, James Corden, Lorne Michaels is a nominee here, Jimmy Fallon is in as well…- and they’re up against “FunnyOrDie”‘s “Gay of Thrones” and “Honest Trailers” comes back again. I like “Honest Trailers” but I wish some of the Youtubers I like more would submit their names for these; I’m sure a lot of them are big enough now to get in. Hell, Angry Video Game Nerd’s on Amazon now, they should submit him next year here. Although he hasn’t been short-form in a while, I guess….- (Shrugs)
OUTSTANDING SHORT-FORM NONFICTION OR REALITY SERIES
The Americans: The Final Season-FX Networks
Anthony Bourdain: Explore Parts Unknown-CNN (cnn.com)
The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story: America’s Obsessions-FX Networks
Jay Leno’s Garage-NBC (nbc.com)
Top Chef: Last Chance Kitchen-Bravo (bravotv.com)
I’m honestly surprised “Last Chance Kitchen” came back in, considering this season was a bit of a weird one on “Top Chef”. (This last season of ‘Top Chef” in general actually was a bit of-, not a dud, but maybe a bit of a trip, literally, like missing a step, trip, but still landing, on your feet, but not gracefully, kinda thing?) Nothing too surprising here, a bunch of shows on network-affiliate shows. (Sigh) Anthony Bourdain’s name is gonna pop up a few times here, it’s gonna be sad every time and there’s not much I can do about that.
OUTSTANDING DOCUMENTARY OR NONFICTION SERIES
Blue Planet II-BBC America
The Defiant Ones-HBO
The Fourth Estate-Showtime
Wild Wild Country-Netflix
I don’t think I reviewed it, but I did see “The Defiant Ones”; that was quite an elaborate series. I could see that winning. “American Masters” is, of course, one of my favorites, and it’s the only returning nominee here, although “Planet Earth II” won last year and now it’s sister series “Blue Planet II” is up here. The Emmys seem to love these planet documentaries but honestly, something about them just rubs me the wrong way; I can figure out quite what it is especially since I normally like a lot of stuff like that. but something kinda-… I don’t know, maybe I just grew up on too much “Wild Kingdom” or something. There are a few interesting names attached to these, Allen Hughes is a producer on “The Defiant Ones” and The Duplass Brothers are EPs for “Wild West Country”. There could be an upset or two, but I suspect “Blue Planet” vs. “American Masters”. is the expected battle here.
OUTSTANDING INFORMATIONAL SERIES OR SPECIAL
Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown-CNN
Leah Remini: Scientology and the Aftermath-A&E
My Next Guest Needs No Introduction with David Letterman-Netflix
StarTalk with Neil deGrasse Tyson-National Geographic
Welcome back, Dave! We missed you. Last year, Leah Remini took the category from Anthony Bourdain which was a bit of an upset as we weren’t quite sure how Hollywood would take to an anti-Scientology series. I’m glad they accepted it ’cause it’s an amazingly addicted series, even though it is painful as Hell to sit through. I’m not sure how this’ll go. “Vice” has won in the past, Bourdain’s got the sentimentality vote, Leah Remini’s back and the second season, Neil deGrasse Tyson’s always a possibility, and Letterman’s back. This category is really strong and includes some of the best television has to offer at the moment.
EXCEPTION MERIT IN DOCUMENTARY FILMMAKING
City of Ghosts-A&E
What Haunts Us-Starz
“Strong Island” was an Oscar nominee this past year and “City of Ghosts” and “Jane” were major Oscar contenders. (As per usual, the two Academies have figure out how to deal with this at some point.) Anyway, I’ve seen two of these, “City of Ghosts” and “Strong Island” and I’m getting to “Jane” shortly. This is a weird category- as far as I can tell it’s basically the category for documentaries that are technically theatrically released but backed by a TV network. Unless it isn’t. (Sigh)
OUTSTANDING DOCUMENTARY OR NONFICTION SPECIAL
Jim & Andy: The Great Beyond – Featuring A Very Special, Contractually Obligated Mention of Tony Clifton-Netflix
Mister Rogers: It’s You I Like-PBS
The Zen Diaries of Garry Shandling-HBO
“Icarus” is the film that won the Documentary Oscar last year, and it’s a good movie, but yeah- this should not keep happening the Oscar and Emmy crossover stuff, and I’ll keep complaining about it ’til it does stop btw. I also saw “Jim & Andy…”, which is eye-opening- I had rumors about Jim Carrey’s behavior on the set of “Man on the Moon” for years, it’s really amazing to see some of it now. He definitely was a little bit too out there. Those two Netflix ones or up against Mister Rogers and Steven Spielberg, so-eh, good luck with that! Oh, and Garry Shandling as well. Judd Apatow’s associated with that, as is Sheila Nevins who’s recently retired from her role as head of HBO Documentary Films, it is legitimately hard to keep up with how many Emmys and Emmy nominations she has, on top of several, several, several, sev-er-al other awards. I think with this latest one, it’s her 76th which is second only to Lorne Michaels all-time, with his nominations, he’s up, I believe 82, and Nevins has a lot more wins. She is a legend.
Speaking of legends, also, Tony Clifton is nominated as a producer on “Jim & Andy…”. (Shrugs) Make of that what you will.
OUTSTANDING DIRECTING FOR A DOCUMENTARY OR NONFICTION PROGRAM
Jane-Brett Morgan-National Geographic
The Vietnam War-“Episode 8: The History of the World (April 1969-May 1970)-Ken Burns and Lynn Novick-PBS
Wild Wild Country-“Part 3”-Chapman & Maclain Way-Netflix
The Zen Diaries of Garry Shandling-Judd Apatow-HBO
“Icarus” the Oscar winner, up against “Jane”, and the great documentarian Brett Morgan, which I don’t think it ever beat in competition during the Oscar precursors, Ken Burns, that Duplass Brothers “Wild Wild Country” project that I have to look, and Judd Apatow directing a love letter to Garry Shandling. This is why I showcase these categories; there are some great interesting races here and television is so much more than just sitcoms that people are snarky about an overrated drama series that everybody thinks are the greatest things ever.
OUTSTANDING WRITING FOR A NONFICTION PROGRAM
Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown-“Southern Italy”-Anthony Bourdain-CNN
The Defiant Ones-“Episode 1”-Allen Hughes, Lasse Jarvi and Doug Pray-HBO
Icarus-Bryan Fogel, Mark Monroe, and Jon Bertain-Netflix
Mister Rogers: It’s You I Like”-JoAnn Young-PBS
The Vietnam War-“Episode 8: The History of the World (April 1969-May 1970)-Geoffrey C. Ward-PBS
Another loaded category. I’ve often called Anthony Bourdain one of the best writers on television and that was totally true. (Sigh) I already talked about him; I have no idea if he’s gonna win here, or what’s gonna win here. I can see a scenario where people think this Mister Rogers documentary is the same one that’s in theaters now and they vote for that. Actually, I remember a great Mister Rogers documentary years ago called “Mr. Rogers & Me” which I really liked as well. People love Mr. Rogers, what can I say?
OUTSTANDING INTERACTIVE PROGRAM
The Daily Show with Trevor Noah-Comedy Central
Full Frontal with Samantha Bee-TBS
Last Week Tonight with John Oliver-HBO
The Late Late Show with James Corden-CBS
Saturday Night Live-NBC
So the joke is that I don’t know what the hell this “Interactive category even is, but here’s the thing, whatever it is, last year they found reasons to add new categories to it this year.
OUTSTANDING ORIGINAL INTERACTIVE PROGRAM
Back to the Moon-Google Spotlight Stories App
Blade Runner 2049: Memory Lab-Oculus
NASA JPL: Cassini’s Grand Finale-YouTube
Spider-Man Homecoming VR Experience-Playstation VR App
I don’t know how original “Blade Runner” and Spider-Man” can be but I guess they’re interactive. Ha-ha-ha, ha, ha, kill me, kill me now.
OUTSTANDING CREATIVE ACHIEVEMENT IN INTERACTIVE MEDIA WITHIN A SCRIPTED PROGRAM
13 Reasons Why–“Talk to the Reasons”-Netflix
Rick and Morty-“Virtual Rick-ality”-Adult Swim
Silicon Valley-“Interactive World: not Hotdow, VR & Twitter-Powered Pizza Drones”-HBO
Westworld-“Chaos Takes Control Interactive Experience”-HBO
At this point, I’m just posting this award here to show “Mr. Robot” and “13 Reasons Why” fans that yes indeed, they actually do remember/know your shows exist at the Academy, some part of the Academy does anyway?
OUTSTANDING CREATIVE ACHIEVEMENT IN INTERACTIVE MEDIA WITHIN AN UNSCRIPTED PROGRAM
CONAN Without Borders-TBS
The Oscars-“All Access”-ABC
RuPaul’s Drag Race-“Season 10 RuVeal”-VH1
Watch What Happens Live! With Andy Cohen-Bravo
I’m not sure I’m going to include these categories in next year’s post, or for that matter make any predictions on them when it’s time for that to happen. Glad to see Conan got something though.
Sir David Attenborough-“Blue Planet II”-“One Ocean”-BBC America
Charles Dance-“Savage Kingdom”-“Uprising: First Blood”-Nat Geo WILD
Morgan Freeman-“March of the Penguins 2: The Next Step”-Hulu
Carl Reiner-“If You’re Not In The Obit, Eat Breakfast”-HBO
Morgan Freeman got into Narration…- Awk-ward. (BTW, did you know there was a “March of the Penguins 2…?”) Liev Schreiber is the only returning nominee and they seem to like him, but he’s up against Attenborough, Dance, Freeman, and TV legend Carl Reiner. This can go any way. Although, I can’t help but notice the lack of female nominees here; that’s conspicuous, and the second time that’s happened in the category. Also, where’s Ron Howard? In fact, “Arrested Development” didn’t get anything, wow. Wonder if that means that we should be skeptical of bringing back series that have been canceled or ended?
Is that what we’re actually calling “Fuller House”, a “Children’s Program”? Seriously? I mean, it’s not for anybody, but does that mean you say it’s for children? Well, at least they’re not trying to call the Macy’s Parade as a Children’s Program again. (Seriously, that was nominated last year in this category) BTW, I’m not sure how this would be fixed or anything, but these “Children’s Program”, all the actors in them submit their names for the Comedy or Drama Emmys; hell, Neil Patrick Harris is often listed as having an outside shot at a nomination. I guess I’m not against it in theory, but I do think this is probably clogging up more ballots than we think? Would it be that wrong to have a Children’s Program Performer category or two? They do it with the Daytime Emmys, why not with the Primetime ones, especially since there are more outlets for Primetime Children’s series than ever before?
OUTSTANDING MAIN TITLE DESIGN
I got into some debate with people over whether “GLOW” should be in here since they only use their Main Title Design for one or two episodes a season. I’m okay with it, especially since, they put things in here half the time that I’m amazed even have Main Title Designs I mean, one of the first winners of this category was “NBC: The First Fifty Years-A Closer Look”. I mean, they’ve given this category to Information specials, seriously. The Oscars have won this category before and relatively recently. So, yeah, “GLOW”, is definitely in. Although up against “Westworld” again is gonna make this interesting.
OUTSTANDING ORIGINAL MAIN TITLE THEME MUSIC
Godless-Carlos Rafael Rivera-Netflix
The Last Tycoon-Mychael Danna-Prime Video
Marvel’s The Defenders–John Paesano-Netflix
The Putin Interviews-Jeff Beal-Showtime
Somebody Feed Phil-Mike S. Olson, Bridget Ellen Kearney, Michael Calabrese and Rachael Price-Netflix
The Tick-Chris Bacon-Prime Video
There’s a couple interesting names here like Mychael Danna, the Oscar-nominated composer, but mostly this isn’t a particularly compelling field. People seem to care more about Original Songs nowadays instead of the Main Title Theme’s anymore; if shows even have these sometimes.
OUTSTANDING MUSIC COMPOSITION FOR A SERIES (ORIGINAL DRAMATIC SCORE)
Game of Thrones-“The Dragon and the Wolf”-Ramin Djawadi-HBO
Marvel’s Jessica Jones–“AKA Playland”-Sean Callery-Netflix
Once Upon a Time-“Leaving Storybrooke”-Mark Isham, Cindy O’Connor, and Michael Simon-ABC
SEAL Team-“Pattern of Life”-W.G. Snuffy Walden and A. Patrick Rose-CBS
Star Wars Rebels-“Family Reunion — And Farewell”-Kevin Kiner-Disney XD
Westworld-“Akane No Mai”-Ramin Djawadi-HBO
I’m actually kinda amazed shows actually go out and get composition anymore; it’s a lot cheaper to just use stock music. Anyway, Ramin Djawadi’s got the rare title of competing against himself this year. There are a few other interesting names here, Mark Isham, Snuffy Walden for instance. Not sure why “Star Wars Rebels” needs to find new music scoring, but okay.
OUTSTANDING MUSIC COMPOSITION FOR A LIMITED SERIES, MOVIE OR SPECIAL (ORIGINAL DRAMATIC SCORE)
Alias Grace-“Part 1”-Mychael Danna and Jeff Danna-Netflix
The Commuter (Philip K. Dick’s Electric Dreams)-Harry Gregson-Williams-Prime Video
Crazy Diamond (Philip K. Dick’s Electric Dreams)-Cristobal De Veer-Prime Video
Godless-“Homecoming”-Carlos Rafael Rivera-Netflix
March of the Penguins 2: The Next Step-Cyril Aufort-Hul
USS Callister (Black Mirror)-Daniel Pemberton-Netflix
Wow, there are some big names here. Harry Gregson-Williams, Mychael Danna, Carlos Rafael Rivera…, this could be interesting. I wonder what that “Philip K. Dick’s Electric Dreams” thing is. Guess it’s another anthology series of some kind.
OUTSTANDING ORIGINAL MUSIC AND LYRICS
“Totally Gay”-Big Mouth-Music & Lyrics: Mark Rivers-Netflix
“In the Market for a Miracle”-A Christmas Story Live-Music & Lyrics: Benj Pasek & Justin Paul
“High Crimes and Misdemeanors”-The Good Fight-Music & Lyrics: Jonathan Coultron-CBS (CBS All Access)
“Just Getting Started”-If You’re Not in the Obit, Eat Breakfast-Music: Dave Grusin; Lyrics: Alan Berman & Marilyn Bergman-HBO
“Come Back Barack”-Saturday Night Live-Music: Eli Brueggermann-NBC
“The Buddy Song”–Steve Martin & Martin Short: An Evening You Will Forget For The Rest Of Your Life-Music & Lyrics: Steve Martin-Netflix
Man, I didn’t even know the Bergman’s were still around making music. They’ve been writing songs for films for decades. Interesting to see an actual live production get in here, and it not be “Jesus Christ Superstar”, thank god, that thing doesn’t need more music. I suspect “Come Back Barack” is gonna be big, but I wouldn’t put it past the Academy to honor Steve Martin here either.
Alexa Loses Her Voice-Amazon
Earth: Shot on iPhone-iPhone
In Real Life-Monica Lewinsky/Anti-Bullying
It’s a Tide Ad-Tide
The Talk-P&G/My Black is Beautiful
I’m a little surprised the Tide ad got in, I didn’t particularly like that ad. Yeah, Monica Lewinsky got in here, make your jokes, and then go see the anti-bullying ad, it’s absolutely horrifying. That said, I actually am leaning towards the Alexa ad; I thought that was funny and clever.
Alright, pretty much everything left is a craft award of some kind. Cinematography, Lighting, Makeup, Costumes, Editing, etc. If you’re really interested, check out the full list for those categories. Me, I’m got some TV to watch, and I’m already way late with this. Well, the Emmys are,- Oh man, it’s NBC’s year to host it, Mon-Day, September 17th, and the Creative Arts are the weekend before, I recommend watching GoldDerby’s live streaming of them. Alright, I need a break, and I need to voluntarily fall asleep, preferably on a bed and not my keyboard.
Stay tuned to AOTN for more Emmy talk.
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