Here’s what you need to know:
- Netflix and “The Mandalorian” show the might of streamers.
- Best actress in a drama stacked up to be one of the most competitive categories.
- ‘Mrs. America’ duels ‘Watchmen.’
- Will it be a remote ceremony, or what?
Netflix and “The Mandalorian” show the might of streamers.
Even amid a pandemic, there shall be Emmys.
HBO’s “Watchmen” led all shows with 26 Emmy nominations, and Netflix broke the record for the most nominations of any network or platform when the Television Academy announced the nominees for the 72nd Emmy Awards on Tuesday.
In the drama category, HBO’s operatic family saga, “Succession,” Netflix’s more-popular-by-the-day crime series “Ozark” and Netflix’s lush period piece about Queen Elizabeth II, “The Crown” all scored nominations.
“The Handmaid’s Tale,” the Hulu show that won best drama in 2017, also got a nomination, although some critics were cool to its third season, which premiered more than a year ago.
And there was a surprise nomination in the best drama category for the Disney+ series, “The Mandalorian,” which was a sensation when it debuted on the Walt Disney Company’s new, multibillion-dollar streaming service in November 2019.
The top show for another new streaming service, the AppleTV+ series “The Morning Show,” did not receive a nod in the best drama category, but two of its stars, Jennifer Aniston and Steve Carell, landed nominations for their work on the show.
On the comedy side, Pop TV’s “Schitt’s Creek” received several nominations for its final season, which ended in April. Amazon’s “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel,” the 2018 best comedy winner, is also back in the mix. Other nominees included Netflix’s “Dead to Me” and HBO’s “Insecure.”
Well before Covid-19 shut down most productions, 2020 was going to be a year of change for television’s biggest awards show. Winners of multiple Emmys like “Game of Thrones, “Veep” and “Fleabag” are out of the competition, leaving a vacuum in the drama and comedy races, a rarity for a night that is usually filled with repeat champs.
Filmed remotely because of the coronavirus pandemic, the “Saturday Night Live” alum Leslie Jones hosted the announcements event, and there were more nominations than ever this time around. The Television Academy said last month that the drama and comedy categories would expand to eight nominees each.
At a time when the number of television series has hit a high — there were more 500 last year — the number of Emmy submissions rose by 15 percent, the academy said. Television Academy members will cast their votes for the winners between Aug. 21 and Aug. 31.
Best actress in a drama stacked up to be one of the most competitive categories.
Of all the acting categories, best actress in a drama was the most star-studded.
Olivia Colman’s turn as Queen Elizabeth II in “The Crown scored a nomination on Tuesday — and an Emmy win would make a nice to complement to the Golden Globe she won in January for the role and the Oscar she won in 2019 for her portrayal of Queen Anne in “The Favourite.”
The four-time Emmy winner Laura Linney, a star of “Ozark,” landed a nomination. And Ms. Aniston, who plays an overwhelmed news anchor on “The Morning Show,” got her first nomination in 11 years. (She was last nominated for a guest appearance on “30 Rock.”)
Last year’s winner, Jodie Comer, a star of AMC’s “Killing Eve,” is back, as well as her cast mate Sandra Oh, who has never won an Emmy. Zendaya was nominated for HBO’s “Euphoria.”
Just how competitive was this category? Snubs include Reese Witherspoon for “The Morning Show,” Nicole Kidman for “Big Little Lies” and the 2017 best actress winner, Elisabeth Moss, for “The Handmaid’s Tale.”
‘Mrs. America’ duels ‘Watchmen.’
The limited series category has become the Emmy ceremony’s most intriguing, with its big stars and the tens of millions invested by cable networks and streaming companies into single short seasons.
This year’s contest will be a showdown between two ambitious programs that tackled social issues: “Mrs. America,” the drama from FX and Hulu that chronicles the battle over the Equal Rights Amendment; and “Watchmen,” HBO’s innovative spin on a difficult-to-adapt superhero graphic novel.
The other nominees in the category were Netflix’s “Unbelievable,” one of the streamer’s most popular original series in 2019, along with another Netflix series, “Unorthodox,” and Hulu’s “Little Fires Everywhere.”
The best actress in a limited series race looks like it will be a battle between Cate Blanchett, who plays the conservative firebrand Phyllis Schlafly in “Mrs. America,” and Regina King, the masked hero of “Watchmen.”
Merritt Wever was also nominated for “Unbelievable,” along with Octavia Spencer for Netflix’s “Self-Made” and Shira Haas for Netflix’s “Unorthodox.”
Will it be a remote ceremony, or what?
Here’s what we know for sure about the Emmys ceremony: ABC will put on the telecast, and its late night personality, Jimmy Kimmel, will return as the show’s host for a third time.
And that’s about it.
Will it be virtual? Will it be live? Will the winners deliver acceptance speeches via Zoom?
What even is an awards show ceremony in the middle of a pandemic?
The Television Academy has provided no information — but with ratings for live television events surging in recent months, a charmingly makeshift awards ceremony could be just the thing to reignite interest in the Emmys.
Last year, the broadcast hit a record low in the ratings, with an audience of 6.9 million.