You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Director: Drama Series

Emmy nominees run rare 7-way race

The Emmy for outstanding drama series director reps one of the year’s most competitive, with an unusual seven nominees battling it out for top prize.

Emmy categories usually boast just five competitors, although ties sometimes bring that number up to six.

It’s even more rare, but not unprecedented, for seven noms in a single category.

According to TV Academy rules chief John Leverence, there’s a chance the category saw a three-way tie, or perhaps two two-way ties.

“It’s a bit unusual, but it just stacked up that way,” Leverence says. “With so many very tight races, I think the moral of the story is: Vote.”

The drama director category could also be deemed one of the most critic-friendly contests of the year, as several shows snubbed in the outstanding drama series category are repped here.

That includes critical darling “Friday Night Lights,” which earned a directing nod for Peter Berg, and “Battlestar Galactica,” which scored one for helmer Felix Alcala.

Also shut out of the best drama category: “Lost,” which nonetheless landed a director nod for Jack Bender (for the show’s season finale).

“Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip” may have shut down, but TV Academy voters still saw fit to recognize Thomas Schlamme for director. Also on the way out, “The Sopranos” earned a directing nod not for the finale but for the pivotal episode in which Christopher dies.

Other nominees include David Semel for the pilot to “Heroes” and Bill D’Elia for “Boston Legal’s” hostage episode.

With a category-bursting seven noms, there still wasn’t room for last year’s winner, “24,” which was shut out in the drama directing category this time.

As usual, pilots and season finales ruled: “Heroes,” “Friday Night Lights” and “Studio 60” were nommed for direction in the pilot, while “Lost” earned a nod for its last seg of the season.

What’s more, the other three nominees all came from pivotal series episodes (including the “Boston Legal” hostage crisis and “The Sopranos'” Christopher whack).

Felix Alcala
Show: “Battlestar Galactica” (Sci Fi)
Episode: “Exodus, Part 2”
Logline: Galactica rescues colonists trapped in New Caprica.
Emmy pedigree: First nom
Why he may win: Considered one of the series’ best episodes; action-packed seg demanded stellar direction.
Maybe not: TV Acad voters aren’t big on sci-fi.

Jack Bender
Show: “Lost” (ABC)
Episode: “Through the Looking Glass”
Logline: Flashbacks reveal a surprising post-island storyline, while the castaways gain the upper hand over the Others.
Emmy pedigree: One win plus one other directing nom
Why he may win: Final episode breathed new life into show and left viewers with several powerful cliffhangers.
Maybe not: Considered the show’s weakest season.

Peter Berg
Show: “Friday Night Lights” (NBC)
Episode: “Pilot”
Logline: New coach is in charge of a promising Texas high school football team.
Emmy pedigree: First nom
Why he may win: Critics’ darling; this is one way to honor a show that failed to get a best drama nod.
Maybe not: Still seen by too few viewers.

Bill D’Elia
Show: “Boston Legal” (ABC)
Episode: “Son of the Defender”
Logline: The firm is taken hostage and forced to re-create an old murder trial.
Emmy pedigree: Two directing noms
Why he may win: Multilayered episode smartly used flashbacks and juggled several storylines.
Maybe not: Departure from the show’s usual humor-tinged tone.

Thomas Schlamme
Show: “Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip” (NBC)
Episode: “Pilot”
Logline: Two writers return to the latenight sketch show they were fired from years ago.
Emmy pedigree: Three wins plus two additional directing noms
Why he may win: One of the only chances to reward the show, which had its share of fans.
Maybe not: But not enough fans to make show much of a contender.

David Semel
Show: “Heroes” (NBC)
Episode: “Genesis”
Logline: Pilot, in which ordinary people around the world discover they have extraordinary skills.
Emmy pedigree: One nom
Why he may win: “Heroes” was the new phenom of the year, and this is the show that started it all.
Maybe not: Tough competish, and Emmy’s reluctance to award shows with a sci-fi bent.

Alan Taylor
Show: “The Sopranos” (HBO)
Episode: “Kennedy and Heidi”
Logline: Christopher and Tony get into a car accident; Tony ultimately kills him.
Emmy pedigree: First nom
Why he may win: One of the most-talked-about episodes of “The Sopranos” …
Maybe not: … At least until the finale, which left everyone scratching their heads and could negatively impact the vote.

More TV

  • Stephen Fry Reveals He Has Been

    Stephen Fry Reveals Battle with Cancer in Online Video

    The Emmy for outstanding drama series director reps one of the year’s most competitive, with an unusual seven nominees battling it out for top prize. Emmy categories usually boast just five competitors, although ties sometimes bring that number up to six. It’s even more rare, but not unprecedented, for seven noms in a single category. […]

  • Ioan Gruffudd UnReal

    Ioan Gruffudd On Maturing into Crime Series ‘Harrow’ and Directing Ambitions

    The Emmy for outstanding drama series director reps one of the year’s most competitive, with an unusual seven nominees battling it out for top prize. Emmy categories usually boast just five competitors, although ties sometimes bring that number up to six. It’s even more rare, but not unprecedented, for seven noms in a single category. […]

  • THE BACHELOR WINTER GAMES - Is

    'Bachelor Winter Games' Cast Talks Surprise Engagement, Finding Love in Four Episodes

    The Emmy for outstanding drama series director reps one of the year’s most competitive, with an unusual seven nominees battling it out for top prize. Emmy categories usually boast just five competitors, although ties sometimes bring that number up to six. It’s even more rare, but not unprecedented, for seven noms in a single category. […]

  • Oscar-Nominated Film Editor Edward Abroms Dies

    Oscar-Nominated Film Editor Edward Abroms Dies at 82

    The Emmy for outstanding drama series director reps one of the year’s most competitive, with an unusual seven nominees battling it out for top prize. Emmy categories usually boast just five competitors, although ties sometimes bring that number up to six. It’s even more rare, but not unprecedented, for seven noms in a single category. […]

  • Nashville

    'Nashville' Sets Series Finale Date on CMT

    The Emmy for outstanding drama series director reps one of the year’s most competitive, with an unusual seven nominees battling it out for top prize. Emmy categories usually boast just five competitors, although ties sometimes bring that number up to six. It’s even more rare, but not unprecedented, for seven noms in a single category. […]

  • Saban Media Center Television Academy

    Television Academy Sets New Standards of Professional Conduct

    The Emmy for outstanding drama series director reps one of the year’s most competitive, with an unusual seven nominees battling it out for top prize. Emmy categories usually boast just five competitors, although ties sometimes bring that number up to six. It’s even more rare, but not unprecedented, for seven noms in a single category. […]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content