New York Takes Starring Role in Emmy Race

Who says the TV industry is just a Hollywood thing?

Not the Emmy voters, who this year recognized New York-based productions with a total of 107 nominations — topping even HBO’s heavyweight tally of 99. Add to that the deep pool of nominated talent that got its start on New York stages — everyone from Mandy Patinkin to Adam Driver — and it all serves to highlight the fact that on screen and on stage, New York and Hollywood are closer than they’ve ever been.

New York’s robust Emmy showing is part of an overall trend that has seen New York attract a growing chunk of TV and film production thanks to aggressive incentive programs from both the state and the city. The 107 nominations, touted by the Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment, encompasses all the shows that qualified for the city’s Made in NY incentive, open to productions of which at least 75% were produced in Gotham.

On that list are nominees including “Orange is the New Black,” “The Good Wife,” “Girls,” “Nurse Jackie” and “Project Runway,” not to mention New York’s latenight titles “Saturday Night Live,” “The Daily Show” and “The Colbert Report.” The Tony Awards broadcast, an annual Emmy fave, earned seven nods.

HBO’s filmed version of Billy Crystal’s Broadway show “700 Sundays” also made the cut. So did “The Normal Heart,” which, long before it was an HBO telepic, was a seminal AIDS play from one of New York’s toughest rabblerousers, Larry Kramer.

The nominated acting talent also underscores how close-knit the two coasts have become. Patinkin (“Evita”) was a Broadway legend way before “Homeland,” and theatergoers of a more recent vintage will remember seeing Driver in Roundabout Theater Company productions prior to that headturning role on “Girls.”  Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Edie Falco, Nathan Lane, Robert Morse and Joe Mantello also are among the nominated names that were well-known to theater fans long before their high-profile TV gigs. Besides, as original dramas proliferate on almost every network, New York playwrights are finding work in more and more TV rooms, too.

But the traffic doesn’t always move in a single, westward direction. It’s become more and more common, for instance, for TV stars to land on Broadway — Bryan Cranston and Neil Patrick Harris each won Tonys last month, and Cranston’s fellow “Breaking Bad” nominee Anna Gunn just started performances Off  Broadway. Scribes don’t throw away their connection to New York, either, as illustrated by the recent additions to Lincoln Center Theater’s 2014-15 slate.

Take all that into account, and one thing’s clear: New York has just as much of a hometown stake in the Emmy race as Hollywood.

 

 

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