With ‘Breaking Bad,’ ‘Dexter,’ It’s Going to be a Very Long Night for Emmy Fans

Many watching or attending Emmys will stay up late for cable dramas

Thanks to “Dexter” and “Breaking Bad,” it’s going to be a very, very late night for Emmy fans this Sunday.

Historically, there was always a sort-of gentleman’s agreement that the major networks wouldn’t vigorously counter-program against the Emmys, since it was supposed to be TV’s big night, and the majors shared the telecast. In fact, they only broke that rule when they were really ticked off, like when a then-upstart Fox snagged rights to the awards.

Well, cable apparently didn’t get the memo. And aside from the distraction of “Sunday Night Football” — which lures away a lot of men whenever the awards aren’t on NBC, but not necessarily a ton of Emmy viewers, since the show skews female — this Sunday’s awards will also have the pull of the “Dexter” series finale, penultimate “Breaking Bad” and the new season of “Boardwalk Empire” with which to contend.

If that represents a tug at select viewers with a taste for quality television (a relatively small subset, admittedly), at least they have the option of skipping the Emmys — or selected portions of it — and watching those shows live, or close to it.

Emmy attendees, by contrast, will not only sit through the awards and presumably hit a party or two afterwards, but will then want to rush home and catch those key episodes — even if it means Emmy night runs way into Monday morning — before some A-hole spoils them on Twitter. (In this context, please, tweet responsibly.)

It’s pretty well established “Breaking Bad” might be the most popular show on TV right now in industry circles, in much the way “The Wire” cast a much longer shadow within the creative community than it did ratings-wise (and a lot more people overall are watching the AMC show). Moreover, click-happy journalists will feel compelled to have their reviews/analysis/doctoral theses/compare-and-contrast essays posted so people can be up and read them at the crack of dawn, if not that evening.

Granted, it’s one of those cry-me-a-river problems in the bigger scheme of things, but it should nevertheless result in some extremely bleary eyes around offices the morning of Sept. 23. In fact, remember back when Variety’s Army Archerd used to kick off his day-after column with “Good morning, and congratulations Emmy winners?”

This year, it’ll be more like “Good afternoon, and congratulations on finally dragging your asses out of bed, Emmy fans. And as for poor Walt, who saw that coming?”

More TV

  • Late-Night TV's Growing Problem: Maybe There's

    Late-Night TV Has a Growing Problem: Maybe There's Too Much of It

    Thanks to “Dexter” and “Breaking Bad,” it’s going to be a very, very late night for Emmy fans this Sunday. Historically, there was always a sort-of gentleman’s agreement that the major networks wouldn’t vigorously counter-program against the Emmys, since it was supposed to be TV’s big night, and the majors shared the telecast. In fact, […]

  • David Harbour'Stranger Things' event, Los Angeles,

    'Stranger Things' Season 3 Is Inspired by 1985's 'Fletch' (EXCLUSIVE)

    Thanks to “Dexter” and “Breaking Bad,” it’s going to be a very, very late night for Emmy fans this Sunday. Historically, there was always a sort-of gentleman’s agreement that the major networks wouldn’t vigorously counter-program against the Emmys, since it was supposed to be TV’s big night, and the majors shared the telecast. In fact, […]

  • Disney Channel logo

    TV News Roundup: Disney Channel Announces 'Coop & Cami' Premiere Date

    Thanks to “Dexter” and “Breaking Bad,” it’s going to be a very, very late night for Emmy fans this Sunday. Historically, there was always a sort-of gentleman’s agreement that the major networks wouldn’t vigorously counter-program against the Emmys, since it was supposed to be TV’s big night, and the majors shared the telecast. In fact, […]

  • Star Wars Resistance Trailer

    'Star Wars Resistance': Disney Drops Trailer for 'The Force Awakens' Prequel Series

    Thanks to “Dexter” and “Breaking Bad,” it’s going to be a very, very late night for Emmy fans this Sunday. Historically, there was always a sort-of gentleman’s agreement that the major networks wouldn’t vigorously counter-program against the Emmys, since it was supposed to be TV’s big night, and the majors shared the telecast. In fact, […]

  • Michelle Wolf Joel McHale

    Michelle Wolf, Joel McHale Talk Shows Canceled by Netflix

    Thanks to “Dexter” and “Breaking Bad,” it’s going to be a very, very late night for Emmy fans this Sunday. Historically, there was always a sort-of gentleman’s agreement that the major networks wouldn’t vigorously counter-program against the Emmys, since it was supposed to be TV’s big night, and the majors shared the telecast. In fact, […]

  • Jeremy Corbyn Brexit

    British Opposition Leader Jeremy Corbyn to Deliver Edinburgh TV Festival Lecture

    Thanks to “Dexter” and “Breaking Bad,” it’s going to be a very, very late night for Emmy fans this Sunday. Historically, there was always a sort-of gentleman’s agreement that the major networks wouldn’t vigorously counter-program against the Emmys, since it was supposed to be TV’s big night, and the majors shared the telecast. In fact, […]

  • The Affair

    The Debate Over 'The Affair' Star Ruth Wilson's Awkward Exit (Column)

    Thanks to “Dexter” and “Breaking Bad,” it’s going to be a very, very late night for Emmy fans this Sunday. Historically, there was always a sort-of gentleman’s agreement that the major networks wouldn’t vigorously counter-program against the Emmys, since it was supposed to be TV’s big night, and the majors shared the telecast. In fact, […]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content