×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Emmy Nominees Are Fresh but Still Familiar

When it comes to the Emmy Awards, familiarity breeds…familiarity. That’s why voters have honored the same shows year after year (read: “Modern Family,” which finally fell out of favor this time), often to the chagrin of critics who fawn over their latest darlings and cry foul when the lists are unveiled. It’s only become harder for new shows to break through, given the sheer glut of content voters need to wade through — witness the record 9,100 submissions received by the Academy this year, and the stacks of screeners piled up on desks across town.

All of the drama series nominees are shows in at least their second season — with two of the contenders at or near the end of their run (FX’s “The Americans” and HBO’s “Game of Thrones”). Barring a major upset, the drama winner will be a show that’s been crowned before by the Emmys, be it last year’s champ “The Handmaid’s Tale” or HBO’s juggernaut “Game of Thrones,” which owned the category before sitting out last year.

It’s tight, too, in the comedy field — the slate expanded to eight nominees to accommodate the wealth of content. But here, three new shows managed to break through: HBO’s “Barry,” Netflix’s “GLOW” and Amazon’s “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel.” That’s a race that’s harder to predict — “Maisel” is riding the momentum of the win at the Golden Globes, but the critical favorite and reigning champion is FX’s “Atlanta,” which once again astounded with a risk-taking, boldly creative season.

That’s not to say a new show can never make it to the winner’s circle. ABC’s “Modern Family” began its stranglehold on the category with a win for its freshman season in 2010. But it took “Veep” four seasons to begin its own reign, which was only interrupted by a break for its star’s health issues this season. Neither are in the running for the comedy trophy.

And on the drama side, “Handmaid’s Tale” triumphed in its Emmy debut last year — alongside a slate of four other newbies, all of which avoided that famous sophomore slump to return to contention this year. 2017 was clearly a boon for creativity, a feat rarely seen at the Emmys.

“Game of Thrones” didn’t score with voters until season 5, as did “Breaking Bad.” It was “Homeland” back in 2012 that scored that rare trifecta, with wins across all the top drama categories — taking home lead actress for Claire Danes and lead actor for Damian Lewis.

Of course the limited series race offers more opportunity to recognize the fresh and new — though as more and more so-called limited series go back for yet another round (“Big Little Lies,” “The Sinner”), that category, too, may well become a list of returning favorites. Get ready to see more familiar faces at next year’s awards.

More TV

  • Prince Albert II of Monaco (C),

    Jessica Alba, Gabrielle Union's 'L.A.’s Finest' Opens Monte Carlo TV Festival

    Prince Albert II of Monaco opened the 59th Monte Carlo Television Festival on Friday at a glittering ceremony at the principality’s Grimaldi Forum attended by Gabrielle Union and Jessica Alba. The Hollywood actresses presented the French premiere of their action cop series “L.A.’s Finest,” which has just been renewed for a second season. “You typically [...]

  • Gabrielle Union and Jessica Alba'L.A.'s Finest'

    Jessica Alba, Gabrielle Union Speak About Horrific 'L.A.’s Finest' On-Set Accident

    Actresses Gabrielle Union and Jessica Alba spoke about how the horrific accident on the set of their action cop series “L.A.’s Finest” affected them and the crew at the 59th Monte Carlo Television Festival Saturday. They also paid tribute to the main victim of the incident, executive producer/co-showrunner Brandon Sonnier, whose leg was amputated below [...]

  • Emmys: How a Social Media Campaign

    How a Social Media Campaign to Game the Emmys Led to This Week's 'Block Voting' Scandal

    The Television Academy’s “block voting” controversy has quickly become the talk of Emmy season — and that appears to have been the org’s point. According to multiple insiders, the number of people disqualified from voting in this year’s competition is believed to be small, only around three members (out of nearly 25,000 members overall). But [...]

  • No Merchandising. Editorial Use Only. No

    TV News Roundup: Hulu Drops Trailer for 'Veronica Mars' Revival (Watch)

    In today’s roundup, Hulu dropped the official trailer for the “Veronica Mars” revival and HBO revealed more cast members for “Lovecraft Country.” FIRST LOOKS Hulu has dropped the official trailer for its revival of “Veronica Mars,” set to premiere on July 26. The series will bring back most of the original cast, including Kristen Bell, Jason [...]

  • Dan Stevens

    'Legion' Star Dan Stevens Says His Character Would Fight Thanos, 'Wreak Havoc' in MCU

    Dan Stevens said his powerful, telepathic mutant Legion would do some serious damage if he ever crossed over from the eponymous FX series into the Marvel Cinematic Universe. “Legion would wreak havoc. He’d probably take on Thanos, let’s see that,” he told Variety on the red carpet at the premiere of the trippy, mind-bending superhero series [...]

  • Viacom CEO Bob Bakish

    Bob Bakish Talks Pluto TV, Netflix and CBS-Viacom Merger Rumors

    Viacom CEO Bob Bakish knows that a lot of his peers are in the original content space in streaming, but he believes the company’s ad-supported free service Pluto TV is better off relying on Viacom’s library of content. “We can debate a lot of things about the future, but in the near term, the opportunity [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content