×

Emmys 2019: Drama Submissions Rise Alongside Final ‘Game of Thrones’ Entry

Voting for the 71st annual Primetime Emmy Awards is now open, and despite many heavy-hitter dramas such as “The Handmaid’s Tale,” “Stranger Things” and “Westworld” sitting out this year’s race, submissions have actually increased in that series category.

Call it a sign of peak TV refusing to actually peak, but this year sees 165 entries in the drama series category (up from last year’s 159). This race has increased in competition, not only due to new series such as “Homecoming” and “Pose” being on the ballot for the first time, but also because of the rule change that saw previous anthology series bumped from limited series competition to drama (see: “American Horror Story: Apocalypse” and “The Sinner”). Recently canceled series such as “The Passage” and “The First” still submitted in drama, despite only being one season long, as well. Of course, the one series to watch most closely in this race is “Game of Thrones,” which took home the prize last time it was eligible in 2017 and is making its final run for the trophy this year.

The rule change regarding anthology series with crossover characters and settings also affected numbers on the comedy side, with former limited series contender “American Vandal,” for example, moving to comedy series. But overall, in the face of “Veep’s” final season, comedy series entries are down slightly from 2018: 108 series submitted this year, while last year saw 117 in the running.

Meanwhile, limited series count 35 on the ballot this year, with TV movies trailing with 21 entries. Interestingly, “Sacred Lies” is listed on the limited series ballot, despite Facebook Watch renewing it with a confirmation that it would follow a new character and story in its second season.

The absence of large ensembles such as the aforementioned “Handmaid’s Tale,” “Stranger Things” and “Westworld” means there are quite a few heavy-hitter performers who are sitting out this year’s race. However, that did not affect the overall numbers on the ballot as much as one might think. Yes, both the lead drama actor and lead drama actress are down — 108 actors this year, compared to last year’s 113; and 88 actresses, compared to last year’s 99. However, the supporting drama actor and supporting drama actress races, respectively, see a whopping 372 and 303 submissions.

Lead performers in the comedy categories are also on a decline: 86 performers were submitted in the lead comedy actor category this year, down from 2018, when there were 89 performers submitted, while 80 performers were submitted in the lead comedy actress category, as opposed to last year’s 85.

The return of “Veep” has undoubtedly helped push the submissions in supporting comedy actor and supporting comedy actress up this year. There, the respective tallies see 235 for the actors and 208 for the actresses.

Keeping the limited series and TV movie performers combined in one category (and including performers from live shows such as “Rent” and “Live in Front of a Studio Audience: Norman Lear’s ‘All in the Family’ and ‘The Jeffersons'”) means 44 performers are up for spots on the limited series/TV movie lead actor ballot (up a smidge from 2018, when there were 42 submissions) and 50 for limited series/TV movie lead actress (also increased from 2018, when there were 44). On the supporting side of this ballot, there are 105 actors in the running and 94 actresses.

The Television Academy’s voting populace can review these ballots and make their selections through June 24th. The official nominees will be announced July 16.

Popular on Variety

More TV

  • Ava Max iHeartRadio Wango Tango, Portraits,

    Megan Thee Stallion, CNCO, Ava Max to Perform at VMAs Pre-show

    CNCO, Megan Thee Stallion and “Sweet but Psycho” singer Ava Max (pictured) have been added to the performer lineup at this year’s MTV Video Music Awards. The three will take the stage during the VMAs’ red carpet pre-show, hosted by Terrence J and Nessa. Zara Larsson will join the two hosts as a special correspondent. [...]

  • Stacy Rukeyser

    Netflix Orders Dramedy Series 'Sex/Life' From 'UnREAL' Showrunner

    Stacy Rukeyser has landed a series order at Netflix with the dramedy “Sex/Life.” The series is based on the book “44 Chapters About 4 Men” by BB Easton. The series is described as the story of a love triangle between a woman, her husband, and her past which takes a new look at female identity [...]

  • Paramount Television Adds Three to Executive

    Paramount Television Adds Three to Executive Team

    Paramount Television is continuing to add to its executive ranks. The studio has tapped Brian Segna as its new senior vice president of development, along with Kate Gill and Nicole Harjo, both of whom are joining as vice presidents of development. The trio will all report to Jenna Santoianni, executive vice president and head of [...]

  • Phyllis Nagy

    Writers Guild Presidential Candidate Phyllis Nagy Blasts Strategy on Agencies

    Phyllis Nagy, who is challenging Writers Guild of America West’s president David Goodman, has warned of dire consequences from the current stalemate between the WGA and Hollywood agents. Nagy, who announced her candidacy on July 22 as the head of Writers for Negotiation, is running on a platform that the WGA needs to get back to [...]

  • Practical Magic

    'Practical Magic' Prequel Among Three HBO Max Pilot Orders

    HBO Max is continuing to build up its original programming slate with three new projects. Variety has learned that the nascent streamer has given pilot orders to the half-hour dramedy “Generation” and the hour-long drama “Red Bird Lane,” as well as a pilot production commitment for the one-hour drama “Rules of Magic.” All three projects [...]

  • James Corden Variety Cover Story

    James Corden Signs Deal to Host 'Late Late Show' Through 2022

    James Corden has signed a new deal with CBS which will see him stay on as host of “The Late Late Show” through 2022. The multi-talented Brit had been in advanced negotiations with the studio since May, and the new deal is sure to see him score a substantial bump in pay. The previous deal [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content