Awards HQ June 27: LAST DAY OF EMMY NOMINATION VOTING! Last Minute Ballot Suggestions, Podcasts, Trends and More
Greetings from Variety Awards Headquarters! Today is June 27, 2022, which means Emmy nomination round voting ends today. From there, it’s 15 days until Emmy nominations are announced on July 12; then 46 days until final round voting begins on August 12, followed by 62 days until final round voting ends on August 22 . Then comes the finales: It’s 68 days until the Creative Arts Emmys kicks off its two-night event on September 3; and then it’s 77 days until the 74th Emmy Awards takes place, live on NBC, September 12.
Listen, it’s obviously hard to put this newsletter out this week when the Supreme Court has just declared a war on women, stealing away their Constitutional right to autonomy over their own bodies… and promising that more rulings that curb other hard-fought freedoms may soon also be taken away. It’s the darkest time for this country, and sometimes it feels helpless as the fascist right-wing has effectively gamed the system and put in place voter suppression (and now, conspiracy-minded QAnon followers are taking on oversight of voting in many key battleground districts) — which will continue to almost guarantee their tyranny, regardless of the actual popular opinion or vote.
Lucky we live California, but if the Republicans get their way, the moment that they once again control Congress and the Presidency, expect them to try and strip away our rights on a national level. This is why, when Democrat politicians simply tell us to vote, in the magical hope this will all be corrected, it’s not good enough. Sure, vote. That is key. But we can’t rely on a flawed system where voting suppression and other right-wing tactics could very likely suppress the majority vote. They need to do something. NOW.
It’s all connected. The Jan. 6 committee is highlighting the lengths the right wing will go to steal elections and push this country into a theocracy oppressing women, People of Color and all LGBTQ+. And now, the Supreme Court assault on women’s rights is proof that it’s working. As Robert Reich tweeted, “5 of the 6 Supreme Court justices who just voted to overturn Roe were nominated by a Republican president who lost the popular vote. This is how democracy dies.”
The act of media companies promising to pay for the travel of employees in red states in order to receive a safe abortion is fine, but misses the point. Women shouldn’t have to inform their employer of something so private and personal. Media companies need to be more forthcoming in no longer contributing to or supporting politicians who favor removing the rights of women and others. And how much longer should they even be forcing their employees to work in states (or produce in states) where their lives could be in danger?
Yes, this is a newsletter about the awards race. But we’re all also humans here. The saying notes that Women’s Rights are Human Rights. And as those rights go away, we all lose.
As Emmy Nomination Voting Ends, Don’t Forget About These Worthy Contenders
Although series like “Ted Lasso,” “Succession” and “Dopesick” remain front-runners in their respective comedy, drama and limited-series categories, they all aired last fall. Are they vulnerable when it comes time for Phase 2 final voting?
Maybe, or perhaps not, as they’ve been consistently at the top of most pundits’ prediction pages. But I’m getting ahead of myself: First off, as Phase 1 Emmy nomination voting ends today, it’s about handicapping who might even make it to that next stage. And with the Television Academy once again touting the largest number of Primetime Emmy submissions in its history, that means there will also be more so-called snubs than ever.
So, TV Academy members, as you’re marking your nomination ballots, let’s take a look at series and performances that you shouldn’t forget. I don’t need to rave about sure things like “Hacks” Season 2, but I fear shows including “Pen15,” “The Other Two,” “As We See It,” “Winning Time” and “Pam & Tommy” may be passed over. (It’s that anticipated deluge of snubs that keeps me pushing for an extension to 10 nominees in major categories!)
And then there are the broadcast heroes that I hope will get some attention this year: “Abbott Elementary” and “Ghosts.” On Variety’s “Awards Circuit” podcast, my colleagues Emily Longeretta, Jazz Tangcay and Clayton Davis also shared their hopes for nominations. Here are our pleas, read them here.
AWARDS CIRCUIT COLUMN: Wine, Pickleball, Mustaches and Lots of Penis: Here Are the Trends Found All Over This Year’s Emmy Contenders
It’s pretty clear that 2022 will go down as the year of true-crime adaptations, both of the murder (“Candy,” “The Staircase,” “Dr. Death”) and the non-murder (“The Dropout,” “WeCrashed,” “Pam & Tommy”) varieties. And then there are just the good ol’ fashioned “adapting a true story because it’s a good yarn” entrants such as “Winning Time: The Rise of the Lakers Dynasty” and “Angelyne.”
As I’ve noted before there are so many damn shows this year that the titles start to merge: “Anatomy of a Scandal” versus “A Very British Scandal.” “Shining Girls” versus “Shining Vale.” “Station Eleven” and “Station 19.” And my favorite: “Pam & Tommy,” in which you find out the truth about Pam Anderson. Or “The Thing About Pam,” in which you don’t. (Thankfully, “Mayor of Kingstown” and “Mare of Easttown” did not air in the same year.)
Remember those simpler times when it was just the broadcast networks airing shows like “The Wonder Years,” “Law & Order” and “The Equalizer”? Oh yeah, that was also this year.
But if you start watching way too much TV, an occupational hazard here at Variety (high-class problem, I know), you start to notice bizarre trends that clearly no one thought to check. Perhaps they say something about where we are as a society … or maybe indicate like-minded writers.
I know many viewers — myself included — have guzzled more than their fair share of wine over the past few years. Blame the pandemic, point to the frightening march toward fascism in the nation … and a few glasses of pinot have helped. This libation fuels shows like NBC’s delightful and underrated “Grand Crew,” about a group of young, Black Angelenos who meet up over pours at a hip Highland Park wine bar.
Also on the cabernet train: Hulu’s “Life & Beth” stars Amy Schumer as a New York-based wine distributor who escapes to the countryside when her life turns sideways. ABC’s canceled “Promised Land” centered on a wine-growing Latino family in Sonoma County. “The Kings of Napa” is an OWN soap about a wealthy Black family in the wine industry as well.
Another bouncing ball across the TV landscape this year: Soccer — and not just on Apple TV+’s Emmy-winning “Ted Lasso.” The “Yellowjackets” team is traveling o a soccer championship when their plane goes down. Soccer shows up in university life on “The Sex Lives of College Girls.” Episode 5 of “Station Eleven” features the game.
Soccer not your thing? Try pickleball, the growing sport that played a role this season on CBS’ “Ghosts,” TruTV’s “Tacoma FD” (the game was even invented on nearby Bainbridge Island) and Bravo’s “Vanderpump Rules,” which featured a viciously competitive match in Palm Springs.
Read more about this year’s trends — including, yes, the popular peen — here.
EXCLUSIVE: Watch Samuel L. Jackson Transform Into Ptolemy Grey in the Makeup Chair
Based on Walter Mosley’s novel, Apple TV+’s “The Last Days of Ptolemy Grey” stars Samuel L. Jackson as the title character, an old man who is suffering from dementia and on the brink of sinking even lower when a teenage orphan, Robyn (Dominque Fishback), winds up caring for him. The two form an unshakable bond as he undergoes a treatment that might improve his mental state, and uses this precious and fleeting lucidity to solve his nephew’s death and come to terms with his past.
In playing the elderly Ptolemy, Jackson had to spend quite a bit of time in the makeup chair to make the transformation. Click above (or here) to watch the time lapse video of Jackson in makeup chair transformation, featuring hairstylist Camille Friend and makeup designer Jake Garber.
Humanitas Prizes: ‘Abbott Elementary,’ ‘Pachinko’ Among Nominees for 46th Annual Awards
Humanitas has revealed the nominees for this year’s Humanitas Prizes, which recognize “television and film writers whose work explores the human condition in a nuanced way.” The award is given out in nine categories, including comedy, drama and limited series.
This year’s nominees include “Maid,” “This Is Us,” “Queen Sugar,” “Pachinko,” “Abbott Elementary,” “Somebody Somewhere” and “Black-ish.” Winners will be announced at an in-person awards luncheon at the Beverly Hilton Hotel on September 9, 2022.
“The Humanitas Prizes were created to recognize writers whose work explores the beauty and complexity of the human experience and the 2022 nominees do just that,” said Michelle Franke, Humanitas Executive Director. “Ranging in scope, style, and perspective, these stories underscore our bonds, our history and responsibility to each other in the present as well as possibilities for the future. Especially during challenging times, writers dedicate themselves to the stories that connect and entertain us.”
Here are the full list of nominees:
“El Deafo” (Written by Cece Bell and Will McRobb) “Karma’s World: ‘Hair Comes Trouble’ (Written by Kellie R. Griffin and Halcyon Person) “Snoopy Presents: To Mom (and Dad), with Love” (Written by Alex Galatis) “The Babysitters Club: ‘Claudia and the Sad Goodbye'” (Written by Sascha Rothchild)
Comedy Feature Film
“Don’t Look Up” (Written by Adam McKay) “Everything Everywhere All At Once” (Written by Daniel Kwan & Daniel Scheinert) “Queen Bees” (Written by Donald Martin) “Tick, Tick…Boom!” (Written by Steven Levenson)
“Abbott Elementary: ‘Pilot'” (Written by Quinta Brunson) “Black-ish: ‘If A Black Man Cries in the Woods…'” (Written by Robb Chavis) “Somebody Somewhere: ‘BFD'” (Written by Hannah Bos & Paul Thureen) “The Conners: ‘Triggered'” (Written by Lecy Goranson)
“End of the Line: The Women of Standing Rock” (Shannon Kring) “Frederick Douglass: In Five Speeches” (Julia Marchesi) “In the Same Breath” (Nanfu Wang) “Through Our Eyes: ‘Shelter'” (Smriti Mundhra)
Drama Feature Film
“A Hero” (Written by Asghar Farhadi) “CODA” (Written by Siân Heder) “Nine Days” (Written by Edson Oda) “The Starling” (Written by Matt Harris)
“Chicago P.D.: ‘Burnside'” (Written by Ike Smith) “Pachinko: ‘Chapter One’ (Written by Soo Hugh) “Queen Sugar: ‘May 27, 2020′” (Written by Anthony Sparks) “Swagger: ‘Radicals'” (Written by Reggie Rock Bythewood & George Dohrmann) “This is Us: ‘The Challenger’ (Written by Dan Fogelman)
Family Feature Film
“8-Bit Christmas” (Written by Kevin Jakubowski) “Cinderella” (Written by Kay Cannon) “Encanto” (Written by Charise Castro Smith & Jared Bush) “Spin” (Written by Carley Steiner and Josh A. Cagan)
Limited Series, TV Movie, or Special
“Love Life: ‘Mia Hines'” (Written by Rachelle Williams-BenAry & Sam Boyd) “Maid: ‘Snaps’ (Written by Molly Smith Metzler) “Three Months” (Written by Jared Frieder) “Women of the Movement: ‘Mother and Son’” (Written by Marissa Jo Cerar)
“Far from the Tree” (Written by Natalie Nourigat) “Girls Are Strong Here” (Written by Scott Burkhardt) “Leap” (Written by Margaret Nagle) “Nona” (Written by Louis Gonzales)
The Humanitas Prizes event raises funds to support program and events initiatives, including the New Voices Fellowship and College Screenwriting Awards, which support underrepresented film and television writers through the early stages of their careers. The emerging writers selected for the 2022 New Voices Fellowship, David and Lynn Angell College Comedy Award, and Carol Mendelsohn College Drama Award will also be celebrated at The Humanitas Prizes event.
‘General Hospital,’ ‘Kelly Clarkson Show’ Top Winners at Daytime Emmys 2022
“General Hospital” was the big winner on Friday night at the 49th annual Daytime Emmys, winning five awards — including daytime drama — as the telecast returned to a live, in-person event. The day’s news — the overturn of Roe v. Wade and the assault on women’s rights by a rogue Supreme Court – threatened to overshadow the event. But the two-hour telecast, hosted by “Entertainment Tonight” anchors Kevin Frazier and Nischelle Turner for the first time, kicked off without a hitch from the Pasadena Convention Center.
“General Hospital’s” Daytime Emmys haul also including supporting actor, supporting actress, young performer and directing. The “GH” haul made ABC the overall network leader of the night, with five wins. Syndicated series won overall, with six total. “GH” is the most-winning daytime drama series in history, having now won the top prize a total of 15 times.
“The Kelly Clarkson Show,” meanwhile, was a repeat winner as best entertainment talk show, and Clarkson won as entertainment talk show host, bringing its total over two weekends to seven — the most of any program this year. And “Entertainment Tonight” was once again the entertainment news program winner.
Among the big wins, “Young & Restless” star Mishael Morgan made history as first Black winner in the lead actress category. “We are breaking glass ceilings left, right and center,” Morgan said. “We can and we will do this thing called equality and unity together.”
Morgan was one of several first-time winners at this year’s show: Actually, every major acting Emmy went to someone who had never won before, including lead actor (“The Bold and the Beautiful” star John McCook), supporting actor (“GH’s” Jeff Kober), supporting actress (“GH’s” Kelly Thiebaud) and younger performer (“GH’s” Nicholas Chavez).
Also, “Jeopardy” continued its streak as the best game show winner, despite the show’s tumultuous last year, which saw executive producer Mike Richards, who had been named host of the show as Alex Trebek’s successor, fired after a week due to past comments and controversial actions.
“The scandal was, as we call it at ‘Jeopardy!,’ ‘the awkward months,'” executive producer Michael Davies said backstage. “But it showed the power of our audience and how passionately our fans care about the program, which is just so important. What’s happened over the course of the season — Matt Amodio, and Amy Schneider and Mattea [Roach] and Ryan [Long] — really made us just remember how incredible the game is. The stars of our show and Mayim [Bialik] and Ken [Jennings] have done incredible job hosting.”
Davies added, ‘we hope to have a hosting announcement very, very soon. But with all of our plans for ‘Jeopardy!’ — which is more ‘Jeopardy!,’ not less, more versions — we’re going to need multiple hosts to represent the entire audience, to represent the entire country, in order to take this franchise forward.”
Check out the winners from last week’s ceremony here.
‘Somebody Somewhere,’ ‘Hacks’ Lead Nominations for GALECA: The Society of LGBTQ Entertainment Critics’ Dorian Awards
HBO’s “Somebody Somewhere” and HBO Max’s “Hacks” lead this year’s roster of nominations for the Dorian TV Awards, from GALECA: The Society of LGBTQ Entertainment Critics.
Made up of 385 professional critics and journalists covering film and television, GALECA’s nominees also include “Euphoria,” “Abbott Elementary,” “Schmigadoon!,” “Heartstopper,” “Yellowjackets,” “Severance” and more.
Full list of nominees below; the 14th Dorian TV Awards winners will be revealed Wednesday, August 17.
BEST TV DRAMA Better Call Saul (FX) Heartstopper (Netflix) Yellowjackets (Showtime) Severance (Apple TV+) Succession (HBO)
BEST TV COMEDY Abbott Elementary (ABC) Barry (HBO) Hacks (HBO Max) The Other Two (HBO Max) Our Flag Means Death (HBO Max)
BEST LGBTQ SHOW Hacks (HBO Max) Heartstopper (Netflix) The Other Two (HBO Max) Our Flag Means Death (HBO Max) Somebody Somewhere (HBO) RuPaul’s Drag Race (VH1)
BEST TV MOVIE OR MINISERIES Dopesick (Hulu) The Dropout (Hulu) Midnight Mass (Netflix) Station Eleven (HBO Max) The White Lotus (HBO)
BEST NON-ENGLISH LANGUAGE TV SHOW Elite (Netflix) Lupin (Netflix) My Brilliant Friend (HBO) Pachinko (Apple TV+) Squid Game (Netflix)
BEST UNSUNG SHOW Better Things (FX) The Other Two (HBO Max) Our Flag Means Death (HBO Max) Russian Doll (Netflix) Somebody Somewhere (HBO) We Are Lady Parts (Peacock)
BEST TV PERFORMANCE Quinta Brunson, Abbott Elementary (ABC) Kit Connor, Heartstopper (Netflix) Bridget Everett, Somebody Somewhere (HBO) Bill Hader, Barry (HBO) Lily James, Pam & Tommy (Hulu) Natasha Lyonne, Russian Doll (Netflix) Melanie Lynskey, Yellowjackets (Showtime) Amanda Seyfried, Dropout (HBO) Jean Smart, Hacks (HBO Max) Zendaya, Euphoria (HBO)
BEST SUPPORTING TV PERFORMANCE Murray Bartlett, The White Lotus (HBO) Anthony Carrigan, Barry (HBO) Jennifer Coolidge, The White Lotus (HBO) Hannah Einbinder, Hacks (HBO Max) Jeff Hiller, Somebody Somewhere (HBO) Janelle James, Abbott Elementary (ABC) Matthew Macfadyen Succession (HBO) Christina Ricci, Yellowjackets (Showtime) Rhea Seehorn, Better Call Saul (FX) Sydney Sweeney, Euphoria (HBO)
BEST TV MUSICAL PERFORMANCE Beyonce’ “Be Alive,” 94th Academy Awards (ABC) Kristin Chenoweth and cast, “Tribulation,” Schmigadoon! (Apple TV+) Bridget Everett and Jeff Hiller, “Don’t Give Up,” Somebody Somewhere (HBO) Jean Smart, “You Make Me Feel Like a Natural Woman,” Hacks (HBO Max) Cecily Strong and cast, “Corn Puddin’,” Schmigadoon! (Apple TV+) Hannah Waddingham and cast, “Never Gonna Give You Up,” Ted Lasso (Apple TV+)
BEST TV DOCUMENTARY OR DOCUMENTARY SERIES The Andy Warhol Diaries (Netflix) The Beatles: Get Back (Disney+) How to with John Wilson (HBO) Spring Awakening: Those You’ve Known (HBO) We Need to Talk About Cosby (Showtime)
BEST CURRENT AFFAIRS PROGRAM The Amber Ruffin Show (Peacock) The Daily Show with Trevor Noah (Comedy Central) Full Frontal with Samantha Bee (TBS) Last Week Tonight with John Oliver (HBO) The Late Show with Stephen Colbert (CBS) The Rachel Maddow Show (MSNBC) Ziwe (Showtime)
BEST ANIMATED SHOW Arcane (Netflix) Big Mouth (Netflix) Bob’s Burgers (Fox) Q Force (Netflix) Tuca & Bertie (Adult Swim) What If…? (Disney+)
BEST REALITY SHOW Legendary (HBO Max) The Real World Homecoming: New Orleans (Paramount+) RuPaul’s Drag Race (VH1) Survivor (CBS) Top Chef: Houston (Bravo) We’re Here (HBO)
MOST VISUALLY STRIKING SHOW Euphoria (HBO) The Gilded Age (HBO) Loki (Disney+) Severance (Apple TV+) Squid Game (Netflix)
CAMPIEST TV SHOW Diana: The Musical (Netflix) Euphoria (HBO) Girls5Eva (Peacock) Nine Perfect Strangers (Hulu) Schmigadoon! (Apple TV+)
WILDE WIT AWARD To a performer, writer or commentator whose observations both challenge and amuse Joel Kim Booster Quinta Brunson Jerrod Carmichael Jennifer Coolidge Bowen Yang
THE INAUGURAL “YOU DESERVE AN AWARD!” AWARD To a uniquely talented TV icon we adore Gillian Anderson Christine Baranski Lynda Carter Kim Cattrall Cassandra Peterson
GALECA LGBTQIA+ TV TRAILBLAZER for creating art that inspires empathy, truth and equity Jerrod Carmichael Margaret Cho Russell T Davies Kate McKinnon Bowen Yang
WATCH MY SHOW: ‘Murderville’ Exec Producer Krister Johnson Answers our Showrunner Survey
Netflix’s “Murderville” stars Will Arnett as the clumsy and hilarious detective Terry Seattle, who must solve a murder case in each episode with a rookie detective — a celebrity played by six different people across the six episodes. Those celebs are not given a script and must improvise their way through the episode.
“Murderville” is based on BBC Three series “Murder in Successville.” We asked exec producer Krister Johnsin to fill out our Showrunner Seven.
Sum up your show’s pitch in one sentence. “Murderville” is a procedural crime comedy starring Will Arnett where a different celebrity guest-stars each episode and must solve the case of the week… the problem being they are never given a copy of the script and have to improvise their way through the entire thing.
What’s an alternate title for your show? “Celebrity Murder Squad”
What do we need to know before tuning in? Will Arnett plays Senior Detective Terry Seattle, and every episode he’s assigned a new partner—a celebrity playing themselves. There is a script, but the guest has never seen it and never will. They do no rehearsal prior to shooting. They never even set foot on set until cameras are rolling. They have absolutely no idea what’s about to happen. And they have to actually follow the clues and try to solve the case.
Give us an equation for your show. (Blank plus blank minus blank times blank, etc.) (Murder + Celebrities + Improv Comedy) x Will Arnett = Gold
What’s the best thing someone said about your show? “I’ve never seen a comedy like this before. I didn’t know it was possible.”
If you could work on any other series on TV, what would it be? “Barry” on HBO. It toggles effortlessly between comedy and drama, always takes its characters seriously, and never compromises the story or the integrity of the world they’ve built for a certain joke or bit. And it’s still the funniest thing on TV.
Finish this sentence: “If you like _______, you’ll love our show.” If you like “Law & Order,” Will Arnett, and your favorite celebrities completely in over their heads, you will love our show.
‘The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon’ FYC Video Recaps the Talk Show’s Busy Year
Jimmy Fallon and “The Tonight Show” have put together a behind-the-scenes video that takes place in the show’s writer’s room, in order to highlight key moments from the past year.
Moments referenced include gathering Broadway legends like Lin-Manuel Miranda’s performance of “Broadway’s Back”; the show’s April Fools Day prank with Jimmy Kimmel; and a sit down with President Joe Biden for his first-late night appearance since becoming POTUS. Watch above, or click here.
AWARDS CIRCUIT PODCAST: Elle Fanning on Why She Was Hesitant to Star in Hulu’s ‘The Girl From Plainville’
Elle Fanning is Hulu’s MVP this year, in contention via both her edgy comedy series “The Great” and the dark limited series “The Girl From Plainville.” Not only does she star in both she also serves as an executive producer on the two projects.
“Hulu comments on my Instagram photos all the time,” she says. “And it’s always a boost from Hulu. They’re like, ‘Yes, Queen! You’re doing great!” It’s like, thanks, Hulu! Whoever’s running that, they’re really giving me a boost in the morning when I check my comments.”
That affirmation is appreciated by Fanning as she heads to London soon to shoot Season 3 of “The Great.” Last year, she kept a grueling schedule in which she filmed “The Girl From Plainville” just days after wrapping Season 2 of “The Great.”
“It was a complete 180,” she says. Fanning spoke to Variety’s Awards Circuit Podcast about both shows, and in particular what it took to research the story behind “The Girl From Plainville” and depict her character in an honest way. Also in this episode, we chat with “Pachinko” creator and showrunner Soo Hugh about the origins behind her Apple TV+ show, and what’s next. Listen below!
Variety’s “Awards Circuit” podcast, produced by Michael Schneider, is your one-stop listen for lively conversations about the best in film and television. Each week “Awards Circuit” features interviews with top film and TV talent and creatives; discussions and debates about awards races and industry headlines; and much, much more. Subscribe via Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, Spotify or anywhere you download podcasts. New episodes post every Thursday and Friday.
Watch: Netflix’s ‘Cheer’ FYC Event Features First Joint Performance by Navarro College and Trinity Valley Community College
As part of Netflix’s official TV Academy FYC event for “Cheer,” the streamer brought out 23 cheer team members from rivals Navarro College and Trinity Valley Community College to do a first-ever joint cheer performance and panel.
The event was moderated by gymnast and Olympic Gold Medalist Shawn Johnson East, and showcased the two rival teams that were featured in Season 2 of “Cheer.” The series won the Emmy for unstructured reality program in 2020. Watch above or click here.
“DMZ,” from Ava DuVernay and “Westworld” writer Roberto Patino, is based on the DC comic series, set in the near future when America is embroiled in a bitter civil war, which has left Manhattan a demilitarized zone (DMZ), destroyed and isolated from the rest of the world.
It chronicles the harrowing journey of fearless and fierce medic Alma Ortega (Rosario Dawson), who sets out on a harrowing journey to find the son she lost in the evacuation of New York City at the onset of the conflict. Throwing gasoline on the flames of that conflict is Parco Delgado (Benjamin Bratt), the popular — and deadly — leader of one of the most powerful gangs in the DMZ. He wants to rule this new world — and will stop at nothing to secure that outcome. We asked Patino to fill out our Showrunner Seven.
Sum up your show’s pitch in one sentence. A fearless, determined and irreverent medic ventures into a harrowing, abandoned Manhattan that’s been turned inside out by a second American Civil War to search for her son whom she lost eight years prior at the war’s onset.
What’s an alternate title for your show? “Eyes Forward”
What do we need to know before tuning in? This show is set amid a war, but it’s not about war. It focuses on the people in our abandoned Manhattan — not on how they’ve fallen or divided themselves, but on how they’re rising back up and coming together.
Give us an equation for your show. (Blank plus blank minus blank times blank, etc.) (“Escape From New York” – 1980s kitsch) x (Sarah Connor’s maternal fury + Anita from “West Side Story”) = “DMZ”
What’s the best thing someone said about your show? “A Trojan Horse for America in 2022.”
If you could work on any other series on TV, what would it be? “The Wire”
Finish this sentence: “If you like _______, you’ll love our show.” If you like watching Rosario Dawson kicking ass while still moving you to tears, you’ll love our show.
VARIETY EMMY EDITION: Seth Meyers on How the Pandemic Helped Turn ‘Late Night’ Into an Even Better Show
Our Emily Longeretta has been overseeing our Emmy special editions this year! Next up: Variety Series/Host. I spoke to Seth Meyers for the cover:
It was the second day back from the holidays, at the start of January, when Seth Meyers tested positive for COVID-19. He was immediately sent home, and a week’s worth of shows were canceled.
“I had no symptoms, so I was fine,” Meyers recounts. “But the whole family had it. So, it wasn’t the worst group of people to be stuck with, obviously.”
It’s one of the more unusual aspects of hosting a talk show in 2022, something that others including Jimmy Fallon, James Corden and Jimmy Kimmel (twice!) have also experienced: A positive COVID diagnosis that sends your show either into repeats or guest hosts.
Meyers spoke to Variety’s Awards Circuit podcast during a recent stop in Los Angeles, his first trip to the city in three years, before the pandemic began. Read the full story here.
Clayton Davis’ Emmy Predictions: As Voting Ends at 5 p.m., Here Are Clayton’s Final Picks
We’ve dive into a different category each week to examine Clayton Davis‘ Emmy predictions. But as voting ends, here’s where we left off with Clayton’s major category picks:
Outstanding Drama Series “Ozark” (Netflix) “Severance” (Apple TV+) “Succession” (HBO) “Squid Game” (Netflix) “Stranger Things” (Netflix) “This Is Us” (NBC) “Yellowjackets” (Showtime) “Yellowstone” (Paramount Network)
Outstanding Comedy Series “Abbott Elementary” (ABC) “Barry” (HBO) “Ghosts” (CBS) “Hacks” (HBO) “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” (Amazon Prime Video) “Only Murders in the Building” (Hulu) “Reservation Dogs” (FX) “Ted Lasso” (Apple TV+)
Outstanding Limited or Anthology Series “Dopesick” (Hulu) “The Dropout” (Hulu) “Maid” (Netflix) “The Staircase” (HBO/HBO Max) “The White Lotus” (HBO/HBO Max)
Outstanding Television Movie “Chip ‘n’ Dale: Rescue Rangers” (Disney+) “The House” (Netflix) “I Want You Back” (Amazon Prime Video) “The Sky is Everywhere” (A24/Apple TV+) “The Survivor” (HBO)
Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series Jason Bateman, “Ozark” (Netflix) Josh Brolin, “Outer Range” (Amazon Prime Video) Kevin Costner, “Yellowstone” (Paramount Network) Lee Jung-jae, “Squid Game” (Netflix) Bob Odenkirk, “Better Call Saul” (AMC) Jeremy Strong, “Succession” (HBO)
Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series Don Cheadle, “Black Monday” (Showtime) Donald Glover, “Atlanta” (FX) Bill Hader, “Barry” (HBO) Steve Martin, “Only Murders in the Building” (Hulu) Martin Short, “Only Murders in the Building” (Hulu) Jason Sudeikis, “Ted Lasso” (Apple TV+)
Outstanding Lead Actor in a Limited Series or Movie Sam Elliott, “1883” (Paramount+) Colin Firth, “The Staircase” (HBO) Andrew Garfield, “Under the Banner of Heaven” (FX) Michael Keaton, “Dopesick” (Hulu) Jared Leto, “WeCrashed” (Apple TV+) Sebastian Stan, “Pam & Tommy” (Hulu)
Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series Jennifer Aniston, “The Morning Show” (Apple TV+) Juliette Lewis, “Yellowjackets” (Showtime) Laura Linney, “Ozark” (Netflix) Melanie Lynskey, “Yellowjackets” (Showtime) Mandy Moore, “This Is Us” (NBC) Zendaya, “Euphoria” (HBO)
Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series Rachel Brosnahan, “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” (Amazon Prime Video) Quinta Brunson, “Abbott Elementary” (ABC) Selena Gomez, “Only Murders in the Building” (Hulu) Issa Rae, “Insecure” (HBO) Tracee Ellis Ross, “Black-ish” (ABC) Jean Smart, “Hacks” (HBO)
Outstanding Lead Actress in a Limited Series or Movie Jessica Chastain, “Scenes from a Marriage” (HBO) Toni Collette, “The Staircase” (HBO) Lily James, “Pam & Tommy” (Hulu) Margaret Qualley, “Maid” (Netflix) Julia Roberts, “Gaslit” (Starz) Amanda Seyfried, “The Dropout” (Hulu)
Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series Jonathan Banks, “Better Call Saul” (AMC) Nicholas Braun, “Succession” (HBO) Billy Crudup, “The Morning Show” (Apple TV+) Kieran Culkin, “Succession” (HBO) Giancarlo Esposito, “Better Call Saul” (AMC) Matthew Macfadyen, “Succession” (HBO) Alan Ruck, “Succession” (HBO) John Turturro, “Severance” (Apple TV+)
Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series Anthony Carrigan, “Barry” (HBO) Paul W. Downs, “Hacks” (HBO) Brett Goldstein, “Ted Lasso” (Apple TV+) Nick Mohammed, “Ted Lasso” (Apple TV+) Stephen Root, “Barry” (HBO) Tony Shalhoub, “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” (Amazon Prime Video) Kenan Thompson, “Saturday Night Live” (NBC) Henry Winkler, “Barry” (HBO)
Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Limited Series or Movie Naveen Andrews, “The Dropout” (Hulu) Murray Bartlett, “The White Lotus” (HBO) William H. Macy, “The Dropout” (Hulu) Seth Rogen, “Pam & Tommy” (Hulu) Peter Sarsgaard, “Dopesick” (Hulu) Michael Stuhlbarg, “Dopesick” (Hulu)
Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series Patricia Arquette, “Severance” (Apple TV+) Julia Garner, “Ozark” (Netflix) Jung Ho-yeon, “Squid Game” (Netflix) Christina Ricci, “Yellowjackets” (Showtime) Rhea Seahorn, “Better Call Saul” (AMC) Sadie Sink, “Stranger Things” (Netflix) J. Smith Cameron, “Succession” (HBO) Sarah Snook, “Succession” (HBO)
Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series Alex Borstein, “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” (Amazon Prime Video) Hannah Einbinder, “Hacks” (HBO) Sarah Goldberg, “Barry” (HBO) Kate McKinnon, “Saturday Night Live” (NBC) Sheryl Lee Ralph, “Abbott Elementary” (ABC) Amy Ryan, “Only Murders in the Building” (Hulu) Juno Temple, “Ted Lasso” (Apple TV+) Hannah Waddingham, “Ted Lasso” (Apple TV+)
Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Limited Series or Movie Connie Britton, “The White Lotus” (HBO) Jennifer Coolidge, “The White Lotus” (HBO) Kaitlyn Dever, “Dopesick” (Hulu) Andie MacDowell, “Maid” (Netflix) Laurie Metcalf, “The Dropout” (Hulu) Chloë Sevigny, “The Girl from Plainville” (Hulu)
Variety Talk Series “Last Week Tonight with John Oliver” (HBO) “Late Night with Seth Meyers” (NBC) “The Late Late Show with James Corden” (CBS) “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert” (CBS)
Variety Sketch Series “A Black Lady Sketch Show” (HBO) “Saturday Night Live” (NBC)
Variety Special (Pre-Recorded) “Adele One Night Only” (CBS) “Dave Chappelle: The Closer” (Netflix) “Harry Potter 20th Anniversary: Return to Hogwarts” (HBO) “Jerrod Carmichael: Rothaniel” (HBO) “Norm Macdonald: Nothing Special” (Netflix)
Variety Special (Live) “Live in Front of a Studio Audience: ‘The Facts of Life’ and ‘Diff’rent Strokes’” (ABC) “The Oscars” (ABC) “The Super Bowl LVI Halftime Show”*** (CBS)
Documentary (Series) “The Beatles: Get Back” (Disney+) “Nuclear Family” (HBO) “NYC Epicenters: 9/11 — 2021 ½” (HBO) “Secrets of Playboy” (A&E) “We Need to Talk About Cosby” (Showtime)
Documentary (Special) “14 Peaks: Nothing is Impossible” (Netflix) “George Carlin’s American Dream” (HBO) “Janet Jackson.” (Lifetime) “Lucy and Desi” (Amazon Prime Video) “We Feed People” (National Geographic)
Hosted Nonfiction (Series or Special) “How to With John Wilson” (HBO) “The Problem with Jon Stewart” (Apple TV+) “Somebody Feed Phil” (Netflix) “Stanley Tucci: Searching for Italy” (CNN) “Vice” (Showtime)
Animated Series “Arcane” (Netflix) “Big Mouth” (Netflix) “Central Park” (Apple TV+) “Bob’s Burgers” (Fox) “The Simpsons” (Fox)
Reality Competition Program “The Amazing Race” (CBS) “Lizzo’s Watch Out for the Big Grrrls” (Amazon Prime Video) “Nailed It” (Netflix) “RuPaul’s Drag Race” (VH1) “Top Chef” (Bravo) “The Voice” (NBC)
Structured Reality Program “Antiques Roadshow” (PBS) “Love is Blind” (Netflix) “My Mom, Your Dad” (HBO) “Queer Eye” (Netflix) “Shark Tank” (ABC)
Unstructured Reality Program “Life Below Zero” (National Geographic) “The Kardashians” (Hulu) “The Real World Homecoming: New Orleans” (MTV) “RuPaul’s Drag Race Untucked” (VH1) “Selling Sunset” (Bravo)
Outstanding Host for a Reality or Competition Program Bobby Berk, Karamo Brown, Tan France, Antoni Porowski and Jonathan Van Ness, “Queer Eye” (Netflix) Mark Cuban, Barbara Corcoran, Lori Greiner, Robert Herjavec, Daymond John, Kevin O’Leary, “Shark Tank” (ABC) Carson Daly, “The Voice” (NBC) Chip Gaines, Joanna Gaines, “Fixer Upper: Welcome Home” (Magnolia Network) Padma Lakshmi, “Top Chef” (Bravo) RuPaul, “RuPaul’s Drag Race” (VH1)
AWARDS CIRCUIT PODCAST: Nicole Byer on Breaking Boundaries and Believing That Every Comedian Bombs: ‘There’s No Shame in Adjusting a Joke’
By Emily Longeretta:
Nicole Byer never set out to be a host.
For years, she was best known for being one of the hilarious comics on MTV’s “Girl Code” and later the star of “Loosely Exactly Nicole.” Fast forward to 2020, and she became the first Black woman nominated for outstanding host for a reality or competition program at the Primetime Emmys for Netflix’s “Nailed It!” Then, she was nominated again the following year.
“Sometimes people are like, ‘It’s humbling.’ I was like, it’s not humbling. It made me feel like, ‘Yes! I elevated hosting. I brought something very different to hosting and it was recognized,’ and it felt cool,” she tells Variety of the honor.
The reality categories often highlight the same shows over and over — ie., “The Amazing Race” has been nominated 19 times. But Byer hopes that maybe she could inspire change down the line.
“Hopefully when someone is looking for a host, they don’t go, ‘Oh, let’s just go with what we know.’ Hopefully they’ll be like, oh, what about this brown woman, or this Black woman, or this Asian person,” she says. “Let’s bring something that people haven’t seen. I’m hoping I just opened the door just a little bit wider for others to be able to do what I get to do.”
Byer has been busy; she co-hosts multiple podcasts, co-hosts “Wipeout” with John Cena and stars in NBC’s “Grand Crew.” She’s hosted “Nailed It” since its 2018 debut — and it wasn’t easy in the beginning.
Why the Emmys’ Reality Categories Continue to Be the Toughest to Break Into
The Emmy category for competition series should conceivably be the most dynamic one out there. Ditto for the structured and unstructured reality categories. Yet there’s a surprisingly stagnant nature to them.
Part of that is just the nature of ongoing reality TV. Shows that were hits 20 years ago… are still hits. Unlike scripted series, which mostly have short shelf lives (with exceptions, such as animated series and procedurals that can shift cast in and out), competition and reality shows are refreshing themselves virtually every season — and as a result, can conceivably go on forever.
But that’s why they’re not budging from the Emmy race. The competition race has had just four winners across 19 years, since it got its own category in 2003: CBS’ “The Amazing Race” (10 times), VH1’s “RuPaul’s Drag Race” (four times), NBC’s “The Voice” (four times) and Bravo’s “Top Chef ” (once).
“RuPaul’s Drag Race” is currently on a streak and is very likely heading to its fifth win. The franchise is so strong that last year, the companion series “RuPaul’s Drag Race: Untucked,” also on VH1, won for unstructured reality program. “RuPaul’s Drag Race” is a fun, well-crafted franchise led by an iconic host and features the kind of joy and LGBTQ+ representation we need.
There was a lot of grumbling over the years at “The Amazing Race’s” dominance. As a megafan — I organized my own version for my 30th birthday, with Phil Keoghan at the finish line! — I can’t be mad at it. I often ask married exec producers Bertram van Munster and Elise Doganieri just where they put all those Emmys — 20 between the two of them for the “Race” alone.
But the fact that these shows continue to be great only exacerbates the problem. Much like the variety talk field, it’s hard to demand a shakeup in the nominees when they’re all worthy. There are just too many reality shows to recognize.
WATCH MY SHOW: ‘Candy’ Exec Producer Robin Veith Answers our Showrunner Survey
In 1980, Texas homemaker Candy Montgomery was accused of murdering Betty Gore, the wife of the man she was involved with. It was a crime no one saw coming, and that was part of the reason Jessica Biel was drawn to play the role in Hulu’s limited series “Candy.”
Starring opposite Melanie Lynskey and Pablo Schreiber, Biel completely transformed — wig, glasses and all — into the character. She also worked double duty as an executive producer on the gory project. We asked exec producer Robin Veith to fill out our Showrunner Seven.
Sum up your show’s pitch in one sentence. It’s a lady-on-lady ax murder from 1980 Texas.
What’s an alternate title for your show? “I Can’t Let You Go”
What do we need to know before tuning in? The less the better, in my opinion.
Give us an equation for your show. (Blank plus blank minus blank times blank, etc.) “La Vérité” plus “The Shining” with a touch of “The Last Detail.”
What’s the best thing someone said about your show? “It’s the strangest thing on our spring schedule.”
If you could work on any other series on TV, what would it be? “Pachinko.”
Finish this sentence: “If you like _______, you’ll love our show.” “If you like puzzles, you’ll love our show.”
Send Me Your Questions, Comments and More!
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