Greetings from Variety Awards Headquarters! Today is June 16, 2022, which means it’s now 11 days until Emmy nomination round voting ends on June 27. From there, it’s 26 days until Emmy nominations are announced on July 12; then 57 days until final round voting begins on August 12, followed by 73 days until final round voting ends on August 22. Then comes the finales: It’s 79 days until the Creative Arts Emmys kicks off its two-night event on September 3 ; and then it’s 88 days until the 74th Emmy Awards takes place, live on NBC, September 12.
And here we are! Emmy nominations voting — a.k.a. “Phase 1 voting” — gets underway today, hence this special bonus edition of AWARDS HQ, written to you from Banff, Alberta, Canada, where the Banff World Media Festival just finished. Congrats to the Banff team, led by Jenn Kuzmyk, for a successful return to the Canadian Rockies. It was great getting to moderate panels and chat with folks like Universal Studio Group’s Pearlena Igbokwe, the “Rutherford Falls” team led by Sierra Teller Onelas, and the “Yellowjackets,” “The Cleaning Lady” and “American Auto” showrunners.
Meanwhile, there’s a lot to take in as voting begins, so without further ado, let’s get going!
Exclusive: Netflix Has a Latte Last-Minute FYC Stunts to Promote ‘Squid Game,’ ‘Queer Eye,’ ‘Ozark’
It’s always fun to hear about grassroots FYC campaigns, and “The Garcias” creator Jeff Valdez is taking it next level. Frustrated that his HBO Max series didn’t get an Emmy push, he has spent around $30,000 to launch his own campaign.
“We’re in a creative industry and after I saw that most Emmy campaigns are a billboard and a trade ad, I challenged myself to come up with unique ideas for our unique show, which we believe merits real consideration,” Valdez tells Variety. “We are a small company, but we are always trying to think out of the box and swing at the back fence.”
Garcia’s marketing stunts include:
• Political-Style Lawn Cards on Hollywood homes featuring FYC requests — “even one on the lawn opposite David Zaslav’s house,” Garcia’s team reports.
• Restaurant and Social Codes: Geo-targeted TikTok and Instagram FYC campaigns will target TV Academy members living in NY and LA, while 8-second promotional clips of the series play on customers’ phones when they access restaurant menus via QR in areas where the voters reside.
• Influencer and Billboard Advertising: From June 16-21, The Naked Cowboy is perform in Times Square with a branded FYC campaign guitar and a message on his underpants (which Garcia calls “assvertising”) posted with an FYC request. In Los Angeles, digital posters along Sunset Blvd. will display an 8-second promotional video rotating a thousand times per day
• OOO and Aerial Advertising: Flying promotional FYC-banners on aircrafts will appear above targeted areas in LA where voters live.
• Live Appearances: The Garcias cast has appeared in several live events, including the 2022 LALIFF Film Festival; Valdez participated in a Q&A with the Directors Guild Latino Committee on June 15.
• A Hollywood Double Decker Tour Bus wrapped with “The Garcias” FYC signage and featuring the cast live running thru Beverly Hills.
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AWARDS CIRCUIT COLUMN: The ‘Schitt’s Creek’ Effect Continues, As Small Town Charm on TV Hits Big With Emmy Contenders
There’s a great tradition of small towns on TV, in both comedy and drama. Of course, you can go way back to Mayberry on “The Andy Griffith Show.” Small towns are big in creepy TV, including “Twin Peaks,” “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” and “True Blood.” Other comedies in recent decades included “My Name Is Earl” and, of course, Pawnee in “Parks and Recreation.”
“Schitt’s Creek” is over, but a number of series are picking up the tradition. In “Life and Beth,” Amy Schumer’s character finds new life in her small Long Island hometown, while in “Ghosts,” a New York couple inherits a haunted mansion in the Hudson Valley. “Young Sheldon” takes place in a fictional East Texas town, while “The Conners” continues in Lanford, Ill., the setting for “Roseanne.”
Other shows exploring different aspects of small-town life include FX’s “Reservation Dogs,” which breaks new ground on the depiction of Indigenous American teens in rural Oklahoma; and Fox’s “Welcome to Flatch,” about the off-center residents in a small Ohio town with an unpleasant name — much like, yes, “Schitt’s Creek.”
But I was particularly charmed this year by Bridget Everett’s HBO series “Somebody Somewhere,” which is inspired by Everett’s hometown of Manhattan, Kan.
Get Your $1 Martinis This Friday in Honor of Martha Mitchell and ‘Gaslit’
Head to StarzGaslitMartiniHour.com to grab a $1 martini in honor of the 50th anniversary of Watergate. Starz wants Emmy voters to honor the legacy of Martha Mitchell — the first person to publicly sound the alarm on Nixon’s involvement in the historic political scandal — via Martha’s drink of choice. Channel your inner Julia Roberts at these locations, between 7 p.m. snd 9 p.m. on Friday, June 17.
Here are the locations offering those $1 beverage:
Grandmaster Recorders – 1518 N Cahuenga Blvd, Los Angeles Hollywood Post 43 – 2035 N Highland Ave, Los Angeles 1 Hotel – 8490 Sunset Blvd, West Hollywood, CA 90069, United States Canter’s Deli – 419 N Fairfax Ave Los Angeles, CA 90036 Melody Bar and Grill – 9132 S Sepulveda Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90045 Dan Tana’s – 9071 Santa Monica Blvd, West Hollywood, CA 90069 The Rendition Room – 4349 Tujunga Ave #2, Studio City, CA 91604 The Varnish – 118 E 6th St, Los Angeles, CA 90014
This Week’s Poll Results: Will Broadcast Land Three Comedy Nominations?
You are all very optimistic! When we asked you whether you thought that broadcast TV might land three comedy nominations this year, you were hopeful!
Another poll to come next week!
‘Abbot Elementary’ Leads This Year’s TCA Awards Nominations
And speaking of “Abbott Elementary,” the ABC sitcom leads the pack this year as the Television Critics Association (TCA) reveals the nominees for 38th Annual TCA Awards.
Voted on by more than 200 professional journalists covering television, the TCA Awards honor outstanding achievements in drama, comedy, miniseries, youth, news and information, reality and variety, sketch or talk shows. Winners will be announced at the TCA Awards on Saturday, August 6, at The Langham Huntington Hotel in Pasadena.
HBO earned 12 nominations while HBO Max grabbed nine, combine them and they get 21; individually, Netflix is first with 13 nominations. Apple TV+ follows with 10, then Hulu with eight, and Showtime scored six.
“Abbott Elementary” led with five nominations, including individual achievement in comedy nods for series creator, producer, writer and star Quinta Brunson, along with co-star Janelle James; plus outstanding new program, outstanding achievement in comedy, and the top prize: Program Of The Year.
Below is the list of 2022 Television Critics Association nominees, excluding the Career Achievement and Heritage Award winners, which will be announced later this summer.
INDIVIDUAL ACHIEVEMENT IN DRAMA Lee Jung-jae, “Squid Game” – Netflix Michael Keaton, “Dopesick” – Hulu Melanie Lynskey, “Yellowjackets” – Showtime Mandy Moore, “This Is Us” – NBC Bob Odenkirk, “Better Call Saul” – AMC Margaret Qualley, “Maid” – Netflix Adam Scott, “Severance” – Apple TV+ Rhea Seehorn, “Better Call Saul” – AMC Amanda Seyfried, “The Dropout” – Hulu Jeremy Strong, “Succession” – HBO
INDIVIDUAL ACHIEVEMENT IN COMEDY Pamela Adlon, “Better Things” – FX Quinta Brunson, “Abbott Elementary” – ABC Bridget Everett, “Somebody Somewhere” – HBO Bill Hader, “Barry” – HBO Janelle James, “Abbott Elementary” – ABC Steve Martin, “Only Murders in the Building” – Hulu Jean Smart, “Hacks” – HBO Max (2021 Winner in Category) Jason Sudeikis – “Ted Lasso” – Apple TV+
OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENT IN NEWS AND INFORMATION “The Beatles: Get Back” – Disney+ “Benjamin Franklin” – PBS “Frontline” – PBS (Eight-time Winner in Category) “George Carlin’s American Dream” – HBO “How To with John Wilson” – HBO “Prehistoric Planet” – Apple TV+ “60 Minutes” – CBS (2012 Winner in Category) “The Tinder Swindler” – Netflix “We Need To Talk About Cosby” – Showtime
OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENT IN REALITY “The Amazing Race” – CBS (2011 Winner in Category) “Cheer” – Netflix (2020 Winner in Category) “Finding Magic Mike” – HBO Max “Legendary” – HBO Max “Real Housewives of Salt Lake City” – Bravo “Real World Homecoming: New Orleans” – Paramount+ “Take Out with Lisa Ling” – HBO Max “Top Chef: Houston” – Bravo
OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENT IN YOUTH PROGRAMMING “Ada Twist, Scientist” – Netflix “The Baby-Sitters Club” – Netflix (2021 Winner in Category) “El Deafo” – Apple TV+ “Mira, Royal Detective” – Disney Junior “Octonauts: Above & Beyond” – Netflix “Odd Squad” – PBS Kids “Ridley Jones” – Netflix “Sesame Street” – HBO Max
OUTSTANDING NEW PROGRAM “Abbott Elementary” – ABC “Ghosts” – CBS “Only Murders in the Building” – Hulu “Pachinko” – Apple TV+ “Reservation Dogs” – FX “Severance” – Apple TV+ “The White Lotus” – HBO “Yellowjackets” – Showtime
OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENT IN MOVIES, MINISERIES OR SPECIALS “Dopesick” – Hulu “The Dropout” – Hulu “The Girl From Plainville” – Hulu “Maid” – Netflix “Midnight Mass” – Netflix “The Staircase” – HBO Max “Station Eleven” – HBO Max “Under the Banner of Heaven” – FX
OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENT IN DRAMA “Better Call Saul” – AMC (2019 Winner in Category) “The Good Fight” – Paramount+ “Pachinko” – Apple TV+ “Severance” – Apple TV+ “Squid Game” – Netflix “Succession” – HBO (2020 Winner in Category) “This Is Us” – NBC “Yellowjackets” – Showtime
OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENT IN COMEDY “Abbott Elementary” – ABC “Atlanta” – FX (2017 Winner in Category) “Barry” – HBO “Ghosts” – CBS “Hacks” – HBO Max “Only Murders In The Building” – Hulu “Reservation Dogs” – FX “Ted Lasso” – Apple TV+ (2021 Winner in Category)
OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENT IN VARIETY, TALK OR SKETCH “The Amber Ruffin Show” – Peacock “A Black Lady Sketch Show” – HBO (2020 Winner in Category) “I Think You Should Leave with Tim Robinson” – Netflix “Last Week Tonight with John Oliver” – HBO (2021, 2019 & 2018 Winner in Category) “Late Night with Seth Meyers” – NBC “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert” – CBS “Saturday Night Live” – NBC “Ziwe” – Showtime
PROGRAM OF THE YEAR“ “Abbott Elementary” – ABC “Better Call Saul” – AMC “Hacks” – HBO Max “Severance” – Apple TV+ “Squid Game” – Netflix “Succession” – HBO “The White Lotus” – HBO “Yellowjackets” – Showtime
ON THE CIRCUIT: Hulu’s ‘Dopesick’ FYC Event and More
Hulu’s “Dopesick” FYC event featured Showrunner/Executive Producer Danny Strong, Executive Producer/Star Michael Keaton, Stars Kaitlyn Dever, Michael Stuhlbarg, Rosario Dawson, Will Poulter and John Hoogenakker, and moderator Maria Shriver.
Paramount+ and Paramount TV Sudios’ “The Offcr” held an FYC event featuring Miles Teller (EP/Cast, ‘Al Ruddy’), Matthew Goode (Cast, ‘Robert Evans’), Patrick Gallo (Cast, ‘Mario Puzo’), Anthony Ippolito (Cast, ‘Al Pacino’), and Nikki Toscano (Writer/EP), who all participated in a Q&A moderated by MTV News’ Josh Horowitz.
Crunchyroll’s Emmy FYC event for the anime fantasy epic “Ranking of Kings” featured panelists (from left to right): Atsuko Nozaki, Character Designer; Yosuke Hatta, director; and Storyboard Artist Maiko Okada, Animation Producer. The panel was moderated by Chris Han, Senior Brand Manager, Crunchyroll/Funimation.
WATCH MY SHOW: ‘Killing It’ Exec Producers Dan Goor & Luke Del Tredici Answer our Showrunner Survey
Created by “Brooklyn Nine-Nine” producers Dan Goor and Luke Del Tredici, “Killing It” stars Craig Robinson (“The Office,” “Brooklyn Nine-Nine”) as Craig, a man who competes in a state-sponsored python hunt in his quest to achieve the American Dream. The series co-stars Claudia O’Doherty as the Uber driver who first introduces Craig to the contest, and eventually becomes his partner in the quest. Stephanie Nogueras, Jet Miller, Rell Battle, Scott Macarthur and Wyatt Walter also star. We asjed Goor and Del Tredici to fill out our Showrunner Seven.
Sum up your show’s pitch in one sentence. Craig Robinson is shocked to learn that his version of the American Dream involves driving out to the Everglades to hunt giant snakes.
What’s an alternate title for your show? SNAKES, but with dollars signs for both S’s and, confusingly, another dollar sign for the K.
What do we need to know before tuning in? That one lucky viewer will be randomly selected to win $18 million! (This is neither legally binding nor true. Probably, we don’t know, check with Peacock.)
Give us an equation for your show. (Blank plus blank minus blank times blank, etc.) “Citizen Kane” times “Anaconda” minus Jon Voight
What’s the best thing someone said about your show? “Oh God no.” — Hulu executives, who didn’t buy the pitch.
If you could work on any other series on TV, what would it be? “F1 Drive to Survive,” as the spoiled sons of foreign oligarchs, given repeated chances to race despite our dangerous incompetence.
Finish this sentence: “If you like _______, you’ll love our show.” If you like…”The Office” and “Brooklyn Nine-Nine,” but couldn’t fully get into them because you thought there should be more and/or bigger pythons… you’ll love our show.
Showrunners Sitdown: From Daniel’s Death to Native Humor, ‘Reservation Dogs’ Showrunner Sterlin Harjo Answers Our Burning Questions
Variety editor-at-large Kate Aurthur continues her new “Showrunners Sitdown” series, this time with “Reservation Dogs” co-creator Sterlin Harjo. Kate writes:
“Reservation Dogs” follows four teenaged best friends who live on a reservation, but, at least when Season 1 starts, are yearning to get out and move to California. They’re missing a key member of their group, Daniel (played in flashbacks by Dalton Cramer), who died by suicide — which is a plague in Native communities. Though “Reservation Dogs” is first and foremost a comedy, Harjo weaves the poignant aftermath of Daniel’s suicide into the story seamlessly.
“It’s hard to explain, because I think it actually lends itself to our humor, Native humor — the pacing of it,” Harjo said. “I think that it’s always been close to tragedy, because it’s about survival. Humor has always been about survival. It’s like laughing in the face of all of this tragedy that’s surrounding us.”
In a Zoom interview from his trailer on the set of “Reservation Dogs,” Harjo answered all our questions about the show, from how he put together the cast of mostly unknown actors, to whether Wes Studi will again appear in the 10-episode second season. He also delved into balancing comedy and tragedy, why he brought two of the show’s cast members into the writers’ room — and whether things have finally changed for Native creators.
Exclusive: HBO’s Writing and Directing Emmy Submissions Revealed for ‘Barry,’ ‘Euphoria’ and More
Clayton Davis reports:
HBO is juggling multiple television shows for a shot at the Primetime Emmy Awards, which could make them a dominating force in all categories, particularly for directing and writing.
Just wrapping its season finale, “Barry” is expected to match, if not exceed, its previous 18 nomination haul last time. Actor and producer Bill Hader will be among the “locks” for outstanding comedy series and lead actor (comedy). Still, with two previous Emmy noms for directing, he’ll be in the running again with the episode “710N,” the sixth episode that finds the titular hitman attacked by Traci’s gang. Three “Barry” episodes will also vie for attention in the writing categories: “710N” (by Duffy Boudreau), “Candy Asses” (by Liz Sarnoff) and the finale “Starting Now” (by Hader and Alec Berg).
With Zendaya leading the charge for lead actress (drama) for her towering performance in the second season of “Euphoria,” the show is looking for a better showing than its inaugural season, which only landed a single Primetime nom (it received five creative arts noms). In addition, Sam Levinson’s episode “Stand Still Like the Hummingbird,” which he wrote and directed, will seek consideration. Also a showcase for Zendaya’s acting work, it features her character Rue walking into the Howard household where Leslie (Nika King) has staged an intervention with her friends, but not before revealing Cassie’s (Sydney Sweeney ) relationship with Nate that ends with Rue burglarizing a house, escaping police and reaching her drug-dealer Laurie’s home (played by guest actress drama contender Martha Kelly).
Drew Barrymore, Deidre Hall, Tamron Hall, Tina Knowles-Lawson, Jerry O’Connell and Natalie Morales Among Daytime Emmys Presenters
Presenters and other stars scheduled to appear at the Creative Arts & Lifestyle ceremony on June 18 (live streamed on the Emmys app) include:
Michael & Bianca Alexander (Conscious Living) Judge Frank Caprio (Caught in Providence) Daym Drops (Fresh, Fried & Crispy) Samantha Brown (Samantha Brown’s Places to Love) Sophia Roe (Counter Space) Tina Knowles-Lawson (Talks with Mama Tina) Jennifer Gareis (The Bold and the Beautiful) Raven Bowens (Days of our Lives / Beyond Salem) Tajh Bellow (General Hospital) Kate Linder (The Young and the Restless)
Presenters and other stars scheduled to appear at the Daytime Emmy Awards ceremony airing Friday, June 24, at 9 p.m. ET on CBS include:
Ceremony hosts Kevin Frazier & Nischelle Turner (Entertainment Tonight) Drew Barrymore (The Drew Barrymore Show) Tamron Hall (Tamron Hall) Scott Evans (Access Hollywood) Jerry O’Connell & Natalie Morales (The Talk) Deborah Norville (Inside Edition) Deidre Hall (Beyond Salem) Krista Allen (The Bold and the Beautiful) Tanner Novlan (The Bold and the Beautiful) Tanisha Harper (General Hospital) Cameron Mathison (General Hospital) Galen Gering (Days of our Lives) Sean Dominic (The Young and the Restless) Christian Le Blanc (The Young and the Restless) James Reynolds (Beyond Salem) Lawrence Saint-Victor (The Bold and the Beautiful) Camila Banus (Days of our Lives) Laura Wright (General Hospital) Tracey Bregman (The Young and the Restless) Suzanne Rogers (John Aniston Lifetime Achievement)
Actress/Singer/Activist Alexandra Billings (Transparent, Goliath, The Conners and Madame Morrible in Broadway’s “Wicked”) will perform at NATAS Trustees’ Ball following the Daytime Emmys.
Click here for this year’s full list of Daytime Emmys nominees.
VARIETY COVER STORY: Will ‘Better Call Saul’ Breakout Rhea Seehorn Survive the Finale? ‘Death Is Not the Only Tragic End’
Rhea Seehorn’s fiancé doesn’t know if Kim Wexler lives. Neither do her stepchildren, who recently became “Better Call Saul” fans — and now demand similar answers about her fate. There are just six episodes left before the “Breaking Bad” prequel wraps up its six-season run in August. How it all ends is still a closely guarded secret.
Seehorn, of course, won’t entertain guesses about her character’s destiny. But she offers a twist: Maybe the question isn’t whether Kim dies — but what happens if she doesn’t? “Death is not the only tragic end,” she teases.
All we know from the “Breaking Bad” timeline are the characters who later pop up in that show — starting with Jimmy McGill, aka Saul Goodman, aka Gene Takovic. Bob Odenkirk’s now-iconic role, which began as a one-note huckster lawyer on “Bad,” evolved into a textured, deeply flawed yet sympathetic lead in “Better Call Saul.” It’s a prequel that has in many ways surpassed its originator in complex storytelling.
But what’s made Saul such a compelling character also comes down to the actor co-creators Vince Gilligan and Peter Gould have paired with Odenkirk: Seehorn, as the equally complicated Kim, a budding lawyer who managed to escape her past as the daughter of a huckster — only to wind up being married to another.
Kim Wexler gave Rhea Seehorn the platform she needed to showcase her talent. As “Saul” comes to a close, this is her moment to capitalize on all of the accolades and good will, which Seehorn fans hope will include her first Emmy nomination.
Read my full cover story here… and then vote for Rhea Seehorn!
Clayton Davis’ Emmy Predictions: Variety Sketch Series – A Race With Only Two Nominees Isn’t Really a Race, TV Academy Should Allow More Entries
We’ll dive into a different category each week to examine Clayton Davis‘ Emmy predictions. This week, he writes about variety sketch:
Per Emmy rules, categories with fewer than 20 submissions have thresholds for allotted nominees. Variety is currently tracking 11, which will yield two nominees once again. With Netflix’s “Murderville” kicked to the comedy series categories and “I Think You Should Leave with Tim Robinson” moving to the short-form races, pending any surprise inclusions, this could be the field to choose from.
The 47th season of creator Lorne Michaels‘ NBC love child continued to deliver high ratings, viral moments and exciting takes on our current time in our world, following the global pandemic. While in comparison to other years, it was middle-of-the-road, with outstanding guests such as Oscar Isaac and Ariana DeBose, along with pop-culture sensations such as Kim Kardashian and Lizzo, another nom for “Saturday Night Live” is all but assured.
Robin Thede’s brilliant “A Black Lady Sketch Show,” performed, produced and consisting of mostly black women, was very close to topping “SNL” last year when only the two were nominated. The show has paved the way for alumni such as Quinta Brunson (contender for “Abbott Elementary”) and has featured great guest stars (Issa Rae). One of these days, the TV Academy has to get on board with giving the HBO show the gold.
The second season of Showtime’s eponymous late-night series has continued to grow in viewership for its star “Ziwe.” The comedian, writer and musician’s signature honesty and hot takes, with viral moments with the likes of Chet Hanks, have put it within an earshot of receiving its first big nomination. With roots in “The Daily Show,” “The Colbert Report” and “Desus & Mero,” there could be a rallying cry to get her recognition.
Here is Clayton’s competition frontrunners as of this week: