The fields for the outstanding drama and comedy series Emmys will be much different than last year when nominations for the 73rd annual Primetime Emmy Awards are announced Tuesday morning.
Of last year’s eight outstanding drama series nominees, only three are eligible to be nominated this year — Netflix’s drama about the life and reign of Queen Elizabeth II, “The Crown”; Hulu’s dystopian drama “The Handmaid’s Tale”; and The Disney+ “Star Wars” series “The Mandalorian.”
Other contenders for the eight outstanding drama series nominations include Netflix’s steamy eight-episode alternate history period drama “Bridgerton” and the canceled HBO horror series “Lovecraft Country.” Both received AFI Awards for television program of the year and were nominated in the Screen Actors Guild Award category of outstanding performance by an ensemble in a drama series, SAG’s equivalent of best drama series.
Two series nominated in previous years, but not in 2020, are contenders — the NBC family drama “This Is Us” and “Pose,”
the FX drama spotlighting the legends, icons and ferocious house mothers of New York’s underground ball culture.
No new episodes of last year’s winner, “Succession,” were broadcast during the eligibility period, June 1, 2020-May 31, 2021. The third season of the HBO series about a well-to-do family that owns a global media company will begin airing in the fall.
“This Is Us” is the only series on a major broadcast network to be nominated in the category since 2012, receiving nominations in 2017, 2018 and 2019. A series from the major broadcast networks has not won since Fox’s “24” in 2006.
The only outstanding comedy series nominee from last year eligible this year is Netflix’s “The Kominsky Method.” Last year’s winner, POP TV’s “Schitt’s Creek,” ended its six-season run in April 2020.
“Ted Lasso” leads the field of contenders. The Apple TV+ series starring Jason Sudeikis as an American football coach who becomes a coach in England’s Premier League won AFI and Writers Guild awards for best comedy and best new series.
“Ted Lasso” was a Golden Globe nominee for best television series-musical or comedy, a SAG Awards nominee for outstanding performance by an ensemble in a comedy series, and Producers Guild Awards recognition as a nominee for outstanding producer of an episodic comedy series.
The Kaley Cuoco-starring HBO Max mystery-comedy “The Flight Attendant” was also a SAG Awards nominee for outstanding performance by an ensemble in a comedy series, a WGA Awards nominee for best new series and Producers Guild Awards nominee in the same category as “Ted Lasso.”
The most recent time a series from the major broadcast networks won in the comedy series category at the Emmys was 2014 when ABC’s “Modern Family” won for the fifth consecutive year.
Anthology series eligibility has been moved into the outstanding limited series category, which has been renamed as outstanding limited or anthology series. Previously, an anthology series could enter the competition in either the comedy or drama series categories or entrants could break up the series into individually entered, stand-alone movies.
Contenders for nominations include “The Queen’s Gambit,” the seven-episode Netflix miniseries starring Anya Taylor-Joy as a female chess prodigy, and Showtime’s tale of antebellum America “The Good Lord Bird,” which both received AFI Awards; the seven-episode Kate Winslet-starring HBO crime drama, “Mare of Easttown”; and “WandaVision,” the nine-episode Disney+ blend of classic television and the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
Two Producers Guild Award nominees in the category of outstanding producer of limited series television are also contenders for Emmy nominations — “I May Destroy You,” the 12-episode BBC One and HBO drama about a London writer in her 20s (Michaela Coel) seeking to rebuild her life after being raped, and the six-episode HBO mystery psychological thriller “The Undoing.”
VH1’s “RuPaul’s Drag Race,” the winner the past three years for outstanding competition series, is expected to be nominated for the fifth consecutive year. Bravo’s “Top Chef” is expected to be nominated for the 15th consecutive year and NBC’s “The Voice” for the 10th consecutive year.
“The Amazing Race” is eligible again to be nominated. It was nominated in each of the first 17 years of the category but was not eligible last year because CBS did not air a new season during the eligibility period. It is a 10-time winner, including each of the first seven.
Other rules changes for 2021 include any programs that have been nominated for an Oscar are no longer eligible to enter the Primetime Emmy Awards competition, and any non-documentary film placed on the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences wing platform for Oscar consideration will be deemed a theatrical motion picture, and thus ineligible for the Emmy competition.
The category of outstanding stunt performance by an individual or team in a drama, comedy, limited series or movie has been created to recognize stunt performers themselves. Previously, there have only been stunt coordination categories.
Children’s programming, previously eligible in the Primetime Emmys, is now only eligible in the Daytime Emmy competition.
In another change for 2021, nominees and winners in any performer category titled “actor” or “actress” may request that their nomination certificate and Emmy statuette carry the term “performer” in place of actor or actress.
No performer category titled “actor” or “actress” has had a gender requirement for submissions.
Ron Cephas Jones and his daughter, Jasmine Cephas Jones, will host the virtual nominations announcement at 8:30 a.m. Tuesday, which will be streamed live on Emmys.com. The pair made Emmy history in 2020 when they became the first father-daughter duo to win performance Emmys in the same year.
Television Academy Chairman and CEO Frank Scherma will join them for the nominations announcement.
The 73rd annual Primetime Emmy Awards will be presented Sept. 19 at the Microsoft Theatre, with what the Television Academy described as “a limited audience of nominees and their guests.”
Cedric the Entertainer will be the host.
The bulk of the 119 awards will be presented at the Creative Arts Emmys in September. Dates for the ceremonies have not been announced. Those awards are mainly in technical categories, such as picture editing, costuming, hairstyling, makeup and sound, but also include awards for guest acting.
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