Netflix’s “The Crown” is a heavy favorite in Sunday’s 73rd Emmy Awards, considered the strongest contender for the best drama series prize, while Apple TV+’s “Ted Lasso” is the show to beat among comedies.
“The Crown” could collect an array of honors during the open-air, limited-attendance ceremony at L.A. Live — so planned due to the continuing COVID-19 pandemic. Emma Corrin is considered a favorite for best drama series actress for her portrayal of Princess Diana, while Gillian Anderson is a strong contender for her supporting role as Margaret Thatcher.
The Netflix series about the life and reign of Queen Elizabeth II will have some formidable competition in the best drama series category. Also nominated for the prize are Amazon’s “The Boys,” Hulu’s “The Handmaid’s Tale,” HBO’s “Lovecraft Country,” Disney+’s “The Mandalorian,” FX’s “Pose,” NBC’s “This is Us” and Netflix’s “Bridgerton.”
No new episodes of last year’s drama series winner, “Succession,” were broadcast during the eligibility period — June 1, 2020-May 31, 2021.
“This Is Us” is the only series on a major broadcast network to be nominated in the category since 2012, also receiving nominations in 2017, 2018 and 2019. A series from the major broadcast networks has not won since Fox’s “24” in 2006.
Corrin’s co-star, Olivia Colman, is also nominated for best drama actress, along with Uzo Aduba for “In Treatment,” Elisabeth Moss for “The Handmaid’s Tale,” Mj Rodriguez of “Pose’ and Jurnee Smollett for “Lovecraft Country.”
Rodriguez is the first transgender performer nominated for an Emmy Award as a lead performer in a primetime series. Laverne Cox was nominated four times for a supporting-actress Emmy for “Orange is the New Black.”
For drama actor, Josh O’Connor is a strong contender for “The Crown,” as is Billy Porter for “Pose.” Also vying in the category are Sterling K. Brown for “This is Us,” Jonathan Majors for “Lovecraft Country,” Regé-Jean Page for “Bridgerton” and Matthew Rhys for “Perry Mason.”
While Anderson is considered a major contender for “The Crown,” the late Michael K. Williams of “Lovecraft Country” could bring home a posthumous prize. Williams, 54, died of a suspected overdose in New York earlier this month.
Battling “Ted Lasso” for best comedy series will be ABC’s “black-ish,” Netflix’s “Cobra Kai,” “The Kominsky Method” and “Emily in Paris,” HBO Max’s “Hacks” and “The Flight Attendant,” and Hulu’s “Pen15.”
Last year’s comedy series winner, Pop TV’s “Schitt’s Creek,” ended its six-season run in April 2020. 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.
Jason Sudeikis appears unbeatable in the comedy actor category for his portrayal of a college football coach turned English Premier League manager in “Ted Lasso.” But hoping to give him a challenge will be Anthony Anderson of “black-ish,” Michael Douglas of “The Kominsky Method,” William H. Macy for Showtime’s “Shameless” and Kenan Thompson for NBC’s “Kenan.”
Nominated for outstanding comedy actress are Aidy Bryant for Hulu’s “Shrill,” Kaley Cuoco for “The Flight Attendant,” Allison Janney for CBS’ “Mom,” Tracee Ellis Ross for “black-ish” and Jean Smart for “Hacks.”
The seven-episode Netflix miniseries starring Anya Taylor-Joy as a chess prodigy “The Queen’s Gambit” is nominated for outstanding limited or anthology series, along with HBO’s “I May Destroy You” and “Mare of Easttown,” Prime Video’s “The Underground Railroad” and Disney+’s “WandaVision.”
Anthology series eligibility this year was 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.
Taylor-Joy leads the list of nominees in for best actress in a limited or anthology series for her performance in “The Queen’s Gambit.” Also nominated are Michaela Coel for HBO’s “I May Destroy You,” Cynthia Erivo for NatGeo’s “Genius: Aretha,” Elizabeth Olson for “WandaVision” and Kate Winslet for “Mare of Easttown.”
Nominated for best actor in a limited or anthology series are Paul Bettany for “WandaVision,” Hugh Grant for HBO’s “The Undoing,” Ewan McGregor for Netflix’s “Halston” and Lin-Manuel Miranda and Leslie Odom Jr. for Disney+’s film version of “Hamilton.”
VH1’s “RuPaul’s Drag Race,” the winner the past three years for outstanding competition series, is nominated for a fifth consecutive year. Bravo’s “Top Chef” is nominated for the 15th consecutive year and NBC’s “The Voice” for the 10th consecutive year.
“The Amazing Race” also returned to the category this year. 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. Also nominated in the category was Netflix’s “Nailed It!”
Nominees for variety-talk series are “Conan,” which recently ended its run on TBS, Comedy Central’s “The Daily Show with Trevor Noah,” ABC’s “Jimmy Kimmel Live,” HBO’s “Last Week Tonight with John Oliver” and CBS’ “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert.”
NBC’s “Saturday Night Live” is seeking its fifth consecutive Emmy for outstanding variety sketch series. HBO’s “A Black Lady Sketch Show” is the other nominee.
Although “Saturday Night Live” does not air in prime time in the Eastern time zone, it is eligible for the Creative Arts Emmys and Primetime Emmys, which cover programs that initially aired between 6 p.m. and 2 a.m. during the eligibility period.
Awards in 27 competitive categories will be presented Sunday. Actress, dancer and choreographer Debbie Allen will receive the 2021 Governors Award from the Television Academy to honor her career contributions to the television world and philanthropic work.
“Debbie’s commitment to mentoring underserved communities has been nothing short of extraordinary,” said Debra Curtis, a co-chair of the Governors Award selection committee. “She has shared her gift and love of dance and choreography with countless aspiring performers across the globe.”
A three-time Emmy winner for choreography on “Fame” and “The Motown 25th,” Allen is also a Kennedy Center honoree and a winner of multiple NCAA Image Awards.
She has done choreography for such entertainers as Michael Jackson, Mariah Carey, Whitney Houston, Janet Jackson, Dolly Parton and Sammy Davis Jr.
Allen’s television directing and producing credits include “Fame,” “Scandal,” “How To Get Away With Murder,” “Empire,” `That’s So Raven,” “A Different World” and “Grey’s Anatomy.”
Rule changes for 2021 include any films 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 platform for Oscar consideration was deemed a theatrical motion picture, and thus ineligible for the 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.
Cedric the Entertainer will host the Emmy ceremony, which will be televised live by CBS.
The bulk of the 119 awards were presented at three Creative Arts Emmy ceremonies last weekend. Those awards are mainly in technical categories, such as picture editing, costuming, hairstyling, makeup and sound, but also include awards for guest acting.