The winners of the 74th Emmy Awards will be unveiled on Monday night in downtown Los Angeles. Viewers can watch the ceremony on NBC or the streaming service Peacock, beginning at 8 p.m. Eastern time.
Kenan Thompson, the “Saturday Night Live” veteran, will assume hosting duties at the ceremony this year, and will do his part to help boost Emmy ratings for a second consecutive year. Last year’s ceremony drew 7.4 million viewers, reversing a trend of record low viewership totals.
The ceremony should look, more or less, typical: For the first time since 2019, the ceremony will return to its traditional home at the Microsoft Theater (The 2020 ceremony was mostly virtual, while last year’s event took place inside a tent.)
Some elements of last year’s ceremony will remain. Producers of the show told The Hollywood Reporter that they would be bringing back the Golden Globes-style dinner tables in lieu of having nominees situated in theater-style seating.
This may be the most competitive year at the Emmys to date. Submissions for the drama, comedy and limited categories were all up significantly.
Even with all of the strong contenders, the top two most-decorated networks will almost certainly be, as usual, HBO and Netflix. After dozens of technical awards were handed out last weekend at the Creative Arts Emmys, HBO and its streaming app, HBO Max, have collected 26 Emmys thus far, leading all networks. Netflix is in second place with 23 Emmys.
Shows eligible for this year’s awards had to premiere between June 2021 and May 2022.
Here’s more of what to expect:
‘Succession’ Is the Drama Favorite
Everything appears to be lining up nicely for “Succession.”
The HBO family dramedy, which won best drama in 2020, garnered the most nominations of any show. More than half a dozen actors on the show are up for an award on Monday. And “Succession” won for best cast in a drama at the Creative Arts Emmys last weekend, often a bellwether for the best drama race. (Five of the last seven best drama winners also took best casting.)
But there are some possible spoilers: “Squid Game,” Netflix’s South Korean blockbuster, and “Severance,” the Apple TV+ thriller.
If “Squid Game” pulls off an upset, it would be the first foreign language program to capture a top show award. That would be a breakthrough as television becomes more global, and as American audiences are increasingly receptive to series with subtitles. Netflix could certainly use the good news: The streaming service has piled up subscriber losses through the first half of the year, and the quality of its programming slate has come into question.
If Apple’s dystopian workplace thriller, “Severance,” wins best drama it would continue an awards show tear for the tech giant. Apple TV+, which had its debut in November 2019, has already won best comedy at the Emmys (last year for “Ted Lasso”) and best picture at the Oscars (“CODA”). And certainly a number of the show’s actors — Adam Scott, John Turturro, Christopher Walken and Patricia Arquette — could pull off wins.
The Acting Races Are Very Competitive
Will Zendaya take home another best actress statuette for her role in “Euphoria”? Or can Laura Linney (“Ozark”), a four-time Emmy winner, or Melanie Lynskey, a first-time nominee for “Yellowjackets,” put a stop to it? Awards forecasters are torn.
Best actress in a drama is just one of a number of major acting categories that appear to be wide open this year, giving a much-needed jolt to a ceremony that can often be a little too predictable.
One of the most-watched races will be best actor in a drama. Jeremy Strong is vying for a second Emmy win for his role in “Succession.” He is facing off against his castmate Brian Cox, who is looking for his first Emmy win since he was honored for the 2000 TNT mini-series “Nuremberg.” Lee Jung-jae, who played the protagonist in Netflix’s blood-splattered thriller “Squid Game,” is also very much in the mix. If Jung-jae wins, he will be the first actor starring in a non-English series to take the prize.
Likewise, best actor in a comedy appears to be fiercely competitive. Bill Hader has won twice before for his role as a hit man-turned-actor in HBO’s “Barry,” and he will face off against last year’s winner — and a former “SNL” castmate — Jason Sudeikis (“Ted Lasso”). And a pair of comedy legends, Steve Martin and Martin Short, are also in the hunt for their roles in “Only Murders in the Building.” If Martin wins, it would be his first Emmy since 1969, when he won for best writing for “The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour.”
Can a Network Show Actually Win Best Comedy?
On the one hand, it seems inevitable that “Ted Lasso,” the feel good Apple TV+ sports comedy, will repeat for outstanding comedy. After all, when Emmy voters find a show they like, they usually stick with it. (John Oliver’s HBO show has won the best talk show category six years in a row.)
However, as with the drama race, there are a pair of viable upset candidates: “Only Murders in the Building,” the Hulu comedy about a murder mystery in a swanky Manhattan apartment building, and “Abbott Elementary,” the big-hearted ABC comedy about a group of elementary school teachers. The second season of “Only Murders” streamed during the Emmy voting period, keeping it fresh in the minds of Emmy voters.
The Television Critics Association sent a loud statement last month when it named “Abbott Elementary” its program of the year, with the show besting formidable contenders like “Succession” and “The White Lotus.” And then “Abbott” took the best casting award for a comedy last weekend at the Creative Arts Emmys. That’s a promising sign — the best casting winner has taken the best comedy award for seven consecutive years.
If “Abbott Elementary” does win, it would snap a long dry spell for the broadcast networks. The last network show to win best comedy was “Modern Family” eight years ago. And if Quinta Brunson, a creator and star of “Abbott Elementary,” beats out last year’s winner, Jean Smart (“Hacks”), for best actress in a comedy, it would make her the first network star to take the category since Melissa McCarthy won it in 2011 for the CBS half-hour “Mike & Molly.” Brunson would also be the first Black woman to capture the award since Isabel Sanford (“The Jeffersons”) won in 1981.
‘The White Lotus’ Faces Off Against ‘Dopesick’ in Best Limited Series
Last year, Emmy producers made official what everyone already knew: The best limited series is now right up there with best drama as the most prestigious award in television. At the ceremony last year, the limited series award was the final category presented, breaking from the usual tradition of handing out the last statuettes to best drama.
Competing in the category this year is one completely fictionalized series — the upstairs-downstairs dramedy “The White Lotus” — versus four series adapted from real events: “The Dropout” (about the Theranos founder Elizabeth Holmes); “Dopesick” (about the Sackler family and the opioid crisis); “Pam and Tommy” (about the sex tape); and “Inventing Anna” (about a real-life con artist).
“The White Lotus” overwhelmed its competitors in terms of nominations — it landed 20, in a tie with “Ted Lasso” for second most of any show — and Emmy voters seemed enthralled with the actors on the series. A whopping eight performers, including Murray Bartlett and Jennifer Coolidge, were nominated for awards. “The White Lotus” may also have good timing. The anthology’s second season premieres next month, and could already be top of mind for Emmy voters.