From “Chernobyl” to “Fleabag” and “Leaving Neverland,” these are the best 10 TV series that 2019 has been able to produce, so far. USA TODAY
Get your scorecards and remotes ready, because the Emmy nominations are coming.
On Tuesday, the Television Academy will announce who made the list of the best and brightest in the past year in TV, and it might even include more than “Game of Thrones.”
With the HBO juggernaut about to take its final victory lap, despite a lukewarm finale, and several high-profile series sitting out the race this year, 2019’s Emmys are a mix of the predictable and the potentially shocking. We break down everything you need to know about this year’s nominations, from the when to the who to the why some big name series will be left out entirely.
The Emmys will basically be the ‘Game of Thrones’ and ‘Veep’ show
I’ll give you a hint about what series will walk away with the most Emmy nominations on Tuesday: Starts with “Game,” ends with “Thrones.”
The Emmy Awards have generally (though not always) been generous to beloved and popular TV shows for their final seasons, and no show has been quite as loud in its final year as HBO’s “Thrones.” Riding high off its status as a cultural phenomenon, the series should easily sweep the technical categories. Final-season showcases for actors like Maisie Williams and Sophie Turner could lead to major “Thrones” dominance in the acting categories, too.
The hype around the final season might push “Thrones” to better success in the acting categories when it comes to Emmy night, too. So far, only Peter Dinklage’s turn as Tyrion Lannister has ever netted the series any acting Emmys, but this year Kit Harington has a real shot at best actor in a drama for Jon Snow, as does Emilia Clarke for best actress, especially after Dany’s heel-turn to villainy at the very end of the season.
Another exiting HBO series will likely reap in the nominations, this time in the comedy categories. “Veep,” which has already won 17 Emmys, including six for Julia Louis-Dreyfus’s performance as Selina Meyer, will likely get a golden sendoff. The supporting actor and actress in a comedy categories will be filled with “Veep” favorites such as Anna Chlumsky, Tony Hale and Matt Walsh.
But here’s hoping the nominations won’t just be old favorites. The limited-series category is especially competitive, with shows like Showtime’s prison-break drama “Escape at Dannemora,” HBO’s southern gothic “Sharp Objects” and Hulu’s true-crime saga “The Act” all strong candidates. Small but scrappy comedy series including Amazon’s “Fleabag” and Netflix’s “Russian Doll” have won critical support that may push them into the running, especially for lead actresses Phoebe Waller-Bridge and Natasha Lyonne, respectively.
But “Thrones” has no monopoly on the drama categories. One of the world’s biggest movie stars, Julia Roberts came to TV last fall in Amazon’s psychological thriller “Homecoming.” Onetime “Thrones” star Richard Madden nabbed a Golden Globe and praise for his turn in Netflix’s British import “Bodyguard,” and that could put him up against his former co-star, Harington, in the best-actor category.
But wait, what about ‘Stranger Things’?
Are you loving the new seasons of “Big Little Lies,” “Stranger Things” and “The Handmaid’s Tale”? Many Emmy voters probably like them, too, but because of the TV Academy rules, none are up for the 2019 awards. The eligibility period for the Emmys runs from June 1, 2018 to May 31, 2019, so anything that premiered from June 1 onward won’t be on the ballot until next year. (Shows now have to air entire seasons during that window).
It’s not hard to guess why these shows, which have made strong showings at the Emmys in past years, are dodging the just-ended season. The victory lap for the final season of “Thrones” is all but pre-determined, bolstered by the weakness of the rest of this year’s drama category. Aging series with so-so recent seasons like NBC’s family drama “This Is Us,” Netflix’s crime thriller “Ozark” and “Breaking Bad” spinoff “Better Call Saul” are likely to be the rival contenders for “Thrones.” But the more open field might leave room for series like BBC America’s spy vs. assassin drama “Killing Eve” and FX’s LGBTQ-focused “Pose” to sneak into the nominations.
When are the nominations?
D’Arcy Carden (“The Good Place”) and Ken Jeong (“The Masked Singer”) will take the stage in Los Angeles Tuesday at 11:30 a.m EDT/8:30 a.m. PDT to announce nominees in major categories, and the event will be live-streamed on emmys.com as well as right here on usatoday.com.
When are the Emmy Awards? Who’s hosting?
The Emmys are scheduled for Sunday, Sept. 22 at 8 EDT/5 PDT on Fox. No host has been announced yet. (Last year, “SNL” stars Colin Jost and Michael Che had the honors on NBC). Could the Emmys be pursuing an emcee-free evening like the Oscars did in February? We’ll have to wait and see.
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