At one time, hit series dutifully premiered each fall, meaning you could see dramas like “Hill Street Blues” and “ER” or sitcoms like “Cheers” and then “Frasier” in contention every year for their long run. run
Now, however, prestige series tend to operate on their own schedules, skipping years — or more — between seasons. Throw in pandemics that have disrupted production schedules, and if viewers can’t track what’s worthy for years, even with A scorecard.
Take “Barry” and “Atlanta” (both entered as comedies), which return to the awards fray for the first time since 2019 and 2018, respectively, after their extended layoffs (the former in multiple categories, the latter for star Donald Glover) .
Among the best-drama nominees, the aforementioned “Legacy,” “Stranger Things,” “Euphoria,” “Better Call Saul” and “Ozark” all sat alongside new shows in 2021, “Squid Game,” “Yellowjackets” and “Breaking” Up.” Out round the field. But they needn’t worry about competing with “The Handmaid’s Tale,” which launches its fifth season on Sept. 14.
“Ted Lasso,” meanwhile, will have a chance to repeat as best comedy, meaning the Apple TV+ show can defend its crown, but “The Crown,” um, won’t. “Hacks” also makes a back-and-forth appearance, while the arguably stiff competition includes newcomers “Abbott Elementary” and “Only Murders in the Building” this year, along with four series that weren’t on the 2021 menu: “Barry ,” “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel,” “What We Do in the Shadows,” and “Curb Your Enthusiasm.” (“Curb” is in a trailblazing class by itself, spanning 11 seasons and 51 Emmy nominations over the past 22 years.)
Some shows require separate asterisks due to the Emmy eligibility window, which stretches 12 months from June to May.
Both “Stranger Things” and “Better Call Saul” split their seasons, with the first half falling within that timeframe while the latter did not, meaning they’ll be eligible again in 2023.
The Emmy calendar can cause confusion depending on when the series premieres. For example, if you just finished watching the second season of Hulu’s “Only Murders in the Building,” remember, it’s the first season nominated this year.
Avoid limited series repetition questions, but not time. It’s a loaded lineup again, with Hulu’s “Dopecic,” “The Dropout” and “Pam & Tommy,” Netflix’s “Inventing Anna” and HBO’s “The White Lotus,” not only based on a true story.
Even there, the vagaries of the Emmy calendar and rules play a role. Take the “Star Wars” prequel “Obi-Wan Kenobi,” which originally premiered just before the May 31 deadline but refused to make subsequent episodes available to voters in advance, delaying consideration until 2023. (Star Ewan McGregor won his first Emmy last year for another limited series, Netflix’s “Halston.”)
The major television Emmys follow the annual ones known as the Creative Arts Awards, which are presented Sept. 3-4 in mostly technical categories.
For those keeping score, or those who simply enjoy questions about network bragging rights, HBO and HBO Max totaled 26 awards, followed by Netflix with 23 and streaming services Disney+ (9), Hulu (8) and Amazon Prime (6).
Netflix tied a 47-year-old record with 44 total nodes last year from all those shows, more than double nearest competitor HBO, which led the way in 2020 and 2019 after tying with Netflix in 2018.
“Stranger Things,” “Euphoria” and “The White Lotus” each collected five awards last weekend (and could add to that total on Sept. 12), as did the special “Adele: One Night Only” and the docuseries “The Beatles” : Come Back.” ,
“Legacy,” which received nine Emmys in 2020, has won just one award so far for outstanding casting. Or to be more specific, outstanding casting among dramas televised during the 2021-22 qualifying period.
The Emmys will air on September 12 at 8 pm ET on NBC.