August 21, 2014

Predicting the Emmys

I've written about the Emmys here from time to time (here, here and here, for example). They're a very strange fish; not quite like most awards shows, where you have different movies and nominees each year; it doesn't always the same number of nominees in each category, and it's gone through more dramatic changes in categories themselves than in most award shows.  They're set up for individuals and shows to dominate a given category in a way that no other awards show can do. They're not quite as prestigious as the Oscars, not as devil-may-care as the Grammys, not as much debauched fun as the Golden Globes.  Hell, they even changed from being a show that came at the end of the television season to one that preceded the new season, although that wasn't entirely voluntary on their part.  Not that there's anything wrong with this, mind you.

The show's coming up at the end of this month (August 25 on NBC, as a matter of fact), and since I'll be on vacation when it airs, I'll drop these tidbits your way.  The first is a fascinating infographic that came my way from Ben Clifford, who's done some cool infographics for the Hollywood entertainment website TheWrap.  This one gives us an insight into predicting who's going to walk away with the hardware on the big night.*  As always, you can click on the image to get a better look.

*Just to tell you something of my age, whenever it comes to Maggie Smith I still think of her winning an Oscar for The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie.

In the second piece, our friend Lisl Magboo steers us to some interviews with this year's nominees (many of whom are familiar to us classic TV fans) at the Archive of American Television site.  I won't do the usual screen captures as there are so many, but each of these interviews is well-worth checking out - as are all the videos at the Archive.  I can't tell you how many times they've come in handy for me!  Like any good restaurant menu, pick and choose from the following categories.

Julia Louis-Dreyfus for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series (Veep)
Christopher Lloyd and Steve Levitan for Outstanding Comedy Series (Modern Family)

Julilan Fellowes for Outstanding Drama Series (Downtown Abbey)

Vince Gilligan for Outstanding Writing for a Drama Series (Breaking Bad), Outstanding Directing for a Drama Series (Breaking Bad)

Matthew Weiner for Outstanding Drama Series (Mad Men)

Janie Bryant for Outstanding Costumes for a Series (Mad Men)

Robert A. Dickinson for Outstanding Lighting Design/Lighting Direction for a Variety Special (The Oscars, the Tonys)

Linda Ellerbee for Outstanding Children's Program (Nick News with Linda Ellerbee)

Variety Special
Louis Horvitz, Outstanding Director for a Variety Special (The Kennedy Center Honors)

Susan Lacy for Outstanding Documentary of Nonfiction Series (American Masters)

George Schlatter for Outstanding Documentary or Nonfiction Special (Whoopi Goldberg Presents Moms Mabley)

My thanks again to Ben and Lisl for making my job a lot easier, and more enjoyable.


  1. The Emmys have now become a glorification of the ulterior results following the end of the Hays Code, with the programming engineered for premium pay television, that has no standards. Why do raunch equal awards?

    And the Emmys are in August only during years when NBC is on the rota.

  2. Exactly. A generation of outstanding writing and performances on dozens of network television shows have gone unrecognized because of the Academy's obsession with anything broadcast on HBO, or anything on basic cable that pushes the envelope. I'm not saying some of these shows are not excellent, but they should be nominated in separate categories.


Thanks for writing! Drive safely!