Emmy Nominations are underway, here are some insights.
• “Saturday Night Live” and “Westworld” lead the pack with 22 nominations each.
• HBO leads all the networks with 111 nominations and Netflix comes in second with 91 nominations.
• Streaming services scored four of seven Best Drama nominations, with Netflix’s “Stranger Things,” “The Crown” and “House of Cards” and Hulu’s “The Handmaid’s Tale” all getting recognized.
• The awards show will be held Sept. 17 at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles. Stephen Colbert will host the ceremony, which will be broadcast by CBS.
At least by the standards of this sometimes relentlessly predictable awards show, this will be a year of change at the Emmy Awards, with many first-time nominees populating several major categories.
The race to the nominations had been fiercely competitive. To secure Emmy votes, networks and studios went on a lavish spending spree in recent months to market their offerings at a moment when there are more TV shows than ever. Many Hollywood executives said that award-jockeying for the Emmys, once a relatively sedate affair, now rivals Oscars campaigning.
Here are some significant story lines for Emmy Nominations that took shape on Thursday:
It’s a wide-open race for the drama throne.
“Game of Thrones,” which has won best drama the last two years, is ineligible for this year’s Emmys because of a later start date. (Its seventh season begins on Sunday.) And HBO’s competitors have gleefully filled the vacuum.
This year was a transformative one for the best drama category, with five new shows — all freshman series — nominated.
Those include “The Crown” (Netflix), “Stranger Things” (Netflix), “The Handmaid’s Tale” (Hulu), “Westworld” (HBO) and “This Is Us” (NBC). Previous nominees, like “Better Call Saul” and “House of Cards,” have been welcomed back, but “Homeland,” “The Americans” and “Mr. Robot” are out.
NBC’s landing a nomination for the tear-jerking “This Is Us” snaps an embarrassing dry spell for the big four broadcast networks. The last time a drama from ABC, CBS, Fox or NBC was nominated was in 2011 — for CBS’s “The Good Wife.”
The best comedy category, however, had just one newcomer — “Atlanta” — while the two-time winner “Veep” and the five-time winner “Modern Family” were both back.
Several shows capitalize on a Trump bump.
Several late-night shows have adopted a staunch anti-President Trump posture in the last year, and that appears to have helped them with Emmy voters.
“Saturday Night Live,” which was withering toward Mr. Trump and his inner circle last season, led all shows — along with “Westworld” — with 22 nominations. This NBC stalwart was nominated for best variety sketch series, along with nominations for three cast members (Kate McKinnon, Vanessa Bayer and Leslie Jones), Alec Baldwin (for his portrayal of Mr. Trump) and Melissa McCarthy (for her hugely popular Sean Spicer impression).
Stephen Colbert’s “The Late Show” was left out of the best variety talk show category last year, cementing a perception that the show was struggling. And now? Mr. Colbert was nominated this year after his show became the most-watched in late night, besting Jimmy Fallon’s “The Tonight Show.” And Mr. Fallon’s show — 10 months after he infamously messed up Mr. Trump’s hair — was passed over for the first time since he became host in 2014.
Samantha Bee’s “Full Frontal” on TBS got its first nomination, along with ABC’s Jimmy Kimmel and HBO’s Bill Maher, all of whom have capitalized during a year when liberals have turned to their TV sets to bathe in criticism of Mr. Trump. John Oliver, last year’s winner, was nominated yet again, as was James Corden.
Meanwhile, “The Handmaid’s Tale,” Hulu’s dystopian drama about a dark future in the United States, very likely benefited from what some TV critics have described as its unique timeliness. Its nomination in the best drama category was a first for Hulu.
Star power in the best-actress categories.
Move over, gentlemen. This may be the year of the actress at the Emmys.
The much-anticipated limited series and TV movie best-actress category will be a showdown between four Oscar winners from two shows: HBO’s “Big Little Lies” (Nicole Kidman and Reese Witherspoon) and FX’s “Feud: Bette and Joan” (Susan Sarandon and Jessica Lange). The other nominees in the category were Carrie Coon for FX’s “Fargo,” her first Emmy nomination, and Felicity Huffman for “American Crime.”
As an indication of how much more interest is in the actress categories this year: Last month, when the Television Critics Association announced the nominees for its acting categories — one for drama, one for comedy, neither separated by gender — 11 of the 14 nominees were women.
The best actress drama category is wide open since last year’s winner — Tatiana Maslany — is ineligible because “Orphan Black” debuted too late this year. Nominees include actresses from rookie shows — Elisabeth Moss (“The Handmaid’s Tale”), Claire Foy (“The Crown”) and Evan Rachel Wood (“Westworld”) — and past nominees like Keri Russell (“The Americans”) and Viola Davis (“How to Get Away With Murder”), who won the award in 2015.
HBO is on top for a 17th straight year.
HBO had the most nominations with 111 — the 17th consecutive year that it has led the pack — but its lead is narrowing. Netflix, which had 92 fewer nominations than HBO just two years ago, had just 20 fewer this year.
HBO lost the 23 nominations “Game of Thrones” earned last year but made up for it with the 22 from “Westworld.” This isn’t the first time “Westworld,” the big-budget science-fiction drama, has come to the rescue for the cable network. Before it had its premiere last year, HBO was in a serious drama drought beyond “Thrones,” but “Westworld” became the most-watched freshman series in the network’s history.
Netflix, which had the most ostentatious marketing efforts before Emmy voting began, scored a whopping three nominees out of seven in the best drama category. Netflix has never won a best drama Emmy but with “The Crown,” “Stranger Things” and “House of Cards” all competing, it puts the streaming service in a much stronger position this year.