The buttons have been fastened on the Emmy costume fiasco, with Netflix’s “House of Cards” nabbing the available Best Contemporary Costumes nomination after NBC’s bid for “This Is Us” was revoked. As a refresher, the period costumes from the “This Is Us” finale “Moonshadow” were erroneously nominated in the contemporary category, so the citation had to be disqualified. Now “House of Cards” enters the second stage of Emmy voting with seven nominations (up from six), while the final haul of “This Is Us” is 10 nominations (down from 11).
“Chapter 61” is the episode nominated for “House of Cards,” with Johanna Argan, Kemal Harris, Jessica Wenger and Steffany Bernstein-Pratt reportedly serving as the credited costume designers. The other four nominees for Best Contemporary Costumes are “Big Little Lies,” “Empire,” “Grace and Frankie” and “Transparent.”
Since “House of Cards” was presumably the sixth vote-getter in the original tally, does that mean it’s out of luck when it comes to prevailing on Emmy night? Not at all — just ask Peter Scolari (“Girls”). At last year’s Emmys he claimed victory as Best Comedy Guest Actor after initially being a replacement nominee when Peter MacNicol (“Veep”) was deemed ineligible.
One quirky Emmy caveat you may not be aware of is that the costume categories invoke a quota rule, to ensure that both regular series and limited productions are honored. As our writer Riley Chow details in our TV forums, “Entries in [each costume category] will be recognized in two genres: series and limited series/movies. The number of nominees will be proportional to the number of submissions in each genre, with at least one nomination for each.” In other words, limited series like “American Horror Story: Roanoke” or “The Night Of” may have nabbed more votes than “House of Cards,” but since “Big Little Lies” already took the slot for limited series, there was proportionally no room for another limited series to contend.
Regarding the “This Is Us” nomination rescission, the TV academy said in a statement last Friday, “Having reviewed the ‘Moonshadow’ episode of ‘This Is Us,’ the Awards Committee noted that the entrant unfortunately miscalculated the proportion of scenes that were period versus contemporary. In fact, the episode is predominately period. The entry (and subsequent nomination) are thereby disqualified.”
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