‘The Americans’ Emmy FYC event: Donald Trump’s Russian ties ‘impact the way the show is experienced’

When speaking candidly about whether Donald Trump‘s alleged Russian ties have any influence on “The Americans” this season, showrunner Joel Fields revealed, “It clearly impacts the way in which the show is experienced by the audience.” Fields was joined by fellow showrunner Joe Weisberg and executive producer Chris Long Thursday night at the TV academy’s Saban Media Center to discuss Season 5 and beyond for prospective Emmy voters. The informative panel was moderated by Michael Schneider (IndieWire) and also included long-running cast members Keri Russell, Matthew Rhys, Noah Emmerich, Holly Taylor and Margo Martindale.

Weisberg and Fields had already plotted the just-completed fifth season right around the time that Trump was elected, so while they tried to remain isolated it was impossible for the Russian stories to not affect their mindsets. Could the real-world connections actually be a good thing for “The Americans'” Emmy chances? After all, many wondered if Hillary Clinton‘s campaign may have helped “Veep” win Best Comedy Series last year.

Though the cast and crew were tight-lipped about any potential Season 6 spoilers (next year will be its final hurrah on FX), Weisberg did hint, “The world is changing. And the world is going to change in our little family, too.” And Emmerich chimed in that he hopes his character’s “soul is not overwhelmingly crushed by the betrayal of his best friend,” when Stan eventually discovers that his next-door neighbors are Russian spies.

Last year “The Americans” struck Emmy gold by earning first-time nominations for Best Drama Series, Best Drama Actor (Rhys) and Best Drama Actress (Russell), in addition to a Best Drama Writing bid for Fields and Weisberg. With the current fifth season airing to critical acclaim, might we see the show earn even more Emmy bids? To date, Martindale’s two surprise victories in the guest race (2015 and 2016) represent the only Emmys for the show; this year she’s jumping up to the supporting race.

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