April 2, 2015 at 9:02 am #345138
I’m curious how it went from a first season with 1 nom to a second season with 10+ noms taking 2 acting awards and the top prize.
Wiki indicates that the ratings didn’t go up for S2 so it’s not that…Was the first season just so revolutionary in its having queer lead characters that the Emmy voters had to clutch their pearls for over a year before even considering admitting that they liked it?
Looking at last year’s nominees, it looks like the closest equivalent would be if this year the Series winner was 1-majorish-nominee Brooklyn Nine-Nine (or in Drama, Ray Donovan).April 2, 2015 at 10:06 am #345140
And no one has an answer because how do you explain something like that? It went from zero nominations at the Golden Globes for its initial fall run to four nominations between its first and second years at the Emmys, so maybe that helped visibility? It was also picked up by two additional guilds in that time (casting and makeup). Yeah, I got nothing. Who was around then?April 2, 2015 at 11:05 am #345141
A large part of it was the Emmys changed the rules in the nominating process. You could put up to ten choices in 2000 v. 5 in 1999. Also a lot of people thought the show was wrongly snubbed in 1999. David Hyde Pierce went so far as to say Sean Hayes deserved the award in his speech. You also saw a lot of turnover in the categories (Third Rock falling of the radar – hell Lithgow looked when he won in 99- Mad About You ending, etc.) which was really par for the course at the time. Heck to provide a similar example, Sex & the City went from 2 nominations that year to winning two years later. That was sort of how (unless you were a big name pop culture phenomenon right out the box with big ratings or industry cred) the Emmys rolled back then.April 2, 2015 at 4:05 pm #345142
Perhaps they saw that the series was popular; was generating very good reviews and was not seen as offensive or controversial? Maybe voters needed a year to catch onto the show before deciding to support it?April 2, 2015 at 4:28 pm #345143
In addition to what was said above, I recall it being a lot more common then for shows to have a relatively poor showing during its first season or two, before it became established. Maybe that was just perception, and probably not as poor going from one nomination to becoming a series winner. But the thing of a hot, new show coming out of the blocks with a bunch of Emmy nominations seems to me a sign of changing times. These days, it seems like if a show hasn’t caught on in the first season, it’s unlikely to ever happen. The way people watch TV has changed so much, and the way we talk about the TV we’ve watched. It’s very easy to imagine that people were watching and enjoying Will & Grace for a season without anyone really talking much about it socially. But there’s almost no such possibility now, because there’s a forum for talking about pretty much any show that comes available.April 2, 2015 at 5:26 pm #345144
I agree, EmmyLoser! Here are some other examples: Law & Order and Mad About You only received a single nomination for their initial seasons (for Michael Moriarty and Helen Hunt, respectively) before breaking into the Series races. Roseanne was primarily represented at the Emmys by John Goodman in its earlier seasons (though it received a few Creative Arts nominations) until Barr and Metcalf were finally nominated in 1992. The Practice‘s six-episode first season–a midseason hit–didn’t receive a single nomination but won Outstanding Drama Series the following year.April 2, 2015 at 6:01 pm #345145
First of all, it probably would’ve recieved 0 nominations if James “Token Pilot Nomination” Burrows hadn’t been the director. W&G might have a good Pilot, but his name definitely was the key there.
The first question I really need to ask here is: Have you seen Will & Grace Seasons 1 and 2? The quality went way up for the second season.
There was apparently a lot of talk “on the town” about how good it was in season one, many were predicting Mullally and Hayes to earn very easy nominations and like it was already mentioned, David Hyde Pierce said in his speech that Hayes should’ve won. When the category was announced in 2000, Thomas LastName and Jenna Elfman started giggling and saying “I knew it!” when they opened the envelope and Hayes was announced as the winner. There was a lot of excitement for Mullally’s win too.
It could have / should have happened though. They went for Just Shoot Me in 1999 after Seinfeld and Larry Sanders left slots open, why not Will & Grace?
There was a lot of excitement back then for the show because of how out there it was (this was post Ellen, pre everything else that we see now), it wasn’t the most common show in the world and the writing and cast were truly amazing in season 2. They tried to do something different and they did it right. I do think that what has already been mentioned also factored in the snubs: Mad About You, 3rd Rock were doing good with the Emmys in 99, and the over the top and out there gay premise didn’t help with voters until season 2 when adding up the spike in quality and the “getting used to it” factor eliminated the resistance they might have had in 1999.
They should’ve won for season 3 too considering what was submitted, but SATC did a good job too. But W&G should be a two time winner and Messing deserved to win for the awesome Lows in the Mid Eighties that year.
Oh and Sex and the City is another good example of this, they only had two nominations the first year. One for Actress and one very underserved one for Series that could’ve gone to…Will & Grace.April 2, 2015 at 7:42 pm #345146
Based on submissions, Messing deserved the two emmys that Heaton’s got + her own.April 2, 2015 at 10:44 pm #345147
It took ELR even longer than Will and Grace! Emmys would have their favorites and nominate them year after year sometimes going for a new show and sometimes not.April 3, 2015 at 6:26 am #345148
Yes but Raymond was nominated for plenty of Emmys including Comedy Series four times, and wins for 4 cast members, two of the twice, before they finally won Comedy Series.April 3, 2015 at 6:59 am #345149
Based on submissions, Messing deserved the two emmys that Heaton’s got + her own.
I hate Heaton win in 2001 beacuse both Messing and Kaczmarek were better, but Heaton 2000 win for “Bad Moon Rising” is one of the most deserved win I remember in that category.April 3, 2015 at 9:28 am #345150
Lows in the Mid-Eighties is seriously one of the best Messing performances in W&G. Eric McCormack won for that submission.April 3, 2015 at 11:07 am #345151
Addressing the examples, which I feel are not comparable:
Practice’s 6 episodes…that barely qualifies as a series. No. Same with The Office.
SATC is not really a great example when it got into the top category and another T3 category, and it took 2 more years to win, not 1.
L&O took a bunch of years to win.
Mad and Roseanne never won.
I am aware that your point is more that some shows take awhile to get big with Emmys, but the phenom of a show going from barely being acknowledged to domination in the space of 1 year is unparalleled in living memory.April 3, 2015 at 1:43 pm #345152
Debra Messing should have at least 3 Emmy’s for W&G, IMHO… For “Das Boobs”, “Lows in the Mid Eightes” and “The Kid Stays Out of The Picture”.April 3, 2015 at 2:57 pm #345153
Yes but Raymond was nominated for plenty of Emmys including Comedy Series four times, and wins for 4 cast members, two of the twice, before they finally won Comedy Series.
The first two seasons though there was nothing at all! No nominations for anything! But it benefitted from Seinfled ending and third rock falling down. And will and grace benefitted from ally mcbeal collapse.