Get ready for shockers on Emmy ballot

The Television Academy kicks off Emmy Awards voting today (Monday, June 9) when they post nominating ballots for dozens of categories online. Voting for the 66th annual edition of these kudoswill run for a dozen days, until Friday, June 20. Nominations will be unveiled on Thursday, July 10 while the winners for the top awards will be revealed during the NBC kudocast on Monday, August 25 with the creative arts prizes handed out nine days earlier on Saturday, August 16.  

The ballots annually bring with them broad sets of revelations. What is submitted — and what is not — can be surprising and can even spark a scandal. Below, a few specific questions that they will answer this year.

Who will submit themselves?
Studios submit many of their actors and build campaigns around them, but those who they do not may still submit themselves. Although they are not listed “For Your Consideration” with screener DVDs, actors who submit themselves are variably nominated over those who do not file their own paperwork.

20th Century Fox is not submitting Nathan Lane for “Modern Family” this year, even though he has better material than when he was last nominated for his guest role just last year! The ballot will tell if he is back in the race.

Another one to watch for is Laverne Cox of “Orange is the New Black.” She was recently nominated for a Critics’ Choice Television Award and is on the cover of Time magazine for a story about transgender people. Probably to combat vote-splitting amongst the ensemble cast, Netflix had intended to submit just two supporting and two guest actresses from the show and Cox was not one of them. It would seem remiss if she did not appear on the ballot after all of this press, but it may have been too late, as the deadline to submit was back in April, even for in-progress shows. If Cox did enter, there is also the question of where, despite her guest status, the Critics’ Choice bumped her up to supporting.

What episodes will shows push?
The penultimate episode is annually the climax for “Game of Thrones” and has been the episode that the show has entered in most categories. This year, it may not be such an obvious choice, as other episodes like the one that featured the infamous Purple Wedding, the one that might win Peter Dinklage another Emmy or last week’s violent shocker have all been extraordinarily received.

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How many continuing series will pretend to be miniseries this time?
Under the Dome” was renewed for a second season before even half of its first season had aired, but that did not stop CBS from entering the show as a miniseries for the Golden Globes several months later. It was not nominated, so the question is if they will adopt the same strategy for the Emmys, especially as the Emmy timeline will overlap with the broadcast of the new season.

Will the guest ballot look odd?
One rule change that was announced recently was that guest stars will now be judged by full episodes instead of montages of a guest’s scenes in a single episode and that these episodes would be entered upon nomination instead of as part of initial submission for the ballot. This suggests that the guest ballot will no longer describe the material that the actors have in their submitted episodes and will merely be a list of names and head shots like the other acting ballots.

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