The second season of “Tyrant” from show runner Howard Gordon (“Homeland”, “24”) premiered on FX during Emmy voting, but it is actually last summer’s first season that is eligible for the nominations that will be announced July 16. Its best bets will be in the Creative Arts categories.
The serial drama follows the ruling family in the palaces of a Middle Eastern dictatorship and the lavish production values warrant consideration. The show is a worthwhile contender for Best Production Design for a Contemporary or Fantasy Series with the hiatus for “True Detective” vacating a slot and strong new contenders like Cinemax’s “The Knick” and Showtime’s “Penny Dreadful” competing instead in Best Production Design for a Period Series.
The costume categories at the Emmys were reconfigured this year and “Tyrant” is eligible for the new Best Costumes for a Contemporary Program category. None of last year’s costume nominees are eligible there because they all qualify instead for Best Costumes for a Period or Fantasy Program, so the race is wide open for “Tyrant.”
The music categories employ a much more rigorous voting process than any others at the Emmys and represent the best hope for “Tyrant.” Whereas voters variably receive screeners for other categories, they are not obligated to watch any. The music branch levels the field by ensuring that everything on the ballot is seen by an equal number of judges and rated only by those who have seen it. One cannot submit music for consideration without agreeing to serve as a panelist; this method has led to many shows scoring their only nominations in the music races.
“Tyrant” has an outstanding score and title theme composed by no less than 2012 Oscar (“Life of Pi“) and 2013 Emmy winner (“World Without End”) Mychael Danna with brother Jeff, who shared with him a nomination in Theme Music for “Camelot” (2011). Other FX dramas to be nominated for Best Original Main Title Theme Music include: “The Americans” (2013), “Justified” (2010), “Sons of Anarchy” (2009), “Over There” (2006) and “Nip/Tuck” (2004).
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