The Oscars raised eyebrows last week when they announced a brand-spanking new Best Popular Film category to honor blockbuster movies. That got us thinking: should the Emmys follow suit and create a Best Popular Series category to recognize TV’s most-watched shows? We know, we know — the Emmys were created 70 years ago to honor the best in television, not the broadest. But since the Oscars are the most important and influential awards show in the industry, it’s not crazy to theorize that the Emmys might one day follow their lead. Give us your thoughts below by voting in our poll and sounding off in the comments.
If a Best Popular Series category were created for the 2017-18 television season, who might be the nominees? According to our sister site Deadline, “The Big Bang Theory” is still the most-watched series on broadcast television with a whopping 18.6 million viewers each week. CBS’s comedy series was once an Emmy favorite, winning Best Comedy Actor four times for Jim Parsons (2010-11, 2013-14) and being nominated four times for Best Comedy Series (2011-14). This year it’s notably up for Best Comedy Director for Mark Cendrowski, the current directors’ branch member on the Emmys’ Board of Governors.
Not counting football, which is ineligible at the Primetime Emmys, the second most-watched show on network television was ABC’s now-defunct “Roseanne” revival. Seeing it nominated in Best Popular Series would make sense since it didn’t just score eyeballs for the alphabet network, but it also dominated the cultural conversation in ways TV shows rarely do these days. Supporting player Laurie Metcalf earned an Emmy nomination for Best Comedy Supporting Actress, but lead star Roseanne Barr was justly snubbed after her racist comments caused the show to be canceled.
And that brings us to “This Is Us,” TV’s third most popular scripted series of the 2017-18 season. Of course, this family drama doesn’t need the help of a proposed Best Popular Series category since the 20th Century Fox/NBC production is already nominated for eight Emmy nominations including Best Drama Series, Best Drama Actor for Milo Ventimiglia and Best Drama Actor for Sterling K. Brown, who prevailed last year.
A pair of CBS shows came in fourth and fifth on the most-watched list: long-running drama “NCIS” and freshman comedy “Young Sheldon.” While both fan-faves averaged 16+ million viewers a week, they were skunked at the 2018 Emmys. Similarly, the sixth and seventh most popular shows, ABC’s “The Good Doctor” and CBS’s “Bull,” also didn’t click with Emmy voters, so Best Popular Series would be a nice consolation prize.
Be sure to make your Emmy predictions today so that Hollywood insiders can see how their TV shows and performers are faring in our odds. You can keep changing your predictions as often as you like until just before winners are announced on September 17. Be sure to also predict winners for the Creative Arts ceremonies slated for September 8 and 9. And join in the fun debate over the 2018 Emmy taking place right now with Hollywood insiders in our television forums. Read more Gold Derby entertainment news.