“The Americans” just won three Television Critics Association Awards: Best Drama, Best Individual Achievement in Drama (Keri Russell) and Program of the Year. Is that a harbinger of things to come at the Emmys? The TCA isn’t usually a strong barometer of the television academy, but last year the critics presaged the Emmy upset by “The Handmaid’s Tale” for Best Drama Series.
“The Handmaid’s Tale” was always considered a top Emmy contender last year, but “Stranger Things” had massive buzz, “This is Us” had massive ratings and “Westworld” had massive nominations (a field-leading 22 bids). Ultimately, “Stranger Things” was our odds-on favorite to win, but the TCA gave their vote of approval to “Handmaid’s,” awarding it Best Drama and Program of the Year. And it ended up sweeping the Emmys with eight wins, including Best Drama Series.
That was the third time in four years that the TCA’s Program of the Year ended up winning the top Emmy. In 2014 “Breaking Bad” won Program of the Year and the Emmy for Best Drama Series. And in 2016 “The People v. O.J. Simpson” claimed Program of the Year and the Emmy for Best Limited Series. So perhaps the critics really are more influential than ever. Plus their winners will be fresh in mind when the TV academy starts voting for the Emmy winners on August 13.
Then again, the victory for “The Americans” at the TCA Awards is also reminiscent of other farewell hugs the critics have given in recent years. In 2009 their Program of the Year was “Battlestar Galactica,” which was never even nominated for Best Drama at the Emmys. And in 2011 they gave Program of the Year to “Friday Night Lights,” which was nominated for Best Drama at the Emmys that year, but didn’t win.
The Emmys did, however, give “FNL” a couple of surprise hugs that year: Best Drama Actor (Kyle Chandler) and Best Drama Writing (Jason Katims for the finale, “Always”). So even if the TCA victory doesn’t foretell an “Americans” Emmy upset for Best Drama, there could be good news for the show in its other four Emmy categories: Best Drama Actor (Matthew Rhys), Best Drama Actress (Russell), Best Drama Writing (Joel Fields and Joe Weisberg for the finale, “START”) and Best Short Form Nonfiction/Reality Series (“The Americans: The Final Season”).
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.