Can the perennial loser make some unconventional moves to get ahead? This question is part and parcel of the Jimmy McGill (Bob Odenkirk) story told in “Better Call Saul.” And this year it also applies to his series’ prospects at the Primetime Emmy Awards. Can Slippin’ Jimmy pull off the ultimate Emmy hustle? Here are the four reasons “Better Call Saul” could slip into a Best Drama Series victory at the 2019 Emmys for AMC.
1. Old Yeller
“Better Call Saul” is the overdue veteran of the race. It has been nominated for each of its previous three seasons and is the longest running and most nominated show to have not won Best Drama Series. And, while it has never snagged an Emmy, it has received 23 nominations. The series also showed modest momentum with their third season scoring acting, writing, directing and creative art bids. At the Emmys when a hot show doesn’t win for their first season and you don’t have a repeat winner, the prize often goes to a show that’s proven itself a favorite over time. Think “Veep” in the comedy race or “Breaking Bad” in drama; both finally won the top prize after three failed bids.
2. It’s All Good, Man
The show’s quality has been consistent and acclaimed. This year the cast broke into the ensemble category with the Screen Actors Guild. They have also received nominations from the American Cinema Editors, Art Directors Guild, Casting Society, Cinema Audio Society, Producers Guild and won a Writer’s Guild Award. Outside of the industry, there is strong critical acclaim. The show’s fourth season has an impressive 87 on Metacritic. Of all this year’s major drama series contenders that score is surpassed by no one and only equaled by “Killing Eve.”
3. When Opportunity Knocks
The drama race is looking a lot less crowded. Last year’s nominated “The Crown,” “Stranger Things,” “Westworld” and past winner “The Handmaid’s Tale” all did not air enough new episodes and will sit the Emmys out. This is due to production schedules or a belief it wasn’t worth competing against the final season of Emmy behemoth “Game of Thrones.” The HBO fantasy conclusion was one of the most anticipated television events in recent years. The show also has won 38 Emmys (a record for a drama series); including the last three drama series prizes. However, a polarizing finale has earned mixed reviews and some fan outrage. “Game of Thrones” remains the frontrunner, but a weakened one. “Better Call Saul” should look to take advantage of this and position itself as the alternative.
4. Breaking Back
Perhaps the polarizing nature of “Game of Thrones” finale will bring nostalgia for a series that ended to near universal acclaim: two-time Best Drama champ “Breaking Bad,” the show which “Better Call Saul” has spun off from. Seeing “Better Call Saul” on the ballot alongside “Thrones” might draw a stark comparison and voters may want to reward creators that gave audiences one of the most satisfying conclusions in TV history. Creators that have managed to exceed expectations again, by creating a prequel that lives up to the quality of the Emmy winning original.
Be sure to make your 2019 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 nominations are announced on July 16. And join in the fun debate over the 2019 Emmy taking place right now with Hollywood insiders in our television forums. Read more Gold Derby entertainment news.