State of the Emmy race: Who’s up (‘Game of Thrones,’ ‘Fleabag’), who’s down (‘Veep’) after those wild nominations?

The 2019 Primetime Emmy nominations challenged a lot of our earlier assumptions about who’s ahead in the top races and who’s behind. Check out the list of nominees here, and read on to find out whose Emmy hopes are up, who’s down, and who’s in about the same position we thought they were in before the contenders were officially announced.


Game of Thrones — We knew it would be tough to beat for its fourth and final Emmy for Best Drama Series, but we had no idea it would do this well. It earned 32 nominations; not only is that more than triple the number of the next most nominated show in its category (“Better Call Saul” and “This is Us” with nine apiece), it’s also a new record for the most nominations for any continuing series in a single year. Looks like the backlash over its final season didn’t reach the television academy.

“Barry” — The black comedy did better than expected last year with 13 nominations, and it did even better than that this year with 17 nominations. That includes return bids for 2018 champs Bill Hader and Henry Winkler, but also brand new acting nominations for Sarah Goldberg, Anthony Carrigan and Stephen Root. This dark series is suddenly a dark horse.

Fleabag — Season one of this British series earned zero nominations when it was eligible in 2017. Now season two has gotten 11 nominations, including Best Comedy Series, Best Comedy Actress (Phoebe Waller-Bridge) and Best Comedy Supporting Actress (Sian Clifford and Olivia Colman). We knew it was formidable in those categories, but it also scored a pair of Best Comedy Guest Actress bids for Fiona Shaw and Kristin Scott Thomas, not to mention writing and directing noms. The passion for this series is undoubtedly high.

“Chernobyl” — We knew this limited series had the makings of an Emmy front-runner, and it blew away the competition with a field-leading 19 nominations. Not only was it recognized in the key fields you usually need to win the top prize (writing, directing, editing, casting and acting), it pulled off nominations where you might least expect them, like costumes and hairstyling. It seems like every branch of the academy lined up to celebrate this fact-based drama.

“Fosse/Verdon” — The Emmys love FX limited series like past winners “The People v. O.J. Simpson” and “The Assassination of Gianni Versace,” and “Fosse/Verdon” is no exception. It earned 17 nominations, including a surprise supporting nom for Margaret Qualley, plus bids for writing, directing, editing and casting. On top of all that, it’s a show about show business, so voters will surely relate to the subject matter.

“When They See Us” — This Netflix limited series isn’t far behind. It has 16 nominations, and while it missed out in the picture editing category, it more than made up for that with eight acting nominations, by far the most of any limited series. Most of those came as a surprise, so this might mean the timely drama about the wrongly convicted Central Park Five will have overwhelming support from the actors branch when it comes time to pick the winners.


Any drama that isn’t “Game of Thrones” — The other seven nominees for Best Drama Series — “Better Call Saul,” “Bodyguard,” “Killing Eve,” “Ozark,” “Pose,” “Succession” and “This is Us” — did pretty well for themselves, more or less. They’re all represented prominently for their writing, directing, casting, editing and/or acting. But not a single one of them earned more than nine nominations, which just doesn’t seem like it’s going to be enough against a record-breaking juggernaut like “Thrones.”

Veep — The presumed front-runner for Best Comedy Series only earned nine nominations. For most shows that wouldn’t be so bad, but the last time “Veep” was at the Emmys it had 17 nominations. Among those it lost, Matt Walsh dropped out of Best Comedy Supporting Actor, and the show was totally skunked for Best Comedy Directing. This former favorite is now fighting to catch up.

“Black Mirror: Bandersnatch” — It looked like a head-to-head face-off between “Black Mirror” and “Deadwood” for Best TV Movie. “Black Mirror” won for the last two years in a row (“San Junipero” in 2017, “USS Callister” in 2018), but compared to those “Bandersnatch” under-performed. Its only other nomination is in an interactive programming category. Meanwhile “Deadwood” has eight bids. So the battle between the two is looking pretty lopsided now.


“The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” — The defending champ for Best Comedy Series actually increased its nominations from last year (from 14 to 20), so why isn’t it up? Well, even though the show added acting nominees like Marin Hinkle, Luke Kirby and Rufus Sewell, the show was dropped from a crucial category, Best Comedy Writing. The show won that award last year, and while you can still win Best Comedy Series without it, it’s concerning that such a dialogue-driven show was snubbed for its wordplay.

“Russian Doll” — Like “Maisel,” its nominations total is stellar (13), and it contends for its writing, casting and editing, but the visually stylish, structurally innovative show was snubbed for its directing, and the only acting nominee is the one we were expecting: Natasha Lyonne for Best Comedy Actress. It could win Best Comedy anyway, but I’d be more confident if it had sneaked in a couple more actors, especially Charlie Barnett for Best Comedy Supporting Actor.

“Escape at Dannemora” — It was the front-runner in our odds before nominations were announced, and it earned bids for acting, writing, directing and casting, but with 12 total nominations it was overshadowed by “Chernobyl,” “When They See Us” and “Fosse/Verdon,” all of which racked up more. And it didn’t get an extra acting nom for Eric Lange, who got a Critics’ Choice bid earlier in the year. So it’s still a strong threat to win, but maybe not the rock-solid front-runner it once was.

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 22. And join in the fun debate over the 2019 Emmys taking place right now with Hollywood insiders in our television forums. Read more Gold Derby entertainment news.

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