Emmy nominations slugfest: Our Editors say, holy ‘Schitt’! But what happens now after those huge surprises? [VIDEO AND AUDIO PODCAST]

“The nominations just came out, and of course, as always, they were crazy!” roars Gold Derby Editor-in-Chief Tom O’Neil in response to release of the 2019 Emmy list. Watch his chat (above) with Editors Marcus James Dixon, Joyce Eng, Daniel Montgomery, Paul Sheehan and Susan Wloszczyna to try to make sense of all this Emmy madness. Or listen to the audio podcast version below. And check out the complete list of nominations here.

“I think the fact that ‘Veep’ missed the directing nomination, and it didn’t even hit double digits,” says Eng about the Emmy shortfall that surprised her the most. Our odds pegged “Veep” as the front-runner for Best Comedy Series going into these nominations, but it only earned 9 bids total, down from the 17 it got in 2017 the last time it was eligible.

Meanwhile, “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” scored 20 nominations, up from 14 last year. “Barry” (17 nominations), “Russian Doll” (13 nominations) and “Fleabag” (11 nominations) also exceeded our expectations, all getting more recognition across the board than “Veep” did. Now we’re mostly torn between “Maisel,” “Barry” and “Fleabag” for the likeliest winner in that race.

But while Best Comedy Series has too many strong contenders to choose from — “Schitt’s Creek” too, which came out of nowhere to secure four noms — it looks like there’s only one real contender for Best Drama Series. Despite backlash over its final season, “Game of Thrones” set a new record with 32 nominations, more than any continuing series has ever received in a single year. As Dixon points out, “There’s only one other [drama series] with double-digits, and that’s ‘The Handmaid’s Tale,’ which didn’t even air!”

“Handmaid’s” wasn’t eligible for Best Drama Series this year since it didn’t start its new season until June, but it had three orphaned episodes that aired too late for consideration in 2018, and just those three episodes picked up 11 nominations this year, which is more than any of “Thrones’s” Drama Series rivals. After that, the most recognized drama is “Better Call Saul” with nine, so it’s hard to see how anything beats “Thrones.”

The sheer volume of television is greater than it ever has been, so how did just a handful of shows dominate so greatly? Montgomery has a theory: “There are so many viewing options and so many voting options that everything splits the vote so that you get this massive concentration of nominations for the top shows, and nothing else gets quite enough support to get in anywhere.” Everyone was watching “Game of Thrones” this season, so whether you loved it or hated it, there were enough eyeballs on it that it was easily able to run the board.

BELOW: Listen to the audio podcast version of our chat. Or listen at iTunes, Spotify, Libsyn, Google Play or Stitcher where you can subscribe to our channel.

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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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