“Schitt’s Creek” truly saved the best for last, becoming the first show to sweep all seven main comedy categories at the Emmys on Sunday on its final shot, but can it continue to dominate at the winter awards?
The newly minted Best Comedy Series Emmy champ is eligible at the upcoming Golden Globe, Critics’ Choice and Screen Actors Guild Awards, but none of those groups have given the show a prize yet (just like the Emmys before Sunday). In fact, it’s never even been nominated at the Globes. “Schitt’s” has six Critics’ Choice bids from the past two seasons, and was up for its first two SAG Awards earlier this year in comedy ensemble and actress for Catherine O’Hara.
But with COVID-19 affecting production on countless shows and after “Schitt’s” historic Emmy splash — counting its Creative Arts triumphs for casting and costumes, it set a single-year record for comedies at nine wins — it’s well positioned to collect more trophies on its farewell tour not unlike “Fleabag” and “Breaking Bad” before it.
Critics’ Choice is arguably the easiest of the three for it to score at least one win — it was the first of them to nominate “Schitt’s,” in 2019 for comedy series, and shortlisted the show and O’Hara, Eugene Levy, Dan Levy and Annie Murphy last season, aka before the Emmys did. “Schitt’s” has always had support from critics, and while Critics’ Choice and the Television Critics Association don’t have the same memberships, the series already bagged two victories at the latter’s awards earlier this month.
After “Schitt’s” broke through at the SAG Awards last year, a win, especially in ensemble, seems very achievable. It will have to attempt to get double bids in the single comedy actor and actress categories. Helping matters: “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel,” the two-time defending champ in ensemble and actor, will miss this cycle as it has yet to start production on its fourth season. “Maisel” has also occupied two slots in actress the past two go-arounds, for Rachel Brosnahan, who won in 2019, and Alex Borstein, so there’s room for Murphy to capitalize and sneak in.
The Globes is the biggest question mark, but chances are the Hollywood Foreign Press Association will bestow some nominations on the Roses and probably a win or two (it likes to spread the wealth, remember?). The HFPA has the most idiosyncratic taste of the three, and while sometimes it’ll never bother awarding a show it doesn’t like that is collecting hardware everywhere else (e.g. “Veep” never won a single Globe), other times certain shows on a upward trajectory become Too Big to Ignore.
That’s more or less what happened with “Fleabag” and “Breaking Bad.” The former is special case since it only lasted two seasons, but its first installment, in 2016, was neglected by everyone except Critics’ Choice (and TCA), which gave it a series big and an acting nomination for Phoebe Waller-Bridge. Its second and final season was a full-blown phenomenon last year, and everyone wanted a piece of the Amazon series. It garnered six Emmys before winning two Globes, three Critics’ Choice Awards and one SAG Award.
On the other hand, “Breaking Bad” had been embraced by the Emmys since its first season, scoring Bryan Cranston a surprise Best Drama Actor win in 2008 (Critics’ Choice started its TV awards in 2011, and “Breaking Bad” won two, for Cranston and Giancarlo Esposito, the first year it was eligible in 2012). The Globes and SAG Awards were much slower to crown it, but everything changed after the AMC series was added to Netflix before its fourth season premiere in 2011. “Breaking Bad” entered a whole new stratosphere of popularity and saw ratings spike for the rest of its run as people binged on the streaming service. Vince Gilligan credited Netflix for “ke[eping] us on the air” after winning the first of the show’s two straight Best Drama Series Emmys in 2013.
After its appointment-television final season, “Breaking Bad” competed at the winter awards first (Critics’ Choice was still in the summer then), and the Globes finally rewarded it with its first and only two prizes: drama series and actor for Cranston. The SAG Awards also gave it two wins: drama ensemble and actor for Cranston, the latter of which he had claimed the year before.
Like “Breaking Bad,” “Schitt’s” also enjoyed that Netflix bump after getting added to the service in 2017 (the sixth and final season is arriving there on Oct. 7). What all three series have in common is that they were all small, under-seen programs at the beginning that managed to peak in buzz, acclaim and visibility at the end through word of mouth and being on a streaming service. “Schitt’s” will likely follow in their footsteps and take home at least one trophy at each of these awards, but pulling off multiple sweeps will be a tall order. Still, prepare for a really “Schitt”-y winter.