Emmys shakeup: Only 2 of last year’s 23 primetime winners are eligible to win again (and they probably will)

Last year’s 72nd Primetime Emmy Awards (affectionately known as the Pandemmys because it took place during the Covid-19 pandemic), rewarded a total of 23 contenders with trophies. Shows like “Schitt’s Creek” and “Succession” and actors like Billy Crudup and Zendaya all claimed victory from the safety of their own homes. But of those 23 winners, shockingly only two are eligible to repeat at the 2021 Emmys: “RuPaul’s Drag Race” for Best Competition Program and “Last Week Tonight with John Oliver” for Best Variety Talk Series. And they’ll both probably win again.

So, what gives? Why are there so many ineligible shows this time around? It’s a mixture of some programs having ended last year and the coronavirus pandemic halting production on others. “Schitt’s Creek” accounted for all seven of the primetime comedy categories (series, actor, actress, supporting actor, supporting actress, writing and directing), so that means all of those are up for grabs this year. You can already hear the collective sighs of relief from new comedies like “Ted Lasso” and “The Flight Attendant.”

“Succession,” which took home four of last year’s drama prizes (series, actor, writing and directing), wasn’t able to produce a new season in time to be eligible for the 2021 ceremony. Same with “Euphoria” (actress), “Ozark” (supporting actress) and “The Morning Show” (supporting actor). In case you’re wondering, the “Euphoria” specials that aired in December and January are only eligible for directing, writing and crafts categories, so that’s why Zendaya won’t be hearing her name called again on Emmy night.

That brings us to competition and variety. Both “Drag Race” and “Last Week Tonight” are the de facto front-runners to win their races again thanks in part to the Emmys’ penchant for rewarding repeats in these specific categories. “RuPaul’s Drag Race” is looking for its fourth triumph in the same Best Competition Program category that’s already rewarded “The Amazing Race” 10 times and “The Voice” four times. And “Last Week Tonight with John Oliver” is expected to tie “Late Show with David Letterman” at six victories this year, though both are still far away from the all-time leader at 11 wins, “The Daily Show with Jon Stewart.”

Below, see a handy-dandy refresher of every winner (and nominee) at last year’s Primetime Emmys ceremony. These 2020 champs may be gone, but they’re not forgotten.

COMEDY

BEST COMEDY SERIES
“Curb Your Enthusiasm”
“Dead to Me”
“The Good Place”
“Insecure”
“The Kominsky Method”
“The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel”
X – “Schitt’s Creek”
“What We Do in the Shadows”

BEST COMEDY ACTOR
Anthony Anderson, “Black-ish”
Don Cheadle, “Black Monday”
Ted Danson, “The Good Place”
Michael Douglas, “The Kominsky Method”
X – Eugene Levy, “Schitt’s Creek”
Ramy Youssef, “Ramy”

BEST COMEDY ACTRESS
Christina Applegate, “Dead to Me”
Rachel Brosnahan, “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel”
Linda Cardellini, “Dead to Me”
X – Catherine O’Hara, “Schitt’s Creek”
Issa Rae, “Insecure”
Tracee Ellis Ross, “Black-ish”

BEST COMEDY SUPPORTING ACTOR
Mahershala Ali, “Ramy”
Alan Arkin, “The Kominsky Method”
Andre Braugher, “Brooklyn Nine-Nine”
Sterling K. Brown, “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel”
William Jackson Harper, “The Good Place”
X – Dan Levy, “Schitt’s Creek”
Tony Shalhoub, “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel”
Kenan Thompson, “Saturday Night Live”

BEST COMEDY SUPPORTING ACTRESS
Alex Borstein, “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel”
D’Arcy Carden, “The Good Place”
Betty Gilpin, “GLOW”
Marin Hinkle, “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel”
Kate McKinnon, “Saturday Night Live”
X – Annie Murphy, “Schitt’s Creek”
Yvonne Orji, “Insecure”
Cecily Strong, “Saturday Night Live”

BEST COMEDY DIRECTING
Matt Shakman, “The Great” (Episode: “The Great”)
Amy Sherman-Palladino, “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” (Episode: “It’s Comedy or Cabbage”)
Daniel Palladino, “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” (Episode: “Marvelous Radio”)
Gail Mancuso, “Modern Family” (Episode: “Finale, Part 2”)
Ramy Youssef , “Ramy” (Episode: “Miakhalifa.mov”)
X – Andrew Cividino and Dan Levy, “Schitt’s Creek” (Episode: “Happy Ending”)
James Burrows , “Will & Grace” (Episode: “We Love Lucy”)

BEST COMEDY WRITING
Michael Schur, “The Good Place” (Episode: “Whenever You’re Ready”)
Tony McNamara, “The Great” (Episode: “The Great”)
X – Dan Levy, “Schitt’s Creek” (Episode: “Happy Ending”)
David West Read, “Schitt’s Creek” (Episode: “The Presidential Suite”)
Sam Johnson and Chris Marcil, “What We Do in the Shadows” (Episode: “Collaboration”)
Paul Simms, “What We Do in the Shadows” (Episode: “Ghosts”)
Stefani Robinson, “What We Do in the Shadows” (Episode: “On the Run”)

DRAMA

BEST DRAMA SERIES
“Better Call Saul”
“The Crown”
“The Handmaid’s Tale”
“Killing Eve”
“The Mandalorian”
“Ozark”
“Stranger Things”
X – “Succession”

BEST DRAMA ACTOR
Jason Bateman, “Ozark”
Sterling K Brown, “This Is Us”
Steve Carell, “The Morning Show”
Brian Cox, “Succession”
Billy Porter, “Pose”
X – Jeremy Strong, “Succession”

BEST DRAMA ACTRESS
Jennifer Aniston, “The Morning Show”
Olivia Colman, “The Crown”
Jodie Comer, “Killing Eve”
Laura Linney, “Ozark”
Sandra Oh, “Killing Eve”
X – Zendaya, “Euphoria”

BEST DRAMA SUPPORTING ACTOR
Nicholas Braun,“Succession”
Kieran Culkin, “Succession”
X – Billy Crudup, “The Morning Show”
Mark Duplass, “The Morning Show”
Giancarlo Esposito, “Better Call Saul”
Matthew Macfadyen, “Succession”
Bradley Whitford,“The Handmaid’s Tale”
Jeffrey Wright, “Westworld”

BEST DRAMA SUPPORTING ACTRESS
Helena Bonham Carter, “The Crown”
Laura Dern, “Big Little Lies”
X – Julia Garner, “Ozark”
Thandie Newton, “Westworld”
Fiona Shaw, “Killing Eve”
Sarah Snook, “Succession”
Meryl Streep, “Big Little Lies”
Samira Wiley, “The Handmaid’s Tale”

BEST DRAMA DIRECTING
Benjamin Caron, “The Crown” (Episode: “Aberfan”)
Jessica Hobbs, “The Crown” (Episode: “Cri de Coeur”)
Lesli Linka Glatter, “Homeland” (Episode: “Prisoners of War”)
Mimi Leder, “The Morning Show” (Episode: “The Interview”)
Alik Sakharov, “Ozark” (Episode: “Fire Pink”)
Ben Semanoff, “Ozark” (Episode: “Su Casa Es Mi Casa”)
X – Andrij Parekh, “Succession” (Episode: “Hunting”)
Mark Mylod, “Succession” (Episode: “This Is Not for Tears”)

BEST DRAMA WRITING
Thomas Schnauz, “Better Call Saul” (Episode: “Bad Choice Road”)
Gordon Smith, “Better Call Saul” (Episode: “Bagman”)
Peter Morgan, “The Crown” (Episode: “Aberfan”)
Chris Mundy, “Ozark” (Episode: “All In”)
John Shiban, “Ozark” (Episode: “Boss Fight”)
Miki Johnson, “Ozark” (Episode: “Fire Pink”)
X – Jesse Armstrong, “Succession” (Episode: “This Is Not for Tears”)

MOVIE/MINI

BEST LIMITED SERIES
“Little Fires Everywhere”
“Mrs. America”
“Unbelievable”
“Unorthodox”
X – “Watchmen”

BEST MOVIE/MINI ACTOR
Hugh Jackman, “Bad Education”
Jeremy Irons, “Watchmen”
Paul Mescal, “Normal People”
Jeremy Pope, “Hollywood”
X – Mark Ruffalo, “I Know This Much Is True”

BEST MOVIE/MINI ACTRESS
Cate Blanchett, “Mrs. America”
Shira Haas, “Unorthodox”
X – Regina King, “Watchmen”
Octavia Spencer, “Self Made”
Kerry Washington, “Little Fires Everywhere”

BEST MOVIE/MINI SUPPORTING ACTOR
X – Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, “Watchmen”

Jovan Adepo, “Watchmen”
Tituss Burgess, “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt: Kimmy vs. the Reverend”
Louis Gossett Jr., “Watchmen”
Dylan McDermott, “Hollywood”
Jim Parsons, “Hollywood”

BEST MOVIE/MINI SUPPORTING ACTRESS
X – Uzo Aduba, “Mrs. America”

Toni Collette, “Unbelievable”
Margo Martindale, “Mrs. America”
Jean Smart, “Watchmen”
Holland Taylor, “Hollywood”
Tracey Ullman, “Mrs. America”

BEST MOVIE/MINI DIRECTING
Lynn Shelton, “Little Fires Everywhere” (Episode: “Find a Way”)
Lenny Abrahamson, “Normal People” (Episode: “Episode 5”)
X – Maria Schrader, “Unorthodox”
Nicole Kassell, “Watchmen” (Episode: “It’s Summer and We’re Running Out of Ice”)
Steph Green, “Watchmen” (Episode: “Little Fear of Lightning”)
Stephen Williams, “Watchmen” (Episode: “This Extraordinary Being”)

BEST MOVIE/MINI WRITING
Tanya Barfield, “Mrs. America” (Episode: “Shirley”)
Sally Rooney and Alice Birch, “Normal People” (Episode: “Episode 3”)
Susannah Grant, Michael Chabon and Ayelet Waldman, “Unbelievable” (Episode: “Episode 1”)
Anna Winger, “Unorthodox” (Episode: “Part 1”)
X – Damon Lindelof and Cord Jefferson, “Watchmen” (Episode: “This Extraordinary Being”)

VARIETY/REALITY

BEST VARIETY TALK SERIES
“The Daily Show with Trevor Noah”
“Full Frontal with Samantha Bee”
“Jimmy Kimmel Live!”
X – “Last Week Tonight with John Oliver”
“The Late Show with Stephen Colbert”

BEST COMPETITION PROGRAM
“The Masked Singer”
“Nailed It!”
X – “RuPaul’s Drag Race”
“Top Chef”
“The Voice”

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