“Succession” led all programs when the 74th Annual Primetime Emmy Award nominations were announced on Tuesday morning, July 12. It received 25 nominations including Best Drama Series. That’s more nominations than the show received for its first and second seasons combined. But that’s not the only noteworthy program achievement from the list of nominations.
“Succession” sets record for the most acting nominations in a single year
The HBO corporate drama isn’t just the most nominated show. A remarkable 14 of the nominations it got are for acting — that’s well over half the show’s total haul. It’s also a record for the most acting nominations any show has received in a single year.
“Squid Game” makes history for international TV
This isn’t the first time a show has crossed over to the Emmys from overseas. Consider the many British shows that have succeeded over the years from “Upstairs, Downstairs” to “Downton Abbey.” And the German-American co-production “Unorthodox” exceeded our expectations with its eight nominations in limited series categories in 2020. But for a program entirely in a language other than English like “Squid Game” to rack up 14 nominations including one for Best Drama Series and five for acting is an achievement as significant as when “Parasite” became the first non-English language film to win Best Picture at the Oscars. The success of “Squid Game” could be another inflection point for the collapsing of borders in entertainment media.
“Ted Lasso” remains dominant despite influx of returning shows
The Apple TV+ comedy received 20 nominations last year, a record for a first-season comedy and just two shy of the all-time record of 22 nominations for a comedy held by “30 Rock.” But it didn’t have to face a number of shows on hiatus like “Curb Your Enthusiasm,” “Barry,” “Atlanta,” and “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel.” So how did “Ted Lasso” do when the competition got more intense? … It got 20 more nominations, making it the leading comedy for the second year in a row. Believe, indeed.
“The White Lotus” rules the limited series roost
Last summer’s sleeper hit limited series looked like a major Emmy contender as soon as it premiered, but it’s always hard to guess how a show will fare a year after it aired. Despite an onslaught of standout programs like “Dopesick,” “Under the Banner of Heaven,” “Maid,” “The Staircase,” and “Pam and Tommy,” to name a few, “The White Lotus” bloomed with a leading 20 nominations (including five for Best Movie/Limited Supporting Actress alone). It now looks like the show to beat.
“Euphoria” has rare breakthrough for a teen drama
The HBO series earned six nominations in season one and 16 nominations in season two. That’s a 266% increase. It’s also a landmark achievement for teen shows, which are typically overlooked by the Television Academy (just look at “Buffy the Vampire Slayer,” “Dawson’s Creek,” “Felicity,” “Everwood,” “Gilmore Girls,” and other acclaimed shows that struggled to get on voters’ radar). Two years after the show’s star Zendaya made history as the youngest Best Drama Actress winner in Emmy history, the show has followed in her triumphant footsteps.
“Abbott Elementary” brings broadcast back to the big leagues
As prestige programming has shifted to cable and streaming platforms, the broadcast networks were starting to fall out of favor. But ABC’s public school-set workplace comedy “Abbott Elementary” struck back for the networks with its seven nominations including Best Comedy Series. It’s the only network show nominated for Best Comedy or Best Drama Series, but maybe it won’t be the last.
“Only Murders in the Building” is the season’s biggest freshman series
With 17 nominations, no continuing comedy or drama received more recognition this year (not counting “The White Lotus,” which is coming back with a new story and mostly new cast). It’s an especially impressive feat for a contemporary series without the kinds of flashy effects or period production elements that typically contribute to shows’ nomination totals. Could it be a threat to win Best Comedy Series against the aforementioned “Ted Lasso”?