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2019 Emmys: Why are so few shows represented in the acting nominations?

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  • Paul Sheehan
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    #1203000647

    We keep hearing this is Peak TV time but you wouldn’t know it by looking at the series performers nominated for Emmys.

    Only five comedy and drama series besides the nominees for the top two awards are represented in the acting categories. (“The Handmaid’s Tale” was not eligible for Best Drama Series).

    Why is this?

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    mafro987
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    #1203000670

    In my opinion ‘peak TV’ ended a couple years ago as the landscape of TV changed and the rush for content drove down the quality of shows on a general level. But other than that this is a particularly weak year for drama and as a result voters resorted to the same few ‘tried and tested’ shows. They also clearly didn’t watch some of the shows we thought they would (Homecoming etc). In hindsight the only surprising emission from the drama acting categories is the absence of Succession.

    FYC: Carice van Houten, ‘Instinct’, Best Actress

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    Luca
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    #1203000690

    Because of the new voting system. Voters can now check off as many names as they want. So if they watch Game of Thrones, they can just check off all its actors. And if you aren’t on a high-profile show that voters clearly watch, you’re pretty much doomed. Pretty much because if you’re giving an undeniable performance (and have somewhat of a name) on a non-prestigious show (see Viola Davis for HTGAWM), you can still get in!

    Emmy voters must bend the knee to Lena Headey & Emilia Clarke for "Game of Thrones." It's their last chance to award them. Make it happen.

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    boss
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    #1203000701

    Because of the new voting system. Voters can now check off as many names as they want. So if they watch Game of Thrones, they can just check off all its actors.

    Exactly for this reason. Voters probably checked off more than six contenders in acting categories.

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    mafro987
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    #1203000714

    Because of the new voting system. Voters can now check off as many names as they want. So if they watch Game of Thrones, they can just check off all its actors. And if you aren’t on a high-profile show that voters clearly watch, you’re pretty much doomed. Pretty much because if you’re giving an undeniable performance (and have somewhat of a name) on a non-prestigious show (see Viola Davis for HTGAWM), you can still get in!

    This was definitely aided by the weak year though. Even with the unlimited vote, people like Sullivan would not have got their nominations in another year.

    FYC: Carice van Houten, ‘Instinct’, Best Actress

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    AayaanUpadhyaya
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    #1203000756

    Because of the new voting system. Voters can now check off as many names as they want

    This is the problem, and I realized this back in 2017 only when SNL randomly took three out of six supporting actress slots after only taking one slot for the previous six years.

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    Mukund
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    #1203000769

    Shows like Game of Thrones and When They See Us got those fringe contenders in because of the current voting system, which is a serious problem. Nominees like Kelly Jenrette are a direct result of this process and this itself provides a solid argument why a overhaul is required.

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    Gabarnes43
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    #1203000804

    Can someone remind me of the new voting system please

    FYC Emmys 2019
    Killing Eve- All Categories Nominated ‘Sandra Oh for the win’

    Fleabag for Series, lead actress and Supporting Actress ‘Colman’

    Amy Adams and Hugh Grant

    FYC OSCARS 2020- ‘Little Women’ ‘Downton Abbey’ ‘Saoirse Ronan’ ‘Maggie Smith’ ‘Emma Thompson’ ‘Late Night’

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    M: The Original
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    #1203000893

    The TV Academy has their biases and newer shows or lesser known ones aren’t going to breakthrough with a wide voter bloc.

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    Anonymous
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    #1203000914
    This post was found to be inappropriate by the moderators and has been removed.
    Ivo Stoyanov
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    #1203000970

    Precisely because it is Peak TV, no one can watch everything, so voters choose what they have seen and liked. I do think that they watched Homecoming and they did not liked it.

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    Riley
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    #1203001781

    Yes to this thread! I really noticed this trend at the SAG Awards and wrote up how it manifested at the guilds overall. I figured that the guilds would either foreshadow the Emmys as they usually do or that this would be indicative of a divergence resulting from peak TV. I bet on the latter, thinking that campaigning and the more elite sensibilities of the academy would make the difference, but I learned my lesson for the second year in a row never to doubt the guilds.

    Anyway, back at SAG, I was alarmed by how few many shows were repeatedly nominated. The problem is that with viewing more fractured than ever, any show that achieves a critical mass of viewership becomes exaggerated in nominations. The new voting system in which voters can mark an unlimited number of contenders for nominations also lessens the potential for passion picks.

    @mafro987, I think that you are confusing the peak era with the new golden age, which led into it. The new golden age was all about television supplanting film as the home of sophisticated storytelling; the peak era is about the commercialization of that trend—the rush for content that you mentioned is precisely the defining characteristic of the peak era. The new golden age was about quality and the peak era is about quantity. I would say that the peak era started to develop in 2010 with the premiere of The Walking Dead and the new golden age was definitely over in 2015 with the finale of Mad Men. 2013 is good if you need to pinpoint a single year because it contains both the premiere of House of Cards and the finale of Breaking Bad.

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    mafro987
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    #1203001889

    @mafro987, I think that you are confusing the peak era with the new golden age, which led into it. The new golden age was all about television supplanting film as the home of sophisticated storytelling; the peak era is about the commercialization of that trend—the rush for content that you mentioned is precisely the defining characteristic of the peak era. The new golden age was about quality and the peak era is about quantity. I would say that the peak era started to develop in 2010 with the premiere of The Walking Dead and the new golden age was definitely over in 2015 with the finale of Mad Men. 2013 is good if you need to pinpoint a single year because it contains both the premiere of House of Cards and the finale of Breaking Bad.

    Interesting, and I understand the differentiation in terminology now. I guess my point was that despite there being more shows than ever before, there’s less actual quality programming (at least programming that people actually watch – looking at you The Deuce) on TV than we’ve seen in the last 10 years. In combination with the voting system it’s understandable that voters gravitate towards a relatively low amount of shows.

    FYC: Carice van Houten, ‘Instinct’, Best Actress

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    Atypical
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    #1203002124

    There’s too much content out there, so voters can only watch so much and vote unlimitedly for what little they do watch. It’s also a trend tracking with the Oscars in fewer and fewer acting nominees are being generated outside the BP nominees. Categories that used to be filled with random nominees from single-nominated films are rare now. Content glut and new voting practices are the culprits.

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    Oddball
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    #1203003310

    There are no precursors within the nominating period to generate much buzz, either. The TCAs can’t do it alone (although there was considerable overlap this year).

    In the 1980s and 1990s, you had the Viewers for Quality Television Awards, sometimes credited with saving low-rated but acclaimed shows from cancellation.

    There was supposed to be another awards show to join the Emmys–the Paley Center Awards–but it never panned out.

    At least with the Oscars, the critical hype and precursors have an immediate impact. With the Emmys, the TCAs will reward a show like The Americans or Friday Night Lights or a performer like Tatiana Maslany from the get-go and then the Emmys will follow suit multiple seasons later.

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