Wednesday, October 4, 2023

Surprises, Snubs & Reactions To The 2023 Emmy Nominations

Due to the ongoing WGA and forthcoming SGA strike, there may or may not be an Emmy ceremony this year, but the 75th Primetime Emmy Awards Nominations are here regardless. It’s been a packed year of television, and with dozens of categories, there are always plenty of snubs and surprises. We knew “Succession” would dominate, and it did leading the way this year with 27 overall nominations, yet we didn’t expect shows like “Jury Duty” or “Obi-Wan Kenobi” to show up as strongly as they did.

Let’s dive into the most notable nominations of the morning!

“JURY DUTY” SURPRISINGLY REPORTS FOR DUTY
The sleeper hit of the spring was “Jury Duty,” hailing from Amazon’s free streaming service Freevee. This blend of reality shows and scripted comedy hasn’t shown up at the Emmys in decades. “Jury Duty” scored nominations for Outstanding Comedy Series, and James Marsden was nominated for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series. Many wondered if airing on Freevee might have limited its reach, but getting these big nominations, even over other previous nominees, proves the love was real. Too bad Ronald Gladden wasn’t able to score a strange Emmy nomination for acting in a show he didn’t know existed, though.

“BLACK BIRD” GETS BLACKBALLED IN LIMITED SERIES
One of the season’s most critically acclaimed limited series was Apple TV’s “Black Bird,” yet it didn’t score a nomination for Outstanding Limited Series. Taron Egerton and Paul Walter Hauser thankfully scored nominations in Lead and Supporting Actor, respectively, but the snub in the top category is tough to swallow. Was it the early release date, coming out in the fall rather than closer to the voting window? Or was the show simply too dark for viewers to latch onto? Regardless, it’s a bummer for those who enjoyed it.

HBO PUSHES TO THE MAX
Max be damned. HBO dominated this year’s Emmy nominations, mainly with three shows: “Succession,” “The White Lotus: Sicily,” and “The Last of Us.” On top of “Succession’s” 27 nominations, “The Last of Us” had 24, and “The White Lotus” had 23. Almost no other drama could score acting nominations due to the large ensembles of these three shows. Brian Cox, Jeremy Strong, and Kieran Culkin were all nominated for Lead Actor, marking the first time one drama scored three lead nominations in one category. Sarah Snook also scored her first Lead Actress nomination.

Along with those four, “Succession” had five supporting nominations: Nicholas Braun, Matthew Macfadyen, Alan Ruck, Alexander Skarsgård in Supporting Actor, and J. Smith Cameron in Supporting Actress. In the Guest Acting in a Drama Series categories, “Succession” and “The Last of Us” were the only nominees (seven nominees for “The Last of Us” and five for “Succession.” The dominance is wild to see. “The White Lotus” also featured five nominees in Supporting Actress and four in Supporting Actor. Despite bad decisions at the corporate level, HBO is thriving.

“ABBOTT ELEMENTARY” GETS SCHOOLED
While this year seemed like it would be the true coronation for “Abbott Elementary,” the show scored fewer Primetime nominations for its second season than it did for the first (though it did score more Creative Arts nominations this season). Like last year, the show scored nominations for Outstanding Comedy Series, Lead Actress for Quinta Brunson, Supporting Actor for Tyler James Williams, and Supporting Actress for reigning champ Sheryl Lee Ralph and Janelle James. Missing this year was a writing nomination, despite Brunson winning the category last year. It continued to miss a nomination for Directing and didn’t pick up any new nominations in Supporting. Many hoped Lisa Walters or Chris Perfetti might come along for the ride this year. Can Abbott Elementary win Comedy Series without Writing or Directing nominations? It may be an uphill battle, but it doesn’t feel impossible in a tough-to-predict category.

“STAR WARS” GETS TWO SERIES NOMINATIONS
Though the show garnered respectable reviews, “Obi-Wan Kenobi” didn’t seem to garner the same amount of love that “Andor” received or even the amount of attention that “The Mandalorian” received. Nevertheless, “Obi-Wan Kenobi” landed solidly with a surprise nomination for Outstanding Limited Series. It didn’t garner any other above-the-line nominations, however. “Andor” also received a nomination for Outstanding Drama Series, along with nominations for its Directing and Writing. However, Diego Luna was sadly snubbed for the Drama Actor list, as was Andy Serkis in Supporting. And for its third season, “The Mandalorian” couldn’t get a third Drama Series nomination following its mixed reviews. Still, this is a powerful showing for the “Star Wars” universe, proving that the love for the franchise is still strong.

“TED LASSO” OR “THE BEAR?”
Despite mixed reviews for its third and kinda-sorta-final season, “Ted Lasso” is still the Academy’s fave. With 21 nominations, it’s the most-nominated Comedy of the year. In addition to mainstays Jason Sudeikis, Hannah Waddingham, and Brett Goldstein all scoring nominations, Juno Temple also returned with a nomination. Phil Dunster also scored his first nomination; something fans will be pleased to see. The Apple TV+ show also landed nominations for Writing and Directing, proving it’s still in the hunt to win a third Comedy Series Emmy. But what about “The Bear?” The freshman series, fresh off the positive rave reviews for its recent second season, scored a solid 13 nominations. It landed everywhere it needed to, including nominations for Jeremy Allen White, Ayo Edebiri, and Ebon Moss-Bachrach, along with a Comedy Series nomination and nods for Writing and Directing. Unless “Abbott Elementary” can overcome some confusing snubs, Comedy Series may come down to the Emmy favorite (“Ted Lasso“) versus the new kid on the block (“The Bear”).

HARRISON FORD SHRUNK OUT OF A NOMINATION
“Shrinking” scored major nominations for Jason Segel in Lead Actor in a Comedy Series and Jessica Williams in Supporting Actress, but it couldn’t cross the finish line elsewhere. Harrison Ford, who seemed like he could’ve won the Emmy for Supporting Actor, wasn’t even nominated for his scene-stealing role. It’s a surprise and a shame, given how much press Ford has been getting recently. The show also couldn’t break into Outstanding Comedy Series, which is a bummer. Nevertheless, it’s a first-season show that could grow in future seasons. After all, at least three of this year’s nominees won’t be here next year (“Ted Lasso,” “Barry,” and “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel“). If the second season is anywhere near as good as the first season, it could make it in next year.

“BAD SISTERS” HAS A NOT SO BAD DAY
Another freshman Apple TV+ series scored some surprise nominations this morning. “Bad Sisters,” the Irish black comedy (but run as a Drama Series), nabbed four Drama nominations. Sharon Horgan landed a nomination for Lead Actress in a Drama Series, as did the show’s writing and directing. Strangely, despite those significant nominations, the show missed a nomination for Outstanding Drama Series. Nevertheless, these nominations will really raise the profile of the show.

“THE CROWN” SHALL NOT BE CROWNED THIS YEAR
After a record-breaking Emmys sweep for its fourth season, “The Crown” faltered in its fifth season. The show scored exactly two nominations: Outstanding Drama Series and Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series for Elizabeth Debicki. Notably, this is the show’s first season not scoring a nomination for its Queen Elizabeth, this time played by Imelda Staunton. It also failed to show up in Writing or Directing. With one season left, hopefully, Netflix’s crown jewel (pun very much intended) can come back with a vengeance next year.

“WEDNESDAY” OVERPERFORMS WHILE “POKER FACE” UNDERPERFORMS
A tale of two film directors and their forays into television… “Wednesday,” with episodes hailing from director Tim Burton, performed a bit better than anticipated in the nominations. Jenna Ortega was nominated for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series, while Burton scored a Directing nomination, and the show made it into Outstanding Comedy Series. On the other hand, Rian Johnson’s “Poker Face” didn’t perform as well as many hoped. Natasha Lyonne received a nomination alongside Ortega in Comedy Actress, but the show’s only other nomination was for Judith Light in Guest Actress in a Comedy Series. Johnson didn’t show up in Writing or Directing, sadly. The two shows side-by-side are curious. “Wednesday” seemed on the surface to be for a younger audience, while “Poker Face” seemed more prestigious. As both shows return, it will be interesting to see how they last in future awards races.

OTHER NOTES

  • Steve Martin missed a Lead Actor in a Comedy Series nomination in favor of Martin Short. This seems to be a casualty of the category dropping from six nominees to five.
  • Emily Blunt and “The English” were missing altogether, despite scoring a SAG Nomination.
  • “Welcome To Chippendales” scored four acting nominations (Kumail Nanjiani, Murray Bartlett, Annaleigh Ashford, and Juliette Lewis) but didn’t get a Limited Series nomination.
  • Despite doing well in the Covid years, “What We Do In The Shadows” and “The Boys” couldn’t repeat their series nominations this time around.

As we wait for news about the likely SAG/AFTRA strike, joining the ongoing WGA strike, it appears likely that the studios’ stubbornness will delay the 75th Primetime Emmy Awards. The ceremony is still scheduled for September 18th, though it probably will be postponed. How will that affect the winners? Will the voting window move? Lots of uncertainties remain.

In the meantime, what was the biggest surprise of the morning for you? What snub came out of nowhere? Who do you think is winning the top prizes? Please us know in the comments section below or on our Twitter account. We will have our Emmy winner predictions updated shortly and a podcast recap is coming your way soon. You can watch Matt Neglia, Giovanni Lago and Tom O’Brien react to the Emmy Nominations live this morning here.

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Daniel Howat
Daniel Howathttps://nextbestpicture.com
Movie and awards season obsessed. Hollywood Critics Association Member.

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