Awards HQ August 8: John Landgraf on FX Branding; ‘Only Murders in the Building’ Producer on Working with Legends; More!

·22 min read

Greetings from Variety Awards Headquarters! Today is August 8, 2022, which means 4 days until final round voting begins on August 12, followed by 14 days until final round voting ends on August 22. Then comes the finales: It’s 26 days until the Creative Arts Emmys kicks off its two-night event on September 3; and then it’s 35 days until the 74th Emmy Awards takes place, live on NBC, September 12.

And away we go, Phase 2 voting starts this Friday — and from there you have 10 days to mark your final ballot. You’re gonna need all the help you can get, which is why Variety is here for you!

Our Variety Emmy Extra Editions, curated by Emily Longeretta, continue this week with the drama issue on August 8 (today!) and comedy on August 11. Of course, Clayton Davis has his up-to-date predictions; we’ll get into that further down. Our weekly Variety Awards Circuit Podcast will double its pleasure this week with episodes on August 11 and August 12, including our Roundtable (moved to Friday to take advantage of voting). And this very newsletter, AWARDS HQ, will be back on Friday to also mark the start of the final awards voting.

Thinking warm thoughts about Los Angeles icon Vin Scully, the best there ever was. And as this newsletter was going to press, we learned of the passing of Olivia Newton-John . I can’t tell you what ON-J, “Physical” and “Xanadu” meant to be as a kid. She was my first musical icon. As an 8 year old living at Clark Air Base in the Philippines, at night I would wish on stars for the opportunity to meet her, even though I knew she was half way around the world. (There was one week that a Manila radio station did a spotlight on Olivia Newton-John, and I was there, recording it all on my tiny cassette player.) I named my imaginary radio station after her “Xanadu” character Kira, since it helpfully was four letters and started with a “K,” like all broadcasters west of the Mississippi. (And yes, everything I know about Greek mythology is courtesy “Xanadu.”) We watched “Grease” nonstop in our household… and completely missed all the innuendo. (Ditto “Physical,” by the way. I was 8. I really did think it was a song about getting into shape.) She’s forever an icon. RIP, ONJ! 

Reach Michael on Twitter @franklinavenue or email mschneider@variety.com

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FX? FX on Hulu? Just Hulu? John Landgraf Explains How FX Is a ‘Multi-Platform Brand’ and How Awards Shows May Need to Adjust to This ‘Non-Binary World’



Is FX still a network? Yes and no. And that continues to be the sticky question facing awards shows as they determine whether to credit FX for its shows that run exclusively on Hulu.

Under chairman John Landgraf, FX now sees itself as a brand in the vein of Marvel and Lucasfilm, but under Disney General Entertainment oversight, developing/producing/marketing its own content that is then seen mostly on Hulu. (FX the channel, run by Debra O’Connell and Chuck Saftler, falls under Disney Media and Entertainment Distribution.) As I’ve mentioned before, Nat Geo shows on Disney+ are credited to Disney+. So are Marvel and Lucasfilm shows. But because FX was historically a channel, and it still is (even though the linear network is no longer under Landgraf’s domain), it’s a definite gray area.

Last week, following FX’s day at the virtual TV Critics Assn. press tour, I asked Landgraf about this. And even he admits it’s not an easy answer:

AWARDS HQ: As you’re changing what we’ve known to be FX in order to think of FX as a brand as opposed to a linear destination, what’s your take from the awards perspective? Should FX be credited if it’s not a destination? In many ways, Hulu is the network.

LANDGRAF: This year all of our nominations were credited to FX. The world of television used to be pretty binary. In film there was Marvel, there was DC, there was Pixar. There were brands that were distributed in theaters that they didn’t own or control, where the distribution system was essentially rented. But in TV, there was really no such thing as a branded maker of programming that wasn’t also a destination.

What I come back to is what benefits the consumer. And I think the consumer would want to know, ‘if I subscribe to this product, what am I getting for my subscription?’ So I think it makes sense to credit awards nominations to the product, to the to the platform. But I think it equally makes sense to credit the nominations to the brand. Because if there’s a brand that is superb and making highly acclaimed and highly award-winning shows, that’s also a value to the consumer. The various places that we count in and report are struggling a little bit with taking something that was binary and trying to make it non-binary. I think it shouldn’t be binary.

Let me put it to you differently. Say you’re in a situation where you go to the notion that only one [network or outlet] can be associated with a nomination. Well, you have just unilaterally decided that brands don’t matter to consumers. That only subscriber services’ products matter to consumers and brands don’t. Because what you’ve done is you’ve thrown a massive advantage toward services like Amazon or Netflix or Apple — where the brand and the platform are one thing and there’s no differentiation between the two of them — and against any services that might choose to have brand differentiation inside those services.

So you have essentially decided for the consumer that the best possible way of organizing something is in a unitary brand with no brand differentiation inside a platform. And I would respectfully say that I think that the only constituency that really gets to make that decision or ought to be able to make that decision is the consumer. And the only way to do that is to credit both.

AWARDS HQ: You started to build up this “FX on Hulu” sub-brand but then reversed course. Why move away from FX on Hulu after having just established it?

LANDGRAF: What you’re talking about really is a brand on a location. That’s why FX on Hulu was was invented, to call it a brand on location. But a lot of people took it as a location on a location. It takes time to re educate people to the notion that FX is not only a linear cable television channel. So, for people for whom FX is a location, then it sounded like we were saying, ‘Hey, here’s a hat on a hat,’ as opposed to a brand on a platform. I think it was helpful on an interim basis. Because we were moving the whole of a thing called FX, well over 2000 episodes of television.

In the long run what we what we decided is we redesigned our logo. This gold logo, that’s new. We changed the aspect ratio to make it more horizontal so that it sits above show titles better than what we used to have. We changed the design and the aspect ratio to something that’s a little bit more like a Disney or Lucasfilm or a Marvel. This at least conveys to the consumer what we want, which is that, ‘we made this, we developed it, we commissioned it, we publicized it, we marketed it, and are presenting it to you.’

So the decision was taken to let FX be above the titles, as the presenting/branding sponsor, and then yield the end card, which is the positional location [to Hulu]. To make it clear, we’re not the thing you have to subscribe to if you want to watch this. We’re not a streaming service. That’s Hulu, we’re a brand that makes good stuff, all of which is available on Hulu, and some of which is available on the FX channel.

AWARDS HQ: Does getting rid of “FX on Hulu” also make it easier to if, say, for whatever reason, Disney shifts its focus to Disney+ and perhaps sells Hulu? Does this allow FX then to easily move its content over to another platform like Disney+?

LANDGRAF: To be clear, I’m not aware of any plans to do that. But it’s not my decision and all we can tell you is what I’m trying to do is what we really wanted to do to begin with. Which is not just be a location, but really be a distinctive and specific brand. FX is not competing with Amazon. It is not competing with Netflix. Disney is competing with Amazon and Netflix. I just felt, let’s embrace this as a good bit of metamorphosis.


Meanwhile, Landgraf also admits that he was wrong before about Peak TV — but he’s sticking his neck out again.

“I’m going to foolishly make another prediction, which is that 2022 will be the high watermark” of scripted TV output, Landgraf told reporters. “In other words, that it will mark the peak of the peak TV era. It will take a year and a half to find out if I’m right this time, or we’ll have to eat crow yet again.”

That’s because, according to FX Research, there have been 357 scripted series across broadcast cable and streaming that have launched through the month of June. That’s up 16% from this time last year, he said.

That means this year will be another new record, and Landgraf said he believes that 2022 is still a bit inflated because of delayed productions finally premiering this year, and “the difficulty of initiating and maintaining and completing production during the COVID pandemic. I think that 16% surge you’ve seen in the first half of the years is pretty extraordinary given how many episodes and television series premiered last year.”

Beyond that, Landgraf says he doesn’t see any further expansion via new streamers. “I think all the major streaming services have now launched,” he said. “We’ve seen a notable set of additions of new streaming services join the party in the last couple of years. And I think that process is complete. In other words, I don’t I don’t see new major purveyors of programming entering the scene as they have been continuously over the past decade or more. And in fact, there are some prior purveyors of of television programming that are kind of exiting the scenes.

Read more about Landgraf’s take on Peak TV here.

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AWARDS CIRCUIT COLUMN: ‘Only Murders in the Building’ Exec Producer on the Wild Ride of Working with Steve Martin and Martin Short

One of the best things about Peak TV, a.k.a. TV’s platinum era, has been the room it has carved out for our national treasures, some of whom are doing their best work ever. Folks like Henry Winker on “Barry” and Jean Smart on “Hacks,” of course. And then there’s Emmy-nominated “Only Murders in the Building” stars Steve Martin and Martin Short.

The duo’s fandom spans several generations. My parents grew up with them on “SNL” and “SCTV.” (To be fair, I was watching with them, perhaps inappropriately, also loving their work as a child of the 80s.) Over the past few years, my kids have gotten to know them as I’ve brought out “Three Amigos” and “Father of the Bride” for family movie nights.

And now, we have “Only Murders in the Building” for every age range. How lucky are we to live in a time where we get to see the two pals, meshed with Selena Gomez, doing some of the best work of their lengthy careers?

I had to ring up “Only Murders” executive producer John Hoffman (who also co-created the show with Martin) to congratulate him on the show’s Emmy nomination haul, and also ask just what it’s like to write for these legends.

“I’m so excited to talk about it because that was of course my first thought when joining the show was, ‘I’m dealing with two national treasures. That’s a challenge,’” he says. “I was confronted with these very open, very generous, very collaborative gentlemen. And their energy on the set, the kindness they bring, the humor… I get to see how hard they work at making it look easy and effortless. And the professional level of consideration they give every moment, from script to performing it on set to editing. I cannot overstate the incredible treasured value I have found in partnership with them creatively. They work their asses off and they come out and make it look easy and breezy.”

Read more here.

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EXCLUSIVE: Watch Stephen Colbert Talk to Peter Jackson About ‘The Beatles: Get Back’

Disney+ went to Stephen Colbert to moderate a special virtual conversation with “The Beatles: Get Back” director Peter Jackson to discuss the film and more. Check out a clip by clicking above, or here.

Per Disney, in the clip, “Stephen asks Peter to discuss the technical achievements of the documentary series, focusing on the sound. Peter goes in-depth about how they heard about a new sound technology that New Zealand police were using, which enabled them to get rid of background noise. Together with sound editor Emile de la Rey, they came up with new software, based on what the police were using, that allowed them to isolate certain sounds from the recordings such a guitar solo or vocals.”

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‘Abbott Elementary’ Tops 2022 TCA Awards

Sadly, this year’s TCA Awards — which had been scheduled to take place last Saturday, with ‘Abbott Elementary’ stars Sheryl Lee Ralph, Janelle James and Lisa Ann Walter set to host — wound up being a press release. That’s because the Television Critics Assn. press tour went virtual at the last minute, canceling plans for an in-person awards show as well. Selome Hailu writes:

With five nods, “Abbott Elementary” was the most-nominated series at this year’s Television Critics Awards. The hit comedy is going home with four wins, including the top prize: program of the year.

This makes “Abbott” not only the TCA’s biggest winner this year, but the only series to receive more than one award. (The only nomination the show didn’t win for was Janelle James in the individual achievement in comedy category — because she lost to “Abbott Elementary” creator and star Quinta Brunson.)

The TCA consists of more than 200 professional journalists covering television. The organization announced the winners of the 38th annual TCA Awards on Saturday.

Mandy Moore won in the drama individual achievement category for her work in the fifth and final season of NBC’s “This Is Us,” which was shut out of this year’s Emmy nominations. Another highlight was the award for talk, variety and sketch shows, which went to Netflix’s sleeper hit ““I Think You Should Leave with Tim Robinson.” Although there were only 13 categories, 15 awards were doled out this year, thanks to ties in two categories: reality series, won by “The Amazing Race” and “Legendary,” and the career achievement award, won by Ted Danson and Steve Martin.

See the full list of winners below.

Individual Achievement in Drama

WINNER: Mandy Moore, “This Is Us” – NBC

More from Variety

Individual Achievement in Comedy

WINNER: Quinta Brunson, “Abbott Elementary” – ABC

Outstanding Achievement In News and Information

WINNER: “The Beatles: Get Back” – Disney+

Outstanding Achievement in Reality

WINNER (TIE): “The Amazing Race” – CBS; “Legendary” – HBO Max

Oustanding Achievement in Youth Programming

WINNER: “The Baby-Sitters Club” – Netflix

Outstanding Achievement in Variety, Talk or Sketch

WINNER: “I Think You Should Leave with Tim Robinson” – Netflix

Outstanding New Program

WINNER: “Abbott Elementary” – ABC

Oustanding Achievement in Movies, Miniseries or Specials

WINNER: “Dopesick” – Hulu

Outstanding Achievement in Drama

WINNER: “Succession” — HBO

Outstanding Achievement in Comedy

WINNER: “Abbott Elementary” – ABC

Program of the Year

WINNER: “Abbott Elementary” – ABC

Career Achievement Honoree

WINNER (TIE): Ted Danson; Steve Martin

Heritage Award

WINNER: “I Love Lucy”

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ON THE CIRCUIT: ‘Severance’ on the Beach, TCA Press Tour Mailers and More

Apple TV+ celebrated the success of Emmy-nominated drama “Severance” on Sunday with a lovely bash on the water in Malibu. At Nobu Malibu, attendees enjoyed specialized cocktails and plenty of sushi while listening about the origins of the show from writer/creator Dan Erickson, as well as director/EP Ben Stiller, actress Jen Tullock, casting director Rachel Tenner and set decorator Andrew Baseman. The chat was moderated by Kumail Nanjiani. (Photo by Michael Buckner for Variety)



With TV Critics Assn. press tour under way virtually, Hulu and Onyx Collective sent out goodies including a pizza grilling kit.



Also TCA related, FX and Freeform with the DeLuscious cookies.



And also in the mail, a box of Valerie Confections chocolates to celebrate Lucille Ball‘s birthday… and also the six Emmy nominations for Amy Poehler‘s Amazon Prime Video documentary “Lucy and Desi.”

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Speaking of Amazon Prime Video, the platform is activating its Emmy Phase 2 plans, throwing an “FYC Fest” the weekend of Friday, Aug. 12 through Sunday, Aug. 14 to tout its 30 Emmy nominations.

The weekend event will take place in three different locations in the Los Angeles area, including Sherman Oaks, Santa Monica and West Hollywood. The outdoor activations will be inspired by Prime Video’s Emmy-nominated titles, including “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel,” “Lizzo’s Watch Out for the Big Grrrls,” “Lucy and Desi” and “The Boys Presents: Diabolical.”

Among the attractions will be mini golf games, themed to some of Prime Video shows; a target game inspired by “The Boys Presents: Diabolical”; a giant, nominated show-inspired art installation; and design-your-own FYC Fest totes with custom embroidered icons from Prime Video Emmy-nominated shows.

The festival will also include food trucks with food and drink themed to Prime Video’s Emmy-nominated shows; photo opps and a live DJ.

Prime Video’s Emmy noms include 12 for “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel,” six for “Lizzo’s Watch Out for the Big Grrrls,” six for “Lucy and Desi,” two for “Savage X Fenty Show Vol. 3” and single nominations for the 57th Academy of Country Music Awards, “A Very British Scandal,” “Goliath” and “The Boys Presents: Diabolical.”

Admission is free, and no RSVP is required. Click here for more info.

Locations & Opening Times:
Friday, August 12: Westfield Fashion Square Parking Lot, 4725 Woodman Ave, Sherman Oaks (1 p.m. to 8 p.m.)

Saturday, August 13: Parking Lot off of 3rd Street Promenade, 123 Santa Monica Blvd, Santa Monica (11 a.m. to 6 p.m.)

Sunday, August 14: Pacific Design Center Plaza, 8687 Melrose Ave, West Hollywood (11 a.m. to 6 p.m.)

The “FYC Fest” is a followup to Amazon’s “The Prime Experience” held in May in Beverly Hills, at an estate that turned into a multi-room experience promoting its Emmy contenders.

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VARIETY EMMY COVER: Issa Rae on the Happy Shock of ‘Insecure’ Emmy Nods and Building the Hoorae Brand: ‘I Want to Have an Ecosystem’

The Variety Emmy special editions are back for Phase 2, edited by Emily Longeretta! This edition focuses on best actress. Angelique Jackson writes:

On July 12, Issa Rae was in the middle of a meeting, largely unaware that Emmy nominations were being announced. Then she received a text from “A Black Lady Sketch Show” creator and star Robin Thede, congratulating her on being nominated for lead actress in a comedy.

“I had a little squeal that I let out in the meeting, and then kept it pushing, but I was happy,” Rae says.

And there was plenty to be happy about. In addition to her solo recognition, “Insecure” nabbed two other noms for editor Nena Erb and cinematographer Ava Berkofsky, plus “A Black Lady Sketch Show,” which Rae executive produces under her Hoorae multimedia banner alongside Thede, earned five nominations.

Despite two previous lead actress noms, Rae admits she was skeptical about being recognized this cycle, given that “Insecure” aired its fifth and final season in December 2021. But there wasn’t a ton of time for the typical champagne celebration, Rae had work to do. More specifically, she had to clock in for a shift at Hilltop Coffee + Kitchen in Inglewood, an establishment she co-owns, later that afternoon as part of the promotional push for her second HBO series, “Rap Sh!t.

“That was already in the works, but I was still happy to go,” Rae quips when asked about posing for selfies and serving up lattes as Issa the Barista. “People are just so generous, and I got so much love there, so it was just nice to be in my community, with my people, and then serving them.”

Go here for more.

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Drake, Selena Gomez and Two Beatles Added to Emmy Nomination List as Producers

Clayton Davis writes:

Drake, Selena Gomez, Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr are among the Emmy-nominated producers in the series and specials categories, the TV Academy announced.

Grammy-winning superstar Drake is a first-time Emmy nominee as an executive producer of HBO’s “Euphoria” alongside fellow EPs Adele “Future” Nur and the quadruple-nominated Zendaya (who’s also nominated for lead actress in a drama and two original songs). At 25, Zendaya is now (officially) the youngest woman ever nominated for producing at the Emmys, in addition to being the youngest two-time lead acting nominee ever.

Gomez is also officially an Emmy nominee as an executive producer for “Only Murders in the Building,” the first time a Latina has received a nom for comedy series for a show she also starred in. She’s in great company alongside her co-stars, Steve Martin and Martin Short.

Although she’s won three Emmys for acting, Laura Linney got her first nom as a co-executive producer on Netflix’s “Ozark,” her first for the series. Her co-star Jason Bateman, nominated for acting and directing, is also among the producers.

The stars who missed out on acting noms in various genre categories found love as producers such as Liev Schreiber (“Ray Donovan: The Movie”), Ben Foster (“The Survivor”) and Wendy McLendon Covey (“Reno 911! The Hunt for QAnon”), which marks her first-ever nomination.

The two living members of the Beatles — Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr — are nominees for Peter Jackson‘s docuseries “The Beatles: Get Back” from Disney+, alongside John Lennon‘s widow, Yoko Ono. This marks McCartney’s third Emmy nom, and Starr and Ono’s first.

Click here for more producers.

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EXCLUSIVE: NBCUniversal Partners with Chocolatier Compartés for FYC Mailer

As we mentioned the Prime Video “Lucy and Desi” box above, FYC time is also Peak Chocolate time. And now, also save room for more goodies from NBCUniversal.

To help promote its Emmy nominated shows, NBCU worked with the chocolatier Compartés on a custom set of chocolates representing Emmy-nominated series “Saturday Night Live,” “Late Night With Seth Meyers,” “Top Chef,” “The Voice,” “Below Deck Mediterranean” and “Making It.”

Starting Aug. 12, the first day of voting, patrons at Ospi, the Venice restaurant of “Top Chef” alum Jackson Kalb (who competed this season) will be gifted with these boxes.

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AWARDS CIRCUIT PODCAST: More From Issa Rae, Plus the Roundtable Discusses Supporting Actor Categories



The Issa Rae interview from the actress issue, as seen above, also doubled as the interview for last week’s Awards Circuit podcast.

Emmy-nominated Rae, who just completed her run as star and executive producer of “Insecure,” talks about the end of her show and what’s next. That includes the new HBO series “Rap Sh!t,” and a growing empire. But first, our Awards Circuit Roundtable discusses the supporting actor Emmy categories. Listen below!




Variety’s “Awards Circuit” podcast, produced by Michael Schneider, is your one-stop listen for lively conversations about the best in film and television. Each week “Awards Circuit” features interviews with top film and TV talent and creatives; discussions and debates about awards races and industry headlines; and much, much more. Subscribe via Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, Spotify or anywhere you download podcasts. New episodes post every Thursday and Friday.

Read more here.

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VARIETY COVER: Jennifer Coolidge’s White-Hot Comeback: Hollywood Didn’t Get Her, Then She Landed the Role of a Lifetime

We sent Dan D’Addario to Italy — I know, tough gig — to watch Jennifer Coolidge shoot Season 2 of “The White Lotus” and also chat with her about her career, working with Mike White, and what Season 1 of the HBO series has meant for her. After filing his expense report, Dan also filed this story:

In 2011, Jennifer Coolidge’s agent came to her with an offer: A theater in London was putting on a production of the musical “Legally Blonde,” based on the 2001 film in which Coolidge played the lovably dizzy manicurist Paulette. (The seductive “bend-and-snap” move Paulette practices on film? In the show, it’s a whole number.) And the theater wanted her to audition.

“I said to my agent, what do you mean, audition?” she recalls. “It’s not a straight offer?” He reiterated the request: Would she be willing to fly to London to try out for a part she’d already played? “My agent said, ‘I think they just want to see if you can sing and dance.’ Look, if I got up onstage and farted, and that’s all I did, it would still be the lady from the movie!”

Here on the coast of Sicily, where Coolidge is filming Season 2 of HBO’s “The White Lotus” (which Variety can exclusively reveal will premiere in October), we’re a quick flight from the West End. But the downturn in her fortunes she’s recalling — “I’m still angry about this,” she says, “that’s why I brought it up!” — couldn’t be farther away. (And that agent no longer represents her.) After decades in film and TV as a secret weapon the industry didn’t quite know how to use, Coolidge has just landed her first Emmy nomination, for her performance in the anthology series’ debut season.

“The White Lotus,” about the war of wills between the guests and staff of a luxury hotel, is an ensemble show — so much so that eight of its performers are Emmy nominees this year. But it’s Coolidge’s portrayal of childlike heiress Tanya McQuoid, shrouding wounded humanity in bad behavior and big appetites, that sticks in the memory. Audiences have known Coolidge as a comic ingredient that makes middling projects better and good ones great, whether she’s hunting for guys with Reese Witherspoon in “Legally Blonde,” striding through her son Stifler’s classmates like a sexual colossus in “American Pie” or trying to justify her relationship with her catatonically unresponsive husband in “Best in Show.”

Those films — all released between 1999 and 2001 — ended a dry spell for Coolidge, one that crystallized her thinking about Hollywood. “Ten years of my life of auditioning,” she says, “none of it added up to a job. The fear is gone when you’re so used to losing. There’s some freedom in that.”

Part of that freedom comes from knowing yourself, and there’s nothing goofy about the precise, considered Coolidge, despite her reputation as willing to go anywhere for a joke on-screen. Going anywhere is freeing too, as Coolidge punctures her characters’ egos while we revel in the fun of seeing them be their delirious selves.

Read much, much more here.

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Clayton Davis’ Emmy Winner Predictions: Lead Actress in a Drama Series – Melanie Lynskey May Be the Best Bet for a ‘Yellowjackets’ Win

 Clayton Davis is putting up his early Emmy predictions. This time out, he tackles drama actress:

With an incredible year that included “Don’t Look Up” and the limited series “Candy,” Melanie Lynskey picked up her first Emmy nom. As the central figure of Showtime’s survival drama, she ignites the TV screen playing Shauna, the trauma-ridden mother, with an underlying intensity. With a big win from Critics Choice, she’s a real dark horse, representing an easy way to reward the series that landed seven noms, including two for writing.

Continuing to shatter ceilings, Zendaya earned four noms this year, becoming the youngest two-time nominee ever. Her drama series nom made her the youngest woman ever nominated for producing. She became the first Black person recognized for acting, music and lyrics in the same year, with two mentions. Her role has been considered the front-runner for months, despite SAG Awards ignoring her. Can she continue her historic run?

Landing her eighth nom, Laura Linney is beloved with four Emmys on her mantle to date — “Frasier,” “Wild Iris,” “John Adams” and “The Big C.” Her turn as Wendy Byrde in the Netflix crime series has been one of her most praised, but she has yet to win despite three previous mentions for the show. However, the final season sentiment could carry her to the moment on stage.

The most jaw-dropping name on Emmy nom morning was Reese Witherspoon for her role in the Apple TV+ drama series. Even more shocking, Witherspoon got in without her co-star Jennifer Aniston, who landed the crucial SAG Award mention. But, in hindsight, so did Reese. With her fourth career nom, with one win as an executive producer of “Big Little Lies,” can she continue to surprise on the circuit?

Thirteen Emmy nominations are part of Sandra Oh’s impressive resume, including her role as Eve Polastri in BBC’s drama series this year. However, despite being the first actress of Asian descent nominated in the category, she’s yet to win. It’s a sad stat considering she seemed destined to win twice but lost to Claire Foy (“The Crown”) and her co-star Jodie Comer, who’s also in the mix again. So it’s an uphill climb, but she’s has support in the industry.

Jodie Comer won this category in 2019 for her turn as Villanelle in the BBC America drama. She got past some big names to sneak into the lineup, which was undoubtedly helped by coming off a big year in Hollywood with “Free Guy” and “The Last Duel.” Unfortunately, this race hasn’t had a repeat acting winner since Claire Danes in “Homeland,” which could be a difficult hurdle to clear, along with vote splitting.


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The Week Ahead: ‘Only Murders’ Bassoons and More



Hulu warned us… er, let us know that “a quintet of bassoonists will be popping up around Los Angeles, making stops in Hollywood, Santa Monica, Larchmont, and more on Aug 10-11 for surprise performances inspired from ‘Only Murders in the Building.'”

Actually, this sounds weirdly inspired: The performers will be decked in T-shirts that say “The Bassoonist Did It” and performing the Emmy-nominated main title theme from the series, Sting’s “Every Breath You Take” (in honor of his guest appearance as a resident of the Arconia in season 1) and Selena Gomez’s “Hands to Myself.”

If you watched Season 1, you know exactly why the tribute to bassoonists, given the role of Jan, played by Amy Ryan, to the show’s mystery.

Meanwhile, as events pick up this week, a few more highlights:

Tuesday, Aug. 9, 7 p.m.: SAG-AFTRA Foundation Career Retrospective Conversation with Seth Meyers, moderated by Variety’s Jenelle Riley (SAG-AFTRA Foundation LA Screening Room, 5757 Wilshire Blvd.)

Tuesday, August 9, 7:30 p.m.: “Dopesick” screening [Ep 108] followed by a Q&A with actor/EP Michael Keaton, EP/writer/director Danny Strong, actor Kaitlyn Dever, actor Will Poulter, EP Beth Macy (Aero Theatre)

Thursday, August 11, 7 p.m.: Live table read of the “Hacks” Season 2 finale “The One, The Only” (Avalon Hollywood)

Thursday, August 11, 7 p.m.: “The Dropout” screening [Ep 108] followed by a Q&A with star Amanda Seyfried (DGA Theatre)

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Send Me Your Questions, Comments and More!

Feel free to send your burning Emmy questions and suggestions to mschneider@variety.com, and your hot tips as well!  Thanks for reading.

 

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