EMMYS 101: Your Easy User Guide to TV’s Night of Nights!

Your guide to the 2017 Primetime Emmy Awards
What, no Game of Thrones? That’s thrown the Emmys race wide open.


The envelopes are set to be handed to the presenters on September 17 and we can only pray Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway won’t be on hand to open them. Barring any Oscar-scale catastrophes like that, the 69th Emmy Awards will still hold their fare share of surprises snubs and upsets.

The biggest news this year is WHO ISN’T in the running – and that accolade goes to Game of Thrones, which has won Best Drama series the last two years in a row but is ineligible this year due to a release date delay. So with GoT out, everything is up in the air. And in a record-breaking development, five of the seven shows nominated for Outstanding Drama Series are not just first timers, but series in their very first season. This just illustrates the calibre of 2017’s drama output – as well as the growing dominance of the cash-up streaming services like Netflix and Hulu.  Netflix’s House of Cards is on its fifth consecutive try for the gold, and AMC’s Better Call Saul is nominated for the third time.  That leaves This Is Us as the first commercial broadcast network show to be nominated in this category since 2011’s The Good Wife.

Always staged before the main Emmy awards, The Creative Arts Emmys have just been announced – and hot favourite Australia’s Ben Mendelsohn just got pipped at the post, losing the award for Outstanding Guest Actor in a drama category, for Bloodline, to Gerald McRaney from This Is Us. This was a shock upset, especially considering Ben had won an Emmy last year for the same role. Good news though for another Aussie – designer Perry Meek won for Outstanding Costumes in a Variety, Nonfiction or Reality Program, for VH1’s RuPaul’s Drag Race. Overall at the Creative Arts Emmys, HBO lead the way with 16 awards, followed by Netflix with 11. The power shift continues.

perry meek

Outstanding Drama Series Nominees:
This Is Us (NBC)
The Handmaid's Tale (Hulu)
Stranger Things (Netflix)
The Crown (Netflix)
Westworld (HBO)
Better Call Saul (AMC)
House of Cards (Netflix)

Without Game of Thrones, it’s a toss-up (almost). Most pundits are torn between the high-rating populist tear-jerker This Is Us, the politically relevant The Handmaid’s Tale, the sumptuous The Crown or the dark horse which has everyone talking...
Who we’d love to win: Stranger Things. Because it changed our world and made us love the ‘80s again.

stranger things

Outstanding Comedy Series Nominees:
Veep (HBO)
Atlanta (FX)
Master of None (Netflix)
Silicon Valley (HBO)
Black-ish (ABC)
Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt (Netflix)
Modern Family (ABC)

Veep has maintained a stranglehold on this one, but 2017 is the year it could be toppled. A good share of the critics and Emmy predictors are saying Atlanta will take to the stage this year.
Who we’d love to win: Just because it so fresh and ground-breaking: Black-ish.


Outstanding Limited Series Nominees:
Big Little Lies (HBO)
Feud (FX)
The Night Of (HBO)
Fargo (FX)
Genius (National Geographic)

What a brilliant line-up of nominees- but it looks like it could be a two horse race between the Nicole Kidman and Reese Witherspoon stunner Big Little Lies, and the Jessica Lange and Susan Sarandon dose of old Hollywood vitriol, Feud.
Who we’d love to win: When movie stars this big are this good on TV, they deserve it: Big Little Lies.

big little lies

Outstanding Television Movie Nominees:
The Wizard of Lies (HBO)
Sherlock: The Lying Detective (PBS)
The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks (HBO)
Black Mirror: San Junipero (Netflix)
Dolly Parton's Christmas of Many Colors: Circle of Love (NBC

Who doesn’t love Dolly Parton- we have to admit we haven’t even seen this one, but just her name in the title is enough for our hearts to start singing ‘Jolene, Jolene, Jolene’... But Black Mirror has firmed as the favourite.
Who we’d love to win: Back to reality- our sensible vote goes to Sherlock: The Lying Detective.
Evidence: Benedict Cumberbatch. We rest our case.

sherlock the lying detective

Outstanding Actor in a Drama Series Nominees:
Sterling K. Brown This Is Us
Bob Oldenkirk Better Call Saul
Anthony Hopkins Westworld
Kevin Spacey House of Cards
Matthew Rhys The Americans
Milo Ventimiglia This Is Us
Liev Schrieber Ray Donovan

Kevin Spacey has never won an Emmy. Ever. Anthony Hopkins represents the most nominated series, Bob Oldenkirk’s fans are legion – but...
Who we’d love to win: Our bet is split between Emmy favourite Sterling K. Brown and crowd-pleaser Ventimiglia, meaning a This Is Us twofer.

this is us

Outstanding Actress in a Drama Series Nominees:
Elizabeth Moss The Handmaid’s Tale
Claire Foy The Crown
Evan Rachel Wood Westworld
Robin Wright House of Cards
Viola Davis How To Get Away With Murder
Keri Russell The Americans

Claire Foy is a newbie but has a Golden Globe under her belt, Evan Rachel Wood is a formidable opponent and the superb Robin Wright is a repeat runner up.
Who we’d love to win: Elizabeth Moss has the heat. Nominated for an Emmy 8 times, this could be her year.

emmy tips thumbnail

Outstanding Actor in a Comedy Series Nominees:
Jeffrey Tambor Transparent
William H. Macy Shameless
Donald Glover Atlanta
Aziz Ansari Master Of None
Zach Galifianakis Baskets
Anthony Anderson Black-ish

Tambour has won the last 2 years in a row, this is Galifianakis’ first time in this category and Ansari is a real threat. But all the chatter seems to be focussed on first-time nominee Donald Glover- he not only stars but he’s also the writer, director and producer of blazing newcomer Atlanta.
Who we’d love to win: Our heart belongs to Frank Gallagher – William H. Macy. Shots anyone?


Outstanding Actress in a Comedy Series Nominees:
Julia Louis-Dreyfus Veep
Tracee Ellis Ross Black-ish
Allison Janney Mom
Ellie Kemper Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt
Lily Tomlin Grace and Frankie
Jane Fonda Grace and Frankie
Pamela Adlon Better Things

A wide open field. Louis-Dreyfus has won 5 times, one more and she’s the most nominated lead actress of all time. Both Louis-Dreyfus and Janney have 7 Emmys to their name. But the newcomers could take the spotlight this year.
Who we’d love to win: Our dream would be a split, with icons Lily Tomlin and Jane Fonda sharing the award. Imagine the speech.

grace and frankie

Outstanding Documentary or Non-Fiction Series:

The original BBC series Planet Earth won 4 Emmys, so now it’s time for the follow up to sweep on in- IndieWire calls Planet Earth II “gorgeous, addictive. ” We couldn’t agree more. All hail Sir David Attenborough.

sir David

Finally, wherever Stranger Things is nominated- we’re rooting for you. In the Outstanding Supporting Actor and Actress Drama categories, that’s David Harbour and the inimitable, glorious, astounding Eleven  – Millie Bobby Brown. Go Millie!

millie bobby brown

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