Over the past week, a few major premieres and announcements led to some of the first major changes of the Emmy season to our ADTV Emmy Tracker. Two high-profile premieres shifted the Drama Series conversation to varying degrees within the past week while another major drama contender has been revealed to compete as a limited series.
We finally have a race for Outstanding Limited Series! Last week, HBO officially announced that Watchmen, the best reviewed drama of 2019, will compete as a limited series in all major categories. Now that the dust has settled from that announcement, it has jumped to the top of our Emmy Tracker, beating out the former frontrunner Unbelievable. When HBO was still weighing its options, Watchmen became a dark horse contender at the various guild awards, winning top prizes for its direction and writing and beating out the usual favorites in the category.
On top of that, the stars of the HBO limited series have become major contenders as well. Emmy favorite Regina King has easily jumped to the top of the lead actress race while supporting players Jean Smart, Tim Blake Nelson, Jeremy Irons, and Hong Chau have all entered the top six of their respected categories. It will be interesting to see if the cast can hold momentum as the season progresses especially since they were completely ignored by SAG voters just a few months ago.
The big change in the race for Outstanding Drama Series was the 2-night premiere of Better Call Saul. The fifth season premiere was met with some of its best reviews to date for the critical darling (92 on Metacritic). The Breaking Bad prequel has always been an Emmy favorite, silently racking up 32 nominations over the past four seasons. Because of that, it easily jumped up to fourth place in our tracker, even in an insanely crowded field. Past nominees like Bob Odenkirk, Jonathan Banks, and Giancarlo Esposito have also jumped into strong positions in their respective categories, but maybe the biggest surprise was the strong showing for Rhea Seehorn. Seehorn’s fan favorite performance is now a strong contender for a nomination even though voters have ignored her time and time again.
Some of the other additions to the Drama Series race included the premiere of the Amazon Original Series Hunters and the inclusion of the Disney+ series The Mandalorian. Even with mixed reviews Hunters has become the most high-profile drama premiere of the year so far, especially here in Los Angeles. We’ve also seen industry awards go crazy for highly stylized depictions of history, especially WWII themes. After consideration we also included The Mandalorian in the list of the top drama series to keep an eye on. The Star Wars series became a huge sensation for the new streaming service and found a way to captivate audiences week after week. That’s something hard to do with a platform that usually invites audiences to quickly binge and forget. We already know that it will be a major contender in the craft categories, but maybe it’s being underestimated in the top award as well.