We’ve finally updated the Emmy Tracker after two weeks of heavy Emmy-bait premieres. Sorry it’s taken so long, but we’re all focused on preparing content for the upcoming Phase 1 voting window in mid-June. But I think we’ve seen most of the content for the 2021 Emmy season. Since the Television Academy isn’t extending the window to accommodate for the COVID-19 pandemic-damaged TV season, we’ve got what we’ve got.
Before I draw your attention to some highlights, here’s a reminder on how the team pulls together the Emmy Tracker. You’ll find the Tracker, of course, located on the right-hand side of the AD TV main page.
First up, we continuously add/remove names and series from our list of the major categories we cover. Names shift here and there based on where the studios place talent. For example, we’ve long thought The Handmaid’s Tale‘s Joseph Fiennes would be relegated to the Supporting Actor race. Yet, Hulu recently decided to put him in the lead actor race, most definitely because Bradley Whitford will receive a Supporting nomination, jeopardizing Fiennes’s chances in the race.
Next, each member of AD TV ranks all contenders listed in order of likelihood at a nomination. This is important because some of us are weaker on candidates and some of us are stronger on candidates. That way, no one in AD TV has a stronger voice over another member.
Finally, the rankings are added across the board, and we apply golf scoring, sort of. The lower your score, the higher you’re ranked. We display the top ten candidates in each category (assuming there are ten).
So, with that, here are a few notable entries, shifts, surprises in each genre. Be sure to weigh in with your feedback in the comments below!
FX’s Pose and Hulu’s The Handmaid’s Tale make movements up their respective charts based on recent acclaimed episodes. Pose‘s Billy Porter recently had a showcase episode that impressed thousands on Twitter. Can the actor become the first Black actor to repeat an Emmy win? Right now, the only thing standing in his way is The Crown‘s Josh O’Connor who, despite giving a very strong performance, may win on a surge of affection for Netflix’s fourth season.
Speaking of Pose, many fans on Team AD TV are proclaiming this final season is the time to start recognizing the trans actors who have for three seasons performed brilliantly to zero recognition. Right now, only MJ Rodriguez merits top-ten recognition in the Emmy Tracker.
As I mentioned above, The Handmaid’s Tale moved Joseph Fiennes into Lead. The most recent episode offered another tour-de-force performance from Elisabeth Moss and featured strong work from Samira Wiley. Both actresses improved their standings on the Tracker thanks to very buzzy episodes.
A few other performances moved around here and there based on the changing perspectives of Team AD TV, but the only new titles in the Drama races are HBO’s In Treatment and AppleTV+’s Mosquito Coast. Neither series performed well enough within our team to merit entry in the Drama category, but we never count out Uzo Aduba after last year’s shocking win for Mrs. America. She debuts in the Drama Actress placement at number 8, which may be too low. Mosquito Coast‘s stars Melissa George and Justin Theroux rated in their Drama performance categories.
Is this the last year of major network comedy series factoring into the Emmys? With the final season of ABC’s black-ish pending, it’s looking increasingly likely. Additionally, one-time comedy powerhouse NBC now has the Peacock streaming service to fill with content. NBC’s network comedy lineup appears delayed until early 2022, thanks to the pandemic.
The only significant new entry on the Comedy front is HBO Max’s Hacks. Buoyed by across-the-board raves and a career-best lead performance from star Jean Smart, Hacks appears undeniable for major nominations: series, actress, and potentially two nominations for supporting actress (Hannah Einbinder with an outside chance for Kaitlin Olson).
When I first saw Hacks back in April, I 100% knew and told anybody who would listen that Jean Smart was going to win another Emmy this year. Team AD TV agrees now that they’ve had the chance to catch up, and she rises to the top of the Comedy Actress list above The Flight Attendant‘s Kaley Cuoco. It’s going to be one of those two – nobody even comes close.
On the Ted Lasso front, an interesting shift is starting to happen. The Supporting Actress race was long thought to be dominated by Hannah Waddingham. While she gives a great performance, people (including me) seem to finally be waking to the brilliance of Juno Temple. Several members of AD TV (I’m thinking primarily of Megan and Jalal) have sung her praises all season, and they were right to. Temple literally steals every scene she’s in. She gives an instantly iconic performance reminiscent of the great comedic supporting performances of Emmy history. She’s one to watch, and we have her on top.
The Limited Series race, unsurprisingly, continues to hold the most excitement of the Emmy season. When I pulled the final rankings, I was immediately surprised, though, that Team AD TV wasn’t as uniform in their assessment of Amazon Prime’s The Underground Railroad‘s Emmy chances. I assumed it would fly to the top of the Limited Series list. However, Netflix’s The Queen’s Gambit continues to lead — by a single point. The Barry Jenkins-directed series seems poised for a significant number of nominations. If we’re looking at AD TV’s top 10, then we could see five performance nominations on top of series, direction, writing, and crafts categories. It’s likely a 20+ nomination contender.
In other developments, Mare of Easttown continues to perform well in the Tracker. Kate Winslet’s stunning performance continues to dazzle critics and audiences alike, and she remains second to Queen’s Gambit‘s Anya Taylor-Joy. By a single point. As Mare heads to its finale this weekend, will the final hour push Winslet into the lead? Will supporting contenders Jean Smart (this is truly the Year of Jean), Julianne Nicholson, Evan Peters, or Guy Pierce rise if the series sticks the landing? The final revelation of who killed Erin McMenamin will undoubtedly offer additional guidance.
Finally, Netflix’s Halston premiered to yawns from critics despite a strong lead performance from Ewan McGregor. It’s the Ryan Murphy series that doesn’t feel like a Ryan Murphy series (save that one scene where Vera Farmiga inhales a jock strap). The Television Academy will likely see it that way too, giving McGregor a nomination and not much else besides a handful of tech noms. One or two of us think Krysta Rodriguez’s turn as Liza Minnelli warrants Emmy attention, but she has yet to dazzle the broader team.
Our next Emmy Tracker update will come in the first week of June.