‘Succession’ Actors, Peacock, WGA Strike & More

May 9, 2023

When are things not strange in Hollywood? Should we be surprised that there is always some industry or world crises crashing an awards season? Probably not, but it’s been quite a long time since a work stoppage affected the Primetime Emmy Awards. And, as we’ll discuss later, that means while writers form picket lines, actors and directors are still engaged in that Emmy nomination fight.
READ MORE: Emmys 2023: Drama Series Contenders and Predictions
Yes, Netflix, Amazon Studios, and Paramount all have installations and exhibits ready for Television Academy members to wander through and some Q&As are still going forward. And that’s no surprise. We are less than six weeks from the beginning of nomination voting (June 15) and the campaigning is getting a bit more serious. Outdoor FYC ads are starting to appear across the Los Angeles landscape and voters are about to be besieged with a ton of direct E-mails and special issues. In fact, so much is going on it has us considering the following pressing Emmy season questions…
Is “Ted Lasso” really a lock to win the Comedy Series Emmy?
Listen, “Ted Lasso” is still incredibly popular. And in the latest Nielsen ratings, it ranked fifth among all original streaming programs with numbers other AppleTV+ shows would dream of hitting. And following its second straight Comedy Series Emmy it took the PGA Award in February after having lost the previous year (and it also faced heavy competition from “Abbott Elementary” and “The Bear”). But, Apple TV+ has to be concerned about the buzz regarding the current third and, supposedly, final season. If you take social media sentiment and IMDB ratings even somewhat seriously (hint: execs do), two of the lowest “rated” episodes in the entire series have dropped this season. Granted, there are still four episodes left and the series could end with an emotional bang that seals a threepeat. But if it doesn’t…the door is open for a new winner in the category.
Can Kerri Russell make the Best Actress in a Drama Actress cut?
Watch out for “The Diplomat” making a late-season impact. The Television Academy loves Netflix as much as they love HBO and “The Diplomat” is a show that has Hollywood binging. Cracking the Drama Series category is very unlikely, but landing a Lead Actress in a Drama Series nom may not be that out of reach. Russell was a three-time nominee for “The Americans,” which is a sign the actors in the Television Branc clearly respect her. Moreover, the only guaranteed nominees in her category at the moment are Sarah Snook (“Succession”), Melanie Lynskey (“Yellowjackets”), and Bella Ramsey (“The Last of Us”). There are a number of suitors vying for the same recognition, but with three slots open, Russell has a very good chance of sneaking in.
How will the WGA strike affect phase one of campaigning?
Strangely, we’re not so sure the publicists scheduling FYC events thought a writer’s guild strike would occur. There have already been Q&A cancelations and, effectively, writers are not supposed to engage in interviews to promote individual Emmy campaigns. That puts the onus on the actors (and some non-WGA directors) to rep their shows, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Now, if SAG goes on strike on July 1? There will be zero campaigning for phase two. Shoot, there might not even be a televised Emmy ceremony.
What reality competition show is taking the “Lizzo’s Watch Out For The Big Grrrls” slot?
With Lizzo’s category-winning Prime Video series not returning for a second season until 2024, the question is what new or returning program will take its place. “The Amazing Race,” “Top Chef,” “The Voice,” “Nailed It!” and “RuPaul’s Drag Race” are pretty much locked. Joining them will either for the final slot is either newcomer “The Traitors” or former nominees “The Masked Singer,” “American Ninja Warrior,” “Survivor,” or “American Idol.”
Will the Television Academy actually nominate good movies in the TV movie category?
It’s no secret that the Television Movie category continues to be something of a mess. It’s partially because streamers won’t submit some films because talent wants them to be considered “films,” but the voters aren’t necessarily helping. Two years ago, the campy “Dolly Parton’s Christmas on the Square” basically got nominated and won on the recognition of Parton’s name alone and last year “Reno 911!: The Hunt for QAnon” made the cut over more critically acclaimed submissions (sure, it was funny, but really?). This year there is another Dolly flick in the mix, “Dolly Parton’s Mountain Magic Christmas,” the critically panned “Hocus Pocus 2,” and another “Reno 911” movie (“It’s a Wonderful Heist”) potentially crashing the party. Perhaps this is the year that spurs the Television Academy to select the nominees by committee instead (who are we kidding, that would make too much sense).
Who isn’t making the Limited Series cut?
At this point, there are likely only two Limited Series guaranteed a nod and they are both Netflix titles, “Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story” and “Beef.” That means there are just three more slots left and, arguably, 13 programs that could legitimately make the cut. Which of the following critically acclaimed titles will get snubbed? “Dead Ringers,” “Fleishman in Trouble,” “George and Tammy,” “Blackbird,” or “A Small Light.” Ponder.
Which network or streamer will surprise in the nomination count?
There has been a back-and-forth battle between Netflix and HBO for the Emmy nomination crown for the past five years. After years of HBO’s domination, Netflix took pole position for the first time in 2018. HBO clapped back in 2019 before Netflix dominated the proceedings with a massive 160 nods in 2020 (a stay-at-home year where tons of voters were watching everything). HBO along with HBO Max snuck by Netflix in 2021 by one nod and then won by three without HBO Max in 2022 (combined HBO/HBO Max landed 140 that year). After the WBD merger, there is no true differentiation between HBO and HBO Max anymore (same development execs) so Netflix really won’t have much to complain about if HBO retakes the title. That being said, it may not matter. HBO is likely going to dominate the Drama categories and take a good bite out of the Comedy Series fields. Netflix will try to make up for it in the Limited Series and unscripted races, but it would be shocking to all involved if they can pull it off. More intriguing is whether Prime Video, Apple TV+, or Disney+ can make historical gains in their nomination counts (watch out for Prime Video).
What exactly is the “Succession” cast doing in the Lead Actor in a Drama Series category?
Following a, um, change of status in his character, there was lots of speculation on whether Brian Cox would submit in the Lead Actor, Supporting Actor, or Guest Actor in A Drama Series categories. Cox and HBO decided to submit once again in Lead Actor, a category he’s been nominated in twice before. He’ll be joined by his “Succession” co-stars Jeremy Strong (a winner in this category in 2020) and, after nominations in the Supporting Actor field in 2020 and 2022, Kiernan Culkin. All three submitting for Lead Actor could massively backfire and open the door for someone else. Especially with Bob Odenkirk in the mix for “Better Call Saul’s” acclaimed final season (Odenkirk has only won two writing Emmys in his career) and Pedro Pascal in the mix for another HBO blockbuster, “The Last of Us.” And there is no guarantee all three “Succession” stars will make the cut either as no program has ever nominated three different actors in a Drama, Comedy, or Limited Series category. Yikes.
Which programs released in the summer of 2022 are in danger of being forgotten?
Sometimes releasing early in the nomination window hurts you, sometimes it doesn’t. This year’s races have us wondering if “Blackbird” (July 2022), “The Patient” (August/September 2022),
“Irma Vep” (June/July 2022), “She-Hulk” (August/September/October 2022), “Fire Island” (June 2022), “Five Days at Memorial” (August/September 2022), “The Old Man” (June/July 2022), and “This Is Going to Hurt” (June 2022) will be remembered after a deluge of content since.
Is this Peacock’s Primetime Emmy moment?
In 2021, the then-fledgling NBCUniversal streamer landed two Emmys noms. The following year, it earned none. 2023 is a different story, however. Peacock has a legitimate hit with Rian Johnson and Natasha Lyonne’s “Poker Face” which could earn a number of Comedy Series noms. “The Traitors” could also earn a Reality Competition Series and Outstanding Host for a Reality or Competition Program (Alan Cumming) and the Damon Lindelof co-created “Mrs. Davis” has enough critical acclaim to surprise somewhere. It may seem minuscule in comparison to its competitors, but if Peacock could land 10 or more nominations this year it would be a big achievement.
Is HBO looking at four Drama Series nominees?
“The White Lotus” and “Succession”? Check. “The Last of Us”? You bet. “House of the Dragon“? …maybe? There is almost no way HBO won’t earn at least three Emmy nominations for Drama Series. But can it secure four? “Dragons’” predecessor, “Game of Thrones,” earned eight nominations and won twice. Will the Television Academy really snub a franchise favorite? Even if HBO lands just three noms it will be the most since NBC earned four out of just five nominations in 1992. That’s sort of incredible.
Voting for the 2023 Emmy nominations begins on June 15 and ends on June 26.

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