The sentiment that “the show must go on” has been tested greatly this year, about half of which has been spent trying to contain the spread of the COVID-19 infection. That necessitated community quarantines and work stoppages at all but the most essential businesses and services. Filming and photography of movies and TV series have been pushed back or postponed. Still, enough content for programming on television and online streaming have been made since last year so that the 2020 Emmy Awards could push through. And from the look of things, in this edition of the Primetime Emmys, streaming prevails.
Vanity Fair among many other entertainment news sources was on top of the reveals when the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences announced the nominees for the 2020 Primetime Emmy Awards just this Tuesday, July 28. The list of names and titles up for a chance to win the awards are once again a harbinger of a trend shift from broadcast TV to digital streaming, considering many of the series and movies nominated come from online platforms. Even the broad definition of categories look to be evolving as well, if one considers a spinoff series to one of the biggest space-opera film franchises as “drama.”
Indeed, “Star Wars” live-action series “The Mandalorian” from Disney+ is in the running for Outstanding Drama Series, alongside expected entries like “The Crown” or “The Handmaid’s Tale.” One might notice also that those two are similarly streaming content (on Netflix and Hulu respectively), showing how online platforms have cemented their place in the mainstream of viewing choices. That is not to say that traditional TV is fading. HBO is still giving as good as getting, thanks to their limited series “Watchmen,” a reimagining/sequel of the original DC Comics maxi-series. It also has the highest number of nominations this year: eleven.
On the other hand, streaming comes up on top when it comes to nomination volume. It also perpetuates the back-and-forth rivalry between the biggest in both streaming and television. For 2020, Netflix leads HBO with 42 total nominations to 38, contrasting 2019 where HBO had 47 to Netflix’s 30, while in 2018 it was Netflix that led. In terms of individual series nomination counts, another HBO drama, “Succession,” has 10 while Netflix’s “Ozark” has nine. For comedy, consistent nominees like “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” are joined by newcomers like FX’s vampire mockumentary “What We Do in the Shadows.” “The Masked Singer” from Fox is likewise nominated for the first time in Outstanding Competition Program category.
Following the host-less Primetime Emmys of last year, Jimmy Kimmel is back again as host when the 2020 Awards are held next month in September 20. It will be his third after 2012 and 2016.
Image courtesy of Rolling Stone