April and May are to the Emmys as November and December are to the Oscars, as networks strive to premiere shows before the May 31 Emmy eligibility cutoff date, in hopes that these shows will be fresh in voters’ minds when filling out ballots.
With that in mind, it may not be too crazy to start looking at what shows could collect nominations this summer, and potentially stand as major players at the Emmys in September. So here are six of our bold predictions for this year’s Emmy’s nominations, and you can hear all of Ben and Liz’s picks in their podcast below.
“Westworld” Sweeps All Technical Categories for TV Drama
While it’s still early to see whether or not HBO’s new hit series will compete for the ultimate prize of Best TV Drama, it may not be too crazy to think that “Westworld” will, at the very least, collect nominations for all the below-the-line categories, including production design, costumes, and special effects. With “Game of Thrones” will not be competing at this year’s ceremony, “Westworld” could end up being the heavy hitter for the network on the technical side of things.
Neil Patrick Harris Gets a Nomination for “A Series of Unfortunate Events”
Netflix’s adaptation of “A Series of Unfortunate Events” was well-received by audiences and critics alike, and perhaps the most significant driving force in front of and behind the camera was Neil Patrick Harris. While his performance as Count Olaf isn’t as traditional as past nominees in the Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series Category, Harris’ quirky and versatile turn as the villainous count may just be memorable enough to get his name on voters’ ballots.
“Sherlock” Gets Shut Out
Usually a powerhouse at the Emmys, this year could be the first time the wildly popular BBC series “Sherlock” does not earn a single nomination, as the much anticipated fourth season received a mixed reception, to the point where it may not stand out to voters in any category. Of course, it’s never safe to bet against any show which has had a successful history at the Emmys, but this just might not be the year for the “Sherlock” crew.
Ian McShane Picks Up an Outstanding Supporting Actor Nomination for “American Gods”
As a show that has still yet to become available to the general public, it’s certainly interesting to hear mumblings regarding the upcoming Starz supernatural drama “American Gods.” And while not much can be revealed about the still embargoed series (which recently premiered at SXSW), Ian McShane’s supporting performance is generating enough buzz that some think he will be recognized in July when nominations are announced. The show will officially premiere on April 30.
Nicole Kidman Gets Nominated for “Big Little Lies,” But Reese Witherspoon Does Not
“Big Little Lies” has established itself as a terrific platform for great actresses to deliver phenomenal performances, and its two most prestigious stars, Nicole Kidman and Reese Witherspoon, are primed to stand as contenders for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Limited Series. Witherspoon and the show have been viewed as inseparable, but recently Kidman’s performance has been catching fire with critics — though she could also be pushed into the Supporting Category. Throw Shailenne Woodley into the mix, and who knows what nominations this show could end up getting?
For the First Time, “The Leftovers” Will Be Nominated for Outstanding Drama Series
Surprised? IndieWire’s love for “The Leftovers” is no secret, but the show has been garnering critical acclaim since its debut. With its final season quickly approaching, it may seem like the stars are aligning for the show to finally receive a nomination for Outstanding Drama Series. The HBO show may also compete in other categories, and it is certainly not a lock for this nomination, as there will obviously be some serious competition. But there would be no better way for the show to end its run than with a nomination for TV’s highest award.
It’s certainly tough to foresee exactly how all these nominations play out, especially with shows like “Fargo” and “Twin Peaks” yet to debut, with the latter possibly not even being eligible to earn any nominations due to the cut-off date. But these next two months will create a clearer picture as to what we should and shouldn’t expect to see nominated, and while we may not see any of the above predictions come true, you can definitely be sure to expect to a surprise or two come July.
Listen to IndieWire TV Editor Liz Shannon Miller and TV Critic Ben Travers debate the issue in this week’s Very Good TV Podcast (above). Don’t forget to subscribe via Soundcloud or iTunes, and follow IndieWire on Twitter and Facebook for all your pertinent TV news. Check out Liz and Ben’s Twitter feeds for more, more, more. Plus, don’t forget to listen to IndieWire’s other podcasts: Screen Talk with Eric Kohn and Anne Thompson, as well as Michael Schneider’s new podcast, Turn It On, which spotlights the most important TV of each week.