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Emmys 2017 Trivia: Julia Louis-Dreyfus Moves One Step Closer to History & 18 More Wild Things About This Year’s Noms

Lady Gaga dominates; talk shows steal other categories; the overachiever of the year; and where's Oprah?

Julia Louis-Dreyfus68th Primetime Emmy Awards, Press Room, Los Angeles, USA - 18 Sep 2016

Julia Louis-Dreyfus



This could be the year that Julia Louis-Dreyfus makes Emmy history.

Nominated once again for playing Selina Meyer on HBO’s “Veep,” Louis-Dreyfus is the favorite to win her sixth consecutive Emmy as outstanding comedy actress. In doing so, she would beat the record for most Emmys won by a performer in the same role for the same series.

Right now, Louis-Dreyfus is in a three-way tie with Candice Bergen (“Murphy Brown”) and Don Knotts (“Andy Griffith Show”). All three thesps won five Emmys for their roles on those shows. Now, Louis-Dreyfus is poised to leap ahead.

What’s more, she’s also in line this year to tie Cloris Leachman for the most Emmys ever won by a female performer. Leachman has eight; Louis-Dreyfus has seven – tied with Mary Tyler Moore and Allison Janney. (Janney, of course, is competing with Louis-Dreyfus in the comedy actress category – so it will be a battle for the record books.)

Speaking of records, “Saturday Night Live” managed to shatter them yet again this year. The show’s 22 nominations this year are the most ever in a single year for a variety program. The show already has the most nominations ever for a program – 231, far ahead of second-place “E.R.” (which had 124). There’s really no chance of any program catching up to “SNL” any time soon.

Here are more oddities and trivia behind this year’s Emmy races:

One of these things is not like the other: The outstanding choreography Emmy has the usual nominees you’d expect: Two episodes of “Dancing with the Stars” and two episodes of “So You Think You Can Dance.” But up against those shows: ABC’s canceled comedy “The Real O’Neals,” which scored a nomination for the dance routines “Born This Way,” “West Side Story” and “Boyfriend.”

Someone call the Department of Child Services: Sandwiched between adult comedies “Archer,” “Bob’s Burgers,” “The Simpsons” and “South Park” in the Outstanding Animated Program category is the sweet Disney Channel special “Elena and the Secret of Avalor,” a spin-off of “Sofia the First.” The show premiered in primetime (at 7 p.m.), so it’s eligible.

Lady Gaga Super Bowl

Lady Gaga at the Super Bowl LI Halftime Show

Sean Ryan/IPS/REX/Shutterstock

It’s a Gaga World: Lady Gaga’s imprint is all over this year’s Emmy race, starting with six nominations for her Super Bowl LI Halftime Show. But even her costume designer, Perry Meek, scored a nomination this year, in the Outstanding Costumes for Variety, Nonfiction or Reality Programming category. He’s up for the “Oh. My. Gaga!” episode of “RuPaul’s Drag Race.” How powerful is Gaga? Her halftime special earned more noms than “The Beatles: Eight Days a Week – The Touring Years,” which landed five.

Overachiever of the Year: Donald Glover, you’re making everyone else look like they’re slacking. The “Atlanta” king saw his show nominated for Outstanding Comedy Series, while Glover also picked up nods for lead actor in a comedy, directing for a comedy series, and writing for a comedy series. The multi-hyphenate truly does it all.

Multi-Cam Needs Love Too: A multi-camera sitcom hasn’t been nominated in the Outstanding Comedy Series category since 2013, when “The Big Bang Theory” last earned a spot there. But there are still a handful of categories where traditional comedies can still get some love, including the Outstanding Multi-Camera Picture Editing for a Comedy Series race, which pits “Big Bang” against “Mom,” “One Day at a Time” and the recently canceled “Last Man Standing” and “2 Broke Girls.”

Ariana Grande as Penny Pingleton

Andrew Eccles / NBC

Give me hair: What might have been the biggest snub in Emmy history was avoided, as “Hairspray Live!” was nominated for Outstanding Hairstyling for a Multi-Camera Series or Special. (Among its competition: the “Saturday Night Live” episode hosted by Dwayne Johnson, who, of course, is bald.)

All you wanna do is talk, talk: One category apparently isn’t enough for the Variety Talk folks. Even though the category Outstanding Interactive Program appears to be open to any type of show, this year’s race is made up completely from late night: ” Full Frontal With Samantha Bee Online,” “Last Week Tonight With John Oliver,” ” The Late Late Show With James Corden,” ” Saturday Night Live Multiplatform Experience,” and ” The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon.”

All you wanna do is talk, talk Part II: By airing special episodes of their talk shows, series like “Full Frontal with Samantha Bee,” “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert,” “Conan” and “The Late Late Show with James Corden” all managed to snag various additional noms. “Full Frontal With Samantha Bee Presents Not The White House Correspondents’ Dinner,” James Corden’s “Carpool Karaoke Primetime Special 2017” and “Stephen Colbert’s Live Election Night Democracy’s Series Finale: Who’s Going To Clean Up This Sh*t?” all are competing in the Outstanding Variety Special category.

Stephen ColbertThe 65th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards, Press Room, Los Angeles, America - 22 Sep 2013

Stephen Colbert

Picture Perfect/REX/Shutterstock

All you wanna do is talk, talk Part III:  Per CBS, the nominations for both “The Late Show” and “The Late Late Show” in the Outstanding Variety Talk Series category marks the first time since 2003 that two daily broadcast late night shows from the same network have been nominated in the same year.

Virtual Reality Battle: VR took over the Outstanding Achievement in Interactive Media Within a Scripted Program category, with three of the nominees: “The Mr. Robot Virtual Reality Experience,” “The Simpsons – Planet Of The Couches,” and “Stranger Things VR Experience.” Hopefully the Emmy will be handed out virtually.

The scariest category: Presented without comment, the Outstanding Prosthetic Makeup for a Series, Limited Series, Movie or Special category seems to have horror on the mind with its nominees: “Penny Dreadful,” “American Horror Story: Roanoke,” “The Walking Dead,” “Westworld,” and… the “Saturday Night Live” episode with host Alec Baldwin, whose signature character on that show may be the most frightening of them all.

The most inappropriate category: As usual, the Outstanding Original Music and Lyrics competition doesn’t disappoint. “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend” scores perhaps the best nomination of them all, for the song “We Tapped That Ass.” Quite a contrast to another contender, “Jing-A-Ling-A-Ling,” from “Duck the Halls: A Mickey Mouse Christmas Special.” (Again, paging the Department of Children Services.)

This year’s most awkward face-offs: Two stars enter, but only one (or none) scores the Emmy. Among this year’s intra-show rivalries: “This Is Us” stars Sterling K. Brown and Milo Ventimiglia for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama; “The Night Of” stars Riz Ahmed and John Turturro for lead actor in a limited series; “Grace and Frankie’s” Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin for lead actress in a comedy; and “Feud: Bette and Joan” co-stars Jessica Lange and Susan Sarandon for lead actress in a limited series.

The Leftovers POST-AIR Season 3 Episode 7 Ann Dowd Justin Theroux

Ann Dowd with Justin Theroux

Ben King/HBO

Gone but not forgotten: Here’s a secret to earning an Outstanding Guest Actress in a Drama Series nomination: Be a former series regular, making a quick cameo return to the show you once called home. Alison Wright (Martha on “The Americans”), Ann Dowd (Patti on “The Leftovers”) and Laverne Cox (Sophia on “Orange is the New Black”) all landed nods this year by dropping by their old stomping grounds.

Short form shut out: The digital community’s concerns about the Outstanding Short Form Comedy or Drama Series category still haven’t been addressed. Like last year, most of this year’s nominees are actually online brand extensions of popular TV series. Only “Brown Girls,” from Open TV, is original; the other nominees are “Fear the Walking Dead: Passage,” “Hack into Broad City,” “Los Pollos Hermanos Employee Training,” and “Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: Slingshot.”

Where’s Oprah? Not only was her turn in the HBO film “The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks” overlooked, but her OWN network failed to garner a single nomination.

Studio tally: 20th Century Fox TV, along with its Fox 21 and Fox TV Studios imprint, reports that it garnered the most nominations outside of HBO Entertainment and Netflix (if, as it notes, Netflix is even considered a studio.) Here’s its list:

HBO Entertainment/Films – 110
Netflix – 91
20th Century Fox Television/Fox 21 TVS – 63
Warner Bros./Warner Horizon – 48
Universal Television – 47
Sony Television – 35
MGM Television – 44
FX Productions – 30
Broadway Video – 29
BBC – 19
ABC Studios – 17
Amazon Studios – 15
CBS Television – 12
AMC Studios – 3
Paramount Television – 2

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