Beyoncé Knowles-Carter blessed the internet and the world on April 17, releasing a new Netflix film documenting her two 2018 Coachella performances, plus additional footage offering a glimpse into the iconic musician’s collaborative creative process. And indeed, it was very good.
The concerts – designed to celebrate the lasting legacy of Historically Black Colleges and Universities – were already guaranteed crowdpleasers, garnering more than 43 million views on YouTube in the last year, but what remains to be seen is whether or not the TV Academy will be similarly smitten with Beyoncé’s latest foray into the television sphere.
It’s not that the former Destiny’s Child star is unfamiliar with the Emmys. Beyoncé has four previous Emmy nominations, including nods for her 2013 Super Bowl Halftime Show, 2015 HBO “On The Run Tour” concert film with husband Jay-Z, as well as nominations for Variety Special and Direction of a Variety Special for 2016’s HBO visual album “Lemonade.”
But winning Emmys remains elusive for the “Formation” singer, most recently being edged out by “The Late Late Show Carpool Karaoke Primetime Special” and the direction on “Grease: Live.” Judging by the competition for Variety Special at this year’s Emmys, a “Homecoming” victory is far from guaranteed — and that’s based, in part, on the strength of Netflix’s other offerings that could be submitted in the category.
For instance, TV Academy members who received their first box of Netflix FYC screeners this week, on the heels of Queen Bey’s release, were reminded of the existence of Taylor Swift’s “Reputation” concert documentary, released on the streaming giant on December 31 of last year. It theoretically setting the stage for another Taylor vs. Beyoncé awards showdown, this time at the Emmys, instead of the Grammys.
But it’s not just Swift that Beyoncé will have have to outmaneuver to bring home Emmy for Variety Special. She’ll also be facing down Bruce Springsteen’s filmed Broadway show, Ellen DeGeneres’ first stand-up special in 15 years, Amy Schumer’s most recent stand-up special, a “Laugh-In” 50th anniversary celebration featuring Lily Tomlin — and the list goes on.
Again, that’s just Netflix. It says nothing about the potentially unbeatable behemoth that is CBS’ “Carpool Karaoke: When Corden Met McCartney Live From Liverpool” or perennial favorite “Kennedy Center Honors.”
Despite her immense and dedicated fan base, 100 million in individual album sales, dozens of Grammy Awards, Beyoncé faces repeated disconnect with major awards bodies. She went unacknowledged by the Academy Awards for her supporting turn in “Dreamgirls,” has gone unawarded at the Emmys, and despite being the most nominated woman in Grammys history, has yet to win either Best Record or Album of the Year.
Could this be the year that finally ends Beyoncé’s Emmys skid? Maybe. Should this be the year that the Emmys finally get in formation? Definitely.
Otherwise, look for “Beyoncé and James Corden: Hijinx on the Highway: Carpool Karaoke” in 2020.