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TV Winter Awards Scorecard: Which Shows Got the Most Recognition?

Numbers suggest we're heading for a "Succession" vs. "Squid Game" Emmy showdown.

Kieran Culkin in "Succession"

Kieran Culkin in “Succession”

Graeme Hunter

It’s February, the nominations for TV’s winter award season are in, and all that’s left is for the awards to be dispersed. But with ceremonies still a few weeks out, the news cycle has calmed down just enough for the industry to take a moment, take a breath, and take a look at this number crunching, all in the name of determining which series are truly top of the pops.

One of the most exciting facets of TV’s “offseason” awards is the fact that it’s a completely different game. While Emmy season is a single-minded marathon focused entirely on that big night in September, the past few months have seen dozens of organizations (and associated acronyms) announce nominations. It’s the latter part of that equation that makes it so difficult to track which shows are seeing more success than others and which are flying under the radar.

For the purposes of this piece, the data from 19 distinct nominating bodies has been synthesized and simplified, with some of the most cogent bits of information posted below.

Unsurprisingly, HBO’s prestige drama “Succession” is head and shoulders ahead of other nominated series, earning 33 nominations, recognized by 12 organizations.

“Succession” (HBO) 33 nominations, 12 organizations

  • American Cinema Editors (ACE) Eddie – 2
  • Art Directors Guild (ADG) – 1
  • Cinema Audio Society (CAS) – 1
  • Directors Guild of America (DGA) – 5
  • Motion Picture Sound Editors (MPSE) – 1
  • Producers Guild of America (PGA) – 1
  • Screen Actors Guild (SAG) – 5
  • Writers Guild of America (WGA) – 2
  • Critics Choice Association (CCA) – 8
  • Society of Composers and Lyricists (SCL) – 1
  • Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA) – 5
  • American Film Institute Top 10 (AFI) – 1

And yes, Season 3 of “Succession” has gotten a lot of notice, but it’s not the outlier that it might seem. Hot on its heels are the second season of Apple TV+’s “Ted Lasso” with 27 nominaitons, HBO’s “Mare of Easttown” with 25, and Disney+’s “WandaVision” and Netflix’s “Squid Game” with 22 nominations each.

More interesting still is how all those nominations are disseminated. As mentioned, “Succession” saw its success spread across 12 guilds and groups, as did “Ted Lasso” and “Squid Game.” Primary across all series in awards contention, however, is “Mare of Easttown.” The limited series scored mentions from 15 of the 19 possible organizations, missing only with the Visual Effects Society (VES), SCL, International Animated Film Society (Annie), and Film Independent Spirit (Indie Spirit). Of those four misses, the limited series was likely only eligible for two. (Because of the Indie Spirits nebulous eligibility requirements, the competition status of “Mare” is unclear.)

Ted Lasso Season 2 Jason Sudeikis Brendan Hunt

Jason Sudeikis and Brendan Hunt in “Ted Lasso”

Colin Hutton / Apple TV+

Only two other series had their accolades span as wide or wider than “Succession,” in HBO Max’s freshman comedy series “Hacks” (which nabbed 19 nominations) and the aforementioned limited series “WandaVision.” Both shows competed at the 2021 Emmy Awards, as did “Mare,” suggesting that the shows Emmy voters liked a few months ago are still the series that voters like now, as seen below.

“Ted Lasso” (Apple TV+) 27 nominations, 12 organizations

  • ACE – 2
  • ADG – 1
  • CAS – 1
  • DGA – 3
  • MPSE – 3
  • PGA – 1
  • SAG – 5
  • WGA – 1
  • CCA – 4
  • Casting Society of America (Artios) – 1
  • HFPA – 4
  • AFI – 1

“Mare of Easttown” (HBO) 25 nominations, 15 organizations

  • ACE – 2
  • ADG – 1
  • American Society of Cinematographers (ASC) – 1
  • CAS – 1
  • Costume Designers Guild (CDG) – 1
  • DGA – 1
  • MPSE – 1
  • Make-Up and Hairstylists Guild (MUAH) – 2
  • PGA – 1
  • SAG – 4
  • WGA – 1
  • CCA – 5
  • Artios – 1
  • HFPA – 2
  • AFI – 1

“WandaVision” (Disney+) 22 nominations, 13 organizations

  • ADG – 1
  • CAS – 2
  • CDG – 1
  • MPSE – 1
  • MUAHS – 3
  • PGA – 1
  • VES – 3
  • WGA – 1
  • CCA – 4
  • Artios – 1
  • SCL – 1
  • HFPA – 2
  • AFI – 1

“Squid Game” (Netflix) 22 nominations, 12 organizations

  • ACE – 1
  • ADG – 1
  • CAS – 1
  • CDG – 1
  • MPSE – 3
  • PGA – 1
  • SAG – 4
  • VES – 1
  • CCA – 3
  • SCL – 1
  • HFPA – 3
  • Indie Spirit- 1
  • AFI – 1

While “Mare” and “WandaVision” are both good limited series in their own right, their success is unhelpful in terms of what’s lurking after the conclusion of TV’s winter awards season. So let’s pull back a bit and look at the bigger picture with regard to the 2022 Emmy Awards — only two dozen or so weeks away now! — and which debuts from the back half of 2021 are in prime position.

As for drama series, the information above paints a pretty clear case for the frontrunners consisting of “Succession” and “Squid Game.” It’s a matchup we’ve been eyeing ever since “Squid Game” appeared on the scene, and there’s been little in the way of disruption for either show.

In comedy series, it’s plain that defending champion “Ted Lasso” is well on its way to repeating the feat, but its primary competition at this point appears to be Hulu’s “Only Murders in the Building,” a new show starring Steve Martin, Martin Short, and Selena Gomez. At this juncture if there was a point of concern between the two, it would center around the narrowed base of “Only Murders,” which saw its nominations come from only eight organizations, compared to 12 for the feel-good soccer series.

Jolene Purdy, Murray Bartlett, Alexandra Daddario, and Jake Lacy in "White Lotus"

Jolene Purdy, Murray Bartlett, Alexandra Daddario, and Jake Lacy in “White Lotus”

Mario Perez/HBO

 “Only Murders in the Building” (Hulu) 17 nominations, eight organizations

  • ADG – 1
  • CAS -1
  • MPSE – 1
  • PGA – 1
  • SAG – 3
  • WGA – 3
  • CCA – 4
  • HFPA -3

Even the limited series race is slowly, but surely coming together. Making a strong showing in the months since its release, HBO’s “The White Lotus” has been a consistent performer, accumulating 16 nominations from a total of 13 different awards bodies. Hulu’s “Dopesick” has also proven itself a contender with 11 nominations across six organizations.

“The White Lotus” (HBO) 16 nominations, 13 organizations

  • ACE – 2
  • ADG – 1
  • CAS – 1
  • DGA – 1
  • MPSE – 1
  • PGA – 1
  • SAG – 2
  • WGA – 1
  • CCA – 2
  • SCL – 1
  • HFPA – 1
  • Indie Spirit – 1
  • AFI – 1

“Dopesick” (Hulu) 11 nominations, six organizations

  • ACE – 1
  • DGA – 2
  • PGA – 1
  • SAG – 1
  • CCA – 3
  • HFPA – 3

All of this, of course, is just the tip of the iceberg. The races, both Emmy and otherwise, will gain increasing clarity in the weeks and months to come. Until then, here’s how a few other shows have fared this winter. (“The Morning Show,” “The Great,” and “Loki” are currently eligible to compete for Emmys in 2022.)

“Hacks” – (HBO Max) 19 nominations from 13 organizations
“The Underground Railroad” – (Amazon Prime Video) 15 nominations, 12 organizations
“The Morning Show” – (Apple TV+) 14 nominations, eight organizations
“The Handmaid’s Tale” – (Hulu) 13 nominations, 10 organizations
“The Great”– (Hulu) 11 nominations, six organizations
“Loki” – (Disney+) 11 nominations, seven organizations

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