Every year, the Emmy nominations come out, and every year, gigantic numbers are tossed around like sports scores. HBO has 140 nominations! Netflix has 105! Fifty-eight for Hulu! Twenty-five just for “Succession” — and the actors alone scored 14!
But by the time winners are announced, networks and programs are lucky to walk away with one-third of their nomination count in gold. All those high initial tallies are impossible to match in the end because shows, and especially networks, are often competing against themselves. HBO cannot win 140 Emmys because there are only 118 categories. “Succession” cannot win 25 Emmys because it’s only nominated in 13 categories. “Yellowstone” cannot win any Emmys because it wasn’t nominated. Math, it turns out, can be healing.
The best way to avoid getting lost in all these numbers is to look at each competition head-to-head; to prepare for Emmy night by considering how many trophies these nomination leaders deserve to take home. Below, I’m not asking what will win. Let’s leave that to IndieWire’s extensive prediction pages. I’m asking what should win. That way, when the next batch of numbers hits — 40 wins! 10 wins! — you’ll know if a show over-performed or under-performed. You’ll have a pretty good idea what the TV Academy, and thus the TV industry, thinks of these shows compared to, say, one somewhat subjective critic. You’ll be able to look at that final number and say, “Huh, that’s a little high,” instead of, “Wow, that show lost a lot.”
So join me in IndieWire’s first category-by-category breakdown of “Ted Lasso,” the Comedy categories’ leader in nominations. Of its 20 nods in 14 categories, how many does it deserve to win? Let’s find out.