NORTH HOLLYWOOD — A record number of nominees is expected when nominations for the 72nd annual Primetime Emmy Awards are announced Tuesday.
The number of nominees will be based on the number of submissions in the category under a rule change announced last month by the Television Academy. The change comes in response to the growing number of submissions and “to allow for more inclusiveness in the recognition of excellence,” according to the Television Academy.
Submissions for 2020 Primetime Emmys increased by 15% over the 2019 ceremony, when there were more than 9,100 submissions, a record, according to Television Academy Chairman and CEO Frank Scherma.
There will be a sliding scale between zero and four nominations in categories with one to 19 submissions; five nominations in categories with 20-80 submissions; six nominations in categories with 81-160 submissions; seven nominations in categories with 161-240 submissions; and eight nominations in categories with more than 240 submissions.
There will be eight nominations each in the outstanding comedy and drama series categories, regardless of the number of submissions. There were eight nominees for outstanding drama series at the 2019 Emmys and seven for outstanding comedy series.
Paired performer categories, such as outstanding supporting actor in a comedy and outstanding supporting actress in a comedy, will have the identical number of nominees.
The rule change eliminates the previous 2% rule, which specified that in categories with five nominees, if the fifth and sixth top vote-getters were within 2% of each other, both would be nominated.
“The increase in submissions is a reflection of the number of new voices, new television platforms and a tremendous growth in content from existing platforms across our industry,” Scherma said. “Despite production suspension resulting from COVID-19, there is a wealth of excellent work submitted for this year’s competition.”
There will be at least two nominees for outstanding drama series that weren’t nominated last year, as HBO’s “Game of Thrones” won in its final season and BBC One only made one season of the British police political-thriller “Bodyguard.”
NBC’s “This Is Us” and AMC’s “Better Call Saul” are seeking their fifth nominations during their five-season runs. “Better Call Saul” was nominated each year from 2015-17 and again last season but was not eligible in 2018 because its season began after the eligibility period.
“This Is Us” is the only series on a major broadcast network to be nominated in the category since 2012. A series from the major broadcast networks has not won in the category since Fox’s “24” in 2006.
Netflix’s “Ozark,” FX’s “Pose” and HBO’s “Succession” are seeking their second consecutive nominations.
Past nominees in contention for nominations after not being eligible last year because they did not release enough new episodes during the eligibility period include ‘The Crown,” “The Handmaid’s Tale,” “Stranger Things” and “Westworld,” which were all nominated both of their first two seasons, with “The Handmaid’s Tale” winning in 2017.
Other contenders include HBO’s “Big Little Lies,” which won the outstanding limited series Emmy in 2017, and Apple TV+’s “The Morning Show” which received a best television drama Golden Globe nomination in December for its first season.
There will be a different winner for outstanding comedy series, as “Fleabag” ended its run after two seasons. There will also be at least five nominees in the field of eight that were not nominated last year.
Last year’s nominees eligible for nominations are Netflix’s “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel,” the 2018 winner; NBC’s “The Good Place”; and Pop TV’s “Schitt’s Creek.” The latter two series both ended their runs this year.
Other contenders include HBO’s “Curb Your Enthusiasm,” an eight-time nominee in the category, and Netflix’s “The Kominsky Method,” a 2020 Golden Globes nominee for outstanding television musical or comedy series and SAG Award nominee for outstanding performance by an ensemble in a comedy series.
Because CBS did not air a new season of “The Amazing Race” during the eligibility period, it will not be among the nominees for outstanding reality-competition program for the first time in the category’s 19-year history.
VH1’s “RuPaul’s Drag Race,” the winner the past two years; NBC’s “American Ninja Warrior” and “The Voice”; and Bravo’s “Top Chef” have all been nominated for at least three consecutive years and are eligible again this year. The Netflix baking series, “Nailed It!” a 2019 nominee, is also eligible this year.
The 8:30 a.m. announcement ceremony, which will be held on a virtual basis and streamed on Emmys.com, will be hosted by Leslie Jones, a three-time Emmy nominee for her work on “Saturday Night Live.”
Presenters include Emmy-winning actress Tatiana Maslany, Emmy-nominated actress Laverne Cox, and Josh Gad, who shared a best musical theater album Grammy for the original Broadway cast recording of “The Book of Mormon.”
The 72nd annual Primetime Emmy Awards, which honor programming initially airing between 6 p.m. and 2 a.m. between June 1, 2019, and May 31, 2020, will be presented Sept. 20 with Jimmy Kimmel as host.
“I don’t know where or how or even why we are doing this, but we are and I am hosting it!” Kimmel proclaimed on his Twitter page June 16, confirming his selection as host.
The bulk of the awards will be presented at what the Television Academy bills as an “innovative virtual event taking place over several nights in September” in place of the Creative Arts Emmys, which were canceled because of the coronavirus pandemic.
Those awards are mainly in obscure technical categories, such as picture editing, costuming, hairstyling, makeup and sound, but also include awards for guest acting.
By STEVEN HERBERT | City News Service