Variety's Awards HQ with Michael Schneider newsletter, May 16, 2022.
Awards HQ May 16: ‘RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars,’ Norm Macdonald Special, Should the Golden Globes Return?
Greetings from Variety Awards Headquarters! Today is May 16, 2022, which means it’s now 31 days until Emmy nominations-round voting begins on June 16 and 42 days until Emmy nomination round voting ends on June 27. From there, it’s 57 days until Emmy nominations are announced on July 12; then 88 days until final round voting begins on August 12, followed by 98 days until final round voting ends on August 22. Then comes the finales: It’s 110 days until the Creative Arts Emmys kicks off its two-night event on September 3; and then it’s 119 days until the 74th Emmy Awards takes place, live on NBC, September 12.
Greetings from 35,000 feet, as I prep this week’s newsletter while flying across the country to attend this year’s upfronts.
What’s that, you say? “Wait, the upfronts still exist?” Why yes, they do. But notice I didn’t call them the “broadcast network upfronts,” like I would have in the past. Because after two years of virtual presentations due to the pandemic, the upfronts have returned — but they won’t look like the old upfronts of yore. These are now conglomerate presentations, which means it’s not the ABC upfronts, it’s the Disney Upfronts. And we won’t be attending the CBS upfronts at Carnegie Hall, it’s the Paramount Global upfronts. Even Fox — the most indie of the Big Four nets — will discuss its entire range of offerings (including Tubi!) and not just focus what will air Thursdays at 8 p.m. on the Fox network.
This shift actually began several years ago, as the congloms began touting all of their offerings to advertisers at the same time. Even prior to the pandemic, the last NBCUniversal upfront in 2019 mentioned NBC and its lineup as just a part of its larger presentation. And last time I was in New York, the Disney acquisition of 21st Century Fox’s assets had already happened, and I took a very amusing photo of a poster touting the decidely un-Disney like FX hit “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia” plastered with the Disney logo.
It’s all a crazy, tumultuous time in the biz, but I will take the excitement of this business and its evolution as a nice distraction to the real world travesties going on right now, including the terrifying movement toward restricting women’s rights, tearing down voting rights and marginalizing LGBTQ+ families. And then there’s the spread of white nationalism, which has been amplified by the likes of TV personalities including Tucker Carlson and broadcast on major channels like Fox News. It’s those utterly awful white supremacist viewpoints that are inspiring young white domestic terrorists to take up guns and murder innocent Americans. And until someone does something about it, and until Fox News stops broadcasting its repulsive filth, nothing will change.
It’s truly a dark time we’re entering, and it’s hard sometimes to focus on our jobs given the freedoms being stripped away, almost daily, from all of us. Let’s hold strong, and keep fighting while also continuing to celebrate the arts and the creative endeavors that remain an important part of the human experience. And with that, let’s get going.***********************
Exclusive: ‘RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars’ Takes Over Saks Fifth Avenue Window Display
Last Wednesday, “RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars” (the new season premieres on Friday, May 20 on Paramount+), partnered with the New York flagship Saks Fifth Avenue store to feature an exclusive window display inspired by season 7 queens. Each queen was on display in their custom designed window for the grand ‘ruveal.’
“All Stars” Season 7 contestants Jaida Essence Hall, Jinkx Monsoon, Monét X Change, Raja, Shea Couleé, Trinity The Tuck, Yvie Oddly and The Vivienne all participated.
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AWARDS CIRCUIT COLUMN: How the Emmys Dumped ‘Primetime’ to Focus on Genre, As We Move Closer to a Post-Linear Era
We live in an on-demand age where viewers can watch late night talk shows in the morning, soap operas at midnight and game shows all hours of the day. What’s even a daypart anymore?
It’s a question that both TV academies have been wrestling with for years. And they still don’t have all the answers. But for now, they’ve removed the arbitrary time frame that used to define what’s eligible for a Primetime Emmy or Daytime Emmy, so I guess that’s a start.
An excerpt from this week’s column:
And just like that, the Television Academy took the “primetime” out of the Primetime Emmys. In December, I wrote about the new agreement between the formerly combative Los Angeles- and New York-based TV academies in which categories would start to be aligned by genre, rather than dayparts. And now, we’re starting to see the changes take effect.
Most notably, the org behind the Primetime Emmys, the Television Academy here on the West Coast, has tweaked the language in its eligibility rules to take out specific time frames. Previously, programs and individual achievements within them were “eligible for nomination if they were originally aired (6:00 p.m.-2:00 a.m.) during the current eligibility year.”
This year, however, the qualifying rule stipulates that any programs and individual achievements within them “identify as Primetime program by virtue of genre and [if they] were originally presented during the current eligibility year.”
It’s a subtle, but monumental difference as we head into a post-linear era.
Read it all here.
Can Norm Macdonald Finally Win an Emmy, Posthumously, For His Final Comedy Special?
Norm Macdonald may now be in the running for a posthumous Emmy. Netflix pulled a May surprise on Thursday, revealing that a final stand-up special from the legendary comedian, who died in September, will launch on May 30. The streamer confirmed that the special will be submitted for consideration, presumably in the outstanding variety special (pre-recorded) category.
Titled “Nothing Special,” the show will premiere a day before the May 31 cut-off date for Emmy eligibility. Despite a tremendous career in television, Macdonald had never been nominated for an Emmy.
According to Netflix, “Nothing Special” was shot during the summer of 2020, in the middle of lockdown due to the pandemic. Macdonald reportedly self-taped an hour-long set alone in his own living room, and performed it in a single take. The title “Nothing Special” was reportedly Macdonald’s own idea. The special is executive produced by the comedian’s longtime producing partner, Lori Jo Hoekstra.
Read more here.
This Week’s Poll: Should the Golden Globes Return?
The Hollywood Foreign Press Association drama continues, as it announced last week that it would put itself on the auction block and courting buyers to potentially become a for-profit organization.
The HFPA’s interim CEO, Todd Boehly, is negotiating with the HFPA board to buy the org. The HFPA has formed a special committee within the nonprofit organization “to determine potential outside strategic interest in its organization and assets.” The end game is “optimizing the value of the HFPA’s various assets and continue to enhance the organization’s position in the marketplace while strengthening its relationships with various stakeholders,” HFPA stated.
Boehly’s Eldridge Industries owns MRC Live and Alternative (formerly Dick Clark Productions), which produces the Golden Globe Awards via a tenuous business relationship with the HFPA.
“The HFPA is committed to a thorough and swift review of its potential strategic alternatives to identify a path forward that is in its best interests. At this time, the Special Committee has not reached any conclusion, and there can be no assurance the review will result in any transaction or other strategic change or outcome,” the HFPA stated.
Afyer the turmoil within the org that led to last year’s cancellation of a Golden Globes telecast on NBC, the question remains whether the show can make a comeback in 2023.
Should it return? Take this week’s poll! Click on the box below.
Meanwhile, here are the results from last week’s poll. NBC is by far the winner for where you think the SAG Awards might end up. Stay tuned!
Lack of Emmy-Winning Black Women Comedians Is No Laughing Matter: 12 Reminders for TV Academy
Clayton Davis, Selome Hailu and Angelique Jackson write:
The hilarity of Black women on television has been sorely missed and ignored by the Television Academy over multiple decades. However, with this year’s slate of outstanding comedy series as robust as ever, it’s presented an incredible amount of worthy Black women to land Emmy recognition in the lead and supporting comedy categories.
With freshman outings such as “Abbott Elementary” (ABC), “The Afterparty” (Apple TV+) and “Harlem” (Amazon Prime Video) and the farewell seasons of “Black-ish” (ABC) and “Insecure” (HBO), there’s plenty of chances in categories that have sorely lacked Black winners.
In lead actress comedy, only six Black women have been nominated since its inception in 1966 — Diahann Carroll (“Julia”), Isabel Sanford (“The Jeffersons”), Nell Carter (“Gimme a Break!”), Phylicia Rashad (“The Cosby Show”), Tracee Ellis Ross (“Black-ish”) and Issa Rae (“Insecure”). Sanford was the only Black woman to win the category in 1981.
In 2020, we saw history made with the first two Black women, Ellis and Rae, nominated for outstanding comedy series and lead actresses in a comedy.
Ahead of nomination voting opening on June 16, Variety is listing the Black women that demand the TV Academy’s consideration, including Zazie Beetz, Danielle Brooks, Quinta Brunson, Ariana DeBose, Tiffany Haddish and more. Read the full list here.
ON THE CIRCUIT: ‘The Late Late Show with James Corden’ FYC and More
Listen, I know he was just being kind, but when James Corden suggested that I should take over as host of “The Late Late Show” on CBS, I hope the execs in the audience were listening.
Last week I dropped by the NeueHouse to chat with Corden and executive producer Rob Crabbe (the show’s other EP, Ben Winston, had come down with COVID after the Met Ball), to talk about the late night show, as well as its Apple TV+ spinoff “Carpool Karaoke: The Series.” The big topic, of course, was Corden’s recent announcement that he would do just one more year of the show.
We chatted about a wide range of topics about the show, including its pivot to a more looser format during the pandemic (turning CBS exec Nick Bernstein into a star) and its return to popular segments like “Carpool Karaoke,” which was back a few weeks ago with Nicki Minaj. Corden also shared an upcoming clip of him riding with Tom Cruise in a fighter plane, and discussed next month’s week of shows in London.
Among other events last week:
Variety’s senior artisans editor ,Jazz Tangcay emceed the “Slow Horses” Q&A with the show’s cast Gary Oldman and Jack Lowden.
The first episode of Apple TV +’s spy thrilled was screened for an audience of Academy members. Post screening, Tangcay asked Oldman about his first scene as Jackson Lamb, which sees him asleep on a couch before being woken by a fart. To the audience’s amusement, Oldman cited it as his best ever entrance — next to Dracula in the 1992 film “Bram Stoker’s Dracula.”
“Slow Horses” is based on a series of books by Mick Herron, and during the Q&A, Lowden and Oldman revealed they had shot the second season already, “Dead Lions,” which will follow on from the events of the first season. (Photo by Tony Miros)
Peacock and UCP hosted its premiere last week at the Pacific Design Center for “Angelyne,” its take on the ’80s L.A. icon. (The series premieres on Peacock on Thursday, May 19.)
Guests included star and executive producer Emmy Rossum and stars Philip Ettinger, Molly Ephraim, Hamish Linklater, Alex Karpovsky, Charlie Rowe, Antjuan Tobias, Tonatiuh, Olivia Jellen, along with executive producer/showrunner Allison Miller, director Matt Spicerand executive producer Chad Hamilton.
Hulu’s “Candy,” which premiered last week, held a premiere, post-screening Q&A and party with star/EP Jessica Biel, stars Melanie Lynskey, Pablo Schreiber, Timothy Simons, Raúl Esparza, Dash McCloud, Antonelle Rose, showrunner/co-Creator/Executive Producer Robin Veith, co-creator/EP Nick Antosca and EPs Michelle Purple and Alex Hedlund.
“Stranger Things” is finally back! The Netflix series celebrated its Season 4 premiere at Netflix Studios in Brooklyn on Saturday. Exec producers Shawn Levy and Matt & Ross Duffer opened the screening, with attendees including stars Winona Ryder, David Harbour, Millie Bobby Brown, Finn Wolfhard, Gaten Matarazzo , Caleb McLaughlin, Noah Schnapp, Sadie Sink, Natalia Dyer, Charlie Heaton, Joe Keery, Maya Hawke, Priah Ferguson, Brett Gelman, Cara Buono, Jamie Campbell Bower, Joseph Quinn, Eduardo Franco, Sherman Augustus, Mason Dye, Nikola Djuricko, Myles Truitt, Regina Ting Chen, Grace Van Dien, Logan Riley Bruner, Elodie Grace Orkin and Amybeth McNulty .
WATCH MY SHOW: ‘Dr. Death’ Showrunner Patrick Macmanus Answers our Survey
It’s been a busy year for Patrick Macmanus, who is behind two major titles and Emmy contenders as the EP/showrunner of Peacock’s “Dr. Death” and EP/co-showrunner of Hulu’s “The Girl from Plainville.” Both stories are taken from real-life tales and people; in the case of “Dr. Death,” the show is adapted from a Wondery podcast about Christopher Duntsch, a onetime Dallas neurosurgeon whose butcher-like techniques killed two patients and permanently injured more.
Joshua Jackson plays Duntsch through the decades, while Alec Baldwin and Christian Slater are two surgeons who soon realize how dangerous their colleague is and seek to stop him. We asked Macmanus to fill out our Showrunner Seven.
Sum up your show’s pitch in one sentence. “Dr. Death” is the story of a Dallas based neurosurgeon who maimed and murdered thirty-three out of thirty-eight patients and the doctors and lawyer who not only brought him to justice but shined a light on the system that failed to stop him.
What’s an alternate title for your show? I hate to cop out but I cannot think of anything. This was a perfect gift from Wondery right from the start.
What do we need to know before tuning in? Audiences should know that while this is a particularly egregious and devastating example of medical harm, it is important that they know they must be an active participant in their healthcare. Never settle. Always ask questions.
Give us an equation for your show. (Blank plus blank minus blank times blank, etc.) “All The President’s Men” + “Malice” / “Dawson’s Creek” = “Dr. Death.”
What’s the best thing someone said about your show? Someone once told me that after watching our series they would never settle for a simple recommendation for a healthcare provider. This, to me, means that we accomplished more than simply entertaining our audiences. We are educating them, as well.
If you could work on any other series on TV, what would it be? “Atlanta” but I’m not talented enough to do so…
Finish this sentence: “If you like _______, you’ll love our show.” If you like stories of classic heroes and complicated villains, you’ll love our show.
‘Spider-Man: No Way Home,’ ‘Euphoria’ Lead MTV Movie & TV Awards 2022 Nominations
“Spider-Man: No Way Home,” “Euphoria,” “The Batman” and “RuPaul’s Drag Race” lead this year’s MTV Movie & TV Awards nominations, the network announced on Wednesday. The outlet also announced that this year’s event would combine the longrunning MTV Movie & TV Awards with its recent spinoff, the all-reality “Movie & TV Awards: Unscripted,” into a one-night event to air live on Sunday, June 5.
This year’s telecast once again takes place live from Santa Monica’s Barker Hangar, and features new categories including best song and “here for the hookup” on the MTV Movie & TV Awards side, as well as “best reality return,” best music documentary, best reality romance and best reality star; those last four will be featured during the “Movie & TV Awards: Unscripted” portion of the evening.
The awards show’s categories continue to be gender-neutral, and most movie/TV categories have been merged. Fans can vote across 26 categories starting May 11 and through May 18 at 6 p.m. ET on vote.mtv.com.
Here are some of this year’s nominees:
BEST SHOW “Euphoria” “Inventing Anna” “Loki” “Squid Game” “Ted Lasso” “Yellowstone”
BEST PERFORMANCE IN A SHOW Amanda Seyfried – “The Dropout” Kelly Reilly – “Yellowstone” Lily James – “Pam & Tommy” Sydney Sweeney – “Euphoria” Zendaya – “Euphoria”
BEST COMEDIC PERFORMANCE Brett Goldstein – “Ted Lasso” John Cena – “Peacemaker” Johnny Knoxville – “Jackass Forever” Megan Stalter – “Hacks” Ryan Reynolds – “Free Guy”
BREAKTHROUGH PERFORMANCE Alana Haim – “Licorice Pizza” Ariana DeBose – “West Side Story” Hannah Einbinder – “Hacks” Jung Ho-yeon – “Squid Game” Sophia Di Martino – “Loki”
HERE FOR THE HOOKUP “Euphoria” “Never Have I Ever” “Pam & Tommy” “Sex/Life” “Sex Lives of College Girls”
BEST DOCU-REALITY SERIES “Jersey Shore: Family Vacation” “Love & Hip Hop: Atlanta” “Selling Sunset” “Summer House” “The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills”
BEST COMPETITION SERIES “American Idol” “Dancing with the Stars” “RuPaul’s Drag Race” “The Challenge: Spies, Lies & Allies” “The Masked Singer”
BEST LIFESTYLE SHOW “Bar Rescue” “Dr. Pimple Popper” “Making It” “Selena + Chef” “Queer Eye”
BEST NEW UNSCRIPTED SERIES “Hart to Heart” “Teen Mom: Family Reunion” “The D’Amelio Show” “The Real Housewives Ultimate Girls Trip” “Queen of the Universe”
Read the full list of MTV Movie & TV Awards and Movie & TV: Unscripted nominees, go here.
AWARDS CIRCUIT PODCAST: ‘Station Eleven’ Stars and Creator on How the Show May Live On with ‘The Glass Hotel’ and a Full Graphic Novel
“I remember damage.” That haunting quote, from the novel “Station Eleven,” by Emily St. John Mandel, becomes an ongoing theme in the TV series of the same name, adapted by Patrick Somerville for HBO Max. “Station Eleven” started in development, and even began shooting, before the COVID-19 pandemic. But the ten-episode series — about the aftermath of a devastating flu that wipes out most of the world, and the survivors who attempt to rebuild and reimagine the world anew – obviously took on an entirely new resonance when the real-life pandemic hit.
What does “I remember damage” mean to the show’s stars? What’s it like to promote a show about live after a pandemic… during a pandemic? How did the cast and crew keep the show’s action straight while shooting, given its jumps between multiple timelines? And could there ever be a second season? Stars Mackenzie Davis and Himesh Patel, along with Somerville, joined Variety’s Awards Circuit Podcast to discuss all of those questions, explain what “Face Reveal Fridays” was on set, and a lot more. Also in this episode, the Variety Awards Circuit Roundtable dissects the Emmy actress categories. Listen below!
Variety’s “Awards Circuit” podcast, produced by Michael Schneider, is your one-stop listen for lively conversations about the best in film and television. Each week “Awards Circuit” features interviews with top film and TV talent and creatives; discussions and debates about awards races and industry headlines; and much, much more. Subscribe via Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, Spotify or anywhere you download podcasts. New episodes post every Thursday and Friday. Read more here.
Network TV Had Some Wins This Year, So Why Crush That Hope With a ‘Red Wedding’ Cancellation Dump?
It felt like a TV bloodbath like no other. Thursday’s rapid-fire succession of primetime bullets took down “Magnum P.I.” and two Chuck Lorre comedies at CBS; Ted Danson’s “Mr. Mayor” and Ted Danson’s “Kenan,” plus freshman drama “The Endgame” at NBC; and a large chunk of the lineup — including “Legacies” (pictured above), “Charmed,” “Dynasty” and “Roswell, New Mexico” — at The CW.
And that’s not even the entire list of this week’s axed shows. Yet, this day of death — which “Legacies,” “Roswell” and “The Endgame” exec producer Julie Plec compared to the “Game of Thrones” massacre known as the “Red Wedding” — was really nothing new. In the before times, the week prior to upfronts always got nasty as shows were thrown overboard to make room for the newbies. The cycle of broadcast life, etc. etc.
But it’s been an unusual two years due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The traditional upfronts were thrown out the window, and scheduling thrown out of whack due to production starts and stops. Shows that might have been canceled weren’t, as networks held on to what they had to keep the pipeline going in these uncertain times.
All of that just masked the primetime reckoning that was coming — and honestly, still hasn’t completely happened. Consider this a bit of a transition year, as the dust still settles from corporate mergers, acquisitions and realignments.
Read the full column here.
Mark the Date: That Other Awards Show, the Oscars, Announces March 2023 Airdate, Good Luck Movies
By Ellise Shafer: The 95th Oscars will be held on March 12, 2023, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and ABC announced on Friday.
The ceremony will mark the second year in a row that the Academy Awards have taken place in March, with this past year’s edition occurring on March 27. The 95th Oscars will air live on ABC in more than 200 territories worldwide from the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood.
The submission deadline for general entry categories for the 2023 Oscars is Nov. 15. Preliminary voting will begin on Dec. 12, and the shortlists will be announced on Dec. 21. The eligibility period will end on Dec. 31, and nominations voting will take place between Jan. 12 and Jan. 17, 2023. The nominations will be announced on Jan. 24, 2023, with final voting taking place between March 2 and March 7, 2023.
Read more here.
Clayton Davis’ Emmy Predictions: Lead Actress in a Drama Series – Has Mandy Moore Finally Arrived at Her Emmy Moment for ‘This Is Us’?
We’ll dive into a different category each week to examine Clayton Davis’ Emmy predictions. This week, he writes about lead actress in a drama:
Is it finally time for Mandy Moore to get her Emmy statuette for NBC’s “This Is Us?” According to Sterling K. Brown, it is, and many of the fans have stuck by the series for all of these years. Could she be the spoiler waiting in the wings?
Don’t ever discount Laura Linney in any awards race, proven by her surprise upsets over the years. For the final season of “Ozark,” she could be the one with the goods to unseat presumed frontrunner Zendaya.
Zendaya, already the youngest actress to win lead actress drama in Emmy history, looks to extend her record with a possible second win for “Euphoria.” She’s also the second Black woman to win the category following Viola Davis for “How to Get Away with Murder,” so she would also be the first Black woman to win multiple leading trophies.
She’ll face stiff competition from Melanie Lynskey (“Yellowjackets”), and any number of her co-stars that are vying for a spot including Juliette Lewis and Tawny Cypress.
Here is Clayton’s drama actress frontrunners as of this week:
Read more here.
AWARDS CIRCUIT PODCAST: ‘The Last Days of Ptolemy Grey’ Star Dominique Fishback on Why Acting Opposite Samuel L. Jackson Didn’t Intimidate Her
Dominique Fishback holds her own opposite Samuel L. Jackson in Apple TV+’s “The Last Days of Ptolemy Grey,” and she says that was inspired by the strength of the character. “I wasn’t really nervous because Robyn is not nervous of Ptolemy,” she tells Variety’s Awards Circuit Podcast. “She’s not intimidated by him. So therefore, I’m not gonna do that because I’m representing this character.”
On this edition of the Variety Awards Circuit podcast, Fishback talks about “The Last Days of Ptolemy Grey,” and working with Jackson, as well as her take on the character, playing teenage roles even as she enters her 30s, her interest in astrology and how she’s enjoying her success. Later in this episode, “Mr. Mayor” star Bobby Moynihan on the joys of his ensemble comedy, which sadly was just canceled on Thursday as this episode made it to air. Listen below.
Read more here.
The Week Ahead
Monday, May 16, 7:30 p.m. ET: Apple TV+’s “Central Park” FYC event at The Metrograph, 7 Ludlow St. (New York)
Monday, May 16, 5 p.m. PT: Apple TV+’s “Schmigadoon!” FYC event. (Virtual)
Monday, May 16, 7 p.m. PT: Amazon Prime Video’s “Wheel of Time” FYC event at The Prime Experience, 2565 Benedict Canyon Drive. (Beverly Hills)
Tuesday, May 17, 7 p.m. ET: TBS’s “Full Frontal with Samantha Bee” FYC event at WarnerMedia, 30 Hudson Yards. (New York)
Tuesday, May 17, 5 p.m. PT: A&E’s “Secrets of Playboy” FYC event. (Virtual)
Tuesday, May 17, 6 p.m. PT: Apple TV+’s Writing panel, featuring writers from various shows, at the Apple TV+ Emmy FYC Experience at the Grove. (Los Angeles)
Tuesday, May 17, 7 p.m. PT: Hulu’s “Conversations with Friends” FYC event at Pacific Design Center, 8687 Melrose Ave. (West Hollywood)
Wednesday, May 18, 7 p.m. PT: NBC’s “The Thing About Pam” FYC event, at NBCU FYC House, 1717 Vine Street. (Los Angeles)
Wednesday, May 18, 7 p.m. PT: AMC’s “Better Call Saul” FYC event, at Wolf Theatre at Saban Media Center, Television Academy. (North Hollywood)
Tuesday, May 17, 6 p.m. PT: Apple TV+’s Costume Design panel, featuring costume designers from various shows, at the Apple TV+ Emmy FYC Experience at the Grove. (Los Angeles)
Thursday, May 19, 7 p.m. ET: HBO Max’s “Scenes from a Marriage” FYC event at 92Y, 1395 Lexington Avenue. (New York)
Thursday, May 19, 7 p.m. PT: Peacock’s “Girls5eva” FYC event, at NBCU FYC House, 1717 Vine Street. Moderated by Michael Schneider, me! Panelists include Sara Bareilles, Renée Elise Goldsberry, Busy Philipps, Paula Pell and EP Meredith Scardino. (Los Angeles)