It may seem like the Oscars ceremony took place yesterday, but already the entertainment industry is turning its attention to the biggest night of the year for TV.
The eligibility window for the Emmy Awards closes on Monday, so we’ve now got a pretty good idea of which shows might be in contention.
Normally, the top prizes are seen as best drama and best comedy, and their associated acting awards. But this year, the most exciting area by some distance is going to be the limited series categories. This is where you’ll find the biggest TV hits of the last year.
The Queen’s Gambit. I May Destroy You. It’s A Sin. WandaVision. The Undoing. Mare of Easttown. These are just a few of the hugely popular shows eligible for the limited series categories, which is for stand-alone programs without plans for a second season.
Here are some shows to look out for if you haven’t already seen them:
The Flight Attendant is one of the most exciting new shows to have emerged in the last year and will almost certainly pick up a few nominations. It is Kaley Cuoco’s first major project since the 2019 conclusion of The Big Bang Theory, one of the most successful TV shows in US history.
The show follows a flight attendant named Cassie who is fighting to prove her innocence after winding up in the middle of a complicated murder case. It’s gripping and imaginative, and to be honest we’re not entirely sure it should be classed as a comedy, but it has a certain dark humor, lightness-of-touch and some witty one-liners which make it ripe for this category.
Cuoco could well take best comedy actress, but the red-hot favorite in the other comedy categories is Ted Lasso (Apple TV), a series loved by viewers and critics alike.
The show sees an American football coach, played by Jason Sudeikis, hired by an English Premier League soccer team to try to turn their fortunes around. The players aren’t welcoming towards him, but Ted sets out to win them over with his cheerful personality and unconventional coaching style.
Apple TV hasn’t had many huge hits so far—this and The Morning Show are among the few—but Ted Lasso could be their best chance yet. Sudeikis has already won the Golden Globe for best comedy actor.
Familiar favorites will likely be nominated too. Black-ish which explores racial and cultural identity, is now in its seventh season and likely to be a contender. Two of its stars, Tracee Ellis Ross and Anthony Anderson, were both nominated in the acting categories last year.
Meanwhile, the third season of The Kominsky Method will almost certainly repeat some of last year’s nominations, including an acting nod for its star Michael Douglas. The series sees Douglas play a man who once had a brief spell of fame and now works as an acting coach.
The immaturely but appropriately titled Pen15, which follows two seventh-grade girls through their awkward teenage years, also stands a decent chance. Frankly, we think it deserves an Emmy for its glorious early noughties soundtrack alone.
Netflix, which produces the show, has never won best drama, which is widely seen as the top prize at the Emmys. Game of Thrones, Succession, Breaking Bad, The West Wing, Mad Men and The Sopranos have all previously won in this category.
The only show from a streaming platform to have triumphed is Hulu’s The Handmaid’s Tale (Breaking Bad received a huge boost from Netflix, but was originally made by AMC).
The good news for Netflix is they might well have a shot this year.
The Crown has never turned its nomination into a win—if that was ever going to change, then this would probably be the year. Its recent fourth series was by far the most explosive, thanks in large part to the introduction of Princess Diana and Margaret Thatcher.
While the two actresses who play them—Emma Corrin and Gillian Anderson respectively—were snubbed by the Bafta TV Awards, both won prizes at January’s Golden Globes. Expect the Emmys to at least nominate them too.
Bridgerton, which was a huge success for Netflix over Christmas, could also be in line for some recognition. There may be acting nods for some members of its impressive ensemble cast, many of whom are young, up-and-coming actors, the type that awards ceremonies like to reward early in their career so they can be seen as being ahead of the curve.
Other shows you shouldn’t count out include Ratched, Perry Mason and Lovecraft Country, all of which scored Golden Globe nominations, and the excellent alternative superhero series The Boys which is now in its third season.
Elsewhere, new seasons of Star Wars spin-off The Mandalorian and the screen adaptation of Margaret Atwood’s dystopian The Handmaid’s Tale could well be in for repeat nominations this year.