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Awards HQ June 17: BONUS! Emmy Nomination Voting Begins As Submissions Dip; ‘Queen Sugar’ Social Justice; Kenan Thompson’s Time; More

·28-min read
AWARDS HQ logo

Greetings from Variety Awards Headquarters! Hold on. 🚨 It’s Thursday, why are you receiving AWARDS HQ today?

Well, with voting starting today, it’s BONUS TIME, baby! We want to kick things off right with a bit more focus on what’s happening right now, as phase one FYC events have ended and it’s on to the moment of truth. Have you watched everything? Educated yourself on contenders big and small? Time to cram!

More from Variety

Meanwhile, to complete my thought, Today is June 17, 2021, which means nomination-round voting starts TODAY; it’s 8 days until the Daytime Emmys telecast on June 25; 11 days until nomination-round voting ends on June 28; 26 days until nominations are announced on July 13; 63 days until final-round voting starts on Aug. 19; and 94 days until the Primetime Emmys telecast on Sept. 19.

Like I mentioned, you have 11 days to vote, and we’re still here to spread the news — so if you have last minute burning questions, or studios/networks/streamers, if you have one final tidbit you’d love to share, send them on!

First up, Variety’s Danielle Turchiano crunched the numbers today, as the nominating ballots arrived. Drama (133 submissions) and comedy (68) stay at eight nominees, and here’s a snapshot at what the other category sizes look like this year (per last year’s new rules determining number of nominees via how many submissions were sent):

Limited/Anthology (37): Five nominees
TV movie (41): Five nominees
Short form drama/comedy/variety (48): Five nominees

Drama actress (100): Six nominees
Drama actor (104): Six nominees
Drama supporting actress (288): Eight nominees
Drama supporting actor (311): Eight nominees

Comedy actress (53): Five nominees
Comedy actor (56): Five nominees
Comedy supporting actress (160): Six nominees
Comedy supporting actor (171): Seven nominees

Limited/TV movie/anthology actress (53): Five nominees
Limited/TV movie/anthology actor (52): Five nominees
Limited/TV movie/anthology supporting actress (116): Six nominees
Limited/TV movie/anthology supporting actor (140): Six nominees

Variety/talk (20): Five nominees
Variety/sketch (9): TBD (last year, three nominees)
Variety special/live (23): Five nominees
Variety special/pre-recorded (116): Six nominees

Hosted nonfiction series or special (40): Five nominees
Unstructured reality (48): Five nominees
Structured reality (34): Five nominees
Competition (67): Five nominees

See more below. But now, let’s get this HOT VAXX EMMY SUMMER going!

Reach Michael on Twitter @franklinavenue or email mschneider@variety.com

‘Queen Sugar’ FYC Highlights Social Justice Through Art

There have been a lot of great and stirring FYC events this year, and we’ve highlighted a few here. One that recently stood out in terms of being about something even larger than the show being promoted was “A Night of Social Justice,” which celebrated OWN’s “Queen Sugar” and how the show used its Season 5 lens to dive deep into these times.

“My intention was for Season 5 to serve as a time capsule of what it was like to be a Black American in 2020,” said creator and executive producer Ava DuVernay.

In one unique element, Russell Craig, a Philadelphia-based artist and “Art for Justice” grantee, created a piece in real-time to represent the show. Here’s the finished product:

Note: The whole work is shaped like a COVID mask, with strings seen on the bottom sides, as a creative nod to the season and experience the “Queen Sugar” characters faced.

“Our audience was able to grieve and process some of the events of 2020 in new and profound ways through the lens of these beloved characters,” said executive producer Oprah Winfrey. “Their heart spaces were opened. And you know what, you cannot even ask for any more than that with you art – to open someone’s heart space… I am honored to bring these stories to life.”

Also participating in the event were producing director Lauren Wolkstein; cinematographer Antonio Calvache; composer Meshell Ndegeocello; Color of Change president Rashad Robinson; National Black Justice Coalition executive director David Johns; National Coalition on Black Civic Participation president/CEO Melanie Campbell; and actor Omar Dorsey, who also served as moderator.

Watch the panel, including Craig’s work, here.

Emmy Nomination Ballots: Submissions Decline in a Pandemic Year

Variety’s Danielle Turchiano combed through the Emmy nominating ballots, out today, and here’s what she found:

The total number of submissions are down significantly across most categories. The drama series race sees 133 contenders, while the comedy series race sees 68 titles on the ballot and the limited series/anthology category has 37 programs on the ballot. Last year, drama series came in at a whopping 197, while comedy had a strong showing at 111 and limited series came in at 41. A category where submissions are up for the first time in a long time is TV movie, which sees 41 nominees this year (compared to last year’s 28).

Besides drama and comedy, the rule is that 1-19 submissions in a category net zero to four nominees, while 20-80 submissions result in five nominees, 81-160 submissions allow for six nominees, 161-240 submissions allow for seven nominees, and more than 240 submissions equate to eight nominees.

Just like last year, the incumbent winners in the drama series and comedy series categories weren’t eligible for year-over-year nominations, let alone wins. Last year’s champions in those respective categories were HBO’s “Succession” and Pop TV’s “Schitt’s Creek,” two series that featured ensemble casts that made big dents on the respective performer ballots.

That, coupled with the major submission dip for these scripted categories overall, led to massive declines in the number of actor submissions as well. Lead drama actor, for example, which came in with 142 men last year, is down to 104 now; lead comedy actor follows the same pattern with 88 submissions last year and only 56 this year; and lead limited series/TV movie actor has 52 submissions, moderately up from the 45 on 2020’s nominations-round ballot.

When it comes to women in lead roles, the lead drama actress race features an even 100 submissions this year, down from last year’s 135, while lead comedy actress includes 53 submissions this year, a significant decrease from the 86 in 2020. Lead limited series/TV movie actress is also down with 53 compared to last year’s 61.

The supporting categories naturally followed suit, though with higher numbers overall. They break down this way this year: 311 submissions in supporting drama actor (355 last year), which is the total number of submissions, although actors like “Godfather of Harlem” and “The Mandalorian’s” Giancarlo Esposito are on the ballot twice, 288 in supporting drama actress (394 last year); 171 supporting comedy actor (251 last year), including dual submissions for “Kenan” and “Saturday Night Live’s” Chris Redd; 160 supporting comedy actress (241 last year), including dual submissions for Gabrielle Dennis (“A Black Lady Sketch Show,” “The Upshaws”), among others; 140 supporting limited series/TV movie actor (123 last year), including dual submissions for such performers as Daveed Diggs (“The Good Lord Bird,” “Hamilton”) and Evan Peters (“Mare of Easttown,” “WandaVision”); 116 supporting limited series/TV movie actress (121 last year), including Margo Martindale twice (for “Uncle Frank” and “Your Honor”).

Among other findings: Variety talk series features 20 submissions this year (four fewer than in 2020), while variety sketch, which was already dwindling last year with only 14 nominees, is down to nine now. Read the full recap here, while Emmy ballots can be found at emmys.com/ballots/2021.

AWARDS CIRCUIT COLUMN: It’s Time to Recognize Kenan Thompson, ‘SNL’ Legend and Sitcom Star, With an Acting Emmy

In this Awards Circuit column, I pointed out that, quite simply, Kenan Thompson is an MVP that deserves all the Emmys:

Nominated in both 2018 and 2020, Thompson has nonetheless never won an Emmy for performing. (He did win an original music and lyrics Emmy in 2018 for the “SNL” song “Come Back, Barack.”)

When he first joined “SNL” in 2003, much was made of the fact that Thompson was the first cast member to be born after the show’s 1975 premiere. Now, after 18 seasons, Thompson holds the record for “SNL” longevity. And although he’s now the star of his own sitcom, NBC’s “Kenan,” which was recently renewed for a second season, it’s clear he’s not ready to leave the comfort of “SNL.”

“I have a certain number I would love to get to,” he told me in a February Variety cover story. “I think 20 is a good, round, even number that I’m close to. I feel like that is in reach, but also it would be respected if I don’t get there. Eighteen is fine, 19 is fine. It doesn’t really matter. What matters is, will I have time for my family? There’s only 24 hours in a day.”

“Kenan” could land Thompson his first lead comedy actor nod. Lorne Michaels executive produces that comedy as well, and has long called Thompson his good luck charm. That’s why when Thompson and “SNL” co-star Chris Redd (who also plays his brother on “Kenan”) were still shooting “Kenan” on the Universal lot in Los Angeles in winter, Michaels made sure the two were on a plane and back in Studio 8H in time for the week’s “SNL” episode.

I hope we don’t see that “SNL” exodus, but just in case, it’s time for Emmy voters to take heed: As Michaels told me earlier this year, point blank: “Kenan may be a genius.”

Read the full column here.

‘I May Destroy You’ Wins Grand Jury Prize at Banff World Media Fest’s Rockie Awards Program Competition

“I May Destroy You,” “The Flight Attendant” and “Killing Eve” were among the top winners as the Banff World Media Festival revealed the winners to this year’s Rockie Awards International Program Competition.

Announced Tuesday via a live, streamed virtual event, this year’s Rockie Awards saw the United Kingdom take home the most kudos, with 11, followed by the United States with ten. Host country Canada won five.

“I May Destroy You” earned the top Grand Jury prize, which is selected from the top-scoring programs across the entire field of nominees, and chosen by the Rockies Awards Grand Jury. The Michaela Coel series, from HBO, also won the Rockie Award for limited series.

YouTube personality Jasmeet Raina hosted this virtual edition of the Rockie Awards, which featured 142 nominations from 37 countries including the UK, USA, Canada, France, Germany, Australia, and The Netherlands. Also, this year’s Banff World Media Festival Rockie Award Gala recipients include Kenan Thompson, Danielle Brooks, Simu Liu, Sinking Ship Entertainment and the team from Ava DuVernay’s Array.

Go here to see the full list of winners.

VARIETY COVER: It’s H.E.R. Time

Jem Aswad and Jazz Tangcay are behind the wonderful Variety cover story this week celebrating 23-year-old Grammy and Oscar winner H.E.R., who is a remarkable force at such a young age. Jazz writes:

Last month, I had my first in-studio interview at Variety’s offices to interview H.E.R. for this week’s cover story and as the keynote for our Changemakers Summit. Of course, it was all done under strict COVID protocols – tested and vaxxed – which meant I ended up with a human hug from someone other than my wife!

Anyway, my colleague Jem and I were tag teaming on the byline for this. I was going to talk with her about her E.G.O.T plans, Oscar night and more importantly, growing up Black and Filipino. I could relate to the latter coming from a Filipino household myself.

While we talked about the serious – what identity means, representation and labels placed on us, we also discussed Filipino food – she cooks a mean kare-kare, and she shared a few of her favorite things.

What was so great about this was to see a fellow Pinoy on the cover of Variety, but also to see how far she had come and all the things she has done since I had first interviewed her back in January for her Oscar winning song “Fight for You,” as she navigated the first of many Awards season.

As Jazz mentioned, the H.E.R. cover coincides with Variety’s Changemakers summit, a virtual 2-day thought-leadership event showcasing voices representing underserved communities in entertainment. Go here to register. Meanwhile, checkout the cover story by her and Jem here.

Enjoying Awards HQ? Get the most important stories delivered to your inbox every day by subscribing to other Variety newsletters.

WATCH MY SHOW: ‘Made For Love’s’ Christina Lee Fills Out Our Showrunner Seven

“Made For Love,” a dark comedy adapted from Alissa Nutting‘s novel of the same name, debuted in April on HBO Max. The show follows Hazel Green (Cristin Milioti), a 30-something woman escaping a toxic marriage to tech billionaire Byron Gogol (Billy Magnussen), who has implanted a futuristic monitoring device in her brain. Dan Bakkedahl, Noma Dumezweni, Augusto Aguilera, Caleb Foote and Ray Romano also star in “Made For Love,” which is executive produced by Nutting, showrunner Christina Lee, Patrick Somerville, Dean Bakopoulos, Liza Chasin and SJ Clarkson . We asked Lee to fill out our “Watch My Show!” survey; here are her answers on behalf of “Made For Love.”

Sum up your show’s pitch on one sentence.
A tech billionaire puts a surveillance chip in his wife’s brain and she’s on the run (but can’t escape her past).

What’s an alternate title for your show?
“CHiPs: The Reboot”

What do we need to know before tuning in?
It’s on HBOMax!

Give us an equation for your show.
Cristin Milioti + Ray Romano + Billy Magnussen + Noma Dumezweni + Dan Bakkedahl + Caleb Foote = dream team

What’s the best thing someone said about your show?
PETA asked if Zelda the dolphin was real lol.

If you could work on any other series in TV, what would it be?
“9-1-1.”

Finish this sentence, ‘If you like [blank], you’ll love our show.’
“If you like dark comedy, sci-fi and/or dolphins, you’ll love our show.”

‘Black Mirror,’ ‘Small Axe’ and More: Breaking Down the Emmys’ Single Episode Anthology Conundrum

Anthology finally has a home at the Emmys, now that it has been paired with limited series. But that still doesn’t necessarily work for single-episode anthologies, which are very different from season-long anthologies. Read on:

Now, we’re in a new age of anthologies, spurred by filmmakers eager to tell their stories in episodic fashion (yes, I know, I grit my teeth every time another director claims they’re actually making a series of movies, or one 10-hour film, rather than a TV show). This year, that includes Steve McQueen’s “Small Axe” (Amazon Prime Video), which film critics attempted to claim as their own when crafting their end-of-year lists but is now an Emmy contender.

But as programming trends come and go, it’s not easy for a bureaucratic body such as the Television Academy to keep up. Hence the recent confusion over what to do with entries including Netflix anthology “Black Mirror.” The streamer found a loophole that allowed several episodes of “Black Mirror” to be submitted in the TV movie competition. And it worked: The “Black Mirror” episodes “USS Callister” and “San Junipero” won the TV movie Emmy in 2018 and 2017, respectively.

That led to an Academy decree that TV movie submissions must be at least 75 minutes long. “Bandersnatch,” a stand-alone interactive “Black Mirror” entry, still won in 2019, but in 2020, “Black Mirror” was sent to the drama series race.

Read more here.

AWARDS CIRCUIT PODCAST: Rob McElhenney on ‘Mythic Quest’ Season 2, the C.W. ‘Backstory’ Episode and the Longevity of ‘It’s Always Sunny’

Rob McElhenney and his fellow executive producers and writers had already mapped out a second season of “Mythic Quest,” and had written many of its episodes, when the COVID-19 pandemic hit. Suddenly, they realized the stories — which kicked off with the “Mythic Quest” officemates at the E3 conference — had to be revised.

“We had to essentially throw all of those scripts out and start over,” McElhenney tells Variety’s Awards Circuit podcast. “And we were happy to do it because the world had completely changed. We were going to come back and shoot another season of the show that it would have to at least reflect it, the realities of where the world is at right now and where it was, according to the narrative as it picks up in season two.” Click and listen below!

On “Mythic Quest,” McElhenney stars as Ian Grimm, the co-creative director of the popular (but fictional) video game of the same name. This season on “Mythic Quest” – the TV show, that is — Ian and his colleague/fellow creative director Poppy Li, played by Charlotte Nicdao, are working separately to develop a new expansion of the game, and the pressure’s on.

“Mythic Quest” returned for Season 2 on Apple TV Plus in May after two specials that served as bookends of sorts to the pandemic. Last year’s quarantine episode, shot completely remotely with iPhones at the cast’s homes, has been lauded as one of the best pandemic-related installments of any TV show. And this April, the “Everlight” episode signified the team’s return to the office.

“Mythic Quest” moves on from there, however, and McElhenney says that was a conscious choice to not stay mired too long in COVID-era story telling. “When when we jumped into season two, we wanted to put the pandemic behind us, we knew that we would be airing during a time when the world was hopefully transitioning out, and that we wouldn’t be past it,” he says. “But at the same time that we felt that people would be kind of sick of talking about it and living in the experience, and they would want to look in their rearview mirror at COVID.”

As Season 2 progresses, there’s a greater focus on the supporting characters and learning more about them. That includes Nicdao’s Poppy, as well as executive producer David Hornsby as David Brittlesbee, Ashly Burch (who’s also a writer) as tester Rachel, Imani Hakim as tester Dana, Danny Pudi as head of monetization Brad, Jessie Ennis as the diabolical Jo, and F. Murray Abraham as head writer C.W. Longbottom. “What we wanted to do was make sure that that in the second season, right off the bat, we started getting into the personal lives of some of the characters who would be considered supporting characters,” McElhenney says.

Also on this episode: Inspired by the life of Erin Brockovich today, ABC’s “Rebel” starred Katey Sagal as Annie “Rebel” Bello, a blue-collar legal advocate without a law degree. She cares desperately about the causes she fights for and the people she loves. Sagal also recurs on ABC’s “The Conners” as Dan’s love interest and now fianceé, Louise.

The Awards Circuit podcast spoke with Sagal prior to the news that ABC wouldn’t be moving forward with a second season of the show. But nonetheless she shared what drew her to the project, what she thinks of Erin Brockovich and how Sagal has been such a bad ass on camera in recent years. And yes, she also discusses why there hasn’t been a “Married… with Children” reboot.

Variety’s Emmy edition of the “Awards Circuit” podcast is hosted by Michael Schneider, Jazz Tangcay and Danielle Turchiano and is your one-stop listen for lively conversations about the best in television. Each week during Emmy season, “Awards Circuit” features interviews with top 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.

FIRST LOOK: Watch Magazine’s Special FYC Covers, Featuring ViacomCBS Emmy Contenders

CBS Studios and CBS’ Watch magazine have created their first-ever FYC bonus issue of the magazine for Emmy voters, which will premiere tomorrow.

The digital issue includes seven alternating covers, featuring various ViacomCBS talent and Emmy contenders: Stephen Colbert (“The Late Show with Stephen Colbert”), James Corden (“The Late Late Show with James Corden”), Sonequa Martin-Green (“Star Trek: Discovery”), Bryan Cranston (“Your Honor”), Cedric the Entertainer (“The Neighborhood”), Jeff Daniels (“The Comey Rule”) and the animated characters on “Star Trek: Lower Decks.”

Check out the Watch magazine FYC edition here.

Variety’s Joe Otterson Breaks the Internet

Joe Otterson writes: DC Entertainment received quite the tongue lashing from the internet this week. Variety reported that the company told the creators of the animated HBO Max series “Harley Quinn” that they had to remove a scene from the show’s third season featuring Batman in a compromising position.

“[In] this third season of ‘Harley’ we had a moment where Batman was going down on Catwoman. And DC was like, ‘You can’t do that. You absolutely cannot do that,'” said series co-creator Justin Halpern. “They’re like, ‘Heroes don’t do that.’ So, we said, ‘Are you saying heroes are just selfish lovers?’ They were like, ‘No, it’s that we sell consumer toys for heroes. It’s hard to sell a toy if Batman is also going down on someone.’”

Once the story posted, the internet naturally went wild and started making all kinds of jokes, ranging from comparisons to DJ Khaled to discussing which of the actors to play Batman would be generous in the bedroom.

READ ON: How ‘WandaVision,’ ‘The Umbrella Academy,’ ‘Harley Quinn’ Subvert the Superhero Genre

A Stretch to Find Short Form Nominees Post-Quibi?

Now that Quibi ended up lasting, well, a Quibi, the Emmy Awards’ short form categories seem further destined to become more of a curiosity than a major part of the competition. Roku picked up Quibi’s scraps, but doesn’t appear interested in launching new originals in the short-form space. And elsewhere, outlets including YouTube are bulking up in unscripted, but are less keen on adding more scripted, short form or not, to an already crowded marketplace.

This year, with the realization that there just aren’t enough entries to go around, the TV Academy merged the short form comedy/drama series and variety series into one. Perhaps that’s for the best, as neither category has managed to stir up much originality. (And it started so promising in 2016, with Adult Swim’s “Childrens Hospital” winning the short form drama or comedy. Sundance’s “State of the Union,” which won in 2019, was another original, well-produced victor.)

Meanwhile, the short form nonfiction or reality series category has become a repository for what are little more than electronic press kits: Last year, “National Geographic Presents Cosmos: Creating Possible Worlds” beat out nominees including “Pose: Identity, Family, Community” and extensions of “The Daily Show,” “Full Frontal With Samantha Bee” and “RuPaul’s Drag Race.”

Ideally, the short form categories would find room for the plenty of original, independently produced shorts that are regularly found on social media platforms. But the TV Academy, still stung by Megan Amram’s parody series “An Emmy for Megan,” which earned short form comedy or drama nods in 2018 and 2019, has added a vetting process that has presumably kept out more low-budget entries.

Adult Swim is still in the mix with “Dream Corp LLC,” while BBC America has “CripTales.” FX’s “Cake” banner has “9 Films About Technology” and “Dr. Brown, Naturally.” There’s also independent entries like “Randy Rainbow” and “Smothered.” Netflix is submitting the BDSM comedy “Bonding” and the alternative comedy sketch series “Aunty Donna’s Big Ol’ House of Fun.”

“I think that there’s something really exciting about freeing up and allowing comedy to exist at exactly the length that it remains funny,” says Broden Kelly, one of the three members of the Aunty Donna comedy troupe. “So, it’s a really exciting category and representation of a cool shift that’s happened in the last 10 years.”

WATCH MY SHOW: ‘Breeders’ Executive Producer Simon Blackwell Fills Out Our Showrunner Seven

Recently renewed for a third season, FX’s “Breeders,” which stars Martin Freeman and Daisy Haggard as parents trying to do their best, wrapped up its second season on May 17. In Season 2, Luke (Alex Eastwood) is now 13 years old and Ava (Eve Prenelle) is 10, serving up brand new parenting challenges for Paul (Freeman) and Ally (Haggard). We asked showrunner Simon Blackwell to fill out our “Watch My Show!” survey; here are his answers on behalf of “Breeders.”

Sum up your show’s pitch on one sentence.
You would die for your children, but sometimes you also want to kill them.

What’s an alternate title for your show?
“Maybe Use A Condom?”

What do we need to know before tuning in?
Absolutely nothing. That’s the joy of our set-up – there’s no set-up. We’ve all been kids, many of us are parents, so we can get straight into the stories.

Give us an equation for your show.
Parents plus kids minus sleep divided by work times rage to the power love = “Breeders”

What’s the best thing someone said about your show?
“When did you hide the cameras in my house?”

If you could work on any other series in TV, what would it be?
“Back” on IFC and AMC+

Finish this sentence, ‘If you like [blank], you’ll love our show.’
“If you like funny, warm, bleak, universal comedy, you’ll love our show.”

GLAAD, LGBTQ+ Organizations Urge Emmy Voters to Support ‘Pose’

GLAAD and 39 other LGBTQ+ organizations and film festivals have signed an open letter encouraging voters to support FX’s “Pose.”

“This television season Emmy voters have the opportunity to make history— an opportunity to celebrate an entire underrepresented community that hasn’t been valued for their artistic vision, creativity, or contributions,” the letter said in its opening paragraph.

The letter was organized by GLAAD and other signees include Black AIDS Institute, Family Equality Council, Frameline, GLSEN, Inside Out, Harlem Pride, Human Rights Campaign, Lambda Legal, National LGBTQ Task Force, National Center for Lesbian Rights, Newfest, Outfest, Transgender Law Center, The Trevor Project and True Colors United. In the joint statement, they detail how “Pose” elevated the landscape of transgender representation in Hollywood.

Read more here.

TV PICKS: ‘Masked Singer’ Panelist and ‘I Can See Your Voice’ Host Ken Jeong Shares His Guilty Pleasures and More

We asked Ken Jeong, who is on three-fourths of the Fox primetime schedule (including, of course, “The Masked Singer” and “I Can See Your Voice” to share his TV guilty TV pleasure (Can be of all time, or currently. Cheesy reality show? Campy sitcom? Obscure public access show? Anything applies!); his “deep cut” (the show he recommends that isn’t as well known, past or present); and “show mate” (the show that, if you were stuck on a desert island with only one DVD, you’d choose to be the most important/most influential/best TV show in your life). Here are his answers:

GUILTY TV PLEASURE: I have watched Michael Jordan‘s “The Last Dance” so many times. When I’m on the treadmill, I always go to “The Last Dance” because it keeps me motivated to complete my workout. I know every frame of that documentary by heart now.

DEEP CUT: “Moonbase 8” with John C. Reilly, Fred Armisen and Tim Heidecker. It was my favorite comedy series last year. Their chemistry is so good, and the flow of their comedy is effortless.

SHOW MATE: I’d say “Dr. Ken” because that series is so personal to me. Members of my real-life family have cameos on “Dr. Ken” that will bring a smile to my face while I’m stuck on that desert island.

Darren Star to Receive Monte-Carlo Festival’s Top Prize

Darren Star will be honored on Friday at the 60th Monte-Carlo Television Festival with its highest award, the Honorary Golden Nymph.

The Golden Nymph is “an award bestowed upon a renowned professional for their extraordinary contribution to the entertainment and television industry.” Honorary President H.S.H. Prince Albert II of Monaco will present the tribute to Darren Star at the Grimaldi Forum at the Opening Ceremony on June 18.

Star, of course, is known for “Beverly Hills 90210,” “Melrose Place,” “Sex and the City,” and most recently “Younger” and “Emily in Paris.”

“He is an exceptional talent who has created many of the most-loved and hugely popular television programs for audiences around the world. We are particularly pleased he will be able to join us in Monaco to celebrate this very special award with us in person,” said Laurent Puons, CEO of the Monte-Carlo Television Festival.

WATCH MY SHOW: ‘Indian Matchmaking’ Executive Producer Jeanne Begley Fills Out Our ‘Showrunner Seven’ Survey

Netflix’s “Indian Matchmaking” centers on Sima Taparia, a Mumbai woman who helps Indian singles find potential spouses, with plenty of input from their extended families. We asked executive producer Jeanne Begley to fill out our “Watch My Show” survey to share why we should tune in.

Sum up your show’s pitch on one sentence.
People looking for love, fed up with dating apps, turn to matchmaking (and their families) to find their soulmate.

What’s an alternate title for your show?
“How I Stopped Worrying and Learned to Trust Sima from Mumbai”

What do we need to know before tuning in?
Be ready to adjust and compromise.

Give us an equation for your show.
Hopes And Dreams minus A Partner, times Family Pressure, plus An Indian Fairy Godmother.

What’s the best thing someone said about your show?
“The girls and I binged the whole series.” (That’s from my sister who never watches what I do.)

If you could work on any other series in TV, what would it be?
“Babylon Berlin” or “Love is Blind,” although maybe it’s just better to remain a viewing fan!

Finish this sentence, ‘If you like [blank], you’ll love our show.’
“If you love love, you’ll love our show.”

Clayton Davis’ Emmy Predictions: TV Movie

This week, we look at Clayton Davis‘ TV movie picks. He writes:

Amazon Prime Video has a one-two punch in the television movie category with “Sylvie’s Love” and also with Oscar and Emmy winner Alan Ball’s “Uncle Frank.” Picking up his first trophy from the TV Academy for directing the “Six Feet Under” pilot in 2002, he’s failed to pick up a win since, despite multiple nominations, including one in this category for 2017’s “The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks.” With a dynamic cast including Paul Bettany, also a double threat (with “WandaVision”), the film may hit the sweet spot with a particular voting demographic.

The dynamic duo of Haley Lu Richardson and Barbie Ferreira in “Unpregnant” is one of the brightest spots of the last year. Rachel Lee Goldenberg, a previous Emmy winner for short-format live-action for “Between Two Ferns with Zach Galifianakis” in 2014, creates an engaging and often times moving portrait of a 17-year old girl who finds out she’s pregnant before heading off to an Ivy League college.

One of the late entries into the race, Bartlett Sher makes his television feature directorial debut with “Oslo” for HBO, featuring the talents of Emmy nominee Andrew Scott (“Black Mirror”) and the still nomination-less Ruth Wilson (how can that be?). The true-life story of the pivotal 1990s Oslo Peace Accords between Israel and Palestinian Liberation Organizations is a timely subject that could hit voters in a big way.

Here are Clayton’s TV movie picks:

“Sylvie’s Love” (Amazon Prime Video)
“Uncle Frank” (Amazon Prime Video)
“Robin Roberts Presents: Mahalia” (Lifetime)
“Oslo” (HBO)
“Dolly Parton’s Christmas on the Square” (Netflix)

Check out all of Clayton’s predictions here.

The Rest of the Week Ahead

ATX TV Festival continues through June 20; Banff World Media Festival is ongoing through July 11.

Thursday, June 17: Nominations-round Emmy voting begins.

Thursday, June 17-Friday, June 18: Variety Changemakers summit. A virtual 2-day thought-leadership event showcasing voices representing underserved communities in entertainment. Register here.

Saturday, June 19: Juneteenth

Saturday, June 19, 8:30 p.m. PT: Amazon Prime Video screening of “Small Axe: Lovers Rock” with silent dance party to follow, at NeueHouse Hollywood Rooftop.

Premiere dates: THURSDAY, JUNE 17: “Generation” (returning/HBO); “Holey Moley” (returning/ABC); “The Hustler” (returning/ABC); “iCarly” (revival/Paramount Plus). FRIDAY, JUNE 18: “Elite” (returning/Netflix); “Fatherhood” (new/Netflix); “Luca” (new/Disney Plus); “Physical” (new/Apple TV Plus). SUNDAY, JUNE 20: “Evil” (returning/Paramount Plus); “Rick & Morty” (returning/Adult Swim); “Kevin Can F**k Himself” (new/AMC); “Us” (new/PBS).

Send Me Your Questions, Comments and More!

Feel free to send your burning Emmy questions and suggestions to mschneider@variety.com, and your hot tips as well! Thanks for reading.

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