Emmys 2022: What to Expect and How to Watch

The winners of the 74th Emmy Awards will be announced Monday night in downtown Los Angeles. Viewers can watch the ceremony beginning at 8 p.m. Eastern Time on NBC or the Peacock streaming service.

Saturday Night Live veteran Kenan Thompson will be hosting the ceremony this year and doing his part in boosting Emmy ratings for the second straight year. Last year’s ceremony attracted 7.4 million viewers, reversing the trend of record low attendances.

The ceremony should look more or less typical: For the first time since 2019, the ceremony returns to its traditional home at the Microsoft Theater (The 2020 ceremony was mostly virtual, while last year’s event took place in a tent).

Some elements of last year’s ceremony remain. The show’s producers told The Hollywood Reporter that they would be bringing back the Golden Globes-style dining tables instead of placing the nominees in theater-style seating.

This could be the most competitive year at the Emmys yet. Submissions for the Drama, Comedy and Limited categories were all up significantly.

Despite all the strong competition, the two most awarded networks will almost certainly be, as usual, HBO and Netflix. After dozens of tech awards were presented at the Creative Arts Emmys last weekend, HBO and its streaming app HBO Max have collected 26 Emmys so far, leading all networks. In second place is Netflix with 23 Emmys.

Shows eligible for this year’s awards had to premiere between June 2021 and May 2022.

Here’s more of what to expect:

Everything seems to be going well for “Succession”.

The HBO family drama, which won Best Drama in 2020, received the most nominations of any show. More than half a dozen actors from the show are in line for an award on Monday. And “Succession” won last weekend’s Creative Arts Emmys for Outstanding Cast in a Drama, often a poster child for Best Drama Race. (Five of the last seven Best Drama winners also received Best Casting.)

But there are some potential spoilers: Squid Game, Netflix’s South Korean blockbuster, and Apple TV+’s thriller, Severance.

If Squid Game makes a splash, it would be the first foreign language program to win a Top Show award. That would be a breakthrough as television becomes more global and American audiences are more receptive to subtitled series. Netflix could use the good news: The streaming service has suffered subscriber losses in the first half of the year and the quality of its programming has been questioned.

If Apple’s dystopian workplace thriller Severance wins Best Drama, it would continue an awards show for the tech giant. Apple TV+, which debuted in November 2019, has already won Best Comedy at the Emmys (last year for “Ted Lasso”) and Best Picture at the Oscars (“CODA”). And certainly, some of the show’s actors — Adam Scott, John Turturro, Christopher Walken, and Patricia Arquette — could pull off wins.

Will Zendaya take home another Best Actress statuette for her role in Euphoria? Or can four-time Emmy-winner Laura Linney (“Ozark”) or first-time Yellowjackets nominee Melanie Lynskey put a stop to it? Award forecasters are torn.

Best Actress in a Drama is just one of several major acting categories that appear to be wide open this year, bringing a much-needed jolt to a ceremony that can often be a bit too predictable.

One of the most watched races is best actor in a drama. Jeremy Strong is fighting for a second Emmy win for his role in “Succession.” He faces off against fellow castmate Brian Cox, who is seeking his first Emmy win since being honored for the 2000 TNT miniseries Nuremberg. Lee Jung-jae, who played the protagonist in Netflix’s blood-spattered thriller Squid Game, is also heavily involved. If Jung-jae wins, he will be the first actor in a non-English series to receive the award.

Likewise, the best actor in a comedy seems to be highly competitive. Bill Hader has already won twice for his role as hitman and actor on HBO’s “Barry” and will face off against last year’s winner – and former “SNL” castmate – Jason Sudeikis (“Ted Lasso”). And two comedy legends, Steve Martin and Martin Short, are also in the hunt for their roles in Only Murders in the Building. If Martin wins, it would be his first Emmy since 1969, when he won Best Screenplay for The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour.

On the one hand, it seems inevitable that Apple TV+’s feel-good sports comedy, “Ted Lasso,” will be repeated for standout comedy. When Emmy voters find a show they like, they usually stick with it. (John Oliver’s HBO show has won the top talk show category for six straight years.)

Like the drama race, however, there are two viable disgruntled contenders: Only Murders in the Building, the Hulu comedy about a murder mystery set in a fancy Manhattan apartment building, and Abbott Elementary, the big-hearted ABC comedy about a group of elementary school teachers . The second season of “Only Murders” streamed during the Emmy voting period, keeping it fresh in the minds of Emmy voters.

The Television Critics Association made a loud statement last month when it named Abbott Elementary its program of the year, with the show beating out formidable competitors like Succession and The White Lotus. And then “Abbott” won the award for Best Casting for a Comedy at the Creative Arts Emmys last weekend. It’s an auspicious sign — the Best Casting winner has won Best Comedy for seven years in a row.

If Abbott Elementary wins, it would mean a long dry spell for the broadcast networks. The last network show to win best comedy was Modern Family eight years ago. And if Abbott Elementary creator and star Quinta Brunson beat last year’s winner Jean Smart (“Hacks”) for best actress in a comedy, she’d be the first network star to win that category since Melissa McCarthy won it in 2011 for the CBS half hour Mike & Molly. Brunson would also be the first black woman to receive the award since Isabel Sanford (“The Jeffersons”) won in 1981.

Last year, Emmy producers made official what everyone already knew: Best Limited Series now ties with Best Drama as television’s most prestigious award. At last year’s ceremony, the limited series award was the last category to be presented, breaking with the usual tradition of awarding the final statuettes to best drama.

Competing in the category this year is an entirely fictional series – the top-down dramedy “The White Lotus” – against four series based on real events: “The Dropout” (about Theranos founder Elizabeth Holmes); “Dopesick” (about the Sackler family and the opioid crisis); “Pam and Tommy” (about the sex tape); and “Inventing Anna” (about a real-life scammer).

“The White Lotus” smashed its peers in terms of nominations — it landed at No. 20, tied with “Ted Lasso” at number two on most shows — and Emmy voters seemed smitten with the show’s cast. A total of eight cast members, including Murray Bartlett and Jennifer Coolidge, were nominated for awards. “The White Lotus” can also have good timing. The second season of the anthology premieres next month and may already be a hit with Emmy voters.

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