How will network shows fare in Emmy nominations?
Rich Heldenfels answers readers' TV questions.
Q: Why has James Spader never been nominated for an Emmy for “The Blacklist”? He is an incredible actor.
Q: What are the chances of “The Equalizer” being nominated for an Emmy?
A: Let’s start with the acknowledgment that Spader has received some Emmy love: four nominations and three wins for his work on “Boston Legal,” although his last nomination was more than a dozen years ago. And “The Equalizer” is a respectable show, combining its action framework with a social conscience.
But, as I have said before, the Emmys and many other awards tend not to honor solid, unpretentious work or widely popular productions; they instead try to make themselves look good by praising shows where they see the deep, edgy, innovative and unconventional — and voters more often find that on cable and streaming services.
In the most recent Emmys, only one drama series nominee was from broadcast — “This Is Us” — and Netflix’s “The Crown” won; the comedy series winner was the Apple TV+ show “Ted Lasso,” while “black-ish” was the only broadcast series among the eight nominees. Not long ago, the Los Angeles Times asked six writers to predict shows and performers most likely to get Emmy nominations; of the 13 series dramas getting votes, only one was a broadcast series (“This Is Us” again).
Now, it's possible that a broadcast show can break through; there's a lot of pre-Emmys love for the ABC comedy "Abbott Elementary" this year. And some people succeed no matter the platform; the wonderful Regina King has won acting Emmys for work on ABC, HBO and Netflix. But broadcast success in Emmys can still be a tough go in a very competitive world.
(Editor's note: This year's Emmy nominations will be announced on July 12.)
Q: I notice "The Price is Right" is celebrating its 50th anniversary. Yet I have watched black-and-white reruns of the show, with Bill Cullen as the host, that are from the '60s. Aren't they counting these? It's the same thing, just older.
A: According to "The Encyclopedia of TV Game Shows," “The Price Is Right” in its original form premiered in 1956 and continued in various network and syndicated versions until 1964; Bill Cullen was the best-known host of that period. The show was then off the air until 1972 when a revamped version began both on CBS (where Bob Barker would host for the next 35 years) and in syndication. Syndicated renditions came and went over the following years, but the CBS version has been on the air continuously for 50 years, with Drew Carey the current host. That is CBS's rationale for a 50th anniversary.
Q: “The Conners” had its Season 4 finale in May. Will there be a fifth season?
A: Yes. There was some extra deal-making because, according to Deadline.com, the key cast members have year-to-year deals instead of multiyear agreements, as well as the production company needing a new agreement with ABC. But everything is in place for the show’s return in the fall.
Q: Do you know if Netflix has any plans for new “Virgin River” episodes this year?
A: Yes. The fourth season of the drama based on Robyn Carr’s novels will arrive on July 20. (A fifth season has also been ordered.) Expect plenty of emotional complications.