Netflix vs. HBO, mixed outcomes for film stars, and more highlight Emmy nominations

Ken Jeong, left, and D'Arcy Carden announce the nominees for lead actress in a drama series at the 71st Primetime Emmy Nominations Announcements. (Photo by Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP)
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INDIANAPOLIS (WTHR) — We all expected the final season of "Game of Thrones" to do well when the 71st Primetime Emmy Awards announced their nominations Tuesday morning. Shows like "Veep," "The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel," "When They See Us," and "Chernobyl" were destined to come out on top of their respective genres.

Every year, there are always shows and performances that sneak in while others get left out. Here are some of my thoughts after analyzing the nominees:

You may be wondering why this summer's hottest shows failed to get nominations: "Stranger Things," "Big Little Lies," "Euphoria" and the third season of "The Handmaid's Tale" all debuted after the May 31 deadline, so they will be eligible for next year's Emmy Awards (also of note: the final three episodes of the second season of "The Handmaid's Tale" were too late to compete for last year's awards under the 'hanging episodes rule,' so they were eligible in the creative arts categories and received 11 nominations).

Netflix partnership programs share highs and lows

Netflix picked up "Bodyguard" from the BBC in October 2018 after reaching the highest viewing figures for a new drama on the British network. Actor Richard Madden stars as a police sergeant in charge of protecting the controversial home secretary. Madden went on to win Best Actor - Television Series Drama at the 76th Golden Globe Awards, and "Bodyguard" went on to be nominated for Outstanding Drama Series. Madden's performance in the season finale should have easily earned him AT LEAST a nomination, if not the win.

Father-son tandem of Eugene & Dan Levy debuted their series "Schitt's Creek" in 2016. Four seasons later, they're celebrating their first Emmy nominations for Outstanding Comedy Series, Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series (Levy), Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series (Catherine O'Hara), and Outstanding Contemporary Costumes. Netflix and word-of-mouth helped push this hilarious series to the forefront as it features a wealthy family losing everything and rebuilding their lives in the small town of Schitt's Creek. The fifth season will not be released on Netflix until later this year, but you can purchase the season on Amazon Prime Video (and trust me - it's the best season to date).

Final season send-offs (or not)
This image released by HBO shows Peter Dinklage in a scene from the final episode of "Game of Thrones," that aired Sunday, May 19, 2019. (HBO via AP)

Like I said, everyone knew "Game of Thrones" would make a big impact for its eighth and final season; however, a record-breaking 32 nominations was a pleasant surprise. All seven season regulars (Emilia Clarke, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Peter Dinklage, Kit Harington, Lena Headey Sophie Turner and Maisie Williams) received nominations, as well as Alfie Allen (Theon Greyjoy), Gwendoline Christie (Brienne of Tarth) and Carice van Houten (Melisandre). Many fans and critics were disappointed in the final six episodes, but this certainly didn't affect the last chance for Emmy voters to award television's biggest show.

After being snubbed for its first season, "Fleabag" went out with a bang, earning 11 nominations. Phoebe Waller-Bridge created and starred in BBC Three/Amazon Prime Video's series about a sex-crazed woman living in London. Bridge, Sian Clifford, Academy Award-winner Olivia Colman, Kristin Scott Thomas and Fiona Shaw received acting nominations for the universally-acclaimed second season. "Fleabag" has what it takes to be competitive for the win across multiple categories.

After removing Kevin Spacey from the final season of "House of Cards," stars Robin Wright and Michael Kelly overcame the sixth season's mixed reviews to earn their sixth and fourth nominations, respectively; however, it missed out in the Outstanding Drama Series category for the first time.

"Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt" was hanging on by a thread with two nominations last year, receiving it's fourth consecutive nominations in Outstanding Comedy Series and Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series (Titus Burgess). The final six episodes of the Netflix comedy were pushed out of both categories to recognize first-time nominees, such as "Fleabag," "Russian Doll," Anthony Carrigan and Stephen Root ("Barry"). There's still hope next year when Netflix releases an interactive finale special!

Even the longest-running single-camera sitcom must come to an end: "The Big Bang Theory" received nominations in the same three categories from last year: Outstanding Directing for a Comedy Series, Outstanding Multi-Camera Picture Editing for a Comedy Series and Outstanding Technical Direction, Camerawork, Video Control For A Series. Previous four-time winner Jim Parsons missed for the fifth consecutive year but many thought he could earn a farewell nomination.

Comedy categories push out previous nominees for new contenders

It's fairly common for actors and actresses to repeat nominations when recognized the previous year. In the drama categories, all nominees who were eligible also received nominations this year; however, the comedy categories saw plenty of turnover: Pamela Adlon ("Better Things"), Titus Burgess ("Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt"), Aidy Bryant ("Saturday Night Live"), Tracee Ellis Ross ("black-ish"), Allison Janney ("Mom"), Leslie Jones ("Saturday Night Live"), William H. Macy ("Shameless" - likely missing due to the connection of his wife Felicity Huffman's college admission scandal), Laurie Metcalf (previously nominated for the "Roseanne" revival but starred in "The Conners" - a spinoff following the series' cancellation after Roseanne's tweet), Megan Mullally ("Will & Grace"), Issae Rae ("Insecure"), Kenan Thompson ("Saturday Night Live"), Lily Tomlin ("Grace and Frankie"), and Matt Walsh ("Veep") were all skipped over to recognize new performances.

This turnover can be attributed to the competitive nature of the comedy categories this year. In the Outstanding Comedy Series and four major acting categories, at least half of each categories featured first-time nominees for their respective show/performance.

Mixed outcomes for film stars

In what seems to be a trend as of late, film stars have crossed over into the television series world. As expected, television series are a bigger commitment with more episodes, so it was no surprise Hollywood's biggest names stuck to filmmaking.

Award-winning actors and actresses who received Emmy nominations this year included Amy Adams ("Sharp Objects"), Mahershala Ali ("True Detective"), Patricia Arquette ("The Act" and "Escape at Dannemora"), Olivia Colman ("Fleabag" - will also be in contention next year for "The Crown"), Viola Davis ("How to Get Away with Murder"), Hugh Grant ("A Very English Scandal"), Sam Rockwell and Michelle Williams ("Fosse/Verdon").

Those stars who weren't so lucky included Jim Carrey ("Kidding"), George Clooney ("Catch-22"), Jonah Hill ("Maniac"), Anthony Hopkins ("King Lear"), Julia Roberts ("Homecoming"), Emma Stone ("Maniac"), and Renée Zellweger ("What/If").

One A-lister certain to make the cut at next year's Emmys: Meryl Streep for her haunting performance as Nicole Kidman's mother-in-law in "Big Little Lies."

Limited Series race pits HBO vs. Netflix

19 nominations vs. 16 nominations: HBO's "Chernobyl" leads all limited series programs in nominations but it faces stiff competition in Netflix's "When They See Us," which shockingly earned half of its nominations in the acting categories.

This image released by Netflix shows Jharrel Jerome in a scene from "When They See Us." On Tuesday, July 16, 2019, Jerome was nominated for an Emmy Award for outstanding lead actor in a limited series or movie. (Atsushi Nishijima/Netflix via AP)

"Chernobyl" is a historical drama centering on the nuclear disaster of 1986 and the aftermath that followed. Stars Jared Harris, Stellan Skarsgård, and Emily Watson all received nominations, and the series will likely earn plenty of recognition in the technical categories for its devastatingly realistic visual effects.

Netflix released "When They See Us" on the last day of eligibility and announced it had been the most-watched series on the streaming platform in the United States in each of its first 12 days. The four-part series told the story of five male suspects wrongfully charged in the 1989 Central Park jogger case. "When They See Us" focuses on the unfair treatment of people of color that is still relevant in today's society and openly criticizes President Donald Trump for his public stance 20 years ago.

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