Emmys Trivia: Snubs May Be Good Publicity Now — and Other Unusual Facts From 2022’s Nominations

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AWARDS CIRCUIT COLUMN LOGO

Apparently the next best thing to being Emmy nominated is being Emmy snubbed. At least, that seemed to be the case on Tuesday morning, when publicists quickly switched gears after their clients failed to get an Emmy nomination — and instead started pitching them to be included in the roundup of this year’s biggest “snubs.”

It’s a further sign of just how important the awards industrial complex has become in Hollywood. If you aren’t nominated, the next best thing is to have fans and the press agonizing about the fact that you should have been nominated. (Better to be on people’s lips as someone who should be in the conversation, than not discussed at all, I suppose!) And sometimes it finally works: Look at how years of “Better Call Saul” star Rhea Seehorn being on the “snub” list got to the point that many of us in the media — myself included — started threatening to burn this whole town down if Seehorn didn’t get a nod. She finally did this year, so Los Angeles is safe. For now.

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Of course, we all can still recognize what’s a true snub — a program or star whom we assumed would get a nomination, or was top of mind to receive one — vs. the third supporting star on a show few people have seen or heard. Those aren’t snubs, those were longshots from the start. (That being said, this column has clearly been snubbed for a Pulitzer.)

Besides the exciting inclusion of Seehorn, “Pam and Tommy,” “Station Eleven,” “Late Night With Seth Meyers” and other contenders we championed this year, here are a few odd, unusual and just plain unique— but mostly trivial — takeaways from this year’s nominations:

BETTER CALL BILLIE: Pop superstar Billie Eilish is this year’s Emmy good luck charm — even though she wasn’t nominated herself. “When Billie Met Lisa,” which featured Eilish in a “The Simpsons” short produced for Disney+, was nominated for short form animated program. And the “Saturday Night Live” episode featuring Eilish as host landed Don Roy King and Liz Patrick a joint nom in directing for a variety series.

Billie Eilish performs live at the Kia Forum April 8, 2022 - Credit: Rich Fury / Kia Forum Photos
Billie Eilish performs live at the Kia Forum April 8, 2022 - Credit: Rich Fury / Kia Forum Photos

Rich Fury / Kia Forum Photos

WHITHER MULTI-CAM? With so few multi-camera comedies in production, that’s having a negative impact on the number of nominees in the handful of categories devoted to the form. For cinematography for a multi-camera series, there were only three nominees, “B Positive” (CBS), “The Conners” (ABC) and “How I Met Your Father” (Hulu). And in multi-cam picture editing for a comedy series, there were only two: “Father” and Fox’s “Call Me Kat.”

TIME WARP: What should be considered “period” vs. “contemporary”? The Emmy rule is that anything in the last 25 years (this year, that means 1997) is contemporary, and before that is period. But shows diving back into the 1990s — and there are a lot — sometimes straddle that rule, leading to some mixed submissions. That’s why “Pam and Tommy” is nominated for contemporary costumes, but for period hairstyling and period makeup (non-prosthetic). In the case of that show, it depended on specific episodes submitted. The costume episode, for example, came from later in the series, while hair and makeup submissions were from earlier in the series/ decade. Other recent historic series include Peacock’s “Angelyne,” which takes place in the ’80s and ’90s, was nominated for outstanding period costumes — against shows like “Bridgerton” and “The Great.” In contemporary hairstyling and makeup can be found the ’90s-set “Impeachment: American Crime Story” — most of which took place in 1998, narrowly making the “contemporary” cutoff.

FLUKE OF TIMING: Both the 43rd annual Kennedy Center Honors and the 44th annual Kennedy Center Honors fell under the same eligibility year… and Rickey Minor was nominated for both in music direction.

GUEST MVP: Harriet Walter was nominated in both guest drama actress and guest comedy actress, for the year’s two biggest shows: “Succession” and “Ted Lasso.”

NO HAMM, NO PROBLEM: Apple TV+’s “Everyone but Jon Hamm,” from Hungry Man Prods., takes a tongue-in-cheek look at how the streamer has attracted nearly every A-list star but Hamm. And it paid off with a commercial nomination, the only network promo in the field.

EMMY UPSTARTS: BET+, the streamer from BET that launched in 2019, has landed two nominations — including a surprise nod for “The Ms. Pat Show” director Mary Lou Belli. BET+ also landed a choreography for scripted programming nomination for “The Porter.” Also, Chip and Joanna Gaines’ Magnolia Network (which relaunched in January in the DIY network slot) landed their first-ever nom, in structured reality program, for “Fixer Upper: Welcome Home.”

EMMY HOOK-UP: And then there’s Grindr, the hooking-up app that got into the original series game with “Bridesman.” The series, credited to YouTube, landed a nomination for outstanding actress in a short-form comedy or drama series (Sydnee Washington).

YET, PRUDE PREVAILS: Emmy voters weren’t big on the peen. “Pam and Tommy” earned plenty of nods, yet missed a prosthetics nomination — and Jason Mantzoukas, who voiced Tommy’s member, did not score a voiceover nod. Meanwhile, HBO’s penis-heavy “Minx” completely missed out.

WHAT IS GENRE? As the Television Academy resorts back to allowing shows to determine their own path as a comedy or a drama, there are still a few categories that focus more on episodic length than genre. But in an age where episodic lengths vary greatly, that still allows for some strange category bedfellows. For example, “The Flight Attendant” season premiere is 49 minutes — hence its nomination in outstanding production design for a narrative contemporary program (one hour or more) — up against “Ozark,” “Severance,” “Squid Game,” “Succession” and “The White Lotus.” And the outstanding production design for a narrative period or fantasy program (one hour or more) category is even more interesting: “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” vs. “Stranger Things” vs. “Loki” vs. “The Gilded Age” vs. “The Great.”

CANCELED BUT NOT FORGOTTEN: “United States of Al” for outstanding production design for a narrative program (half-hour); “Cowboy Bebop” for outstanding main title design; “B Positive” in cinematography for a multi-camera series. And NBC’s canceled “Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist” led to the “Zoey’s Extraordinary Christmas” film on Roku Channel, which paid off with TV movie and choreography for scripted programming nods.

IS KATE BUSH AVAILABLE FOR THE EMMYS? Nora Felder, the “Stranger Things” music supervisor who brought back “Running Up That Hill” and helped turn it into a megahit in 2022, is nominated in music supervision.

ART IMITATES LIFE: In the lead actress in a limited or anthology series, every nomination is based on a real person: Toni Collette as Kathleen in “The Staircase,” Julia Garner as Anna Delvey in “Inventing Anna,” Lily James as Pamela Anderson in “Pam and Tommy,” Sarah Paulson as Linda Tripp in “Impeachment: American Crime Story,” Margaret Qualley as Alex in “Maid” (which, OK, is not technically author Stephanie Land, but is based on her) and Amanda Seyfried as Elizabeth Holmes in “The Dropout.”

LAND OF THE REBOOTS: Most of the TV movie category is about reinventions of classic titles: “Chip ‘n Dale: Rescue Rangers,” “Ray Donovan: The Movie,” “Reno 911!: The Hunt For QAnon” and “Zoey’s Extraordinary Christmas.” (The one exception: “The Survivor.”)

EMMY OVERACHIEVERS: “Euphoria’s” Zendaya does it all: She’s nominated as series producer, star and even outstanding original music and lyrics for two episodes. Other multiple nominees include Jason Bateman (lead drama actor and drama director); Quinta Brunson (lead actress and comedy writing for “Abbott Elementary”); Bill Hader (lead actor, writing and directing in comedy for “Barry,” plus comedy guest actor for “Curb Your Enthusiasm”); Steve Martin (lead actor and writing for “Only Murders in the Building”); Julia Garner (limited lead actress for “Inventing Anna” and supporting drama actress for “Ozark”); Rhea Seehorn (supporting drama actress for “Better Call Saul” and short form actress for “Cooper’s Bar”); Sydney Sweeney (supporting drama actress for “Euphoria” and supporting limited actress for “The White Lotus”); Jerrod Carmichael (writing for variety special for “Rothaniel” and guest actor for “Saturday Night Live”); Amy Poehler (host for “Making It” and nonfiction directing for “Lucy and Desi”); and Nicole Byer (reality host for “Nailed It!” and variety special writing for “Nicole Byer: BBW”).

Zendaya in “Euphoria.” - Credit: HBO
Zendaya in “Euphoria.” - Credit: HBO

HBO

WHAT’S IN A NAME? One of the notable snubs of 2022 was the lack of “Black-ish” stars in the nomination field. Yet Anthony Anderson did get a nod — but an entirely different Anthony Anderson. In this case, it was Anthony A. Anderson, nominated in the short form actor category for “Anacostia.”

UNTOUCHABLE: “Saturday Night Live” only received nine nominations this year, down from 21 in 2021. But that extended its lifetime nominations tally to 315, even further ahead of second place “Game of Thrones” (161). Ditto “SNL” executive producer Lorne Michaels, whose 96 lifetime noms push him further ahead of second-place Sheila Nevins (77).

FIRST-TIMERS CLUB: Besides the other Anderson, first nominations include Murray Bartlett (“The White Lotus”), Jacinte Blankenship (“Intersection”), Chadwick Boseman (What If…?), Quinta Brunson (“Abbott Elementary”), Bill Burr (“Immoral Compass”), Jerrod Carmichael (“Saturday Night Live” and “Jerrod Carmichael: Rothaniel”), Jennifer Coolidge (“The White Lotus”), Alexandra Daddario (“The White Lotus”), Kaitlyn Dever (“Dopesick”), Colman Domingo (“Euphoria”), Elle Fanning (“The Great”), Andrew Garfield (“Under the Banner of Heaven”), Park Hae-soo (“Squid Game”), Harriet Sansom Harris (“Hacks”), Nicholas Hoult (“The Great”) and Jung Ho-yeon (“Squid Game”).

Also Oscar Isaac (“Scenes from a Marriage”), Janelle James (“Abbott Elementary”), Lily James (“Pam & Tommy”), Toheeb Jimoh (“Ted Lasso”), Lee Jung-jae (“Squid Game”), Martha Kelly (“Euphoria”), Jake Lacy (“The White Lotus”), James Lance (“Ted Lasso”), Sanaa Lathan (“Succession”), Desi Lydic (“Desi Lydic Foxplains”), Melanie Lynskey (“Yellowjackets”), Christopher McDonald (“Hacks”), Arian Moayed (“Succession”), Sarah Niles (“Ted Lasso”), Himesh Patel (“Station Eleven”), Tom Pelphrey (“Ozark”), Will Poulter (“Dopesick”) Sheryl Lee Ralph (“Abbott Elementary”), Sam Richardson (“Ted Lasso”), Peter Sarsgaard (“Dopesick”), Adam Scott (“Severance”), Rhea Seehorn (“Better Call Saul” and “Cooper’s Bar”), Amanda Seyfried (“The Dropout”), J. Smith-Cameron (“Succession”), Sebastian Stan (“Pam & Tommy”), Sydney Sweeney (“Euphoria” and “The White Lotus”), Ikechukwo Ufomadu (“Words with Ike (Cake)”), Sydnee Washington (“Bridesman”), Tyler James Williams (“Abbott Elementary”), Lee You-mi (“Squid Game”), Oh Yeong-su (“Squid Game”) and Steve Zahn (“The White Lotus”).

And then there’s President Barack Obama, who also landed his first-ever Emmy nomination, as narrator of “Our Great National Parks.”

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