Why ‘Stranger Things’ Only Submitted One Actor for Emmys This Year

“I think it’s finally my year,” are the famous last words of Eddie Munson in “Stranger Things,” but unfortunately actor Joseph Quinn will have to wait a little bit longer.

While, at this point, it feels like the kids of Netflix’s ’80s-set sci-fi series will be grandparents before Season 5, with the WGA strike delaying production and the general speed in which the Duffer brothers have delivered seasons. Nonetheless, elements of last summer’s massively popular Season 4 Vol. 2 double-episodes will be angling for consideration from the Television Academy this year. But Emmy rules means most stars of “Stranger Things” aren’t eligible for this year’s ballots.

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In June 2022, the TV Academy eliminated the “hangover episode rule,” which allowed a series that premieres current-season episodes after the May 31 eligibility deadline but before the start of nomination round-voting to submit for Emmy consideration.

Read: Variety’s Awards Circuit for the latest Emmy predictions in all categories.

The fourth season of “Stranger Things” was broken into two parts. Vol. 1, consisting of seven episodes, dropped on May 27, 2022 and competed for the 2022 Emmys, where it picked up 13 noms and won five — for stunt coordination, sound editing (one hour), sound mixing (one hour), prosthetic makeup and music supervision.

Toward the beginning of this year’s eligibility period, (which started June 1, 2022), Netflix dropped the Vol. 2 installments, featuring two epic episodes with a combined runtime of nearly four hours: “Chapter Eight: Papa” and “Chapter Nine: The Piggyback.” Under new rules, these are considered “orphan” episodes in the eyes of awards eligibility, which prevents the show from submitting for the drama series category (which requires a minimum of six), nor any main series acting categories, where stars Millie Bobby Brown and David Harbour have garnered recognition for previous seasons.

STRANGER THINGS. (L to R) Gaten Matarazzo as Dustin Henderson and Joseph Quinn as Eddie Munson in STRANGER THINGS. Cr. Courtesy of Netflix © 2022
STRANGER THINGS. (L to R) Gaten Matarazzo as Dustin Henderson and Joseph Quinn as Eddie Munson in STRANGER THINGS. Cr. Courtesy of Netflix © 2022

Despite Vol. 2 having standout turns from the likes of Sadie Sink as tomboy Max Mayfield or Quinn as the rock ‘n ‘ rolling Eddie Munson, the only “Stranger Things” actor eligible for Emmy acting recognition this year is Dacre Montgomery, for guest actor in a drama series.

Montgomery plays Max’s deceased stepbrother, Billy. Despite being killed by the Mind Flayer in Season 3, the character appears in “The Piggyback” finale when Vecna (Jamie Campbell Bower) puts Max into a trance, with her deceased brother showing up in a vision to blame her for his death.

While a slot for Montgomery is attainable, the 28-year-old will face a difficult field that includes actors from presumed drama series contenders such as “The Last of Us” (Nick Offerman, Murray Bartlett, Lamar Johnson, Gabriel Luna), “Succession” (James Cromwell, Arian Moayed) and “Better Call Saul” (Bryan Cranston, Aaron Paul, Michael McKean, Tony Dalton, Mark Margolis).

“Stranger Things” is the most high-profile show with this unique situation, and it would be hard to see it getting shut out. When the “hangover rule” was in effect, acclaimed shows like Hulu’s “The Handmaid’s Tale” in 2019 managed to nab several key mentions, such as writing and directing — and won three, including guest drama actor and actress for Bradley Whitford and Cherry Jones.

There were 22 actors submitted for Vol. 1 in the primary acting races. To be eligible for the guest categories, an actor cannot appear in more than 50% of the episodes in a given season.

But it won’t be just about Montgomery. Netflix and the creatives have put their focus into the two-hour and 19-minute finale, submitting it to the Emmy Creative Arts races it was eligible for, along with the two main categories for directing and writing. Unfortunately, “Papa” was not submitted in any categories (yes, that’s the one that includes Noah Schnapp’s heart-wrenching line, “That’s what holds this party together… heart,” which he delivers to Mike in the car).

Netflix also has more than enough drama series to submit in the top category, such as the previous Emmy winner “The Crown,” Shonda Rhimes’ “Bridgerton” spinoff “Queen Charlotte” and the political thriller “The Diplomat.”

Read the list of submissions for “Stranger Things” below. Emmy voting begins on June 15.

“Stranger Things 4” Emmy Submissions

  • Guest Actor (Drama) — Dacre Montgomery as Billy Hargrove

  • Directing (Drama) — The Duffer Brothers, “Chapter Nine: The Piggyback”

  • Writing (Drama) — The Duffer Brothers, “Chapter Nine: The Piggyback”

  • Cinematography (One-Hour) — Caleb Heymann, “Chapter Nine: The Piggyback”

  • Music Composition (Original Dramatic Score) — Kyle Dixon, Michael Stein, “Chapter Nine: The Piggyback”

  • Music Supervision — Nora Felder, “Chapter Nine: The Piggyback”

  • Period/Character Hairstyling — Sarah Hindsgaul, Katrina Suhre, Brynn Berg, O’Dena Gibson, Tariq Ferguson, Jamie Freeman, Charles Grico, “Chapter Nine: The Piggyback”

  • Period/Character Makeup (Non-Prosthetic) — Amy L. Forsythe, Devin Morales, Erin Keith, Nataleigh Verrengia, Benji Dove, Jan Rooney, Lisa Poe, Rocco Gaglioti Jr., “Chapter Nine: The Piggyback”

  • Period Costumes — Amy Parris, Kristin Garaventa, Seth Elliott, Pam Aaron, “Chapter Nine: The Piggyback”

  • Picture Editing (Drama) — Dean Zimmerman, Katheryn Naranjo, “Chapter Nine: The Piggyback”

  • Sound Editing for a Comedy or Drama Series (One Hour) — Craig Henighan, Will Files, Ryan Cole, Korey Pereira, Angelo Palazzo, Katie Halliday, Ken McGill, Steve Baine, David Klotz, Lena Glikson-Nezhelskaya, “Chapter Nine: The Piggyback”

  • Sound Mixing (One Hour) — Craig Henighan, Will Files, Mark Paterson, Michael P. Clark, “Chapter Nine: The Piggyback”

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