Nominations for the 72nd Annual Primetime Emmy Awards were announced Tuesday, and after seeing all the names and shows singled out for special honors this year — well, let’s just say it’s time to settle in for an extended bumpy ride.
It’s a ride that began months ago when most production was shut down across the television industry thanks to COVID-19. Many series shortened their seasons; others created animated final episodes or socially distanced ones, and the pandemic also ended up shifting the awards’ schedule: Nominations were originally supposed to have been announced July 14.
“Law & Order: SVU” fans, brace yourself: NBC’s new streaming service Peacock is almost here — and it’s going to give you nearly all the “L&O” you could possibly want!
Starting July 15, Peacock will feature every episode of “SVU” and “Criminal Intent,” along with select episodes from its “mothership” “L&O” — a seriously arresting offer for any true “dun-dun” junkie.
“SVU” returns for its 23rd season in the fall. But are you the kind of fan who knows every twist and turn every episode? Test your mettle with our quiz, below. Questions up top, answers below. And no peeking: This is going on your permanent record!
The title of Elisabeth Moss’ and Yvonne Strahovski‘s Hulu series is “The Handmaid’s Tale,” but as fans of the show (which went on hiatus after filming several episodes of its fourth season due to the coronavirus quarantine) know, it’s as much about Wife Serena (Strahovski) as Handmaid June (Moss), who have a love-hate magnetic relationship that threatens to end in mutually assured destruction.
The two chatted on a video call from Los Angeles (Strahovski) and New York (Moss) mid-quarantine. And though the conversation was well before the police killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis, each spoke strongly against injustice of all kinds.
No question: Genre shows have been having a banner decade. “Game of Thrones” won Emmys for top drama series four times. “Mr. Robot,” “The Handmaid’s Tale” and “American Horror Story” are regular nominees. Amid peak TV’s ongoing moment, on every platform, science fiction, fantasy and horror regularly get the prestige treatment.
But there’s something … lacking. And if you ask Seth MacFarlane, creator and star of Hulu’s “The Orville,” it can be summed up in one word: pies.
“There were brief moments of levity from [Peter] Dinklage in ‘Game of Thrones,’ but something like ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’ — that’s more the norm,” he says. “I love it, but every once in a while I think, ‘Could someone just throw a pie?’ ”
“Dick Wolf and I were in Chicago for the shooting of the ‘Chicago Fire’ pilot, freezing … our asses off on this bridge, and Dick was saying, ‘We’ll do a medical show next, and we’ll have three of these on the air in the next three years,’” recalls Peter Jankowski, who now executive produces NBC’s “Chicago Fire,” “Chicago Med” and “Chicago P.D.” “It took four years, though.”
Once upon a time, the notion of three shows on the air under the same brand, taking up an entire night of prime-time broadcast real estate — which the “Chicago” shows do — would have been an extraordinary feat. But in this extended golden era of 500-plus TV series on multiple platforms, the “Chicago” story is really a keeping-up-with-the-Joneses exercise. More and more creators and networks are turning not to original content for new programming but to expanding the universes they already have.
“When I realized that the way to do ‘Atypical’ properly was to do it from Sam’s point of view, I got so mad at myself, because I knew it was going to be challenging and I knew I wanted to do it right,” says “Atypical” creator Robia Rashid. “Because Sam has trouble saying what’s in his head — so having voice-over really helped us to ‘get’ him.”
Voice-over narration is a tricky stylistic choice; it gets dunned for being a “tell not show” form of storytelling, and doesn’t often work. But series including “Atypical,” “The Goldbergs,” “Why Women Kill,” “High Fidelity,” “black-ish,” “The Handmaid’s Tale,” “Mr. Robot,” “Batwoman” and “You” all prove that done right, voice-over can be a poignant, intimate shortcut to getting into a key character’s head.
No season of “Homeland” could begin without a trip to spy camp.
Annually, actors, producers and writers for the Showtime series assembled at a “spook club” in Washington, D.C., spending a dozen hours a day over the course of a week with policymakers, journalists and intelligence service reps to uncover nuanced, up-to-date answers to one specific question: What’s going on between the U.S. and the rest of the world?
And based on what they learned, “Homeland” could begin a new season.
Bradley Whitford knows what you think of him: He’s Josh Lyman, the earnest Deputy Chief of Staff on “The West Wing,” the role he played from 1999-2006 that earned his first Emmy. (“It’s probably the first line in my obituary,” he quips.) But Whitford has aged into roles that showcase his range: as a singing choirmaster on NBC’s “Perfect Harmony” and a troubled architect of dystopia in Hulu’s “The Handmaid’s Tale” (which earned him his third Emmy last year). Zooming from home mid-quarantine, Whitford spoke with Randee Dawn for The Envelope about versatility, Clint Eastwood – and how his beliefs have guided his career choices.
Longtime “Star Trek” fans can skip ahead. For those a little newer to the vast “Trek” canon, which has gone boldly etc. etc. since 1966, here’s a summary: As Captain (later Admiral) Jean-Luc Picard, Patrick Stewart helmed the Enterprise on “Star Trek: The Next Generation” from 1987 to 1994 (and in multiple feature films), becoming one of the franchise’s most beloved characters. Michael Chabon, who cocreated CBS All Access’ “Star Trek: Picard” this year, is a Pulitzer Prize-winning author and TV newbie but a lifelong “Trek” fan.
The Envelope transported them to the Zoom universe to find out how it felt to send Picard back into space — while also altering him entirely.