The Great Emmy Shuffle has reached new heights.
I’m Rebecca Ford, and I thought I was done writing about Emmy category shuffles when I dug into the Beef switch and some other musical chairs a couple weeks ago in this newsletter. But here we are again. I can’t actually remember a year where there were so many surprising switcheroos as we head into the deadline.
First of all, as Little Gold Men predicted, Succession’s Kieran Culkin will submit in the lead-actor-in-a-drama category this year instead of supporting. With Brian Cox almost certainly not competing as a lead this year (my bet is he goes supporting), there’s a nice opportunity for Culkin to join the lead ranks. It makes a lot of sense on multiple levels because I very much agree with what my colleague David Canfield wrote as he took a look at the Succession landscape: “Culkin has been the standout in a season of standout performances, culminating in his wrenching mountaintop scene from this past Sunday.” Now, Sarah Snook, who plays the third main Roy kid, Shiv, will also move up to lead this year in the actress race. It’s a smart move because her chances of a win would be much improved, and she’s already had several standout moments this season.
In a more surprising move, Apple TV+ is entering the second season of Schmigadoon! in the newly created scripted-variety-series category instead of comedy series. Established after a rule change last year, the scripted variety series is for shows that are six episodes or more and consist of “discrete scenes, satire, musical numbers, monologues, comedy stand-ups, sketches, etc.” But what’s really weird about this move is that Schmigadoon! will now likely be competing against the likes of Last Week Tonight With John Oliver, A Black Lady Sketch Show, and longtime winner Saturday Night Live. The comedy-series category is extremely competitive this year, so this might give Schmigadoon! a better chance at a nomination, but we’ll have to wait and see.
And one final twist this week came from one of the stars of Yellowjackets. Liv Hewson, who plays goalkeeper Van in the ’90s timeline, revealed that they will not be submitting in the individual acting categories. The nonbinary actor stated that “there’s no space for me” because they feel that the gendered categories don’t allow for an option for them. This issue of gendered categories at the major awards shows (Emmys, Oscars, and Tonys) has come up more and more consistently, as some shows (like the Gothams and Independent Spirit Awards) have done away with gendered acting categories in an effort to be more inclusive. As we can see from this week’s movement, there can be a lot of options for certain shows and actors to move between categories. But when it comes to gendered acting categories, the old systems have also created limits that are shutting some people out completely.