Emmys: John Krasinski's 'Some Good News' Will Take on Late Night's Big Guns (Exclusive)

Because TV Academy rules define shortform programs as shows averaging no more than 15 minutes per episode and the eight episodes of this COVID-era hit ran slightly longer, it will compete in the best variety talk series category.
'Some Good News'

Some Good News, John Krasinski's uplifting COVID-era talk show, has been submitted for Emmy consideration.

The show, which streamed on YouTube between late March and late May, attracting more than 72 million views, has been entered in the category of best variety talk series, The Hollywood Reporter has learned.

Considering the brevity of the show's season (just eight episodes) and the episodes that comprised it (each ran between 15 and 25 minutes), some might have assumed that, if entered, it would be categorized as a shortform variety series, a much easier category to penetrate. But TV Academy rules define shortform programs as shows averaging no more than 15 minutes per episode, so that was not an option.

What that means is that Some Good News will be competing for a nom not against other fare from YouTube or, say, Quibi, but against late night TV's big-guns like John Oliver, Stephen Colbert, James Corden, Trevor Noah, Samantha Bee, Bill Maher and the Jimmys (Jimmy Fallon and Jimmy Kimmel).

While the variety talk series category's nominees have seemed fairly cemented in place over the past few years — the final six have been exactly the same in each of the last two years, and five of the same six were also nominated the year before — I wouldn't count out Some Good News from riding a wave of goodwill to a nom (which would undoubtedly grate the talkers who have to pump out a show every single weeknight).

Krasinski self-financed, produced and hosted the show, which he had been contemplating since 2013, but rushed into production after Americans were ordered to stay at home — and after his own plans were derailed by the pandemic. A Quiet Place II, the horror film that he directed, had its world premiere in New York on March 8, but its theatrical release was postponed once the severity of the crisis became apparent.

Occasionally joined by Emily Blunt, who is married to Krasinski, he recruited famous friends to make guest appearances each episode. Some did quick comedy bits (Robert De Niro, Emma Stone and Ryan Reynolds reported the weather, and Samuel L. Jackson shouted compliments at strangers on the street), while others did good deeds for others. For instance, Steve Carell and other former co-stars from The Office celebrated newlyweds who were obsessed with their show; Lin-Manuel Miranda and the original cast of Hamilton gave a private performance for a 9-year-old Hamilton obsessive whose family's plans to see the show were derailed by the pandemic; and David Ortiz gifted lifetime Fenway Park passes to five health care workers. Oprah Winfrey, Steven Spielberg and Chance the Rapper were among others who made appearances. (Krasinski himself, meanwhile, DJ'd a Zoom prom for high schoolers who were no longer able to have an in-person gathering.)

After the show wrapped its season, for which it was feted with a Special Achievement Award at May's Webby Awards, Krasinski sold its future rights — following a bidding war they went to ViacomCBS, with someone other than Krasinski set to host it in its next incarnation — leading to some criticism on social media for being a "sellout." Krasinski, for his part, later said, "I was only planning on doing eight of them during quarantine, because I have these other things that I'm going to be having to do very soon — like Jack Ryan and all this other stuff. More than that, the writing, directing and producing, all those things, with a couple of my friends was so much. I knew it wouldn't be sustainable with my prior commitments."

Regardless of how one feels about the future direction of Some Good News, there is no denying that its first season was a grassroots effort. Now, it looks like the show's Emmy push will have to be the same. The Hollywood Reporter has learned that YouTube is not including the show in promotional outreach listing the original programs it is pushing for Emmys, nor is ViacomCBS actively campaigning for a season of work with which it had nothing to do. In other words, Krasinski and Blunt's young daughters, who drew the SGN logo that hung behind Krasinski throughout the show's run, may need to return to the drawing board and get started on some yard signs.