Emmys: Which New Shows Have a Shot at Landing Nominations?

Some rookie contenders come in with a boost from the Golden Globes ('The Kominsky Method,' 'Homecoming'), while others are hoping to make their first splash on nominations morning ('Russian Doll,' 'Gentleman Jack').
John Jay Cabuay

The 2019 Emmy landscape could have looked pretty bleak, considering the number of decorated shows that ended last season (e.g., The Americans and Portlandia) or were off the air this season (e.g., Atlanta, The Crown, The Handmaid's Tale, Homeland, Silicon Valley, Stranger Things and Westworld) — but it doesn't, thanks to the considerable number of high-quality new shows poised to fill the void.

Now, as nomination voting gets underway, the question is, which ones are pretenders and which are real contenders? An early clue is often the three awards shows that take place roughly a half-year before TV Academy members get to weigh in: the Golden Globes, the SAG Awards and the Critics' Choice Awards. While their voting bodies do not directly correlate with the TV Academy's, their picks do highlight important new shows, which many TV Academy members — or, at least the journalists they read — make a point of checking out. Globes voters, in particular, love being the first to champion new shows and their talent. The TV Academy sometimes follows suit (like giving series awards to Mad Men, Homeland and The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel) and other times doesn't.

This year, rookies accounted for three of the Globes' five drama nominees, Netflix's Bodyguard, Amazon's Homecoming and FX's Pose, and two of its five comedy nominees, Netflix's The Kominsky Method (which won) and Showtime's Kidding. The Critics' Choice Awards seconded the noms for Homecoming and Pose while also including HBO's My Brilliant Friend and Succession, and, on the comedy side, also nominated Kominsky. The SAG Awards also included Kominsky among its five best comedy ensemble nominees. Clearly, there was widespread consensus around Kominsky, and strong feelings for Homecoming and Pose too.

Meanwhile, in terms of individual acting noms? Of lead actors in dramas, Bodyguard's Richard Madden and Pose's Billy Porter each received Globe and Critics' Choice noms (Madden won the former), whereas Homecoming's Stephan James got a Globe nom and Jack Ryan's John Krasinski a SAG nom. Of lead actors in comedies, all three groups nominated Kominsky's Michael Douglas (who won the Globe), and the Globes also nominated Kidding's Jim Carrey and Who Is America?'s Sacha Baron Cohen. On the drama side, Homecoming's Julia Roberts received Globe and Critics' Choice noms and Sorry for Your Loss' Elizabeth Olsen landed a Critics' Choice nom, while on the comedy side, Candice Bergen snagged a Globe nom for the reboot of Murphy Brown (since canceled).

And then there are the supporting performers. Starting with the men — on the drama side, Succession's Kieran Culkin was a Globe nominee, while co-star Matthew Macfadyen, as well as Homecoming's Shea Whigham and Mayans M.C.'s Richard Cabral, were Critics' Choice nominees; on the comedy side, Kominsky's Alan Arkin was a Globe and SAG Award nominee. Of women on the drama side, Jack Ryan's Dina Shihabi was a Critics' Choice nominee, as was The Conners' Laurie Metcalf for comedy.

While earlier awards overlooked them, several other newbies could draw Emmy notice: Pose lead actress Mj Rodriguez and supporting actor Evan Peters; Succession leads Brian Cox, Jeremy Strong and Sarah Snook; Kidding supporting stars Frank Langella and Catherine Keener (also a standout on Amazon's Forever); The Conners' Sara Gilbert; Bodyguard supporting actress Keeley Hawes; Kominsky supporting actress Nancy Travis; and leads Fred Armisen and Maya Rudolph for Forever.

Of course, quite a few other shows have debuted in the months since those awards, meaning they could be viable Emmy contenders. These include a host of Netflix comedies — Russian Doll (lead actress Natasha Lyonne and supporting actor Charlie Barnett), Dead to Me (lead actresses Christina Applegate and Linda Cardellini and supporting actors Ed Asner and James Marsden), After Life (lead actor Ricky Gervais and supporting actress Penelope Wilton) and Sex Education (lead actor Asa Butterfield and supporting actress Gillian Anderson) — all of which have had the benefit of promotion at Netflix's "FYSee" space at Raleigh Studios. (Amazon and Nat Geo did variations.)

Other latecomers with potential include HBO's drama Gentleman Jack (lead actress Suranne Jones); Hulu's comedy Shrill (lead actress Aidy Bryant and supporting actress Lolly Adefope) and Ramy (lead Ramy Youssef); Showtime's comedy Black Monday (lead actor Don Cheadle, lead actress Regina Hall and supporting actor Andrew Rannells); and Comedy Central's The Other Two (lead actor Drew Tarver and supporting actress Molly Shannon). In other words, once again it's a race packed with a Peak TV surfeit of fresh talent, plus veterans with exciting new showcases.

This story first appeared in a June stand-alone issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine. To receive the magazine, click here to subscribe.