Wednesday, April 24, 2024

The 2021 Emmy Scandal: Where Are “Lupin,” “Call My Agent,” “Billions,” “Yellowstone,” “The Undoing,” “Genius: Aretha”?


Now that we’ve absorbed the Emmy nominations for 2021, it’s time ask what happened to all the other shows?

One dozen shows scored more than 12 nominations each. Around 20 other shows garnered between 5 and 9 nominations each.

And the rest? Some shows like “Mrs. Maisel,” we know, were ineligible because they didn’t have seasons thanks to the pandemic.

But “Billions” had half a season and got nothing. Of course, the Showtime drama is ignored year after year by the Television Academy, as if it didn’t exist. It’s completely unbelievable that regulars like Paul Giamatti, Damian Lewis, Asia Kate Dillon, and Jeffrey DeMunn — not to mention guest stars like Nina Ariana and Corey Stoll — are invisible to Emmy voters. But they are, over and over.

Same thing for Kevin Costner’s “Yellowstone.” Critics love it, and so do viewers. Kelly Reilly, Wes Bentley, and Costner himself all do Emmy Award winning work. But the show merited just one nomination this year, for production design! Ridiculous!

And then there’s the whole French thing. “Lupin” and “Call My Agent,” each on Netflix, come from France. They were wildly popular, and executed with the highest quality elements. Omar Sy should have been nominated for Best Actor in a Drama, and the show should have been a Best Drama. “Call My Agent” — the whole cast is top notch, and the show is a Best Comedy certainly. They were completely ignored.

What else? “The Undoing”– was undone. No Nicole Kidman or a Best MiniSeries, Limited Series nomination. Nothing for Donald Sutherland? Are these people on drugs?

And then there’s “Genius: Aretha,” the mini series about Aretha Franklin. Only Cynthia Erivo was cited. No one else, not Courtney B. Vance, whose performance as Reverend CL Franklin should absolutely have been rewarded. Also, their production was Emmy worthy. But there was nothing for them.

The Emmy voters seem limited in their ability to ferret all this out. That so few shows divided up the spoils indicates that the voters aren’t able to deal with everything that’s available to them. That’s a scandal, and a shame.


Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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