Awards HQ June 28: LAST DAY OF NOMINATION VOTING! Saturday Night Live, Daytime Emmys Roundup, Peabody Winners, More!

Greetings from Variety Awards Headquarters! Today is June 28, 2021, which means nomination-round voting ends TODAY. Get your votes in! Meanwhile, it’s 15 days until nominations are announced on July 13; 52  days until final-round voting starts on Aug. 19; and 83 days until the Primetime Emmys telecast on Sept. 19.

Two more awards shows this past weekend in both the Daytime Emmys and the BET Awards; both felt like a continued return to normalcy — in particular, the BET Awards with its Red Carpet, in-person audience and the energy that came with it. As we wait on the TV Academy and CBS to determine how the Primetime Emmys will look, I’m guessing it will be a bit of a hybrid. Like the Daytime Emmys producers told be a few weeks ago, 2021 is a “transition” year.

Meanwhile, looking ahead to next year, my colleague Clayton Davis broke the news that the Hollywood Foreign Press Assn. is apparently not ready to give up its hold on the Beverly Hilton ballroom, effectively blocking the Critics Choice Association from holding the Critics Choice Awards there in January.

As we know, the CCA smells blood in the water and hopes to steal the Golden Globes’ thunder, now that the Globes will not be happening in 2022. But… come on. Why does the CCA want to open up comparisons to the HFPA and the Globes? Who wants a Faux Globes? If the CCA were thinking, they’d use the opportunity to create something new, fresh and original. Don’t be a copy cat. The idea of simply taking the Globes’ ceremony date and ceremony location… it’s desperate.

OK, last chance to get those nomination votes in, so let’s get going!

‘Saturday Night Live’ Stars and Lorne Michaels on How They Pulled Off a Pandemic Season

Last year, “Saturday Night Live” managed to air most of the year as normal, before pulling off a handful of unique at-home editions. This fall, bringing a bit of normalcy to the TV screen during these very not normal times, the show once again hailed from Studio 8H. When no one else was back in a studio, doing shows in front of an audience, “Saturday Night Live” did it this season — and they did it live. How did they pull it off? Lorne Michaels — the most-nominated individual in Emmy history — and the cast of “Saturday Night Live” share their stories of what it was like filming all of Season 46 during the 2020 presidential election and COVID-19 pandemic. Click to watch.

Daytime Emmys: Alex Trebek, Larry King Receive Posthumous Honors, as ‘Jeopardy,’ ‘Kelly Clarkson,’ ‘General Hospital’ Top Winners

The National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences handed out the awards for this year’s broadcast portion of the 48th Annual Daytime Emmy Awards this Friday evening on CBS. Among the big winners: “Kelly Clarkson Show” won for best entertainment talk show, while Kelly Clarkson won for entertainment talk host. “General Hospital” was named top daytime drama, as well as lead drama actor (Maurice Benard), supporting actor (Max Gail), directing team for a drama, technical team for a drama and casting for a drama.

Meanwhile, “Jeopardy!” once again picked up award for best game show, while the late Alex Trebek won another Emmy for game show host. Executive producer Mike Richards dedicated the game show award to Trebek, while Trebek’s children accepted the host’s award on his behalf.

“We’ve heard from so many of you since he passed and we know how much he meant to you,” Richards said. “He meant the world to us as well. He was more than just a game show host. He was a legend, a towering figure. And he believed that ‘Jeopardy’ was more than just a game show. He loved it because it stood for facts, competition, and the celebration of intelligence. I felt so lucky to be able to work with him and to see firsthand how seriously he took his job, and how rigorously he prepared for each show. Even after 37 years, he was so committed to ‘Jeopardy’s’ excellence and he truly lead by example. But the most incredible part of Alex was his love for his family. They shared him with the world, but they were always his first priority. Once again, he led by example. I also want to thank the entire ‘Jeopardy’ staff and crew who rise to every challenge and worked tirelessly under extraordinary circumstances.”

Later, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and First Lady Dr. Jill Biden were among those paying tribute to Trebek as part of the ceremony’s In Memoriam. Also singled out were Regis Philbin, who was paid tribute by Kathie Lee Gifford, and Larry King, as honored by Martha Stewart . King was honored as best informative talk show host, for his Ora TV series “Larry King Now.” Two of the legendary broadcaster’s sons accepted the award on his behalf. The telecast focused on major categories such as outstanding drama, game show, entertainment talk show, morning show, informative talk show and legal/courtroom program, as well as the performers, host, writers, directors and other technical teams for those shows. Here is a roundup of winners.

But… An Oops for the Daytime Emmys In Memoriam

As my colleague Cynthia Littleton wrote on Sunday, alas, the Daytime Emmys faced a major flub in its In Memoriam segment.

In honoring late actor Marguerite Ray, the show featured a photo of living actor Veronica Redd. Here’s how it probably happened, as Twitter user @MrJoshie exolained: “A photo of Redd appeared under the caption that identified her as Ray, who died last November, during the pre-recorded ceremony that aired Friday on CBS. Ray had a 10-year run on the CBS soap ‘The Young and the Restless’ from 1980 to 1990 as the character Mamie Johnson. Redd took over the role in 1990 for 14 years.”

“We sincerely apologize to the Ray family — as well as to Veronica Redd, whose image was inadvertently used instead. Each of these Daytime icons deserved better from our Academy,” NATAS said through its @DaytimeEmmys Twitter account.

Indeed, NATAS confirmed that Ray was misidentified in the photo that NATAS licensed for the In Memoriam segment from an unnamed service.

An honest mistake, but a good reminder for all awards shows to check and check, and then check again, on photos particularly in the In Memoriam, which always undergo a ton of scrutiny by viewers.

AWARDS CIRCUIT COLUMN: ‘Hamilton,’ ‘In & Of Itself’ Among Variety Special (Pre-Recorded) Contenders That Kept Stage Alive During COVID

In my latest Awards Circuit column, I look at how the variety special (pre-recorded) category will experience a hefty influx of televised stage shows (both Broadway and off-Broadway) this year:

As Broadway and local stages remained closed over the past year of the pandemic, it was television that kept the spirit of theater alive. Watching a taped version of a stage performance doesn’t replace the excitement and personal connection that comes with seeing works in person — but some of this year’s top variety special (pre-recorded) contenders are pretty outstanding substitutes.

The film version of Lin-Manuel Miranda’s “Hamilton” was never going to be an Oscar contender, due to Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences rules that recorded stage productions are not eligible for consideration. When Disney decided to drop a planned theatrical release for “Hamilton” and instead premiere it on Disney Plus over Independence Day weekend last year — in a move to both bolster the streaming service’s content offerings and also take advantage of audiences stuck at home during quarantine — it opened the door for Emmy consideration.

But “Hamilton” is just one of the stage events aiming for Emmy attention this year. Amazon Prime Video’s “What the Constitution Means to Me” is a timely, stirring show starring and created by Heidi Schreck. For us nostalgia-minded Gen Xers, there’s the HBO concert film “David Byrne’s American Utopia,” directed by Spike Lee. And speaking of superstar helmers, Frank Oz did a masterful job turning Derek DelGaudio’s indescribable “In & Of Itself” into a must-see TV event that had everyone talking when it debuted on Hulu back in January.

Read the full column here.

Complete List of Peabody 2021 Winners: ‘I May Destroy You,’ ‘Small Axe,’ ‘The Good Lord Bird,’ ‘Ted Lasso,’ More

Here it is, the final list of this year’s 30 Peabody Award winners. A total of 60 nominees were announced as nominees in May, representing “the most compelling and empowering stories released in broadcasting and streaming media during 2020.” The Peabody Awards Board of Jurors selected this year’s nominees for entertainment, documentaries, news, podcast/radio, children’s & youth, public service and arts. Peabody pointed out that among the awards, 21 of the winning works are by or about BIPOC people and issues.

“The Late Show with Stephen Colbert” (CBS)
“Ted Lasso” (Apple TV Plus)
“The Good Lord Bird” (Showtime)
“Unorthodox” (Netflix)
“I May Destroy You” (HBO)
“La Llorona” (Shudder)
“Small Axe” (Amazon Prime Video)

“Asian Americans” (PBS)
“Time” (Amazon Studios)
“76 Days” (MTV Documentary Films)
“Collective” (HBO Europe)
“Immigration Nation” (Netflix)
“Crip Camp” (Netflix)
“The Cave” (NatGeo)
“Welcome to Chechnya” (HBO)

“Floodlines” (The Atlantic)
“Post Reports: The Life of George Floyd” (The Washington Post)
“The Promise: Season 2” (Nashville Public Radio)

“Full Disclosure” (KNXV-TV)
“China Undercover” Frontline (PBS / WGBH)
“Whose Vote Counts” (PBS / WGBH)
“VICE on Showtime: Losing Ground” (Showtime)
“Muslim in Trump’s America (Exposure)” (ITV)
“PBS NewsHour: Coverage of the COVID-19 Pandemic” (PBS)
“ABC News 20/20: Breonna Taylor” (ABC)
“PBS NewsHour: Desperate Journey” (PBS)

Children’s & Youth
“The Owl House” (Disney Channel)
“Stillwater” (Apple TV Plus)

Public Service
“Facing Race” (KING-TV)
“Cops and Robbers” (Netflix)

Peabody also announced Ava DuVernay’s Array as an Institutional Award winner, Sam Pollard as winner of the Peabody Career Achievement Award and Judy Woodruff, anchor and managing editor of the PBS NewsHour, won the Peabody Award for Journalistic Integrity. The Peabody Awards are based at the Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of Georgia.

“Whether documenting the horrors and struggles of COVID-19, amplifying critical discussions around police brutality, or simply entertaining us with heartfelt stories about our shared humanity, the Peabody 30 winners represent the very best in compelling storytelling,” said Jeffrey P. Jones, executive director of Peabody. “Spanning mediums and genres, they told urgent and powerful stories despite the many challenges posed by the pandemic and an often relentless hostility towards the press. It is an honor to celebrate their fantastic work.”

Live Every Week Like It’s Shark Week, and Send All Swag Like Shark Week Swag

Like I mentioned last week, Discovery’s Shark Week mailer is always something to look forward to. Laurie Goldberg and team manage to outdo themselves every year — and 2021’s shark-shaped box was extra cool.

For its 33rd year, Shark Week officially takes place July 11 to July 18 and features 45 hours of shark programming, the most hours in its history.

There’s too much Shark Week content to list, but a few highlights:

Sharkbait with David Dobrik – Streaming Sunday, July 11 on Discovery Plus

Crikey! It’s Shark Week – Sunday, July 11 at 8 p.m. ET

Tiffany Haddish Does Shark Week – Sunday, July 11 at 9 p.m. ET

Jackass Shark Week Special – Sunday, July 11 at 10 p.m. ET

Stranger Sharks – Streaming Monday, July 12 on Discovery Plus

Air Jaws: Going For Gold – Monday, July 12 at 8 p.m. ET

Jaws Awakens: Phred vs. Slash – Monday, July 12 at 9 p.m. ET

Expedition Unknown: Shark Trek – Monday, July 12 at 10 p.m. ET

Brad Paisley’s Shark Country – Tuesday, July 13 at 9 p.m. ET

MechaShark – Wednesday, July 14 at 8 p.m. ET

The Real Sharknado – Wednesday, July 14 at 9PM ET

Dr. Pimple Popper Pops Shark Week – Thursday, July 15 at 8 p.m. ET

Sharkadelic Summer 2 – Thursday, July 15 at 9 p.m. ET

Mega Jaws Of Bird Island – Thursday, July 15 at 10 p.m. ET

Ninja Sharks: Mutants Rising – Friday, July 16 at 8 p.m. ET

Mystery Of The Black Demon Shark – Friday, July 16 at 10 p.m. ET

I Was Prey: Terrors Of The Deep 2 – Friday, July 16 at 11 p.m. ET

Return To Shark Vortex – Saturday, July 17 at 8 p.m. ET

Shark Week Best In Show – Saturday, July 17 at 9 p.m. ET

I Was Prey: Shark Week 2021 – Saturday, July 17 at 10 p.m. ET

Shark Academy – Streaming Sunday, July 11 on Discovery Plus, airing Sunday, July 18 at 10 p.m. ET

Shark Week partners include Southwest Airlines, Great Clips, Pooch Perks and Georgetown Cupcake. New partnerships include Wilson, MLB, Casely, Me Undies and Nautica. And what may be the wildest tie-in, a “Shark Week” blimp, at 128-feet long, 44-feet high, will travel up and down the East Coast through July 20.

WATCH MY SHOW: ‘Perry Mason’s’ Susan Downey Fills Out Our Showrunner Seven

Matthew Rhys is a while new “Perry Mason,” starring in the HBO reimagining of the famed character as a low-rent private investigator in 1930s Los Angeles. John Lithgow is Elias Birchard “E.B.” Jonathan, a struggling attorney and a semi-regular employer of Mason; Juliet Rylance is Della Street, E.B. Jonathan’s creative and driven legal secretary; Tatiana Maslany is Sister Alice McKeegan, the leader of the Radiant Assembly of God, preaching to a hungry congregation and a radio audience across the country; the show also stars Chris Chalk and Shea Whigham. We asked executive producer Susan Downey to fill out our “Watch My Show!” survey; here are her answers on behalf of “Perry Mason.”

Sum up your show’s pitch on one sentence.
A down and out PI becomes an unlikely advocate for justice in 1930’s LA.

What’s an alternate title for your show?
“Everybody’s Guilty.”

What do we need to know before tuning in?
It’s a new take inspired by the original “Perry Mason” books, not a remake, and you no longer have to have to wait a week between chapters. Watch the whole case unfold in 8 episodes on HBO Max.

Give us an equation for your show.
Los Angeles divided by murder, times mystery, plus fedoras.

What’s the best thing someone said about your show?
“HBO’s swank noir is one of the most beautiful series ever made.”

If you could work on any other series in TV, what would it be?
“The Investigation,” a masterfully rendered true crime tale.

Finish this sentence, ‘If you like [blank], you’ll love our show.’
If you like a good scandal, you’ll love our show.

Will Virtual Reunions for Beloved Shows Like ‘Friends’ and ‘Fresh Prince of Bel-Air’ Get Emmy Love?

By the time “Friends: The Reunion” came last month, executive producer Ben Winston knew the reunion space had been saturated — and that he had to deliver something special. “I thought they were all really different and really original,” he tells me. “I saw the ‘West Wing’ one and I saw the ‘Fresh Prince of Bel-Air’ one, and if anything, I just felt pressure because I knew that we were going after them and they’d set such a high bar. But I think the cast and the creators and myself, we were like, ‘We’re going to do it when the time’s right.’”

Of course, there’s the need in this crowded marketplace to get attention — “and when you bring back a brand and a show that people loved at a simpler time in their lives, it’s easier to create noise about it,” Winston says. But he also notes that reunions like “Friends,” especially over the past year, take us “back to a time in our lives that we all loved. A show where people talk to each other, where people weren’t buried in their cellphones.”Read more here.

AWARDS CIRCUIT PODCAST: Ethan Hawke and Joshua Caleb Johnson on Telling the Story of John Brown in Showtime’s ‘The Good Lord Bird’

Playing John Brown in Showtime’s limited series “The Good Lord Bird” required an intensity from star and executive producer Ethan Hawke that pushed him to his limits. “It was the first time I knew what having a heart attack might feel like,” Hawke told Variety’s Awards Circuit podcast. And shooting the series in the middle of a hot and humid Virginia summer didn’t help. “It was 107. And I’m carrying like, seven rifles and three pistols and dressed in wool and screaming my full head off.”

But to play this historic abolitionist figure, as adapted from the James McBride novel “The Good Lord Bird,” Hawke knew he couldn’t do it lightly. “When society is insane, it takes a bit of insanity for it to see itself,” he said. “How I felt, is to be a person who is going to shatter an insane element of society. You can’t shatter the criminal institution of human bondage gently.”

John Brown is an abolitionist whom you might remember from history class but probably don’t know much about. In the series, which comes with the disclaimer “All of this is true. Most of it happened,” Joshua Caleb Johnson plays Henry Shackleford, nicknamed “Onion,” a fictional enslaved boy who becomes a member of John Brown’s eccentric family of abolitionist soldiers. But here’s the catch: early on, John Brown assumes Onion is a girl, and Onion isn’t about to correct him.

We talk to stars Hawke (also an executive producer) and Johnson about the unique relationship between their characters, the growth of Onion along the way and what John Brown’s intentions ultimately were. I began by asking Johnson what the show has meant for the young actor’s career. Click and listen below!

Also in this episode, Netflix recently gave Phil Rosenthal a fifth season order for “Somebody Feed Phil,” and with the world slowly opening up again, it couldn’t come at a better time. The “Everybody Loves Raymond” co-creator has helped countless viewers explore the world and travel vicariously through his series, particularly during these pandemic times. And his cheerful mood as he explores the world is also infectious. We spoke to Rosenthal about the recent return to comfort like the current hot chicken craze, compare our COVID weight gains, and discuss his most recent season, including his visit to Hawaii.

Variety’s Emmy edition of the “Awards Circuit” podcast is hosted by Michael Schneider, Jazz Tangcay and Danielle Turchiano and is your one-stop listen for lively conversations about the best in television. Each week during Emmy season, “Awards Circuit” features interviews with top TV talent and creatives; discussions and debates about awards races and industry headlines; and much, much more. Subscribe via Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, Spotify or anywhere you download podcasts. New episodes post every Thursday.

Autry Museum of the American West Partners with Peacock’s ‘Rutherford Falls’ to Celebrates Native Storytelling

Peacock has contributed to Los Angeles’ Autry Museum to help underwrite a robust, year-round programming that develops Native talent and provides more access to Native communities, including the Museum’s Native Voices program, which is the only Equity theater company dedicated to presenting stories from Native American playwrights with an entirely Native American ensemble.

As a part of the announcement, Peacock and its series “Rutherford Falls” offered complimentary admission on Saturday to the Autry.

The comedy, which represents a breakthrough in Native representation in comedy television, stars Jana Schmieding (Cheyenne River Lakota Sioux) and Michael Greyeyes ([Nêhiyaw (Plains Cree) from Muskeg Lake Cree Nation – Treaty Six Territory in Saskatchewan]), alongside “The Office’s” Ed Helms. There are five Native writers staffed on “Rutherford Falls,” one of the largest Indigenous writer’s rooms on television, including co-creator and executive producer Sierra Teller Ornelas (Navajo).

Above, members of cast and crew at the Autry included (from left) Dustin Milligan (“Josh Carter”), Ed Helms (co-creator, executive producer and “Nathan Rutherford”), Sierra Teller Ornelas (co-creator, executive producer and showrunner; Navajo), Jesse Leigh (“Bobbie Yang”), Tai Leclaire (writer; Kanien’kehá:ka [Mohawk Nation]/Mi’kmaq) and Kimberly Guerrero (“Renée Thomas”; Colville (Enrolled) and Salish-Kootenai).

Variety’s TV Critics on the Emmy Contenders You Shouldn’t Forget

Hey HOLD ON. Before you send your final nomination ballots in, Variety TV critics Daniel D’Addario and Caroline Framke have a few notes. “Academy, take note: There’s room to make history and celebrate something new,” they write.

Some suggestions from the two:

“The Amber Ruffin Show”: smart, zany series that consistently distills complex topics and feelings into a weekly half-hour unlike any other on television (CF)

“Clarice”: A coolly elegant bit of television that combines nastiness with the Clarice character’s inherently winning gumption (DD)

“Dickinson”: Just like its real-life subject, “Dickinson” embraces the fact that there just isn’t anything else out there quite like it (CF)

“The Good Lord Bird”: With verve and style, Showtime confronts American history not as a clear linear path, but as fractious chaos. (DD)

“The Investigation”: presents a powerfully moving moral vision reminiscent of last year’s limited series nominee “Unbelievable.” (DD)

“Saved by the Bell” manages to do two challenging things at once: pay unironic homage to the spirit of its source material, and reinvent the teen comedy. (DD)

“Shrill”: Lolly Adefope turned in one of the year’s most memorable supporting performances that should by all rights make her a star. (CF)

If there were any justice in TV land, the premature exit of “Superstore” would at least merit it a couple awards of acknowledgement on the way out. (CF)

Kate Mara in “A Teacher”: a titanic performance, contained within a show whose elegance, restraint, and care place it in exactly the right context (DD)

Check out their picks here.

WATCH MY SHOW: ‘P-Valley’ Creator Katori Hall Fills Out Our Showrunner Seven

Starz’s “P-Valley,” based on Katori Hall’s acclaimed play “Pussy Valley,” tells the story of strip club dancers working in the Dirty Delta of Mississippi. With star-making turns from Nicco Annan, Brandee Evans, J. Alphonse Nicholson, Elarica Johnson and more, the series was named to countless ‘Best of 2020’ lists, including Variety. We asked Hall, the creator, showrunner, EP and writer of “P-Valley,” to fill out our “Watch My Show!” survey; here are her answers on behalf of the show.

Sum up your show’s pitch on one sentence.
Exotic dancers down in the dirty delta doing it for themselves.

What’s an alternate title for your show?
“Pussy Valley.”

What do we need to know before tuning in?
You don’t need to know anything. Just enjoy the ride.

Give us an equation for your show.
“Cheers” + “Belly” x “All about Eve.”

What’s the best thing someone said about your show?
“That this shit was honest.”

If you could work on any other series in TV, what would it be?

Finish this sentence, ‘If you like [blank], you’ll love our show.’
Black people.

SIGNED, SEALED, DELIVERED: This Week’s Promo Mailers

NBC’s “Mr. Mayor” sent over some fresh farmers’ market fruit, jam, cheese and bread, plus a Los Angeles candle and towel. Vote for Mayor Neil Bremer (aka Ted Danson)!

TBS provides the “Friday Night Vibes” and the Friday night meal, with this BBQ spread. 

Miley Cyrus‘ Peacock concert special celebrating Pride, “Miley Cyrus Presents Stand by You,” was filmed at the historic Ryman Auditorium in Nashville and features her performing hits and covers of favorite songs.

NBC is celebrating the July 4 holiday with its annual “Macy’s 4th of July Fireworks Spectacular,” airing Sunday, July 4 at 8 p.m. ET. Looks like we’re set!

Cheddar has now rebranded as Cheddar News, and they have some new gear to reflect the new name and network focus.

To promote the July 1 premiere of Bravo’s “Top Chef Amateurs,” we cooked along with Gail Simmons, who over Zoom showed us how to make Spaghettini with Burst Cherry Tomatoes & Basil. Below, how it turned out!

TV PICKS: ‘Bridgerton’ Star Adjoa Andho Shares Her Guilty Pleasures and More

We asked Adjoa Andho, who plays Lady Danbury on “Bridgerton,” to share her TV guilty TV pleasure (Can be of all time, or currently. Cheesy reality show? Campy sitcom? Obscure public access show? Anything applies!); her “deep cut” (the show he recommends that isn’t as well known, past or present); and “show mate” (the show that, if you were stuck on a desert island with only one DVD, you’d choose to be the most important/most influential/best TV show in your life). Here are her answers:

GUILTY TV PLEASURE: “Midsommer Murders” — I love anything that has to do with mystery and murder.

DEEP CUT: “L’Engrenages” – watch you will thank me.

SHOW MATE:  “The West Wing” — absolutely love this show. So many life lessons to learn here.

Awards Circuit Podcast: ‘Lovecraft Country’ Star Jurnee Smollett on Fighting Monsters During the Real-Life Horror of Jim Crow Americas

“I will accept and surrender to whatever destiny is in store for these characters. If COVID has taught me [anything], it’s taught me that you cannot get attached to certain plans,” she tells Variety on the latest episode of the “Awards Circuit” podcast.

Until creator/showrunner Misha Green and the premium cabler decide on what the future will hold for Smollett’s Leti Lewis, though, she is enjoying still getting to reflect on the experience of stepping into the first season, which is loosely based on Matt Ruff’s 2016 novel of the same name. Listen below!

Also in this episode: We speak with “In & Of Itself” star Derek DelGaudio about turning his awe-inspiring and mysterious stage show into a TV special, directed by Frank Oz.

Since premiering on Hulu earlier this year, even more audiences who didn’t get a chance to see it in person had a chance to be wowed on screen. For the Awards Circuit podcast, DelGaudio discusses the process of turning “In & Of Itself” into a film, how Stephen Colbert got involved in the TV production, and the balance between showing celebrities in the audience vs. regular people. Plus, did he ever worry that he wouldn’t get that book back?

But first, on the Variety Awards Circuit roundtable, we get into the Emmy comedy race.
Variety’s Emmy edition of the “Awards Circuit” podcast is hosted by Michael Schneider, Jazz Tangcay and Danielle Turchiano and is your one-stop listen for lively conversations about the best in television. Each week during Emmy season, “Awards Circuit” features interviews with top TV talent and creatives; discussions and debates about awards races and industry headlines; and much, much more. Subscribe via Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, Spotify or anywhere you download podcasts. New episodes post every Thursday.

WATCH MY SHOW: ‘Snowfall’ Executive Producer Dave Andron Fills Out Our Survey

Season 4 of FX’s “Snowfall” picks up at the start of 1985, when the demand for crack cocaine is high, and dealers led by Franklin Saint (Damson Idris) are benefitting greatly from the rising tide of addiction. But they are also starting to see what the drug is doing to the people and to the place they love. “Snowfall” is written by Dave Andron (showrunner, EP, writer) and EP/writer Walter Mosley. Andron filled out our “Watch My Show” survey to share why we should tune in.

Sum up your show’s pitch on one sentence.
The arrival of rock cocaine turns 1980’s South Central Los Angeles into a war zone, and the CIA helps it happen.

What’s an alternate title for your show?

What do we need to know before tuning in?
The show about the crack cocaine epidemic is funnier than you think.

Give us an equation for your show.
Centuries Of Oppression + A Young Black Man’s Ambition + Cheap Cocaine + CIA Assistance x The War On Drugs = The New Jim Crow

What’s the best thing someone said about your show?
“‘Snowfall’ ain’t no mother****in’ joke.” — Snoop Dogg

If you could work on any other series in TV, what would it be?

Finish this sentence, ‘If you like [blank], you’ll love our show.’
“If you like The Wire and Boogie Nights, you’ll love our show.”

Clayton Davis’ Emmy Predictions: One More Look Before Nomination Voting Closes

As voting ends, here are Clayton Davis‘ picks in key categories:

Drama Series

“Bridgerton” (Netflix)
“The Crown” (Netflix)
“The Handmaid’s Tale” (Hulu)
“Lovecraft Country” (HBO)
“The Mandalorian” (Disney Plus)
“The Mosquito Coast” (Apple TV Plus)
“Pose” (FX)
“This Is Us” (NBC)

Comedy Series

“Black-ish” (ABC)
“The Flight Attendant” (HBO Max)
“Girls5eva” (Peacock)
“Hacks” (HBO Max)
“The Kominsky Method” (Netflix)
“Mythic Quest” (Apple TV Plus)
“Pen15” (Hulu)
“Ted Lasso” (Apple TV Plus)

Limited or Anthology Series

“I May Destroy You” (HBO)
“Mare of Easttown” (HBO)
“The Queen’s Gambit” (Netflix)
“The Underground Railroad” (Amazon Prime Video)
“WandaVision” (Disney Plus)

Competition Program

“Legendary” (HBO Max)
“Nailed It!” (Netflix)
“RuPaul’s Drag Race” (VH1)
“Top Chef” (Bravo)
“The Voice” (NBC)

Check out all of Clayton’s predictions here.

My Emmy Predictions: One More Look Before Nomination Voting Closes

OK, my turn! My picks in key categories:

Drama Series

“The Crown” (Netflix)
“Bridgerton” (Netflix)
“The Handmaid’s Tale” (Hulu)
“Pose” (FX)
“The Mandalorian” (Disney Plus)
“Lovecraft Country” (HBO)
“This Is Us” (NBC)
“The Boys” (Amazon Prime Video)

Comedy Series

“Ted Lasso” (Apple TV Plus)
“Hacks” (HBO Max)
“The Flight Attendant” (HBO Max)
“Pen15” (Hulu)
“The Kominsky Method” (Netflix)
“Black-ish” (ABC)
“Girls5eva” (Peacock)
“Cobra Kai” (Netflix)

Limited or Anthology Series

“I May Destroy You” (HBO)
“The Queen’s Gambit” (Netflix)
“Mare of Easttown” (HBO)
“Small Axe” (Amazon Prime Video)
“The Underground Railroad” (Amazon Prime Video)

Competition Program

“RuPaul’s Drag Race” (VH1)
“The Masked Singer” (Fox)
“Top Chef” (Bravo)
“Nailed It” (Netflix)
“The Amazing Race” (CBS)

ROUNDUP: All the Variety Emmy Features You Need to Read

As edited by Variety’s Danielle Turchiano, we did a TON of Emmy features in phase one. Some highlights:

History Could Be Made Here: Forecasting Potential Record-Making Emmy Nominations

Showstopping Scribes From Chuck Lorre to Katori Hall Pull Back the Curtain on the Craft of Writing

Teyonah Parris Talks ‘WandaVision’ and Exploring Monica Rambeau in ‘The Marvels’

London Hughes, Chelsea Handler Reflect on Filming Stand-Up Specials Amid the COVID-19 Pandemic

Without Trump and Live Audiences, Late-Night Talk Shows Refreshed Their Formats

Amber Ruffin and Robin Thede Discuss Representation in Late-Night and Sketch Comedy

‘Nailed It’ Culinary Producer Kim Seeley on New Challenges During COVID and a Season of Teams

‘The Crown’ Team on the Importance of Diana Dancing to Elton John in Season 4

From ‘Drag Race’ to ‘The Masked Singer,’ Here’s How Unscripted Handled Production Pivots Amid the Pandemic

Where Are All The College-Set TV Series?

Kenya Barris on Creating an At-Home Writers’ Room Amid COVID-19

Multicam Mayhem: ‘The Conners,’ ‘Mom,’ ‘The Upshaws’ Directors Reflect on Filming Amid the COVID-19 Pandemic

Reimagining Popular Properties: Pilot Directors of ‘WandaVision,’ ‘Saved by the Bell,’ More Discuss Paying Homage While Updating Worlds for Modern Audiences

Toxic Workplaces in ‘Industry,’ ‘It’s a Sin,’ ‘Emily in Paris’ Limit Success of the Young

How Series From ‘This Is Us’ to ‘Small Axe’ Are Tackling Overt Racism and Internal Bias on TV

‘Small Axe,’ ‘Mahalia’ Showcase Real-Life Black Individuals’ Achievements Amid Oppression

Hyper-Specific Worlds of ‘WandaVision,’ ‘Genius: Aretha,’ ‘Mare of Easttown’ Still Produce Highly Relatable Female Protagonists

Why Ethan Hawke and Little Marvin Refused to ‘Play It Safe’ With Their Limited Series

‘Girls5eva’ Helps Peacock Cement Its Brand as the Go-To Place for Smart, Female-Focused Comedy

Eschewing Stereotypes: Female-Led, Female-Focused TV Projects From ‘Genius: Aretha’ to ‘Dickinson’ Offer Cultural Reflection

‘The Handmaid’s Tale’ and ‘The Flight Attendant’ Directors on Tackling Tricky Tones and Complex Female Protagonists Written by Men

The Future of Food TV: Padma Lakshmi, Carla Hall, Alex Guarnaschelli on Expanding the Unscripted Kitchen

From ‘Ted Lasso’ to ‘The Handmaid’s Tale,’ Female Characters Are Fighting for Voices in Male-Dominated Worlds

Guests in Their Former TV Homes: Mark-Paul Gosselaar and Raúl Esparza Weigh In on Reprising Beloved Roles in Shorter Stints

When Friendship Goes Too Far: Zosia Mamet, Moses Ingram Among Supporting TV Players Not Settling for Their Characters Just Being Sounding Boards

Kathryn Hahn, Giancarlo Esposito Among Actors Staying Grounded in Fantastical TV Settings

From ‘Kenan’ to ‘Everything’s Gonna Be Okay,’ Single Father Figures Shine in Sitcoms

Why Modern Comedies From ‘Cobra Kai’ to ‘The Flight Attendant’ Mix Tones

Chuck Lorre and Bill Lawrence Sound Off on Comedy During COVID, the Fate of Sitcoms, and Their Very Different Charlie Sheen Experiences

Phill Lewis Reflects on Directing the ‘One Day at a Time’ Animated Episode Amid the COVID-19 Pandemic

Mounting Tensions Amid Theater Gangs Set the Tone for ‘Pen15’s’ ‘Play’

‘Rutherford Falls’ Team Talks Importance of Native Authenticity, Beading in Costume Design

From ‘Clarice’ to ‘In Treatment,’ Modern Sensibilities Inform Returns to Familiar IP

‘Pose’ and ‘Lovecraft Country’ Bosses Break Down ‘Decentralizing White Men’ in Their Narratives

From ‘Bridgerton’ to ‘Pose,’ Modern Period Dramas Recontextualize the Past

How Krista Vernoff Channelled Comfort and Creativity While Running Three TV Shows Amid a Pandemic

‘Snowpiercer,’ ‘Kung Fu’ and ‘Warrior’ Stunt Coordinator on Keeping Fights Grounded in Character

No Intentional Anachronisms Allowed: Production Designers on the Importance of Period Accuracy in ‘Dickinson,’ ‘Lovecraft Country,’ More

Get a Crash Course on Processing a Character’s Grief and Trauma From Jurnee Smollett, Elizabeth Olsen, More

Mining a Character’s Mind: Jane Levy, Jennifer Connelly, Lily Rabe on Performing Internal Scenes

How Dogs, Art and Zillow Influenced Nahnatchka Khan Writing ‘Young Rock’ Remotely Amid the COVID-19 Pandemic

For Actors From Paul Bettany to Jonathan Majors, Performing in Period Pieces Offers New Perspective on the Past

Kenan Thompson, Regé-Jean Page, Martin Freeman Weigh in on Showcasing New Shades of Masculinity on TV

‘Ratched’ & ‘Them’ Director Nelson Cragg on Capturing the Feeling of ‘Other’

How Insulting Jean Smart Led Hannah Einbinder to Book ‘Hacks’ Role

‘The Boys,’ ‘WandaVision’ Among Genre Series That Could Benefit From ‘Game of Thrones’ Effect at the Emmys

Send Me Your Questions, Comments and More!

We’re off for the July 4 holiday! Good luck to all potential nominees, and we’ll see you back here for the exciting second half of the Never Ending Emmy Season!

Meanwhile, feel free to send your burning Emmy questions and suggestions to [email protected], and your hot tips as well!  Thanks for reading.

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