If you’re a continuing series and you win the top prize at the Emmys (and don’t have a disaster of a follow up season, ala 24), typically your series will receive a bump in nominations. The 2020 Best Drama Series winner Succession will be back in competition after sitting out last year due to COVID. Succession had a stellar winter awards season picking up multiple awards at the Golden Globes, Critics Choice Awards, PGA, DGA, SAG, WGA and various other guilds. It’s fair to expect that Succession will receive a bump in Emmy nominations.
Succession won seven Emmy Awards for its second season: Best Drama Series; Best Drama Directing (Andrij Parekh, for the episode, “Hunting”); Best Drama Writing (Jesse Armstrong, for the episode, “This Is Not for Tears”) ; Best Drama Actor (Jeremy Strong); Best Drama Guest Actress (Cherry Jones); Best Drama Casting and Best Drama Single-Camera Picture Editing (for the episode, “This Is Not for Tears”). And received an additional 11 nominations: Best Drama Directing (Mark Mylod, for the episode, “This Is Not for Tears”); Best Drama Supporting Actor (Nicholas Braun, Kieran Culkin and Matthew Macfayden); Best Drama Supporting Actress (Sarah Snook); Best Drama Guest Actor (James Cromwell); Best Drama Guest Actress (Harriet Walter); Best Original Dramatic Score (for the episode, “This Is Not for Tears”); Best Drama Single-Camera Picture Editing (for the episode, “DC”) and Best Production Design for a Narrative Contemporary Program (One Hour or More (for the episode, “This Is Not for Tears”).
Succession, has strategically only submitted one episode for Best Drama Writing for each of its season’s finales. Armstrong will be the favorite to three-peat for its third season finale “All the Bells Say.” And unless there’s a huge surprise coming Succession will also only submit reigning champ Porter and his onscreen papa Cox for Best Drama Actor. While it is fair to assume the series will do better below the line let’s focus our attention above where the series could dominate in terms of nominations.
One place to look out for additional nominations is the Best Drama Directing category. Recently the HBO series greedily took all of the five nominations at the DGA Awards in the similar category. While it may be tempting to try for similar glory at the Emmys it may be unwise. Remember, Game of Thrones received three nominations for its final season and did not go home with the trophy. It’s also important to remember that at the Emmys there’s six nominations. And five Succession nominees could lead to the vote splitting and may help the sixth nominee pull off an upset.
Cherry Jones, unfortunately did not appear in the third season and thus will not defend her Best Drama Guest Actress title. This doesn’t mean the series will be sitting out Best Drama Guest Actress as Harriet Walter will likely be nominated again. But, unlike last time Walter won’t be a surprise. Walter was TV Mom of the Year and will likely also be nominated for Best Comedy Guest Actress for Ted Lasso. Another possible nominee is Hiam Abbass who plays Logan Roy’s wife. Abbass appeared in more than half of the previous seasons episodes but not season three allowing her to potentially slip into the Guest category. A third possibility is Hope Davis a past Emmy nominee who like Abbass could ride the goodwill wave to a nomination.
In the Best Drama Guest Actor category James Cromwell will likely be nominated again. Joining him will likely be Oscar winner and past Emmy nominee Adrien Brody. Both Brody and Cromwell have little to do but given the love for the series could factor in the race. But will they be enough to stop the frontrunner from Succession in this category — past Emmy winner Alexander Skarsgard. Skarsgard comes in at the end of the series to play the chief protagonist and will likely be back to cause more trouble in the fourth season.
Sarah Snook will likely be nominated the question is where? For the first season she was submitted for Best Drama Actress. Before dropping down and eventually being nominated for the second season for Best Drama Supporting Actress category. Snook’s been on a roll for the third season picking up a Golden Globe and Critics Choice Award as well as receiving an Individual SAG Award nomination. But we’ll need to keep an eye on the ballot as Snook may want to avoid Julia Garner (Ozark) who got the better of her the last time they faced-off. Regardless of where they place Snook. Should Snook, stay in the Supporting race she’s likely to be joined by J. Smith-Cameron. Smith-Cameron, received her first recognition for her portrayal of Gerri picking up a Critics Choice Award nomination. With potential vote splitting and a formidable competitor Snook may be bumped up to lead again. Regardless both Smith-Cameron and Snook should receive nominations.
The last place Succession could see a boost in nominees is Drama Supporting Actor. It was not a surprise last season when Kieran Culkin and Matthew Macfayden were nominated. But when Nicholas Braun aka Cousin Greg received a shocking nomination we knew Succession was a force at the Emmys. Most series would be thrilled with three nominations again. However, Succession, may be able to pull out a rare four nominations if Alan Ruck as elder brother Connor receives his first Emmy nomination. Ruck, is a well-known actor in both film and television and should finally be recognized by his peers. Culkin, has been on a bit of a roll winning the Critics Choice Award, and receiving a Golden Globe and individual SAG Award nomination.
For, Succession, it will be great on July 12th when Emmy nominations are announced to be if not the leader amongst the leaders of Emmy nominees. But when the Emmys are handed out on September 12th it could be a different story entirely. Remember in a popular vote a nominee must be the clear choice above their costars and fellow nominees otherwise they will split the vote.