What an incredible Emmys phase one it has been. So incredible that my now-annual Awards Radar DRAMA FYC piece is only hitting your desktops and phones with only three days left in voting – three crucial days. Come on voters, let’s make some noise! Over the past five months the fantastic Awards Radar TV team has been endlessly working to provide an FYC of sorts through hundreds of interviews with the contenders both above and below the line. (You can find them all under the TV / FYC menu above.)
In addition, the new TV Topics podcast has been a huge success since our premiere episode with special guest, Rose Byrne. On TV Topics guests sit in for the entire episode for a TV-focused conversation about their work as well as some lighter questions (we call TV topics). They are designed to provide listeners see a different side of our guests who are given the chance to let their guards down for a lighter conversation – while still having dedicated time to dig into their work. Thank you to all of our past and upcoming guests – it has been a lot of fun. (If you would like to be a guest on TV Topics, reach out to me, host/creator Steven Prusakowski.)
Back to voting, we know that many of your Emmy decisions are not often made until the last few hours of the Emmy phase one voting. This is why we have provided this list of names to keep in mind as you fill out those ballots, either as an official Emmy voter or for fun as a fan. Keep it handy as you make your choices, because every name listed truly delivered this season.
We are not asking you to forget your personal favorites or to cast aside those worthy nominees currently favored to win. What we do want you to do is instead of voting with the flow make some waves by casting votes for some very deserving nominees when possible. We love all the big shows, but the TV landscape is vast and better representation of shows big and small is needed.
If you look at the list of potential nominees who will be left off the official final Emmy nominations you will find several if not dozens of worthy nominees. Let’s recognize them. And away we go.
OUR AWARDS RADAR DRAMA FYC
THE RULES: Our Awards Radar TV’s Emmys FYC contains names of the outstanding newcomers and already established work that has yet to find a place on the Emmy ballot that our ARTV team knows deserve your attention. Some of these names are brand new while others are head scratching omissions from seasons’ worth of incredible comedic work.
This has been a banner year for genre television. I can only hope that means the nominations are not limited to a select few categories or worse ignored completely. With that said, I am going to start with two names that feel somewhat safe, but still in our qualifications as series that have not been honored with previous nominations – the two HBO series that had everybody talking for very different reasons, The Last of Us and House of the Dragon. Add to this list some of the best Star Wars since ‘Empire’ with Disney+’s Andor. My inner geek was in heaven this year, especially when you add Star Trek: Picard to this list. Servant said goodbye quietly with an awesome finale that closed things properly.
But wait, there’s more – the scale of The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power, the madness of Mrs. Davis and the manic masculinity of The Boys are all worthy of a vote too. While I know I set some rules, but let me remind voters that this is your last chance to fix your embarrassing 0-46 run for Better Call Saul which deserves to be recognized in all categories. (This may come up again.)
Our Spotlight Pick: If there is one series that you cannot sleep on (and it does not rhyme with Cheddar Paul Mall or Toasts in comedy) then it is Apple TV+’s Bad Sisters. This series was one of my top of 2022 and deserves your fullest consideration. It really should be a top contender in this category as well as elsewhere. Smart, dark, and funny.
Lead Actor in a DRAMA Series
While the category looks like it may be dominated by one series, let’s be sure not to have the television appetite of a child who only wants chicken nuggets for every meal. We know you have varied tastes, so let’s prove it on the ballot. Starting with Paddy Considine (House of the Dragon) who restored our faith in the Throne(s) as King Viserys. Then there are the men among the stars who are both returning to roles played before, Diego Luna (Andor) and Patrick Stewart (Star Trek: Picard) – we ask you to consider engaging your vote in their favor. Two familiar faces sporting lots of facial hair and complex performances remember Bryan Cranston (Your Honor) and Jeff Bridges (Old Man). While he probably does not need your help, don’t sleep on Pedro Pascal (The Last of Us).
Our Spotlight Pick: It looks we are inching closer to fully celebrating genre television on an equal playing field as more standard dramas. Anthony Starr (The Boys) puts everything into his work as the terrifyingly toxic superhero Homelander, including the second best expressions on television.
Lead Actress in a DRAMA Series
This category offers such a wide range of performances all offering something different – they are hard to compare, so don’t – just cast your vote for those you find work like: Betty Gilpin’s wild ride (Mrs. Davis) as a motorcycle riding nun almost defies categorizing. Karen Fukuhara (The Boys) stepped up into a butt-kicking lead role and we’re all better for it. Others to keep in mind: Marisa Abela and Myha’la Herrold (Industry) and Emma D’Arcy (House of the Dragon) who all had a lot to offer.
Looking to be sitting pretty right now is Emmy newcomer, Bella Ramsey of The Last of Us, but if you agree their work is worthy of a nomination do not assume they have the votes they need. The other very expressive performance referred to above is Lauren Ambrose (Servant) has been delivering masterful work in every frame she is on screen. It is your last chance to award this amazing performance and if I could cast a vote she would get mine.
Let’s not forget the magnificent Sharon Horgan in the previously mentioned spotlight pick for drama series, Bad Sisters. She has been one one of my favorite actresses since the fantastic Catastrophe, but she found a way to raise the bar on this series.
(Oh yeah, respect what Rhea Seehorn did across seasons of Better Call Saul – this is not an official FYC – yes it is.)
Our Spotlight Pick: While Melanie Lynskey’s work as Shauna on Yellowjackets is nomination-worthy (but does not meet our FYC requirements) it is Sophie Nélisse‘s work as the teen version that blew me away this year. Her work in episode 6 should earn her your vote alone, but the power of her performance extends the entire season. Make is a two Shauna nomination morning.
Supporting Actor in a DRAMA Series
Supporting Actor in a Drama is a great category full of some not-always-so-good characters like the memorable pair of (Yellowjackets) Elijah Wood and Warren Kole who were responsible for some of this season’s best lighter moments. The character who was dead in the first episode and still made an impact all season is Claes Bang (Bad Sisters).
I know (Succession) will do just fine, but the sibling just never gets the respect he deserves which is why you need to consider Alan Ruck. Several performances that took us into scifi and fantasy worlds worth keeping in mind are Matt Smith (House of the Dragon), Stellan Skarsgard (Andor) and Ismael Cruz Cordova (The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power) all who slayed me with their work.
Our Spotlight Pick: Todd Stashwick (Star Trek: Picard) joined the crew of the long-running franchise and was instantly memorable, so much so that fans are calling for him to get his own show. As the by-the-books, often aggravated Captain Liam Shaw, Stashwick became a standout fan favorite on a series full of beloved characters.
Supporting Actress in a DRAMA Series
This category offers plenty of new blood to choose from – some names to keep in mind include Eve Hewson (Bad Sisters), Jennifer Jason Leigh (Hunters), Juliet Rylance (Perry Mason), and Jeri Ryan (Star Trek: Picard). Speaking of blood, I love the work of so many Yellowjackets, but I will narrow it down to two Sophie Thatcher and Sammi Hanratty whose characters keep delivering more with each season – okay let’s add newcomer Simone Kessell too – last one I promise… 🙂
When you are an ensemble sporting the talent of (The White Lotus: Sicily) it is hard to narrow down the recommendations but I will do so with Aubrey Plaza and Meghann Fahy, who may be favorites for a nomination – with that said, maybe consider Sabrina Impacciatore too. If you are looking for a potential favorite that fits in our requirements all hail the Princess, Elizabeth Debicki (The Crown).
Our Spotlight Pick: It must be nice to bring a fresh new energy to a veteran series at 90 years old. That’s exactly what Carol Burnett did on Better Call Saul. When announced it felt like stunt casting, instead it was TV magic. Give this new talent your vote and
Thank you For Your Consideration. We look forward to seeing who makes that final list on July 12th – hopefully a few surprises. Look for more Emmy coverage and interviews on Awards Radar from our incredible team; Abe Friedtanzer, Niki Cruz, Danny Jarabek, Maxance Vincent, Diego Peralta, Lucas Longacre, Emilia Yu, Norm Felker, Cory Stillman, Joshua Harris – along with me, TV Editor Steven Prusakowski, have been working endlessly to ensure all the best of television is on your Awards Radar.