What Time Are The 2018 Emmy Nominations and What to Watch For
By Stacy Lambe
HBO / HBO / Hulu / NBC
The 2018 Emmys are almost here.
On Thursday, July 12, starting at 8:30 a.m. PT, The Handmaid’s Tale actress Samira Wiley and New Amsterdam star Ryan Eggold will present the official class of nominees for the 70th annual ceremony.
While shows like The Handmaid’s Tale, Game of Thrones, Atlanta and Will & Grace are all expected to be top contenders, there are always a few unexpected snubs and surprises. (Check out a few of ET's dream nominees and standout performances of the year.) Until then, it’s anyone’s guess who or what shows will be nominated. But this year, certain trends are emerging -- revivals anyone? -- among the potential nominees, and a fair share of controversies -- from Roseanne Barr’s tweet to the #MeToo movement -- have upended some would-be frontrunners.
Ahead of the nominations, ET is rounding up some of the biggest stories to watch for on Thursday.
Will Roseanne Get Nominated?
When the ABC comedy -- co-created by and starring Roseanne Barr -- returned to prime time with season 10, it was historic, drawing 10 percent more viewers than the season nine finale and becoming the highest-rated comedy telecast since 2014. The record-breaking success earned the show a renewal for 13 episodes -- just three days after its premiere -- and made it a front-runner in the Emmys race, with chatter that it could earn its first Outstanding Comedy Series nomination. But Roseanne’s return was not without controversy, thanks to its politically charged story lines and changeover behind the scenes -- co-showrunner Whitney Cummings left the show to work on other projects -- and, of course, Barr’s racist tweet about Valerie Jarrett that led to the swift cancellation of the series. While submissions for the Emmys were due in April, ABC suspended its FYC campaign in May with the show’s chances considered to be obsolete. In footage obtained by ET, John Goodman, who was reluctant to talk about the cancellation, did remark about his chances for a nomination. “I wasn’t gonna get an Emmy anyway," he said. (The actor was previously nominated seven times for his role, winning none.)
But despite the cancellation and outrage over Barr’s personal politics, the Television Academy could still rally around the rest of the cast, including Goodman, Sara Gilbert -- who also served as executive producer on the revival -- and Laurie Metcalf, who has won three Emmys for playing Jackie. The actress, who was a triple Emmy nominee in 2016, is enjoying her own career renaissance thanks to back-to-back Tony wins in 2017 and 2018 and an Oscar nomination for Lady Bird. If the show earns any Emmy nominations, it’ll likely be one for Metcalf.
Will Revivals Make a Big Splash?
While Roseanne’s Emmy chances are slim, it’s not the only celebrated revival expected to do well when the nominations are announced. Will & Grace -- which was renewed for a second season before the first revival season premiered and has since been renewed for a third -- is NBC’s most-watched comedy after returning to rave reviews last fall. Not only is it expected to be nominated for Outstanding Comedy Series, it should earn several acting nominations for its four stars -- Debra Messing, Eric McCormack, Sean Hayes and Megan Mullally -- and its many, many guest stars. David Lynch’s revival of Twin Peaks will likely score nominations in the Limited Series categories, including a nod for Laura Dern -- the Dernaissance cannot be stopped!
Despite controversy surrounding Jeffrey Tambor and the cast’s recent New York Times interview, Jessica Walter is a strong contender for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy for Arrested Development. On the reality TV side, expect Netflix’s Queer Eye to land nominations for the Fab Five in the hosting category -- where it would also be lovely to see Trading Spaces host Paige Davis nominated -- and for Outstanding Structured Reality Program. Other revivals or continuations that could earn some Emmy love include Curb Your Enthusiasm and The X-Files.
How Will #MeToo Affect the Nominations?
In the eight months since allegations and revelations about Harvey Weinstein’s sexual misconduct, Hollywood has had to face the #MeToo movement and the subsequent Time’s Up initiative, which aims to end systemic sexual harassment and misconduct in the workplace while achieving gender and racial parity both on- and offscreen. In that time, Kevin Spacey, Louis C.K., Jeffrey Tambor and James Franco have all come under fire after allegations were made against them. While Spacey was quickly fired from House of Cards and essentially exorcised from Netflix, Tambor was eventually fired from Transparent following an investigation by Amazon but still remains on Arrested Development. FX severed ties with C.K., but the comedian still has an executive producing credit on Better Things and co-created Baskets -- two shows that have enjoyed some Emmy love in the past, including a win for Louie Anderson’s role on the latter. And Franco is still on The Deuce, which is currently filming season two.
Similarly to Roseanne, these shows will likely suffer for their association with these actors. But the female stars -- Maggie Gyllenhaal (The Deuce), Judith Light (Transparent), Pamela Adlon (Better Things) and Jessica Walter (Arrested Development) -- could still (and deserve) to be recognized for their respective work. (House of Cards is ineligible this year, but is scheduled to return for a fifth and final season with Robin Wright as the lead.) Meanwhile, will the revelations that Claire Foy was paid less than Matt Smith on The Crown affect his chances this year? Despite that, he’s a legitimate Supporting Actor contender for his portrayal of Prince Philip this season. But then again, the actor wasn’t nominated for season one.
Will Women Dominate a Second Year in a Row?
At the 2017 Emmy Awards, women (and female-driven stories) were the big winners of the night. In addition to shows like Black Mirror’s “San Junipero,” Big Little Lies, The Handmaid’s Tale and Veep winning the top prizes in their respective categories, The Handmaid’s Tale director Reed Morano and Master of None writer Lena Waithe ended longtime male streaks in writing and directing. Ava DuVernay earned two Emmys for her Netflix documentary, 13th. Other female-driven shows -- The Crown and Feud: Bette and Joan --took home multiple Emmys.
Can the Television Academy build on that momentum with shows like The Handmaid’s Tale, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel and GLOW among the top contenders? In the shadow of the #MeToo movement, do shows like FullFrontal With Samantha Bee, The Good Fight, Good Girls, The Handmaid’s Tale, SMILF, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt and Westworld -- all of which dealt with or covered related issues -- have a stronger chance of being recognized?
Will Game of Thrones and Westworld Battle It Out?
Game of Thrones is an Emmys juggernaut, having earned 106 nominations and 38 wins during its first six seasons. After last summer’s debut made season seven ineligible for the 2017 Emmys, HBO’s other big drama, Westworld, made a splash with 22 nominations and five wins for its debut season. But this year, the two shows -- Game of Thrones season seven and Westworld season two -- are going head-to-head in several major categories, which means they may be nominated against each other for Outstanding Drama Series. But will they cancel each other out? Will the Academy give love to one show more than the other? There’s plenty of room for both to enjoy double-digit nominations. And no matter what happens, HBO is likely to walk away as the most nominated network this year.
Will TV’s Younger Stars Finally Be Recognized?
While the Emmys have nominated -- and awarded -- minor actors, they’re largely ignored each season, despite delivering award-worthy performances. Roxana Zal still holds the title of youngest Emmy winner ever after taking home the award in 1984 at the age of 14. This season, seemingly more than ever, several actors under the age of 18 dominated the screen. And building off Millie Bobby Brown’s nomination last year -- she is a viable contender again this year -- we could also see Noah Schnapp (Stranger Things), Iain Armitage (Young Sheldon) and Yara Shahidi (Grown-ish), who turned 18 in February, recognized. If Schnapp, 13, is nominated, he’ll tie with Johnny Crawford as the youngest male actor nominated for a drama series. Meanwhile, at 10 years old, Armitage would become the youngest male actor nominated for a comedy series.
The 70th Emmy Awards, co-hosted by Saturday Night Live’s Colin Jost and Michael Che, will air live from the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles on Monday, Sept. 17, starting at 5 p.m. PT on NBC.