Third time at the Emmys could be the allure for Peacock and Paramount+.
Often used as punch lines in conversations about the streaming wars, as their subscriber numbers still pale in comparison to the likes of Netflix and Disney+, the two services appear to have bottled up their growing pains by finishing the fiscal year strong and entering 2023. with their most successful programming yet both critically and commercially.
Still, with most streaming services teetering towards profitability, the kind of validation that even a major Emmy nomination can give turns this TV awards season into a defining situation for Peacock and Paramount+. Finally having formidable contenders for the night’s biggest Emmy categories for Outstanding Comedy Series and Outstanding Drama Series, with proven large audiences and critical acclaim, and still being barred from nominations could be a deathblow for the two streaming services. potential for future planning.
Here we take a closer look at which projects could finally move the needle in streaming services by becoming true Emmy contenders.
Looking at Peacock first, the service’s biggest hope appears to be the comedy “Poker Face,” starring four-time Emmy nominee Natasha Lyonne and created by recent Academy Award nominee Rian Johnson. The former found major success with her debut season of her Netflix series ‘Russian Doll’ earning the attention of the Television Academy as both an actress and writer, but the show’s more cerebral second season was overlooked in those same categories, like Primetime’s Emmy race filled up with all the projects waiting to come back from before the pandemic. The crime comedy ‘Poker Face’ is more accessible, taking a lot of inspiration from classic Emmy-winning TV shows like ‘Columbo’ as well as offering a bevy of exciting stars like 2023 Oscar nominees Hong Chau and Stephanie Hsu as contenders for Outstanding Guest Actor and Actress in a Comedy Series. In addition to positive reviews across the board, Nielsen rated it Peacock’s most-watched original.
“Mrs. Davis,” a contender for Outstanding Drama Series from Emmy winner Damon Lindelof and “The Big Bang Theory” alum Tara Hernandez also looks promising. While it still appears to be finding an audience, critics have responded well, and TV Academy voters will likely want to see Lindelof’s first series since “Watchmen,” a show that missed an Emmy before tying the record for most wins for a series in a single year. And lead actress Betty Gilpin is never one to count, as she’s been Emmy-nominated for every season of her hit Netflix series “GLOW,” even as the show’s award prospects in the rest of the categories begin to dwindle. .
Looking a bit beyond Peacock’s Emmy prospects, gonzo docuseries ‘Paul T. Goldman’ is definitely a dark horse to watch in the Best Documentary or Non-Fiction Series category, ‘The Traitors’ is the hottest new series vying for Outstanding Reality Competition Program, ‘A Friend of the Family’ and ‘The Best Man: The Final Chapters’ garnered a very respectable reaction from critics and audiences alike, garnering enough attention for at least one to enter conceivably in the crowded Outstanding Limited or Anthology Series space.
All in all, while Peacock’s Emmy potential lies more with the creators he’s brought to the service, what helps Paramount+ the most is his ever-growing audience which, funnily enough, comes from a show that only airs on Peacock. The entire Paramount Global company has bet heavily on the “Yellowstone” universe and its brainchild Taylor Sheridan, but the series led by Kevin Costner that started it all has struggled to attract the attention of the Television Academy, despite being the most popular show on linear TV.
The channel it airs on, Paramount Network, has had just five Emmy nominations since it launched in 2018, so it’s fair to argue that voters are unlikely to suddenly tune in and welcome it into its fifth season. However, thanks to the momentum of the Paramount+ launch, the awards body nominated the ‘Yellowstone’ spin-off ‘1883’ for three awards. And the casting of movie stars Harrison Ford and Helen Mirren for “Yellowstone”‘s latest venture on Paramount+, “1923,” gives the streaming service its Emmy contender for Hottest Drama Series Ever.
Other big swings “Grease: Rise of the Pink Ladies” and “Tulsa King” are the toughest sellers in the same Outstanding Comedy Series category, but show great potential for Emmy categories down the line such as Outstanding Music and Lyrics for the premiere, teaming with hitmaker Justin Tranter and Outstanding Writing for a Comedy Series, for “The Sopranos” showrunner and Emmy Award-winning actor Terence Winter.
Paramount+ also boasts the reboot of the Emmy-winning sketch series ‘Inside Amy Schumer’, now competing in the new Outstanding Scripted Variety Series category, and ‘Last Flight Home’, which is so far the only documentary shortlisted for the Oscars 2023 to actually be able to make a push at the Emmys after a recent rule change to the Best Documentary or Non-Fiction Special category. Also, given its past success at garnering below-the-line nominations, ‘Star Trek: Picard’ will be making a tougher push at the Emmys for its celebrated farewell season.
While both streaming services have more promising programming in the pipeline, such as Annette Bening’s return to television in “Apples Never Fall” (Peacock) and “Lioness” (Paramount+) with Nicole Kidman, a notable number of Emmys this year year could give both platforms the fighting chance they need to survive the streaming wars.