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Will your favorite shows make the cut at the Emmys this year?

Josh O'Connor and Emma Corrin star as Prince Charles and Princess Diana in "The Crown."
(Des Willie / Netflix)

I’ve been staring at the tacos on this animated illustration for a good 30 minutes, absolutely hypnotized, which makes me think that, unlike my colleague Jenn Harris, I wouldn’t be able to make it out of the Caesars Palace Bacchanal Buffet within the newly imposed 90-minute time limit, probably because I’d be spending half the time wondering who had been handling the tongs at the food stations. Maybe it’s too soon to hit the buffet.

But it’s not too soon to talk about the Emmys, because streamers and networks have been offering up a veritable smorgasbord of content (see what I did there?) in recent weeks, all in an effort to make it in under the May 31 eligibility deadline. And some of it is pretty satisfying.

I’m Glenn Whipp, awards columnist for the Los Angeles Times, host of the Envelope’s Friday newsletter. Seriously ... that Bacchanal Buffet has 220 dishes. How are you going to make it out (alive) in 90 minutes?

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Prepare to bow before ‘The Crown’

Netflix has never won a series Emmy — drama, comedy, limited, you name it, the streamer hasn’t taken it. That said, “The Crown,” Peter Morgan’s sumptuous soap opera about a family of insufferable, self-absorbed monsters (the shy Diana excepted), has about a 0% chance of losing the drama series Emmy.

Remember that episode in which Queen Elizabeth tries to figure out who her favorite child is and can’t because she realizes they’re all horrible? That’s how I often feel watching this show. I loathe them all! But the acting is superb, and every detail is meticulously crafted, and having finally arrived at the painful Princess Diana chapter, it became a genuine event that surpassed previous seasons. So, yeah, I’ll curtsy — deep and low and with a touch of sarcasm, just like when Margaret Thatcher first met the queen. But just this once.

I took an early look at the Emmy race for drama series, noting how the pandemic thinned the ranks. Pretty much every one of television’s best dramas, at least the ones previously recognized by Emmy voters, saw their filming delayed by the pandemic, so we’re not going to be seeing them for a while. Of the eight series nominated last year, “Stranger Things,” “Better Call Saul,” “Ozark,” “Killing Eve” and last year’s drama series winner, “Succession,” will be sitting this season out. What shows will step into the breach? Take a look at my column to find out!

Gillian Anderson keeps on being her authentic self

“What do you think people would be most surprised to find out about you?”

Gillian Anderson used to get asked this clichéd question all the time, and she would offer the same response: That I am a complete goofball. Nobody believed her. It was as if she was trying to hurl this kooky energy out into the universe but all anyone could see was the woman who played the rational Agent Dana Scully over the course of 218 episodes on “The X-Files,” the skeptic who never wavered from the view that extraordinary things could always be explained in the most mundane fashion. Forget your flights of fancy. It’s all nonsense.

Gillian Anderson, wearing a salmon-colored jacket, clasps her hands.
Gillian Anderson plays Margaret Thatcher on “The Crown.”
(Marissa Mooney / For The Times)

So Anderson just kept on being her authentic self. She took to Instagram, posting pictures that playfully suggest genitalia with the hashtags #penisoftheday and #yonioftheday. She didn’t do this every day, mind you, just often enough to put across the idea that ... hmmm ... she’s a little bit naughty. And funny.

After she was cast as starched British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher on the fourth season of “The Crown,” Anderson started to post pictures from the set, where, helmet hair lacquered into place, she’d be doing very un-Thatcher-like things, such as kicking back in Queen Elizabeth’s monarch chair with her feet up on Prince Philip’s matching seat. Or making silly faces with the queen herself, Olivia Colman.

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“I think I’ve lightened up,” Anderson says, smiling, from her London home during a recent video call. “I figured out somewhere in my late 40s how to be an interview subject without carrying the world on my shoulders.”

I had a lovely conversation with Anderson a couple of weeks ago. When we finished, she admitted she was dreading “doing press” but that I’d made it fun. Or at least bearable. Anyway, we had a grand time and I think that comes across in the piece.

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2022 Oscars pushed back a month

The 94th Academy Awards have a new date, moving to March 27, 2022, a month later than originally planned, the motion picture academy announced Thursday.

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The shift would appear to signal that the academy feels the need to put a bit more space between the Oscars and the live sporting events competing for a dwindling number of viewers. The 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics are scheduled to take place from Feb. 4-20, while the 2022 Super Bowl is set for Feb. 13.

The film academy first flagged its 2022 date three years ago, tacitly acknowledging the two events in its planning. But a lot has changed since then. Awards show ratings have been sliding, as has viewership for other live events. This year’s Oscars drew an audience of just 10.4 million, a record low and a 56% drop from the 23.6 million people who watched in 2020.

The new date won’t solve that. But it will give the academy leadership a bit more time to mull things over and plan. And maybe hire a host. Because the show could have used a guiding hand at the end this year.


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