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Emmy nominations arrive Tuesday, launching the strangest awards season ever

Welcome back! You probably weren’t expecting to hear from me via newsletter for a few more weeks. But there hasn’t been anything normal about 2020, so why should my arrival in your inbox be any different? I’m Glenn Whipp, awards columnist for the Los Angeles Times, and I’d like to welcome you to the Emmy season edition of my weekly newsletter.

The Gold Standard newsletter you’ve been receiving and reading during the Oscar season is now merging with the Envelope newsletter to streamline things and keep me in touch with you a bit more often. Because we could all use a few more connections in our lives these days, right? You’ll be receiving The Envelope digest newsletter on Tuesdays and then you’ll be hearing from me on Fridays, as you have in the past.

Ready or not: Emmy nominations arrive Tuesday

Primetime Emmy nominations arrive Tuesday morning, and given the state of the world, you could be forgiven for being unaware (or uninterested) that they are even happening this year. But the show, probably a virtual gathering, will go on, scheduled to take place Sept. 20.

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There’s never been an Emmy season like this one, what with the COVID-19 pandemic wiping out all the usual star-studded panels and lavish parties leading up to voting. In their place, networks and streaming platforms created and bolstered websites featuring behind-the-scenes looks at their contenders and virtual conversations that were largely banal, but occasionally quite beautiful.

When Oscar-winning filmmaker Barry Jenkins became emotional telling Rob McElhenney how the quarantine episode of “Mythic Quest: Ravens Banquet” on Apple TV+ moved him to tears, I almost lost it too. I had to watch, like, three episodes of McElhenny’s “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia” just to regain my emotional equilibrium. Jenkins should host the Emmys this year.

"Mythic Quest: Raven's Banquet" actor, writer and producer Rob McElhenney.
“Mythic Quest: Raven’s Banquet” actor, writer and producer Rob McElhenney.
(Jay L. Clendenin / Los Angeles Times)

What to expect from this year’s Emmy slate

Will the nominations look any different, given that voters, like the rest of us, have had a lot of time to fill these last few months? I’d like to think so. But old habits die hard, not to mention long-held perceptions about what constitutes an awards-worthy program and performance. So, yeah, get ready to throw a John McEnroe-sized tantrum when the honest, hilarious Netflix teen comedy “Never Have I Ever” comes up empty.

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I’ve already made predictions, and you can expect the usual in-depth Emmys coverage on Tuesday morning, which I’ll recap here next week.

See you then!

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