The Emmys: Three Questions To Ponder For Sunday Night

The stage is set this Sunday for the 68th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards, TV’s biggest awards night.

As the event approaches, there are still a number of plots and subplots to be unwound during the three-hour telecast.

Broadcast network ABC will televise live the Emmy Awards beginning at 7 p.m. ET with a red carpet pre-show. The awards, hosted by late night host Jimmy Kimmel, will air at 8 p.m.

Here are three questions that will make ABC’s telecast a must see for television fans:

Can HBO, Game Of Thrones continue to slaughter the Emmys field?

HBO was the big winner during last year’s Emmys, sweeping the best drama series (Game Of Thrones), best comedy series (Veep) and best limited series categories (Olive Kitterage) on its way 14 primetime Emmys wins and 43 total Emmy statuettes. HBO already leads the field after winning 16 Creative Arts Emmys last weekend – nine alone from Game Of Thrones,which won a record 12 Emmys in 2015.

Will cable and streaming services steal all the drama from the broadcasters?

The big four broadcast networks will haave a tough time winning Emmy awards in most of the major drama categories as cable networks and streaming video services like Netflix, Hulu and Amazon dominate the list of nominees. PBS’s outgoing series Downton Abby was the only non-cable/streaming series nominated in the best drama category, while no actor from a broadcast originated show is in the running for best male performance. Among the ladies, only Empire’s Taraji P. Henson and How To Get Away With Murder’s Viola Davis are representing broadcast networks in the best drama actress category.

The comedy category is nearly as big a wipeout for the broadcasters, with only five broadcast-based shows and performers among the 19 nominations across best comedy series, best actor and best actress categories.

Will freshman series and actors of color generate the biggest Emmy headlines?

First year shows such as USA’s Mr. Robot, Netflix’s Making A Murderer and Masters Of None, AMC’s The Night Manager, FX’s Baskets, could upstage their more veteran counterparts in a number of key categories. Also, actors of color – earning a record 21 Emmy nominations this year including nods in key comedy, drama and limited series races -- could be among the big winners of the evening. 

R. Thomas Umstead

R. Thomas Umstead serves as senior content producer, programming for Multichannel News, Broadcasting + Cable and Next TV. During his more than 30-year career as a print and online journalist, Umstead has written articles on a variety of subjects ranging from TV technology, marketing and sports production to content distribution and development. He has provided expert commentary on television issues and trends for such TV, print, radio and streaming outlets as Fox News, CNBC, the Today show, USA Today, The New York Times and National Public Radio. Umstead has also filmed, produced and edited more than 100 original video interviews, profiles and news reports featuring key cable television executives as well as entertainers and celebrity personalities.