The 2024 WGA Awards Nominations Don’t Say Much About What May Be the New Emmy Contenders

While film awards have mostly been steady as they go, despite the WGA and SAG strikes last year, the TV awards timeline has been tied in absolute knots to the point where one deserves an award for even being able to guess which season of a show is in contention.

Normally, an announcement like the 2024 WGA Awards nominations would let us know what new shows are likely to become the next class of Emmy contenders. This year, what sticks out more are the nominees whose awards runs are still chugging along a year after their premieres. All the nominees in the New Series category — “The Diplomat,” “Jury Duty,” “The Last of Us,” “Poker Face,” and “Shrinking” — are for TV seasons that have already just finished their Emmy runs. Because the WGA Awards go by calendar year, rather than the traditional TV schedule, their nominations create one more awards stop on the “Succession” and “Barry” farewell tour.

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“The Curse” is the sole nominee in a series category for recurring shows to have not had an Emmys run yet. Meanwhile, “Abbott Elementary,” “The Bear,” “Only Murders in the Building,” and “The Crown” remain awards mainstays (though the latter just ended).

The WGA Awards categories with the most to say about what projects to keep an eye on as the TV world prepares for its next round of Emmys FYC events are the Limited Series and TV Movie categories. After a near sweep of the Emmys, it is hard to predict what could win over “Beef” in the former category, but FX is entering the TV awards season strong with nominees “A Murder at the End of the World” and “Fargo” Season 5. Apple TV+ has also been quietly receiving industry recognition for “Lessons in Chemistry,” receiving a nomination here, and recently winning a DGA award for the literary adaptation starring Brie Larson.

Hulu continues to develop into a TV Movie powerhouse, receiving two nominations for its films “Quiz Lady” and “No One Will Save You.” The rest of the WGA nominees in that category, “Finestkind,” “Mr. Monk’s Last Case: A Monk Movie,” and “Totally Killer” all come from streamers as well. And all nominees will be eligible for Emmys in the fall, schedule-wise.

The rest of the TV categories at the WGA awards go by episode, which lead to both obvious choices like “The Bear” episode “Fishes,” and inspired choices like recognition for “Queen Charlotte: A Bridgerton Story,” “Star Trek: Picard,” and “Godfather of Harlem.” Episodic Comedy is where shows with a cult following like “The Great,” “Reservation Dogs,” and “What We Do in the Shadows” still got in too.

Ultimately, the Animation category is the most telling, with “The Simpsons” receiving four out of the five nominations. Add in its recent Emmy win for Best Animated Program, and one can posit the long-running show is in its second (third? fourth?) renaissance.

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