Awards HQ June 14: Netflix Bloopers, Banff World Media Fest, TikTok Emmy Plans, Ted Danson/Tina Fey Summit

·31 min read

Greetings from Variety Awards Headquarters! Today is June 14, 2021, which means it’s 3 days until nomination-round voting starts on June 17; 11 days until the Daytime Emmys telecast on June 25; 14 days until nomination-round voting ends on June 28; 29 days until nominations are announced on July 13; 66 days until final-round voting starts on Aug. 19; and 97 days until the Primetime Emmys telecast on Sept. 19.

All right, here we go! Nominations-round voting gets underway on Thursday, which explains why you may have seen For Your Consideration messages almost everywhere you went this weekend. Or even if you just looked up in the sky (via “Girls5eva”!) Or if you just ordered a pizza from Jon & Vinny’s (did any of you play chess on “The Queen’s Gambit” pizza box?).

More from Variety

Also, California opens up on June 15, which should make the world a little easier to move around… but please be smart. It’s a transition. If a store asks you to wear a mask, wear a mask. We’re still all in this together.

This week we’ll look at some of the campaigns making noise, some of the mailers making the rounds, and more. Let’s get going!

Reach Michael on Twitter @franklinavenue or email

Banff World Media Festival Check-In: Year Two of Doing Things Remotely, But Even Bigger

Normally this would be the time of year where producers, executives and talent from all over the world would be gathering at the Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel in Banff, Alberta, Canada, for the annual Banff World Media Festival. Located in the breathtaking Canadian Rocky Mountains, the Banff festival is the perfect way to kick off the summer, connect with others and celebrate the TV business. Banff has gone virtual again this year, and I caught up with executive director Jenn Kuzmyk to fill me in on this year’s festival, as well as this week’s Rockie Award Gala.

This year’s Banff World Media Festival will once again be held virtually, online between June 14 and July 16, 2021, and feature Marvel Studios president/Marvel chief creative officer Kevin Feige; “Friends’/”Grace & Frankie” exec producer Marta Kauffman; “Fresh Off the Boat”/”Young Rock” exec producer Nahnatchka Khan; Netflix co-CEO/chief creative officer Ted Sarandos; Warner Bros. TV Group chairman Channing Dungey; megaproducer Greg Berlanti; “The Flight Attendant” star and exec producer Kaley Cuoco; and more.

“I’ve sort of been saying that if 2020 was about building the plane while we were flying it, 2021 was about building a better plane,” Kuzmyk says. “So we very quickly threw everything that we had into building an entirely new conference platform for Banff. What we’ve created I think is unique and second-to-none, and focused 100% around bringing people together in real time for virtual and video meetings.

Kuzmyk and her team say one unexpected benefit was the ability to attract more participation and attendees from all over the world: “I’m not going to lie, when we first had to cancel the festival, I didn’t know how it was going to turn out,” she says. “But I can truly say that at this point the festival has grown in stature, we have grown the international participation, We have grown the caliber of attendees.” Two big programs at the Banff fest is “Diversity of Voices” (partnered with Netflix), in which more than 300 entrepreneurs, producers, creators, and writers from underrepresented groups have been brought to the festival. “They are not newbies, they’re accomplished, exciting talent that is coming to the festival, and we’re really thrilled to be able to put bring them together with the other delegates at the festival and hopefully be that ignition point for new projects,” she says. The other is Banff Spark, a program for women-owned media companies.

Banff’s Masterclass lineup will include creative team members of major global programs including “It’s a Sin,” hosted by creator Russel T. Davies, director Peter Hoar and actor Nathaniel Curtis; Warner Bros. Television’s Peabody-winning series “David Makes Man,” led by creator Tarell Alvin McCraney; “Transplant” with creator and showrunner Joseph Kay; and a previously announced presentation from the creative team behind FX’s new series “Reservation Dogs.”

Rockie Award Gala recipients include Kenan Thompson, Danielle Brooks, Simu Liu, Sinking Ship Entertainment and the team from Ava DuVernay‘s ARRAY.

As fir the 2021 Rockie Awards International Program Competition, in the English comedy category, contenders include FX’s “Better Things,” HBO Max’s “The Flight Attendant,” Hulu’s “The Great,” FX’s “What We Do In The Shadows,” Hulu’s “Woke” and Sky One’s “Brassic.” English-lingo drama nominees include AMC’s “Gangs of London,” HBO/BBC’s “His Dark Materials,” BBC America’s “Killing Eve,” BBC’s “Noughts + Crosses” and Bell Media’s “Transplant.”

“Going to a virtual Rockie awards allowed us to stream it live to a global audience,” Kuzmyk says. “It is it is aligned very well with the voting period for nominations for the Emmys and we have seen that people realize that that is a certain benefit another benefit to being part of the record.”

Comedian Jasmeet Raina is host. Go here to watch on June 15 at noon PT.

EXCLUSIVE: Netflix’s ‘FYSee’ Blooper Reel: Blunders, Gaffes and Snafus

When you produce as many panels as Netflix does, you’re bound to have enough wacky moments to put together a highlight reel. And here is that reel.

“Line flubs, pet interruptions, off-color outtakes — over 25 Emmy contending titles and countless talent struggle with technical difficulties at home just like everyone else during campaigning,” Netflix notes. Talent and shows below.

“Queer Eye”: Bobby Berk, Karamo Brown, Tan France, Antoni Porowski, Jonathan Van Ness
“Sarah Cooper: Everything’s Fine”: Maya Rudolph, Natasha Lyonne, Fred Armisen, Sarah Cooper
“Cobra Kai”: William Zabka, Ralph Macchio, Josh Heald, Jon Hurwitz, Hayden Schlossberg, Courtney Henggeler, Mary Mouser, Xolo Maridueña
“Emily in Paris”: Lily Collins, Darren Star, Ashley Park, moderator Al Roker
“Kevin Hart: Zero F**ks Given”: Kevin Hart
“Big Mouth”: Nick Kroll, Maya Rudolph, Josie Totah, Andrew Goldberg, Jennifer Flackett, Mark Levin
“Somebody Feed Phil”: Phil Rosenthal
“The Queen’s Gambit”: Scott Frank, Anya Taylor-Joy, Marielle Heller, Bill Camp, Uli Hanisch, Carlos Rafael Rivera
“Love, Death + Robots”: Tim Miller
“The Crown”: Peter Morgan, Olivia Colman, Tobias Menzies, Josh O’Connor, Gillian Anderson, Emma Corrin
“Shadow & Bone”: Eric Heisserer
“Master of None”: Aziz Ansari, Alan Yang, Lena Waithe and Naomi Ackie
“Halston”: Ryan Murphy, Ewan McGregor, Dan Minahan, Krysta Rodriguez, Christine Vachon
“Ratched”: Sarah Paulson, Cynthia Nixon, Sophie Okonedo, Sharon Stone, Finn Wittrock, Jon Jon Briones
“Bridgerton”: Rege-Jean Page, Phoebe Dynevor, Nicola Coughlan, Claudia Jessie, Adjoa Andoh,Golda Rosheuvel, Tom Verica, Drew Barrymore
“The Kominsky Method”: Chuck Lorre, Michael Douglas, Kathleen Turner, Paul Reiser, Sarah Baker
“The Upshaws”: Regina Hicks, Kim Fields, Mike Epps, Wanda Sykes, Yvette Nicole Brown
“Amend: The Fight for America”: Larry Wilmore
“The Umbrella Academy”: Elliot Page, Tom Hopper, David Castañeda, Emmy Raver-Lampman, Robert Sheehan, Aidan Gallagher, Justin H. Min
“Jupiters Legacy”: Josh Duhamel, Ben Daniels, Leslie Bibb, Mike Wade, Matt Lanter, Elena Kampouris, Andrew Horton, Ian Quinlan, Mark Millar
“Nailed It!”: Nicole Byer
“Selena”: Christian Serratos
“Deaf U”: Nyle DiMarco Nyle DiMarco, Rodney Burford, Cheyenna Clearbrook

Also this past weekend, as part of Netflix’s FYC campaign for “The Queen’s Gambit” campaign, the Jon & Vinny’s green and white cardboard pizza boxes were redesigned into chess boards. Each pizza order included a 32-piece black and white plastic chess set in a branded “The Queen’s Gambit” bag. Those bags also included a hang tag featuring star Anya Taylor-Joy on the front with a QR code on the back linking to “The Queen’s Gambit” FYC site.

EXCLUSIVE: Details on TikTok’s First-Ever Emmy Campaign

In this Awards Circuit column, I looked into the decision by TikTok to enter “Ratatouille: The TikTok Musical” into the Emmys:

Viral hit “Ratatouille: The TikTok Musical” has been given the green light to submit, and now TikTok is aiming to join YouTube, Facebook, Snapchat and other social media outlets that have entered the awards competition once just reserved for good ol’ fashioned television.

“Ratatouille: The TikTok Musical” began life as a video by user Emily Jacobsen, who performed an ode to Remy the rat from the animated Disney film. Soon, other TikTok users joined in — most notably, Daniel Mertzlufft, who gave Jacobson’s song the full Alan Menken treatment, complete with orchestra score and 20 vocalists. As this started to become a phenomenon on the platform with hundreds of millions of views, TikTok staffers noticed it and decided it might be an opportunity to try out a long-form project via the site’s live feature.

With Disney’s permission and sponsors including Lowe’s, “Ratatouille: The TikTok Musical” debuted on New Year’s Day and streamed for 72 hours. Tituss Burgess, Wayne Brady, Adam Lambert, Ashley Park and Kevin Chamberlin all appeared, and the songs were interwoven into a book script by Michael Breslin and Patrick Foley. Broadway-level talent contributed to the choreography, sound, editing and more.

TikTok had never run an Emmy campaign, however. That’s where Seaview and PR firm Impact24 came in. “Thinking back on all the success that productions like ‘Rent Live’ and ‘Grease Live’ had at the Emmys, I was confident that ‘Ratatouille: The TikTok Musical,’ with its similar production values, warranted a shot at similar recognition,” says Impact24’s Andrew Seth Cohen . “I reached out to the TV Academy’s awards management team to inquire about eligibility, since the production ran on a ‘pay what you can’ streaming platform via TodayTix, and then later was re-broadcast on TikTok. I wanted to ensure it would be eligible, as ‘self-published’ works involve increased scrutiny from the Emmys.”

The Academy decided “Ratatouille: The TikTok Musical” was eligible to compete in the variety special (pre-recorded) field.

Read the full column here.

Variety/NBCUniversal FYC Virtual House Features New Tina Fey/Ted Danson Conversation and More: Sign Up Here

Variety and NBCUniversal’s Virtual FYC House is currently live and ready to visit. Content in the house include the reunion of two beloved NBC characters, Mariska Hargitay’s Benson and Christopher Meloni’s Stabler from the “Law & Order” franchise, as well as panel conversations with producers and artisans from some of the top shows airing on TV. Click below for a highlight.

Additionally, NBC has re-created a virtual version of their iconic tram tour where you can find exclusive content from “This is Us,” “Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist,” “The Voice,” and “Top Chef,” to name a few. Be sure to keep visiting throughout the month as new, never before seen content is added to this site.

For example, just added: Two icons in television – Ted Danson and Tina Fey – come together to talk about their collaboration on “Mr. Mayor.” The two discuss Danson’s work on “Cheers,” Fey’s time on “Saturday Night Live,” and making comedy in this day and age. Click below for a highlight.

Watch this NEWLY ADDED conversation with comedy legends Tina Fey and Ted Danson and take the virtual backlot tram tour in Variety and NBCUniversal’s Virtual FYC House. Open through June 28. Go here to sign up.

EXCLUSIVE: ‘Star Trek: Discovery’ Executive Producer Alex Kurtzman Guests on ‘Star Trek: The Pod Directive’

Just in time for Emmy voting, “Star Trek: Discovery” executive producer Alex Kurtzman dropped by the “Star Trek: The Pod Directive,” podcast to discuss the show and the overall franchise with co-hosts Tawny Newsome and Paul F. Tompkins.

The wide-ranging discussion focuses on shaping “Star Trek” in the 21st Century and beyond; the in-roads that “Star Trek: Discovery” and science fiction/fantasy (like “Game of Thrones”) have made over the last few years at the Emmys, and how “Star Wars,” including “ST: Discovery,” is always an allegory for the modern world.

A few highkughts: Kurtzman on the depth of “Star Trek”: “It is unbelievably hard to write for ‘Star Trek’ because you have to be a drama writer, you have to be a science fiction writer, you have to be an action writer, you have to be a science writer, you have to be a comedy writer. You have to be, above and beyond everything, a writer of human beings and human emotions.”

On the importance of “Trek’s” longevity: “My hope is that is this sort of misnomer that ‘Trek’ is only for people who know Trek – the whole point is yes, of course, it’s for those people, right. Those people first and foremost but it’s also for people who have never seen it and don’t know anything about it. Because if we don’t also get those people then, 10 years, 20 years from now we’re not going to have new generations of Star Trek fans. And that’s the beauty of, I think, being able to create this universe – Star Trek should be around. It’s about such great things; it brings people so much joy. And it makes you think about the world and about your place in the world, and your place in the future of our planet in a way that’s so extraordinary.”

Click below to listen.

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WATCH MY SHOW: ‘Solo’s’ David Weil Fills Out Our Showrunner Seven

Per Amazon Prime Video, “Solos” is a seven-part anthology series that “explores the strange, beautiful, heart-breaking, hilarious, wondrous truths of what it means to be human. Performed by eight of the finest actors of our time, this anthology series spans our present and future and grapples with time travel, A.I. bots, solo trips to the farthest reaches of the universe, scheming smart homes, a mysterious waiting room, near-future fertility treatments and illegal memory transplants, all to illuminate the deeper meaning of human connection. These character-driven stories contend that even during our most seemingly isolated moments, in the most disparate of circumstances, we are all connected through the human experience. Amazon Studios’ Solos was created by David Weil and stars Uzo Aduba, Nicole Beharie, Morgan Freeman, Anne Hathaway, Anthony Mackie, Helen Mirren, Dan Stevens, and Constance Wu.” We asked showrunner and executive producer David Weil to fill out our “Watch My Show!” survey; here are his answers on behalf of “Solos.”

Sum up your show’s pitch on one sentence.
Performed by eight of the finest actors of our time, Solos spans our present and future and explores the deeper meaning of human connection through seven unique tales.

What’s an alternate title for your show?
“Future Memory”

What do we need to know before tuning in?
You can watch these episodes in any order. We invite you to “choose your memory.” (Though I would save Episode 7 for last!)

Give us an equation for your show.
Anne + Anthony + Constance + Dan + Helen + Morgan + Nicole + Uzo x The Future = Solos.

What’s the best thing someone said about your show?
It wasn’t even what was said, but simply watching my parents watch the show, was an experience I’ll never forget.

If you could work on any other series in TV, what would it be?
“The Crown.”

Finish this sentence, ‘If you like [blank], you’ll love our show.’
“If you like If you like a night of theater, starring your favorite actors, grappling with the dreams and nightmares of the future, all from the comfort of your living room sofa, you’ll love our show.”

Did ‘Superstore’ Never Get Proper Emmy Attention Because of a ‘Prestige Bias’ Against Broadcast Networks?

What am I going to do to convince all of you to pay more attention to NBC’s now-ended comedy “Superstore”? I sometimes wonder if “Superstore” would have received more kudos attention if it had been on streaming or premium cable. That was the basis of a recent column. Read on:

“Superstore” had a good run, ending this year after six seasons (113 episodes). And yet, it frustrates me to no end that the comedy never quite got the attention, or entered the pop culture zeitgeist, the way it warranted. It’s worthy of a place right alongside other great NBC workplace comedies such as “The Office” and “Parks and Recreation,” but it didn’t have the same visibility those shows did. For one thing, “Superstore” has never received a single Emmy nomination.

Unfortunately I think “Superstore” wasn’t helped by the fact that it was on broadcast TV. There hasn’t been much room for those comedies in recent years at the Emmys. There seems to be a bit of a “prestige” bias seeping into an overemphasis on streaming and premium series at the expense of broadcast and cable, and that’s unfortunate. “Superstore” star and producer Ben Feldman tells me he’s still a little puzzled why the show hasn’t received its due. “I felt like we’ve been doing really great, thoughtful work,” he says. “I see what goes into this show and it’s not just some silly sitcom. It’s a show that talks about and deals with really important issues in ways that we don’t see on other shows. And this cast is incredible.” Not only was “Superstore” funny, but it was real.

Read more here.

AWARDS CIRCUIT PODCAST: Billy Porter on Pray Tell’s ‘Pose’ Fate and Living Through the Trauma of the AIDS Crisis

Variety’s Danielle Turchiano spoke to Billy Porter for the last edition of the Awards Circuit Podcast. She writes:

SPOILER ALERT: On FX’s “Pose,” Billy Porter’s character Pray Tell was a beacon of light and love for his friends and chosen family within the ballroom community. The role also helped the actor break historic ground: When Porter won the lead drama actor Emmy in 2019, for the first season of the period piece, he became only the fifth Black actor and the first openly gay actor to take that trophy.

But unfortunately all good things must come to an end, and “Pose” signed off with a shortened third season that Pray Tell didn’t survive.

The ballroom emcee and father figure had quite the journey in the final season, returning to his hometown to make peace with his family and revisit his first love, restarting things with Ricky (Dyllón Burnside) and getting into a clinical trial for new AIDS drugs. But when Ricky revealed his own health was deteriorating, Pray Tell pretended he had extra meds but really just gave Ricky his. This sacrifice resulted in Pray Tell’s death.

Click and listen below!

Also in this episode, time has moved on in Season 2 of the FX comedy “Breeders,” the show that explores the parental paradox that you’d happily die for your children, but quite often also want to kill them. Luke (Alex Eastwood) is now 13 years old and Ava (Eve Prenelle) is 10, serving up brand new parenting challenges for Paul (Martin Freeman) and Ally (Daisy Haggard).

I recently spoke with Freeman and Haggard about the changes in Season 2, and what it’s like to now be playing the parents of older kids – and the dynamic that comes with it.

And on the Variety Awards Circuit roundtable, we discuss the increasingly unpredictable limited and anthology series race.

Variety’s Emmy edition of the “Awards Circuit” podcast is hosted by Michael Schneider, Jazz Tangcay and Danielle Turchiano and is your one-stop listen for lively conversations about the best in television. Each week during Emmy season, “Awards Circuit” features interviews with top TV talent and creatives; discussions and debates about awards races and industry headlines; and much, much more. Subscribe via Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, Spotify or anywhere you download podcasts. New episodes post every Thursday.

KCET Once Again Leads Local TV Stations for 2021 Los Angeles Area Emmy Nominations

Public broadcaster KCET once again led all local TV stations in nominations for the Los Angeles Area Emmy Awards, announced on Tuesday by the Television Academy. KCET landed 23 nods this year overall, up from 20 last year. It was followed by Telemundo’s KVEA, which boasted 21 noms.

After that, with 19 nominations, was relative newcomer Spectrum News 1, the cable channel that launched in 2018 and has made waves for its enterprise reports, features and coverage of Southern California. Then came Univision’s KMEX, with 16.

Among the traditional English-language commercial broadcasters, KABC-TV led with 12 nominations. That’s quite a change from the days when management at the ABC-owned station declined to submit KABC in the local Emmy race.

Last year KABC won the Emmy for best daily evening newscast, for its 11 p.m. telecast, while KNBC won for daytime news, and KMEX and KVEA tied for morning newscast Emmy.

Eligibility for this year’s L.A. Area Emmy Awards was between Jan. 1 and Dec. 31, 2020 — which means coverage of the COVID-19 pandemic, Black Lives Matter and demonstrations surrounding systemic racism and police brutality, the election and the death of Kobe Bryant, were among the subjects included in this year’s submissions.

A total of 133 nominations in 35 categories were announced; details for the Los Angeles Area Emmy Awards ceremony will be announced at a later date. Read the full list of nominees here.

The Tonight Show’s Brutally Honest FYC Campaign

“The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon” hasn’t been nominated in the variety talk category since 2016, and the show’s FYC campaign is having some tongue-in-cheek fun with that. See above. Turns out, the Academy had just been socially distanced from Fallon all these years.

Below, the show also put together a mailer featuring Fallon’s favorite H&H Bagels, as well as goodies from two local L.A. eateries: Glassell Park’s Sugarbloom Bakery (I live right by there!) and Boketto iced coffee:

Ziwe Enters the Comedy Lead Actress Emmy Race

Ziwe is entering the Lead Actress in a Comedy race at the Emmys. Much like past sketch stars like Amy Schumer (“Inside Amy Schumer”) have submitted in the category, Showtime feels the star of “Ziwe” has earned her place as a contender through her unique voice in the show’s sketches, interviews and games.

“Ziwe” the show has been submitted in the variety sketch category and as such, Ziwe the star is eligible to compete for lead actress in a comedy, just as the “Saturday Night Live” cast does.

Wrote Variety’s Dan D’Addario in his recent review of her show: “On her new Showtime series ‘Ziwe,’ the comedian maintains the potency and insight of her act without losing her edge. The early episodes suggest a comic sensibility that arrives on television fully-formed, an insight machine whose ability to fillet the absurdities of the world as she sees them may make her a millennial answer to David Letterman.”

WATCH MY SHOW: ‘Hacks’ Co-Creators Paul W. Downs, Lucia Aniello and Jen Statsky Fill Out Our Showrunner Seven

HBO Max just gave a second season renewal to “Hacks,” and we’re excited to see more from Jean Smart as veteran Las Vegas comedian Deborah Vance and Hannah Einbinder as her young, unlikely mentee. The series debuted on the streamer in May and has been met with critical acclaim upon its release. It hails from creators Paul W. Downs, Lucia Aniello and Jen Statsky. We asked the three of them to fill out our “Watch My Show!” survey; here are their answers on behalf of “Hacks.”

Sum up your show’s pitch on one sentence.
A dark mentorship forms between a veteran Las Vegas entertainer and a 25-year-old outcast.

What’s an alternate title for your show?
“It’s All Material”

What do we need to know before tuning in?
Jean Smart stars.

Give us an equation for your show.
“Harold and Maude” plus “The Comeback” with a dash of “Behind the Candelabra.”

What’s the best thing someone said about your show?
“I’ll attach.”

If you could work on any other series in TV, what would it be?
Three showrunners means three answers: “Sex Education,” “Succession” and “Guy’s Grocery Games.” You’ll never know whose is whose.

Finish this sentence, ‘If you like [blank], you’ll love our show.’
“If you like women, you’ll love our show.”

SIGNED, SEALED, DELIVERED: This Week’s Promo Mailers

Like I mentioned last week, Nat Geo’s “Genius: Aretha” drove around Los Angeles this past weekend, and also hit a few homes along the way. Looks like Madison got behind the wheel!

The Pink Cadillac also came with some pink goodies, including sweets and this “Genius: Aretha” tee. Besides the “Tonight Show” and “The Queen’s Gambit” mailers mentioned above, it was a busy week for delivery folks:

Hosted by actress and singer-songwriter Zooey Deschanel singer-songwriter Michael Bolton, “Celebrity Dating Game” premieres Monday, June 14 at 10 p.m. ET. Celebrity singles join in to find love, but really, it’s all about the Bolton, right?

Every Apple TV Plus “Ted Lasso” mailer better have that pink box of biscuits! This did not disappoint.

Based on food historian Jessica B. Harris’ book “High on the Hog: How African American Cuisine Transformed America,” this new four-part Netflix docu-series follows food writer Stephen Satterfield as he meets the chefs, historians, and activists keeping Black American cooking traditions alive, looking at the eclectic culinary history shaped by slavery, the Civil War, Juneteenth, and present day.

Premiering Sunday, June 20 at 10 p.m. ET on TLC, “You, Me & My Ex” follows five couples who deal with an ex who is still intricately connected to their past partner and very much a part of their daily lives. Yes, apparently these prickly succulents are the perfect symbolic representation of what could be your next TLC obsession.

Just in time for Father’s Day, “The Simpsons” x Sugarfina collection features candies representing each of the main characters. (Sadly, the Homer candy was unavailable when they shipped this, but the others were delicious.)

TV PICKS: ‘A Teacher’ Star Kate Mara Shares Her Guilty Pleasures and More

We asked Kate Mara, who plays high school teacher Claire Wilson, who carries on a relationship with one of her students in FX’s “A Teacher,” to share her TV guilty TV pleasure (Can be of all time, or currently. Cheesy reality show? Campy sitcom? Obscure public access show? Anything applies!); her “deep cut” (the show he recommends that isn’t as well known, past or present); and “show mate” (the show that, if you were stuck on a desert island with only one DVD, you’d choose to be the most important/most influential/best TV show in your life). Here are her answers:

GUILTY TV PLEASURE: “Real Housewives of Beverly Hills.” This show brings a lot of laughter in my house and gets people watching that you would never expect (my husband included).

DEEP CUT: “My So Called Life.” This show was such a departure from regular ‘teenage’ driven dramas. A much more realistic glimpse (than people were used to seeing) into the life of a high school kid. Claire Danes and Jared Leto were equally dreamy.

SHOW MATE: Oprah’s greatest hits DVD. My sis and I used to watch her show religiously. It made me laugh and cry on a daily basis, so it would be very nostalgic and comforting to be able to re-watch the entire season while stuck on my island.

Variety/Sony FYC Virtual House: Check It Out Now, Featuring ‘Cobra Kai’ and More

Variety and Sony Pictures Television are hosting a monthlong immersive experience, the Variety/Sony Pictures Television Virtual FYC House, aimed to capture the attention of TV awards voters. The virtual event features original content, keynote conversations and panels with top contending talent from the studio. Registration entitles users to a monthlong VIP pass to visit the house throughout the month.

Among the highlights: a “Script to Screen” panel, moderated by me and featuring Aaron Rahsaan Thomas, co-creator/showrunner/executive producer for “S.W.A.T.”; David Shore, showrunner/executive producer for “The Good Doctor”; Gloria Calderón Kellett, co-showrunner/executive producer for “One Day at a Time”; Hank Steinberg, showrunner/creator/executive producer for “For Life”; Little Marvin, showrunner/creator/executive producer for “Them”; Maril Davis, executive producer for “For All Mankind”; and Michelle MacLaren, executive producer/director of the first two episodes of “Coyote.

Also, the “Cobra Kai” conversation includes Courtney Henggeler (who plays Amanda LaRusso); Ralph Macchio (who plays Daniel LaRusso and is a co-executive producer for Season 3); Vanessa Rubio (who plays Carmen Diaz); and William Zabka (who plays Johnny Lawrence and is a co-executive producer for Season 3).

Go here to register.

WATCH MY SHOW and TV PICKS: ‘WandaVision’ Executive Producer Jac Shaeffer and Star Randall Park Fill Out Our Surveys

You know the story by now behind Disney Plus’ “WandaVision,” a blend of classic television and the Marvel Cinematic Universe in which Wanda Maximoff (Elizabeth Olsen) and Vision (Paul Bettany) — two super-powered beings living idealized suburban lives — begin to suspect that everything is not as it seems. Also starring Kathryn Hahn as Agnes, Teyonah Parris as Monica Rambeau, Kat Dennings as Darcy and Randall Park as Jimmy Woo, “WandaVision” was directed by Matt Shakman with Jac Schaeffer as head writer. We asked Schaeffer to fill out our “Watch My Show” survey to share why we should tune in.

Sum up your show’s pitch on one sentence.
Newlywed Avengers Wanda Maximoff and Vision move to the suburbs to live a sitcom-perfect life only to realize that their past – and the truth – can’t be ignored forever.

What’s an alternate title for your show?
“Married with Superpowers”

What do we need to know before tuning in?
Wanda Maximoff can control people and things with her mind. Vision is a synthezoid made of indestructible Vibranium that he can manipulate at will. They are deeply in love. Prior to the events of the show, Vision was killed by an alien named Thanos who then made Wanda, along with half the universe’s population, disappear for five years. Thanks to the Avengers, everyone is back now. But sadly, Vision is still dead. Also, Wanda lost her twin brother to an evil A.I. named Ultron who – stay with me here – was the one responsible for creating Vision. Last thing, I promise: Monica Rambeau is the little girl in “Captain Marvel.” Now you’re ready to watch!

Give us an equation for your show.
“The Dick Van Dyke Show” plus The Avengers… that’s literally it.

What’s the best thing someone said about your show?
The fan response to the show has been staggering – from the memes to the artwork to the “Agatha All Along” remixes. I would be hard-pressed to choose a favorite but I have been especially moved by the personal reflections on grief.

If you could work on any other series in TV, what would it be?

Finish this sentence, ‘If you like [blank], you’ll love our show.’
“If you like sitcoms and superheroes, you’ll love our show.”

Meanwhile, we asked Randall Park, who stars as Jimmy Woo in “WandaVision,” to share his TV guilty TV pleasure (Can be of all time, or currently. Cheesy reality show? Campy sitcom? Obscure public access show? Anything applies!); his “deep cut” (the show he recommends that isn’t as well known, past or present); and “show mate” (the show that, if you were stuck on a desert island with only one DVD, you’d choose to be the most important/most influential/best TV show in your life). Here are his answers:

GUILTY PLEASURE: “Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives.” I don’t even feel that guilty about it. Guy Fieri showing love to local independent restaurants across the nation is my comfort food.

DEEP CUT: “How To With John Wilson.” Sad, funny, profound. My favorite show of the pandemic.

SHOW MATE: “It’s Garry Shandling’s Show.” When I was a kid, I saw this show and my whole mind was blown. It took apart the tv genre I grew up on and exposed everything in the most subversive, creative, and hilarious way.

Clayton Davis’ Emmy Predictions: Supporting Actor and Actress in a Comedy Series

The supporting actor and actress categories are perhaps the most competitive — and chock full of submissions and contenders, which is why they now boast the maximum eight nominees (per the new TV Academy rules determining category size.) This week, we’ll look at Clayton Davis‘ comedy supporting picks.

“Saturday Night Live,” “Ted Lasso,” “The Flight Attendant” are among the frontrunners here. Here are Clayton’s comedy series supporting actor picks:

Kenan Thompson, “Saturday Night Live” (NBC)
Bowen Yang, “Saturday Night Live” (NBC)
Brett Goldstein, “Ted Lasso” (Apple TV Plus)
Brendan Hunt, “Ted Lasso” (Apple TV Plus)
Michiel Huisman, “The Flight Attendant” (HBO Max)
Alex Newell, “Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist” (NBC)
Pete Davidson, “Saturday Night Live” (NBC)
Nico Santos, “Superstore” (NBC)

As for comedy supporting actress, his picks:

Hannah Waddingham, “Ted Lasso” (Apple TV Plus)
Kate McKinnon, “Saturday Night Live” (NBC)
Cecily Strong, “Saturday Night Live” (NBC)
Rosie Perez, “The Flight Attendant” (HBO Max)
Zosia Mamet, “The Flight Attendant” (HBO Max)
Juno Temple, “Ted Lasso” (Apple TV Plus)
Paula Pell, “Girls5eva” (Peacock)
Naomi Ackie, “Master of None” (Netflix)

Check out all of Clayton’s predictions here.

Actors on Actors: Variety’s Premiere Interview Series Is Back

Our hard-working Actors on Actors editorial team, led by Ramin Setoodeh, along with our web and video teams, put out another fantastic product over the past week, chock full of fun pairings and interviews. Here are some highlights:

Jason Sudeikis and Kathryn Hahn on the Optimism of ‘Ted Lasso,’ Secrets of ‘WandaVision’ and Making ‘We’re the Millers’

Actors on Actors: Regé-Jean Page and Emma Corrin Are Netflix Royalty

Regé-Jean Page Compares ‘Bridgerton’ to a Nourishing McDonald’s Happy Meal With ‘Secret Vitamins’

Netflix’s Royal Reception: Regé-Jean Page and Emma Corrin on ‘Bridgerton,’ Princess Diana and Becoming Swoonworthy Stars

Actors on Actors: Nicole Kidman and Chris Rock Talk ‘Fargo,’ ‘The Undoing’ and ‘I Love Lucy’

Nicole Kidman Reveals Lucille Ball Biopic Isn’t a Remake of ‘I Love Lucy,’ Will Tackle Serious Themes

‘Do You Cry Easily?’: Nicole Kidman and Chris Rock Interview Each Other — and It Gets Deep

Pedro Pascal and Ewan McGregor on ‘Star Wars,’ Then and Now

Pedro Pascal and Ewan McGregor Share Notes on Acting With Yoda and Grogu in ‘Star Wars’

Actors on Actors: Pedro Pascal and Ewan McGregor on the Evolution of ‘Star Wars’

How Ewan McGregor’s Own Sobriety Informed His Performance in Netflix’s ‘Halston’

The Stars of ‘Star Wars’ Join Forces: Pedro Pascal and Ewan McGregor Share Secrets Behind ‘The Mandalorian’ and ‘Halston’

Actors on Actors: Kaley Cuoco and Elizabeth Olsen on the Future of ‘WandaVision’ and ‘The Flight Attendant’

How Kaley Cuoco Made the Leap From ‘The Big Bang Theory’ to ‘The Flight Attendant’

Elizabeth Olsen Answers All Our Burning Questions About ‘WandaVision’ — and What About a Season 2?

Kaley Cuoco and Elizabeth Olsen on Obsessively Binge-Watching Each Other in ‘WandaVision’ and ‘The Flight Attendant’

The Week Ahead

ATX TV Festival continues through June 20; Banff World Media Festival is ongoing through July 11.

Monday, June 14, 5 p.m. PT: Variety Streaming Room presents An Exclusive FYC Q&A with Kaley Cuoco and the Creators of “The Flight Attendant.” Register here.

Monday, June 14, 5 p.m. PT: Comedy Central invites Television Academy National Active members to “The Daily Show with Trevor Noah” FYC event.

Monday, June 14, 5 p.m. PT: CBS invites Television Academy National Active members to “The Late Late Show with James Corden” FYC event.

Monday, June 14, 7 p.m. PT: Netflix invites Television Academy National Active members to “The Crown” FYC event.

Monday, June 14, 7:30 p.m. PT: Hulu invites Television Academy National Active members to “The Handmaid’s Tale” drive-in event at the Rose Bowl.

Tuesday, June 15, noon PT: Banff World Media Festival’s Rockie Awards, recognizing excellence in global TV and digital content. Hosted by Jasmeet Raina from Banff.

Tuesday, June 15, 5 p.m. PT: HBO invites Television Academy National Active members to “In Treatment” FYC event.

Tuesday, June 15, 5 p.m. PT: Paramount Network invites Television Academy National Active members to “Yellowstone” FYC event.

Tuesday, June 15, 7 p.m. PT: OWN invites Television Academy National Active members to “Queen Sugar” FYC event.

Tuesday, June 15, 8 p.m. PT: ABC invites Television Academy National Active members to “Black-ish” FYC drive-in event at the Rose Bowl.

Wednesday, June 16, 5 p.m. PT: Variety Streaming Room presents An Exclusive FYC Q&A with Actress, Co-EP, and Co-Writer Hunter Schafer and the Artisans Behind Euphoria. Register here.

Wednesday, June 16, 5 p.m. PT: WB Animation/Cartoon Network Studios invites Television Academy National Active members to “Harley Quinn”/”Close Enough” FYC event.

Wednesday, June 16, 5 p.m. PT: TikTok invites Television Academy National Active members to “Ratatouille: The TikTok Musical” FYC event.

Wednesday, June 16, 7 p.m. PT: Universal Studio Group invites Television Academy National Active members to “Young Rock” FYC event.

Wednesday, June 16, 7 p.m. PT: Walt Disney Studios invites Television Academy National Active members to “The Mandalorian” drive-in FYC event at the Rose Bowl.

Thursday, June 17: Nominations-round Emmy voting begins.

Thursday, June 17-Friday, June 18: Variety Changemakers summit. A virtual 2-day thought-leadership event showcasing voices representing underserved communities in entertainment. Register here.

Saturday, June 19, 8:30 p.m. PT: Amazon Prime Video screening of “Small Axe: Lovers Rock” with silent dance party to follow, at NeueHouse Hollywood Rooftop.

Premiere dates: MONDAY, JUNE 14: “The Celebrity Dating Game” (new/ABC); “The Republic of Sarah” (new/The CW). WEDNESDAY, JUNE 16: “Card Sharks” (returning/ABC); “Dave” (returning/FX). THURSDAY, JUNE 17: “Generation” (returning/HBO); “Holey Moley” (returning/ABC); “The Hustler” (returning/ABC); “iCarly” (revival/Paramount Plus). FRIDAY, JUNE 18: “Elite” (returning/Netflix); “Fatherhood” (new/Netflix); “Luca” (new/Disney Plus); “Physical” (new/Apple TV Plus). SUNDAY, JUNE 20: “Evil” (returning/Paramount Plus); “Rick & Morty” (returning/Adult Swim); “Kevin Can F**k Himself” (new/AMC); “Us” (new/PBS).

Send Me Your Questions, Comments and More!

Feel free to send your burning Emmy questions and suggestions to, and your hot tips as well! Thanks for reading.

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