Lately, broadcast networks have lost appeal with Television Academy voters looking for the next best drama show.
Whereas ABC, NBC, CBS and Fox used to maintain a toehold in the Emmys’ Outstanding Drama Series category with occasional critically acclaimed hits like “Lost” or “The West Wing,” television’s top award ceremony now prefers offerings on cable, premium networks and streaming platforms, where “Game of Thrones” and “House of Cards” have made cozy homes.
In fact, not since 2011 has a broadcaster nabbed an Emmy nomination for Outstanding Drama ― for CBS’ “The Good Wife.”
Now that dry spell has ended.
On Thursday, the Television Academy bestowed the honor of a nomination on NBC for its inaugural season of “This Is Us,” which follows an ensemble cast of people who happen to share the same birthday.
The buzzy series, starring Mandy Moore, Milo Ventimiglia and Sterling K. Brown, has already earned itself three Golden Globe nominations and a Screen Actors Guild nod, in addition to accolades from the Critics Choice Awards (for Most Exciting New Series) and the People’s Choice Awards (for Favorite New TV Drama).
Cable, premium networks and streaming platforms filled up the rest of the 2017’s Outstanding Drama category, with “Better Call Saul” (AMC), “The Crown” (Netflix), “The Handmaid’s Tale” (Hulu), “House of Cards” (Netflix), “Stranger Things” (Netflix) and “Westworld” (HBO) all earning nominations. (Due to its later Season 7 premiere date, “Game of Thrones” is not eligible for this year’s awards.)
But “This Is Us” is a win for basic-cablers ― and viewers looking for top-notch TV without the premium subscription price tag.