Emmy Awards: What you need to know about drama series nominations

The Emmy season is nearing and the nominations are in. The Academy of Television Arts & Science awards the Emmys to those programmes which have excelled in American primetime television programming.

The most popular award category in Primetime Emmy Awards is that of the Outstanding Drama Series. This year seven drama series are in the run for the winged lady statuette. Here is a rundown of the series that have been nominated for the award this season.

The Americans: The series is set in 1980s during the Cold War and tells the story of two Soviet KGB officers Elizabeth and Philip Jennings who pose as an American married couple living in Washington D.C. The events follow the intelligence operations shortly after Ronald Reagan becomes president. The series was created by Joe Weisberg, a former CIA officer, who says that despite it being a spy thriller, the series is actually a story of a marriage. Weisberg incorporates real-life events into the story line and bases his stories on his experience in the agency.


It took four seasons for this series to be given a chance at the Emmys. Though the series has been running since January 2013, this is the first time that it has gained recognition in the drama series category. It was earlier nominated in catergories of Guest Actress in a Drama Series, Main Title Theme Music and Writing for a Drama Series. Margo Martindale won the guest actress category last year.

Better Call Saul: A spin-off from Breaking Bad, Better Call Saul tells the story of James Morgan 'Jimmy' McGill, a lawyer, also knows as Saul Goodman. The crime drama series was created by Vince Gilligan and Peter Gould. The series is a prequel to Breaking Bad and is set six years before the events of Breaking Bad and Saul Goodman's entry.


Bob Odenkirk, who plays Saul's character, has been nominated for the lead actor in a drama series. Jonathan Banks as Mike Ehramantraut has earned the nomination for supporting in a drama series. It has received four other nominations, matching the number of nominations last years.

Downton Abbey: The final season of this British drama earned another set of Emmy nominations. This time it has received 10 nominations, including outstanding directing and supporting actress for Maggie Smith. Julian Fellowes, the creator, writer and executive producer of thismasterpiece series, has also been nominated for outstanding writing this year.

The series has received 69 nominations in its entire run and even earned the record of most critically acclaimed English-language television series of 2011. After two seasons, it earned 27 Primetime Emmy nominations, which was the most number ofnominations by any international television series.


The period drama set in the fictional estate of Downton Abbey narrates the life of the Crawley family and their domestic helps. The relations between the upstair residents and the downstair servants provide for interesting plot lines. It is essentially the story of the Brtish aristocracy in the post-Edwardian era and the eventual decline of artistocracy. Real-life incidents, like the sinking of Titanic, first World War, UK general election of 1923, form part of the story and help in progressing the the narrative.

Game of Thrones: Much has been said about this fantasy series. And, for as long as George R.R. Martin continues with his literary prowess, much more will be said. Adapted by David Benioff and D.B. Weiss, the series follows Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire and is set in fictional continents of Westeroes and Essos.

The epic story is enjoyed world over and is one of the eagerly awaited series every season. The multiple plotlines which run parallel to each other make use of vast number of characters and incidents. Violence and nudity has earned the series widespread criticism, but is still watched by fans globally.


In 2015, it set the record for most number of wins at the Primetime Emmy Awards, when it won 12 awards inluding the Outstanding drama series. Peter Dinklage has won the Emmy for outstanding supporting actor in a drama series twice. This year the series leads with 23 Emmy nominations.

Homeland: A political thriller series, Homeland, follows Carrie Mathison and her efforts as a CIA officer to fight terrorism. As Mathison suffers from bipolar disorder, her character development and obsession with a task assigned form a major part of the show. For each season new "worlds" are created and destroyed. The show was developed by Howard Gordon and Alex Gansa and earned critical acclaim in its first season.


The series won the outstanding drama series at the Primetime Emmy awards in 2012. Claire Danes has won the outstanding lead actress in a drama series thrice for her role as Mathison. This year Danes has been nominated for the fifth time as a lead actress and the series has earned its fourth nomination in outstanding drama series.

House of Cards: Another political thriller, House of Cards, stars Kevin Spacey as Frank Underwood and Robin Wright as Claire Underwood. After failing to be appointed as the Secretary of State, Underwood manipulates his way into greater power, with the help of his wife. Kevin Spacey is a ruthless Democrat who will even commit murder to reach his goal.

The story is based on a novel by Michael Dobbs, which was also adapted into a BBC mini series. Created by Beau Williams, the series is a web television series which was the first online-only show to receive major Emmy nominations.


Though it has never won the outstanding drama series award, it has been nominated each year since its inception in 2013. This year Spacey and Wright have earned nominations in the lead actor and actress category, respectively. It has been nominated in 10 other categories too.

Mr. Robot: This thriller tells the story of Elliot Alderson, a hacker and cybersecuirty engineer, who is hired by an anarchist known as 'Mr. Robot'. Rami Malik who plays Elliot has been touted as one of the main reasons for the series' succcess. Elliot is shown as suffering from social anxiety disorder and clinical depression. His addiction to morphine makes it difficult for him to tell between reality and dream. Meanwhile, Christian Slater does a good job as Mr. Robot.

The series has been nominated in six categories this year, including the outstanding drama series and lead actor in a drama series.

This browser settings will not support to add bookmarks programmatically. Please press Ctrl+D or change settings to bookmark this page.

Related Reading

    Show more