STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:
The Emmy nominations come out this morning. This is to honor the best TV from the middle of last year to the middle of this year. And if you have not been watching much, Glen Weldon is there for you because he is co-host of NPR's Pop Culture Happy Hour. Glen, good morning.
GLEN WELDON, BYLINE: Morning, Steve.
INSKEEP: OK, let's pick out a comedy here. Outstanding comedy - which ones are likely to be the top contenders?
WELDON: Well, the Emmys are notoriously slow to latch on to new shows. They like awarding the stuff that they've always awarded. So look for some standbys like "Curb Your Enthusiasm." "Hacks" and "Ted Lasso" are going to show up here, too. "Ted Lasso," of course, won last year. "Atlanta" usually makes the cut. Though this was a very divisive season, it's still one of the best things on TV. Now, me, I'm pulling for some newcomers to get some Emmy love this year, like "Only Murders In The Building" and especially "Abbott Elementary," which I'm thinking is going to get very well-represented this morning. That's an ABC show about a struggling Philadelphia public school and the staff there doing their best with what little they have. Now, if it were up to me - and it's not - a show like "The Other Two" or "Our Flag Means Death" or "What We Do In The Shadows," which for my money is the funniest thing on TV right now, would get some love, but, again, not up to me.
INSKEEP: Oh, OK. What about the dramas?
WELDON: Well, this category is "Succession's" to lose yet again. It's definitely going to be in the running. But you'll also see "Better Call Saul," "Stranger Things," "This Is Us." "Ozark" ended this year. It's probably got the best shot this year it's ever going to get. "Yellowstone" - now, that's not a show the critics like me talk about a lot, but what do we know? It's a huge hit. And, again, I'd like to see some new shows on this list, shows like "Yellowjackets" and "Squid Game," which was an international phenomenon. But that's no guarantee that Emmy voters are going to recognize it. There is one new show that's pretty much a slam dunk to be nominated, and that is "Severance," which is a terrific Apple TV+ show about a mysterious corporation whose workers don't remember their home lives when they're on the job and don't remember their work lives when they're at home.
(SOUNDBITE OF TV SHOW, "SEVERANCE")
BRITT LOWER: (As Helly) So I'll never leave here.
ADAM SCOTT: (As Mark) You'll leave at 5. Well, actually, they stagger our exits, so 5:15. But it won't feel like it, not to this version of you anyway.
LOWER: (As Helly) Do I have a family?
SCOTT: (As Mark) You'll never know.
LOWER: (As Helly) I have no choice.
SCOTT: (As Mark) Well, every time you find yourself here, it's because you chose to come back.
INSKEEP: OK, so when we talk about individual actors, who stands out?
WELDON: Well, going back to "Severance," it's amazing to me that Adam Scott has never been nominated for an Emmy. I really hope that changes this morning. And as I say, I think - well, I hope, anyway, that "Abbott Elementary" gets the nominations it deserves, not just for star and creator Quinta Brunson but Sheryl Lee Ralph as her fellow teacher and especially - especially Janelle James as the principal who steals every scene she's in.
(SOUNDBITE OF TV SHOW, "ABBOTT ELEMENTARY")
JANELLE JAMES: (As Ava Coleman) Hey, yo, what it do, baby boos? What y'all think about this little film crew I brought in here?
LISA ANN WALTER: (As Melissa Schemmenti) Distracting, makes our jobs harder.
JAMES: (As Ava Coleman) But exciting. We about to be on TV.
SHERYL LEE RALPH: (As Barbara Howard) Because they are covering underfunded, poorly managed public schools in America.
JAMES: (As Ava Coleman) No press is bad press, Barb.
WELDON: You know, I also hope they recognize the great kind of under-the-radar work that Selena Gomez is doing on "Only Murders In The Building." She really grounds that series, and she's the key ingredient that keeps Steve Martin and Martin Short from spiraling out and getting really broad. But, Steve, real talk, if another Emmy season comes and goes without Rhea Seehorn getting recognized for her incredibly layered performance as Kim Wexler on "Better Call Saul," then the whole system is broken. Let's tear it down. She is so fantastic and she's never even been nominated. That cannot stand. What are we even doing here, Steve?
(SOUNDBITE OF LITTLE BARRIE SONG, "BETTER CALL SAUL THEME (EXTENDED)")
INSKEEP: Glen Weldon, our correspondent on NPR's Culture Desk and co-host of the podcast Pop Culture Happy Hour. Glen, thanks.
WELDON: Thank you.
(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "BETTER CALL SAUL THEME (EXTENDED)")
LITTLE BARRIE: (Singing) If there's any thought...
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