DAVID GREENE, HOST:
The 72nd Emmy Awards on Sunday are going to really make history, the first virtual version of this show ever. Nominees and performers will speak from over 130 different locations while the host, Jimmy Kimmel, sits at the Staples Center in Los Angeles. But even though the ceremony is going to be different, what also matters is who will win and who should win TV's ultimate honor. And that is why NPR's TV critic Eric Deggans created the Deggy Awards, to highlight some of the areas where the Emmy Academy might miss the mark. And he is here to announce his own picks for us this morning.
Hi there, Eric.
ERIC DEGGANS, BYLINE: Hello.
GREENE: I guess, before we talk Deggys, we should take just a second to speak about the Emmy cast on ABC. I mean, what are you expecting?
DEGGANS: Well, I was on a Zoom call with the producers earlier this week. And they basically said expect things to go wrong (laughter). They have so many moving parts to this show. Nominees and winners are going to be speaking from remote locations. Some people are going to be in groups that they're quarantined with. Other people are going to be at home. And the producers of the show have vowed to do as much live as they can and experiment a little bit. So it's going to be a little bit of a high wire act.
GREENE: Well, we'll see how they pull it off. Well, let's go to your awards and see how you pull it off. Let's now go to...
GREENE: ...The Deggys. I'm going to be your Jimmy Kimmel and host.
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GREENE: There we go. All right. So the first category, Eric - best TV drama.
DEGGANS: (Laughter) That's right. And the nominees include some really amazing shows like "The Crown" and "Ozark" on Netflix and Disney+'s "The Mandalorian." But my Deggy goes to...
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GREENE: ...AMC's "Better Call Saul" and "Little America" on Apple TV+. Wait a minute. That's two winners.
DEGGANS: See, the best thing about the Deggys is that I get to make my own rules. So I'm giving out two here.
GREENE: OK. OK.
DEGGANS: "Saul" wins a Deggy because it is always the bridesmaid at the Emmys. It's earned 39 nominations and never won. And this past season was so good, it's making fans forget the show that it was spun off from, "Breaking Bad." My other Deggy goes to a show that wasn't nominated, although, it's the best original series that Apple TV+ has made. "Little America" has these heartfelt dramatizations of eight real-life stories about American immigrants. It's exactly the kind of inclusive spirit that America should stand for.
GREENE: Who do you think is actually going to win this category?
DEGGANS: Well, to judge this stuff, I kind of look at how many nominations each show has gotten overall to see how the Academy feels about the show. "Ozark" and HBO's "Succession" have 18 each. I think Emmy voters are probably going to choose "Succession." It's this dark satire about a dysfunctional family that owns a big media company. It reminds you of, maybe, the Murdochs and Fox News at all (laughter)? And that probably feels, I think, a little more relevant these days, especially in an election year.
GREENE: All right. Well, let's shift to best comedy series.
DEGGANS: So again, the Emmy Academy has got a wonderful list of nominees - NBC'S "The Good Place," HBO's "Insecure." But the Deggy goes to...
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GREENE: "Schitt's Creek" on Pop TV. That is, of course, spelled S-C-H-I-T-T-S. And I don't know if I'm allowed, as the host, to have a bias. But I love that show.
DEGGANS: (Laughter) I know. I know. This show already has a good chance of winning this category. It's the little TV show that could. It's this series that played on Pop TV, this under-the-radar kind of platform. But it really grew into a touching, creative oddball family comedy about these rich people stuck in a strange town. And if Emmy doesn't honor it on Sunday - and Amazon's "The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel" has the most comedy series nominations, so it's a strong contender, too - then at least they'll have a Deggy.
GREENE: They sure do. Eric, always fun. It's NPR TV critic Eric Deggans. Thanks.
DEGGANS: Thank you.
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