Few superstars land Emmy Music nominations

The Emmy cast may have looked like this: Kanye West nominated for Music Supervision. Keith Urban, Miranda Lambert, Mary J. Blige, Phoebe Bridgers and Sheryl Crow for Best Song. Mick Jagger, Imagine Dragons, 50 Cent and Isabella Summers nominated for Main Cover Theme. Finneas O’Connell for Limited Series Score and Meshell Ndegeocello for Series Score.

All of these superstars submitted songs, themes, scores, and casts for music curation for the 74th Annual Emmy Awards, and none of them ended up with a nomination.

Emmy’s music peer group consists of 460 composers, songwriters, music editors and other professionals involved in the production of music for television. They are not impressed by big names.

The closest they came to a double nomination for Zendaya in the original song category for HBO’s Euphoria was Elliot’s Song, co-written with score composer Labrinth and his partner Muzhda Zemar-McKenzie; and “I’m Tired,” co-written with Labrinth and series creator and writer Sam Levinson.

Two of the other three songs in this category come from previous nominees, all veterans of the TV business. Thomas Mizer and Curtis Moore wrote “Maybe Monica” in the style of Harry Belafonte for a Season 4 episode of Amazon’s The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, her second Emmy nomination for the series.

For the final season of NBC’s This Is Us, composer Siddhartha Khosla and Dawes songwriter Taylor Goldsmith wrote The Forever Now, sung by Goldsmith’s wife Mandy Moore, who plays Rebecca on the show. They were previously nominated for a song in a fourth-season episode, and Khosla was nominated twice more for the score of This Is Us.

The fifth nominated tune is “Corn Puddin’,” a comic hoedown from Apple+’s music parody “Schmigadoon!” with lyrics and music by Cinco Paul, one of the creators and showrunner.

What works and what doesn’t has been a mystery to the TV Academy music industry since it’s been awarding Emmys. Some of the greatest music ever written for the medium wasn’t even nominated: the failure to quote Thomas Newman’s Angels in America score was a scandal in 2004. The acclaimed HBO mini won 11 Emmys and received 10 other nominations, but no music, indicating flaws in the voting process that Emmy officials sought to correct in the years that followed.

A recent problem is the large number of projects submitted for Emmy consideration. Last year’s 535 entries in the seven music categories increased to 619 this year: 159 for series music, 67 for limited series or film music, 60 for documentary music, 22 for musical genre, 89 for song, 69 for main title theme and 153 for music supervision.

It has become impossible to see or even hear everything that is entered. (Twenty years ago the music industry created a system that ensured every entry was verified by at least a handful of members; this system was discarded a few years ago as impractical and costly.)

The result, in many cases, seems to be nominations for shows that are popular with other Emmy voters. For example, four of the six nominees in the Series Score category were for shows that had some of the biggest Emmy listings: “Succession” (25 nominations), “Severance” (14), “Only Murders in the Building” (17) and “Loki” (six).

Likewise, three of the five nominees in the Limited Series or Film Score category were for similarly acclaimed shows: The White Lotus (20 nominations), Moon Knight (eight), and Station Eleven (seven). First, voters had to see the shows; then they could judge the music.

For example, many Emmy voters may not have seen “Slow Horses” with its Mick Jagger theme song; “Nine Perfect Strangers” or “Queer Eye” with their tunes by Keith Urban and Miranda Lambert; the documentaries about Sheryl Crow and Mary J. Blige with their original songs; or “BMF” with its 50 cent theme. Or if they did, they didn’t care enough to nominate her.

https://variety.com/2022/awards/news/emmy-music-nominations-snub-superstars-1235327563/ Few superstars land Emmy Music nominations

Charles Jones

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