Television has been America's constant companion amid a pandemic and whirlwind of racial reappraisal.
But will the Emmy nominations arriving today reflect the times or retreat to the familiar? The announcement itself was forced to bow to health safeguards, going virtual and without the usual mini-swarm of reporters and publicists on hand at the TV academy's headquarters.
“Everything is different,” said Tom O'Neil, editor of the Gold Derby awards website.
With isolation-forced time on their hands, TV industry members may have been more diligent about searching out potential nominees that otherwise would have been overlooked.
Newly expanded categories and the departure of last year's dominant series winners, “Game of Thrones” and “Fleabag,” opened the door for newcomers and under-valued series, among them the inclusive comedies “Ramy” and “Insecure.”
The academy has ground to make up in diversity. In 2019, less than a quarter of the acting bids went to people of color, down from more than a third of the nominations in 2018.