Emmy Network Spotlight: The CW Says Goodbye To Two Major Comedies

Welcome to the 2019 Emmy Circuit series, where we analyze and predict all your favorite TV series and their chances with the Television Academy (at least at this time of publishing).  The series examines the shows and performances about their awards potential, most notably the Emmy Awards.  Emmy nomination voting opens June 10 and closes on June 24.  The official Emmy nominations will be announced on Tuesday, July 16 while the ceremony airs on FOX Sunday, Sept. 22.  All Emmy pieces run with the following schedule: Mondays (Dramas), Tuesdays (Network Spotlight), Wednesdays (Comedies), Thursdays (Network Spotlight), Fridays (Limited Series, Variety Series, Below-the Lines).

COMEDY CONTENDERS

Two of the CW’s landmark comedies come to an end this year. Both “Jane the Virgin” and “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend” helped to amplify the CW’s audience reach. Their critical and commercial success helped brand the CW as more than just a network for teen shows. Even with Critics Choice and Golden Globe nominations and wins, neither were able to make it into the Primetime Emmys ceremony. Will this last year do the trick for either of those series?

“Crazy Ex-Girlfriend,” which has already wrapped, delighted fans with a strong, song-filled departure. The show’s Emmy history ranged from four nominations and two wins in the first season to a complete shutout last year. This year, sentiment should get the show back into categories its excelled in before, such as Original Music and Lyrics, Choreography, and Single camera Picture Editing. Another additional boost could come in the form of the finale special. If submitted, “Yes, It’s Really Us Singing: The Crazy Ex-Girlfriend Concert Special!” could be a formidable player in the Variety Special race. 

“Jane the Virgin” was the CW’s first critical success and awards player back when the first season aired in 2014. Gina Rodriguez’s win at the Golden Globes and passionate speech kicked off what was sure to be a strong Emmy play. Unfortunately, Rodriguez was snubbed at the Emmys that year. Despite plenty of precursor and critical support, the show was only nominated in the Narration category. With five seasons of either receiving zero or one nomination, it seems unlikely that the show will do better in its final season, at least in the primetime categories. However, as the show wraps up, it might be able to corral some support for support in the Creative Arts Emmy categories.

DRAMA CONTENDERS

With the CW’s Drama entries, the network seems more concerned with being a ratings hit than an awards players. The lineup is stacked with a number of teen focused dramas and superhero fare. This plays well with its target demographic, but doesn’t have a strong history of connecting with the Emmys.

Among reboots, the original “Dynasty” managed 28 nominations during its original run. The nominations ranged from acting (Joan Collins, John Forsythe, Linda Evans, etc.) to craft elements. This past year, however, the CW’s version of the series was shut out at the Emmys. Now on Fridays, the show has seen its ratings decrease. While the pilot received an estimated 1.26 million viewers, this season’s premiere only met roughly 0.64 million viewers. The other two reboots on the CW – “Charmed” and “Roswell, New Mexico” – stand even less of a chance. Neither of the original series ever received Emmy nominations and the trend will likely continue with their modern iterations.

Back in the day, “Smallville” would sneak into the Sound Editing and Visual Effects races. Could this mean fellow superhero shows “Arrow,” “Black Lightning,” “The Flash,” “DC’s Legends of Tomorrow” or “Supergirl” could follow in its footsteps? Only “The Flash” has managed a prior nomination (Visual Effects in 2015). It’s possible that one of these shows might sneak in again. However, it’s far from probable.

None of the CW’s new dramas look strong enough to crack into the drama series lineup. “All American,” “Burden of Truth, “In the Dark,” “Legends,” and “The Outpost” all sport mixed to good reviews. However, if rapturous reception for “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend” and “Jane the Virgin” weren’t enough to earn them nominations, these other series won’t make the cut.

Other CW favorites looking to make the Emmys lineup include “The 100,” “iZombie,” “Riverdale,” and “Supernatural.” Both “The 100” and “Supernatural” have been up for one and four Emmys, respectively. For “The 100” that last nomination came in 2014 for Special Visual Effects. Meanwhile, “Supernatural” hasn’t seen a nomination since 2008’s Sound Editing nomination. The rest came during its WB years.

VARIETY CONTENDERS

We talked earlier how the “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend” special, “Yes, It’s Really Us Singing: The Crazy Ex-Girlfriend Concert Special!” could be a player in the Variety categories. However, there are other CW acquisitions that could make a play in Variety.

The strongest contender looks to be “Who’s Line Is It Anyway?” The improv show saw success when it was on ABC. The show received five nominations from 2001 – 2003, with four of them coming in Outstanding Individual Performance in a Variety or Music Program. Wayne Brady finally won this category in 2003. Granted, that category ended in 2008. However, if voters are interested in the series it may be able to break back into Technical Direction.

Other Variety programs include “Penn & Teller: Fool Us” and “Masters of Illusion.”

AWARDS HISTORY AND PRECURSORS

To date, the CW has racked up 18 Creative Arts Emmy nominations since 2007. However, the network has never broken in to any of the Primetime Emmy categories. That’s not without having the goods or significant Emmy buzz. For two consecutive years, CW’s female-led shows won Best Actress in a Comedy Series from the Golden Globes. Gina Rodriguez brought tears to the audience in 2015 when she won for “Jane the Virgin.” The next year, Rachel Bloom pulled an upset and won for the first season of “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend,” the CW’s ambitious musical show. However, neither of them were able to repeat at the Emmys. The bias against CW, which was known before for teen shows like “Smallville” and “Supernatural” still persists.

Of all of the CW shows, “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend” has performed the best at the Emmys, though that isn’t saying much. The show earned four nominations and two wins in 2016 for its first season. This includes wins for Single camera Picture Editing and Choreography. However, the following year, the show only managed a nomination for Outstanding Music and Lyrics, a category it also contended for in 2016. “Jane the Virgin,” meanwhile, has only been nominated in the Outstanding Narrator category in 2015 and 2016 for Anthony Mendez.

The majority of the other nominations were in the Sound Editing and Special Visual Effects categories for shows like “Smallville,” “Supernatural,” “The 100,” “Nikita,” “The Originals,” and “The Flash.” However, these nominations are far from guaranteed, especially considering the CW’s crop of large scale superhero fare.

THE NETWORK CONCLUSION

The CW still hasn’t had their breakthrough with the Emmys, in terms of Primetime nominations. With its flagship shows airing their final seasons this year, there is the possibility they may get noticed. However, that notice may come in the form of more craft nominations than anything above the line. “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend” stands the best chance to benefit from its final season, particularly if its special is submitted in the Variety category.

What do you think of The CW’s chances at the Emmys? Let us know in the comments.

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