“It was a good night,” Casey Bloys, Chairman and CEO of HBO and Max Content, said after the Emmy ceremony, and not only because HBO/Max topped the list of networks and platforms with 31 wins across 11 series.
“Especially, I will say after the year this entire industry has gone through, it was nice to be back and celebrating artists and giving out awards,” he said. “So it was good night.”
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What Bloys was referring to is the reason the Emmys were held in January vs. their traditional September berth — the double WGA and SAG-AFTRA strikes that paused Hollywood production and talent promotional activities for more than six months combined.
The bulk of HBO’s wins this year were in the drama field, which the network dominated, sweeping the major categories at both the main telecast and the Creative Arts Emmys, paced by Monday night’s six awards for the final season of Succession, including Outstanding Drama Series; eight last week for rookie The Last of Us, including the two drama guest actor categories; and five total for The White Lotus in its move from limited series, including a second consecutive Emmy for Jennifer Coolidge who took home the only drama Emmy that did not go to Succession.
“Of course I’m happy about it. I’m happy to see [creator] Jesse [Armstrong] recognized and the actors in Succession,” Bloys said. “I was very happy also to see The Last of Us after its first season do so well in the Emmy race.”
Bloys quickly dismissed concerns about HBO’s Emmy future post-Succession, the network’s most heralded series over the past couple of years.
“The Last of Us winning eight Emmys, and White Lotus casting up for another great season; I’m sure it will be just fine,” he said, referencing the string of high-profile castings for the new season of White Lotus, which include Leslie Bibb, Carrie Coon, Jason Isaacs, Michelle Monaghan and Parker Posey.
HBO held four of the eight nomination slots in the Outstanding Drama Series category with Succession, The Last Of Us, White Lotus and House of the Dragon. The last three — all young shows in their first or second season — will all be back in Emmy contention. Unfortunately, because of strike-related delays, their new seasons will not be ready for this year’s Emmys; they will be in 2025 consideration when another HBO drama awards favorite, Euphoria, will also finally make a return.
“Next year will be a weird year; because of the strikes a lot of things got pushed out but as I always say with Emmys, they’re very nice. It’s nice to be nominated, it’s really nice to win but it’s not why we do the shows,” Bloys said, listing some of HBO’s top Emmy contenders this year. “We’ve got True Detective with Jodie Foster, and wait til you see Kate Winslet in The Regime and Robert Downey Jr. in The Sympathizer. We’ve done a lot of really, really great and cool shows I’m excited about.”
“And Gilded Age,” Bloys added. “I need Gay Twitter to come out and support Gilded Age.”
Julian Fellowes’ costume drama, which has developed a devoted queer following, recently landed its first major nomination for Season 2 — the one that is in 2024 Emmy contention — for SAG Award Drama Ensemble. The series starring Carrie Coon spent the last year on the bubble, facing a possible cancellation. With solid Season 2 viewership, it was just renewed for a third season, which will start filming in June-July.
Bloys also would love to see the final season of Larry David’s Curb Your Enthusiasm get Emmy love this year.
“I really hope so because, especially when a show like Curb comes to an end, people tend to look back at the real achievement; Larry and the cast doing this show for as long as they have — over 20 years 12 seasons — is a real achievement. So I hope people will take a look at it and honor it for what it is.”
Bloys teased the upcoming installments of White Lotus, The Last of Us and Euphoria.
“White Lotus I’m crazy about,” he said. “They’re getting started in a couple of weeks.”
He revealed that his reaction to the scripts by The White Lotus writer/director Mike White was similar to that of the only returning cast member, Natasha Rothwell.
“I think Natasha Rothwell was saying in an interview that every script she read, she just gasped out loud. I would concur with that,” Bloys said. “Mike is a really unique and singular voice, and I’m excited for people to see what he has in store.”
Bloys will get to witness some of that firsthand as he plans to visit the Thailand set of Season 3 in the spring.
There is no production date set yet for Season 3 of the Zendaya starrer Euphoria “because there’s a lot of schedules that we have to align.”
But creator Sam Levinson “is busy writing.”
Bloys has read three scripts so far. “Sam is an incredibly talented writer; he’s got a lot in store for these characters, and I’m excited,” he said.
Of The Last of Us Season 2, which starts production in Canada in February, Bloys has read five scripts.
“It’s great,” Bloys said about next season. “It is bigger, gets into questions of retribution and revenge, it follows the video game but has big themes, big action. [Creators] Craig [Mazin], Neil [Druckmann] and the team are doing a spectacular job.”
Summing up the Emmys, “I was happy to see, from an industrywide perspective all the shows, The Bear, getting recognized and everybody doing really well. It was a fun night.”
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