Streaming Series ‘The Crown,’ ‘The Mandalorian’ Top Emmy Awards Nominations

Streaming series dominated nominations for the 73rd Emmy Awards, with “The Crown” (Netflix) and “The Mandalorian” (Disney+) leading the pack, with 24 program nominations each, the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences announced July 13.

Awards were announced during a live virtual ceremony hosted by father-daughter duo Ron Cephas Jones (“This Is Us”) from Los Angeles and Jasmine Cephas Jones (“Blindspotting”) from New York, joined by Television Academy chairman and CEO Frank Scherma.

Other leading series nominees include Disney+ limited series “WandaVision,” with 23 noms; Hulu’s “The Handmaid’s Tale” and “Saturday Night Live,” each with 21; Apple TV+ comedy “Ted Lasso,” with 20;  HBO/HBO Max’s “Lovecraft Country” and Netflix’s “The Queen’s Gambit,” each with 18; and HBO’s “Mare of Easttown,” with 16. Less than two weeks earlier, HBO announced it would not renew “Lovecraft Country” for a second season.

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HBO/HBO Max garnered the most nominations, with 130. Netflix had the second-most nominations (129), with Disney+ at No. 3, with 71, and NBC in fourth place, with 46.

“Television has provided a lifeline for so many around the globe this year, delivering a constant source of entertainment, information and inspiration during some of our most difficult days,” Scherma said. “We are thrilled to honor the diversity of storytelling in television today by recognizing talented artists, programs, producers, directors and craftspeople throughout our industry and celebrating their commitment to this extraordinary medium.”

“Bridgerton,” “Lovecraft Country” and “The Boys” are new to the Outstanding Drama Series category, joining returning nominees “Pose,” “The Crown,” “The Mandalorian,” “This Is Us” and previous category winner “The Handmaid’s Tale.”

Seventy-five percent of this year’s nominees for Outstanding Comedy Series are new to the category, including “Cobra Kai,” “Emily in Paris,” “Hacks,” “Pen15,” “Ted Lasso” and “The Flight Attendant.” Returning favorites include “Black-ish” and “The Kominsky Method.”

In total, there were 44 first-time performer nominations across the lead, supporting, guest and short form categories this season.

Jonathan Majors, Josh O’Connor and Regé-Jean Page received their first-ever Emmy nominations for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series, joining previous Emmy winners in this category Sterling K. Brown, Billy Porter and Matthew Rhys. Emma Corrin, Jurnee Smollett and Mj Rodriguez received their first nominations for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series, while previous Emmy winner Uzo Aduba was nominated for the first time in this category. They were joined by returning nominee Olivia Colman and previous Emmy winner in this category Elisabeth Moss.

Kaley Cuoco received her first-ever Emmy nomination for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series, while previous Emmy winner Jean Smart and previous Emmy nominee Aidy Bryant were nominated for the first time in this category. They joined previous Emmy nominee Tracee Ellis Ross and Emmy winner Allison Janney. Jason Sudeikis received his first-ever Emmy nomination for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series, while previous Emmy winner Kenan Thompson was nominated for the first time in this category. They joined six-time nominee in the category Anthony Anderson, along with previous Emmy winners Michael Douglas and William H. Macy.

Individuals with multiple nominations this year included David Attenborough, Sterling K. Brown, Aidy Bryant, Bo Burnham, Steven Canals, Dave Chapelle, Michaela Coel, Jon Favreau, Derek Hough, Brendan Hunt, Maya Rudolph, Jean Smart, Jason Sudeikis and Kenan Thompson.

The complete list of Emmy nominations, as compiled by the independent accounting firm of Ernst & Young LLP, and other Academy news is available at Emmys.com.

The 73rd Emmy Awards will be hosted by Cedric the Entertainer. The Emmys will be broadcast on Sept. 19, 8-11 p.m. live ET and 5-8 p.m., live PT, on the CBS Television Network and will be available to stream live and on demand on Paramount+. The 2021 Creative Arts Awards will be broadcast on Sept. 18  at 8 p.m. ET/PT on FXX.

Merchandising: ‘Lovecraft Country’ Is Latest Best Buy Steelbook

For the new home video releases of Feb. 16, the most notable exclusive was another Best Buy Steelbook edition.

This week it’s the first season of HBO’s “Lovecraft Country” from Warner Bros. Home Entertainment. The $32.99 Steelbook includes all 10 episodes on three Blu-ray discs.

Based on the 2016 novel of the same name by Matt Ruff, the supernatural drama series follows Atticus Freeman (Jonathan Majors) as he joins up with his friend Leti (Jurnee Smollett) and his Uncle George (Courtney B. Vance) to embark on a road trip across 1950s Jim Crow America in search of his missing father, Montrose Freeman (Michael Kenneth Williams). This begins a struggle to survive and overcome both the racist terrors of white America and the terrifying monsters described in an H.P. Lovecraft paperback.

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Walmart stocked an exclusive $19.96 Stephen King 6-Film Collection DVD, from Sony Pictures, containing the movies Apt Pupil, Bag of Bones, Christine, The Dark Tower, Secret Widow and Stand By Me.

 

‘Monster Hunter,’ ‘Horizon Line’ Top New Disc, Digital Releases Available Feb. 16

Monster Hunter, from Sony Pictures, and Universal Pictures’ Horizon Line top the slate of new releases available for home viewing beginning Feb. 16.

Also newly available for home audiences are several season sets of popular TV series, including “Lovecraft Country” and “Harley Quinn,” both from Warner Bros. — as well as several PBS programs.

Monster Hunter becomes available for digital sellthrough on Feb. 16, ahead of its March 2 release on Blu-ray Disc, DVD and 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray.

The film, based on the video game franchise, stars Milla Jovovich as Capt. Artemis, whose unit is caught in a sandstorm that transports them to a world ruled by dangerous and powerful monsters. As they fight to survive, they encounter the mysterious Hunter (Tony Jaa), whose unique skills allow him to stay one step ahead of the powerful creatures. Also in the cast are Tip “T.I.” Harris, Meagan Good, Diego Boneta, Josh Helman, Jin Au-Yeung and Ron Perlman.

Directed by Paul W.S. Anderson, Monster Hunter earned $11.1 million at the domestic box office.

Home video extras include deleted scenes and the featurettes “The Monster Hunters: Cast and Characters,” “Monstrous Arsenal: Weaponry in the Film” and “For the Players: From Game to Screen.”

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The thriller Horizon Line is being released Feb. 16 on Blu-ray Disc and DVD. The film was released earlier through digital retailers. Horizon Line follows a former couple, Sara (Allison Williams) and Jackson (Alexander Dreymon), as they board a single-engine plane for a quick flight to their friend’s wedding on a tropical island. When their pilot suffers a fatal heart attack, the two find themselves in a predicament, since neither knows how to fly, or land, a plane. Making things worse is an approaching storm.

Also out Feb. 16 are Lovecraft Country: The Complete First Season, on Blu-ray Disc, DVD and digital, and Harley Quinn: The Second Season, on DVD and digital. Warner Archive is making available a bundle of the first two “Harley Quinn” seasons on Blu-ray Disc.

“Lovecraft Country” is a drama series developed by Misha Green, based on Matt Ruff’s 2016 novel of the same name. It follows a young Black man who travels across the United States in the pre-Civil Rights movement 1950s in search of his father. He and his companions touch down in a small town fictionalized by famed horror writer H.P. Lovecraft as the setting for many of his dark stories. The series premiered in August 2020 on HBO.

“Harley Quinn” is an adult animated series based on the DC Comics character of the same name created by Paul Dini and Bruce Timm. The second season premiered in April 2020; a third season was greenlit last September and is bound for HBO Max.

Also available beginning Feb. 16 on DVD and through digital retailers are four new releases from PBS Distribution: American Masters: Laura Ingalls Wilder — Prairie to Page; Nova: Saving Notre Dame; Miss Scarlet & the Duke (Masterpiece Mystery); and Masterpiece: The Long Song.

A complete list of new disc and digital releases, compiled each week by the Media Play News market research team, can be found here.

HBO’s ‘Lovecraft Country’ Due on Blu-ray and DVD Feb. 16

Warner Bros. Home Entertainment will release Lovecraft Country: The Complete First Season on Blu-ray Disc and DVD Feb. 16 (order date Jan. 12).

Based on the 2016 novel of the same name by Matt Ruff, the supernatural drama series follows Atticus Freeman (Jonathan Majors) as he joins up with his friend Leti (Jurnee Smollett) and his Uncle George (Courtney B. Vance) to embark on a road trip across 1950s Jim Crow America in search of his missing father, Montrose Freeman (Michael Kenneth Williams). This begins a struggle to survive and overcome both the racist terrors of white America and the terrifying monsters described in an H.P. Lovecraft paperback.

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The “Lovecraft Country” Blu-ray and DVD will include all 10 hourlong episodes, plus several featurettes, including “Crafting Lovecraft Country,” “Exploring Lovecraft Country” and “Lovecraft Country The Craft,” plus all-new extras “Compendium of Horrors” and “Orithyia Blue and the Imagination of Diana Freeman.”

The show is available now through digital retailers.

HBO Max Bows VR Events for New ‘Lovecraft Country’ Series

To promote new original series “Lovecraft Country,” HBO Sept. 1 announced it is launching a series of virtual reality (VR) companion events, dubbed “Lovecraft Country: Sanctum.” The promotions transporting fans into a virtual world inspired by the show. The series, which launched Aug. 16, airs Sundays at 9:00 p.m. ET/PT on HBO and is available to stream on HBO Max.

“Lovecraft Country” is a horror drama television series set in 1950s Jim Crow America developed by Misha Green based on the 2016 novel of the same name by Matt Ruff. It stars Jurnee Smollett and Jonathan Majors, among others, and is executive produced by J.J Abrams (Star Wars: The Force Awakens, “Westworld”) and Jordan Peele (Get Out, Us).

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The VR events, which begin Sept. 3, will enable selected users to experience three events consisting of immersive theater, escape rooms, art installations, puzzles and a live concert, via the Oculus Quest headset, all inspired by the series. The events will be simultaneously run on the social platform VRChat, which allows participants to talk and interact with each other in real time within the environment, and streamed via YouTube Live.

“We were very inspired by the deeply layered and dynamic world Misha Green has brought to life in [the series] and wanted to create a digital experience for fans that is just as innovative,” Dana Flax, VP of program marketing at HBO, said in a statement.

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Flax said much of the TV show is rooted in the idea of travel as a catalyst for self-discovery. And the VR experience provides a way for fans of the show to come together virtually and safely in a unique new place and experience incredible performances that further explore themes and ideas from the show.

“These virtual events also give us the special opportunity of spotlighting the work of black artists in celebration of this very important series,” Flax said.

VR participants will experience voiceover performances by series’ Majors, Courtney B. Vance and Michael Kenneth Williams; afrofuturist art installations by David Alabo, Devan Shimoyama and Adeyemi Adegbesan; a theatrical performance inspired by the words of James Baldwin, adapted by series writer Shannon Houston, and performed by Jurnee Smollett; and an exclusive VR concert given by a soon to be announced artist.

Sanctum was developed in partnership with HBO by creative production partner and experience studio The Mill, whose team of artists, coders and strategists developed the experience during global lockdown, in close collaboration with HBO’s marketing team.

“We created Sanctum as a space to expand the possibilities of what the future of theatre, games, art installations, concerts, and live events can be, said Rama Allen, executive creative director at The Mill and lead creative on the Sanctum experience.

Allen said the promotion seeks to create a space in partnership with black artists and voices that centers on the black experience.

“We chose social VR because it is the most transportive medium to lift us from the isolation of quarantine, to coexist in a rarefied location,” he said. “This technology can erase geography to bring us together.”