Emmys Post-Show: Fans Call Major Categories
The 2019 Emmys happened last night, with the destination of most of the major awards underlining the extent to which streaming services have come to dominate the small screen. In an increasingly fragmented, unbundled environment for TV, we examined the level of interest in the awards in the week leading up to the Emmys show, compared to the reaction during and after the show. Given the high number of awards, we limited our analysis to the nominees for best series, best actor and actress and best supporting actor and actress in both comedy and drama.
Did chatter on social media predict the correct winners? We compared to pre-show data with post-show data (and winners) to find out.
Outstanding Comedy Series
2019 Winner: Fleabag
Phoebe Waller-Bridges’ Fleabag enjoyed something of a breakout evening, taking home four Emmys, including Outstanding Comedy Series, despite going up against the final season of long-time Emmy darling Veep. In the week leading up to the show, there was little to separate five of the leading contenders for this award, but Fleabag dominated the conversation during and after the ceremony.
Outstanding Drama Series
Winner: Game of Thrones
Despite widespread unhappiness with the GoT finale among hardcore fans, the destination of this award was never really in serious doubt. The final season of Game of Thrones was the most-talked-about of the nominees leading up to the event, and continued to dominate the conversation throughout the night as well–in no small part because of the number of awards it was nominated for, making it a constant source of conversation.
Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series
Winner: Bill Hader, Barry
Having taken home the award for the second successive year, it’s no surprise to find that Bill Hader gained the most positive mentions of all nominees for Outstanding Lead Actor in Comedy Series in the week leading up to the event–or that he dominated the post-show buzz as well. Despite not winning the Emmy, Blackish star Anthony Anderson jumped from fourth- to second-most-talked about nominee in this category during the show, largely thanks to his participation in a well-received skit to open the hostless show.
Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series
Winner: Phoebe Waller-Bridge, Fleabag
Not content with just winning awards for writing, producing and directing Fleabag, Phoebe Waller-Bridge also took home the award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series. Going into the evening, Waller-Bridge had received around a third fewer positive comments than Veep’s Julia Louis-Dreyfus, but ended up as one of the most-talked-about stars of the evening. Louis-Dreyfus, meanwhile, continued to be the focus of glowing commentary as she brought down the curtain on the career of her Veep character, Selina Meyer.
Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series
Winner: Billy Porter, Pose
Pose star Billy Porter made history by becoming the first openly gay black man to win the award for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series. In the process, Porter went from being the most-talked-about nominee in the category leading up to the show, to the most-talked-about award winner of the entire evening. A number of factors combined to make that happen, including the historic nature of Porter’s win, a highly distinctive outfit, and a striking line in his acceptance speech (“the category is love, y’all”).
Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series
Winner: Jodie Comer, Killing Eve
In what turned out to be an excellent night for the British TV industry, Killing Eve actress Jodie Comer took home the award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series. Going up against co-star Sandra Oh and GoT’s Emilia Clarke, Comer was not widely regarded as a favorite heading into the awards–as can be seen by the number of positive mentions each of the actresses received. In the aftermath of the event, however, Comer did emerge as the most-talked-about actress in the category–although Clarke also had a strong night, fueled in part by a much-retweeted piece of praise she uttered on the red carpet for Jennifer Lopez.
Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series
Winner: Peter Dinklage, Game of Thrones
Heading into the show, the buzz around this award was concentrated on the three Game of Thrones actors nominated for it–Peter Dinklage, Alfie Allen, and Nikolaj Coster-Waldau. While there was little between the three in terms of positive mentions leading up to the show, Dinklage’s fourth Emmy win saw him dominate the conversation during and after the show.
Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series
Winner: Julia Garner, Ozark
In another category where the nominee pool was dominated by GoT cast members, it was Ozark’s Julia Garner who took home the award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series. However, despite winning the Emmy, Garner did not make much of an impact in the social media sphere during her win. Of the nominees, Gwendoline Christine (who played Brienne of Tarth in GoT) garnered the most attention on the night, sporting a dress that some commentators likened to “Jesus Christ cosplay”. Christie’s co-stars–Sophie Turner, Lena Headey, and Maisie Williams–also outranked Garner for positive mentions on the night.
In the final analysis, the majority of categories we looked at saw the favorites–at least in pre-show chatter–take home the gongs. However, the 2019 Emmys also underlined how much a sense of attachment to a well-loved character or show can drive conversation leading into the awards. To wit: the final seasons of Game of Thrones and Veep drove the majority of conversations across many of the categories but, best drama and serial winner Peter Dinklage aside, failed to capture any of the other awards we looked at, despite strong positive sentiment from viewers.
Want more data-driven insights on the biggest events? Read our debrief blog on last week’s Democratic debate, check out our data-driven analysis of the new partnership between the NFL and Reddit, or read our Story of a Hashtag blog post to learn more about the rise of #MoscowMitch.