Queens, nerds, and feel-good fam­i­lies vie for Emmy crown

Sunday Times (Sri Lanka) - - INTERNATIONAL - By Jill Ser­jeant

LOS AN­GE­LES, ( Reuters) - A Bri­tish queen, a group of nerdy kids, a de­fi­ant hand­maiden and a heart- tug­ging trio of sib­lings vie for the top prize on Sun­day when the Prime­time Emmy Awards will crown the best in a boom­ing era of tele­vi­sion.

The tele­vi­sion in­dus­try, al­ready dis­rupted by stream­ing plat­forms Net­flix Inc and Ama­zon. com Inc, is on edge.

A drama series Emmy for Net­flix's su­per­nat­u­ral mys­tery “Stranger Things” or its royal series “The Crown,” or Hulu's ter­ri­fy­ing “The Hand­maid's Tale,” would mark the big­gest break­through in the tele­vi­sion in­dus­try so far for a stream­ing ser­vice.

Hold­ing out hope for tra­di­tional broad­cast­ers is Com­cast- owned NBC's emo­tional fam­ily drama “This Is Us,” which would be the first drama series from one of the four main U. S. broad­cast­ers to take home the Emmy since thriller “24” in 2006.

“It's like the last gasp of broad­cast­ing in the top Emmy race,” said vet­eran awards watcher Tom O'Neil, founder of gold­derby.com.

“This Is Us” also has act­ing nods for stars Ster­ling K. Brown, Chrissy Metz and Milo Ven­timiglia.

Elis­a­beth Moss looks a sure bet for play­ing a woman forced into sex­ual servi­tude in “The Hand­maid's Tale,” which would mark the first big award for Hulu, a joint ven­ture be­tween Time Warner Inc, Walt Dis­ney Co, Fox and Com­cast Corp.

HBO's two- time Emmy champ “Game of Thrones” is out of the run­ning this year be­cause of a later broad­cast date for its sev­enth sea­son.

Sun­day's cer­e­mony in Los An­ge­les is also likely to fea­ture a slew of fa­mil­iar faces on the win­ner's podium as A-list stars flock to the cre­ative free­dom of­fered by stream­ing and ca­ble tele­vi­sion.

Robert De Niro is com­pet­ing for his first Emmy for his role as dis­graced fi­nancier Bernard Mad­off in HBO's “The Wizard of Lies.” Ni­cole Kid­man's bat­tered wife in HBO's “Big Lit­tle Lies” is seen as lead­ing the field in the lim­ited series cat­e­gory that fea­tures three other Os­car win­ners: Reese Wither­spoon ( also for “Big Lit­tle Lies “), and “Feud” stars Su­san Saran­don and Jes­sica Lange.

“This is the bat­tle of the Os­car queens,” said O'Neil.

Sev­eral records are up for grabs on Sun­day. Ju­lia Louis- Drey­fus looks headed for a sixth win as a self- ab­sorbed pres­i­den­tial loser in HBO's “Veep,” which is also fa­vorite to win best com­edy series for a third year.

At 13 years old, Mil­lie Bobby Brown, the break­out sup­port­ing star of the young cast of “Stranger Things,” could be­come the youngest per­son to win a Prime­time Emmy for act­ing.

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