Emmy noms pit niche fare against mainstream

LOS ANGELES — “This Is Us.” And that is them.

When Emmy nominations were announced Thursday, one side of the TV coin hinted that broadcast’s cultural relevance might be staging a comeback. This was thanks largely to the 11 nods granted NBC’s “This Is Us,” which broke out last fall as something no one had seen in years: a hit mainstream family drama that had everybody talking (and sometimes choking up) while critics swooned.

The show’s hold on the nation’s hearts and eyeballs was further demonstrated by Emmy nominations that include those for best drama series, two for lead actor, and two more for best supporting actor and supporting actress.

NBC also scored mightily with its 22 nominations for “Saturday Night Live,” which, flourishing in the politically charged Age of Donald Trump, tied with HBO’s exotic thriller “Westworld” for most nominations.

In all, NBC landed 64 nominations, vaulting far ahead of fellow broadcast networks ABC with 34, CBS with 29 and Fox’s 21.

Even so, HBO, as usual, claimed first place with 110 nods, while streaming service Netflix had a robust 91.

That represents the other side of the coin, both in the TV universe overall, and, more specifically, for the Emmys, where broad-based, popular programs must vie with niche and premium programming for Emmy love. (The awards-cast is scheduled to air Sept. 17 on CBS, with Stephen Colbert as host.)