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July 18, 2017
Music Emmy Nominees Announced
Many first-timers; new music supervision category added by Jon Burlingame

NORTH HOLLYWOOD, Calif.—More than half of this year's Emmy nominees in the music categories are first-timers for the Television Academy honors – in part because this marks the first year that music supervisors are eligible.

Music supervisors, the people who help to find and clear songs for use in TV and movies, have long fought for awards recognition, especially in television. The first nominees in the Outstanding Music Supervision category are for work on AMC's Better Call Saul, HBO's Big Little Lies and Girls, and Netflix's Master of None and Stranger Things.

Said Thomas Golubic, a veteran music supervisor who was recognized for Better Call Saul: "The Television Academy very generously brought us into their fold and, through [music-branch governors] Michael Levine and Rickey Minor's support and encouragement, this award has become a wonderful vehicle for celebrating the work of music supervisors everywhere. For a very long time we have struggled to do top-tier work in relative obscurity. Now a light is shining on our collective achievements and I am proud to share that spotlight with my community."

His music-supervision colleagues up for this first Emmy are Susan Jacobs for Big Little Lies; Manish Raval, Jonathan Leahy and Tom Wolfe for Girls; Zach Cowie and Kerri Drootin for Master of None; and Nora Felder for Stranger Things.

The Academy earlier this year expanded the number of music categories to six to accomodate the supervisors. The other five are for the creation of original music and original songs, and for music direction on shows involving the music of multiple composers or arrangers.

Three musicians scored double nominations this year: English composer Martin Phipps, for the theme and score for Victoria on PBS's Masterpiece; Mac Quayle (last year's winner for the music of Mr. Robot), for theme and score for FX's Feud: Bette and Joan; and Rickey Minor, for his music direction on both CBS's Stayin' Alive: A Grammy Salute to the Music of the Bee Gees and ABC's Taking the Stage: African American Music and Stories That Changed America.

The music-composition categories are a mixture of veterans and newcomers. In Composition for a Series, British composers Rupert Gregson-Williams (Netflix's The Crown); Phipps, Ruth Barrett and Natalie Holt (PBS's Victoria) and Max Richter (FX's Taboo) face off against Americans Jeff Beal (Netflix's House of Cards), Jacob Shea and Jasha Klebe (BBC America's Planet Earth II) and James Newton Howard (Netflix's A Series of Unfortunate Events). Both Beal and Howard are previous Emmy winners; the others are all Emmy newbies except for previous nominees Gregson-Williams and Phipps.

The longform category (called Composition for a Limited Series, Movie or Special) is unusual in that three of the six nominees are documentaries: Jeremy Turner's music for Netflix's Five Came Back, Gary Lionelli's score for ESPN's O.J.: Made in America, and Patrick Jonsson's music for Netflix's The White Helmets. All three are receiving their first nominations in prime time (although Lionelli has three Sports Emmys).

Their competition includes Jeff Russo for FX's Fargo (his third nomination for the series), Quayle's music for Feud, and Rael Jones' score for Lifetime's film Suite Française. Jones, a British composer, previously received nominations in the music editing field.

Nominated for Main Title Theme Music: Quayle for Feud and Phipps for Victoria, plus Hans Zimmer and Lorne Balfe for NatGeo's Genius; David Buckley for CBS All Access's The Good Fight; Michael Stein and Kyle Dixon for Netflix's Stranger Things; and Ramin Djawadi's theme for HBO's Westworld. These are second nominations for Zimmer and Balfe, the fourth nomination for Djawadi (best known for his Game of Thrones music).

The Music Direction category showcases an especially diverse collection of shows and music. In addition to Minor's two nominations, there are two PBS shows: American Epic, with music direction by well-known artists Jack White and T Bone Burnett, Garbage bassist Duke Erikson and filmmaker Bernard MacMahon; and Joshua Bell: Seasons of Cuba, which aired on Live From Lincoln Center, music director David Lai. Veteran jazzman Tom Scott received his first Emmy nomination for NBC's Tony Bennett Celebrates 90: The Best Is Yet to Come, and in another Emmy first, musical direction for a Super Bowl Half-time event was cited: Michael Bearden's work on Lady Gaga's Super Bowl LI show.

Most of the nominees for Music and Lyrics (the song category) are returnees to the Emmy ceremony. Nominated are the writers for "We Tapped That Ass" on CW's Crazy Ex-Girlfriend (two-time winner Adam Schlesinger, Rachel Bloom, Jack Dolgen); "Jing-A-Ling-A-Ling" on Disney Channel's Duck the Halls: A Mickey House Christmas Special (Christopher Willis, Darrick Bachman, Paul Rudish); "The Ballad of Claus Jorstad (Devil Stool)" on ABC's Jimmy Kimmel Live (Jonathan Kimmel, Gary Greenberg); "Last Christmas" on NBC's Saturday Night Live (Eli Brueggemann, Chancelor Johnathan Bennett, Kenan Thompson, Will Stephen); "Letter to the Free" from Netflix's 13th (Common, Robert Glasper, Karriem Riggins); and "Hell No" from Netflix's Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt (nine-time winner Tina Fey, Jeff Richmond, Sam Means).

The surprise in the song category was the failure of songs by Broadway veterans to make it into the Emmy finals: Benj Pasek and Justin Paul's "Runnin' Home to You" from The Flash musical; and Alan Zachary and Michael Weiner's "Powerful Magic" from the Once Upon a Time musical episode.

The Creative Arts Emmy Awards and Ball will be held on Saturday and Sunday, September 9 and 10.

The full list of nominees follows:

Music Composition For A Series (Original Dramatic Score)
  • Rupert Gregson-Williams – The Crown, "Hyde Park Corner"
  • Jeff Beal – House of Cards, "Chapter 63"
  • Jacob Shea, Jasha Klebe – Planet Earth II, "Islands"
  • James Newton Howard – A Series of Unfortunate Events, "A Bad Beginning"
  • Max Richter – Taboo, "Episode 1"
  • Martin Phipps, Ruth Barrett, Natalie Holt – Victoria (Masterpiece), "Doll 123"
Music Composition for a Limited Series, Movie, or Special (Original Dramatic Score)
  • Jeff Russo – Fargo, "Aporia"
  • Mac Quayle – FEUD: Bette and Joan, "Pilot"
  • Jeremy Turner – Five Came Back, "The Price of Victory"
  • Gary Lionelli – OJ: Made in America, Part 3
  • Rael Jones – Suite Française
  • Patrick Jonsson – The White Helmets
Music Direction
  • Bernard MacMahon, Duke Erikson, Jack White, T Bone Burnett – American Epic, "The American Epic Sessions"
  • David Lai – Joshua Bell: Seasons of Cuba (Live from Lincoln Center)
  • Rickey Minor – Stayin' Alive: A Grammy Salute to The Music of The Bee Jees
  • Michael Bearden – Super Bowl LI Halftime Show Starring Lady Gaga
  • Rickey Minor – Taking the Stage: African American Music And Stories That Changed America
  • Tom Scott – Tony Bennett Celebrates 90: The Best Is Yet To Come
Original Music and Lyrics
  • Adam Schlesinger, Rachel Bloom, Jack Dolgen – Crazy Ex Girlfriend, "We Tapped That Ass"
  • Christopher Willis, Darrick Bachman, Paul Rudish – Duck the Halls: A Mickey Mouse Christmas Special, "Jing-A-Ling-A-Ling"
  • Jonathan Kimmel, Gary Greenberg – Jimmy Kimmel Live, "The Ballad of Claus Jorstad (Devil Stool)"
  • Eli Brueggemann, Chancelor Johnathan Bennett, Kenan Thompson, Will Stephen – Saturday Night Live, "Last Christmas"
  • Common, Robert Glasper, Karriem Riggins – 13th, "Letter to the Free"
  • Jeff Richmond, Tina Fey, Sam Means – Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, "Hell No"
Original Main Title Theme Music
  • Mac Quayle – FEUD: Bette and Joan
  • Hans Zimmer, Lorne Balfe – Genius
  • John David Buckley – The Good Fight
  • Michael Stein, Kyle Dixon – Stranger Things
  • Martin Phipps – Victoria (Masterpiece)
  • Ramin Djawadi – Westworld
Music Supervision
  • Thomas Golubic – Better Call Saul, "Sunk Costs"
  • Susan Jacobs – Big Little Lies, "You Get What You Need"
  • Manish Raval, Jonathan Leahy, Tom Wolfe – Girls, "Goodbye Tour"
  • Zach Cowie, Kerri Drootin – Master of None,"Amarsi Un Po"
  • Nora Felder – Stranger Things, "Chapter Two: The Weirdo on Maple Street"
©2017 Jon Burlingame

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