EXCLUSIVE: Once again HBO’s Veep was triumphant as Best Comedy Series for the third year in row as well as winning Best Lead Actress in a Comedy Series for Julia Louis-Dreyfus for a record-setting sixth year in a row, but based on sources all the indications are that the streak will end here. We hear on good authority that Veep ‘s seventh and final season will not air in time to be eligible for the 2018 Emmy show. Production on the final ten episodes is set to begin in October, but at this point plans don’t include a debut before the May 31st eligibility cutoff date for the next Emmy cycle. HBO couldn’t confirm this as the official scheduling has yet to take place, but it appears likely.
The absence of Veep, which has been a juggernaut at these awards for several seasons will come as welcome news for other comedy series looking to get into the winners circle, especially Comedy Lead Actress which Louis-Dreyfus has owned since 2012. Last night she broke the record for consecutive wins playing the same character with her sixth straight victory. In her acceptance speech Louis-Dreyfus announced that the seventh season would indeed be the finale and joked writers had considered an impeachment storyline but dropped it thinking others might “get to it first” before they could make it to the air. The apparent delayed airdate for season seven makes that statement even more prescient.
Veep isn’t the only one of this year’s major series nominees that we aren’t likely to hear from on the next Emmy show. AMC’s Better Call Saul also will not air a new cycle of episodes in time for the eligibility cutoff informed sources told me this weekend. The plan at this point for the series is not to debut again for its fourth season until September, 2018. Although it was blanked at last night’s ceremony it was nominated for eight Emmys including Outstanding Drama Series and Lead Actor for Bob Odenkirk, and has been in those same categories for each of its first three seasons.
This irregular pattern of premiere dates for Emmy favorites is not new. HBO’s Game Of Thrones, which won the Best Drama Series Emmy along with several others last year and the year before, sat out this year’s contest because of its summer season debut which rendered it ineligible.That opened up the seven horse field to include five new series including The Handmaid’s Tale which took over as the current champ in Best Drama Series. Thrones is already eligible to return to the Emmy race in 2018. Saul’s predecessor Breaking Bad also skipped an Emmy year in 2011 only to come roaring back to life in the race for the next three seasons.