For five years now, Silicon Valley executive producer Alec Berg has celebrated Emmy nominations day with multiple noms for the HBO series. Each year, they have included a writing for a comedy series nom and a best comedy series nom — shared with the rest of the show’s producing team — along with a directing mention in 2016. This year, Berg had a double reason for celebration — two noms for Silicon Valley, writing and best series — and two for Barry, the new HBO comedy he co-created with Bill Hader — writing (shared with Hader) and best series, shared with Hader and the rest of the show’s producers.
Berg’s double-double is pretty unprecedented — I can’t think of another writer-producer who has landed two best comedy series and two writing for a comedy series nominations for two different shows in the same year.
From what I can tell, Berg is also the first to get two individual writing for a comedy series Emmy nominations for two unrelated shows in the same year.
Before him, only David Lloyd scored a double comedy writing nominations in 1975 for The Mary Tyler Moore Show and Rhoda, but the latter was a spinoff from the former and Rhoda‘s nom was for the special hourlong wedding episode that was co-penned by the show’s seven writers.
As for best comedy series, there are only two other writing producers I can think of to have scored two noms the same year over the past 45 years, Norman Lear in 1973 for All In the Family and Maude, and Greg Daniels in 2011 for The Office and Parks & Recreation. (Lear and Daniels also scored one writing nomination each to go with their double series noms.)
Overall, Barry landed 13 Emmy nominations; Silicon Valley 7. Berg’s partner on Barry, Hader, also was an overachiever today with five nominations — four for the HBO show, lead actor in a comedy series, writing, directing and best comedy series — and one for his hosting of Saturday Night Live.
“Obviously I’m thrilled that both Barry and Silicon Valley got these nominations,” Berg, previous multiple Emmy nominee for Seinfeld and Curb Your Enthusiasm, told Deadline. “It’s great that members of the Academy feel they’re both worthy, and I’m over the moon so many talented people on both shows got recognized.”
While Berg is happy with the recognition for both shows, his double nominations did not come easy as he juggled production on Barry and Silicon Valley.
“In terms of doing both at the same time, all I can say is, mistakes were made,” Berg said.
“We had both rooms going at the same time on the Sony lot. I bought a bike so I could ride back and forth. It was a terrible way to live,” Berg said, quickly adding, “But I’m proud of the work we did, and what the hell do I have to complain about? Not everyone can say they lost to Atlanta twice in the same year.”
Berg indeed is not complaining. He’s back at it, continuing to work on both Barry and Silicon Valley, which both have been renewed for another season — second for Barry and sixth for Silicon Valley.