Having aired in June, the current third season of Hulu’s The Handmaid’s Tale may not be eligible for Emmys, but nonetheless, due to the Academy’s ‘hanging episode’ rule, Season 2 has 11 nominations this year.
The rule means that while the final three episodes of Season 2 fell outside of the Emmy eligibility window for 2018, they are eligible this time around—but only for individual achievements, since the show as a whole is not in contention. While this has worked out well for Handmaid’s this time, submitting episodes that aired a year earlier is no one’s ideal scenario.
However, from 2019 onward a new rule will make it easier for shows to include their hanging episodes in the year that they aired—so long as they had six of them out on the same contiguous platform by the eligibility cut-off date of May 31st. The Academy changed hanging episode eligibility from “airing prior to the nomination-round voting deadline” to “airing prior to the start of nomination-round voting.”
The ‘hanging episodes’ however must still air within the month of June to qualify, a factor which, if it had been in effect last year, wouldn’t have applied to Handmaid’s three episodes anyway, since they aired in July.
Handmaid’s 11 nominations include widely-predicted nods for guest actress Cherry Jones for playing Holly Maddox (June’s mother) in episode 211, “Holly”, and for guest actor Bradley Whitford, who played Commander Joseph Lawrence in episode 212, “Postpartum”. Daina Reid snagged the directing nom for “Holly”, while Bruce Miller and Kira Snyder are nominated for writing the same episode. Additional nominations include two for cinematography, production design, sound mixing, costumes, editing and music composition.