Emmys 2019: 'When They See Us' poised to win big at this year's Primetime Emmy Awards

Ava Duvernay's four-part miniseries about The Exonerated Five has been nominated for 16 awards this year, spread across acting, directing, writing and Outstanding Limited Series.


                            Emmys 2019: 'When They See Us' poised to win big at this year's Primetime Emmy Awards

In May 2019, Netflix dropped the four-part miniseries, 'When They See Us', Ava Duvernay's gutwrenching story of the five African-American boys wrongly convicted for the rape of a white woman jogging through Central Park. Kevin Richardson (Asante Blackk), Antron McCray (Caleel Harris), Yusef Salaam (Ethan Herisse), Korey Wise (Jharrel Jerome), and Raymond Santana (Marquis Rodriguez) were interrogated through unlawful means and convicted in separate cases, with all of them except Korey Wise receiving maximum terms for juveniles; Korey Wise was tried and convicted as an adult being 16 years old. 

Within its first month, the show had garnered over 23 million viewers according to Netflix and at this year's Primetime Emmy Awards, the show is up for 16 awards, including Outstanding Limited Series, Outstanding Writing for a Limited Series, Movie, or Dramatic Special, Outstanding Directing for a Limited Series, Movie, or Dramatic Special, and multiple nominations for across the four awards for acting. In the category for Outstanding Limited Series, 'When They See Us' is up against HBO shows 'Chernobyl' and 'Sharp Objects'. While 'Chernobyl' stands to be a strong favorite for the win, 'When They See Us' is a strong contender and benefits from its wide impact.

Should the drama fail to win for Outstanding Limited Series, Ava Duvernay and the actors of 'When They See Us' could take home the awards for the show. With eight awards across the actors for lead actor, lead actress, supporting actor and supporting actress in a limited series or movie, the probability for one of the actors to win remains high. While Jharrel Jerome will be competing against powerhouse actors such as Mahershala Ali and Benicio del Toro, the young actor could potentially win his first Emmy award for his heartbreaking performance as Korey Wise. In the category of Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Limited Series or Movie, three actors from the show have been nominated: Asante Blackk, John Leguizamo (as Raymond Santana Sr., one of the fathers of the convicted five), and Michael K. Williams (as Bobby McCray, Anton's father). The strong favorite to win in this category is Michael K. Williams, whose performance as the grieving father, Bobby through different stages of the 'Central Park Five' trial has moved the hearts of many.



 

The big winner of the night for the show may, of course, be Ava Duvernay, for whom the whole journey started with a tweet. Duvernay has been nominated for directing and writing the four-part series and could most likely win in both or either of those categories. 

The series has been nominated for multiple Creative Emmy awards as well including casting, cinematography, music composition, sound editing, and sound mixing. In most of these categories, 'When They See Us' is up against the other usual suspects this year: 'Chernobyl', 'True Detective', and 'Deadwood: The Movie'. While votes may be split between the actors due to multiple nominations from the show in the same category, 'When They See Us' would most definitely take home multiple Creative Emmy awards this year.

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