The Emmy Awards dominated Variety’s Trending TV chart for the week of Sept. 12 – 18, pulling in more than 18 million engagements — less than the Oscars (33 million engagements) and Grammys (57 million engagements), but more than the SAG Awards (4 million), which were all tracked for a shorter length of time.
“Succession,” “Ted Lasso” and “The White Lotus” took home the top prizes during the Sept. 12 ceremony on NBC. Historic wins from Sheryl Lee Ralph, Quinta Brunson, Zendaya and Lee Jung-jae, as well as memorable moments from winners Jennifer Coolidge and Lizzo ruled Twitter chatter.
This year’s Emmys marked the return to a full-scale production for the first time since 2019, but as Variety chief TV critic Daniel D’Addario noted in his review, “much of the production seemed strangely stuck in a hazy past.” Meanwhile, the broadcast, hosted by Kenan Thompson, earned all-time low ratings with an average of 5.92 million viewers.
HBO’s “House of the Dragon” was runner-up with 172,000 engagements — an increase of more than 70% week over week. Viewers who tuned into the fifth episode, “We Light the Way,” were quick to notice that a particular wedding scene was just as bloody as any wedding scene ever featured on “Game of Thrones.”
Given the comparisons, it’s no wonder that “Game of Thrones” also trended this week, pulling in at No. 10 with just over 34,000 engagements.
The “HotD” episode was also memorable as it was the final one of the season for stars Emily Carey and Milly Alcock as their respective characters, Alicent and Rhaenyra. Next week, Olivia Cooke and Emma D’Arcy take over the roles as the show is set to feature a 10-year time jump.
Coming in third place on this week’s chart was the fifth episode of MCU’s latest, “She-Hulk: Attorney at Law,” over at Disney+. “Mean, Green, and Straight Poured Into These Jeans” featured the return of Jameela Jamil as villain Titania. The character previously appeared in the final few minutes of the premiere. However, this was the first time viewers got a real glimpse into Titania’s mindset as well as her rivalry with Jen (Tatiana Maslany).
ABC’s mockumentary sitcom “Abbott Elementary” was just behind the comic book series, pulling in more than 62,000 engagements this week. While some of that action was thanks to a Television Critics Association panel with the cast and crew on Sept. 14, others shared the newly released Season 2 trailer online.
Another large source of chatter was the Emmy win by actor, scribe and recent Variety cover star Brunson, who took home the trophy for best writing in a comedy. It was the performer’s first win, and many fans were upset over a gag by presenter Jimmy Kimmel, who laid on the ground and pretended to be drunk for the duration of her acceptance speech. (Two days later, Brunson appeared on Kimmel’s late-night show and retaliated by interrupting his monologue in a comedic bit.)
“Entergalactic,” Netflix’s upcoming animated series from Kid Cudi and Kenya Barris, rounded out this week’s Top 5 thanks to the first official trailer release on Sept. 12. The series revolves around a passionate artist (Cudi, credited as Scott Mescudi), who moves into his dream apartment next door to love interest Meadow (Jessica Williams). Timothée Chalamet, Ty Dolla $ign, Laura Harrier, Vanessa Hudgens, Christopher Abbott, 070 Shake, Jaden Smith, Keith David, Teyana Taylor, Arturo Castro and Macaulay Culkin voice the supporting cast.
While fans were quick to share the trailer link and express excitement for the Sept. 30 release date, part of the conversation also revolved around Cudi’s “Entergalactic” album, which leaked two weeks early. Overall, the series earned nearly 56,000 engagements on Twitter.
Another Netflix show, “Cobra Kai,” came in sixth place with just over 53,000 engagements, down roughly 41% week over week. The fifth season dropped in full on the streaming service on Sept. 9, earning a 100% score on Rotten Tomatoes.
Although Netflix has yet to officially renew the show for a sixth season, the future was part of the conversation, fueled by co-creators Jon Hurwitz and Hayden Schlossberg, who revealed potential Season 6 plot points as well as spinoff ideas.
“Succession” seemed to contribute to the Emmys conversation after showrunner Jesse Armstrong took a dig at King Charles III during his acceptance speech for outstanding drama series. Star Brian Cox, who was nominated for best lead actor in a drama (but lost to Lee for his work in “Squid Game”) also fueled chatter by admitting he doesn’t want “Succession” to overstay its welcome like “Billions.” Overall, the HBO hit generated just over 43,000 engagements and landed in seventh place.
Rounding out this week’s Top 10 in eighth and ninth place were “Gutsy,” the Hillary and Chelsea Clinton docuseries that debuted on Sept. 9 to mixed reviews, and “Ted Lasso,” which also made a splash at the Emmys. The Apple TV+ shows pulled in 41,000 and 37,000 engagements, respectively.