These Netflix Specials Dominated the 2021 Emmy Nominations

The 2021 Emmy nominations have arrived, and two Netflix specials completely dominated the nominees. Unveiled on July 14 by Ron Cephas Jones and Jasmine Cephas Jones, Bo Burnham: Inside and Dave Chappelle's 8:46's combined 9 nominations helped Netflix reign supreme with a total of 129 nominations and also proved that the streaming service is a go-to resource for stand-up specials.

Released and recorded in July 2020 in the wake of George Floyd's murder, 8:46, which is the length of time former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin was filmed kneeling on Floyd's neck, found Chapelle discussing the experiences of Black Americans, including Floyd's murder and police brutality. The 27-minute monologue, filmed on June 6 in Yellow Springs, Ohio, immediately earned praise and garnered three Emmy nominations. The special is nominated for Outstanding Directing for a Variety Special (for Chappelle, who directed alongside Steven Bognar and Julia Reichert), Outstanding Writing for a Variety Special (for Chappelle), and Outstanding Variety Special. In the latter category, 8:46 is competing against David Byrne's American Utopia (HBO), Friends: The Reunion (HBO Max), A West Wing Special To Benefit When We All Vote (HBO Max), and fellow Netflix special Bo Burnham: Inside, which scored a total of six Emmy nominations.

Spanning a length of 87-minutes, Bo Burnham: Inside was written, filmed, and edited entirely by Burnham while in quarantine at his home over the course of more than a year and offers a look at self-isolation throughout the coronavirus pandemic. The special was released on May 30 of this year, just making it inside of the Emmy eligibility period. In total, the special received six Primetime Emmy nominations, including for Variety Special (Pre-Recorded), Outstanding Directing For A Variety Special, Outstanding Picture Editing For Variety Programming, Outstanding Original Music And Lyrics, Outstanding Writing For A Variety Special, and Outstanding Music Direction.

Gold Derby notes that Burnham stands on the potential to set a record at the 73rd Emmy Awards. If Burnham takes home just four wins, he will tie an Emmy record for most wins by a single person during a ceremony. In total, only three people have ever reached that achievement, including Marvelous Mrs. Maisel co-creator Amy Sherman-Palladino in 2018 and Making a Murderer filmmaker Moira Demos in 2016. Schitt's Creek actor and co-creator Dan Levy most recently reached the milestone in 2020.


The 73rd Emmy Awards will broadcast live from the Microsoft Theatre in Los Angeles with Cedric the Entertainer serving as host on Sunday, Sept. 19 at 8 p.m. ET on CBS. Ahead of the ceremony, fans can catch up on Bo Burnham: Inside and Dave Chappelle's 8:46 on Netflix.